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DR SILKE KLEEFELD JOINS THE TEAM ?
- We are delighted to announce that Dr Silke Kleefeld has joined the Whitethorn Team!
Silke will be heading up our Research projects 🧐which currently includes assessing the recovery rate of race horses when given the opportunity to self-select herbal extracts post-race vs race horses not having access to herbal extracts post-race 🐎.
Silke has a PhD in Natural Sciences and came to Ireland in 1998 to work as a researcher at the National University in Ireland, Galway. She worked for over ten years as technical support within the area of Biomedical and Pharmacological Research and is now Senior Technical Officer within the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the University of Galway.
As a horse lover, Silke was looking for alternative health methods to support her Connemara pony George and came across Applied Zoopharmacognosy ❤ After completing the Foundation and Masterclass Levels with Whitethorn Equine Health she became very interested in researching more about the mechanisms of how herbs help the body to heal. A Big Welcome on board to Silke!🙏🙏🙏
DEAD SEA MINERAL MUD FOR WOUNDS!
DEAD SEA MINERAL MUD for puncture wounds!
One of the nightmares of horse ownership is a puncture wound - particularly near or on a joint. Your vet may advise antibiotics and to allow the wound to drain of it's own accord.
Dead Sea Mineral Mud can assist with that drainage by 'sucking out' the debris and pus. Apply liberally and allow to fall off when it has done it's job!
Dead Sea Mineral Mud is also great for mud fever and has been proven to be effective at speeding up healing wounds (see ref below for study). However do not apply to stitches and always consult your vet if you are concerned about the health of your horse.
Click on the link to go to Dead Sea Mineral Mud
Abu-al-Basal MA. Histological evaluation of the healing properties of Dead Sea black mud on full-thickness excision cutaneous wounds in BALB/c mice. Pak J Biol Sci. 2012 Apr 1;15(7):306-15. doi: 10.3923/pjbs.2012.306.315. PMID: 24163956.
Whitethorn Equine Health are very honoured and indeed humbled to be approached to teach Equine Zoopharmacognosy to students at the American University Emirates in Dubai.
The University approached us late last year and the Team have been working tirelessly behind the scenes to create course content which is part of a wider program of Equine Complementary Therapies.
This is the first time that Applied Zoopharmacognosy has ever been on a University curriculum in the world and the Team at Whitethorn Equine Health are incredibly proud to be the first to represent this modality at such an esteemed establisment.
For any that may wish to explore further click on the following link:
ESSENTIAL OILS VS HERBAL POWDERS 💦🌿 WHICH IS MORE EFFECTIVE? 🧐This is a question we are often asked! As with everything that is worth knowing, there is no one-size fits all answer 😜. But in a nutshell here goes...... HERBAL POWDERS🌿: At a very simplistic level, herbal powderss are most effective to work with issues within the gut. This is where they excel. They can ease inflamation in the gut and improve the microbiome. They are subject to enzymatic activity within the gut and then go through the Liver - both of which can then alter the active constituents of the herbs consumed. Depending upon varying factors they can take a while to make an impact on your dog's health compared to essential oils. ESSENTIAL OILS💦 (Self-selection grade) can be ingested and go directly into the blood stream through either the oral mucosa or sublingually (lining of mouth/under the tongue). Or they can be inhaled through the lungs and enter the circulatory system to be transported around the body within seconds/minutes.
That's why essential oils are so effective for pain and inflammation where an instant response is required. Upon sniffing essential oils, the effect can also be instantaneous as the olfactory receptors are directly connected to the hypothalamus - which in turn influences the limbic system as well as the sympathetic/parasympathetic nervous system. This is why they are so effective for emotional issues. So hopefully, you can see that it's a 'different strokes for different folks' - it all depends upon where the root of the issue is! I have only one more key piece of information that basically over-rules all of the above.
THE MOST EFFECTIVE EXTRACT IS THE ONE YOUR DOG CHOOSES !!!!
For more information on how you can help your dog using herbal extracts and essential oils join us at our next Foundation workshop in Cork, Ireland - dates and location soon to be announced.
Laura in Connecticut (USA), contacted us with concerns for Titus, her OTTB as he was struggling to settle down in his new home. Due to circumstances beyond Laura and Titus' control, Titus had moved livery yards twice in the last 6months and Laura felt that he was struggling with losing his herd and adjusting to his new home. He has not bonded with his field mate and is very uneasy in his stall. He has also been nipping and being pushier than normal. After a thorough assessment of Titus emotional and physical state through a series of emails, we sent to the US a kit of herbal extracts that would most likely be selected by Titus and his presenting symptoms. This included extracts for pain such as Arnica CO2, German Chamomile and Yarrow EO, extracts for emotional pain such as Rose otto, Neroli and Linden Blossom absolute. Also sent were comfort and calming oils to bring ease such as Vetiver EO, Jasmine absolute, Hemp and Sandalwood. We also advised that Laura purchase some organic Devil's Claw root and Comfrey Leaf locally to offer for pain and arthritis.
After receiving the extracts Carly coached Laura through a Mentoring session on Zoom. Laura and Titus were absolutely fantastic - what a wonderful bond they have! Opening with Cornflower floral water, Titus then went on to select extracts that are often selected for calm and ease. What was particularly remarkable about Titus and his response was that immediately he requested (and Laura responded appropriately) topical applications on his poll, jowl and hind quarters. In particular Titus was keen to have essential oils (Neroli, Yarrow & Hemp) applied to his right ham string group of muscles. At the pre session assessment Laura mentioned that his right hind had been an issue so it was great to see Titus asking for help in this area. When offering Neroli, Carly requested that Laura just cracked open the lid of the Neroli (and not removed it) as an initial offering - Neroli is a highly volatile oil, and 'gently does it' is the watch word when dealing with grief. So, it was no surprise when Titus balked at the Neroli and retreated quickly to the back of his box.
We proceeded as we would with any horse with emotional trauma (too complex to explain here) and later Titus was inhaling the Neroli deeply and experiencing releases. Laura was an absolute star and as someone whom has never used the Applied Zoopharmacognosy approach, was very impressive in her ability to offer and respond appropriately to Titus' requests. Also to note, that for a horse to immediately request a topical application on the first session shows the complete faith he has in Laura to listen and respond to his needs. Such a great bond! On our catch call up a week later, Laura was delighted to report that Titus's emotional wellbeing was much improved and he is back to his old self again.
Well done Titus and Laura!
If you would like to learn more about our Mentoring packages which start from a half hour guidance to a full session (1.5hrs) for horse and dog owners please click here.
Whitethorn Academy student rates available.
At a risk of sounding like an old woman (which in fact I am), doesn’t time fly?! I was looking for a folder in the office and came across this old article from a newspaper (for those of you under 20 a newspaper is a pile of large pieces of paper with writing on them that we used to clean windows and wrap chips in before Health & Safety got over zealous). I wrote this article for the Irish Horse Review (published April 2012) in an attempt to create an awareness of the animal’s innate ability to self-select herbs in order to restore health. It received a lukewarm (if not Baltic) reception and from that response, I knew my work was cut out. Therein followed much blood, sweat and tears to spread the word on Applied Zoopharmacognosy (self-selection) throughout Ireland and how it could help animal carer's support their animals and restore health. Since that time our work here at Whitethorn Herbals & Whitethorn Equine Health has increased rapidly and exponentially with Zoopharmacognosy making it onto mainstream TV along with being listed in Wikipedia!
Looking back over the last decade there have been tears, laughter, loads of joy as well as disappointment and copious amounts of fear when I have had to put my big brave pants on. There have been a few almighty cock up's (involving live streams - we shall say no more) as well as many, many moments of pure magic! It's never easy for anyone (or business) challenging the status quo and I have received my fair share of mockery, attempted bullying and downright rudeness. But I have also experienced incredible support from family and friends that believed in me and also just as importantly the seen (and unseen!) horse and dog community as we have gone on to build our tribe initially nationally and now globally.
I won’t harp on about the fact that running your own business is not a walk in the park - some of you will already know this. Suffice to say during the first few years, visualise 70hr working weeks, coffee via IV drip, hands pretty much glued to the steering wheel and a hair style that Bob Marley would be proud of (come to think of it, that part hasn’t changed). And to be honest with you - I would do it all again in a shot! Such an amazing journey. When I built Whitethorn Farm (2000) and put up the stables (before the house of course!) I knew that I wanted to do something with animals but little did I know what was in store. I just knew it had to be in the animals interests.
I have heard it said that whatever you enjoy doing at the ages of around 7 or 8 is your true soul path as at that age you haven’t been influenced by society/education (ok, I know, controversial - but let's just park that topic there for another day). For myself, at 7yrs of age I could be found out in the garden making herbal potions using Roses and other plants, immersing them in water in jam jars and leaving them to infuse high up in the tree house away from my brother’s interference. I would come back and check on them regularly to check their potency in anticipation of giving them to one of the members of our menagerie! Which by the way, in it's hay day, had a dog, goat, donkey and around 19 guinea pigs and a few rabbits. And a tortoise which had our house no painted on it's under shell incase it went rambling (this was the 60's when things were different). All of that in suburban leafy Surrey (UK). I giggle to myself when I remember that when I am often working in the shop packing herbs or working with horses around the world on zoom. Tempus fugit!
To see any animal, receive what they need often after such a long period of lack makes my heart swell. To see a glimmer of hope or a sparkle of Love in the eye of an animal as they realise, they are being listened to and their needs are being met. To see the relief when healing is received, or a glance of recognition and appreciation from a fellow animal indeed is without doubt food for my soul (may I ask 'what feeds yours?'). These are things money cannot buy. They feed the soul like no other and it humbles me and I feel so privileged to work with our animal friends.
I guess the take home message here is, dreams do come true but at the same time you also make your own Luck, so set your sites high and do what it takes to fulfill your dream and your soul's destiny. And if there is such a thing as Karma, I must have been an angel in a past life, because I sure got lucky in this one - to do what I love and love what I do!
Wishing the same for you, Carly
CONSIDERING CREATING AN EQUINE SELF-SELECTION HERBAL GARDEN? 🍀🍀🍀
You will see many 'equine herbal based' sites throwing around the idea of creating an herbal garden for your horses to select from. Whilst this is a laudable idea, we would like to share our experience as an Equine Clinic that has created an Herbal self-selection area. It has to be said that herbs certainly are a lovely addition to any garden and indeed the horses love a range of herbs to select from. A herbal garden is also a is a great way of getting an indication of what a horse needs - providing you have an extensive range of the correct species (ie not hybrids or garden centre varieties). So it's really important to make sure you have the correct species growing. As we know, most paddocks and forage areas are normally quite sparse from a plant diversity point of you and when your horse finds a herb they need, they will decimate the plant! So of course, when they get the opportunity in a herbal garden they will also decimate the herb that they need. So thumbs up to the herbarium for indicating horses needs but generally a thumbs down for supplying their full needs!👌
However, you could try what Una Barker at Lagan Bank Lodge has provided on their track system. What a great invention! These self-selecting baskets have been successful for a limited amount of herbs. Lagan Bank Lodge comments that sometimes the plants would grow inches past the basket then other days they’d be trimmed right back to the edge, so the horses were self-selecting when needed. Pictured are Thyme, Chives, Oregano, Mint and Sage. On top of the tyres are hanging basket attached using cable ties.
Please do visit Lagan Bank Lodge’s Facebook page. 💚
We are often asked about how to care for our products and so we have put together some key points to bear in mind when using and storing our products. We take time to source the best quality available with most of our herbs and essential oils being organic.
We want you to get the best from them and to keep them in tip top condition so read on!
* Keep your herbs, powders and essential oils in a cool dry dark place - away from children
* Make sure your lids and bags on herbs and essential oils are airtight
* Keep all essential oils out of direct sunlight
* Avoid storing in humid areas such as the bathroom, window, stove
* Some oils such as sandalwood actually mature over time
* Some citrus oils can expire sooner than others - approx 12 months
* Keep the cap on, don’t leave cap off for long periods of time unless your animal is still selecting and using an oil/extract
* Put the right lid back on the right bottle to avoid contamination!
* Floral waters last for approx 1 year
Just to note that we are the only supplier that provide named lids to avoid cross contamination 😄💚 which can be disastrous - for example putting the Garlic lid on the Rose otto bottle!
PS Aromatherapy essential oils are not appropriate for the self-selection approach!
Equine Zoopharmacognosy Level 2 Hybrid Workshop
SMC Sporthorse Molly was the second of our equine participants for the Level 2 Zoopharmacognosy workshop held recently in Sligo at our Whitethorn Clinic and online through Zoom. Molly is a 13yr old A grade RID showjumper with a very sweet nature and engaged from the Get-Go! As per the previous blog, this hyflex workshop inlcluded two wide angle cameras set up in each stable so that attendees online could clearly engage with the session side by side with the onsite participants. They also had the ability to contribute with regards to suggestions of herbal extracts and essential oils to offer to Molly. Trish, Aurelie and Majella (Onsite attendees coming from Meath, Sligo and Galway respectively) worked with online participants Alison (NI) and Carol (UK)to offer medicinal herbal remedies to Molly.
Molly's presenting symptoms
SMC Molly is known to been arthritic in her hocks and also lost a foal this year. Kerstin our Team Whitethorn Vet completed a pre-session examination and found no obvious issues other than arthritis in the hocks.
Day One of the workshop - Molly's selections
Molly is an old hand at Zoopharmacognosy and was very forthright in what she did and didnt want. She was very clear in her selections and became very frustrated when they students were not quick enough to offer the correct extract she was looking for! To the point she would paw the ground and get quite agitated so we removed the box of herbs and reintroduced them one by one from the adjoining tack room. She selected extracts for nutritional supplementation - mainly Rosehips, Barley grass and a tiny lick of Dandelion root powder. She also took 500ml of Comfrey macerate and inhaled and licked Arnica CO2 (both are often selected for arthritis). She also selected Mimosa ab, Violet Leaf ab and Clary sage essential oils. These extracts are often selected for grief, anticipation of pain and hormonal imbalances in that respective order. Just to note, that Molly had a choice of outlets (window and door) from which she could extend her head as well as a large stable should she wish to remove herself from the process.
Day Two of the Workshop - Molly's selections
On the second day of the workshop Molly's selections were similar but she went much deeper with the emotional oils. Again she took Comfrey macerate and Arnica CO2 and she demolished the Dandelion root powder whereas the day before she only wanted a single lick. She also gorged less on the Rosehips and infact when offered Rose otto she stilled and lost interest in them. Our onsite participant Trish offered Mimosa and as Molly took an interest she continued to offer supporting oils to help her work with the Mimosa. Molly went into a deep process. However, it was obvious that Molly had trouble letting go and kept dipping in and out of a state of process. This could be possibly because she is the matriarchial mare as pointed out by Alison online. The supporting oils offered to enable Molly to process were Sandalwood, Violet Leaf Ab and Rose otto. We will never know for what particular issue or trauma that Molly selected the Mimosa and supporting oils for but afterwards she was much brighter. Well done Molly and Level 2 students Trish, Aurelie, Carol, Alison and Majella! And to Izzy for holding the gimbal still for so long despite her numb fingers!
On Saturday night residential students went for a fun lively meal at a local restaurant where we discussed the days events and more! :)
If you wish to join us at our next Level 1 workshop to learn how you can work with medicinal herbs and essential oils to help your horse restore and maintain health, or if you wish to continue your studies in this amazing way of working with horses, click on the following link: EQUINE WORKSHOPS
Hi! My name is Carly and I am a life long lover of Dogs and Horses. When my mare was having regular episodes of Colic I looked around for a solution and found Applied Zoopharmacognosy (also called the self-selection method and free choice botanicals). I was so impressed that I trained in this fascinating effective herbal approach and have gone on now to train others. That was over a decade ago and I am now part of the Whitethorn Team and work with horses and dogs all over the world to help them restore emotional and physical health. As part of the support we offer, we also supply herbal remedies at our online shop along with providing workshops and one-to-one mentoring (Onsite & Online) on how to work with them. We truly hope that you enjoy and maybe learn a little from our blog. Carly and the Whitethorn Team, Sligo Ireland
Plants by condition - Only available to Students of the Whitethorn Academy
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