another problem is even when a scientific study shows, herb A has effect B, there is no standard dosage, or controls in any of these snake oil formulas. Often you really have no idea what you are buying. Slapping the word "supplement" on a product is a get out of jail free card. Sellers can make any type of claim they want without any repercussions.
There's a ton of companies advertising on the internet that I wouldn't buy from.
I have been buying all my equine herbs from one company, and one company only, since 2004 and they work.
If they didn't my horse that was diagnosed with Equine Metabolic Syndrome five years ago, might not be here. Or, his 24 yr old self might be here but not looking and acting like he's 12 instead of 24.
There's a delicate balance to feeding herbs and that delicate balance varies with every horse.
Certain herbs work in certain instances but, not only do they become Snakeoil in the hands of the producer who is only out to make a buck, they become Snakeoil in the hands of the end user who has no clue as to how and when to use them.
Often what to use for a particular purpose is the easiest to figure out. Dosage can vary not only on one horse during the time an herb(s) is being used, it can vary from horse-to-horse and may not even work on the next horse.
I have another horse that has been on an allergy herbal blend (seasonally) since 2007. It works ten times better for him than the drug Tri-Hist ever did.
The herbs actually mellow him out instead of amping him up into a nut case like the Tri-Hist did. Why wouldn't I choose to use herbs over a drug in this instance? Since we live in Allergy Purgatory (the Tennessee Valley)his dosage can vary from May thru September.
I watch him closely and only give him what he needs. He and one other horse get annual physicals, the two metabolic horses get bi-annual physicals.
My vet's concluding statements (to-date) are to keep doing what I'm doing. But I don't just throw stuff at my horses - it takes a lot of research and closely watching the horse every day for changes; good or bad. That's pretty rough to do when one boards a horse.
People should not run out and buy herbs for their horses "just because"; they especially should not use something because it SEEMS to be the popular flavor of the month on a forum
I have probably just finished "preaching to the Choir". Those that need to read and absorb this won't - lol lol lol