Judging by the comments from my many human clients who are using the herbs I’ve recommended for their older dogs, herbs are truly one of the very best treatments available for an aging body–whether you are a human or a dog!
Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)
Ginkgo is our primary anti-aging herb. It acts on two major systems of the body: the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. Ginkgo has proved effective in treating Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and senile dementia. (In animals, senile dementia associated with Alzheimer’s-like symptoms is referred to as cognitive dysfunction or dimming mind syndrome.) Ginkgo enhances both long-term and short-term memory in puppies and old critters alike. This popular herb improves circulation and has good antioxidant activity. Studies also indicate that ginkgo is often effective as a treatment for age-related hearing and vision loss, dizziness and vertigo, and tinnitus (ringing in the ear).
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rosemary contains bioactive ingredients that help prevent the breakdown of the chemical acetylcholine in the brain. A deficiency in acetylcholine is believed to be a contributing factor in senility in general and Alzheimer’s disease in particular. Rosemary is also an important antioxidant.
Flaxseed Oil (Linum usitatissimum)
Flaxseed oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, the good fats that reduce triglycerides and cholesterol (the prime fatty arterial blockers) and prevent blood clots.
Turmeric (Curcuma longa)
Turmeric is the yellow component of curry powder, and it stimulates the liver’s bile production. This herb is a potent antioxidant. Turmeric is also heart healthy, acting as a blood thinner (which prevents clots) and helping to prevent excess cholesterol accumulation.
Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)
The green variety of tea contains flavonoids and polyphenols, which are a type of flavonoid that may be a more powerful antioxidant than vitamins C and E. Green tea is oxidized for a shorter period of time that black tea; practitioners don’t think the black variety has the same health benefits.
Gotu Kola (Centella asiatica)
A traditional herb of both Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, gotu kola has antioxidant activity that protects the body from damage by free radicals. The herb is particularly useful for stress-related disorders and memory problems.