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Herb mix for healthy ruminants

Use at the first sign of gastrointestinal distress (e.g. scours, clumpy poop, etc.). Depending on the severity of the symptoms, you may need to begin acute dosing*.

Directions: dose three (3) times per day. When symptoms clear, continue an additional three (3) days.  

Suggested dose:  ⅛ tsp (up to 5#), ¼ tsp (5-10#), ½ tsp (10-20#), 1 tsp (20-75#), 1½ tsp (75-100#), 2 tsp (100-150#), add 1 tsp for every 50# above 150#.

Contains: Cinnamon, Ginger, Mullein, Cayenne, Catnip, Fennel, Burdock, Peppermint

*Acute Dosing:  I personally like to do acute dosing at the first sign of gastrointestinal distress. This may mean the goat is not eating or just acting off in some undetermined way. There are many websites that provide good information on how to evaluate your goat’s health, but the most important thing to remember is to be a student of your goats’ behavior day in and day out so you are prepared to act in order to get ahead of any potential problems. These herbs are gentle and safe to dose, but when in doubt about any health issue, seek the advice of a veterinarian.

First Hour: 1 dose every 15 minutes.

Remainder of first day: 1 dose every waking hour

For three days or  longer if needed: dose 3 times per day

Follow-up: long term cleansing may be in order or a round of herbal dewormer.

I highly recommend you join the Facebook group Totally Natural Goats to learn more about successful use of herbs in treating goats and keeping them healthy. Real-time experts are there to help and there is a wealth of informational files!

How Do I Get This Into My Goat?? There are several ways to get herb mix into your goat, which I list below, and it depends on how severe your goat is, if she is off feed, if she has never had herbs before and turns her nose up at them, etc. For me, it depends on the situation. I like to mix up a dosage ball and let the goat scarf it down (my goats did NOT like them at first, but now they fight over these treats). There are times, however, when the goat won’t eat. This can quickly turn into a bad situation because if a goat won’t eat, then a goat won’t ruminate. If a goat doesn’t ruminate, a goat can quickly go “down” into a state of emergency. So, if I find a goat is not eating, I immediately begin acute dosing by drenching with a tea in order to turn things around. Here are some ideas for dosing in general:

Dosage Ball: Add the dried herbs to a small bowl with some fresh, minced garlic and raw local honey (both of which are fabulous for promoting the good bacteria in the rumen). Using a chopstick, I mix it all up with a bit of vegetable glycerine to help it stick together, then roll it in slippery elm (another good one for gut health), and give it to the goat. You can make up several at a time, but be aware that fresh, minced garlic is most effective when given immediately, so it is preferable not to have it sit too long.

Tea for Drenching: General proportions for making tea is 1 cup of distilled water (distilled is by far the best water for drawing the nutrients out of the herb) to 2 tsp of herb mix. This is not a strong mixture and you can go up to ½ cup of herb mix to 1 cup distilled water depending on the situation. Add the herb mix to a glass canning jar. Boil the water and add it to the jar. Put a plastic lid on and allow it to steep up to 30 minutes (or more -- you can also steep it a shorter period of time depending upon the urgency of the situation). Strain the tea through a paper towel and carefully drench syringe-fulls into the goat when it is cool enough.

Top Dressing: You can always top-dress some sort of feed for the goat if she will eat it. I don’t like to give them grain when they are off-feed because it is not the best at jump-starting normal rumen functions since it takes more effort to digest it. You can try putting it on other food that your goat might like, for example, raw yogurt or kefir, which is a great way to also add some probiotics to help the rumen environment overcome any bad bacteria that is trying to gain a stronghold.

Scroll down for more information on the individual ingredients of Vital GI...


Cinnamon: is known traditionally to bring relief to vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and bloating. It is also said to discourage parasites.

Ginger:  anti-inflammatory, germ-killing, pain-reliever, promotes healthy digestion and is said to stimulate the growth of good bacteria.

Mullein: is said to have anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties, helping to soothe cramps caused by gastric distress. It is also said to discourage germs, and has been shown to relieve a variety of digestive problems.

Cayenne: this is one my favorite go-to herbs for any and every ailment. It is loaded with B Vitamins which tend to get depleted in goats when they are not well. Cayenne is said to produce natural warmth and has pain-relieving properties; it is also said to stimulate digestive action in the rumen, and assist in assimilation of nutrients as well as the elimination of wastes.

Catnip: has relaxing, anti-inflammatory effects on the gastrointestinal system due to its organic compounds. It is effective in clearing up digestive issues, especially constipation, excess gas, cramping, and bloating.

Fennel: The health benefits of fennel include relief from anemia, indigestion, excess gas, constipation, colic, and diarrhea. It is a great boost to the immune system overall and aids the body in detoxification.

Burdock: Based on many studies with animals exposed to toxic chemicals, the tea may protect the body against cellular damage and abnormal growths.   Studies have shown the tea to have powerful anti-inflammatory activity and reduce liver damage from toxic chemicals.   As a mildly bitter-tasting herb, it may increases saliva and bile secretion, which may aid digestion and help the liver.

Peppermint: peppermint has long been used as an aid for digestion and pain relief. It is carminative and therefore helps remove excess gas. It is a good tonic for low appetite and upset gastrointestinal systems.

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