Turmeric for Horses
You have probably consumed a fair amount of turmeric yourself as it is a spice commonly used in Indian cuisine. It has also hit the headlines in recent weeks as it is now believed to offer some protection against cancer. Turmeric has also been championed as an anti-inflammatory, an antioxidant and as warding off Alzheimer’s. It is easy to dismiss the claims made about a variety of so called super foods. However, the incidence of cancer in countries which consume large amounts of turmeric is much lower than in the western world.
Could turmeric also benefit horses? Many equestrians believe that it can.
The Potential Benefits of Turmeric
Turmeric is now widely believed to improve joint stiffness, skin problems and a variety of equine health issues. Companies like Global Herbs have been featuring turmeric in their supplements for many years. More are sure to follow in their footsteps - .
Consuming turmeric with black pepper helps to improve absorption of the active ingredient, curcumin, in the spice. Turmeric contains only 3% curcumin and so horses may require doses of up to 250g in order for the spice to prove effective. That’s a lot of turmeric! Caution is advised because there have been no long term studies regarding the use of turmeric as a supplement for horses.
Feeding Turmeric to Your Horse
As with any new feed, introduce turmeric slowly to your horse’s diet and built up over a week or two. Few horses seem resistant to eating turmeric but if your horse is a fussy eater then try mixing the spice with something they really love. No recommended dose has been established but some experts suggest that a heaped tablespoon of turmeric each day would be appropriate. Mix this with freshly ground black pepper and either linseed oil or coconut oil.
There is a suggestion that cooking turmeric may make it more effective. You might want to try heating your mixture before offering it to you horse. It sounds like it would be a good idea to eat some of the mixture yourself!
The best news of all is that turmeric does not appear to induce any side effects. Although do not give turmeric to horses or people that are on blood thinning medication. Unlike many anti-inflammatories, turmeric does not damage the lining of the stomach. So this spice is highly unlikely to cause any harm and just might help horses with joint issues and skin conditions. It would be worth investigating if your horse is suffering. However, if in doubt consult your vet or equine nutritionist.
It is amazing how so many traditional and ancient remedies turn out to have beneficial properties. Turmeric just might be the most spectacular example of this yet. They say that you are what you eat so perhaps everyone’s future should be a little more yellow!