Lymphatic problems and CPL: which herbs support your horse?

Your horse's lymphatic system is an important part of the immune system. Fluid and waste products are transported out of the body through the lymphatic vessels. A well-functioning lymphatic system is crucial for a healthy and happy horse. The lymphatic system can be affected by conditions such as CPL and "einschuss." Which herbs can support the lymphatic system?


Lymphatic system

11 June '24 5 min reading time

The Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system serves various functions. Lymph nodes filter waste products, harmful bacteria, and toxins from the lymphatic fluid and ensure their removal. This is crucial for the immune system and the self-healing ability of your horse. Moreover, the lymphatic system regulates the fluid balance in the horse's body. When the lymph nodes and lymphatic vessels fail to function properly, fluid buildup can occur. You may observe swollen legs, edema, or CPL (Chronic Progressive Lymphedema). Especially in the legs, the lymph flow is vulnerable. The inflow and outflow of lymphatic fluid can be damaged by a wound or insufficient movement. Injuries to the legs often result in fluid accumulation because lymphatic fluid cannot drain properly. In CPL, thickening and ribbing may also develop on the legs. CPL, "Einschuss," poor immunity, and some 'vague symptoms' usually have a connection with a disrupted lymphatic system.

Herbs for Lymphatic Health

Does your horse need support for its lymphatic system? You can identify lymphatic issues by poor immunity, fatigue, breathlessness, or swollen legs. There are several herbs that can provide support. Often, these herbs complement each other in their effects. Nettle is an excellent base for blood purification, so always start with it. Other herbs beneficial for the lymphatic system include cleavers, mint, birch, ginger, echinacea, and turmeric. Below, we describe these herbs individually. Together, they have a cleansing effect on the lymph and promote good fluid drainage and lymphatic flow.

Nettle as a Foundation

Nettle works as a blood purifier. A liquid extract of nettle is highly dosed and well absorbed. A course of one or two weeks gives your horse's immune system and lymphatic system a boost. This natural body cleansing is not burdensome and can be given to all horses, even those for whom a detox might be too intense. A nettle course forms the basis for supporting your horse's lymphatic system. Before starting an extract with other herbs, a nettle course is always recommended.

Birch Helps Flush Toxins

A herbal extract for the lymph often contains birch (Betula). The bark and sap of the birch have been traditional medicines in Scandinavia, Siberia, and North America for centuries. Birch has a wide range of applications, some of which are proven in scientific studies. The plant stimulates kidney function, helping to flush out toxins and reduce fluid retention and swelling. It also contains anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds. Birch has also been researched in recent years for its anti-carcinogenic properties and as a remedy for rheumatism. Traditionally, it is known for treating swollen and inflamed lymph nodes and contributes to wound healing.

Echinacea for Immunity

Echinacea, also known as coneflower, is renowned for supporting immunity. The compounds in this plant stimulate the cells of the immune system, such as leukocytes and T-cells. This enhances your horse's natural defense mechanisms. Additionally, echinacea has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, is effective against skin conditions, and aids in the removal of dead cells. In traditional North American veterinary medicine, the plant is used for abscesses and wounds.

Cleavers Purifies the Blood

Cleavers (Galium) is used in dairy cows to stimulate the udder. It also has a blood-purifying effect and stimulates the kidneys to remove waste products. For this reason, this herb is often used in cases of laminitis and bladder infections. Cleavers also contains many minerals such as silicon. Horses find cleavers very palatable.

Ginger Stimulates Circulation

Ginger has been used for over 2,500 years in Chinese natural medicine. It is used against nausea, but also because of its effect on circulation and the heart muscle. It stimulates circulation and ensures a strong heartbeat.

Mint is Antiparasitic

Mint works against parasites such as flies, ticks, and mites. It also has a calming effect on digestion. Thanks to mint in a herbal extract, your horse will be less susceptible to mites, which often exacerbate CPL and cause leg wounds.

Turmeric Enhances Other Herbs

Turmeric contains the active compound curcumin in its roots, which is attributed with many medicinal properties. The compound has antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and even tumor-inhibiting effects. Turmeric is an excellent addition to a herbal extract supporting the lymphatic system. It enhances the effects of other herbs. This has been demonstrated in a test with a lymphatic supplement without turmeric and one with this plant included. Therefore, after giving your horse a nettle course, opt for a well-absorbed, liquid herbal extract of birch, echinacea, cleavers, ginger, and mint with turmeric.


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37 Herbs and Remedies for Fabulously Healthy Animals

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