Manataka American Indian Council










By Grandmother Selma


Herbal Healing for Pets


You should not attempt herbal  healing for your pet unless you have a good understanding of what is ailing  your pet. And a good understanding of the healing herbs. Don't  guess.....check with a veterinarian first! There are now a lot of  holistic /natural vets out there - call around and see who you can find. This  advice is not meant to replace the diagnosis and advice of a licensed  veterinarian.  ~Gram Selma



Remember first and always that cats and dogs and other small creatures have much shorter digestive systems than us human caretakers. Fresh herbs are not digested as  they are in humans. Therefore, the tincture form of an herb will work better for them. An acceptable alternative would be a stronger herbal tea than you  would use for yourself. Doses need to be compatible with your pet's weight -  small amounts for small animals, larger amounts for large animals. When in  doubt, consult a holistic or natural healing veterinarian. Administering several doses throughout the day, rather than one big dose once a day will speed the herbs into your pet's system and boost the immune system much  faster. And as with ourselves, no herb should be given to any animal on a continuous basis. Like us, their bodies will begin to build an immunity, and once that happens, that herb becomes useless medicinally.


A good rule of thumb for any herbal remedy for your pet is two weeks on one week off. That gives the body time to work on its own, and gives you time to determine if the herbal treatment needs to be continued. There are  exceptions to this rule, as with all rules, as in herbs that take a while to  build up in the body to be effective. Don't give herbs you wouldn't take  yourself, internally or externally. Just about any herbal remedy that you  use for yourself can be adapted for use for your pet - just remember to use  tinctures whenever possible, stronger teas when necessary.



Diet: For  overall general good health, as with ourselves, you should of course look to diet. There are many natural diets being recommended today for all sorts of  pets. Do a little research, or preferably a lot, into the natural dietary needs of your pet. Raw meat added to the diet of a cat or dog, natural  carnivores, can often clear up a lot of mysterious ailments, as can the addition of fruits and vegetables. If you feed a commercial diet, feed the  best you can afford, and add to it when you can. For pet birds, there is a  lot of debate about diets these days - seed vs. pellets. Neither is a  complete diet in itself. Fresh fruits and vegetables are necessary for the  overall good health and nutrition of a pet bird. For many finch species,  live food in the form of various insects is a requirement. This is where  your research into proper diet for each animal is so important. Years of  healthy life can be added to your pet when diet is properly looked after!


When you are changing your pet's diet, do so gradually. Add one new item at a time, and space out those additions. That way if there is a negative reaction, you can quickly pinpoint the culprit. Not every food agrees with every animal.


Sunlight is also necessary for the health  of your pet. Sunlight helps the body convert the nutrients in the foods you  feed into the necessities for their systems. In place of sunlight, use  full-spectrum lighting, like Vita-Lites, or an equivalent. These are ideal  for your indoor pets, such as birds, reptiles and amphibians.


Here  are some herbal remedies for those common problems:


Eyes: A strong tea of  eyebright, used as a wash, is perfect for irritated eyes on all pets. Also  administer orally to boost the internal mechanisms to fight infection from  the inside. Alternatively, you can make a saline solution. Dissolve 1/8  teaspoon of sea salt in 1/2 cup boiling water. Add 1 drop of goldenseal  extract to 1 tablespoon of the saline solution, once cooled, when you are  going to use shrinks swollen tissues and  disinfects.


Itching: The common cause of itching is due to fleas and flea  bites - some animals are actually allergic to the flea bites, compounding  the problem. Brewer's yeast is often recommended, 1 teaspoon or tablet per day, as a deterrent. A word of caution here - some animals are allergic to the brewer's yeast, or react to it with dry patches of skin that itch just as bad as the fleas do. If you use brewer's yeast, keep an eye out for these sorts of skin problems to develop, and discontinue the brewer's yeast if necessary as soon as one of these symptoms appear. A good remedy for those dry itchy skin patches is tea tree oil, rubbed over the patch. The bitter taste will discourage the animal from digging at his skin, and the oil works well to heal the dryness. Do not use it

near the eyes or genitals, however. Aloe is also good for those dry patches. Another method is to put a slice of raw cucumber over the "hot" spot, holding it there for a few minutes, and then rub aloe or tea tree oil over the area. The shampoo you use, or the flea collar you use, may actually be causing the itching. Bathe the animal in an all natural shampoo, preferably something that has aloe in it, and find an alternative to that flea collar!! Would you wear chemicals around your neck? Neither should they!


You can make an herbal dip for your pet as  follows: 2 cups packed fresh peppermint, pennyroyal, or rosemary; 1 quart  boiling water; 4 quarts warm water - - Prepare an infusion by pouring the  boiling water over the herbs and allow it to steep for 30 minutes. Strain  the liquid and dilute it with the warm water. Saturate the animal's coat  thoroughly with the solution, allowing it to air dry. Use at the first sign  of flea activity. This remedy will need to be repeated every three to four  days, but it is totally safe.


If the itching persists, and fleas or  poor diet are not the culprit, use a mixture of Licorice Root, Dandelion  Root, and Cat's Claw in equal drops of each tincture for two weeks. The  licorice is a natural cortisone, and will help to jumpstart the immune  system.


To get rid of fleas in your carpet, after removing pets from the room, sprinkle Borax over the carpet and rub it in. Wait a while, then  vacuum as usual. This is a safe, non-chemical method of flea control.  Reapply the Borax once a week until the problem is gone.



Cuts: Fresh  aloe is an excellent application for those strange cuts and scrapes we can  never figure out how our pet got. It is a natural antiseptic, and will keep  the area moist until the cut can heal. Another good product is Bag Balm,  available at feed stores everywhere. It keeps the skin moist and pliable, so  that the skin can repair itself, and new hair can grow back. It prevents  scarring when the area can be kept moist, but not wet. (Hint: Bag Balm, when  rubbed into your cuticles, can also help you grow strong fingernails! It is  also excellent for those very chapped lips we get in the wintertime)Alternatively, you can clean the wound with a wash of goldenseal, and apply  aloe or other herbal treatments that are your favorites.


Abscesses:  First you must lance the abscess. I mix a beta-dine solution with water until  it looks like tea, and then fill an eyedropper with the solution and squirt  it into the hole. Do this several times per day, at least three. The  important thing is to clip the fur away from the abscess and don't cover it  with any bandage, or it can't drain properly. It has to heal from the inside  out. If it is extremely deep, you may need a vet to put a drain in it. I  also begin to administer antibiotic herbs orally, to help fight any  infection that may occur. Another course of action is to use chamomile in  the wound to prevent infection. I have

had a lot of success with these  methods, which my vet recommends. However, I also know that if it doesn't  begin to clear up within a week, I need professional help to combat the infection.


Carsickness: Does your pet get carsick when you take him for  trips? Try giving a few drops of ginger root extract prior to the trip to  settle his tummy. If it is a long trip, you may want to administer the  ginger again halfway through the trip.


Flatulence: Does your pet  clear the room without barking? Two courses of action can be taken to give  relief on that front (or should I say "behind"?!). One is to give a  tablespoon of plain yogurt mixed into their food once per day. Another  method is to give a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar on the food daily. Try  one method, and give it time. If it doesn't work, then try the other. If the  problem persists, look into his diet.


Infections: Give a tincture of  equal drops of Echinacea and goldenseal. If the illness persists after two  weeks, try a combination of different herbal antibiotics after careful  diagnosis by your vet. If the animal recovers quickly, continue giving the  herbs for a few days after, to aid in healing completely. I generally give a  capsule of garlic oil in the food once per week. It helps keep the biting  insect critters away, and helps keep the immune system  healthy.


Dehydration: When a pet is dehydrated, due to illness or injury,  you can give them Pedialyte, available in the baby food section of any  grocery store. Alternatively, you can substitute Gatorade. However, the  sugar content in Gatorade is rather high, which is not good for long term  use with our pets. If using it, cut it in half with plain water. There are also powdered electrolyte solutions available in most feed stores that work just as well, and are less expensive. Electrolyte solutions given in place of water for the first 24 hours will also help new pets that were shipped to deal with the stress of shipping. This is especially important with reptiles, amphibians, and birds of all types.


Ulcers:  If your pet is suffering from ulcers, give him two drops each of Calendula,  Comfrey, Knotgrass, and Nettle twice per day. Couple this with a bland, easy  to digest diet until the ulcer has healed.


Anxiety, Stress: When your pet  suffers from stress or anxiety, try a combination of the extracts of Oats,  Valerian, and Chamomile. Rub a little lavender oil near the animal's muzzle,  or place some on a cotton pad in the pet's bed or in his sleeping area. And  remember that if you are stressed, the animal will be too, so sniff a little  of that calming lavender for yourself as well.


Orphans: To raise an  orphan, first find some goat milk - the fresher the better - to use as the  replacement for mother's milk. Goat milk is high in butterfat content, and  is infinitely better to use than those powdered replacements found in  stores, and miles ahead of cow's milk. This applies for human babies, as  well. Many a colicky baby has had their stomach soothed with goat  milk.....and goat milk is usually easily used by those considered  lactose-intolerant. Goat milk can be found in your health food store, and  often in your grocery store, but the very best source is of course directly  from the goat. Find a dairy goat farmer in your area. The prices will be  better, too! We have raised everything from puppies and kittens to colts and  calves on goat's milk, and have observed or experienced none of the  weight-gain problems or vitamin deficiency or immune deficiencies that occur  often when using substitutes.


Remember to feed the milk warmed. For puppies  and kittens, it is often helpful to rub the face and anal area with a warm  swab, to stimulate their system, much as the mother does after the baby  feeds from her. Once per day, add a little Spirulina (powdered) to the milk. It boosts the immune system, so needed in orphaned babies, and provides many necessary vitamins and nutrients.


Pregnancy: Raspberry leaf  administered daily throughout a pet's pregnancy (mammals) will help tone the  uterus and aid in the healing of

the uterus after birth, as well as help to  stimulate milk production in the mammary.


Hepatitis: Milk thistle  and turmeric is the preferred treatment for this disease, and most liver  ailments, in most pets.


Diarrhea, vomiting: Powdered slippery elm bark is  useful for treating diarrhea, vomiting, and sensitive stomachs for  pets.


Shiny Coats: One teaspoon (less for very small animals, such as  ferrets) of cod liver oil dribbled over the pet's food once or twice per  week will give a thick, shiny coat, as well as provide many nutrients needed by your pet's body.


Bee Pollen: 1/4 teaspoon for every 15 pounds of  animal, given two to three times weekly, helps to slow the aging process. It  will also restore hormone balances, regulate the digestive tract, and calm  the symptoms of common allergies. Give bee pollen daily during times of stress, illness, or disease to give a boost to the body.


Vitamin C:  Giving 1000 mg to 2000 mg per day for three months to puppies from large  breeds can help prevent hip dysplasia. Give 500 mg to 1000 mg

daily to ease  arthritis in dogs and cats. 500 mg each day can prevent urinary tract  symptoms and problems for cats.


A WORD OF CAUTION: Do not give white  willow to cats or kittens. Many felines are allergic to salycin, the active  ingredient in both white willow and the drug that is derived from it,  aspirin. Substitute meadowsweet as a pain reliever  instead.



Until later I leave you with a hug....

Gram Selma 2009



Disclaimer: The statements above have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The information above is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting your veterinarian. Please consult a veterinarian with any questions or concerns you might have regarding your pet's condition.





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A Short Biography



8/13/1945 -

Gram Selma is the Administrator of Ocali Nations Intertribial, a Florida native American Indian intertribal organization, and  is of Navajo/Apache descent.  Selma was born of the traditions and she has dedicated her life to the continued study of the same, having been blessed to be  a student of many well known and respected Elders and Tribal Leaders.

She has served as a delegate to the White House Conference on Native American Education. From 1996 to 1998, she was honored and appointed as a Peace Elder for Wolfsong, an indigenous world wide elders council.  She has also served on powwow committees and on Board of Directors of various Native American oriented organizations.

Recently she has been honored by having some of her traditional crafts purchased by the Fenimore Museum in Cooperstown, NY.   Since 1990, Selma has dedicated herself full time to "perpetuating" and assisting others in the perpetuation of the traditional oral teachings, sacred traditions, ceremonial concepts and prophecies of "the people" (all Native Americans).  Selma has shared "Circle of Life" classes for thirty years.  She is a licensed minister and spiritual counselor of non denominational status.

Selma Palmer, biologically  a Cawley, being the daughter of  Robert Harris  Cawley , who was adopted as an infant by the Palmer's of Georgia and of Una Johnston (maiden) of West Virginia.

Selma can be contacted thru The Ocali Nations Int. Inc., P.O. Box 2316, Silver Springs, Fl 34489




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