By Brian Puterman
Homeopathy appears on the surface to be almost mystical in
concept. The idea of an ďimprintĒ of a medicine and that its potency is
derived from its vibrational energy is not an easy theory to digest. But the
results can be quite dramatic while the risks are minimal if not negligible.
With that in mind itís easy to see why so many people are trying this
non-intrusive, gentle yet powerful form of alternative medicine. Many
holistic veterinarians use homeopathic remedies in concert with other forms
of medicine. The word Homeopathy is taken from the Greek words homoios,
meaning like or similar, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease.
Homeopathy is a system of medical therapeutics for treating people and
animals based on the principle of "similaeĒ. The great homeopathic principle
is "Similia similibus curentur," meaning "Let like be treated by like."
Essentially, the idea is that a substance that causes a symptom in a healthy
patient will treat that same symptom in a sick patient.
Homeopathy finds its roots documented in the writings of
Hippocrates (470-400 B.C.), the "Father of Medicine". He believed that
healing is found in the methods of "contraries" and "similars.Ē Hippocrates
wrote, "Disease is eliminated through remedies able to produce similar
symptoms." German pharmacist and medical translator Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
(1755-1843) later rediscovered these ideas through a process of
experimentation and scientific invention. He is primarily responsible for
what we call Homeopathic medicine today. Dr. Hahnemann showed that
homeopathic principles of simile and potency could cure typhoid and cholera
better than the conventional medicine of the day. Dr. Hahnemann himself
healed 180 cases of typhus with only one fatality. In the same town, out of
1500 patients treated by conventional methods, 55% of the patients died. In
1854 in Britain, a cholera epidemic was brought to a halt in homeopathic
hospitals with only a 16.4% death rate as compared to that of traditional
hospitals which had a staggering 51.8% death rate using conventional
medicine. Homeopathic medicine and the principle of simile was protected by
the British Parliament and later protected by the United States Congress as
a practical and legitimate method of medical practice.
In treating pets, a specific homeopathic remedy is chosen
to treat mental, emotional and physical symptoms -- in other words the whole
animal. In allopathic medicine the symptoms are suppressed or relieved with
drugs like antibiotics or painkillers. There are times when antibiotics are
essential, but homeopathy acts to stimulate the bodyís immune system to
fight disease before it happens and as a consequence leaves the animal in a
better state of health.
In homeopathic medicine a group of recognizable symptoms
is known as a miasm. These miasms can be treated with specific remedies that
gradually heal the body and free it from the effects of the miasm. In
practice, a homeopathic remedy will be prescribed for your individual pet
and over a period of time (which varies according to how serious the
condition is) there should be a gradual return to health and well-being.
Your pet will have more energy and a diminishing of disease symptoms until
all disease is eliminated. Other benefits of this type of treatment include
a shiny coat, more balanced emotions, better teeth, and freedom from
diseases such as chronic ear infections and skin allergies. Homeopathy is
not an overnight process and will take some time and commitment from both
the veterinarian and the animal caretaker.
Homeopathic remedies are extremely diluted substances, so
much so in fact that the original substance may be undetectable. Only the
impression of the original material is left. Homeopathic remedies can be
derived from plant, minerals or animal preparations. A process known as
ďprovingĒ has detailed and confirmed homeopathic remedies. The first
homeopathic remedy to be proven in this way was Cinchona or Peruvian bark.
Hahnemann realized that the effects of taking it were the same as the
effects of malaria, which it was used to treat. He then supposed that this
might also be the case for other substances and began to branch out his
experiments. He even tried to dilute more toxic substances to evaluate the
effects without poisoning his assistants and family. What he discovered was
that the effects of the more diluted substances became more potent without
having as many side effects. He developed a system of dilution and shaking
called succussion that appeared to increase the potency of the remedy and
eliminate any unwanted effects. Hahnemann created a number of potencies,
where each dilution involved mixing one part of the substance to ninety-nine
parts of water and alcohol. This resulted in a 1 C potency. One drop of this
dilution is taken and diluted in ninety-nine parts of water. This results in
a 2 C potency (C = one hundredth part). The number of times the substance is
diluted results in the dilution, thus a 200 C has been diluted to one in a
hundred parts 200 times. A vital part of the process that Hahnemann
discovered was the shaking or succussion which is done between every
dilution. This is often carried out by machine, but was originally done by
hand. The higher the dilution the more potent the remedy becomes. Remedies
are available as high as 50 million dilutions. More recent theories suggest
that somehow the dilution and vigorous shaking super-charges the water
molecule and this is what affects the body and brings about healing. The
homeopathic remedy that most closely matches the symptoms of the animal or
person will act as a trigger to the body and stimulate better health.
In its near two hundred year history there has never been
a single recorded instance or case of overdosing on Homeopathics. Despite
the pharmacological effects, because these substances are diluted to such a
large degree, overdosing is really quite impossible even though the FDA
considers Homeopathics over-the-counter Ďmedicinesí. Homeopathy had been
considered a legitimate form of medical intervention by the U.S. congress
long before the FDA was even a governmental agency.
Initially when a homeopathic remedy is taken nothing may
appear to happen. In acute conditions the effect is much more rapid, and
after a short time some improvement may be noted. One important thing to
look out for is a slight worsening of the symptoms for a short while,
followed by improvement. This is simply the healing reaction of the body,
and is a good sign that the correct remedy was chosen. Acute illnesses are
really eruptions of underlying chronic problems. In this case chronic
treatment is often the best way to address the real root of the problem
preventing further episodes of acute disease.
Often there are various layers of disease that need to be
addressed in order to recover the whole, healthy animal beneath. Sometimes
drugs and vaccinations may contribute to chronic disease in animals, and the
effects often need to be removed from the body before a disease can truly
respond. You can also administer an appropriate holistic remedy to counter
the effects of vaccination when one has to be given.
Some things to keep in mind when handling homeopathic
remedies are to try not to touch the solution before it is administered.
There is always a chance that there may be something on your hands that
could deactivate the remedy and prevent it from working. Because of the
energetic nature of homeopathic remedies, they are very sensitive to
electromagnetic fields so they must be kept away from televisions,
microwaves, magnets, stereo speakers or anything else that might emit an
energy field. Itís best to keep the solution from experiencing extreme cold
or heat. Even strong odors like menthol, peppermint, coffee, essential oils
or other chemicals can alter the remedies action on the body. These
substances should be avoided when a homeopathic remedy is being administered
to either you or your pets. Intense light may also affect the remedies so it
is best to store them in a cool, dry place away from light. Donít consume
food or water fifteen to thirty minutes before or after the remedy is
administered. When using a liquid dropper try not to touch it to the mouth
as this also may contaminate the remedy. Itís best not to repeat a remedy
too soon -- in an acute situation one dose every four hours is average. As a
general rule of thumb it is best to wait until improvement ceases, then
repeat the treatment. If subsequent doses are given too soon, this can
counteract any previous beneficial action of the remedy. Itís also
recommended that you not give more then one remedy at a time. The
effectiveness of the remedy is dependant upon the vital force or Qi of the
patient, the potency of the remedy, the specific remedy that was given, as
well as the severity of the disease. Itís important to be a good observer
and have some patience when it comes to homeopathy.
We all know the effects of peeling an onion. These effects
also happen to be very similar to the symptoms of acute coryza or flu-like
cold. The homeopathic remedy prepared from Allium Cepoa or red onion is used
to treat this kind of cold. Here are some other types of homeopathic
remedies based on the very same principles.
Arcenicum (arsenic): Used to
Calceria fluorica (fluorspar
or fluoride of lime): This remedy has been successful in treating tumors of
Calendula (extract of
marigold): A topical remedy thatís soothing for all sorts of irritations,
burns or suppurating sores.
Chelidonium (from the plant
celandine): This is an excellent remedy for sluggish liver action and
Conium: Older animals,
especially males with weakness in the rear legs sometimes develop a
condition called degenerative spinal myelopathy. This remedy can help.
Estrogen (estradiol): Very
effective remedy for female urinary incontinence thatís primarily caused by
an estrogen deficiency. There are no side effects to the homeopathic version
of this treatment.
Nux vomica: The basic
homeopathic remedy for vomiting.
Phosphorus: Excellent for
Silicea (silicon oxide): Used
to address bone tumors.
Valerian (valerian root):
Acts as a calming agent.