top of page

A little bit of History. - Where does the custom of feeding herbs come from?

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries to treat various ailments in many parts of the

world. Its origin dates back 60,000 years, when humans first began to use plants to heal

themselves. The use of herbs as medicine has a fascinating history, with its roots in many

cultures and practices. It is believed that it first started due to farmers watching their animals

choose to eat the different herbs and plants.

In ancient times, many societies believed that herbal remedies were bestowed upon us by the

gods or spirits. Plants were seen as having divine powers, able to heal a host of ailments from

toothache to help with childbirth. People also believed in the magical power of plants, using

them in rituals to ward off bad luck or illness.

The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Chinese all had advanced systems for using herbs for

medicinal purposes. The Egyptians employed plants for wound care, digestive troubles and

fertility. The ancient Greeks wrote about various herbs and their therapeutic benefits, collecting

information into what eventually became the basis for the first pharmacopeia. The ancient

Chinese practiced traditional Chinese medicine, using herbal medicine to treat a wide range of

physical and mental ailments.

Herbal medicine has continued to be used up until the present day. In modern times, herbal

medicines are a popular choice because they are often seen as a more natural, less invasive

form of treatment than standard medication. Herbs can be used to treat common conditions

such as colds and headaches, as well as more serious illnesses like cancer and heart disease.

Today, herbal medicine has been integrated into conventional treatments by many medical

practitioners. The use of herbs in combination with other therapies has been shown to be

beneficial in some cases. There is also much research being done to explore the potential of

certain plants to treat certain diseases.

Herbal medicine remains one of humanity’s oldest forms of healthcare. Its long history and

continued use in modern times are a testament to its effectiveness and importance.

Herbal remedies for horses have been around for centuries. For thousands of years, people

have been using herbs and plants to treat the ailments of their equine friends. These remedies,

many of which are still practiced today, have been passed down from generation to generation

with the aim of providing the best care for horses. There have been findings of care instructors

carved into stone believed to date back to ancient greek, of feeding parsley for stamina and

fenugreek for condition,

In the past, herbs were usually combined with other natural ingredients to make medicines.

These concoctions could be used to treat conditions ranging from sore muscles to respiratory

infections. Popular herbs included Saffron, White Willow, Ginseng, Pau d'arco, and St. John's


Today, many of the same herbal remedies are still used by horse owners. For instance, St.

John's Wort can reduce inflammation, while Ginseng has long been known to increase alertness

and energy levels. White Willow has also been used for centuries as a pain reliever and is still

recommended to relieve discomfort, such as muscle stiffness.

Herbs are also used to suppress the symptoms of common conditions. For example Echinacea

is used to boost the immune system and chamomile to help soothe and cam

Herbal remedies are growing in popularity to aid the treatment of a range of conditions affecting

horses. However, if the condition is serious, it is important to consult with a veterinarian.

In an era where we are all becoming more conscious about where our food and our horses food

comes from, and what chemicals it contains, more and more people are turning to the traditional

use of herbs that have been passed down for generations. The cost of herbs compared to

pharmaceutical drugs also affects owner decisions.

When it comes to equine nutrition, feeding supplements can play a key role in keeping your

horse healthy whilst not having to feed masses of feed which can become expensive for the

owner. Modern-day horse owners have the knowledge and resources to ensure that our equine

family has the healthiest diets possible. The history of equine supplement feeding has evolved

over time.

The way horses are fed hasn’t really changed in the past thousand years. Until the mid 19th

century, horses were primarily fed grass and hay, being readily available and easy to source.

Corn, barley, oats and legumes were common additions to a horse’s diet.

1863 saw the invention of the first commercial feed; this was a game changer for horse nutrition.

These feeds were often high in carbohydrates, grains and animal byproducts which were not

part of their natural diets. This caused horses to suffer from nutrient deficiencies and metabolic

issues like colic and laminitis.

The introduction of modern-day supplements and vitamins came in the later part of the 19th

century, when researchers began discovering the benefits that certain nutrients could have on

horses when fed in higher concentrations. Minerals, vitamins, calcium and even alfalfa began to

be offered as supplements to horses to improve their nutritional levels.

In the early 20th century, the science of equine nutrition began to advance rapidly, and along

with the introduction of the internal combustion engine, horses began to be used less and less

in certain industries. Until the latter part of the 20th century, the industry of equine supplements

was unregulated; there didn’t seem to be a need for additional oversight when it came to the

manufacture of these products.

Throughout the 21st century, there has been a gradual move towards more sophisticated and

regulated equine supplements. Regulations have been introduced by governing bodies within

the equine industry and the amount of research available on the benefits of feed supplements

has grown exponentially.

Today, there are a wide range of supplement options available to horse owners, from vitamins

and minerals to antioxidants and probiotics. All of these can easily be combined with a horse’s

regular diet. It’s important to remember that only a veterinarian or an experienced equine

nutritionist should make decisions on the type and amount of feed supplements that should be

given to a horse.

Thanks to the advancements of modern equine nutrition, feeding supplements to horses is one

of the best ways to ensure that they are receiving the required levels of vitamins and minerals

for a healthy, happy and long life.

7 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Spring as Sprung

Spring and Summer seem to have hit us together, with some grass and some dry weather it is feeling easier to be a horse owner. Here are some top tips and my to-do list. 1. Supplements and Feeding. I a


bottom of page