Plant extracts (phytogenics) are a group of natural growth promoters (NGPs) derived from herbs, spices or other plants. Essential oils represent a concentrated form of phytogenics, containing mainly the active ingredients of the plants.
Plant extracts or herbal supplements could be beneficial for horses. In a clinical trial involving 74 trotting horses, LitoVet, a rose hip powder manufactured specifically for animals by HybenVital in Denmark, had an anti-inflammatory effect and improved performance in supplemented horses. Supplemented horses were administered 210 g of the powder with their food once daily for three months.
Results revealed that supplemented horses trotted faster over 1,000 meters and were more lithe after strenuous exercise compared to the placebo group. In addition, supplemented horses had significant alterations in three separate measures of anti-inflammatory activity than the placebo group. The researchers concluded that these results, together with studies performed in humans, support the use of rose hip preparations in to decrease pain, inflammation, and improve mobility in horses with osteoarthritis.
More information on plants extracts: AllAbout Plant Extracts