The Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinalis) is very common in Europe, North America and Asia, where it grows quite prolifically.
Often considered a weed by gardeners, dandelion for horses can be a valuable resource.
Sometimes called horse lettuce, dandelion comes into flower in Spring, flowering from April to November.
It is a storehouse of minerals especially rich in iron, copper and potash (potassium) and magnesium.
Benefits Of Dandelion For Horses
Dandelion for horses is a real treat.
It contains many vitamins (A to E and K) and contains more vitamin A and C than most other vegetables and fruit.
The leaves have a proven reputation in relieving fluid retention whether due to heart oedema or an excess of sodium and, therefore, can help to relieve high blood pressure.
The copper content in dandelion is essential for horses because it activates zinc in the body. This naturally occurring zinc then helps heal wounds, support fertility, and stimulates white blood cell production.
It contains antioxidants, which is good for overall wellbeing and promotes healthy liver
Medical Use Of Dandelions For Horses
Dandelion is a diuretic and can be used to “flush” the system.
They can also be used to sooth some stomach complaints, but please read the cautionary note below.
The high iron content of both leaves and root helps to combat anaemia. The root is used as a liver remedy especially useful in relieving bilious disorders.
Gut health may also be improved as dandelion stimulates movement of the gastrointestinal tract, hence helping digestion.
It is also used for its vitamin C content in supplements used to treat COPD.
Traditionally in Spring, the young leaves have been used in salads to stimulate and cleanse the digestive system, the blood and the kidneys.
Equally, they can be used as an overall well being enhancing supplement, especially if only feeding hay or natural grazing is very limited.
A Word Of Caution
Dandelions have high levels of Fructan, a polymer of the sugar Fructose, making them unsuitable for horses sensitive to sugar such as lamanitics or those will stomach ulcers
Dandelion should not be fed to mares in foal.
Encourage the dandelion to flourish in your pastures; it is non-poisonous and entirely beneficial. A few leaves shredded into a mash feed can only improve your horse’s health.
Typically one would feed approx. 40g to a 500kg horse, but as always please consult the product supplier