California Riding Magazine • October, 2009

Natural Plan Stomach Soother
A papaya a day keeps
nasty conditions at bay.

Everyone knows that papayas are delicious. For the last six years, Natural Plan Stomach Soother™ has embellished the exotic fruit’s reputation by proving its power to heal and prevent gastrointestinal problems in horses. Ulcer pain, low appetite, travel stress, diarrhea, cribbing, foal stress and trouble getting horses to take medications are among the conditions for which customers have found Stomach Soother a great help.

Papain is the active ingredient in papaya. An enzyme found in indigestion remedies, papain stimulates the production of mucous, which coats and soothes membranes of the esophagus and stomach, quiets inflammatory bowel syndrome, aids in protein digestion, and stimulates the appetite, explains the Highland Park, IL company’s Tim Burke. Stomach Soother was first made for humans. It migrated nicely to the equine world, where the horse’s notoriously delicate digestive system was a perfect candidate for this 100 percent natural product.

Burke first approached holistic veterinarians to introduce Natural Plan Stomach Soother to the horse world, where good results in the field got the product off to a great start. As it gained popularity among ever-wider circles of horse owners, Burke and other company representatives began attending American Association of Equine Practitioner events to educate the association’s members on papaya’s power. “Some of the more traditional vets rolled their eyes at first,” Burke recalls. “But once they sat down and took a look at the product’s usefulness, they got on board. I’d say we have a broad acceptance within the veterinary community.”

In addition to the papain enzyme, the papaya is packed with helpful vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, niacin, riboflavin and thiamin.

The company is picky about its papayas: only those grown in Hawaii make it into a Natural Plan Stomach Soother bottle. For general health maintenance purposes the recommended dosage for Natural Plan Stomach Soother is two ounces, twice a day. An oral dosing syringe is suggested for delivery, but most horses find the slightly apricoty taste appealing and consume it eagerly. That’s why it’s a popular way of deliverying less palatable medications like Butazolodine. In addition to tasting terrible, this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory is rough on the stomach lining, so delivering it with Stomach Soother is an extra wise move. The product is also effective with antibiotics, which can be tough to administer and often upset the digestive process when they arrive. “The horses don’t spit the pills out when they are given with Stomach Soother,” Burke explains. “And the product helps reduce cramping and diarrhea that antibiotics often produce.”

Success Stories

The product can be used on an ongoing basis, or to treat or prevent a problem. It is particularly useful in older horses whose digestive systems don’t work as well as they used to. Many customers put their horses on Natural Plan Stomach Soother before any change in routine, including competition or a different living arrangement mandated by an injury or illness. Because Natural Plan Stomach Soother is all natural, there are no ingredients that show up in medications tests at shows or endurance competitions, Burke adds.

Upper level eventer Ellen O’Connor became one of the product’s many fans after seeing its effect on a horse she was given who weighed just 40 pounds at birth and was in extremely poor condition. “As an adult he had a nervous disposition, poor appetite, and had shown digestive distress in the form of stretching out, trying to urinate, looking at his sides and digging in his stall,” she explains. “I have had him on Neigh-Lox and Gastrogard, but neither relieved all the symptoms. In particular we had difficulty resolving the appetite and nerve problems.

“Stomach Soother turned him right around,” O’Connor continues. “The digestive symptoms are gone, he has never had such a good appetite and he seems much calmer. His demeanor, appetite and overall sense of well-being have improved.

“This horse is currently competing at the intermediate level of eventing, preparing to do his first CCI and is showing no signs of stress,” reports O’Connor, who is also pleased with the product’s effect on a nervous 6-year-old Thoroughbred who became “noticeably calmer” on the papaya program. “Plus, my employees get a kick out of feeding it because the horses like it so much."

Distributed by equine health product supplier RJ Mathews, Natural Plan Stomach Soother is widely available in tack stores and can also be purchased online at For more information, visit the website or call 800-584-8642.