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I want to continue our homeopathy discussion last week by showing you how Mom uses the remedies on our farm. Keep in mind that unless they’re given in massive doses and for way too long, homeopathic remedies are nontoxic. When administered properly—especially under the guidance of a homeopathic practitioner—they are safe to use and don’t have the side effects of drugs. To boot, homeopathic remedies are inexpensive and readily available. Many health food stores and co-ops carry homeopathic remedies, and if you can’t find them locally, you can order them online. They can be given alongside conventional and other alternative medicines.
It’s always best to work with a holistic vet when administering homeopathic remedies to animals, but it’s wise to understand for yourself how the remedies work. Visit the National Center for Homeopathy, American Institute of Homeopathy or Society of Homeopaths for more information. For an animal-oriented perspective try the Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy or download Homeopathy for Livestock, a free 25-page booklet by Lisa McCrory of Earthwise Farm and Forest.
You’ll also need a dosing reference. Mom’s favorite is George Macleod’s Goats: Homoeopathic Remedies. George Macleod was a homeopathic veterinarian for more than 50 years and was president of the British Association of Homoeopathic Veterinary Surgeons and veterinary consultant to the British Homoeopathic Association. He wrote similar books about treating dogs, cats, pigs, cattle and horses. You can’t go wrong with George Macleod.
When Mom gives us animals homeopathic treatments, she carefully assesses our symptoms and writes them down. She checks books or online references, carefully comparing our symptoms with the ones listed under each remedy until she find two or three remedies that closely match, and then begins with the remedy that matches best. She gives one dose, then waits for the suggested amount of time before administering another. If symptoms improve, even just a bit, she stops after the first dose. She doesn’t give another dose unless there’s no further progress or symptoms return. If they do, she tries the same remedy again, but only if it still matches the animal’s symptom profile. If symptoms change and a different remedy more closely matches the new symptoms, she doses with that remedy instead. It’s unusual to need the same remedy for more than three days. If we don’t see results in two days, we figure we’re probably using the wrong remedy.
Remedies are marketed as milk-sugar based pellets, pills and granules, creams and gels, and in liquid suspension. Try not to touch the remedy itself, except for gels and creams. If you drop pills, pellets or granules, throw them away. Store remedies away from strong-scented substances and in a cool, dry, dark place. Even if opened, homeopathic remedies last for years if they’re stored correctly.
To admister, Mom wraps pellets, pills and granules in folded paper until she reaches the barn. Then she tip them inside the sick animal’s lip or under his tongue. Pellets, pills and granules dissolve quickly, but sometimes we don’t like the pills and spit them out before they do. If your animals think they taste gross, too, crunch the dose between two clean spoons and give the remedy as quick-dissolving powder. Mom sometimes adds remedies to our water pails and changes the water after we drink. Pills and pellets can be stuffed in a slit cut in an apple or marshmallow and fed as a treat. Yum! Or you can add powdered remedies to a dab of ice cream or milk to dose cats and dogs.
Homeopathic remedies work for us! Have you tried them on your farm? What results did you have?
Do you have a livestock or wildlife question you want me to answer?
Please keep in mind that I receive a lot of questions, so I won’t always be able to answer each one immediately. In the case of an animal emergency, it’s important to reach out to your veterinarian or extension agent first.