No, that's not some new text slang I learned from my teenagers!

After quite a long haul working toward this degree, I have completed my Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine
(GDVWHM) through the College of Integrative Therapies (CIVT). This was an intensive course working through botanical identification, chemical composition, traditional uses as well as scientifically verified medicinal actions, adverse reactions, herbal medicine making, quality control, and much more.

My final research project was a paper on herbal medicines for use in animal hospice and palliative care, joining two of the most important aspects of my veterinary services. One of my biggest take-away findings in writing this paper is that just about every medicinal plant that we use has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties to some degree. This makes sense as the plants use these qualities for their own healing and self-preservation. Many of these plants are used as food and teas and can be added into the diets of our animals for gentle support.

There are most certainly times when stronger medicines are needed and I definitely advocate for addressing any distressing clinical signs such as pain, nausea and other concerns with appropriate and timely treatments with pharmaceutical drugs. This is why I like the term "integrative medicine" where we can integrate multiple aspects of care for each individual patient.

I am very much looking forward to spring, planting my herb garden and getting to know the plants even better!