Cover Image
close this bookEthnoveterinary Medicine in Asia - General Information (IIRR, 1994, 145 p.)
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentCollaborating organizations
View the documentIntroduction to the workshop process
View the documentHow to use these manuals
View the documentIdentification, collection and preparation of medicinal plants
View the documentApplication of herbal medicine
View the documentCommon units of measurement
View the documentEstimating live weight
View the documentSimple surgical techniques
View the documentTreating castration wounds
View the documentGlossary of english and botanical names
View the documentGlossary of medicinal plants
View the documentEthnoveterinary question list
View the documentGlossary of technical terms
View the documentParticipants' profile
View the documentReferences

Application of herbal medicine


The application of liquid preparation through the mouth is called drenching. It can be used for swine, ruminants and poultry. Hold the head level so that the medicine does not an into the lungs. For swine and ruminants, use a bamboo tube, a softdrink bottle, a wine bottle or a bottle gourd. Use a dropper or straw for poultry.



· Lie the animal on its front on the ground and tie it down or ask someone to hold it.

· Tie the snout with a piece of rope. Hold one end of the rope tightly or tie it to a post so the animal's mouth is open and it cannot bite your hands or the bottle. Put the end of the bottle into the mouth and slowly pour the liquid into the mouth. Make sure the animal swallows the liquid.


Swine - continue


1 Tie the animal to a tree or pole.

2 With small ruminants, mount the animal and hold it between your thighs.

3 With one hand, hold the upper jaw so that the animal opens its mouth. With cattle and buffaloes, you can use a rope through the nose ring to hold the mouth open. With the other hand, put the end of the bottle in the side of the animal's mouth and slowly pour the liquid into the mouth.



Birds can be held by the person who will administer the medicine or by someone else. Use a syringe or dropper or you can use a rice or sorghum straw.

Hold the upper beak with the left thumb or first finger. Push the lower beak down with your finger or the medicine dropper. Hold the head level so the medicine does not go into the lungs.

Drop or squirt the medicine into the mouth.



The application of solid preparations through the mouth is called "force-feeding". It is used for ruminants, swine and poultry. The procedure is similar to that for drenching. After you have put the solid medicines into the mouth, make sure that the animal swallows them. In ruminants, this can be done by massaging the throat. An easy way to force-feed animals is to put solid medicines either into a banana or cooked sweet potatoes and feed this to the animal.


Medicine mixed with feed and water

In all species, both liquid and solid medicines can be given with feed and water. They can be:

· Mixed thoroughly with the feed.

· Mixed with some of the feed; give the remaining feed only if the animal has eaten all of the medicated part. To treat individual poultry, put the bird and the medicated feed together under a basket until the feed has been eaten.

· Dissolved in drinking water. Use only as much water as the animal can drink at one time.

· Sprinkled on the feed ("top-dressing").

Topical application


· A poultice is a soft, usually heated preparation that is applied to a sore or inflammation.

· If necessary, keep the poultice on if necessary by tying a cloth or strip of banana trunk or coconut leaves over it.

Poultices are used for swine, ruminants and poultry.


A fomentation is a warm, moist substance (such as a wet cloth) applied to the affected parts of the body. It is used to ease pain and inflammation in swine and ruminants.


A compress is similar to a fomentation, but is always dry.

This is used for swine and ruminants.

Direct application

Rub the preparation directly on the affected part.

This is used for swine, ruminants and poultry.

Nasal application

Drop medicine directly into the nostril or apply it as vapor as shown in the illustrations. This is used in all species.

Nasal application

Vaginal application

This application is used in cows and sows that have an infection of the birth canal, for example: after retained placenta or other birthing difficulties.

To apply solid medicines

1 Clip your nails, clean your hands thoroughly and apply vegetable oil to them as a lubricant.

2 Clean the animal's vulva with soap and warm water.

3 Take the medicine in one hand and cup this hand into a cone-shape.

4 Insert this hand into the vagina when the muscles of the birth canal are relaxed (for instance, between contractions during birthing). Leave the medicine in the vagina and slowly pull your hand out.

To flush the vagina with liquids

1 Clean and wash the stalk of a papaya leaf and lubricate its tip with vegetable oil.
2 Insert the stalk slowly about 10 cm deep into the vagina.
3 Pour the liquid medicine into the vagina through the hollow stalk until the liquid flows over.

Anal application

This can be used for ruminants and swine.

1 Shape the medicine into a small ball.

2 Carefully push it into the animal's anus. If this is difficult, dip the ball into the water or oil before inserting it in the anus.

In the eye

This can be used in all species.

Use a rice straw, sorghum straw, medicine dropper or plastic dropper. Apply remedy directly into the eyes.

In the eye


Fumigation is the use of smoke to drive away insects.

Burn dried leaves. Cover the fire with fresh banana leaves to make a lot of smoke.


Hanging bouquet

Bind plants into a bouquet and hang inside the houses. This can be used for poultry, swine and ruminants.

Hanging bouquet