I get asked this question a lot, especially when it comes to the horses. In reality, back in 2006, when we were first researching and seeking a solution for our older equine patients with osteoarthritis, I thought I had a fix for every solution. The original formula we utilized was our EQ Plus product and based on the results we were seeing, I believed that the formula would provide relief for every patient. In reality, as time went by, I came to realize that each patient was an individual and despite the efficacy of the EQ Plus, there was a percentage that could be helped further and another percentage that didn’t require that strong of a formula. This is when we had to dig deep and begin to explore other options as I knew there had to be a solution.
I recently did an article discussing what chemist Linus Pauling referred to as “biochemical individuality“, which addresses the concept of different requirements for different people and animals. This overall idea is not new, but something that we often fail to realize and accept. In my education of Traditional Chinese Medicine, we were taught about individual variation and that no two people or animals are the same, despite similar conditions. Often there is a variation in the underlying health imbalance that needs to be addressed in unique ways.
As time went by, I began to address those patients that may not require the full effects of the EQ Plus formula for the long term, thus we created the EQ Green formula. This product provides lower levels of the herbs curcumin and boswellia, to address inflammation, but also provides more nutrititive herbs to help support overall health through natural sources of vitamins. In truth, many of our patients didn’t require the full effects of the EQ Plus, so I would start many of them with lower level health concerns on the EQ Green or down grade those horses on the EQ Plus to the EQ Green for the long term if possible, dependent on the condition being managed.
But yet, there were those horses that failed to respond to the EQ Plus that still needed to be addressed. Through experimentation, I began to realize that many of them would respond if the dose was increased, providing higher levels of inflammation support, but this created a cost factor for many as those herbs are expensive. Thus, our Pure EQ formula was born, providing a much higher levels of the Curcumin and Boswellia with targeted antioxidants to mange higher levels of inflammation. I use this formula often in our patients, but tend to downgrade them as they improve, moving down to the EQ Plus and then possibly down to the EQ Green for the long term, again dependent on the status of the patient.
There was still a group of horses that required further care and exploration; mainly those being burdened with metabolic or laminitic problems or even other health conditions. As I began to see more of these patients, especially laminitis, I began to formulate the theory that gastrointestinal health may be less than ideal in these cases. The evidence was before me as many of these patients were ‘easy keepers’ or had history of metabolic problems. Their hair coats were dull, had weakened tendons and poor hoof health. It all began to fit and it became obvious that despite being on an adequate diet, they weren’t absorbing nutrients, which was likely due to digestive problems and likely inflammation at the level of the gut. This scenario began to play true not only for the laminitic cases, but also uveitis, COPD, skin allergies and even some tendon or joint problems. I began to carefully scrutinize each patient looking for signs or pieces of the puzzle, then putting things together. Out of this, our EQ Total Support was born, which provided a needed level of relief for these patients, helping to manage their conditions even better than our other formulas.
The bottom line is that each of us, including our pets and horses, are different. Regardless of having similar health problems, sometimes the approach from one patient or horse or pet to another is different. We have to put those pieces of the puzzle together. We, as people, often just want one solution, one supplement or one medication to fix everything, but when we see the big picture, sometimes we begin to understand that many pieces of the body are damaged, not just one area. We begin to realize that the problem often goes beyond that one irritated joint or injured tendon. It is systemic and we have to get back to the root source of the problem.
The same approach that I have taken with our equine patients applies to humans and pets. One can take a simple approach or a more complex approach, realizing that the body is often deficient in many aspects.
In our companion pet and human lines, we have products that just manage inflammation (Pure SA or Human Pure), or products that also manage inflammation but provide other areas of support such as the immune system, cardiovascular and nutritive aspect (Cur-OST SA or Cur-OST Ultimate Human). Personally, I tend to take the more broad or complete approach in most cases, as the results can be much better.
Realizing that other areas of the body are often impacted as a result of inflammation, such as the immune system, I find that it is important to add in other formulas for additional support which would target immune health, even just for the short term in some cases. This would include our EQ Immune, SA Immune and HU Immune formulas. We use them routinely as adjuncts to therapy and I take them personally each day for overall health support.
Things are not complicated, but just aren’t as simple as what we would like them to be. Actually, the body is a complex structure, so to believe there is a quick fix or easy solution is improper thinking. I realized this many years ago and it holds true. I tend to find myself looking beyond the problem at hand, beyond the joint deterioration or the tendon injury or even the respiratory problems, instead trying to make a connection as to the cause of the problem. Even in cases of tendon injury, I feel there is a weakness present that allowed for that injury and if we can pinpoint it, then recovery is enhanced and future problems minimized. I feel there is a solution for every patient, no matter the species, which can improve health and make many conditions more manageable, but often we have to look deeper and analyze the patient for the best solution.
Chronic diseases are becoming more main stream in both human and veterinary fields, mainly due to the fact that we are living longer. Modern medicine offers little hope for relief in these situations and given this, we can chose to accept the problems as they are or we can chose to discover new options which might make them more manageable.
Even with the development of our Cur-OST® formulas, there is still much more that we can do to enhance health, but with this comes a willingness to learn and discover. It is not possible to create a formula that covers all aspects, again due to the fact that everyone is an individual and requirements are different. If we begin to learn and understand how nutrients and herbs can impact our health, and learn to read our bodies, then we can implement many things on our own as the need arises. This is one of the reasons as to why we sell bulk herbs and nutrients through Nouvelle Research. In many cases, they can be added to the daily regimen to enhance overall effects.
I hope this explains things a little better and opens up the door for understanding in my theories.
All my best,
Tom Schell, D.V.M
Nouvelle Research, Inc.