I mentioned The Accessible Pet, Equine, and Livestock Herbal: Choosing Abundant Wellness for Your Creatures by Katherine A. Drovdahl (owner of Fir Meadow LLC) last summer in this blog post, but I hadn't yet read it. It was at the top of my wishlist then, and now that I've bought it, I've read it and re-read it and kept it close at hand! I refer to it when treating an issue in one of my animals, when giving advice on how to treat animals, and even when we humans have an ailment that requires herbal healing.
Whether you are new to the world of herbs and essential oils, or well seasoned in them, this is the book for you! Covering farm animals, exotics, reptiles, poultry, bees, pets and more, this herbal takes time to lay your foundation in an easy to follow format so that you can become confident in your use of herbs with your beloved creatures. Katherine covers from easy to very difficult situations that animal owners face. Gardening, dosaging, parasites, raising babies, birthing, showing, life cycles, body systems & much more are all covered, as well as learning why you are doing what you are doing. She also explains how to use much of this book for the wellness of you and your human family. Truly, a unique and timely herbal for your entire ‘family'. —The Accessible Pet, Equine, and Livestock Herbal
How I Scored It
Rating: 4 1/2 stars out of 5
Readability: 8 out of 10
Impact: 10 out of 10
Recommend it? Yes!
Read it again? Absolutely!
What's In It
This book is meant to be a detailed handbook of herbal livestock care, and it is packed with information. There are a multitude of topics, from ones you'd expect to ones that are rather surprising:
- basic herbal usage
- basic livestock care
- dosages and usage for many herbs
- the efficacy of different herbs
- why synergy is important and how herbs work together to heal the body
- encouragement to pray when in difficult situations
- treating an animal with affection eases their pain and fear
- take good care of yourself as well as your animals
- usage of essential oils instead of or in addition to herbs
It took some getting used to, but in the end I enjoyed the way this book is organized. Part 1 covers the basics — how and why to use herbs, feeding an appropriate and balanced diet to different species, how to dose and administer herbs, caring for pregnant livestock as well as their young, and senior animals. Also included in the beginning of the book are chapters on parasites, poisoning, and maintaining the health of animals when traveling to fairs and shows. In Part 2, chapters are organized based on body stems and organs so each chapter covers a specific part of the body, common symptoms caused by that part of the body, and how to treat the problems herbally. I understand how this may take some getting used to though — for example, instead of finding “pneumonia” listed in the index, you'll find it in the Respiratory System chapter.
The Author's In It
I enjoy Kat's conversational style of writing. She weaves her own real-life stories and experiences throughout the book, resulting in a very chatty read. Some may find it disorganized or disjointed, but I found it a welcome change from the too technical or textbook-y handbooks. The author owns and operates an online herbal store where she sells the herbal mixes formulated during her education and experience as a Master Herbalist. Understandably, there are places throughout the book where she mentions or suggests purchasing and using these formulas. However, I don't feel as if the book is just one long sales pitch to get you to purchase Fir Meadow products, especially as she always gives a good list of herbs that would be beneficial in a specific situation.
What Could Make It Better
As much as I love this book, I feel it would have benefited from the inclusion of a few simple formulas or recipes.
If I had purchased this book when I was still in the beginning stages of learning about herbal remedies, I would have found it confusing and a waste of money. This isn't because the book lacks information for the beginner, but rather the opposite — it contains tons of information, but perhaps not enough practical application.
Let me explain what I mean by “practical application”. You get clear instructions on what to use to treat, how to treat, and the dosages. But there are no formulas or ratios given — meaning unless you know that already, you might be left asking “how much” of each thing to mix together.
For this reason, I feel that a beginner may need some extra help applying the wonderful information in the book.
The Final Verdict
I wholeheartedly recommend this book for someone who has a basic knowledge of herbs and has already started to incorporate herbal and natural methods into the life and care of their animals. For a beginner, I'd also recommend other resources like the ones listed here to read along with Kat's book. Overall, I think the book is wonderful and, speaking to anyone who is serious about using herbs to care for their families, pets, or livestock, buy it as soon as you can!
Will you purchase this book? Perhaps you own or have read it already — what do you think about it?
We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. This post may contain special links through which we earn a small commission if you make a purchase (though your price is the same).