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
Equine Zoopharmacognosy Level 2 Hybrid Workshop
SMC Sporthorse Angel was one of our equine participants for the Level 2 Zoopharmacognosy workshop held recently in Sligo at our Whitethorn Clinic and online through Zoom. Angel is a 16.3" RID 3yr old Filly with a beautiful gentle temperament and was an absolute joy to work with! This particular workshop was the first of our hybrid workshops and on many levels it was very successful. Two wide angle cameras were set up in each stable so that attendees online could clearly view the session. They also had the ability to contribute with regards to suggestions of extracts to offer to Angel which they all did splendidly. Silke and Gemma (Onsite attendees coming from Galway and the UK respectively) worked with online participants Trish and Ruth to offer extracts to Angel.
Angel's presenting symptoms
Kerstin, one of our Whitethorn Team Vets, carried out a pre session assessment and noted capped hocks and splints. This could well be due to rapid growth although just to note that her owner is an experienced knowledgeable horse woman and her diet would be appropriate for her age and breed/type. Her owner also noted that she has very itchy skin and this was evident when Angel was stabled although she had no bare patches or broken skin.
Angel's selections on Day 1
Initially she was offered nutritional supplementation which she selected with gusto! Her favourites in the area of supplementation were Dandelion root powder, Seaweed (dried) and Rosehip shells. We often find that horses with itchy skin select extracts to support the gut and Angel was no exception. She selected Peppermint essential oil, herbs in the line of Marigold flowers, Liquorice root powder and cleavers dried herb. She took a significant amount of the herb cleavers which are rich in silica and cleanse the lymph as well as promote skin, hoof and hair condition. She also showed an interest in Arnica CO2 and Tobacco extract. Interestingly enough, upon inhaling the Tobacco extracts, online attendees noted Angel have, what they described as a minor physical 'wobble' which they seemed to think was of a neurological nature.
Angel's selections on Day 2
On the 2nd day of the workshop she selected similarly in the line of supplementation but then went on to select Devil's claw root which is an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. She was also reoffered Arnica (which she had selected on Saturday) but interest was much reduced initially. Again on the 2nd day she selected cleavers in similar amounts to the first day. She didn't seem to be overly interested in any emotional extracts and this can often be the case when horses are focusing on physical nutritional needs. However, at the end of Sunday session she presented her left rump for a topical application of Yarrow essential oil and Arnica CO2. A physio attending the workshop noted that her bilateral hamstring group of muscles were hypertrophied (bigger compared to the other muscles) and hypertoned (tight, holding tension) so the topical application of Arnica CO2 and Yarrow essential oil would certainly help with this issue.
We would just like to say a big Thank You to all our attendees, Angel and all of Team Whitethorn for making this workshop possible!
Our next blog will cover Molly and her selections at the Level 2 workshop! She selected for physical and emotional issues from which the students gained significant learning.
Recently we undertook the first dry-run for the Level 2 workshop later this month and we are getting very excited! In the mornings there will be discussion on issues such as barriers to success, Triggers, Mind-body connections, mixing modalities, emergencies, dealing with trauma. Case studies will also be referred to along with science papers where possible. Participants are joining us from all over Ireland and the UK, many of which are experts in their field and so we look forward to some lively enriching debate! In the afternoon, small groups of students will be assigned a horse along with a kit and a breakout room on Zoom (or should that be stable? ) Participants Online will be assigned a breakout Stable and join in with the session by suggesting extracts to offer, take the session notes etc. Also part of the plan is to have a roaming Yard-Cam going from group to group catching snippets from each session for further interest for those online. Team Vet Kerstin will assess the horses prior to the workshop and also be on hand to give valuable input. Horses in Breakout rooms is an absolute first in the Equine Educational Industry in Ireland if not in the World. We are very excited about these developments and Welcoming you all to Whitethorn Farm either physically or virtually!
Carly is delighted to have been asked to represent the Equine Zoopharmacognosy Industry at the Equine Touch UK Conference in October. She will give a talk on how and why horses self-medicate on herbs and essential oils, along with looking at Case studies of horses that have benefited from this modality. Animal self-medication (or Applied Zoopharmacognosy) compliments bodywork modalities such as Equine Touch, Physiotherapy, Chiropractic, and Shiatsu. Extracts are offered during a body work session in order to support the releasing process. For example, Yarrow, Sweet Marjoram and Peppermint essential oils are known muscle relaxants and are often selected whilst bodywork is in progress. Black Pepper is also often selected for sore muscles whilst Rose otto is known to reduce adrenalin and can support the horse in letting go during a session. Carly is looking forward to spreading the word further and continuing to inspire Body workers on the benefits of Equine self-medication at this years Equine Touch Conference! A big 'Thank you' to all at Equine Touch Uk for this fine opportunity!
We are delighted to give a big Welcome to Tilly and Greta to Whitethorn Farm. They are joining the Team as part of our commitment to the non-use of herbicides or pesticides which we have never used here at Whitethorn Farm. They are primarily in charge of weed control and are great candidates for our interspecies grazing programme! They are experts in self-selection and the first extract that Greta (brown goat - British Alpine) selected was Arnica, whereupon the stiffness in her gait completely disappeared. Tilly's initial selection (the white Saanen Goat) was Yarrow essential oil (ingested) and later on Garlic and Clove essential oil (possibly for worms). At one point we noticed Greta itching and so offered Neem powder. She requested a topical application and the itching ceased. She also inhaled Neem oil but did not choose to ingest. They both enjoy seaweed and rosehips every day and now as the weather is getting colder, some cereal. An interesting behaviour with goats, is that when they select an oil, they often request a topical application between their horns on their poll by lowering their head to the bottle. The picture above is of them shortly after they arrived. They are now enjoying rest, recuperation and retirement after a very productive life producing many kids and much milk. See below for more recent pictures of them - a lot done but more to do! They are in their senior years but great characters and a huge addition to the farm. We love them!
At last weeks online Canine Level 1 Zoopharmacognosy workshop we worked with Pippi. Pippi, as you can see, is a beautiful very friendly 3yr old Otter hound and as a dog is rather anxious and always on alert. Pippi selected analgesics which was surprising as she showed no obvious symptoms of pain. On the first day she selected Cornflower Floral Water, Rose Floral Water, Wintergreen essential oil, St John's wort macerate, Sandalwood essential oil and then promptly went to process at the other end of the room. On the next day she selected similarly (analgesics) but had less St John's wort than the previous day and added Comfrey macerate to her selection as well as Arnica Co2. She processed a lot more deeply on the second day with deep leg and body twitching. Izzy intends to continue offering at home and we look forward to hearing how she reduces her intake of analgesics as the healing progresses. She was a model demo dog and we are very grateful to Izzy for bringing Pippi along!
Please note: Aromatherapy oils are not suitable for the zoopharmacognosy approach. All our extracts are specifically sourced for the self-selection method.
How can Herbs help your Dog?
Digestive issues such as diarrhoea and constipation, skin irritations, and hormonal issues plus emotional and physical pain/ trauma have been resolved using this approach. Your dog has an innate ability to self-medicate on plants due to it's superior ability to smell and seek out the medicinal qualities within plants. We have a mere 5 million olfactory receptors whereas a dog can have around 500 - 600million. Your dog's sensory apparatus (mainly taste and smell) will then adjust according to it's medicinal needs. For example, a plant that would normally taste bitter, would become palatable until the correct amount is ingested at which point it would resume it's bitter taste. During the workshop this point is brought home with participants completing their own self-selections with one of the samples in the Learning Pack.
Workshop Learning Pack
The extensive learning pack is sent out to participants prior to the workshop and includes a Herbal Compendium, Extracts for Conditions listings, Record sheets and presentation notes. Participants may work with their own case study during the course and avail of guidance from Carly during this time. Participants will also have access to a private Facebook group for support within the Zoopharmacognosy Community and the members section of the website enabling them to access Extracts for Conditions online.
I am a great believer in serendipity and when I overheard the words 'Dogs' and 'Skin issues' in a conversation whilst sitting waiting in the Covid vaccination centre in Sligo my ears pricked up. This is because I had 3 dog clients to go to that following week all with skin issues! So of course I looked around to see from whose mouth those two important words had come from and I saw a man sporting a jacket with the words Coastal Nutrients on it. I googled it then and there and I liked what I read. To cut a long story short we got chatting and did a deal in the Covid centre car park (I know, of all the places!) and came away with a case of the said Mackerel oil. Visiting my clients the following week 2 out of 3 dogs with skin and gut issues and selected it with gusto. It seems Mackerel is rich in the Omegas 3, 6 & 9 which are critical for the well-being of joints, gut and skin integrity for dogs. Not only do dogs benefit from it when needed but it is organic, produced in Ireland by a small family business in Donegal and so ticks a lot of boxes for me! It is available at the following link or click on the picture to take you to the product page.
Dog Supplement: The Diva Dog
'DOG' RESOLVES PANNUS DISEASE
CASE STUDY : Remarkable resolution of PANNUS. So this is 'Dog' as she is affectionately known! A beautiful GS that came to me for Zoopharmacognosy after being diagnosed by her Vet with Pannus (autoimmune disease resulting in blindness normally considered incurable). Dog was knocking into walls etc and needless to say, she and all her human family members were finding this rapidly progressive blindness extremely distressing (deteriorated within 3 weeks). They took Dog to the vet whom prescribed an immunosuppressant to be applied topically which Berenice and her family administered as directed. Berenice then contacted me to see if there was anything Zoopharmacognosy could do. After consultation with our Team Vet Annett, we decided it would be safe to offer plant extracts to see how/if they could help. Annett said that the key to resolution was to redirect the immune response. Within 10 days of the Zoopharmacognosy session, Dog's eyes became fully clear and to date her sight is fully restored. Berenice says: "Before zoopharmacognosy her coat was completely dry and dull and she was so skinny you could see and feel her bones. In a few days she’s basically back to normal with her eyesight fully restored, and her personality is bigger than ever , and even the vet is shocked, her words were she’s never seen any recovery that quick."
It is important to note that the initial session starts the process of resolution in motion. It is the willingness of 'Dog' to engage and the dedication of her owner over the following week or so to continue offering the extracts that creates the best possible outcome - which happily in Dog's case was her eyesight being restored.
So well done Team Dog!
We are delighted to announce that we have successfully sourced from the continent a lovely rich Organic Co2 Rosehip extract (Rosa canina). This type of distillation process ensures absolutely no solvent residue and the product (human grade) contains a broad level of constituents which includes high levels of Linoleic acid (essential fatty acid belonging to the omega-3 fatty acids group) which has been proven to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandin resulting in reduced inflammation. Older animals that have joint issues or are arthritic and younger growing animals select Rosehip Co2. If you feel your dog or horse may benefit from Rosehip Co2, click here to purchase at our online shop. There are various forms in which you can offer Rosehips to your dog or horse - as whole hips, as a ground powder or as a Co2 extract. However when your dog/horse ingests the Co2 extract orally, the extract is then able to access the buccal membranes. This then facilitates the extract entering the blood stream directly thus avoiding enzymatic activity in the gut.
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/Symptom Equine - Only for Whitethorn Academy Students
Plants by Condition/Symptom Canine - Only for Whitethon Academy Students
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