Pet RX

Photo by Jillian Laurel Steinberger

Photo by Jillian Laurel Steinberger


Elokin Orton-Cheung of Shooting Star Botanicals grows herbs at Sustaining Ourselves Locally, her community garden in the Fruitvale District, Oakland. All of the herbs she mentions here as remedies for animals are easy to grow.

“Plant medicine has profound effects on animals, both physically and emotionally,” she says. “When treating animals injured in fights with other animals, I usually wash the wounds with a tea of comfrey, yarrow, and calendula. Comfrey helps the wound heal, calendula reduces inflammation, and yarrow is an antibacterial (which should only be used externally).  I use one teaspoon each of the dry herbs per cup of water, simmer gently for 10 minutes, soak a towel in the tea, and apply to the wound a few times a day, depending on the severity.

“After the physical wound is addressed, I ask why the animal is fighting. Often animals are protecting their territory and human companions. They are sensitive and often take on their person’s worry and stress, working hard to keep us happy. Sticky monkeyflower essence helps animals with fear, and burdock essence supports them in being more grounded and feeling held. Yarrow essence can help our animal companion keep its boundaries so it can love completely without taking on the emotions or energy of other beings. Self-heal is an easy-to-grow plant. As a flower essence, it has gentle, sweet energy to support your animal companion with its inner ability to heal. When working with flower essences I generally suggest two drops of the essence in their water or brushed onto their fur over their heart or at the top of their head.”