10 Natural Herbs to Help Your Westie’s Health

Natural ingredients make a huge difference to the wellbeing of canines.

I don’t generally use a single herb on its own but tend to prescribe a formulation that usually consists of four or five herbs for each individual case I see. This takes into account the animal’s unique needs and any potential contraindications for particular herbs. Here, you’ll notice that I do not supply any information on brands or doses, and this is because Westie owners need to discuss any of their dog’s health issues with their vet first.

For those with an interest in herbal medicine, the British Association of Veterinary Herbalists website: may be useful for those wanting advice on specific concerns.

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera)

Parts used: root, leaf and whole plant

Potential actions: an adaptogen (increases the body’s response to all stressors and promotes normal physiologic function), nervine improving the functions of the nervous system, reduces nervous tension, anti-inflammatory and pain relief.

Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus)

Parts used: ripe fruit and leaves

Potential actions: a potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and vasoprotective (protects the integrity of the blood vessels).

Calendula (Calendula offinialis)

Parts used: flowers

Potential actions: antiseptic, assists detoxification, anti-inflammatory, reduces/relieves smooth muscle pain, and healing.

Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)

Parts used: dried flowering heads

Potential actions: relieves flatulence and soothes intestinal spasm and pain, reduces nervous tension, tones down allergic responses, anti-inflammatory, healing.

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

Parts used: roots and leaves

Potential actions: tonic for the liver and digestive system

Green tea (Camellia sinensis) nb use decaffeinated

Parts used: young leaves

Potential actions: antioxidant, possibly anti-cancer

Marshmallow (Althaea officinalis)

Parts used: roots

Potential actions: soothing effect on all mucous membranes, healing

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum)

Parts used: seeds

Potential actions: liver support/protection, soothing effect on all mucous membranes, antioxidant

Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Parts used: leaf, root, seed

Potential actions: anti-inflammatory, diuretic, reduces allergic responses

Turmeric (Curcuma longa)

Parts used: dried rhizome

Potential actions: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, liver protectant, possible anti-cancer

Shelley Doxey is a veterinary surgeon who runs her own practice, Holistic Veterinary Care. For more information, visit:

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