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J. E. Kinghorn

Herbs & Home Remedies To Aid   Your Pets

Animals can suffer from hay fever just like humans.  For animals, however, it is most likely to cause irritating skin conditions which will cause your pet to scratch and bite incessantly.  All this scratching and biting can lead to skin infections.  Soothe your pet's skin irritation by bathing the animal in an oatstraw, (Avena sativa), solution.  Oatstraw comes from the same plant as your breakfast oatmeal.  If you cannot locate oatstraw use regular breakfast oatmeal and strain through an old towel or cheesecloth to remove large particles of oat.  

An oat soak is made by adding four ounces of dried oatstraw to a tub of hot water, about eight gallons.  Let the mixture steep until cool.  Do not bath your pet in hot or warm water for it will only increase the itching.  Use tepid or cool water only.  If you're using regular oatmeal, use 1/2 cup to eight gallons of  cool water, not hot.  Let steep and strain.  Bathe pet for up to 10 minutes.  The commercial oatmeal soaks used for humans will work also but can be expensive if used on a regular basis.  

In some cases their paws can get swollen and inflamed.  Use an Epsom salt foot bath to ease the irritation.  
The foot, or should I say paw bath, is made by adding two cups of Epsom salts to just enough water to cover the paws.  It takes five to ten minutes to be effective.  Epsom salts is a laxative, so don't let the pet drink the water.  

Aloe vera can be used on the skin but in some cases will cause burning when applied to irritated skin.   Try a little on a spot at first and if no reaction from your pet continue to apply lightly on irritated area.  As with humans, aloe will increase the  healing process when applied to wounds or rashes.  

Eucalyptus oil is an effective insect repellent.  Mix one teaspoon of eucalyptus essential oil in two cups of warm water.  Dab on pets skin or use in spray bottle.  Do not apply to broken or irritated skin.  When using essential oils, do not apply undiluted oils directly to the your skin or your pets and never ingest them in any form. Rose Geranium essential oil mixed in the same proportions as above is quite effective against ticks.  

Baking soda is very effective against bee stings.  It neutralizes the acidic bee bite.
On the other hand, Vinegar is effective for  alkaline wasp stings.

Did you know that the herb Lemon Balm is commonly known as citronella?

In colonial times, lemon balm and pennyroyal were planted around doorways to repel insects.  

Lavender and pennyroyal will repel mosquitoes.  Cedar, peppermint and bitter orange will send black flies packing.  

All of the above can be used on your pets and yourself  as a bug-away spray.  Do not apply to the eye area.
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