After much research into herbal wormers and wormer compounds for goats, dogs, cats, horses and other animals, I have found that most of the herbal wormer and dewormer products available on the market today indicate that they should be used weekly, and are safe for pregnant and lactating animals. These formulas all contain Wormwood, which is not considered safe, by Herbalists, for use while pregnant and not recommended for use while breast feeding. (Please read these extended safety notes regarding Wormwood.) Since herbs are not drugs, herbal wormers and worm formulas do not legally have to carry milk withdrawal information or pregnancy warnings. Since some other herbal wormers and worm formulas say they are safe, they are either: taking advantage of this loop hole; they are either mistaken as to the safety of Wormwood (perhaps mistakenly thinking that all herbs are safe in all situations); or these formulas contain so little Wormwood that they will not be effective for the use they are intended. Wormwood is a herb, and not a drug, and it has not been officially studied by the FDA to discover if there is should be a milk withdrawal time or whether it is safe for pregnant animals. Because of this, you can legally say there is no official safely issue, but research into the use of herbs will show you it should not be use on pregnant humans, or animals.
Wormwood is a safe dewormer when used properly, but the continuous, long term use of small doses of wormwood, (every week- exactly how other wormers and worm compounds prescribe it) can be harmful to an animal's kidneys, liver and nervous system. Wormwood can be used safely on animals in larger doses, on an occasional basis (every 6-8 weeks). Because of this I originated a new concept in herbal worming methods, and I created a new system using two herbal worm formulas that work in conjunction with each other: the Formula #1 Herbal Wormwood Combination and the Formula #2 Herbal Weekly Worm Formula & Tonic.
Most herbal wormers, dewormers and worm products also contain laxative herbs; my formulas do not. The idea behind using laxatives is to flush out parasites by loosening stool and stimulating bowel movement. However, this approach adds stress to the animal's system and may lead to laxative dependency. If constipation is associated with a worm infestation (which very rarely happens) you could administer Slippery Elm, which aids in lubricating the digestive tract without pulling needed fluids from the body.
Please note that this type of worm formula is used in a Holistic manner. Holistic therapies address the health of the entire animal (or human) by slowly and surely balancing the systems of the body, strengthening the immune system, and preventing disease. Because of this, you need to understand that herbal wormers are also used as a preventative, as opposed to just waiting until you have a major problem or infestation. This system is intended to be used all year round; do not quit using it in the winter. Please read this: Understanding using herbs.
Molly's Herbals Worm Formula:
The original two part system, works holistically in multiple ways.
- By expelling live worms: the worms hate being around the herb so much they would rather leave the host than be around the herb. Because of this, you may see worms in the animal's poops after they have been wormed.
- By killing and expelling the parasites.
- By helping the animal build a stronger immune system so they can more easily fight an infestation.
- Working as a preventive: By helping the animal build a stronger immune system so that they can resist the parasite and thus not become infected in the first place. Healthy animals are much less likely to get infected than unhealthy ones.
- There has been no evidence to show that worms build up resistance to this herbal system like they can do with Chemical and Drug wormers.
- Molly's Herbals Worm Formula is a two part system and, when used as recommended, is safe to administer to pregnant and lactating animals.
More Information Regarding Herbal Wormers & Worming:
Read what other people have to say on our Testimonials pages
- Formula #1 Wormwood Combination: Administer once a day for 3 days in a row. Repeat every 6-8 weeks. Use in conjunction with Formula #2. (Formula #2 being given once a week the other 7 weeks)
- Formula #2 Weekly Worm Formula & Tonic: Administer once per week on the weeks you do not give the Wormwood Combination. Intended to be used in conjunction with Formula #1.
- NOTE: During the time an animal is pregnant, Formula 2# is substituted for Formula 1# . The day after the animal gives birth, Formula 1# is then administered for three days in a row no matter where in the cycle they currently are.
- When worming Kids: I administer the three day dose starting at 3 weeks of age and repeating every 3-4 weeks until the kids are 6 months of age, then I then begin them on the 8 week cycle. If you see any diarrhea, immediately administer Formula 1# three days in a row. I have found this also helps prevent coccidiosis.
- Administer every week on a continuing bases as recommended. Do not discontinue in the Winter.
- Extra herb may, and should, be giving if the situation warrants it; always be aware of your animal's particular needs.
- Always worm a new animal the day they come onto your farm since you have no idea of what kind of care they received before coming to your farm.
- Always worm the day after an animal gives birth. You do this because the stress of labor and birth lowers her resources making her more susceptible worms and also, the hormones released at kidding can "arouse" dormant parasites that may be in her system.
How to administer:
Milk withholding time for human consumption:
- Formula #1 Wormwood Combination Dietary Suppliment * : None...
BUT take note... Because this is an herb mixture and not a drug, it has not been studied by the FDA and can legally be labeled as having no milk withholding time/withdrawal. BUT since Formula #1 contains Wormwood (see the Safety Note below), and Wormwood is not recommended by many Herbalists for breast feeding humans, you may decided that if you are feeding the milk to very young human infants (under 6 months of age or so), just to be absolutely "safe and sure ", to withhold the wormwood milk from the infant for 24 hours. The milk is perfectly safe for older human children and adults, as it is for the offspring of the lactating animal. If you decide to withhold, just save enough milk to last the infant child an extra day and use the 24 hour withdrawal milk for your own drinking or to make cheese. It's not like you have to throw it out.
- Formula #2 Weekly Worm Formula & Tonic: None
- Used as directed, this combination system is safe for all pregnant and lactating animals. (The Wormwood Combination is not given to pregnant does)
- Formula #1 Wormwood Combination Dietary Suppliment *Safety Notes:
- Since this is an herb mixture and not a drug, it can legally be labeled as safe to use in animals when pregnant (which is what most other herbal wormers) BUT since this formula contains Wormwood, which is an "Emmenagogue" (An emmenagogue is an herb which encourages menstrual bleeding, and so it could induce loss of uterine lining which may cause miscarriage.) it is not considered safe by Herbalists for use in pregnant humans or animals. I recommend not give to pregnant animals. If you are using another herbal worm product, read the label or find out what is in it before you buy it, and if it contains Wormwood, you should take this into consideration. You should use Formula #1 right before breeding and then start using it again the day after the animal gives birth.
- The chemical name for the principle active ingredient in wormwood is thujone. Thujone is a monoterpene (type of primary alcohol found in plant matter) that is often attributed with having a hallucinogenic effect. The liquor Absinthe, the popular in the 19th century, known for its mind-altering effects, is made with Wormwood. Wormwood is not recommended for breastfeeding mothers because thujone might be passed to the baby in the mothers milk, though this has not been studied.
- Excessive amounts of Wormwood can be damaging to the liver, kidneys, and nervous system. Do not use in animals who suffer from seizures, kidney problems, or liver disease.
- Black Walnut, if ingested in excessive amounts, in dogs and cats, may lead to diarrhea and gastritis.
- Formula #2 Weekly Worm Formula & Tonic Dietary Suppliment *: Safe for all pregnant and lactating animals
Serving suggestion, given orally:
- Goats: 1 Tablespoon
- Kids under 2 months: 1/2 Tbsp
- Dogs: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon
- Cats: 1/4 teaspoon
- Horses: 2 Tablespoons
- Cattle: 3 Tablespoons
- Sheep: 2 teaspoons
- Llamas: 2-3 teaspoons
- Alpacas: 1-2 teaspoon
- Pigs: 2-3 teaspoons
- Chickens: I give 1 Tbs to my flock of 6 chickens, you may wish to experiment to see what works best for you and yours.