Dusty Miller for Cataracts? And Herbs for Animals?
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: BJ Wilcox
Posted on: July 18, 2002

I am just curious about this herb’s use for cataracts. I have not known Dusty Miller to be particularly "juicy". Do the drops used come directly from the plant - leaf or stem - or do you have to make an infusion to use.

Also, do any herbs have the same affect on animals as they do people - medicinally speaking?

The Richters catalogue reference for the use of Dusty Miller in cataracts is from M. Grieve’s "A Modern Herbal". Grieve gives no details.

Plant juices are made by mashing the herbs, and squeezing the pulp through a fine cloth. Large quantities of herb are needed to produce a juice.

Plants for a Future Database (http://www.ibiblio.org/pfaf/cgi-bin/arr_html?Senecio+cineraria) says of Dusty Miller’s ophthalmic use:

The fresh juice of the leaves is ophthalmic. Applied to the eyes it has a mildly irritating effect that increases blood flow tot he area, helping to strengthen resistance and clear away infections[254]. One or two drops put into the eyes is said to be of use in removing cataracts and also in the treatment of conjuctivitis[4, 61, 100, 254]. This remedy should only be used under the supervision of a trained practitioner[254].

The plant contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids which are highly toxic to the liver so the plant should not be used internally[254]

The above citation details are:

[4] Grieve M. A Modern Herbal

[61] Usher. G. A Dictionary of Plants Used by Man. Constable 1974 ISBN 0094579202

[100] Polunin. O. Flowers of Europe - A Field Guide. Oxford University Press 1969 ISBN 0192176218

[254]Chevallier. A. The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants Dorling Kindersley. London 1996 ISBN 9-780751-303148

Yes, herbs have similar medicinal effects with animals as with humans. There are many good herbals for animals. Richters catalogue includes Juliette de Bairacli Levy’s classics "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" and "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat", Randy Kidd’s "Herbal Cat Care" and "Herbal Dog Care" and "The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care by C.J. Puotinen.

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