Terpenes, Cows and Sagebrush
This is sort of interesting, in a magazine, called "Beef", it's about beef cattle, there is an article in there about grazing cows on Sage Brush. Within this, it makes mention that once you get the cows to knowing that they can eat the brush, they do pretty good on it. Then it makes mention that during certain times of the year the cows won't eat the brush because of.... what??? Because of the secondary compoundscalled Terpenes. Where have you heard that from, the essential oil thing, right? The terpenes are there to serve as a natural plant defense to discourage grazing and that during the fall and winter those terpenes are at the lowest
levels, so the cows will graze on the brush whereas during other times of the year the levels are high and they won't graze. So several things can be learned from this. One being that at various times of the year certain compounds of plants can or will be at different concentration levels and as such when all is said and done the oils can or could have variations what they have to offer based on harvest times and such. They still have to supplement the cows with
some other feed, IE they still have to eat "food".
They also make note that the cows will eat the bark off of the brush as well. The article talks about some other stuff that I sort of thing is a duh But now for a practical application of the whole, notwithstanding the scientific aspect parts. From experience, the brush is better than nothing and has a direct relationship to how hungry the cows are, IE the hungrier the cows are the more brush they will eat. They don't eat the brush in the spring and summer because they have "other" options that taste better than sagebrush. But I have seen them eat the various brush plants for self medicating purposes at any time of the year. What are some for the other reasons? Sagebrush has properties that are excellent for anti-parasite purposes.
So what is the bottom line of this little story??? On one hand, you can explain all day long, or until the cows come home, about this or that reason as to a given why. You can use all sorts of points to prove this or that to come to this or that conclusion. But when all is said and done we are discussing the essential oils and they can play a part in a whole program in helping you. The poor old cows don't have the ability to use the oils as we humans do, so they get them the only way they can. By eating what is there for them and when they need a terpene they can and will eat the sagebrush that contains them.
So bottom line.. cows are pretty astute, they know where to get certain types of medication when they need them. Sometimes, we as well, we have been trained, and sometimes comes up a little short on the knowing part. So when we find ourselves in this situation, we educate
ourselves, as we are doing here.