Are Horse Liniments Safe For Humans?


For over a hundred years horse liniments have been used to treat horse ailments such as muscle aches, joint pain and even arthritis. Horse seem to suffer from many of the same conditions that human do.

Since humans descended from mammals eons ago and horse are mammals their body structure are somewhat similar. Obviously a human will not be mistaken for a horse but with ligaments, tendons and joints they will suffer from pain associated with strains, sprains, muscle aches and joint pain.

This is especially true with horse that are used for jumping, racing and even the ranch horse that spends a lot of time on the trails. Human who are very athletic are also prone to injuries that horse get! The muscles and tendons work the same on both species and when over worked react the same resulting in pain.

Most of the pain is caused by inflammation of the particular ligaments & tendons that have suffered the injury is minor in nature and can be treated with ice, rest and stretching when the inflammation has subsided.

If the injury is of a minor nature then many breeders and racing horse owners will apply liniment to the affected area to speed the healing process. The key point for humans is to read the label of any equine liniment before using it. Make it a point to read the ingredient label on the horse liniment container.

Always look for equine liniments that contain natural botanical based herbs and essential oils and. Do not use any horse care products that contain DMSO which is an ingredient found in many horse liniments and is not approved by the FDA for human use. DMSO absorbs through the skin into the bloodstream, carrying with it any chemicals and synthetic preservatives that are contained in the horse care product.

Since the horse is obviously a larger animal that humans it can tolerate higher concentrations of DMSO even though it may cause adverse health effects to horses and I myself would stay clear of any usage of horse care products that contain DMSO.

In fact, my recommendation would be to use only an all natural equine liniment that has no synthetic compounds or artificial preservatives that may compromise your horse’s long term health.

The only effective all natural horse products are those that have herbal compounds and essential oils as their main ingredients. These oils and herbal compounds are effective for minor strains, sprains, muscle aches and joint pains. The differences in the various products on the market will be the exact type of botanical compounds and essential oils and their concentration.

Some companies that make all natural equine products are Equine Natural Horse Liniment, Chapman’s Premium Horse Liniment & Dr. Fleming’s Miracle Horse Liniment.

All of these companies adhere to the all natural approach in terms of ingredients which can include arnica, capsicum, eucalyptus, menthol, witch hazel and even sweet birch. Look carefully at the labels to see what is in each horse care product.

The equine care product with the most all natural ingredients seems to be Dr. Fleming’s Miracle Horse Liniment even though the nae conjures up the image of some type of snake oil. It seems to be a very viable horse liniment despite its catchy product name.

Now if a human wants to use one of these products I would suggest diluting the liniment down to the individual tolerance of the user. The easiest way to dilute a horse liniment is to add a carrier oil to the mixture such as grape seed oil, safflower oil and even a high grade olive oil. These oils are light enough to mix well with the horse liniment and not affect the liniment itself. The liniment should be thoroughly mixed before using it and it may be necessary to dilute it several times before it can be used.

The main point is that humans can use horse liniments but the recommendation would be to use only all natural horse care products.

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