Dog Health & Care

Natural approach to dog health and care. Tips from holistic veterinarians on vaccinations and herbal remedies. Grooming your dog to maintain a healthy skin and coat. Benefits of brushing your dog’s teeth. Advice on pet insurance.

Common Herbs and Your Dog

Common Herbs and Your Dog

All I could hear was the buzz of a thousand bees as I parted my way through a deep thicket of Heracleum lanatum, a tall, broad-leaved member of the parsley family commonly known as “cow parsnip.” The big, umbrella-like white flower clusters seem to attract every insect imaginable. The plant is also arguably edible, most notably the root. I say, “arguably” edible, because the flavor is downright overbearing – like bitter carrot tops that have been intensified a hundredfold in flavor, then mixed with a pinch of soap. But that’s just my opinion. Much of the wildlife in these mountains relish the flowering tops, and later in the summer, the seeds. On this day I had noticed that several stems that had been chewed, five feet above the ground, making me cautious of spooking a moose, which sometimes nap behind the cool cover of the plants. Maybe a moose with a toothache, I think to myself, smiling as I push through the plants. Although not a food choice for me, I do occasionally use Cow Parsnip as medicine. The unripe seeds possess a unique gum-numbing quality when chewed, making them useful for toothaches and other discomforts of the mouth.

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