Introduction to Homeopathy
I grew up midway between Wichita and Dodge City, Kansas on a sheep & crop farm with 500 head of Western range ewes. We kids did the majority of sheep chores during the winter lambing months, before the ewes went out to winter wheat pasture. After 1 long day of tail docking and castrations, the flock was rotated through various summer pastures of alfalfa brome and grasses growing along the Pawnee creek, a tributary of the Arkansas River.
I was active in 4-H, which gave me credentials during the time before Affirmative Action, and I was accepted into Kansas State University veterinary school, graduating as a DVM in 1976. I headed East, to NYC and the Animal Medical Center for their continuing education, and I eventually built a small animal hospital in the East Village of Manhattan. I later merged my practice with Dr. CW Schaubhut, who brought his homeopathic library and pharma-cy with him, and my initial disbelief turned to acceptance.
But 23 years ago, a simple biopsy changed my life’s direction; I made a complete turnabout when faced with personal health care choices. I sold my prac-tice and moved upstate to mountainous country where wild ginseng still grows. I am now an organic livestock farmer & veterinary homeopath, offering nutritional consulting and cold laser (use of therapeutic non-thermal coherent light stimulation at the cellular level – more widely used in Europe than here) for all species.
I learned very little about sheep & goats when I went to veterinary school. The cost of a vet’s visit would wipe out any profitability, and besides, we were taught “A Sick Sheep is Always a Dead Sheep.” So I was constantly amazed at how effective homeopathic remedies were when treating life-threatening conditions, without using even simple supportive care like heating pads or IV fluids. I later learned that this myth of the acutely dying sheep is due to their nature as a prey animal, to hide any signs of disease as a defense mechanism, until they are too sick to care and they are dying.
To work with homeopathy it is important to think in the language of the books you will use for prescribing. Of all the different kinds of alternative medi-cine, homeopathy is often the most misunderstood because it approaches disease and healing from a different viewpoint than allopathic medicine. It is in the realm of Quantum (or Energy) Medicine, while our current Standard of Practice is based on Newtonian physics, where the patient is primarily a physical entity composed of “systems” (CV cardiovascular; GI gastrointestinal; CNS central nervous system). So let me explain some of the basic princi-ples of the natural world that have been recognized for thousands of years, by scholars like Hippocrates, Aristotle and Paracelsus.
• Hippocrates (460-350 B.C.): “By similar things
a disease is produced and through the application
of the like is cured.”
• Aristotle (384-322 B.C.): “Often the simile acts
upon the simile.”
• Paracelsus (1493-1591): if given in small doses,
“what makes a man ill also cures him.”
As a clinical discipline, homeopathy was organized, tested and proven by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, a German physician who lived from 1755-1843. Based on his clinical observations (and those of Hippocrates and Aristotle), he developed the therapeutic concept of ”Simila similibus curen-tur” or “Like cures like.” He also observed that smaller and smaller doses of a medicine produced better curative effects with fewer side effects, leading him to the guiding principles of the “Minimum Dose” (as noted by Paracelsus). He added the process of Potentization of remedies by succussion (vigorous shaking followed by striking against an elastic surface) after each dilution.
“1C” means that a remedy has been diluted by 99 parts of water, or to one hundredth (1/100) of its original strength (X is used instead of C when the dilu-tion step is ten parts of water instead of 100). “30C” means a remedy has been diluted 1/100 (with 100 succussions each time) for 30 dilutions or to 1/1060 of its original strength. Consider that Avogadro’s number (the number of molecules in a mole of a substance) is the point at which a dilution would contain no material substance. A dilution of approximately 12C reaches that number. Any dilution beyond a 12C potency leaves just a purely energetic picture imprinted onto the solution. Hahnemann outlined these principals in the Organon, which he modified throughout his lifetime in 6 editions. He and his medical colleagues performed Provings on many substances with toxic effect, including from plants, animals and minerals. Today, single remedies are prepared to exacting specifications according to the Homeopathic Pharmacopea, and are tested (“proven”) in healthy subjects before being included in the Materia Medica, our dictionary of toxicology and remedy descriptions.
Homeopathy’s therapeutic effects are currently being studied in the context of high dilutional physics, nano particles, and the principle of Hormesis, which is a dose-responsive phenomenon in which a low dose of a substance stimulates and a high dose inhibits. For example, the effect of hormesis is being ob-served in Glyphosate, the major component of Roundup, in its endocrine disrupting actions even with exposure in trace amounts. (For more on glyphosate and its endocrine disrupting modes of action: https://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/2016/SeneffSanDiego.pptx)
So back to the practice of homeopathy: a single remedy is chosen based on a totality of symptoms: Symptoms expressed individually by the patient are most important in homeopathic treatment, as they indicate each patient’s unique response to disease. In fact, it is not necessary to know the name of the disease or spend lots of $$ on tests first to get a diagnosis, in order to treat with homeopathy. Let me repeat this again. It comes down to choosing a single remedy based on the particular symptoms of that sick sheep. This is where homeopathy dramatically differs from Western medicine. Treat each individ-ual differently. Granted, it is hard to decipher the symptoms of a sick sheep when they tend to just stand there looking stupid. This is where the art of shepherding comes in. It is called “Observation.” These symptoms should be obtained as an “Unbiased Observer” according to Hahnemann. Take the time to “stand back’ and watch interactions within the herd/flock/family. House calls are beneficial because they allow observation of the animal at rest and undisturbed in its normal surroundings, rather than stressed by the trip to the vet’s office.
When taking a case, first determine whether the illness is a simple, acute condition, or if it is part of an ongoing condition that needs to be treated with a constitutional, chronic or miasmatic remedy. After years of extensive research and analysis, Hahnemann came to the understanding that disease was caused by some inherited tendency to be susceptible to certain diseases, which he called Miasm, from the Greek word for defilement or pollution. When it comes to chronic disease (such as foot rot or recurring mastitis), homeopathy is very effective, but it takes a constitutional prescriber with years of study and experience. I do not treat chronic conditions in sheep because of the time consuming effort and because I have the option of culling, something not possible with pets or children. And I am ruthless. For example, I have switched to Katahdin hair sheep for their parasite resistance. I use the FAMACHA method (FAffa MAlan CHArt is a method originating in South Africa whereby only certain sheep or goats in a flock are selected for treatment based on the degree of anemia they are displaying in their mucous membranes) to determine which animals to worm. Any ewes that are wormed are marked and I do not save their offspring for my breeding flock. If they require worming more than once, they go into the freezer. I have been line breeding for color and parasite resistance with success for approximately 10 years now.
In this article I will be discussing acute care remedies for injuries, indigestion and lambing problems. I have included sections on Homeopathic Midwifery and Remedy descriptions, as well as a list of Remedy Relationships for the commonly used remedies, which is used to choose a second prescription if nec-essary.
How to Prescribe a Remedy
Intake – Observation and Timeline of the Disease. Observe the animal and find out what has happened to it in the past
Unique Symptoms – Keynotes; Strange, Rare and Peculiar; Mental/Emotional; and Never Well Since (discussed below)
Match sheep’s Symptom picture to a Remedy picture (read Materia Medica and make sure the remedy you choose is in your kit)
A keynote of a remedy is a symptom that is typical of it, so much so that it makes the experienced homeopath think of that remedy. Depending on how exceptional and rare it is, a keynote may become #1 on your list of symptoms. An example of a physical keynote for the remedy Gelsemium would be droopy eyelids, being so tired or weak that the animal can hardly keep them open. Emergencies leave little time for detailed histories, so I use Constantine Hering’s “three-legged stool” method for keynote prescribing. I find 3 strong symptoms that have changed with the onset of the illness and which are of-ten “keynotes.”
Strange, Rare and Peculiar Symptoms
These unusual symptoms can narrow down the remedy choice to a smaller, more manageable number of choices. The symptom must be peculiar to the patient rather than common to the disease. The more common symptoms (lack of appetite, fatigue, discomfort, etc.) are to be seen with almost every dis-ease, and thus deserve little attention. An example of a SRP symptom would be an animal running a fever yet having no thirst for water. This is unusual. The rubric (a rubric is the essence of a symptom stated in a few words and listed in the homeopathic Repertory) for this in the Food chapter is, thirstless during fever.
The Never Well Since (NWS) or Ailments From (A/F)
This is the second most important group of symptoms, which answer “Why did the patient get sick in the first place?” I have listed some examples of cau-sation and prescription (in the format: Rubrik – Remedy) that are so typical for acute events that they can almost be prescribed from an allopathic per-spective:
Sudden onset of symptoms after shock or fright – Aconite
Exposure to cold wind – Aconite
Ailments from over-consumption of rich food or drink – Nux vomica
Smashed Fingers or toes – Hypericum
Being struck by lightning – Phosphorus
For example, Arnica can be used in children of various ages, and with various complaints, when there was a history of traumatic birth, and when indicat-ed remedies fail to act.
Mental and Emotional Factors
Typical mental or emotional symptoms in acute ailments in animals include:
Restlessness and fearfulness – Aconite and Arsenicum
Sudden onset of any symptom from shock or fright – Aconite
Extreme clinginess, wanting to climb on owner’s lap – Pulsatilla
Wanting to be left alone, with grouchiness – Bryonia
Wanting to be left alone, aversion to touch, after injury – Arnica
Crankiness and contrariness, nothing satisfies – Chamomilla
Grief leading to profound indifference – Phosphoric acid
In these examples, the remedy should be confirmed with the rest of the case. But the chosen remedy must bear similarity to the mental/emotional state as this can be a causative factor.
Let me also include a few variations in methods of prescribing:
Therapeutic or Clinical Prescribing
This method is useful in any situation where the diagnosis is easily determined, and it is primarily the disease that is to be treated. It is very effective for saving time and is especially suited to the treatment of acute diseases and 1st Aid situations. I have found this to be the method I use most often when I’m faced with a dying sheep.
Here the emphasis is on treating the disease process rather than treating the individual, but using the characteristic disease symptoms exhibited by the pa-tient to repertorize (to find a rubric in the Repertory that matches the symptoms and then select the appropriate remedy), whether they are keynotes; strange, rare & peculiar; or a strong mental/emotional state. It can be useful to reference a therapeutics book, such as Roger Morrison’s Desktop Com-panion to Physical Pathology, or Sandra Perko’s Homeopathy for the modern Pregnant Woman and her Infant. My first search is in the Diseases chapter of Dr. Robin Murphy’s Homeopathic Medical Repertory. I consider this book, with its alphabetical layout and word index, the most user friendly and versatile repertory currently available. It has a good Mind section, and modern day terms in chapters such as Diseases, Toxicity and Emergencies. I select 3-4 symp-toms, usually Ailments From, the Chief Complaint, the Mental/Emotional State, and I limit myself to the remedies in my emergency kit! I start with the most important one and follow an Elimination Repertorisation, where only the remedies in that first rubric are selected to be included when found in the following rubrics.
The list of conditions and remedies that I have included at the end of this paper is just such a therapeutic reference guide based on my personal experienc-es as a shepherd for the last 20 years.
Cell or tissue salts can be prescribed for deficiency conditions. Dr. Schuessler, a German homeopathic physician, analyzed blood from humans as well as their ashes after death, isolating minerals from these various tissues. In 1873, he discovered 12 mineral compounds that he called “cell salts” or “tissue salts.” As he studied the various symptoms and discovered which minerals were lacking in his patients, he found that when the correct minerals were sup-plied in low potency (a “material dose”), the abnormal or diseased symptoms decreased or disappeared. This became known as Schuessler’s biochemical system of medicine. I have applied this theory of using a mineral in homeopathic potency to treat a deficiency condition using a 6X of Selenium for White Muscle Disease. Of course, it requires some nutritional husbandry in addition, including sources of Selenium like Kelp, Diamond V yeast and a sheep mineral mix, as well as making sure your pastures are properly mineralized with Sulphur.
Two other cell salts commonly used in a livestock operation would be Calc phos for delayed development, imperfect growth, or inherited weakness, espe-cially for young, rapidly growing animals; and Silica, a basic nutrient of the skin, hair and hoofs, used for the malnourished, chronic skin conditions, and to ripen an abcess and discharge pus.
Homeopathy has proven very successful in epidemic prescribing. Hahnemann’s success in treating the great epidemics of his era established his reputa-tion as a great healer. He saved Napoleon’s army from typhoid fever with the two remedies Bryonia and Rhus tox. He cured the cholera that was rav-aging Europe in 1821. For the veterinary homeopath, prescribing is simple. Record the symptoms common to all the animals in the herd/flock. These are the cardinal symptoms of the epidemic, the basis for selecting the main remedy. This is the genus epidemicus, which is then used to treat the rest of the flock as a prevention. (ie. Aconite for shipping fever)
Occasionally, I will use a nosode, a product of disease or diseased tissues. In my veterinary work, I have successfully used Lyssin (Rabies), Borrelia (Lyme dis-ease) and Pyrogen (rotten meat) nosodes. These are acquired miasms, which can occur in one of several ways: after an acute disease such as the flu or flu vaccine (Influenzinum), or with Rabies, from the vaccine or bite of an angry dog (Lyssin). I have frequently seen many cases of chronic disease following Ra-bies vaccination (feline OCD neurodermatitis; canine developmental delays; acute onset of kidney or liver failure, and cancers in both species). (Lyme: Ledum, +/- Hypericum, Borrelia or Aurum arsenicum in chronic cases.)
Dr. Edgar Sheaffer, VMD (Veterinary Medical Doctor, a unique and prestigious degree offered by Pennsylvania’s veterinary school — other schools offer the DMV or Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree) describes the use of 30C and higher nosodes for prevention and control of mastitis and infectious conditions in his book “Homeopathy for the Herd: A Farmer’s Guide to Low Cost, Non Toxic Veterinary Care of Cattle” 2003.
Dr. Hubert Karreman, VMD recommends only low potency (12X) nosodes for prevention in his book “Treating Dairy Cows Naturally: Thoughts and Strategies” 2004. He finds that nosodes are most effective at the time of infection.
Although homeopathy is extremely gentle, there are a few caveats:
Homeopathic treatment of chronic conditions should be overseen by a veterinarian with advanced training.
Any remedy if used when not truly indicated has potential to cause harm. So unless you are fairly certain of the indicated remedy, the lower potencies (6C, 12C or 30C) should be used when starting treatment. And there are some remedies that should not be used in the early stages of pregnancy, as they may cause miscarriage. Those contra-indicated are Caullophyllum, Cimicifuga and Thuja. (ie: I have caused prolapse with Caullophyllum given too early in a young ewe)
Many over-the-counter combination remedies may have unforeseen effects, as homeopathic remedies were developed and tested sin-gly.
How to Give a Remedy
My preferred method of dosing is by water dilution. I use a recycled Poland Spring sport bottle filled 3/4 full with my excellent well water (or any small disposable bottle of spring water that has not been treated with chlorine) and add 1-3 pellets of the remedy. Succuss 5-10 times before each dose, aiming for mucous membranes, first choice tongue, but nose, conjunctiva of eyes, or an orifice at the other end will work. When working with horses that throw up their heads, or horned cattle, sometimes applying the remedy to the vulva is safest. Quantity of the dose is not that important; average amount is 3 – 5 cc or 1 teaspoon. I have several spray bottles of my most commonly used remedies, such as Arnica, Aconite and Rescue Remedy, which I can run after a wild sheep with and just spray in their general vicinity.
Preparing the remedy this way protects the stock bottle of pellets from contamination or loss, as well as less of the pelleted remedy is used each time. It is very easy to administer and there is a faster response time as the remedy acts through the nerve endings in the tongue. For chickens, the water dilution can then be added to the drinking water if the whole flock requires treatment, or a piece of bread can be soaked with the diluted remedy and fed to indi-vidual hens. I have found these dosing bottles are good for years if not contaminated (add 1 tablespoon of plain vodka to the remedy bottle if any risk of that). Simply write the name and potency of the remedy, as well as the date, on the bottle with a permanent marker. Do not reuse these bottles to make a different remedy, though they can be replenished with water and re-succussed when almost empty. Our local Ag store has a bottle of spray Aconite 1M for “shipping fever” which they use for the new chicks and ducklings. They have minimal mortality as a result, and they continue to use the same bottle, just refilling as needed with well water and succussing 100 times to energize the remedy bottle.
A remedy is repeated more frequently (every 5-10 minutes) in very critical cases when the animal is close to death or suffering a severe injury, and less frequently (once a day or even only 1 – 2 times per week) if the condition has come on slowly over several days or weeks. When improvement is seen, stop dosing and wait for the improvement to plateau before repeating another dose of the remedy. Often times only one dose is needed for the animal to re-cover. If no improvement is seen after 2 – 3 doses and watching and waiting a length of time depending on the severity of the condition, then try another remedy that was indicated. Sometimes there will be some improvement and new symptoms will also appear. This requires a return to the books to select another remedy that is indicated by the new symptoms. Of particular use is the Abdur Rehman “Encyclopedia of Remedy Relationships in Homeopa-thy.”
1.) Don’t open any remedy bottle in a room where strong odors are present (menthol, tiger balm, Essential Oils).
2.) Do not touch the pellets.
3.) Do not expose the remedies or dosing bottle to sunlight or extreme heat.
4.) Do not reuse the dosing bottle for another remedy.
5.) Do not store remedies on/near TV, microwave, computer, or other EMF sources.
6.) Do not give remedy dose with food.
From the Encyclopedia of Remedy Relationships in Homeopathy by Abdur Rehman
A complementary remedy is one that continues or completes the action of the drug that has acted previously, without disturbing the curative action of the previously given remedy.
The remedies that follow well are useful for selecting one among the list for second prescription.
An inimical drug does not follow or precede well the previously given drug. AVOID
The antidotal remedy is a dynamic antidote if one needs to antidote the over action of the previously given similimum. The same remedy can be both complementary as well as antidote. Such drugs are capable of both antidoting or correcting the undesired effects and maintaining the beneficial action of the previously given remedy. (For hyper-sensitives who aggravate)
The collateral remedy is one that runs parallel to the remedy given previously. One among the list can be selected as an alternative drug.
The following list of remedies includes only my commonly used remedies in midwifery.
The first remedies listed are Complementary, then FWB, Antidotes, Inimical or Collateral.
Aconite – Arn, Bell, Bry, Phos, Sulph; FWB: Arn, Ars, Bell, Bry, Calc, Chin, Gels, Hep, Hyper, Ledum, Nux, Phos, Puls, Sep, Sil, Sylph
Arnica – Acon, Bellis, Calc, Hep, Hyper, Ledum, Nat-s, Rhus, Sulph, Verat; FWB: Ars, Bell, Bry, Calen, Chin, Ham, Hell, Nux, Phos, Puls, Ruta, Symph
Belladonna – Calc, Hep, Lach, Lyc, Pyrog, Rhus, Sulph; FWB: Acon, Arn, Ars, Bry, Calc, Cham, Chin, Hep, Lach, Lyc, Nux, Phos, Puls, Pyrog, Rhus, Sep, Sil, Sulph; Antidotes: Acon, Chin, Hep, Lach, Nux, Puls, Rhus
Calc phos – Calc, Cham, Chin, Hep, Mag-c/p, Nat-m, Ruta, Sil, Sulph; FWB: Ars, Chin, Ferr-p, Mag-c/p, Nat-m, Phos, Rhus, Sil, Sulph; Antidotes: Calc; Inimical: Bar-c
Carbo veg – Ant-t, Arn, Ars, Calc-p, Chin,Lach, Phos, Sec, Sel; FWB: Acon, Ant-t, Ars, Chin, Lach, Lyc, Nux, Phos, Puls, Sep, Sil, Sulph; Antidote: Ars, Chin, Lach
Caulophyllum – FWB: Bell, Cimic, Gels, Nux, Puls, Sep; Calc as intercurrent
Cimicifuga – FWB: Bell, Hep, Puls, Sep; Collateral: Caul, Gels
Gelsemium – Sep; FWB: Ars, Caul, Nux, Puls
Ledum – Chin, Sep, Sulph; FWB: Acon, Bell, Bry, Calc, HYPER, Lyc, Nux, Puls, Sulph
Hypericum – Arn, Calen; FWB Apis, Arn, Bellis, Bry, Hell, Rhus
Pulsatilla – Lyc, Sep, Sil, Sulph; FWB: Calc carb, Nux (intercurrent), Sep, Sil, Sulph;
Inimical: Sep (not to be alternated); Antidotes: Calc, Gels, Lyc, Nux, Sylph
Sepia – Calc, Gels, Nux, Phos, Puls, Rhus, Sil, Sulph; FWB: Calc, Lyc, Nux, Rhus, Sil, Sulph; Antidotes: Calc, Chin, Phos, Rhus, Sulph; Inimical: Lach, Puls (never alternate with)
Silica – Ars, Calc-c/p, Cham, Hep, Lyc, Phos, Puls, Sulph, Thuja; FWB: Bell, Calc-c/p, Hep, Lach, Lyc, Nux, Phos, Puls, Pyrog, Rhus, Sep, Sulph, Thu-ja; Antidotes: Hep, Sulph
Pyrogen – Ars, Bell, Bry, Hep, Lach, Sil, Thuja; FWB: Hep, Mag-c, Sylph
Lyssin – Staph; FWB: Gels, Lach, Led, Nat-c/m, Stram, Puls; Antidotes: Bell, Lach, Stram