Chamomile is so much more than meets the eye. This bright, cheery flower is packed full of medicinal properties that can help both you and your canine family member! From acting as nature's aspirin to its antiseptic properties, chamomile has a plethora of uses when it comes to treating dog ailments. Its mild effects and generally safe nature make it an easy herb for beginner administration.
When purchasing chamomile for treatment purposes, it is good to remember that liquid supplements are much more concentrated than their dried counterparts. The potency of chamomile products will also vary from brand to brand, with reputable companies generally offering a more concentrated product. If you are unsure what to buy, ask your veterinarian for their recommended supplement provider.
For a hands-on and more cost effective approach, you can try growing chamomile in your own garden! This hearty herb seeds itself and grows in practically all climates. In fact, you may find yourself pulling out some of the plants, as chamomile has a tendency to take over. Once you have your chamomile in hand, you can use it to aid a whole host of issues that your dog may develop.
Skin Injuries Chamomile works wonders when administered topically on inflammations, scrapes and insect bites. Even bacterial or fungal infections can be deterred in their early stages by chamomile. The best way to apply the herb is by making a strong tea, either brewing four tea bags per cup of boiled water or two full tablespoons of packed chamomile flowers per cup, letting the mixture cool and then spraying it onto the problem area using a spray bottle. The concoction will keep for up to four days if you put it in your refrigerator.
Conjunctivitis Many dogs suffer from chronic eye irritations. Chamomile's mild antiseptic properties make it ideal for a natural eye wash solution. The tea dilution mentioned earlier combined with saline solution (1 portion tea for every three portions of saline) can make a soothing treatment for sore eyes. The mixture can be applied using an eyedropper and repeated two to three times daily.
Gastrointestinal Issues Problems of the intestinal tract--especially those caused by anxiety like bloating or vomiting--can be soothed by using chamomile. The herb works as a triple threat to abdominal pain by relaxing muscles, soothing the intestinal wall, and preventing stomach and gut spasms. To treat gastric upset, oral administration of chamomile works best. This can be done by using concentrated supplements and diluting them slightly with glycerin. The rule of thumb is to apply 1 ml of the solution for every thirty pounds of dog. It can be given every two to three hours, or in advance if your dog is prone to excitement-induced vomiting.
We've touched on just some of the many ways that chamomile can be used on dogs. It can also be given in a mild dose as a heart tonic to support good cardiac function. Chamomile is an anthelmintic, meaning that it can rid the body of parasites and worms in a non-toxic way. For dogs who are being used for breeding, chamomile given before pregnancy can help tone the uterus. The herb should be only used in low doses or avoided completely during pregnancy, however, as it can cause spontaneous abortion.
Although it is rare, some dogs are allergic to the herb. Testing out topical treatments on a small area of skin first is a good idea to ensure no major reaction will occur from chamomile application. All in all, this easy to use, easy to grow plant is an excellent, all-purpose herbal remedy that can work wonders on your pup.