Turmeric has been used for hundreds of years as a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for people with various conditions. Turmeric is a bright yellow powder that is commonly used for the flavouring of food and also as a health supplement. The main active ingredient of turmeric is a compound called curcumin, found to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects in humans. As a strong antioxidant, turmeric is useful in both humans and horses for soothing pain and stiffness, alleviating skin conditions, and maintaining good digestion.
Turmeric is a common spice and is most commonly used in Indian curries. The main component in turmeric is curcumin which helps defend the body from viruses and bacteria. Turmeric is also known for its extremely effective anti-inflammatory properties, therefore, is extremely popular for use in horses and ponies suffering with arthritis, conditions relating to lameness, and skin irritations.
Turmeric has many therapeutic properties and is suitable for horses suffering from stiff joints and itchy skin conditions, as well as providing support for the digestive system. Many horse owners will feed turmeric to horses whose joints are under stress or who need a boost in health.
As a key botanical of the traditional Ayurvedic health practices of India, turmeric root and turmeric essential oil has an extended history that is what inspires modern uses of turmeric today. Steam distilled from the turmeric root, turmeric essential oil has two unique chemical components, Turmerone and ar-Turmerone.
Turmerone and ar-Turmerone are commonly known for their nervous system and emotional benefits. These particular components are why turmeric essential oil is becoming a staple in daily health routines for horses and humans. Due to the feelings of positivity that turmeric promotes, it is beneficial both internally and aromatically. In addition, turmeric is advantageous to the immune system and may have soothing benefits that promote a positive immune response.
While most of the research involving the benefits of turmeric use have been trialled on humans, there have been recent studies in the UK, as well as in Germany, which have revealed that turmeric is extremely beneficial for horses, too.
Turmeric is known for its effectiveness in detoxing the liver in horses. Turmeric is also known for anti-oxidant properties for your horse that occurs when the carbohydrates, fats and proteins that have been consumed by the horse are metabolised into energy sources. Turmeric provides supplementation for a source of antioxidants which may be beneficial to your horse’s health.
Some say that turmeric has a strong taste that isn’t palatable for horses. One of the reasons I use turmeric in a pure, therapeutic grade oil form is because it only takes 2-5 drops for a horse—very easy to disguise in a hay cube or pellet mash with carrots or treats!
Remember that, just like any new feed or supplement, you should introduce turmeric to your horse’s diet slowly and build up the quantity gradually over time. As with anything new, horses generally accept the addition of turmeric to their diets if it is gradually added into their normal feed.
Because turmeric is from a root vegetable, it is generally accepted by most horses without any side effects (other than the guts normal adjustments to a new food). Turmeric has been known to be combined with antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs but if you have any concerns always consult your veterinarian.
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