Most people think of aloe vera as a cure-all plant for humans, but experienced horse owners know it also benefits equines. Aloe vera is a natural alternative to chemical-laden products that promotes skin and stomach health in horses.
“Chemicals in aloe can reduce inflammation and have antibacterial properties.”
Supporting healthy skin
Aloe vera has long been used to treat minor skin conditions like sunburn, rashes and slight cuts. Many horse owners find it also promotes healthy skin in equines. According to the University of California at Berkeley, research has shown components of aloe can reduce inflammation and have antibacterial properties, making aloe vera a suitable treatment for minor skin conditions. According to TheHorse.com, veterinarians will sometimes use aloe vera to treat burns, especially when fungi and bacteria are a concern.
“We rarely use systemic antibiotics because there is not enough blood supply to carry them to burned tissues, and it may promote resistant organisms moving in,” Reid Hanson, a professor of equine surgery and lameness at Auburn University, told the publication.
Researchers also suspect aloe supports healing by increasing blood flow to the area and promoting collagen production. Even without injuries present, a topical aloe vera formula can help your horse’s skin remain healthy. Finish Line’s First Aid Shampoo contains aloe vera and is gentle enough for daily use.
Aloe vera juice contains a large amount of digestible fiber, according to The Equine Nutrition Nerd. This allows it to soothe and protect the digestive tract while regulating bacteria, giving your horse relief from ulcers. The fiber also absorbs toxins in the horse’s bowels and reduces bowel transit time. Aloe vera also contains mucopolysaccharides, which help heal ulcers by supporting cell replication.
Aloe vera juice has a strong taste, and your horse might not take to it the way you want. According to Holistic Horse, one trainer found success by pouring a half cup of the juice over her horse’s morning and evening feed. Not only did this help her horse eat more, but the aloe vera also supported a healthy attitude With its gastric pain alleviated, the horse grew calmer and more willing to work with its trainer.
You can also feed your horse aloe vera as part of a blend of vitamins and herbs. Finish Line’s U-7 Gastric Aid combines aloe, cinnamon, carrot, cabbage and more for a tasty formula that promotes a healthy foregut and hindgut. This blend provides more benefits than aloe juice alone.