Homeopathy is a natural form of medical treatment, using very small amounts of substances from plants, minerals and animal sources. These constituent parts are diluted down to extremely low levels before being given as a treatment.
Many of the substances used are poisonous in their normal form, but following targeted production processes can be made safe to be administered as medicines
Homeopathic medicines are applied according to the "Law of similars" that was discovered by Dr Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) during the 18th century.
He believed that any substance that can provoke symptoms or signs in a healthy body can be used to simulate cure of the disease that displays similar signs and symptoms.
Hahnemann lectured in Leipzig, Germany about the use of homeopathy in humans and animals. He believed the more a substance was diluted the more potent it became.
The process involves a process where the extract is chopped or ground and then soaked in a mix of 90% alcohol to 10% distilled water. Although this mixture is shaken from time to time to help dissolve the material, it is left for two to three weeks.
After this time the mixture has become infused and is strained into a dark glass bottle and is therefore classed as the "mother tincture" (the extracts of the original drug). One drop of this tincture is then diluted in 99 drops of alcohol, then shaken rapidly. The dilution and shaking is repeated until the correct potency is accomplished.
Also during the 18th century, Baron Von Boenning began using Homeopathy and it has been developed and used ever since in farm animals as well as domestic pets.
Homeopathic medicines are selected according to what symptoms the substance will provoke in a healthy body. And as they are extremely diluted, they cannot cause ill effects, which means they can be used as effective but simple first aid treatments - or with more serious and chronic diseases.
However, even though over the counter homeopathic medicines are available for everyday domestic use, in the more serious cases it is advised to consult a vet on the best treatments to use.
Homeopathic medicines come in many forms including tablets, powders
An extensive review published in the British medical journal in 1991, analysed 107 controlled studies involving homeopathic medicines on humans. It concluded that although the studies were not well designed, 81 people showed homeopathic medicines to be effective and 24 showed they were ineffective - two were inconclusive. (Fogle. B. Dr, (1999), Natural dog care, London, Dorling Kindersley Limited).
Some vets feel that because homeopathic treatments are administered in such small amounts they cannot harm or upset the animals but they also do not consider these forms of treatments to exhibit any healing powers. Whereas others believe there is a place for them in the treatment of both humans and animals.
An example of homeopathic treatments used today:
First aid treatment with an over the counter product called Aloe Vera gel, which can be found in most herbal/health stores and chemists. It is highly effective at speeding up the healing of wounds such as burns and cuts. And can also be used for skin allergies, eczema and fungal infections.
It can also be applied directly to the mouth for gingivitis (inflammation of the gum tissue).
Aloe Vera is a cactus plant and its leaves/secretes a clear gel when broken off. It is this clear gel that is processed and sold through various channels and outlets.
It is thought that this product works so well as a homeopathic medicine to treat skin problems due to the fact that the two hormones Auxin and Gibberellins are present. These two hormones provide anti-inflammatory properties as well as a growth hormone to simulate the growth of new cells.
Final note: Please remember any Homeopathic medicines and treatments should only be given to your pets after a consultation with a Homeopathic professional or a referral from your vets.
As always, we welcome your comments, whatever your background or knowledge.