Efficacy of herbal tincture as treatment option for retained placenta in dairy cows

Anim Reprod Sci. 2014 Feb;145(1-2):23-8. doi: 10.1016/j.anireprosci.2013.12.018. Epub 2014 Jan 10.


Retained placenta remains therapeutic challenge in cattle. Certain traditional medicines are believed to be able to alleviate retained placenta condition and improve overall fertility in cows. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of an herbal tincture for treatment of retained placenta. The herbal tincture was extracted from a combination of Herba Leonuri, Angelicae Sinensis Radix, Flos Carthami, Myrrha and Rhizoma Cyperi by percolation with 70% ethanol to a concentration of 0.5g crude herb/ml. Cows diagnosed with retained placenta (n=48) were randomly divided into one of two treatment groups (A and B), with animals in group A (n=26) receiving herbal tincture orally, and cows in group B (n=22) receiving oxytetracycline infusion into the uterus. Eighty six cows with no clinically visible pathological conditions, given birth alone and with no retained placenta diagnosis were included into control group (C). Retained placenta was expelled within 72h following initial treatment in 19 cows in group A, yet no cows in group B were recorded to expel placenta in the same time. The median number of days to first service (70.0 vs. 102.5 days; P<0.05) and median number of days open (76.0 vs. 134.0 days; P<0.01) were lower in group A than in group B. Percentage of cows pregnant within 100 days postpartum was the highest for animals in group A compared to controls (61.5% vs. 39.5%, P<0.05), and for animals in group B (61.5% vs. 22.7%; P<0.01). Herbal tincture used in the present study might facilitate expulsion of retained placenta and improve subsequent fertility, thus could present effective treatment option for retained placenta in cows.

Keywords: Dairy cow; Herbal therapy; Retained placenta; Tincture; Traditional Chinese veterinary medicine.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Angelica sinensis
  • Animals
  • Cattle Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Cattle*
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / administration & dosage
  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Fertility / drug effects
  • Phytotherapy / veterinary*
  • Placenta, Retained / drug therapy*
  • Placenta, Retained / veterinary
  • Postpartum Period / drug effects
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Rate
  • Pregnancy, Animal*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Drugs, Chinese Herbal
  • angelicae sinensis extract