Animals love mushies too!
One of our fave FAQs at SuperFeast HQ is "can I give my dog/cat/horse medicinal mushrooms and tonic herbs?"
The simple answer is yes, and funnily enough, many of the herbs we sell came to be consumed by humans as Taoist herbalists observed the animal kingdom making use of the plants to bolster their own healing! For example the Taoists discovered that eucommia bark was amazing for helping mend (and fortifying) broken bones by observing deer with injuries consume the bark of the eucommia rubber tree.
While we are not fans of testing on animals, unfortunately, modern science does not agree, and most studies that attempt to determine the active compounds in the mushies and herbs and their effects run tests on mice (poor little guys!).
We can extrapolate from the data produced by the animal studies, the literature on veterinary herbalism, and our own experience with our pets that domestic animals will benefit from tonic herbalism.
Especially medicinal mushrooms!!
Mushies and pet health
Besides being Qi tonics in general, medicinal mushrooms can support the treatment of symptoms the Chinese recognise as Excess Damp, Damp Phlegm or Damp Heat, which include edema, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, uterine infections, prostate problems, diseases of the kidneys and liver, and inflammatory conditions.
In addition, these fungal superfoods contain many different vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, protein, and sterols. They are easily served up in your pets main meal or served in some melted coconut oil or butter, with little or no side effects.
The tonic herbs are also great for animals, especially eucommia bark, reishi and astragalus. (I’ve even read about eucommia bark being given to chicken’s suffering from heat stroke!!).
As a general rule, you can give animals a dose of SuperFeast herbs is 20mg to 50mg per kilo of body weight. So for a 40kg dog you’d want to give them 1/8-1/2 tsp daily depending on the weight of the herb. In severe conditions, you can give your pet a larger dose of herbs for a shorter period of time (remembering that a tonic dose is a small amount daily over a lifetime). Your best bet when working with the herbs is to consult with a veterinary professional or animal herbalist, especially if your pet is on any medications.
Our fave herbs for our furry friends
Immune Support: All the medicinal mushrooms - reishi, chaga, shiitake, cordyceps, lion’s mane, maitake, turkey tail, astragalus, eleuthero, cat’s claw, pau d’arco. (Mason’s Mushrooms is a great option for a full-spectrum immune boost)
Liver issues: reishi, cordyceps, schizandra, astragalus (great in combination), goji
Kidney issues: reishi, shiitake, maitake, cordyceps, chaga, eucommia bark, he shou wu, goji
Lung issues: tremella, astragalus, he shou wu, goji, schizandra.
Joint support (issues with hind legs usually due to a Liver/Kidney deficiency so treat these areas too): cordyceps, eucommia bark, deer antler, he shou wu.
Circulation: eucommia bark, reishi, ginkgo, cat’s claw, astragalus.
Skin issues: reishi, astragalus, schizandra, Mason's Mushooms, Beauty Blend.
Ageing: he shou wu, eucommia bark, Jing, tremella.
We hope this post inspires you to explore tonic herbalism for your pets.
Do your pets take herbs? Let us know in the comments below!