Stoneymeadow - I have had a similar experience with herbal remedies and holistic approaches to my own health issues. Had I only listened to my western medicine doctors I would not be alive (and on no meds to boot) today. I do believe there is a balance that needs to be met between the eastern and western medicine cultures, hence my search for a herbal remedy, or at least one that will help, my horse. What diet are you feeding exactly? I believe very strongly in diet (whole foods, etc.) for people and animals alike. This mare is not on processed grains. She is fed beet pulp, hay cubes - soaked - with added supplements that contain no fillers, soy and such. She then eats her hay, usually an alfalfa mix. She has access to 4 acres of pasture for about 10 hours per night. There is a vet that practices Chinese medicine in my area but she's been hard to get a hold of.
Me too. My mare had a cough related to allergies (not heaves) and this really helped her. She wouldn't eat it with feed, so I had to add water and syringe it in her mouth. Sort of a pain, but it really helped her.
My aged gelding has an asthma-like cough due to allergies that can be brought on by exercise. He is founder prone so I cannot use steroids on him.
For daily management, I have found the best to be a combo of MSM and a cup of whole flax. Coughfree is helpful when needed, so is AirPower syrup. If he is a bit raspy I will make a steaming bucket of a few gallons of water, a cup of whole oats, whole flax, air power and acv, so he gets a long steamy drink.
This all said, if my gelding's cough or raspy breathing goes beyond what I consider "mild" or goes for more than 2 or 3 days, I pull out the big guns asap, either albuterol tabs or ventipulmin syrup, and kick that inflammation in the ass.
One of the infrequently discussed yet insidious aspects of chronic airway inflammation is the chronic part. The longer you let airways stay in a state of inflammation, the harder it is to remedy.
When my asthma acts up, if I don't nip it in the bud immediately, I get into a low grade chronic state where I'm not that bad but nqr either, and it only takes a little push to get "get to the ER" serious. I've arrived unconscious at ERs enough times in my life to have finally learned this lesson.
And fwiw, I too have been ravaged by steriods and had lots of bad side effects, etc. While I'm not into eastern medicine, I barely take aspirin either. Fresh air, horses and good beer are my medicines And my rescue inhaler or Advair.
If its within your means to do so, do try to get to the bottom of your horse's chronic cough and kick it in the fanny, because the longer you let it simmer just under the surface, the harder it will be to resolve.