Alexanders – a possible natural wormer!

Alexanders or Smyrnium olusatrum for it’s Latin name.  DSC_0096

It grows in sandy soils so you’ll mainly see this growing around seaside areas, but can get inland too.

There have been guesses that it helps with the parasite load in a horses gut, but no real tests have been done to confirm this. I have been in touch with several companies to aim to get tests done, but the expense is too great.

Trying it out for myself on my own horses helped me to see that it does have benefits to keeping the worm load low during winter and is very good to have it part of your horses worming program.

I feed my guys Alexanders, or Alec as many call it from the end of November through this it’s seeding stages at the end of spring. Once the flowers have started to turn to seed it becomes too gangly for the horse to want to eat.

Both the horse and us can eat every part of Alexanders, the leaves full of aroma have a raw asparagus flavor and can be an excellent compliment to any salad mix, the flower heads a spectacular decoration for the salad table and quite delicious along with a garlic dip. Pick them as a healthy snack as you walk through the countryside, rinse with bottle water first if not sure clean or close to farmland that may have been sprayed. They do spoil very quickly so it’s a case of pick on the day you want to eat it. Do be careful when picking as normally you’ll find hemlock growing in the same areas, ensure you pick only the Alexanders stems and don’t grab arm fulls at a time as you’ll grab hemlock too.

Start picking them for your horse with breaking stems off from November and let your horse/s enjoy. Again in moderation, they love this stuff and would over eat it if given free access to it creating chances of colic and soggy droppings.  I start with a small handful each day for the first week and build up to large arm fulls, about 3 full stems each and continue to do this several times a week through winter.

Raisin eating alexanders 27 3 15 (6)




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