Herbal Remedies for Equine Cushings Disease

Updated November 21, 2016

Equine Cushing's disease is a hormonal disorder often associated with the pituitary gland. It will produce high levels of cortisol or proactin; stress hormones. While most herbal remedies are unproven, there is more evidence from horse owners coming to light to proclaim the benefits of herbal therapies. Cushing's disease is incurable, but managing the symptoms can lead to a long productive life for your horse.

Herbal Remedies

Choose a supplement that is recommended by your veterinarian. Discuss your horse's level of Cushing's disease, as herbal treatments are not effective in later stages. If caught early, herbal remedies can be an effective treatment source. Chaste berry, or Vitex Angus castus, is most commonly administered to horse's with Cushing's disease. This natural therapy will regulate the function of the pituitary gland and establishes a healthy endocrine system. An increased level of proactin is associated with Cushing's disease. This is directly involved in the abnormal function of the pituitary gland. Virex mormonise is effective in treating this condition as well. Virex will block the production of proactin from pituitary cells. Avoid herbal remedies such as increased glucosamine. Horse owners offer this supplement regularly to their horses but use must stop at the onset of Cushing's disease. A horse ingesting glucosamine may exhibit withdrawal symptoms, such as a decrease in activity but will recover. Glucosamine leads to insulin resistance in horses diagnosed with Cushing's disease. Decreasing the level of carbohydrates from the diet is also effective in treating Cushing's disease.


Chaste berry is available in powder form or in whole berries. These can be purchased from a local whole foods store or bought on various websites. Be certain to research the supplier of the supplements to ensure they are from a reputable source. Give the chaste berry supplement daily, using 1 tablespoon each day. Whole berries can be ground in a coffee grinder and administered orally. If using powder form of chaste berry, give a little less than 1 tablespoon daily, as this is more concentrated than the original berries.

Ongoing Care

Further treatment of Cushing's disease involves routine care of the horse. Regular trimmings if hair growth is a problem symptom are necessary. This will prevent the horse from overheating. For horses that suffer from laminitis, increased foot care is essential in maintaining the health of the horse. De-worming frequently is essential to the future health of a Cushing's horse, as well as decreasing the stress level considerably. Stress increases the production of stress related hormones in the pituitary gland, increasing Cushing's symptoms.

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