Spezielle Optimierungen für den Internet Explorer 11 stehen noch an. Bitte nutzen Sie derweil zur besseren Ansicht einen aktuelleren Browser wie z.B. Firefox, Chrome

Prophylactic and therapeutic use of medicinal plants and natural products in calves and piglets


Healthy calves and piglets are the basis for an efficient livestock husbandry. The immune system is still immature in the first weeks after birth and therefore, contact to unknown antigens often results in high morbidity and mortality in young animals. Antibiotic therapy is often the first line therapy of infectious diseases of the gastrointestinal and respiratory tract in calves and piglets. With regard to increasing antimicrobial resistance worldwide, the prevailing issue of reducing antibiotics in food producing animals is seeking after novel options to prevent and cure most common and costly diseases. The multi causal and multi symptomatic complex of gastrointestinal and respiratory diseases in calves and piglets demands for a multi-target therapy. Medicinal plants often show broad characteristics based on their multi-component composition and can lead to pleiotropic, synergistic or additive impacts in organisms.
The aims of this project are

i) to identify plants or plant extracts that are promising candidates for use in veterinary medicine, especially in infectious diseases and diseases of the gastrointestinal and the respiratory tract in calves and piglets. Candidate plants should bear a reliable potential for economic and effective treatment and prevention of these diseases.

ii) to measure the effect of plants likely to stimulate the immune system in a clinical trial with fattening calves

iii) to establish a clinical score to evaluate the effects of medicinal plants in post-weaning piglets compared to a placebo group and a reference treatment group.

Financing/ Donor


(Research) Program
  • Migros
Project partners
  • Prof. Dr. Meike Mevissen, Veterinär-Pharmakologie und Toxikologie, Department of Clinical Research and Veterinary Public Health, Vetsuisse-Fakultät, Universität Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Heiko Nathues und Dr. vet. med. Niels Grützner PhD, Schweineklinik, Departement für klinische Veterinärmedizin, Vetsuisse-Fakultät, Universität Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Martin Kaske, Ambulanz und Bestandesmedizin, Departement für Nutztiere, Vetsuisse-Fakultät Universität Zürich
FiBL project leader/ contact
FiBL project staff
Role of FiBL

Projektleitung und -durchführung

Further information

Ayrle, Hannah; Mevissen, Meike; Kaske, Martin; Nathues, Heiko; Häsler, Stephan, Walkenhorst, Michael (2015) Phytotherapie für Tiere – ein fast in Vergessenheit geratenes Potential? VSH-Bulletin, April 2015 (1/2), pp. 51-52

Research area
FiBL project number 50054
Date modified 12.11.2019
Back to the overview / search