Traditional Tannin-Treatment Against Intestinal Parasites in Sheep and Cattle
Around the world indigenous groups have traditionally
used leaves, bark and roots containing tannins to treat
diarrhea and intestinal parasites in humans and livestock.
Traditional veternary medicine has largely been replaced
by pharmaceuticals throughout most of the world. My aim
is to revitalize traditional veternary practices and connect
them to novel research. This study iincludes a literature re-
view based mostly on three articles about condensed tan-
nins (CT), all from New Zealand: Barry & McNabb (1999),
Niezen et al. (1995 & 1996), and Høeg (1974). These are
considered in light of my observations and experiences of
beneﬁcial effect from feeding sheep with high-tannin for-
CT have been reported to increase absorption of essen-
tial amino acids in the small intestines. This results inin-
creased wool growth, body mass, milk production and
amount of protein in milk. CT seem to counteract protein
loss caused by gut parasitism and may stimulate the im-
mune system. CT may also inactivate parasite larvae dur-
ing passage through the gut. Forage containing CT could
offer a nutritionally-based ecologically syustainable sys-
tem for controlling the effects of parasites. Tannins might
also be a way to reduce the large amount of grain fed to
sheep and cattle.
Traditional practices could be a means to better health
and economy for traditional societies. This is especially
important when crops containing CT are available in great
amounts or can be grown in mountain ro cold districts
where grains are difﬁcult to grow.
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