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Crafts-Min Spice Pack

November 18, 2019

Crafts-Min Spice Pack

The science behind it, and how you can use it.

By Will Winter, DVM

By now, almost everyone is familiar with the use of herbs and spices to enhance the flavor of virtually all food, and it's a blessing that has been passed down through the ages. However, most people have no idea about how or why it began in the first place. Salt and pepper, well that's obvious, but how about thyme, rosemary, sage, garlic and others? Believe it or not, every herb and spice has a medicinal effect as well as flavor. In fact, in every country with a hot climate (this was before refrigeration and freezing became available) they use spices to protect food, especially meat from spoiling. In Mexico, for example, the hot peppers are critical for food safety. In India, another extremely hot country, the early people discovered the protective value of the "Curry spices" (primarily cumin, turmeric, coriander, chili pepper, and cinnamon). Meanwhile, in Europe, the early people discovered the protective value of thyme, garlic, sage, rosemary and others. European Gypsies were known to plant these medicinal herbs wherever they wandered. Even now, in modern times, we have come to know the additional pleasure from the seasonings that go beyond just food preservation, even though it's still very good insurance against food poisoning. All the other medicinal benefits still apply as well!

This brings us to the addition of medicinal herbs and spices for domestic livestock. Most animals, even though long domesticated, still have a palate for spicy herbs growing in the pasture; wild animals even more so. They will seek it, especially if stressed, parasitized or feeling unwell. However, our livestock are no longer free to migrate or to roam afar to distant fields. As if that weren't bad enough, virtually all current pastures and hay fields have been stripped of hundreds of indigenous plants, most often replaced by their weaker and significantly less-medicinal commercial cousins. Sadly, there hasn’t been much university type research about how these general medicinal principles of herbology apply to various species, but pure empirical logic still applies. One can also find more information about all this in the classic livestock textbook "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm and Stable" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy (first published in 1952).

So, here’s what we have done at Grass Farmer Supply. We have spiced up the top-selling, and most highly-rated livestock mineral CRAFTS-MIN ORGANIC with all the most important spices to make an optional version of the best mineral mix. Everything else in Crafts-min Original stays the same; the high levels of essential minerals, the kelp, the vitamins and the strong 1:1 Ca:P ratio.

The Best Spices...

CAYENNE PEPPER: We chose to add the best organic cayenne that we could find. It rates at above 30,000 Scoville heat units, which is a measurement of an active and powerfully medicinal ingredient known as Capsaicin. Not only does this kind of pepper add flavor, which cattle surprisingly like (in moderation), it is also widely known to protect those who eat it from the damages of super-hot temperatures. Cayenne helps bring blood circulation to the extremities which, like a radiator, cools the blood and helps all the functions work better. This is critical for all cattle as their ideal ambient temperature for optimal production is somewhere between 30F to 70F degrees. Anything above 77F degrees causes stress and lowered production graduating to danger and death in extreme temperatures, say above 90F. Cayenne is a digestive tonic as well, improving utilization of protein and energy, and, since it moves lymph and digestive juices it has been scientifically proven to help heal and detoxify an overloaded liver (say following pregnancy or lactation). Pepper seems to help protect the lungs as well as the digestive tract, including lowering infection rates, and research has shown that hot peppers, when taken daily, tend to be quite anti-parasitic, for both internal and external types. Interestingly, since the hot peppers improve circulation to the extremities, the ears, tail, scrotum, and feet, we believe it to be helpful against poor circulation problems as “fescue foot”, all forms of foot rot (which is caused in the beginning by poor blood circulation, the germs come later), frostbite and tissue loss, and clogged blood flow to the mammary glands (mastitis), or uterus (metritis, or not cleaning properly after parturition).

PURE ORGANIC CINNAMON: Much of our research comes from bovine dairy science. These animals are by far the hardest working animals on the farm, with stunning outputs that are often wired by genetic selection and ration formulation to go far beyond anything found in nature. Therefore, they get sick, acidosis, mold toxins and excess nitrogen in the blood and milk in the form of ammonia. However, everything that dairy cattle can experience applies directly to all ruminants, including all beef cattle, sheep, goats, camelids, and others. Cinnamon has been shown to correct ammonia levels as well as an “antibiotic effect” especially for gram negative pathogens. The digestion is so much improved as to see a significant reduction in methane, a carbon chemical that we need to convert to milk and meat.

ORGANIC GINGER ROOT: This “hot” root is a relative of turmeric, cardamom, and other tasty and protective herbs. Most people associate taking ginger to prevent nausea or indigestion, and yet there are many other avenues of health benefit. Ginger has been said by many to be perhaps the most versatile and healing of all the known herbs. There are books written just about the benefits of ginger root. The most bioactive ingredient, Gingerol is well-studied and has been proven to lower the risk of infections, including viral infections (which antibiotics can’t even touch). Many people take ginger root to lower pain and inflammation from osteoarthritis as well as muscle pain and soreness. There is no reason to not believe that a daily dose of ginger root would be of great benefit to working bulls, livestock horses, and the cow herd.


After searching extensively for commercial sources of organic spices, we believe that we have discovered the strongest, purest and most powerful varieties of these medicinal herbs. We have experimented with the exact dosage to be effective without disturbing the delicate and delicious flavors of the Crafts-Min formula. It is typically offered free choice just as with the original formula. Some producers have used the spice pack version as they come into the hot season, such as producers in areas that tend to have predominately hot weather; California, Georgia, Texas, Mexico, or the other southern states. If you, like us, live in the Northern climate, we use it basically year-round as well, protecting us from both hot and cold weather extremes. We believe this formulation to be great “health insurance” against all the bizarre weather patterns that have been plaguing us coast to coast!

Maci Maier

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