Ethno-Veterinary Practices for treatment and management of infectious diseases of farm animals

Dr. Atul Prakash and Dr. Yashwant Singh*

Assistant Professor, Department of Veterinary Pharmacology and Toxicology, CVSc&AH, DUVASU, Mathura-281001, Uttar Pradesh
*Professor, Livestock Farm Complex, College of Veterinary Science, Rampura Phul-151103
Bathinda, Punjab

Livestock are prone to several infectious and noninfectious diseases namely-mastitis, foot and mouth disease (FMD), hemorrhagic septicemia (HS), anthrax etc. which substantially affect the animal health and production. In rural India, lack of access to modern veterinary facilities to every village/area and/or input high cost in treatment and delay in treatment to these diseases resulting high mortality may responsible for huge economic loss of farmers. Hence, people of rural area relied to use of ethno-veterinary medicine (EVM), which are more readily available and cheaper. In-addition, indiscriminate and non-judicious use of antimicrobials and other veterinary drugs resulted in residues of Veterinary Medicinal Products (VMPs) observed in milk and other animal products which create health hazard to consumers and development of drug resistance. Plants based practices (Ethno-veterinary practices) have been used by livestock owners since time– honored where they have their own ways to identify, classify, diagnose and treat animals. India has plenty of natural medicinal plants, so farmers can exploit these advantages for their livestock towards herbal treatment for commonly occurring infectious diseases instead of routine allopathic treatment regimen. India is at the advantage as it is one of the world’s 12 mega diversity countries having about 8% of global plant genetic resources which can be the potent source of herbal medicines. Ancient ethno-veterinary literature suggests that the tribal, non-tribal and rural population have been using wild ethno-flora since long for curing diseases of the pet/domesticated animals. Ethno-veterinary medicine deals with people’s knowledge, skills, methods, practices and beliefs about the care of their animals.  Almost all the parts of plants are used for the preparation of EVM products which includes leaves, bark, stem, root, seeds, flowers and fruits. They can be used for several infections, to improve production of productive animals.

Based on available scientific literature here are some of commonly used indigenous practices:

  1. Foot and mouth disease (FMD)
    • 1% citric acid or alum solution or potassium permanganate or Methylene blue used for mouth and foot washing.
    • Juice of sour fruits or lemon for washing of ulcerated tongue, foots and mouth twice a day.
    • Application of neem or babool leaves paste with mustard oil on foot lesions.
    • 10gm Boric acid (Suhaga) + 100gm jaggery/honey/glycerin mixture applied in mouth and tongue.
    • Paste of Babool with Jamun bark or paste of peach leaves or Bantulsi for foot lesions.
    • Musa paradisiaca (Kela)–paste and sugar candy in water is given to animal twice a day to cure the blisters and hoof sore(s).
    • Oral feeding or topical application of Nicotiana tobaccum(Tobacco) leaves over foot lesions.
    • CuscutareflexaRoxb.(Amar Bel) paste of the plant applied twice a day to the affected parts.
    • Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. (Shisham) leaf paste is mixed with churning curd & used over the lesions
    • Calotropis gigantea (Safed aak) root decoction applied on the infected foot thrice daily for 3-4 days to control foot rot disease
  2. Haemorrhagic Septicaemia (HS)
    • Provide steam of oil of menthe-20ml, oil of Eucalyptus-20ml, oil of Camphor- 20ml and ammoniac salt- 20gm mixed in hot water.
    • ArisaematortuosumSchott. (Bagh Jandhra) rhizome is crushed to extract the juice and fed to animal.
    • Capsicum annuum. (Shimla mirch) fruit is powdered and boiled for few minutes. The soup is fed to animal
    • Chopped leaves of Solanum incanum(Indian rennet) mixed with water and then sieved and applied in nose
    • Boiled tamarind and camphor levees applied on affected part twice daily for one week.
    • Crushed seed of Vernonia amygdalina Del (bitter leaf) mixed with water and filtered and applied by oral feeding and smeared on nose.
  3. Black quarter (BQ)
    • Musa paradisiacal (banana) or Tamarindusindica(tamarind) or Aegle marmelos(wood apple/ Bael)leaves topically applied on femur bone to cure BQ
    • Acalyphaindica (Kuppi, khokli) leaf juice is extracted and fed to the animal
    • Wash the wound area once daily with potassium permanganate a dilution of 1:10,000 (0.01%).
  4. Anthrax
    • Grinded leaf juice of Aloe trichosantha Berger applied by oral and nasal route
    • AcalyphaindicaL (Kuppi, khokli) Whole part > juice extract > fed   to animals suffer from anthrax.  
    • Desert date (Balanitesaegyptiaca(L.) Del). Homogenized juice of root extract with water fed orally to animals.
    • Combination of tulsi (Oscimumsanctum), neem (Azadarichtaindica), longa (Curcuma longa), punarnava (Boerhaviadiffusa) and amrita (Tinosporacordifolia) act as natural antimicrobial agents.
  5. Mastitis
    • Washing of teats with 1% boric or 0.1% potassium permanganate or 1% alum solution before and after milking.
    • Application of paste of marigold (Genda) on udder and teats as it has anti-inflammatory action.