Now, granted it has not been replicated beyond these two studies far as I have found, but it is a start.
Considering the bias with regard to publishing trial results on drugs in general, I am going to remain cautiously optimistic. The video below is a bit off topic but explains quite well what I’m talking about and besides, the physician is an entertaining presenter.
With that being said, I am choosing to experiment with ginger for heartworm preventative.
So these two trials I mentioned were conducted using ginger as a heartworm preventative AS WELL AS a treatment for the actual disease for dogs. The first used alcoholic extracts of the herb which was injected subcutaneously (100 mg/kg) in dogs naturally infected with heartworm. There were 12 injections total.
This reduced microfilarial concentrations in the blood by 98%. WOW!
The second trial, in 1990 used aquaeous extracts and also found it to have microfilaricidal effects on heartworm. I didn’t see specific percentages of efficacy in the abstract however.
In 1990, it was also found to kill Anisakis larvae in the lab environment. Anisakiasis is a common parasitic infection in Japan largely from widespread consumption of raw seafood.
I did not find any studies done on humans however.
I find it pretty impressive.
Now, I don’t plan to use injections with my dogs. I am going to use oral administration of ginger for heartworm preventative since it would be easier for me and most people willing to give it a try.
It's considered pretty harmless when it comes to side effects when used in humans at reasonable doses. It has been used safely for thousands of years.
Very high doses however can affect normal blood clotting factors, causing abnormal bleeding and it also may affect blood pressure or fetal development, so I won’t be using it during my bitches’ pregnancies.
One study shows an effect of ginger on rat fetuses where there was "increased embryonic loss" (smaller litter) and more advanced skeletal development with increased weight of female fetuses.
So we will see how the number of puppies born per litter is effected.
Another study on humans showed no ill effects on the pregnancy with the use of ginger.
I have found ginger as a remedy for motion sickness in dogs to be:
For raw grated product give 3 times a day:
For capsules, give three times a day:
100 mg for every 25 lbs. (total 300 mg per day)
The dosage used in the 1987 trial for heartworm was 100 mg per kg of weight which would amount to about 1200 mg for an average 25 lb sheltie. Considerably higher.
But that was for treatment, not preventative. And I have no idea how they came up with that dosage.
I figure I would use a lower dose orally (maybe around 400-500 mg per dose) and monitor intestinal worm activity. I figure it would be a good starting place for using ginger for heartworm preventative.
You can obviously find raw ginger root at the grocery store, but if you are going to buy ginger extract, powder or capsules, you can purchase them online easily enough.
I avoid getting any herbs from the cooking isle in the grocery stores because I feel they are not as fresh as buying from an herb store. The Bulk Herb Store has a great selection of bulk herbs, books, and remedies. Articles, Research Aids and much more.
This is a total guess on my part. But if 12 injections can do the trick in the trials, I’m thinking either 2 weeks of oral supplement at the therapeutic dose, or a lower dose daily as a supplement.
So for me, maybe getting the powder and mixing it with applesauce and other mineral supplements I normally use would do the trick.