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Blood Fungus & Possible Heat Dampness
Herbal and Healing Program for Stallion with Blood Fungus, and possible Heat Dampness
The program for the Quarter horse stallion, is based on the
idea, that he may have a imbalance that is damp heat in his body.
According to TCM, health is largely dependent upon the continual transformation and movement of various energies and solid substances throughout the body. When the body’s fluids are prevented from being properly transformed and moved to their destination, dampness occurs. Treating dampness is CHALLENGING because it is sticky, heavy and tends to further clog all surrounding avenues. This is why imbalances diagnosed by TCM as damp are often long-term, chronic conditions. This stallion has had this condition for a long time. He was purchased as a two year old, and they did not know his previous health history. Mammals with blood fungus or other type heat dampness are encouraged to reduce dampness because infections thrive in damp environments. We suggest the herbal formula Garlic with Astragalus, and Schizandra berries because it will build the immune, and support drying the condition, in time.
Dampness is usually accompanied by a weakness in the body’s digestive system. Responsible for separating food into nutrition and waste, a weak digestive system causes the excretion of nutritional elements, and allows unhealthy toxins to remain in the system. When a weak digestive system allows material that should be excreted to circulate instead, proper fluid movement is hindered, causing dampness. This is the same as putting roadblocks on a road. Movement stops and flows around, and stagnates, as traffic does in a traffic jam.
This stallion has exhibited pustules across his body for some time, he is in a state now, where it is limited to his one ankle area. This was before he started on the herbs, as suggested by our Equine herbalist. Tumeric has been added to his program which will move the fluid, support the digestion, and help remove heat. Encouraging natural flora in the gut, and elimination of toxin, as well as provide liver nutrients.
Heat is generated when dampness exists in the body for any extended period of time. The buildup of damp heat in the horse can be compared to an overheated engine. As sludge builds up in the moving parts of an engine, there is increased resistance to its proper functioning. With increasing resistance, the parts get hotter and hotter, drying up any remaining lubricants. If nothing is done to break the cycle, this unfortunate chain of events ends in an overheated engine. We suggest the Blood Root as an herb, which helps to move the "sludge" in the body, and eliminate the fungus by drying and moving the stagnation.
Sometimes, as the healing and natural processes of the body begin, an outbreak, or "healing crisis" can occur. The body may be overloaded, as the "sludge" begins to move or as the fungus is dying and moving to the eliminative channels, on its way out of the body. At this time, one can reduce herb dosage by half, and add more alkalizing foods, continue with aloe vera, and/or change herbs as needed.
It is suggested that this horse may need several different herbal formulas, and healing foods over a period of 12 months, to ensure proper revitalization, restoration and normalization of the body's systems.
Damp Heat Manifesting
Although diagnosing damp heat as the predominant imbalance requires a knowledgeable practitioner’s evaluation, those aware of what is happening, can get a general idea if they see this disharmony. The stallions trainer and rider, has been extremely sensitive and compassionate to this horses needs, as his trainer, and through his excellent care, the horse has been brought to championship status. His awareness has allowed the horse to get the assistance needed at a critical time.
Since TCM diagnosis is based on pattern differentiation, every given symptom of an imbalance will not fit each mammal. Interestingly, many classic symptoms of acute blood fungus are synonymous with symptoms of damp heat. These include:
Liver imbalance- characteristic of a damp heat disharmony.
·Reduced appetite- can be symptom of damp heat.
· Fever – Whether it is high or low grade, fever is a manifestation of heat. Heat in the leg or other areas also.
· Abdominal or rib-area pain – In TCM, sharp or intense pain is characteristic of stagnation. As damp heat is a type of fluid stagnation, this is one explanation behind this type of pain. We arn't sure if this stallion is sensitive in this area or not, we assume so, but have not physically seen him.
· Thirst – Damp heat characteristically involves thirst (as a result of the heat), but with actual or little to no desire to drink (as a result of the dampness). Observe his drinking habits.
THESE SYMPTOMS MAY OR MAY NOT FIT THE STALLION, AS THIS IS TRANSFERRED TO HORSES FROM HUMANS IN SYMPTOMS, VIA TCM DIAGNOSTICS.
Dietary and Environmental Balancing
One branch of TCM and Western Herbalism is using environment and dietary therapy to help balance the body. In the case of damp heat, there are four primary goals to accomplish: cool the heat, dry the dampness, move the congestion, and strengthen digestion.
Following are some of the things we do to achieve the reduction of damp heat and other problems in the herd.
Most of the horses are recycled competitive horses, or rescues. Many of these horses have serious health, and mental health issues.
Mental health issues are addressed , with our trainer, Mike Seal, who has been the best at getting the mental health and confidence of the horse, back to normal, or to a new level of awareness. His help has been amazing ( see information in our web page, www.horseherbalist.com)
Following is the dietary and environmental protocol that works for us:
Our horses , after initial assessment, vet care, dentistry, natural hoof care and a individual herbal program, are put out on our 45 acres of valley and mountainside to graze on natural, raw and dried , mountain herbage. Their water source is a natural mountain spring, both naturally heated and naturally running, from two sources. There is a heavily forested area, as well as grasses and sages, other shrubs, flowers and natural foliage. The horses all come out healthier and much more vital. While the horses across the street, in the pasture of hybrid grasses, never look quite as good, or seem as hardy. The feet of the mountain pasture horses are always healthier, and look and grow better. The founder and thin soled horses are much improved, within 2 weeks. Stressed horses, soon become normal herd animals again.
For horses living in captivity the following foods perpetuate stagnation, heat and dampness, and should be avoided:
· Oily and fatty;- these qualities perpetuate dampness
Processed Grains, Sweetfeeds, Pelleted processed supplements- can slow digestion and cause over acidity, a contributor to heat dampness, and poor nutrient absorption.
· Raw; -this takes more energy for an already weak digestive system to break down, a pasture of green grass, of hybrid variety would not be good for this horse.:
· Sugary; -refined sugar and other concentrated sweeteners contribute to dampness’ sluggish quality
· Spicy; - perpetuates heat, this could also be strong wormers or noxious drugs
· Alcohol; anything containing alcohol worsens both heat and dampness (CAREFUL WITH WORMERS AND OR VACCINES) pre- race drugs
Good Choices- For Damp Heat Reduction
In general, foods that are bitter, cooling and alkalizing help neutralize damp heat conditions. When experiencing an acute bout of damp heat-related symptoms, the following dietary suggestions will make the body more comfortable and headed in a healthy direction:
· Focus food choice around, broths made from vegies and herbal teas added to water bucket. (teas could be seaweed, camomile, nettle, red clover, mint) put in water bucket
Tumeric - very good as an alkalinizer to the gut, added to feed mash
Aloe Vera Juice-1/3 to 1/2 c two times daily as a neutralizer, healer and heat expeller
Include - aduki bean sprouts, mung bean sprouts, celery, carrots, winter squash, asparagus, lemons, cranberries, and huckleberries in food selection. ( may be added to feed) There has been many occasions, as crazy as it may sound, when we have cooked or made "salads" for the horses with chronic illness. If you will do this, at least until the body gets a "hoofhold" on health, the horse will recover, even from the chronic and serious damp heat, blood fungus condition.
Lightly cook vegetables , steam carrots, broccoli, green beans, zucchini add to feed bucket with a little pure unadulterated grain, and herbs .This will help his digestive system to extract nutrients.
Symptoms dominated by a TCM damp heat imbalance can be turned around with dietary therapy, balanced environment, the use of correct herbs, massage and acupuncture as needed. While this dietary advice may seem limiting, remember that it is only intended to get through the rough times. Ideally, after the rough times are over, if possible the horse can be let out into a more natural environment.
By including some of the food suggestions and avoiding some of the pitfalls to damp heat, the body will get a break from the self-inflicting cycle dampness encourages. Just because the engine has accumulated some sludge, and is working harder to drive around, doesn’t mean it is doomed to overheating. The beauty of the mammal body is that by paying attention to what it is telling you, the body can use something as simple as diet and herbs to restore it in order to live a long, healthful life.
TCM, is a many fauceted system of health. We feel strongly that combining the knowledge of the North American, European, and Chinese Traditons, for natural health and healing, is an excellent place to start.
LARGE doses of Huang Lian (Coptis) or skull cap in Western herbalism with some digestive aids for the cold, anti-biotic effects of the herbs otherwise he MAY have diarrhea and loose energy.
This will be for the stage, with the diet, after he is done his competition and can rebuild, and do more detox. The diet will help his digestion, and keep his energy good.
So far, with what Winston has done, he has kept his energy and done well. With the next phase, we would expect him to move to the next level of wellness, and begin to function more normally as he loses the dampness and the heat in his body.