Herbal Blends for Horses – Boost Immunity, Support Performance, or BOTH!
Myristol Enterprises has recently introduced two new herbal blend products to its equine supplement lineup. Called ImmPACT MT and ImmPACT XT, both are herbal based liquid tinctures that can either be used as top dressings, or given orally using a syringe.
But is there any clinical evidence to support the use of these types of ingredients in products for horses? Well some objective data does exist, at least for some of the ingredients. And as is often the case, some anecdotal subjective information also supports the use of the other ingredients. Myristol hopes to receive considerably more feedback over time, from those who elect to try these products in their horses.
ImmPACT MT is a blend of three different herbal extracts, Echinacea, Ginseng and Goldenseal. This combination is designed to help provide immune system support. ImmPACT XT also contains Echinacea, but in combination with dimethyglycine (DMG) and policosanol, and is designed to aid with performance related activity, and assist with recovery after exercise.
Let’s look at some more information on both of these products.
ImmPACT MT is a powerful tincture blend of plant based extracts, in a combined formulation to help support the horse’s immune system. The extracts derive from Echinacea augustifolia, Panax ginseng, and Goldenseal.
In an independent equine study, an Echinacea extract was associated with increased white blood cell numbers and changes to other physiologic functions, in treated horses. It was associated with increased numbers and size of red blood cells, and higher hemoglobin concentrations. These combined effects should help support immunocompetence, as well as oxygen transport and certain other physiological parameters associated with exercise and performance. In a separate study, horses receiving ginseng showed an improved antibody response over controls. This occurred at certain time periods after vaccination against an equine herpes virus. Goldenseal has not yet been clinically evaluated in horses, but is commonly used in combination with Echinacea in human products, for immune and respiratory system support.
This combination of herbal extracts in ImmPACT MT may therefore help support appetite and attitude, in addition to overall health and wellness. This should be very useful in horses that are frequently hauled, are being exposed to other horses, or are being housed under different environmental conditions. Our hope is that this product will help minimize respiratory disease problems in many horses that do travel extensively for show and competition purposes.
A healthy immune system is also important during any times of stress. In addition to respiratory problems associated with the stress of travel, another condition that is common in certain geographic locations is equine protozoal myelitis (EPM). Some type of immune stimulation is often part of treatment for this condition. Hopefully ImmPACT MT will prove to be a useful adjunct therapy in EPM affected horses.
ImmPACT MT is dosed using a 21 day on, 7 day off regimen.
ImmPACT XT combines Echinacea with two other ingredients, dimethylglycine (DMG) and policosanol. This combination of ingredients is designed to aid with performance related activity, including stamina and endurance, as well as to assist with recovery after exercise.
Echinacea is present at higher concentrations here than in ImmPACT MT, the goal being to further enhance the physiologic properties associated with exercise and performance.
DMG has been included for its purported effects on improving oxygen utilization, and to help manage the lactic acid accumulation that occurs during exercise. This could help with horses that tend to tire or fatigue. It could also help aid recovery after exercise, and even be of benefit to horses that tend to develop myositis or ‘tying-up’ syndrome.
Policosanol may have some ability to inhibit the ‘stickiness’ of circulating platelets, which could also assist with circulation. Additionally policosanol possesses antioxidant activity. At this time however, no equine studies have been done on poliocosanol.
This combination of ingredients in ImmPACT XT is used in a concentrated dosing regimen in and around high-intensity show schedules, to help horses compete at the highest level, and to recover quickly after intense exercise. This product is not a regular daily-use product.
If you recognize a situation with your own horses where one of these products might be beneficial, we hope you will give them a try. We would welcome any feedback you may be able to provide. And if you have any questions after reading this article, please feel free to contact us. Dr. Trotter would be happy to try and answer any queries that may arise.