Veterinary Botanical Medicine for Goats and Sheep


Journals publishing peer-reviewed articles on botanical medicine for caprines and ovines


• Veterinary Parasitology

• Research Veterinary Science

• Parasitology Research

• Tropical Animal Health Production

• Journal Dairy Science

• Animal Science Journal


Terrill et al 2012 highlight the research trends in ovine medicine by stating that anthelmintic resistance is reaching epidemic proportions in small ruminants in the U.S. and that non-chemical control alternatives are critically needed.  They describe the generally warm, moist environmental conditions in the southern United States (U.S.) as ideal for survival and growth of the egg and larval stages of Haemonchus contortus and other gastrointestinal nematodes (GIN) of sheep and goats. Critically, infection with GIN is the greatest threat to economic small ruminant production in this region. They also highlight the emerging markets for grass-fed and organic livestock36.


A global focus on botanical medicine- plant extracts for the management of gastrointestinal parasites is exemplified by a 2014 review by Mbaya etal, show that extracts of various species of medicinal plants have shown significant in-vivo and in-vitro pharmacological activities against ecto, endo and haemoparasites. They point out that the scientific evaluations of the use of the plants as antiparasitic agents were based on the claims of ethnoveterinary medicine. The pharmacological activities of these plants were associated with the presence of various bioactive compounds such as alkaloids, flavonoids, saponins, glycosides, allicinine, harmala, harmaline, harman, tetrahydroharman, ursolic acid, terapines, tannins, phenolic compounds, embelin and brucine. In the in-vivo studies, plant extracts were tested using animal models such as mice, sheep, goats, cattle and dogs37.


Botanical medicines are also finding potential in reducing lamb mortality and improving ewe performance (Smeti etal 2015)38; improving ewe milk production (Giannenas etal 2011)39 possibly through activity on the rumen microbiota in work conducted with the Department of Animal Sciences, The Ohio State University (Cobellis etal 2016)40; providing alternatives to  blow fly control  (Callander etal 2012)41 and lice treatment (James etal 2012)42 and ovine dermatophytosis (Mugnaini  etal 2013)43.


Petition Appendix IX-E outlines a sample of 8 abstracts and 34 references of 446 journal articles published on the anthelmintic activity of plant extracts in sheep and goats


 36Terrill TH, Miller JE, Burke JM, Mosjidis JA, Kaplan RM. Experiences with integrated concepts for the control of Haemonchus contortus in sheep and goats in the United States. Vet Parasitol. 2012 May 4;186(1-2):28-37.

 37Mbaya AW, Ogwiji M. In-vivo and In-vitro activities of medicinal plants on ecto, endo and haemoparasitic infections: a review. Curr Clin Pharmacol. 2014;9(3):271-82. Review.

38Smeti S, Joy M, Hajji H, Alabart JL, Muñoz F, Mahouachi M, Atti N. Effects of Rosmarinus officinalis L. essential oils supplementation on digestion, colostrum production of dairy ewes and lamb mortality and growth. Anim Sci J. 2015 Jul;86(7):679-88.

39Giannenas I, Skoufos J, Giannakopoulos C, Wiemann M, Gortzi O, Lalas S, Kyriazakis I. Effects of essential oils on milk production, milk composition, and rumen microbiota in Chios dairy ewes. J Dairy Sci. 2011 Nov;94(11):5569-77.

 40Cobellis G, Yu Z, Forte C, Acuti G, Trabalza-Marinucci M Dietary supplementation of Rosmarinus officinalis L. leaves in sheep affects the abundance of rumen methanogens and other microbial populations. J Anim Sci Biotechnol. 2016 Apr 27;7:27.

41Callander JT, James PJ. Insecticidal and repellent effects of tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil against Lucilia cuprina. Vet Parasitol. 2012 Mar 23;184(2-4):271-8

 42James PJ, Callander JT. Dipping and jetting with tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil formulations control lice (Bovicola ovis) on sheep. Vet Parasitol. 2012 Oct 26;189(2-4):338-43.

43Mugnaini L, Nardoni S, Pistelli L, Leonardi M, Giuliotti L, Benvenuti MN, Pisseri F, Mancianti F.A herbal antifungal formulation of Thymus serpillum, Origanum vulgare and Rosmarinus officinalis for treating ovine dermatophytosis due to Trichophyton mentagrophytes. Mycoses. 2013 May;56(3):333-7.





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