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Olive leaf is a medicine substitute-the science

Sounds to good to be true but olives and olive leaf are truly  “super-foods”. A common food that is often ignored, because it is not exotic enough to grab headlines. Olive leaf, (olives & oil) has been used for centuries as medicine. Supported by extensive and excellent science: here is link to a review of the science.  Nonsterol Triterpenoids as Major Constituents of Olea europaea.

If you are not interested in the complex science go to this website instead.

http://www.about-olive-leaf-extract.com

I  use “Olive leaf extract” powders or capsules,  because of the high concentration of active ingredients compared to olives or olive oil. It can be used in chronic diseases where  anti-microbials are recommended, such as; Lymes and other tick diseases, recurrent ear, bladder, gastrointestinal or skin infections. Olive leaf works well when paired with antibiotics or antifungals, as the second stage of treatment. The dose, duration and brand matter for the olive leaf to work well. It is best to seek out the advice of a Veterinarian trained in herbal medicine. Successful treatment of stubborn infections takes close supervision because each case is so different.

Sorry, there is no “one size fit all” when it comes to chronic infections.

Bimini. A new pet natural medicine in treat form. What is it and is it better that what I already give my dog.

A friend sent me a  question. What do I think of a new pet chew called Bimini for

arthritis in dogs?

I looked it up. Contains fish oil, cat’s claw and aspirin (willow bark)

1. All versions of Salicylic acid are anti-inflammatory in dogs and cats.

However, dose & frequency is much smaller and they are more prone to adverse

side effects. Salicylic acid (SA) relieves pain quicker than glucosamines(GCAs

) but no better after 1 month on GCAs. Long term SA has serious side ffects

like GI ulcers, cartilage, liver and kidney damage.

2.Cat’s Claw, from South America, and Devil’s claw, from Africa, are related

anti-inflammatory herbs with a mix of anti-inflammatory chemicals. Must be  

used carefully as there are side effects from the Cox1 and Cox2 enzymes within

each. Dog and cats are more sensitive to side effects than people or horses so

I like to use products where I know the dose as owners often use more than one

thing. This treat is like taking aspirin and Ibuprofen. The additive dose has

great pain relief and more risk for toxic side effects after a few weeks. All

effects are dose and frequency dependent.

When I use choose an herbal to replace an anti-inflammatory medicine, I choose

Noni ( made by Dr.s Best brand, dried leaves or roots)  at 5-10 mg/lb dose to

start which can be slowly increased to 3 times beginning dose. I choice Noni

because at the effective doses there are no adverse side effects. Main draw

back is that it takes about 3 months to reach full physiologic effect, but

pain relief begin after 1 week and increase for 1 month.

3. Fish oil. Based on studies with arthritic dogs, Omega 3 FA from Fish oil,

where more effective at pain and inflammation relief compared to NSAIDs,

glucosamines, alone or with MSM. Doses of 350 – 750 mg O3 FA or 1000 -2000mg

of Fish oil.

Keep in mind that Omega3 FA from Fish oil assist the synovial cells to work

better to protect the joint. Also, other studies looked at the amount &

quality of Omega 3 in fortified dog foods or treats that are kibble or semi-

soft forms. Cooking of kibbles or storage of oil soaked semi-soft damaged the

FAs, oxidizing the FAs to an inactive form. Plus, most did not have enough

Omega 3 FA in them to have beneficial effect. Best diet source of FA is

dribbled on top of food just before feeding. Even the science diet & purina

arthritis diets, with FA sprayed over kibble right before packaging did not

have significant clinical effect.

There are many many (100s) herbal anti-inflammatories used for centuries as

medicine. Studies to objectively compare these herbs to one another have not

been done yet. So whether one is the best in not known. Evaluating the many

studies of anti-inflammatory herbs, they are dosed up to effect. Taking that

into account, I find the main ones are all similar in prevention of pain and

inflammation so the main differences are side effects, how easy to use, and

price of course. In general mixtures are almost always less effective when

compared to an effective dose of a single ingredient.  These chews are likely

one ingredient, with a little of the other two ingredients and allot of flavor

filler to cover up the bad taste of either herb. Cat claw dose ~ $0.12 or

aspirin tabs $0.03 are much less expensive than these soft chews, either one

is enough. Fish oil purified concentrate is about $2/oz from a vet and dogs

love the taste. Big dogs need 1 tsp/day fish oil so that is 1/6th oz. So cats

claw + aspirin with fish oil added to food for 80 lb dog  is $0.45/day.

Compare to price of $1.30 for a daily dose of Bimini for same size dog.After

one month they recommend every other day dosing which reduces price to $.65,

still more that the total of individual ingredients.

So there you go… a long answer. However all that said, it seems that

marketing trumps effectiveness, safety and price because these types of

supplements are selling in large numbers.

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