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Publication type: Diploma Thesis

Year: 2016

Author(s): Wohlgenannt, Isabelle

Title: Einsatz und Bedeutung von pflanzlichen Arzneien im Bereich des Respirationstraktes von Pferden im deutschsprachigen Mitteleuropa im Wandel der ZeitMitteleuropas im Wandel der Zeit.

Other title: Use and importance of herbal medicine in the respiratory diseases of horses in German-speaking Central Europe trough the ages

Source: Diplomarbeit, Vet. Med. Univ. Wien, pp. 168.


Hahn-Ramssl Isabella

Van Den Hoven Rene

Vetmed Research Units:
Institute of Animal Nutrition and Functional Plant Compounds

This comparative literature review is covering the use of medicinal plants for the treatment of respiratory tract diseases in horsesby comparingthe respective literature of the 18thand 19thcentury and the actual literaturetoday and it is reflecting the ancient plant names and their respective popular names.The applied research methodology focused on phytotherapeutic standard literature as well as recent publications in the subject area of phytotherapy for respiratory diseasesand the herb monographs of the CommissionE.It could be found that around onethird of all catalogued plants,which were covered in this research,were already used during the 18thand 19thcentury and are still regarded as treatments for respiratory diseasesnow. The most frequently mentioned plants of all periods were Fennel, Anise, Hibiscus, Elecampane, Fenugreek, Thyme, Licorice, Black Elderberry, Chamomile and Garden Sage.However it also appears that some plants have been forgotten over the decades whereas others are driven by their toxic nature andthey are not in use anymore.Nevertheless specifically in the case of toxic materials it needs to be mentioned that,when extracting the form of the pure substance,they still find their application in the modern Western Medicine (e.g. Digitalis purpurea).Another interesting aspect which could be obtained was that about 25% of all collated plants appeared only in the newer literature of the 20thand 21stcentury. It appears that in some cases their healing power has only been discovered during the last twocenturies and in other cases it seems that due to their non-Western nature their application has been limited in the pasthere in Central Europebecause they wereunknown, like e.g. Eucalyptus or Iceland Moss.Furthermore it has been observed that only 25% of all reviewed plants have been recognized for being scientifically proven in the area of equine respiratory disease treatments and as a consequence only fourscientifically studies covering the use of phytotherapy of respiratory diseases in horses could be found. It also needs to be mentioned that neither of those studies covered a population which is allowing statistical evaluation of the results and therefore the external validity islimited. The use of medicinal plants in equine medicine is mostly ofadditive nature in combination with synthetic drugs and food supplements,thereasoncould be the limited approval of veterinary herbal remedies(according to Austria Codex 2015/2016 are only six Phyto-Specialties for animals licensed).When considering phytotherapy for competition horses it needs to be mentioned that doping regulations need to be taken into account and thus equestrians need to consider carefully doping relevant herbs, even when they arebeing fed unintentionally.This study revealed that phytotherapy is potentially offering a larger area of application in the fieldof treating respiratory diseasesin horses. Nevertheless further more in-depth scientific studies are required which would allow appropriate veterinary medicinal registration and thus a betterbroadening of the powerful application of herbs in equine medicine.

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