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Archive for the ‘Natural Healing’ Category

Kidney Care

We meet midway through the summer to bring you more great insight from Madalyn Ward – this time on kidney heath.

Kidneys, in any being, are a powerhouse in your body and provide vital functions. Breakdown or malfunction of the kidneys can lead to serious health issues that affect the rest of the body in dramatic way. Madalyn continues to merge Western and Traditional Chinese Medicine interpretations of kidney problems and solutions – the best of both worlds.

Below is Part 1 – stay tuned for Part 2 next week!


Holistic Horse Care: Kidney Problems

Kidney problems in horses probably happen much more often than we realize. Low back pain is a classic symptom of kidney problems in  people. In horses low back pain can easily be attributed to other more common problems such as hock soreness or overwork. A good holistic horse care program will include appropriate horse feeds for the kidney but some conditions will need additional treatment in the form of herbs or acupressure.

TCM Approach

In Western Medicine the kidney is primarily an organ that maintains water balance and removes toxins from the blood. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) recognizes these roles but also several more critical functions. In TCM the Kidneys store the essence or Qi that is inherited at birth. This Pre Heaven Qi is used up during life and can only be partially replenished with Post Heaven Qi from food. In TCM the Kidney is responsible for the vitality.

In TCM the Kidney Essence is the foundation for the Marrow. Marrow in TCM is the substance that makes up the bones, bone marrow, brain and spinal cord. Strong Kidneys therefore mean strong bones, teeth, and a healthy nervous system. In TCM the Kidneys are the house of the Will Power. When the Kidneys are strong the mind can stay focused on goals but if weak the mind will become easily distracted or depressed.

The Kidneys are considered to be the origin of the heat that fuels all the bodily functions. This Fire comes from the Gate of Vitality that  resides between the right and left kidneys. The Kidneys are the origin of both the Fire and the Water in the body, the Yang and the Yin.

In summary, Healthy Kidneys mean:

  • Strong vitality
  • Healthy bones and teeth
  • A balanced nervous system
  • Strong will power and focus
  • Healthy metabolism

Weak Kidneys manifest as:

  • Poor vitality
  • Weak bones and teeth
  • Weakness in the lower back and limbs
  • Nervousness
  • Fluid imbalances leading to stocking up or fluid in the lungs
  • Weak metabolism, assimilation problems and insulin resistance

Find Madalyn Ward online:
Twitter: madalynward


Horses are not a toy!… And introducing Dr. Allan Hamilton

I think we all know that horses are not a toy – they are a commitment and really, more like a lifestyle. Klaus Hempfling elaborates more in his latest video:


What are your thoughts?

In the final screen he says, “Only if you are sure you can satisfy the enormous needs and demands of a horse regarding space, time, knowledge, experience, your personality and physical condition and also financial expenses.”

In considering taking  horse into your life – it’s more about the physical and tangible (space, money, time) but your emotional, mental and spiritual capacity.

A film featuring…Dr. Allan Hamilton

Healing WITH horses (vs healing horses) is an area that is starting to pick up some steam in arena of public awareness. Why is this happening? Perhaps it’s the exploration of different areas to help heal emotional and spiritual (as well as physical) aspects of ailments or maybe it just simply is becoming more widespread. We have heard from Dr.Hamilton before – he had a feature on NBC news on how he invites medical students to his ranch to learn about experiential development and how it will benefit their journey in becoming doctors.

I am thrilled to discover that he has a film on his work as well as featuring some of those who have benefited from his facilitation.

Please visit this website for more about the film, “Playing with Magic”. 


From Riva’s Remedies: Holly’s Story

Sharing a story from Marijke van de Water of Riva’s Remedies…

Holly’s Laminitis

Holly is a 6 year old Arab mare from B.C., Canada who was afflicted with severe laminitis in all four hooves in May 2012; she was unable to walk or even stand some days and spent days laying with ice packs on all four feet. By June of the same year both Holly’s progress and prognosis were poor. Thus Holly’s owner Diane Armitage contacted Marijke for help in healing Holly’s very sore hoof condition. This case was of interest to Marijke because while the majority of cases of laminitis are caused by feed imbalances, leaky gut, Equine Metabolic Syndrome, lack of movement and/or poor hoof trims, Holly’s case was more complex and her laminitis was multi-factorial.

In addition, other than a two week overdue trim, Holly’s hoof angles and hoof mechanism were acceptable. Because Holly and Diane live several
hours from the Riva’s Remedies health clinic, I conducted Holly’s health assessment by distance using The Marijke Method™, a specific method of kinesiology to identify underlying health issues and to formulate successful health programs. I found that Holly had three issues directly relating to her laminitis:…

For more, read further on… 


About Marijke:

Marijke works from her naturalhealth clinic in Armstrong, B.C. where she specializes in helping horses and people. She holds a B.Sc. in Clinical Nutrition and a Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Science. She blends her vast knowledge of science, health and nutrition with natural medicine, kinesiology and energy healing. She is considered one of the foremost experts in therapeutic nutrition and equine natural medicine with a special interest in digestive disorders, immunity, laminitis, metabolic syndrome, and emotional and spiritual wellness.

Marijke is also the founder, formulator and CEO of Riva’s Remedies, a herbal and homeopathic product line for horses.

Helping Hormonal Mares

We are back! After a few weeks of technical problems with the blog all is resolved and we are back to bringing you articles every week…Enjoy! 🙂

This article was featured in Riva’s Remedies March 2012 Newsletter and I wanted to share it with all of you. I’m sure we have all, at some point dealt with a moody mare! We have a very hormonal mare that greatly benefits from these herbal treatments. Hope this helps you too!


Helping Hormonal Mares

By Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS

Many mares exhibit hormonal problems through mood and behaviour changes. This is often seen during a mare’s cycling days, however many mare owners report this behaviour even when they are not cycling. Unfortunately, too many times we have simply attributed this to “mares being mares”, and have not recognized that these horses are not feeling well and that they can suffer from the same anxiety, irritability, aggression, sadness and depression as women do during PMS or an unhealthy menopause. These emotional symptoms can make it very hard for mares to tolerate being handled or ridden, or to cooperate with other horses. And, unfortunately it often gets dismissed as a training problem.

Hormones are powerful chemicals that have a profound effect on the neurotransmitters of the brain: estrogen has an excitatory effect on the brain, increasing serotonin and acetylcholine levels whereas progesterone has a more calming effect. Serotonin is responsible for creating positive moods and acetylcholine is necessary for focus and memory.

As with humans, diet can be an important factor – high-sugar feed such as oats or sweet feed will exacerbate hormonal symptoms. Horse owners also report that high quantities of alfalfa can negatively affect behaviour as well. (For humans, caffeine and dairy products are the most common culprits with PMS and menopausal symptoms.)

For a hormone balancer and calmer the Riva’s Herbal Blend for Mares is an effective remedy. It contains Blue Cohosh, Black Cohosh, Licorice Root and Chamomile to tone the ovaries and sooth the nerves. This blend will also help to regulate erratic cycles, ease uterine cramping and/or to increase fertility – although it is not advisable to feed it during pregnancy.

The best nutritional supplements are Vitamin B6 (800 to 1,000 mg daily) and Riva’s Primrose Oil (4,000 mg daily).

Vitamin B6 is essential for the synthesis of both hormones and neurotransmitters and has the added benefit of regulating blood sugar levels. It will also support pituitary and thyroid function.

Riva’s Primrose Oil also helps to synthesize hormones, and is a natural anti-inflammatory and immune stimulant. Both of these nutrients can be used with the Herbal Blend for Mares and are also safe to feed during pregnancy.

If the thyroid or pituitary glands need extra support, use Riva’s Hormone+Boost to stimulate and tone the entire glandular system, to optimize metabolism, improve immunity, relieve stress, and enhance mental and emotional well-being. It contains Ashwaghanda, Chaste Berry, Kelp, Licorice Root and Raspberry Leaf.

Once the hormones are stabilized but a mare is still uncooperative then the training program should be assessed. Some horse owners have allowed their behaviour to become a pattern, in which case competent but compassionate handling will help them re-learn a healthier attitude. And don’t put food down in front of “cranky” mares until their ears come forward – this might take time at first but they will learn to “smile” to get fed. In fact, don’t let them eat at any time during handling or riding as many horses will consider this as dominance. With good food, supplements and common-sense handling most mares will become happy and healthy partners.

Some moody mares are simply trying to express that they want to have a baby, after which their hormones “settle down”. There are no guarantees though…and if you choose to breed make sure that you can provide the foal with a permanent home for life; we already have too many unwanted horses that end up in situations of neglect and/or abuse.

Click here to see this article in its entirety on Riva’s Rememdies Website:

Marijke van de Water, B.Sc., DHMS

Equine Health & Nutrition Specialist
Homeopathic Practitioner
Medical Intuitive & Healer
Author of two books:
Healing Horses: Their Way!
Healing People: The Marijke Method

What is “Homeopathy”?

Homeopathy Overview…
By Glen Dupreee, DVM
(Classical Veterinary Homeopathy)
Are you concerned with your animal companion’s state of health?  Does s/he just not have that glow of good health?
Are you tired of having to treat the same conditions over and over again only to have them return as soon as the medicine runs out?
Worse yet, are you tired of seeing your companion get sicker and sicker as you give more and more medicine?

Maybe what you need is not more diagnostic tests and medicine but a different medical approach and philosophy.

In the holistic approach to health and wellness, the patient is at the center of the treatment plan.  A truly holistic approach treats the patient with the intent of increasing the level of vitality and well-being, rather than treating to simply subdue the symptoms of an artificial diagnosis.

The result of this approach is a patient who is healthier, more resilient, and less susceptible to the common maladies of life.

No other approach to medicine better fulfills the philosophy of holistic medicine than does Homeopathy.

Homeopathy is founded on the premise that symptoms seen in a patient are the result of an imbalance or disharmony in the Life Force.  
Rather than divide the symptoms into separate diagnoses and prescribe a different medicine for each diagnosis, the Homeopath seeks to find the common cause of all the symptoms and to find the single medicine which will bring the entire patient to health and wholeness.

With this premise, there is no condition in any patient which is not treatable with Homeopathy.  The Homeopath is not dependent on finding a diagnosis before treatment can begin but instead uses the entire complex of symptoms produced by the patient as a guide to the single medicine which will treat the entire patient.

The Homeopathic approach catalyzes health and wholeness in the patient.  The end result is a patient who is not compromised by chronic, recurrent disease.

To treat a patient Homeopathically, the Homeopath must gather as much information about the patient as is possible.  This will require an in-depth examination of the patient and interview with the care-giver.

Sometimes in complex cases, diagnostic tests may be run or the services of other individuals such as body workers or animal communicators may be used to gather more information.

Once all the details about the patient have been gathered, the Homeopath, following the specific techniques of Homeopathy, searches for the single medicine which will address all the symptoms seen in the patient.  By treating the patient with a single medicine, the Homeopath can avoid the complications caused by multiple concurrent medications so common in conventional medicine today.

When this single medicine based on the complete array of symptoms of the patient is found, it is given in the least dose at the greatest interval necessary to catalyze healing changes in the patient.  

After the medicine is selected and given, the care-giver observes the patient for changes in the symptom pattern and reports these changes to the Homeopath.  In this way, and only in this way, can the Homeopath be directed to the appropriate therapeutic measures in the future.

Because of the individualized nature of the Homeopathic treatment, each medicine, each dose, and each dosing schedule is tailored to the specific needs and nature of the patient.


Visit for more information on Dr Glen Dupree and his practice of Animal Homeopathy

Herbal Glossary-

Before we can truly understand how to start supplementing our horses’ diets or treating their disorders & illness with herbs, we need to understand the actions of each herbs, and in so doing we begin to learn when, where & how to use specific herbs…

It would be a good idea to print out this list and put it somewhere where you can see and read it often and soon you will suprise yourself with how quickly you learn…

Herbs that normalize and restore body functions and increase the body’s nonspecific resistance to stress: ginseng, licorice, nettle and astragulus.

Also known as blood purifiers. Herbs that gradually restore health and vitality to the body: burdock, red clover, nettle, oregon grape, alfalfa, gota kola, marshmallow, dong quai, and ginseng.

Substance that relieves pain: scullcap, valerian, passion flower, catnip and chamomile. Read the rest of this entry »

Flower Essences can offer Emotional Balance for You & Your Horse …

Note from Faye:  Here is another great article from Zoe Dodds about Flower Essences for Horses. I love reading her blog… Enjoy!!

Flower Essences can offer Emotional Balance for You & Your Horse …

By Zoe Dodds

Flower essences have a special place in my heart because of their ability to influence our emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I find horses very receptive to flower essences and will usually recommend both horse and rider take them together when seeking to balance any behavioural or emotional issues. This is because very often our horses will mirror or reflect any imbalances or problems we are working on, with both issues we are aware of, and issues we are not.

Dr Edward Bach, an inspirational physician and homeopath, developed flowerremedies in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. Today these remedies are used throughout the world and are widely acknowledged for their gentle yet profound qualities. Read the rest of this entry »

The Difference between Holistic Herbal Medicine for Horses & Western Medicine

Note from Faye: This article does a great job of describing and summing up why we prefer to choose Herbal (or ‘natural’) medicine over Western (or ‘traditional’) medicine whenever possible. That is not to say Western medicine does not have it’s place, rather that we, whenever possible choose to treat our horses with natural, holistic and non-invasive methods ...


By: Zoe Dodds

Herbal Medicine uses remedies derived from plants to treat common illnesses. These herbs are dietary supplements that you can give to yourCOMFREY horse in its raw form or dried, through teas (infusions), extracts, tinctures and oils or as part of a combined remedy. Herbal Medicine aims to not only treat the symptoms but to introduce improvements to your horse’s lifestyle and wellbeing.

Herbs have been used on people and animals for thousands of years across a range of cultures. Shamans, Medicine men and women, pharaohs, kings and field workers all knew the benefits of herbs on their people and animals. Some of the more common cultures to have used herbs on their horses were the native american indian tribes, the ancient greeks and the romany gypsies of Europe. Horses also have instinctively foraged on medicinal plants native to their grasslands gaining the necessary nutrition to heal and prevent illness.

Modern medicine is in fact foundered from the use and experimentation of thousands of years of herbal medicine knowledge. Veterinarian science and the development of pharmaceuticals has evolved directly from the accumulated wisdom of herbal history that has greatly benefited western medicine as we know it today.

So how do herbs work and how can we use them safely on our horses in the context of our modern world? Read the rest of this entry »

Herbal Remedies for Horses

Most people think that herbal remedies are limited to humans alone. But horses also benefit from Naturopathy, or herbal medicine. This article specifically focuses on a range of herbal remedies for equines.

Many horse owners feel the need to resort to herbal remedies that do not hamper a horse from competing in the show ring, or being active and drug-free.


Horses have health concerns that are similar to human health issues, yet they have a different system, which requires a different approach to naturopathy than one would take with a human being. Read the rest of this entry »

Not All Pain is the Same- Part 2

By Madalyn Ward, DVM

Sometimes diagnosing our horses’ pain can be a pain in the you-know-what! Our horses don’t speak English, and they can’t tell us exactly what hurts or why. That’s why understanding the different kinds of pain, especially from a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) point of view, can be so valuable.

 This information can be difficult to digest at first, but you’ll find that in time you will be able to distinguish one kind of pain from another based on your horse’s symptoms. In last month’s newsletter I covered excess pain conditions, and this month I review deficiency pain conditions. Read the rest of this entry »