I’ve made a herbal ointment for our dog that had a contact allergy rash, here’s the story…
Starting with our (not so) new puppy Loki.
This is a position he is often in…
Our 5 month old Beardie unfortunately has had a nasty rash on his underbelly which we’re pretty certain is caused by our long grass (some bugger stole our lawnmower) and, get this, the wandering jew, I never knew! And I thought Tradescantia fluminensis was just an obnoxious weed with no uses, turns out it’s worse than that. When the stems and leaves break the sap acts as an irritant.
I found this out whilst researching for some sort of answer and remedy for his rash. I came across this website Natural Pet. Paulette Carpenter is a qualified animal homeopath and herbalists based in KeriKeri, wonderful! I got her ‘Spring’ remedy which is for exactly what we’re dealing with..a contact allergy caused by grass and wandering jew.
It worked somewhat but what really needs to happen is for the wandering jew to magically disappear (we have huge tracts of it so that ‘aint going to happen). And the lawns need to be mowed. (Need a lawnmower.) In the meantime though it occurred to me that I could make an ointment to protect and soothe his irritation…
I’ve always believed that what can heal you will be around you, there’s a quote by French herbalist Maurice Messegue that totally sings to me..
“People ascribe the greatest healing power to drugs that have come from the farthest away, drugs that cost the most. In my long experience I have come to believe that people go to the ends of the earth to look for something they could find right on their doorstep. If only we could learn to trust nature…”
So in that vein I gathered up some fumitory (left of photo), thyme (on the right), nasturtium (front) and a poorly amount of cleavers (back right).
I also put peppermint and red clover into my stew (dried).
Fumitory ( Fumaria officinalis) and red clover (Trifolium pratense) are alteratives (blood cleansers) and have a long history of use for skin complaints. Fumitory is a common garden weed which is often overlooked as a useful plant with nowhere near as much fame as say chickweed (which I would’ve used too if I had enough on our property). Fumitory can also be used as an eye wash to ease conjunctivitis and apparently as a tea it’s supposed to give you a bit get more and go in the mornings. I tried it. Maybe I had to take it over a longer period of time which is often the case with herbal medicine!
I’ve been slowly collecting red clover over this summer and am really pleased with how it’s been drying. I was going to put it up for sale but the more I’ve read about it, sorry folks, the more I want it just for myself and family! I’ll collect more next year… So it’s one of the most useful remedies for children with skin problems (read dogs), it’s also good for any sort of cough. Used more as an internal remedy I only put a few dried heads in the ointment brew, the rest I’m making into a tincture.
Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) was put in for it’s anti-microbial action. Thymol and carvacrol, two of thymes main constituents are responsible for thymes powerful antiseptic action, both internally and externally.
I put in peppermint (Mentha x piperta) for it’s cooling effect to ease the itching and inflammation.
I thought I had more cleavers (Galium aparine) around and I do but most were past their best; their optimum time to be gathered is just before flowering. They’re best used dry for that matter too – so it was just a token amount in there. I would’ve liked to have put more in due to its healing action on skin conditions.
Oh, and I threw in three nastutium (tropaeolum majus) flowers because, well, I had some and it’s known to work as a nice compress for bacterial infection. Nasturtium is another powerful anti-microbial.
So all this in the cauldron, using the same method as my Baby Balm ointment. And wa-lah!
I put it on twice a day, he’d try to lick it off but I’d take him for a quick run to distract him and give it a chance to absorb. After that he could do what he liked because unlike anything prescribed allopathically this stuff is ok digested.
Here’s the rash at its peak, the day I made the ointment..
And here it is three days later…
I’ve also started giving him a sardine with a sprinkling of tumeric every second day with one of his meals to boost his omega-3. He still scratches a bit but no where as bad as he did and if I see any redness I whip some ointment on him and it has stopped it escalating to the degree that it had.
Wishing you and your animals good health!!