Educational Articles

Alternative Therapies

  • Enzymes catalyze (enhance through increased rate of chemical reaction) virtually every function in the body, from digestion to tissue repair, and from hormone function to energy production. Without them, these same processes would occur much too slowly to be compatible with life.

  • The herb ephedra, known in Chinese medicine as Ma Huang, comes from the plant species Ephedra sinica and Ephedra equisetina. The active ingredients in herbal ephedra are bronchodilating alkaloids, including ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, norephedrine, and norpseudoephedrine.

  • Eyebright (Euphrasia officinalis) is an herb that has mild antimicrobial (antiseptic), anti-inflammatory and astringent properties. As the name suggests, it appears to have a special effect on the eye.

  • Most omega fatty acid supplements are made primarily from fish oil or flax seed oil (see the separate handouts on these products in this series), although some products may include other oils such as evening primrose oil, hemp oil, or borage oil.

  • The veterinary profession now understands that many dogs do not receive the veterinary care they need and deserve. The veterinary behavior community has clarified that many dogs experience fear, anxiety, and stress (FAS) when faced with a visit to the veterinary clinic. FAS can be a problem at many points leading up to and during the veterinary visit.

  • Most commercially available fish oils are derived from coldwater fish, primarily menhaden, but also salmon and trout. These oils are rich in the Omega-3 fatty acids eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

  • Also called linseed oil, flax seed oil is derived from the seeds of the flax plant and has been proposed as a more aesthetically pleasing alternative to fish oil supplements (which may impart a fishy smell to the breath or skin). Flax Seed oil contains higher levels of alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) than fish oil, and also contains omega-6 fatty acids.

  • Flower essence therapy or flower therapy was developed by physician Edward Bach during the 1930's. During his years in practice, Dr. Bach developed the belief that people could be grouped based upon their emotional states, and that these emotions were the root cause of many of their diseases.

  • Ginger is a well-known tropical herb whose root is used in both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Western Herbal Medicine. The fresh root may be used, or it may be prepared as a tincture, powder, tablet, or tea.

  • Ginkgo is an herbal remedy made from the leaf of the ginkgo tree, Ginkgo biloba, which is one of the oldest species of tree in the world. The ginkgo nut is used in Traditional Chinese Medicine in the treatment of respiratory disorders.