Origins of Ginger
Ginger is one of those common ingredients we throw into our own food and cooking (or sometimes cover with chocolate) to give things a boost of zest and flavour! But we rarely think about the health benefits of ginger and how they might translate to our horses.
Ginger is a root native to Asia and has historically been used by many civilisations to help with various ailments and bodily complaints. In fact, in India, Ginger has been referred to as the ‘universal medicine’, revered for its many benefits and capacity to aid with a wide range of issues. It is effective in so many ways due to the high number of chemical constituents it contains, all of which have their own medicinal benefits.
Benefits of Ginger
Ginger is probably most famous and well known for being excellent for settling an upset tummy and you may have taken a cup of ginger tea your self to resolve tummy upset. The same is true for horses (and other animals) - ginger makes a highly effective digestive aid and support, particularly for a horse that has experienced a problem such as a colic attack.
It is a soothing, warming herb, making it a great herbal addition in the colder months or for a horse that is unwell or run down. Ginger also contains a high level of antioxidants - called gingerols, shogoals and paradols - which neutralise free radicals and help to reduce inflammation.
Ginger has shown in various studies to stimulate blood flow and circulation and helps blood to flow to the surface. This makes it ideal for when trying to address poor circulation and promote wound healing. This might root contains anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory constituents, making it widely used by many for cases of arthritis, rheumatism and even diabetes.
Many owners report that their horses travel better if they’ve been fed ginger prior to travel - potentially also due to its gut soothing effects. Furthermore, for those who are reluctant to eat in a new or unusual environment, ginger can provide a great temptation and get them eating again.
How do I introduce Ginger into my horse's diet?
Horse’s generally really enjoy the flavour of ginger and there are many ways you can incorporate it into your horse’s diet. You can buy ‘ginger kibble’ and sprinkle on your horse’s food. You can also buy it in powdered form easily and also sprinkle it onto the food. You may also find that your horse enjoys it as a ‘tea’ poured over their feed. Simple cut up some fresh ginger, pop it into a cup and pour boiling water over it. Allow to steep until cooled. Then pour the tea (and the ginger bits!) onto the feed. Your horse will love it!
You can also incorporate ginger into your horse’s diet through a supplement such as Lymph Assist, which leans on the many benefits of ginger to support and maintain leg and lymphatic health.