Tea better than fresh or dried herbs?
Herbal tea, infusion, infusion of herbs, aqueous infusion, macerate
People don't like to eat strong tasting or fibrous plants, let alone dried herbs, unless they can be used in a dish. So it makes sense to make tea out of that.
Horses are very good at digesting plant material and generally eat it well. They are likely to be able to get all the necessary substances from plant material just fine, unless they cannot chew properly, their digestion does not work properly or the intestinal flora is not well.
Making tea could have a number of advantages: drawing substances from the plant with heat, which otherwise may not be released, as cell walls and fibers are usually not 100% digested. In addition, these substances could then be absorbed earlier in the gastrointestinal tract instead of only in the cecum where fiber digestion takes place.
A disadvantage is that boiling water above 40 degrees could also destroy a number of substances, such as fatty acids (omega 3) and mucilage. Sometimes it is recommended to make tea with water of less than 40 degrees, but since the herbs in the horse's body also come in water of almost 40 degrees, we do not see the added value of that.
In any case, it is advisable to add the used herbs with the tea when making tea for your horse and not to filter it out, since there are also sufficient substances that are not water-soluble and will therefore not get into the tea. . .
Make tea for your horse with water that has cooled slightly after cooking, a tap that makes good hot water is also sufficient, then let the tea cool until it is lukewarm and you can feed it. For herbs containing essential oils, the tea must be covered while it is brewing, otherwise the oils will evaporate. It is best to give it with food that absorbs some water, such as grass or hay pellets, unless your horse likes soup of course;)
The dosage is 10-20 grams on half a liter to a liter of water, depending on the size of your horse.
Herbs that you should * not * make tea of, because of the mucilage it contains if you want to use them for digestion: artichoke, pansy, marigold, marshmallow leaf and root, chamomile, milk thistle, meadowsweet, valerian root and plantain. You could soak these herbs in cold water to activate the mucous substances, if you give them for stomach problems, for example.
At The Horse Therapist we simply give the herb mix with dried herbs through the feed, which works the easiest and for the vast majority of horses the best. When horses do not like the herbs or when they have serious digestion problems, we sometimes recommend making tea.