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Wormwood For Cats & Dogs


Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) has an important role to play insofar as it acts as a tonic for the stomach and gallbladder and helps stimulate the secretion of bile. It's a very bitter herb that helps clear heat and cools the blood but most animals won't like to take it directly due to its intense bitterness. However, one of its biggest benefits for pets is its anti-worm and anti-parasitic effects. It can also be a great natural anti-inflammatory for GI issues.

All that said, wormwood is one of those plants that people are either for it or adamantly against it believing that the medical effects don't outweigh the possible toxic effects. However, each animal is its own unique individual and what may work for one animal may not work for the next, but that is not to say we should throw out this healing remedy altogether. As the guardian of your pet's health, it's better to take the approach that this is a great natural option for a variety of issues but equally proceed with caution as your pet could be one of the cats or dogs that can't tolerate this plant. As an alternative for internal worms or parasites, try diatomaceous earth, click here for details, or pumpkin seeds.

Benefits of Wormwood

  • Helps with gall-bladder health
  • Acts as a tonic for the digestive system
  • supports stomach health
  • Anti-parasitic
  • Helps reduce inflammation especially with bowel disorders. - Effective in treating Crohn's disease
  • Functions as an anti-microbial
  • Natural anti-depressant
  • Antibacterial
  • Antifungal
  • Can act as a neuroprotector for its therapeutic effects
  • Helps combat digestive infections
  • Can help stimulate appetite in those pets that have issues
  • Great natural de-wormer and to treat parasites in the gut
  • Helps improve the absorption of nutrients
  • Helps reduce bloating and excess gas
  • Natural insecticide
  • Can help with liver issues such as jaundice and hepatitis
  • Helps with fevers

Is Wormwood Safe for Pets? 

Yes, it is safe in low dosages and for short-term use. However, it can cause a toxic reaction in some pets and if taken it's given in excess it can cause health issues. 

Wormwood is a powerful remedy so it needs to be respected. Ideally, wormwood should be given under the guidance of your vet or adhere to the manufacture's guidelines for pets.

Side Effects 

  • If your pet's condition worsens or does not improve speak with your integrative vet.
  • Is potentially a neurotoxin, especially if given incorrectly.
  • Not recommended for pregnant pets as had abortive properties.
  • Not recommended for pets that are nursing
  • Can be toxic so it is highly recommended to use this under the guidance of your holistic vet.
  • Can cause seizures. Avoid using with pets that have epilepsy or other issues with seizures.
  • Vomiting, dizziness.
  • Restlessness
  • Can be toxic to the kidneys, avoid using it with those animals that have kidney issues.
  • Avoid using with those pets that have liver issues.
  • Paralysis
  • Death

How to Give Wormwood to Cats & Dogs

Forms of use:
  • Powder/tablets
  • Dried leaves
  • Tincture

Administration can be via
  • Can be given orally as a supplement

Wormwood Dosage for Pets  

Cats & Dogs

It's best to consult with your integrative or holistic vet for your pet's individual health needs especially when using such a bitter herb as wormwood. As with any herb they are natural medicines so you want to ensure healing occurs, especially if looking to use it with acute or chronic illnesses.

Wormwood is best given in a dried form such as a powder, pill, or as a dried herb. De-worming is more effective in line with the full moon when parasites and worms are more active.

General-purpose guidelines. Internal Use;

Infusion of tea: Use 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of dried wormwood into a cup of boiling water. Allow it to steep for 15 to 20 minutes and let it cool. Remember this is an extremely bitter herb so your cat and dog will smell it from miles away. This is best given away from food because if you try to mix it in with your pet's food it is likely your cat or dog will ignore their food altogether. To reduce some of the bitterness you could use fewer leaves and leave it steeping for just 10 minutes. Speak with your vet to determine the correct dosage. 

Dried herb: You could try around 1/2 teaspoon for cats once daily over the course of 3 days and in line with the full moon cycle, and for dogs, 1/2 teaspoon per 15kg of weight for 3 days. (1) The dried herb you can mix into your pet's food. Remember it's very bitter so is off-putting for animals. 

The powder. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines for pets but in general, it can be an effective way to treat intestinal issues, as it can be easily mixed with your pet's food. For parasites and worms, it's best given away from food by at least an hour. It's best administered on an empty stomach. Work with your integrative vet to determine the length of time needed for your individual case. You may need to mix the powder with water or an oil such as olive oil or flaxseed oil to help it go down if your cat or dog won't take it in its dry powder form. Monitor your cat and dog for any changes that are outside of their normal behavior. 

Tincture: Follow the guidelines of the manufacturer as it will depend on their product. Just ensure you buy a tincture from a reputable source and avoid alcohol-based tinctures when giving this to pets. If you have an alcohol-based tincture then you'll need to evaporate the alcohol off before giving this to your cat or dog. 

Depending on the manufacturer's guidelines, the tincture could be used for 2 to 3 days consecutively per month especially for those months when parasites or worms are likely to be more active. Alternatively, you may need to administer it daily to clear up an issue and then give a repeat dosage x number of days apart from the last dosage to help eliminate the issue altogether. Use the manufactures guidelines or the advice of your vet when working with tinctures.

Essential Oil: Do not burn, feed or apply wormwood essential oil. Essential oils are highly concentrated so this is potentially a harsh bitter oil that will likely be absorbed as an irritant and can be toxic to pets. The gentler and safer options would be to use the leaves or powder format of wormwood and never the essential oil.

Always observe your pet for any changes, work in harmony with the body to aid the elimination of worms or parasites, etc. Giving too much too quickly can send your pet into toxic shock, this should be avoided. However, some of the best preventatives against parasites and ensuring your dog and cat are in excellent health is to start with a species-appropriate diet, which is raw food

When your pet is in good health parasites tend to avoid making your pet their home, as raw-fed pets don't generally provide the food parasites need in order to survive and thrive. Learn more about the importance of terrain theory and your pet's health here or how to control the natural pH of your pet for excellent health

NOW, we'd love to hear your feedback so LEAVE A COMMENT and feel free to share this with people you think will love it.

Natural lifestyle, naturally health, naturally thriving!!

Herbal recipes - Rosemary Gladstar
Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine - Andrew ChevallierGuide to Self Sufficiency - Abigail Gehring
The Way of Herbs - Michael TierraThe Woman's Handbook of Healing - Deb Soule
Bontanica Oculta, Las Plantas Magicas - Paracelso
Native American Herbalism and Essential Oil Encyclopedia - Dr. Scott Glandstar & Dr. Christina Zielinski
Healing with the Herbs of Life - Lesley TierraThe Ayurveda Encyclopedia - Swami Sada Shiva TirthanPlanet Herbology - Michael TierraIndian Medicinal Plants - Springerhttps://raisingyourpetsnaturally.com/licoricerootforpets/
(1) https://www.anniesremedy.com/wormwood-dewormer-remedy-468.php

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Wednesday, October 05 2022

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