Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Karen
Posted on: January 26, 2006

My dog loves to eat my echineacea purpurea leaves in the summer. I understand the plant is supposed to bolster the immune system and settle upset tummies.

She weighs 40 lb.s more or less. I am giving her two capsules of echinacea a day, one in the morning and one at night. I break open the capsules and sprinkle the contents into a little bit of bread to make a dough ball for her which she eats easily. I am wondering how many capsules should she be getting?

There are many variables to consider in this question. For instance, do your capsules consist of root, leaf, whole plant or all of the above? Are they made from Echinacea purpurea or E. augustifolia? Are they made from the regular plant or have they been processed into a standardised form? How many milligrams of herb do they contain? Is there anything else in the capsule or just echinacea? All of these questions will have an effect on the answer to your question. A dog of 40 lb. in good condition and of a moderate age may take approximately 50 mg of non-standardised Echinacea purpurea root powder twice a day, so you will have to see if what you have been using matches this description. In addition, Echinacea is a herb that should be given only when needed, not as a daily regimen. If your dog has a chronic illness it would be wise to have her seen by a qualified professional who is experienced in using herbal medicine with animals.

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