The Antibiotics Controversy
General Pharmacology in Laboratory Animals
Ethnoveterinary medicine has been defined as "local or indigenous knowledge and methods for caring for, healing, and managing livestock" (Mathius-Mundy and McCorkle, 1989). The concept of using natural therapies in the mitigation of disease and maintenance of health is not new. However, a new landscape of animal husbandry, and in particular the movement away from antibiotics in livestock feed, has created a whole new incentive and urgency to quantifying the usefulness of botanicals in animal diets. As arguably the most popular herbal medicine in the world, Echinacea has been widely researched in laboratory animals for its potential clinical uses. However, research in livestock is at best limited. Moreover, as is often the case with botanicals research, access to scientific literature may be inhibited by language of publication. Despite this fact, by virtue of its overwhelming acceptance into human healthcare as an immune system stimulant, Echinacea has become a common veterinary contrivance for supporting immune function in livestock. However limited, data do exist which provide species-specific information on the pharmacology, toxicity, and clinical applications of Echinacea to various livestock species, including poultry, cattle, horses, and swine.
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