Ancient wisdom – new science
Plants and their extracts have been used for centuries for their healing ability.
However, the real magic comes from essential oils – these are awesome plant extracts that have far more interesting properties than just their smell alone. Many people associate essential oils with aromatherapy but in recent years scientists have been researching the properties of some essential oils for therapeutic uses. Manuka (New Zealand Tea tree) and Red Thyme are even being used in hospitals because they are so effective against nasty bugs such as MRSA.
Our own hedgewitch’s appreciation of the power of essential oils came from studying a new branch of science called zoo-pharma-cognosy (animal-medicine-knowing). The practice of zoopharmacognosy enables horses to choose plant extracts, such as essential oils, to help themselves with physical, behavioural or emotional difficulties.
in the wild the horse would be free to
browse on a wide range of plants in order to self-medicate
The principles of zoopharmcognosy come from the understanding that in the wild the horse would be free to browse on a wide range of plants in order to self-medicate, selecting specific plants to help with a physical, behavioral or emotional condition. This new science recognises that horses can self medicate by offering them essential oils or herbs and they will chose whether to sniff, lick them or ignore them completely depending on their needs.
Horses are especially sensitive to the powerful effect of essentials oils (compared to humans) and this is important to recognise because if your horse displays any aversion to the smell of an oil then he/she really doesn’t want it anywhere near him and the oil should not be forced on the horse. For this reason we always recommend that you allow your horse to sniff a bottle of a hedgewitch product first and ideally give your horse a choice of aromas, remembering that this may change from day to day.
It is important to use high quality essential oils and we have gone to great lengths to buy essential oils from a trusted source, batches are analysed and we know they are the genuine article, not synthetic or food grade. Read why this really matters.
Return to articles