Long before we had medicine, foods and plants were used to treat conditions in both humans and animals. Oddly enough, using “natural” items to treat the same conditions today is often called holistic or alternative healing. One such food product that falls into this category is honey. Both in “olden” times and currently, honey plays a prominent role in horse care.
Benefits of Honey for Horses
Honey is absolutely packed with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients such as Vitamins A, B complex, protein, and Calcium. Just like people, horses need these vitamins, minerals, and nutrients for good health. In addition, honey is also loaded with antioxidants, which promote natural healing and immune benefits.
Actually, if you research online, you will find that many “old school” veterinarians and doctors using holistic or alternative healing methods still use honey as a type of wound treatment. They liberally apply the honey to affected area, dress it, and allow the honey to work its magic. It is believed that honey’s natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties are able to fend off infection as well as contributing to the healing of the wound.
Horses are often referred to as “athletes.” What do athletes need to perform…carbohydrates. Honey is easy to digest and has been proven an ideal source of fuel prior to a workout. Now, your horse does not have to be running in a Triple Crown race to consume honey. Whether the horse is being used to work around the farm or being taken out for a long ride in the country, honey can help provide the horse with an easily digestible and energy packed meal.
Most athletes also like to consume a combination of protein and carbohydrates after a workout to help with recovery. Because many studies suggest that “recovery” meals need to be consumed within 30 minutes of the effort, you want something that is both enjoyable AND easy to digest. Your horse can enjoy one of his or her favorite treats dipped in honey to enjoy its recovery benefits.
This next point is an interesting one in that honey, at least in this form, has the opposite effect that you would expect. With honey being so sweet, you would think it would attract flies, not keep them away. However, that is exactly what Manuka honey oil can do!
The oil is actually an extract from the leaves of the tea tree where the honeybees harvest the Manuka honey. This extract is an ingredient in some insect repellents and can be used on horses by adding some of the oil to the wash you use to rinse the horse after a ride. It will also help moisturize the horse’s skin, just as honey does in skin care products for people!
If you would like to learn more about Manuka honey oil or want to place an order, click here.