Garlic: Love it or Hate it
Some love to use garlic in all their cooking, while others hate its taste or its dependable recipe for bad breath. Beyond its culinary attributes, garlic also has a reputation as a potent antioxidant that contributes to boosting the immune system, lowering cholesterol, and keeping the heart healthy. This is due to the chemical compound allicin. Allicin happens to be the culprit that causes garlic's strong odor. Not surprisingly, it also acts as an insect repellent when a sufficient amount is in the system. As summertime approaches with its army of flies, you may want to consider garlic as the perfect summer "scent" for your horse to help ward off flying pests.
The Garlic Controversy
Just as garlic has its critics in the culinary world, it also has its critics in the horse health world. The criticism is directed to allicin, the same compound credited with all of garlic's health benefits. Skeptics claim that allicin can cause anemia, yet there have been no conclusive studies. Without supporting evidence, such warnings or guidelines of caution are not useful. Garlic is generally non toxic and has historically been ingested in large quantities by humans with happy results; just ask Emeril!
The Scoop on Garlic Supplements
The components of allicin can be damaged if heat processed, therefore most producers air-dry and crush the garlic to keep the supplement as close to its pure state as possible. There are several brands of garlic supplements on the market that may make life a little easier for your fly swatting friends. The most well-known are Springtime's Bug Off Garlic (air dried), Equilite Fly Away Garlic Supplements (cold processed), and Feedmark Clitheroe's Garlic (100% pure). The supplements are marketed as a fly repellent and for supporting healthy immune, respiratory and digestive systems.
Most products recommend one or two scoops (1-2 oz) as an effective quantity. This quantity is similar to normal human consumption when comparing the weight ratio of humans to horses.
Is It Really So Bad?
Garlic may not be so stinky after all, not when you think of what it can do. The fact that it may provide welcomed fly relief and health benefits with a few scoops a day may change your perception. And smelling garlic instead of a toxic chemical spray is another bonus that will make life healthier for you and your horse. It seems garlic is worth considering. Have you used a garlic product for fly relief? Let us know your experience in the comments section.
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