Is it safe to give my dog ginseng and in what form?

Known for its healing properties, ginseng root regulates a dog’s blood sugars, wards off infection, stimulates appetite and safely treats symptoms associated with hypothyroidism such as depression and nerve disorders. It can also be used in tea to help calm nerves and relieve stress. Because this an herb that is easy to take and digest in canines and felines, some pet owners find its calming applications are useful.

The herb can be administered whole and fresh, dried or in capsules. Although there are no known side effects, it’s always best to discuss this with your veterinarian to be sure there are no potentially harmful interactions with medication. Also, discontinue use at the first sign of allergy.

Sometimes, either because of aging or inflammation, a dog’s thyroid ceases to function properly, resulting in weight gain, fatigue, hair loss, constipation and more. In this case, ginseng is often used as a natural alternative when combined with both kelp and astragalus root. Kelp is a fiber-rich sea vegetable with anti-tumor, anti-inflammatory and anti-rheumatic qualities known to effectively treat thyroid problems. Astragalus root, well known as a remedy for revitalizing the endocrine system, is especially important for dogs that have undergone chemotherapy due to thyroid problems. In addition to boosting the dog’s immune function, astragalus serves as an anti-inflammatory agent.

The most common version is Korean red ginseng. It is made from the roots of the plant when it is at least six years old; the red ginseng root contains a variety of vitamins and minerals, essential oils, natural enzymes and powerful antioxidants.
The active ingredients in red ginseng are known as panax ginseng, are ginseocides. They have been clinically shown to reduce inflammation, and serve as natural antioxidants. Ginseng products often are used in conjunction with other herbs and vitamins to increase physical stamina, improve immune functions and reduce the effects of diabetes.

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