About Our Tonics

What makes an effective herbal formula?

The most important part of any herbal formula, and it may sound obvious, are the herbs. The identity and quality of the original ingredients are paramount. But even high quality herbs will loose much of their activity if the processing or extraction is below par. Most herbal products on the market for animals, and people, consist of dried or powered ingredients with no supply chain traceability. Dried herbs and particularly powdered herbs deteriorate rapidly unless storage conditions are perfect. There is no regulation what so ever within the supplements market and only the most expensive herbs are ever validated for activity post import. This leads to the wholesale use of poor quality, poorly preserved herbs with little intrinsic activity.

That is why we use only UK grown herbs that are processed immediately on harvest. We capture all the vital energy of each herb at its peak, locking it into our tonics for maximum health giving benefits for your companions. Our herbs are grown and processed on a farm that is fully GMP iso 9001 compliant and are of the highest quality, human medical grade, produced in the UK.

The second most important ingredient in an effective herbal formula is…. the formula. Single herbs are great. They are far more complex than any drug available. With that complexity comes a range of actions only dreamed of by pharmaceutical companies. By combining herbs together we can enhance certain properties and reduce others as necessary to suit the individual or condition we are treating and create a multi dimensional product with a host of actions on many different body systems. Herbs can combine and interact with each other in a number of  important ways

Firstly, combinations of herbs with similar actions can have a synergistic action. This means that the combined effect of two or more herbs is greater than the sum of their individual effects.  This allows us to broaden the scope of a formula and reduces the likelihood of a formula becoming less effective with prolonged use.

Secondly, a herb can improve the actions of another herb due to a completely different action of its own. We might add a herb with digestive properties to a formula that contains others that are difficult to digest. This gives improved digestion and absorption of, and therefore improved response to, the rest of the formula.

Thirdly, we may not want all of the actions of a herb to come through in a formula so we can use herbs to reduce the unsuitable actions of others. Hydrastis canadensis is a powerful mucous membrane tonic, but due to its very cold nature would be unsuitable for some animals. If we add a little Cinnamon to it, the combination is now warmer and more generally acceptable and still with all the  beneficial effects to the mucous membranes of Hydrastis alone. The ‘mucous membranes’ are the moist linings to the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.