By Guest Blogger: Karen Wehrstein, Homeopath journalist
Sprouting is a method of fully unlocking the nutritional potential of a seed. Basically, before germination, a seed is designed to protect what’s inside it from whatever is outside — whether that’s bacteria in soil or the digestive processes of a creature that has ingested it. That means that many animals-including dogs — can’t digest and get all the nutrients out of ungerminated seeds or grains.
On germination, two key things happen. First, the protective coating of the seed no longer has to serve its purpose and decreases the impact of the main ingredient-phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that cancels out other nutrients. Second, the seed’s metabolism swings into action for growth, increasing the amounts of crucial nutrients — vitamins, probiotics, enzymes and antioxidants — exponentially.
Actually there’s a third benefit too: germination transforms indigestible fiber into digestible, improving colon health. (This is in part why, when transitioning to a dog food containing sprouted seeds, you might see alterations in your pooch’s fecal output. It’s the colon cleaning itself out.)
But when a seed sprouts, there is also a burst of life — energy — the invisible but powerful force behind growth, healing and the processes of life itself.
The therapeutic potential of that special property, along with the nutritional aspects of sprouts, shoots and buds, was first investigated in the late 1950s by a team Belgian and French doctors, who conducted a series of clinical trials on humans and animals both. That research led to the establishment of gemmotherapy, a branch of herbal medicine, which is widespread in Europe and gradually gaining traction in North America.
Gemmotherapy remedies are excellent for detoxification (the elimination of wastes and toxins from the system when natural detoxification functions break down or are overloaded) and are used by many practitioners to aid specific organs of detoxification, such as the liver, kidneys and intestines. (More on the importance and results of detox for dogs in a future blog post.) But they also have broader healing properties, too many to list.
So it’s not just the super-charged nutrition of sprouted seeds that you’re getting in a dog diet such as Carna4 — it’s the life energy of the plant at its most intense burst of growth. Is that going to be good for your canine pal? Whether she’s a sprouting pup or he’s an old boy you’d like to keep young longer — or any age in between — you bet.
Karen Wehrstein is a journalist, novelist and Homeopath, who lives on 30 wooded acres in Muskoka with two sons, three cats and two dogs, a Rottweiler-German Shepherd cross named Congo and her daughter Kirby, a Labrador Retriever cross. Karen has been doing research on health and wellness issues since 1995, when she discovered homeopathy.