Updated: Jun 2, 2020
I'm always on the look out for safe, natural ways to keep our beloved furries healthy and free from invading parasites.
So, I was excited to learn from Dr. Will Falconer, DVM, about some familiar spices that have been used in India for centuries in Ayurvedic cooking and medicine to keep the intestines of animals and humans free from parasites.
Giardia, intestinal worms such as tapeworm, and a whole host of others transmitted through insects like fleas and flies.
Which Spices and For what?
In Ayurveda, spices that warm the body through the digestive tract, create an inhospitable environment for pesky "critters." They also support the immune system by facilitating digestion.
Here are Dr. Falconer's recommendations. I suggest starting with 1/4 to 1/2 his recommended amounts and working up slowly to be sure your animal doesn't balk at the tastes and their systems have time to adjust. Start with one or two spices. Please don't add all all at once! NOTE: If your animal has any heat sensitivities, has hot spots, or constantly seeks out cool places, be sure to consult your holistic vet before adding these spices to their food. You don't want to add to any existing imbalance!
Ginger: A well known "tummy tonic" for upsets and motion sickness, it's also a flea deterrent Dr Falconer recommends "grate a bit into the wet food, maybe a 1/2 teaspoon for the little guys up to 1/2 tablespoon for the giants."
Cumin: is also an excellent flea deterrent that can be given to feral cats, if you're caring for them. He recommends powdered or grated cumin added in the same amounts as ginger
Black pepper: Used in small amounts, it's another warming spice that is also essential for activating Tumeric's healing qualities. He says that he's been adding freshly ground black pepper "to taste." Again, I recommend that you start with powdered pepper, adding just a pinch to your companions' food after cooking or warming their food.
Turmeric: Most of you have read about or aware of curcumin, the active property in Tumeric as an anti-inflammatory supplement, great for joints. It also warms the digestive tract making digestion and absorption work better! (Always use with a pinch of black pepper).
Please let me know how your beloveds respond, and as always, use your intuition to be sure any of these are right for your animals.
If you have any questions, consult your holistic vet. (An alopathic vet is unlikely to know anything about this, so will probably discourage you form using herbs and spices in your companion's diets, even though our animals, like ourselves have relied on plants to keep us/them healthy forever!.)
with Love, Your Voice of Animals,