Another quick entry! I promised to share this recipe earlier today, on Facebook; I frequently refer to the “medicine cookies” I make for Danny and a few folks have asked for the recipe. I’m happy to share, as this is more a method than a recipe and you can use it in a variety of ways. That means; the flour can be changed (or partially changed, see below) and the herbs you add can vary according to your dog. What I am using now is of course, geared to Danny’s needs; but you needn’t stick with this at all.
In our case, the herbs/fungi of choice reflect Danny’s advanced age, digestive sensitivities and his GOLPP (Geriatric Onset Laryngeal Paralysis and Polyneuropathy). I have clients using the recipe with anxious dogs, also heart disease and cancer, primarily, as well as a tonic/preventive for older dogs; recipes for dogs with bladder stones, liver or kidney disease, allergies and IBD need to be specifically geared to those conditions.
If you’re unsure which herbs to add, feel free to post a question here, or on the Facebook group, or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are also numerous herbal articles on the blog that can help.
2 cups flour – I use 100% almond, but it is high fat/high oxalate so not a good choice for dogs with bladder stones or pancreatitis. You can use rice, wheat, oat flour in any combination, alone or with the almond flour, as you prefer
1Tbsp Ceylon cinnamon
4 Tbsps powdered herb* (I use 2 Tbsps astragalus root, and 2 Tbsps Lion’s Mane mushroom powder (from Harmonic Arts; there are other good ones)
2 beaten eggs
2 Tbsps maple syrup or honey
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees
All you do is beat the eggs and honey, then add to the dry mixture, which should also be blended well with a whisk. Stir to form a wet dough; it will be sticky, so a half hour in the fridge helps make it easier to handle.
Roll the dough into balls of the size you prefer (weighing it in grams can help, 35 grams makes for about 12 cookies if using almond flour) and place onto a parchment lined baking sheet- flatten with your hand or a fork. You can make 8, 10, 12 cookies as you prefer – more, for a smaller dog. The size determines the number you need to give to meet your goals for the herb. One Tbsp = 3 tsps, so if you use 4 Tbsps herb, and make 12 cookies,your pup will get one tsp herb per cookie. I want my dog – who weighs 85 pounds – to get a bit more, so I make 8 cookies and feed one per day. If you have a smaller dog, make 24 cookies. This is where you may need my help with dosing, if using an herb other than the ones in this recipe.
Bake them gently – about 15 -20 minutes, and turn once at the ten minute mark. You don’t want these cookies overbaked or crunchy.
Allow to cool, store in a dry cupboard or refrigerate if using over more than a week.
Lion’s mane mushroom, Hericium erinaceus
supports brain and nerve health
Again – I chose astragalus and Lion’s mane specifically for my own dog and recommend them generally for older dogs/dogs with CCD or GOLPP. Here is a brief overview of astragalus:Astragalus
With any medicinal mushroom product, you can use the label directions. I aim for at least 1/2 tsp daily of Lion’s mane with Danny. Smaller dogs of course will need less.
Other Herbs to Consider
The main thing here is to use herbs that can be called tonics – and be mindful of flavour. Turmeric,for example, will need to be given in higher doses and may taste pretty vile in this recipe (but you can use ginger and a little black pepper and taste it)!
Some I have used include
…and assorted small additions of various spices to boost or complement the main herbs (you can see a lot of relaxing nervines and adaptogens here).
You can always use other mushrooms of course – until recently I used a Dual extracted Five mushroom Blend (from Harmonic Arts) but have moved to Lion’s Mane as the featured fungi right now. I’ll add the blend back in after a few weeks.
Some to consider include reishi, maitake, turkey tail, cordyceps, shiitake, and chaga. (Look for a mushroom differential coming very soon).
I have found that fruitier or sour herbs like hawthorn, rose hips, bilberry etc don’t match well with this recipe and I get those into dogs via glycerites, or burying capsules in super yummy treats like ground lamb or tripe.
So please experiment, and watch doses – and feel free to ask my about this, I’m happy to help.