Ethnoveterinary Medicine for Diarrhea in Cattle

Ethnoveterinary medicine are used extensively and quite effectively for diarrhea treatment and to make cattle productive and healthy.

Symptoms of Diarrhea

  • Defecation more frequent than normal.
  • Loose feces that sometimes contain blood, mucus or both.
  • Dry skin.
  • Hindquarters are soiled.
  • Animal stops chewing cud.
  • Animal has dull and sunken eyes and does not move energetically.


  • Sudden change in diet (especially from dry fodder diet to green fodder).
  • Intestinal parasites like amoeba.
  • Bacterial and viral diseases.
  • Contaminated water.
  • Overeating.


  • Good hygiene and nutrition.
  • Proper husbandry practices such as giving clean feed and water, keeping animal quarters and surroundings clean, etc.
  • Do not graze the animal immediately after a rain or too early in the morning before the dew has dried.
  • Do not provide drinking water immediately after giving legumes and green fodder as feed.
  • Deworm the animals regularly.
  • Watch out for —bloody, foul smelling, shooting diarrhea with high fever that affects many animals in the village.
  • If there is chronic diarrhea with wasting away and no response to treatment, seek professional help.

Treatment of Diarrhea

Provide a soft, pulpy diet to animals with diarrhea. It is necessary to make the animal drink extra liquid to replace the liquid lost in the diarrhea. Diarrhea that lasts for 2 to 3 days may cause dehydration. This can lead to shock and then death. It is, therefore, necessary to make the animal drink more liquid.

Use any of the following drenches. The dosages of the treatments given below are for adult cattle or buffaloes :

  • Dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt and 4 teaspoons of sugar in 1 liter of water. Drench 2-3 times a day as needed. Continue giving the treatment for as long as the diarrhea lasts.
  • Boil I handful of tea leaves in 1 liter of water. Strain, and add 1/2 handful of ground ginger rhizome to the liquid. Drench twice a day for 3-4 days.
    Grind 1/2 handful of fresh ginger rhizome and 1/2 handful of bishop’s weed (Trachyspermum ammi) seeds. Add this mixture and a handful of tea leaves to I liter of water and boil. Cool. Drench half of the amount in the morning and half of the amount in the evening. Repeat the next day until the diarrhea stops.
  • Give the water from cooked rice mixed with 1 g of dried ginger rhizome powder to the animal to drink. Repeat 2 times a day. Give half the quantity for sheep and goats.
  • Drench 500 ml to 1000 ml of young coconut water twice a day until the diarrhea stops.
    Some treatments to help stop diarrhea are described below. As before, use half the dosages given below for calves, sheep and goats. Continue the treatment for as long as the diarrhea lasts.
  • Mix 1 handful each of bishop’s weed (Trachyspermum ammi) seeds, dried or fresh ginger rhizome and cumin
    (Cuminum cyminum) seeds with 1/2 handful fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seed powder. Mix with 50 g brown sugar to make bolus and feed by mouth twice a day for 2-3 days.
  • Boil 1/2 kg of fresh guava (Psidium guajava) leaves in 3 glasses of water. Drench twice a day.
  • Boil about 20 fresh star apple (Chrysophyllum cainito) leaves in 2 cups of water. Drench 3 times a day for 1-3 days.
  • Grind coconut shell charcoal to a powder. Mix 1 cup with 500 ml of water. Drench 3 times a day for 3 days.
  • Mix 5 to 10 crystals of potassium permanganate in 1 liter of water. Drench twice a day.
  • Drench the animal with any of the following ingredients in the amounts indicated, mixed in 300 to 400 ml of water: powdered chalk (4 g), kaolin earth (5 g), or potassium aluminum sulfate crystals (0.8 g).
  • Crush 15 g each of the young fruits and roots of Momordica charantia to obtain the juice. Mix the juice into 1 liter of young coconut water and drench once a day for 3 days.
  • Prepare a decoction of 10 to 15 leaves of Psidium guajava in 1 liter of water. Divide the liquid in 3 equal doses and give 3 doses per day for 5 days.


Some further treatments to stop diarrhea are presented in the following table. All plant parts used in the treatments are dried and ground to powder form. Mix the dosage of indicated with 300 to 400 ml of water and drench with this amount twice a day for 3-5 days or as long as the diarrhea lasts.
Scientific name Common name Parts used Dosage
Acacia catechu Catechu Sap lumps 0.8 9
Aegle marmelos Bael fruit Dried, ripe fruit 1.0 9
Cyperus rotundus Nut grass Dried roots 1.0 9
Holarrhena antidysenterica Kurchi Dry seeds and bark 3.0 9
Veronica anthelmintica Purple Dry seeds 3.0 9

Dr Rajesh Kumar Singh, Jamshedpur, Jharkhand, India
Mo:9431309542, Email:[email protected]

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