The health benefits of herbs for humans have been widely documented for years, but did you know there are a myriad benefits for your pets too? Over the next couple of blog posts, we’ll be taking a look at a various herbs and how they benefit your pets.
First up: St. John’s Wort (scientific name Hypericum perforatum)
According to wikipedia.org, the herb’s common name comes from the fact that it usually produces yellow flowers on or around June 24, the day traditionally celebrated as John the Baptist’s birthday. The genus name Hypericum is derived from the Greek words hyper (above) and eikon (picture), in reference to the plant’s traditional use in warding off evil by hanging plants over a religious icon in the house during St John’s day. The species name perforatum refers to the presence of small oil glands in the leaves which can be seen when they are held against the light.
St. John’sWort is most commonly used to treat depression in humans and in pets it has been shown to help with mild anxiety and those with a nervous disposition (for example during a thunderstorm or in cases of separation anxiety). It is particularly effective when combined with other sedating herbs such as Valerian.St. John’sWort also has serotonin-raising effects which may help cats with convulsive disorders.
The oil extract of the herb has also been shown to have skin healing properties and as such is an effective treatment for minor cuts, scrapes, burns and damaged skin. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial agents also assist with pain relief and speeds up the healing process.
It is not advisable to combineSt. John’sWort with any other chemical drugs as the herb can alter the effects of the drugs so if your pet is due to undergo surgery or is on any other form of treatment; make sure you inform your vet.
In Regal’s range of pet supplements, St. John’sWort is used in their Skin Healing Spray for dogs.
As always, it is advisable to seek veterinary advice before giving your dog any herbal or medicinal treatment.