For many of us, turmeric is simply a colourful spice that can be added to dishes for colour and flavour. However, there are rumours floating around that turmeric has numerous benefits for horses and can be used as a natural supplement to help ease a whole host of health problems – from skin irritations to joint problems. But is turmeric really beneficial for your horse? Let’s find out!
What is Turmeric?
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. A strong antioxidant, turmeric is useful in both humans and horses for soothing pain and stiffness, alleviating skin conditions, and maintaining good digestion.
While most of the research involving the benefits of turmeric use have been trialled on humans, there have been recent studies here in the UK, as well as in Germany, which have revealed that turmeric is extremely beneficial for horses, too.
What Can Turmeric Treat?
According to the oldest existing veterinary text from India, entitled Asvaurvedasiddhanta, turmeric can be used for horses to treat the following conditions:
– Mouth blisters
– Internal parasites
– Skin disease
– Internal injury
– Eye diseases
– External parasites
– Bone fracture
– Gastrointestinal dysfunctions
That’s a big ol’ list! So, it’s no surprise that turmeric is raved about by horse owners all over the world!
What is Turmeric Used for in Horses?
Turmeric has been used for hundreds of years as a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant used for people suffering from various conditions. However, what exactly is it used for in horses?
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 little health kick.
The Benefits of Turmeric
Because turmeric is a vegetable food, it is generally accepted well by most horses without any side effects (other than the guts normal adjustments to a new food). Turmeric combines wonderfully well with antibiotics, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and so much more!
Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory
Turmeric is a fantastic and extremely effective anti-inflammatory and, therefore, is extremely popular for use in horses and ponies suffering with arthritis and other conditions relating to lameness.
Turmeric as a Liver Detoxifier
Turmeric is effective for detoxifying the liver of your horse. The curcumin found in turmeric, when ingested by the horse, stimulates the production of bile by the gallbladder to help the liver eliminate toxins and rejuvenate cells. This makes turmeric a useful ‘pick-me-up’ for horses and ponies struggling with liver problems.
Turmeric as an Anti-Oxidant
Turmeric is an excellent anti-oxidant 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.
How to Feed Turmeric to Your Horse
Turmeric can have a strong taste that, on its own, isn’t particularly pleasant for horses. If you do decide to feed turmeric to your horse, it might be beneficial to feed it in conjunction with a high-quality oil and black pepper to help the body absorb all the goodness as effectively as possible.
For a horse of about 500kg, we would suggest adding a heaped tablespoon of turmeric to 2 tablespoons of oil and mixing into a paste. For fussy eaters, you can sweeten the paste with apple puree or juice. However, it is important to remember that, just like anything, you should introduce turmeric to your horse’s diet slowly and build up the quantity gradually over time. As with any new food, horses generally accept the addition of turmeric to their diets if it is gradually added into their normal feed.
Have You Ever Fed Your Horse Turmeric?
If you’ve fed your horse turmeric before, we would love to hear about your experiences and whether you’ve noticed any positive changes. Leave us a comment below or get in touch with your experiences!
If you would like to know more about horse care, why not check out our blog or give us a call today! Our team at Prime Stables would be more than happy to answer your questions and provide any advice you may need. So, give us a call today!