Natural Recipe for Your Horse's Personal Hygiene

We are of course talking about sheath cleaning (and mares' udders).

Loryhl Goodman Davis, of Herbs of the World, kindly shares her natural recipe.


Boil one quart of distilled or otherwise purified water. When the water is at a rolling boil, throw in a small handful of chamomile flowers, 2 tablespoons of myrrh gum (I prefer the whole gum to the powder), and a pinch of some other green, chlorophyll-type plant, such as nettle, alfalfa, etc.

Simmer on low heat for 20 minutes.

Let stand for an hour or two; strain.

Put in quart jar and refrigerate.

For each cleaning, take out about 1 cup of brew, warm it up, and add 1/2-cup aloe juice. If mild infection or irritation is present add 4 drops of lavender essential oil per one cup of brew.

Use to clean sheath as often as needed.

The quart of brew will keep up to two weeks; discard after that.

Why these herbs:

Chamomile - very mild, soothing, and gentle, often associated with infants and delicate areas of the body (but there are plenty of other such herbs to choose from: red clover blossom, nettle, plantain, etc.)

Myrrh gum - used in ancient times to cure syphilis and gonorrhea, and for gentle cleansing. It is mildly anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. Frankincense can be substituted if necessary, but for this I prefer the myrrh.

Aloe vera - soothing, gentle, lubricating, multi-purpose, healing, encourages healthy cell growth, discourages cancer cells, both internally and externally.

Nettle - has soothing, healing, anti-oxidant qualities and good chlorophyll content to help remove toxins and fortify skin cells.

Remember, if you suspect anything serious, consult your veterinarian.

For more information:

Herbs of the World, Inc.
32 Conover St.
Freehold, NJ 07728