Always consult with your Vet before using herbal remedies with other, prescribed, medications.
What actually is it?
Echinacea (sometimes can be known as the purple coneflower) is a North American perennial that is indigenous to the central plains where it grows on road banks, prairies, fields and in dry, open woods. It is also called snakeroot because it grows from a thick black root that Indians used to treat snakebites. Herbalists consider it to be one of the best blood purifiers and an effective antibiotic. It works by activating the immune system, thus increasing the chances of fighting off disease. It has been used to help fight off colds and to relieve the symptoms of hay fever. It has been shown in both animal and human research to vastly improve the migration (movement) of white blood cells to attack foreign bacteria, organisms and toxins in the blood. Research also leads to suggest that Echinacea MAY be valuable in the defence of tumour cells. It is considered to have a therapeutic effect in many infectious conditions including upper respiratory infections, the common cold, sinusitis, influenza (the flu), an inflammation of the skin and mouth. The antibacterial properties can stimulate wound healing and as such can be of benefit in skin conditions like burns, ulcers, psoriasis, acne and eczema. Its anti-inflammatory properties may help to relieve arthritis and lymphatic swelling.
Uses in rats
A general immune system stimulant, cleansing the blood, for the prevention and treatment of infections, bumble foot, upper respiratory tract infections, urinary infections.
Respiratory - try to only buy it in liquid extract or tincture form as it is much easier to dispense. It is hard to say exactly what dosage to use, as people tend to have differing opinions on it. Some say put a whole ml of Echinacea in the rats' bottle and change it every other day, but depending on how many rats are in the cage and how much each one drinks, they will all get differing amounts. Another method is to give one to two drops per day, per rat, either straight from the dropper if they like the taste, or mixed in some of their favourite foods to disguise it if they don't like the taste. It is recommended to use a two week on, two/three weeks off routine.
Bumble Foot - preferably in cream form, apply twice a day.
Combinations with other herbs
- In humans, there are a few warnings. They may also apply to animals, though so far no research on this has been turned up.
- Echinacea should not be used in cases of immune system dysfunction, autoimmune conditions and progressive systemic conditions, such as MS, tuberculosis, leukosis, collagen disorders, and diabetes mellitus (injectable form of Echinacea).
- Do not use if pregnant - Safety for use in pregnancy has not been established. Some contraindications are thought to exist.