All About Homeopathy
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WHAT IS HOMEOPATHY?
Homeopathy is a natural system of medicine that is safe and effective for most disorders of the body.
It is based on an organized, well proven system of medicine that was established in Germany some 200 years ago and is used in nearly every country/culture in the world today. Countries such as England and France embrace homeopathy throughout their health care and India with about 1 billion people has found it to be a most reasonable and effective form of therapy. Homeopathy is regulated under the "Food and Drugs Act" in most countries and has been accepted for many years.
As in all holistic methods, homeopathy is concerned with the treatment of the complete or whole individual, rather than just treating the symptoms of the disease. As a result, when a homeopathic veterinarian recommends a homeopathic treatment, different ingredients might be suggested in different dogs with the same illness.
Traditionally homeopathic single remedies have been very specific in particular symptoms, and therefore it has been difficult for a lay person to know which single substance should be used for an illness without the intervention of a homeopath. As a result, when it comes to consumer choice of product, more broadly defined COMBINATIONS of ingredients are employed so that the various possibilities are addressed. This technique is becoming the method of choice, even amongst homeopathic veterinarians in view of the complexities of pinpointing each and every possible diagnostic sign in a dog.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
It works through a well accepted and time tested pharmacological law, known internationally as the "Law of Simulars" or "like cures like".
When Samuel Hahnemann, a brilliant German physician, presented his findings in the 1790's he was considered to be an "extremist", even though the basis of his findings dates back to the ancient Greeks. By 1810, he published his "Organon Of Natural Medicine" which encompassed his new system of medicine which he called homeopathy. Over the years, his concepts have been proven again and again and have been embraced by naturopaths and by holistic medical doctors/veterinarians worldwide, and have become the sole method of treatment of physicians known as "Homeopaths".
Dr, Hahnemann's findings clearly proved that the same substance which, in large amounts could cause a disorder within the body, in minute doses could cure the same disorder.
Examples of this are:
* Coffee, consumed before bedtime often causes insomnia and yet in homeopathic doses, induces sleep.
* An ingredient such as nitroglycerine will cause throbbing headaches, but in minute doses (homeopathic doses) will cure that type of headache.
The general thinking of western style (allopathic) medicine is that the symptoms are caused by the illness. By using strong drugs, the patient should be cured and if a positive outcome does not occur (which can be an artificial result) increasing the dose should achieve the desired result. This approach has caused side effects or even dependency, all to often. The symptoms are also often masked.
Homeopathy views the symptoms as signs of the body attempting to fight the illness and it is, in part, those symptoms that tell the homeopath which substances will solicit actions by the body's own natural healing forces of recovery to achieve the desired result, without the "heavy" assaults of drugs.
IS SAFETY A CONCERN?
Absolutely not! The amounts of substance used in homeopathic medicine are so small they are certainly safe and do not cause toxicity. However, contrary to western thinking, substances in such small quantities can do a lot of healing. They can be used along with other medications without concern of interaction.
1/ The traditional method of taking homeopathic remedies is in "granule" form. Granules are tiny balls or pellets on which the medication is impregnated. These are NOT to be touched but should be dispensed into the cap of the package or into a clean spoon and then placed directly under the tongue. By not handling the granule, you are assuring the purity of the medicine. This is important in doses as minuscule as those used in homeopathy.
2/ The mouth should be clear of food. It is best not to administer homeopathics directly before or after food or liquid. The general rule is to administer them at least 1 hour after eating (anything) and not to feed anything for 1/2 hour after administering them.
3/ The granules are to be dissolved in the mouth, not swallowed or chewed. This avoids much of the neutralization that could take place in the digestive tract.
**Having to administer homeopathics "sublingually" to a dog can present a few problems. Granules are easier as they dissolve rather quickly, I will put them in the side pocket of the dogs mouth and gently hold their mouth shut for a few seconds. With tablets I cut the corner off of a clean envelope and place the tablet in the corner and "smash" it with a small hammer until it is powder. Then I pour the powder into the side pocket of the dogs mouth and it dissolves instantly. You can also dissolve a tablet in a sterile container using a small amount of spring water and administer by syringe under the tongue.**
4/ Once the desired results are obtained, immediately stop administering the homeopathic. It is not necessary to take the medication until the bottle is empty. To continue can aggravate the condition.
5/ Dosages are as follows, please remember this is ONLY a guide as each dog is an individual.
CRISIS: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, every 3-30 minutes.
The dosages are the same if you are treating a Chihuahua or a Great Dane.
ACUTE: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, every 30 min to hourly, decreasing to 3-4 times a day.
CHRONIC: 1 tablet or 3-4 granules, 1-3 times a day.
The majority are made from extracts of botanical sources, but some are also made from minerals and extracts of animals. The substances of each of these classifications contain an essence or energy that is the force behind homeopathy. Homeopathic substances have varying strengths which are indicated by the number of times they are diluted. A 1 dilution (1X) is weaker than a 5 dilution (5X). The higher the number, the stronger the medication.
Homeopathics can be produced into a variety of forms such as granules, tablets, liquids, ointments, nasal sprays, suppositories, etc.
***Here is a list of excellent books available on Veterinary Homeopathy.
Homeopathic First-Aid Treatment For Pets, by Francis Hunter
*PLEASE! remember that it is very important to consult with you Veterinarian whenever you dog is ill.
Homeopathy In Veterinary Practice, by Dr. K. J. Biddis
Homeopathic Treatment Of Small Animals, by Christopher Day
Homeopathic Treatment For Birds, by Beryl M. Chapman
The Treatment Of Horses By Homeopathy, by Dr George MacLeod
DOGS-Homeopathic Remedies, by Dr George MacLeod
CATS-Homeopathic Remedies, by Dr. George MacLeod
A Veterinary Materia Medica and Clinical Repertory, by Dr. George MacLeod