Big Head Disease - McDowell's Herbal Treatments


Big Head Disease is also known as Bran Disease or NSH which stands for Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyrodism, this disease still occurs today despite the fact that it has been known about since 1860. It is generally a lack of calcium and magnesium in the diet and if left untreated can become permanent.

Big Head Disease can happen when a diet low in calcium and high in phosphorus is given, as the high level of phosphorus impairs the utilization of calcium in some bones, connective tissue invades the affected bone which actually increases in size hence the common name Big Head. Feeding high levels of wheat bran, which has a high phosphorus ratio to calcium can cause the disease by removing more calcium from the body then is deposited.

We recommend a combined treatment of Chamomile and Rosehip Tea, Kelp, Dolomite, Lucerne chaff or hay and our Tendon and Bone Mix. Dolomite contains calcium and magnesium, Lucerne chaff is also a good source of Calcium. The Kelp granules are for trace minerals. Rosehip tea is high in Iron and Vit C and the Chamomile is a good help to the thyroid which can become affected by high phosphorus levels causing what is know as Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism in turn causing the big head.

The Tendon and Bone mix is made up fresh (for each new horse), as a bucket of ground herbs and seeds extracted into vinegar. The dried herb version can not be shipped to WA for quarantine reasons. (If you are from Western Australia ask our Herbalist about the extract version of this mix).

Make a tea using 2 Desert spoons of Rosehips granules and 4 Desert spoons of Chamomile flowers in 1 litre of boiling water. Divide in half and use for morning and afternoon feed. Add to each feed 2 teaspoons of Kelp, 1/3 a cup of Dolomite and 1 cup of Tendon Bone Mix. Mix this with some Coconut Meal to make a mash.
The horse needs at least 2 - 3 biscuits  of good quality hay TWICE a day. As well as a mineral lick in the paddock placed near the water trough.

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02 6331 3937
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McDowell's staff Herbalists can not diagnose your disease or illness. What they can do is offer a herbal program to assist with healing, after you have had advice from your doctor or specialist. If you have unexplained pain or symptoms, seek medical advice.

EMAIL info@mcdowellsherbal.com  |  PHONE 02 6331 3937  |  INTERNATIONAL +61 2 6331 3937