Camomile is the name given to various members of the daisy family of flowers used for many purposes, including a horse calmer.

Of this family it is German Matricaria chamomilla and Roman Chamaemelum nobile Camomile that is used both in herbal tea and in alternative treatments.

Used in medicines now for thousands of years, it is an annual flowering plant containing magnesium phosphate, calcium phosphate and potassium phosphates. It has been called the European Ginseng. Dried Camomile flowers contain many terpenoids and flavonoids, which give it some of its natural therapeutic properties.

As with many natural supplements, demand for chamomile products is increasing and is therefore cultivated in Europe. It grows well in most soils, with the exception of heavy, damp soils.

Camomile Benefits

Camomile is thought to be a mild relaxant and has traditionally been used to treat muscle and gastric problems, as well as treating insomnia. As well as in feed, Camomile is used in aromatherapy for calming.

Camomile also has the benefits of being anti-inflammatory and anti-diarrheal.

Its relaxant properties have also been used to treat anxiety, but clearly will also have a beneficial impact on taught muscles, given its high magnesium levels.

However, it must be realised that Camomile is a mild calmer and issues such as colic should be immediately referred to a qualified veterinary practitioner.

Its relaxant properties have also been used to treat anxiety, but clearly will also have a beneficial impact on taught muscles, given its high magnesium levels.

Camomile can therefore be used as a horse calmer to help with difficult to handle or anxious horses, or to calm a nervous gut.

It is not a “cure all” for a difficult or flighty horse but used as one key elements of a holistic assessment of any behavioural problem. For example, assess level of sugar in diet, exercise levels etc.

Some people feeding Camomile have reported that it creates itchy skin.

Given it is a mild sedative, if competing, you should always check current in force rules, although a horse could naturally ingest camomile as part of normal grazing.

There are Internet discussions where people have added Camomile tea to horse feed. However, using this approach, the dose cannot be measured. Anecdotal reports have been that in some cases the horse turned into a “complete plod”, or conversely had little effect. The overall consensus seems to be that Camomile actually works, which corroborates mans collective experience over thousands of years.

Horse Calmer Products

There are a number of commercial supplements additives that include Camomile that have been formulated for specific animals, e.g. geldings and stallions, mares.

These can be in pellet or power format and easily administered. Commercially prepared horse calmer additives also have the benefit of having detailed dosage and feeding instructions.