The Basics :: Dilute and Heal :: Origins of Homeopathy :: Types of Treatments :: Homeopathic Combinations :: Nosodes :: The Itch

The Basics

The lecture on homeopathy at the holistic vet conference was an excellent introduction to the modality (method) of healing. It explained the terms used and the philosophy of how it works. If you are an advanced homeopathic practitioner, this post may be an oversimplification for you.

In order to understand about homeopathy, you must first become familiar with the terms used: *The Organon* – a text book that details the practice of homeopathic medicine. It is the main homeopathic textbook in use today. The original was written in 1796 by Samuel Hahnemann, who deveoped the modality. Although there have been some additions made to it in subsequent editions of the book, no major deletion of material has occured. You could become a sucessful homeopathic practitioner by studying The Organon and books on the remedies.

Although homeopathy fell out of favor in the United states during the early 20th century, it continued to be used throughout the rest of the world. In Europe it is fairly common and in South America, India, and other Asian countries, it is the most common form of medicine practiced.

In America, homeopathic practitioners are becoming sought-after to the point that within two years of setting up practice, practitioners often have a one to two month waiting list.

*Provings* – homeopathic remedies are given to healthy humans who develop symptoms from the remedy. These symptoms are carefully observed and recorded over many weeks, establishing a ‘profile’.

*the Law of Similars* – when an ill person develops a list of symptoms that is exactly identical to the ‘profile’ established in the proving of a particular remedy, then that remedy is chosen to heal the ill person. These symptoms also translate to animals, who have been cured with homeopathy from the beginning of its development.

*Materia medica* – detailed description of remedies that will enable a practitioner to select the appropriate remedy for the ill person. A remedy must be proven many times before it is added to the Materia medica.

*Repertory* – an index of symptoms to help a practitioner narrow the selection down to several remedies.

*Potency* – strength of a remedy. Homeopathic remedies are prepared by releasing the energy of the substance used into the carrier (usually alcohol or sugar). It is the energy that that heals the dis-eased energy of the ailing patient. The more dilute the substance, the stronger the energy force, and the more knowledgeable one must be to use it. Higher dosages are given less frequently than lower dosages. Sometimes only one dose of a high potency absolutely correct remedy is given.

In Roman numerals, X means ten, C means 100, and M means 1000. If a homeopathic preparation is 1-X potency, that means it has been diluted ten times. If it is 1-C potenecy, then it has been diluted 100 times. 2-X potency has been diluted twenty times and 2-C potency has been diluted 200 times. 2-C is a much stronger potency than 2-X. Most of us, who are not experierienced practitioners should use homeopathic remedies in potencies lower than 30-X. Usually 6-X to 30-X is what we see in health food stores. We would not use any of the C or M remedies because they are energetically so powerful, that if we chose the wrong remedy by mistake, we could harm or even kill the patient we are trying to cure.

*Succussion* – means shaken, which is how energy is released from a substance into the carrier material.

*What is all this energy stuff?*

Physicists are teaching that all matter is energy composed of atoms vibrating at different speeds. In order to get a better grasp of the subject, you would need a course in quantum physics. (too much math for me) Anyway, think of matter = energy.

Each remedy has a particular energy pattern.

Each being also possesses an essence or vital force (called ‘chi’ in oriental medicine). When the body is exposed to viruses, bacteria, stress, poor diet, vaccinations, ageing, environment etc, this vital force goes out of whack – becomes unbalanced. In an attempt to recover balance, the body produces symptoms. This is one of the principals of homeopathy.

Another principal of homeopathy is that beings seem to follow a reverse sequence of symptoms when getting better in order to recover permanently. That is why some patients get worse before they get better. Generally, for chronic conditions, it takes a month of healing for every year that the vital force has been unbalanced.

A third principal of homeopathy is that there is one on-going ‘dis-ease’, not just separate incidents.

Finally, in order to heal, the totality of symptoms must be addressed…not just the current problem or problems. This treats the underlying imbalance, which is one disease state. Every time the energy field is triggered and moves out of balance, it produces symptoms that may be different from the time before and may even appear in different body systems.

Successful homeopathic treatment must be based on all the symptoms and all the idosyncrasies of THIS being. There is only one ‘dis-ease’ to be treated, and it has been there since birth. Different remedies are often needed at different times because we only see part of the underlyng imbalance.

The goal of homeopathy is ‘cure’, which is the elimination of all the perceptible signs and symptoms of disease and also the removal of the inner modifications of the vital force which underly them. In this way, the whole disease has been destroyed.

Once the energetic imbalance is corrected, the physical manifestations disappear – even bony proliferations, cancerous growths, bladder stones, etc.

Combination homeopathics. I personally am against using homeopathics in combination because according to classic homeopaths, the body energies respond to the energies in the element being used. A homeopathic practitioner will select the appropriate remedy based on the symptoms of the patient. One remedy, if carefully selected from a meticulously taken case study, will fit the profile of the symptoms.

If homeopathic remedies are used in combination, the body’s energies will have to respond to all of the components in the remedy. This is a waste of energy that the body needs for the healing process. It is an unnecessary waste because it is unlikely that all of the the components of the combination are appropriate to address the condition of dis-ease.

In addition, giving a homeopathic remedy that is not needed for healing will sometimes cause the body to ‘prove’ the remedy. Remember, in homeopathics, if a remedy is given to a well person that doesn’t need it, this person will develop the symptoms that the remedy will heal in a sick person. This is how homeopathic remedies are ‘proved’.

In other words, inappropriately used homeopathics can produce the symptoms of being sick.

I would be willing to bet that at least half the people who purchase combination homeopathic remedies have found they didn’t work because they did not fit the profile of the the disease they were being used for. Of course, you won’t hear much from these people except they might say that such and such a product doesn’t work… if they say anything at all.

If you just happen to hit on the profile, they can work. Without a case work-up, you have a fifty/fifty chance.


Homeopathy — Dilute And Heal

by Andy Patrizio 3:00 a.m. Mar. 15, 2000 PST

With a little help from a scientist looking for a way to clean car engines, a physician believes he can explain the confounding paradox behind why homeopathic medicine gets more potent as it’s diluted.

Homeopathic medicine, discovered by a German physician more than 200 years ago, espouses many concepts seen in other forms of alternative medicine — namely, that the body can and knows how to heal itself.

“Everybody’s fine and hunky dory with [homeopathic concepts] until they come to the part where the more you dilute and shake the substance, the more powerful it gets and the deeper it reaches,” said Dr. Bill Gray, author of Homeopathy: Science or Myth.

“That doesn’t make sense [for most practitioners], because we’re used to thinking in a chemical sense.”

Just how the body reacts to varying dosages of medicine is still being debated. Pharmaceutical and herbal medicines both operate under the notion that more is more; whether it’s aspirin, Prozac, or Echinacea, the more milligrams per dose, the quicker the cure.

Not so in homeopathy. The “law of infinitesimals” states that the more you dilute a drug, the more potent it gets. Arnica, for example, can address a sprain or bruise in low potencies. In high potency, it can adversely affect a person’s mental state.

Remedies are made with one part of the material, which can be a chemical, element, plant, or even poison, added to nine or 99 parts water. The water is vigorously shaken after the material is added. Then one drop of that water is added to another nine or 99 drops of water, a process called “successing.”

The mixture is again shaken and the process repeated. After repeating this hundreds or even thousands of times, the water is poured onto sugar pellets, which is how the medicine is administered.

This intense watering down conflicts with accepted laws of chemistry, namely Avogadro’s Number, which states that any substance becomes untraceable if it is diluted beyond when a single molecule of the chemical can be found.

Critics point out that homeopathic medicines are diluted far beyond Avogadro’s Number. The thesis of Gray’s book is that water gains structure through the whole successing process.

“The point is, now that modern research shows that water that’s prepared homeopathically is altered in its structure, this water does actually alter tissue cultures, organ function, and entire animals,” said Gray, who has been practicing homeopathy in the San Francisco Bay Area for 29 years.

Validation of the dilution process came in a roundabout way, thanks to research by Shui Yin Lo, a former visiting associate professor in the chemistry department at California Institute of Technology. Lo was performing experiments on how to improve car engine efficiency when he made the discovery. Lo, who now is the director of research and development at American Technologies Group found that water molecules, which are random in their normal state, begin to form a cluster when a substance is added to water and the water is vigorously shaken — the exact process homeopaths use to create their medicine.

Lo said every substance exerts its own unique influence on the water, so each cluster shape and configuration is unique to the substance added. With each dilution and shaking, the clusters grow bigger and stronger. This water, which homeopaths call “potentized,” is considered “structured water,” because the water molecules have taken on a shape influenced by the original substance.

The clusters start to assume a form that mimics the structure of the original substance itself. So even though the chemical can no longer be detected, its “image” is there, taken on by the water molecules.

“If these clusters were unique to the original solute, and the observations are true that they can perpetuate themselves the more they are diluted or shaken, then the original material becomes irrelevant,” Gray said.

The American Medical Association, which stated in its charter it was formed “to stamp out the scourge of homeopathy,” declined to comment on Gray’s book, homeopathy, or alternative medicine.

“We just believe [alternative medicine] needs to be studied more and patients should keep their physician in the loop. But we don’t talk about one alternative therapy over another,” said an AMA spokeswoman.

Dr. Richard Sarnat, a medical doctor and president of Alternative Medicine Inc. in Highland Park, Illinois, said the theory of clustered water has been around for some time, but up until now it hasn’t been proven. The book could help further the acceptance of homeopathy by explaining how it works.

“I think year by year, these types of ideas are more readily accepted into the medical community as a whole,” Sarnat said. “Acupuncture in the 1960s was considered voodoo. Given the full range of things we’ve researched in alternative medicine, [electromagnetics] is no bigger a stretch than any other phenomenon under investigation.”

Origins of Homeopathy:

by Patrick Thrush

Homeopathy originated in the late 1700’s as the development of the German physician Samuel Hahnemann. His principle of “Similia Similibus Curentur” (like cures like) forms the basis of all homeopathy, but has historical precedents in almost all forms of native natural practice, regardless of geography or culture.

Both practice and philosophy of homeopathy took a split in the late 1800’s. In continuing his research, Hahnemann was compelled to revise certain aspects of theory and application, based on practical experience. He laid forth these principles in his 6th (and final) Organon of Medicine, and his lesser writings. For some curious reason, great argument in the homeopathic community erupted over this, and only parts of the 6th Organon were incorporated into classical practice. Therefore, for general purposes, classical homeopathy sticks closely to the 5th Organon.

Homeopathic students from India were not so close-minded, however. Studying under the likes of J.H. Kent, they firmly embraced the concepts of the 6th Organon, and upon returning to practice in India, began development of homeopathy that engaged the patient and “cause” of disease on a different level. As such, there is a substantial difference between what is termed the “classical” homeopathy of the West, and the “miasmatic” homeopathy of the East.

What I find sadly amusing is that this “stubborness” of western practice led to the disbandment of homeopathy in the United States as a legitimate course of medicine in the 1930’s (including the transformation of homeopathic hospitals to allopathic centers), while homeopathy in India has achieved both a respect and competence which places it as a primary form of medicine (with many legitimate hospitals and colleges), along side allopathic and ayurvedic medicine.

The upshot of this is that the Indian homeopaths (and American/British practitioners trained under their curriculums) are moving toward a molecular/quantum base of medicine, while their classical counterparts are struggling to maintain credibility. So from this perspective, the homeopathy of the 21st century may be properly said to be Eastern in origin. Patrick Thrush

From Carole Bryant:

For simple, straightforward problems and first aid homoeopathics can be used in a basic way (e.g. Arnica for bruising, Aconite for fear, Hypericum for nerve injuries) but for proper homoeopathic prescribing it requires detailed case notes and careful searching of the Materia Medica to match the “symptom picture” of the client (in this case read bird) to the picture of the remedy. This will cover everything from mental/emotional symptoms, full range of physical symptoms, time of day and weather that make the symptoms better or worse, and includes things you may consider irrelevant to the actual problem. If you sit down and jot down everything you can think of about your bird – including things you may consider irrelevant (habits, behaviors, personality, history, etc.) you will have the basis of a very good set of case notes.

The better you match the bird’s symptom picture to that of the remedy, the better the results. Sometimes the remedy may be right, but the potency needs to be altered (perhaps changing to a higher potency). In complex cases, it may be necessary to use a number of remedies over a period of time, as a deeper layer of symptoms surface. Treating a complex case has been likened to an onion – remove one layer (of symptoms) and a deeper one appears, treat that, and another appears until eventually all layers are removed and healing is complete.

As an example, a good friend of mine has a competition dressage horse whose conformation is not that well suited to the task, but he gives his best. When my friend started working at higher levels, Nolan’s emotional symptoms started to be a major limiting factor (he is an ex racehorse). We initially used a remedy that matched his symptom picture and cleared many of his problems (outer layer). Then a more specific emotional problem arose (a slightly altered symptom picture) and we treated for that – with a couple of potencies over time (the next layer). Now another symptom picture has appeared, this time even more specific and we have started treating for that. We can’t change Nolan’s conformation – but we can clear away his emotional and physical “baggage” to enable him to do the best he can.

I hope I haven’t bored everyone to death! But I wanted to explain that homoeopathic treatment can be complex; that the most appropriate remedy may change over time; that it may need to be an ongoing treatment over time; but most of all that it must be tailored for the individual’s symptom picture.

Carole Bryant (Naturopath)

From Patrick Thrush

The first rule of alternative medicine: DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED by whatever concepts or jargon is thrown about. This is one of the methods that the conventional community has employed to disenfranchise the individual from being a participant, to becoming a “patient” and consumer of services. All fields have their own jargon. Stick it out, ask what appears to be “stupid” questions, and learn whatever you can. There are no really stupid questions. Most people were “in over their heads” the first day of any grade of school, or on the first day of the job. Still there? One of the great beauties and promises of alternative care is that it re-empowers the individual to participate and grow as part of the process. And this can be at any level. A majority of what works for humans also applies directly to veterinary practice. Whatever is learned will then be a bonus to both family and pets.

When it comes to herbal therapy and oriental medicine, I am as dumb as a box of rocks. There are only a couple herbal preparations I have ever had any experience with, and the discussion of that in this list would be neither productive or informative <G>. So this is something that I will learn about. What I have seen so far is a really mixed level of understanding about homeopathic practice. With that in mind, I think what I will do is begin with some very basic concepts and remedy properties, and go on from there. Combination therapy and homotoxicology are great subjects, but if one does not know what or why these multiple remedies are, how can any discussion really ensue?

Homeopathy was the province of medical doctors until the early part of this century. Up until the 1930’s, many hospitals were of a homeopathic foundation. Several of these exist today as major medical institutions. It was only through the provinces of an M.D. who was a congressman (in the 1930’s) from Michigan that homeopathic medicines are still available without meeting the stringent requirements of FDA testing for efficacy. And there is much movement to close this loophole. There was a question asked about “if” presentation was respiratory, what would be the preferred course of action. I am going to make a seperate post, addressing that question, and begin by dividing remedies up into their proper groups. If anyone gets lost, or wants clarification, please do not lurk, ASK. I have gotten right in the face of some of the most stellar educators of homeopathy today, asked a “stupid” question, and forced them to think about what they were saying, and how they were saying it. It is always equalizing to have a ‘guru’ admit that they do not know, but will research the matter and find out!

Patrick Thrush

From: Christie Keith(with permission)

Arsenicum album Is this not arsenic? What is homeopathic about this? The use of poisons is extremely common in homeopathy. That is because homeopathic remedies do not contain the substance from which they were originally derived; they are energy medicines. Homeopathic arsenic would be used to TREAT symptoms similar to arsenic poisoning.

“Homeopathic” is not a synonym for holistic; it is a school of medicine based on the law of similars, “Let like be cured by like.” It involves the selecting of a remedy that in its crude form would produce the same symptoms in a healthy person as the sick person is experiencing. The substance is prepared according to the homeopathic pharmocopeia, a process which involves many stages of dilution and succussion. Homeopathic remedies are perfectly safe, even those made from venoms, poisons, or toxins.

What makes homeopathy holistic is the fact that it takes the entire patient into consideration, body, mind, and spirit, and does not seek to supress disease, but rather support the body’s efforts to balance and heal itself.

Christie Keith Caber Feidh Scottish Deerhounds Holistic Husbandry since 1986

From gloria: When you use homeopathy you are treating the whole bird, not just a particular symptom that the bird is exhibiting. You need to be careful in your observations. If you are not accurate and you treat with the wrong homeopathic, the results will be either nothing at all or the bird might start exhibiting other symptons in reaction to the incorrect homeopathic selected or it might get worse. In Beryl Chapman’s book she gives a good example. She talks about a group of birds that might have been poisoned by eating contaminated foods. Each bird would be reacting differently to the poison so a different homeopathic would have to be administered based on the bird’s symptoms: some would have mucous in their mouths, others dry-mouthed, some would be sensitive to cold, some would be panting with wings spread, some would be twitchy and nervous, others would be lethargic and slow.

For example for respiratory problems, if the bird is hot with labored breathing you would give aconite. If the bird is cold and weak, you would give carbo-veg. A very restless bird would get arsenicum. Phosphoricum acidum is given to a bird with loss of vital fuids, after bleeding or diarrhoea. The bird would be listless and have difficulty breathing.

These are homeopathics, not herbs. Homeopathics are ‘energy’ medicine, which means that they are so diluted that there is no more physical presence of the material left. What is left instead is the ‘energy’ of the substance to which the bird’s own body ‘energy’ will respond.

The energy of the substance is released into the diluent (diluting medium, usually alcohol or lactose) through a special process. This process is performed on each succeeding dilution. The more dilute the substance is, the more potent the energy. Inexperieced people should only work with dilutions of 6x or 30x. That means that it has been diluted 60 times (x stands for ten and six time ten is 60) or 300 times (again 30 times 10 is 300) Higher potencies should only be administered by those who are very experienced or who have degrees in homeopathic medicine.

Please don’t confuse herbs with homeopathics. Arsenicum, for example, is arsenic. If you would adminster arsenic to your bird you would kill it. The homeopathic arsenic is so diluted that none of the actual arsenic remains. It’s ‘energy’ is what heals and that is what is administered in a homeopathic dose.


Types of Homeopathic Treatments

by Patrick Thrush

Homeopathic remedies can be divided into several distinct groups, each with their own properties and actions. They are: Polycrests, Minor remedies, Miasmatics, Nosodes, Sarcodes, and Tautopathics. We will look at each group individually.


These are the most common and longest proven group of remedies. Out of the several thousands of existing preparations, these comprise only a couple hundred remedies. They are also referred to as Major Remedies. These are usually referenced in the broad header rubrics (symptom pictures) of a Reperatory of the Materia Medica (sort of like a Merck Manual and Physicians Desk Reference rolled into one, and about as large…). Calc Phosphorica can cover a multitude of rubrics, while it may be found that a minor remedy, such as Conchiolin is the ‘exact’ prescription. Calc phos is easy to find, while Conchiolin is not. Think of the polycrests like broad spectrum antibiotics, that will work with a lot of different pictures. They are most appropriate for acute, emergency, and general usage.

Minor Remedies

As noted above Calc Phos might be used in a variety of pictures. It is most appropriate for tissue related issues, and is used often after fractures and breaks. A skilled homeopath may use this remedy, but will often look at where the fracture lies. If it were near the growing end (or head) of a bone, the exact choice might be the smaller remedy (as they are also termed) Conchiolin. Think of the small remedy group as “specifics”, using the same analogy of the antibiotics. They lie much further down the chain in the Reperatory. These are to be used in more defined, chronic, or distinct presentations. A more involved knowledge of homeopathy is necessary to select from this group.


One of the foundational concepts of homeopathy is that of the miasm. Miasm may be said to comprise certain defined pathogen causes of disease and its effect on the organism. These are divided into two categories: Acute and Chronic. Acute is something you have contracted as a disease sometime recently, or in the past and has left antibodies and DNA markers in your body. Chronic may also be something you have contracted, but is often genetically transmitted intergenerationally. The chronic group is constituted of (and its main nosodes and remedies) Psora [Leprosy] – Psorinum/Arsenicum; Syphilis – Syphilinum/Mercurius; Sycosis [Gonohorrea] – Medorrhinum/Thuja; Tuberculosis – Tuberculinum/Phosphoricum. These groups are said to influence personality states, and lend predisposition to disease. The treatment of miasmatic condition, especially through the use of nosodes is to be left to properly qualified experts skilled in high potency (1M and above) prescribing.


These are generally comprised of diseased tissue or killed organisms. Their action is to offset the state of active organisms, or to balance remaining imprinted patterns of a disease state. They can be of particular use in miasmatic conditions, and bowel nosodes have a wide range of application in LM and centisimal dilutions. These should only be used when a particular state or etiology has been qualified.


This group is composed of healthy tissues whose purpose is to support or offset the imbalances of a particular state, and restore homeostasis (or balance). Sarcodes are what is often found in combination remedies employing glandular extracts.


A tautopathic preparation is made either from an existing drug or allergen, and is given to counteract the effect or residual problems from exposure or use of that particular substance. Two cases: Suppose one were allergic to ragweed. A remedy would be made of the pollen. The same may be done for any substance which produces an allergic or irritating reaction. Second; Suppose one wished to treat residual (long term) effect of such prescription drugs as tetracycline, the effect of immunization (such as DPT0, or substances of abuse. A remedy prepared from the original substance would then be given to the subject. Again, this is an area for experienced practitioners.

While this is all basic, it gives an idea of the range and possibilities of homeopathic practice with remedies. Returning to the respiratory quote at the top, it does make a difference what is used. If one is treating for general symptoms of unknown and unknowable etiology, a polycrest would be appropriate. If the picture is well defined, but still an unknown etiology exists then a small remedy would be selected. But if the etiology is defined as either allergic or pathological, and the exact causative agent is known, then a nosode or tautopathic would be the correct form of action. It all depends on the clarity of the presentation and casetaking, and the skill of the practitioner.

Patrick Thrush

Homeopathic Combinination Discussion

Combination remedies are a very hotly debated issue within the homeopathic community. The initial concept was developed by Dr. H.H. Reckeweg, who later founded BHI-Heel, one of the giants in the alternative pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Reckeweg’s concept is that if the body naturally encounters substances which imbalance the innate homeostasis of the organism (homeotoxins), then symptoms are a manifestation of the body attempting to heal itself. This position has great appeal to the allopathic (conventional) medical community, and many users of BHI-Heel products are medical practitioners working in the alternative sector. This is in slight contrast to conventional homeopathy which maintains that certain “programmed” predispositions help set the stage for subsequent dis-ease states. There are even hard line classical homeopaths who posit that an individual has only one remedy that they will ever need to “correct” the balance of the organism!

Combinations look at addressing a problem from one of two directions: Curative or Support. Curative remedies seek to attack a specific problem, and throw a lot of broad header rubric remedies together in the hope that one or two of them will alleviate the problem. It is the killing a fly with a shotgun effect. The problems here are twofold. First, one or more the other of the additional remedies may bring out an underlying problem or manifestation. It is for this reason that the constituents of these remedies are all very low potencies. This leads to the second problem. As homeopathy is energy medicine, actual molecules of the original tincture are not necessary to bring about a cure. Anything less than a 26X (equivalent to Avagadro’s molecular number) is likely to contain a molecule of the original substance. A 1X-6X will certainly contain several molecules of the original substance. Sometimes this can cause as many problems as it is intended on alleviating. Some people have actually had allergic reactions, and in several cases of chronic overuse of a product, induced arsenic poisoning. It is for this reason that some of the more “controversial” Heel products are only available to a board regulated M.D.

Support combinations are produced by companies such as Bioactive. Their intent is to combine conventional homeopathics and possibly glandular extracts together in a fashion which seeks to strengthen the natural process (both of homeostasis and healing). In this respect, they are equivalent homeopathic versions of traditional herbal combinations. But the possibility still exists to produce an adverse reaction, depending upon the polycrest type of the treatment subject. Support can be good, but for most purposes, combination therapy is the “easy” solution for those who do not know how to properly reperatorize a subject, and arrive at the correct rubric/remedy picture. In some cases, even things like the “flu” remedies may aggravate an underlying picture. All homeopathic application should be looked at in totality before applying combination therapy.

Hi Pat, Thanks for your explanation on the administration of combinations. I can see why conventional (allopathic) physicians would prefer to use one of the BI-heel products. The ‘shotgun’ approach would not require the lengthy questionnaire or the years of study demanded by the ‘classical’ homeopathic practitioner.

For an allopathic physician, it would be much easier to sell a bottle of ‘respiratory compound’ and administer it to their patients with respiratory symptoms. Hopefully one of the substances in the combination would address the underlying cause.

The classical practitioner, on the other hand, would spend at least an hour or more asking questions like: do you feel better in the evening or in the morning, are your symptoms worse when you are warm or cold? Are you more nervouse when you first get up or just before you go to bed? Does drinking hot fluids or cold fluids make you feel better? The practitioner would also be observing the patient for moistness of eyes, nose, mouth; skin & hair dryness and texture, emotional attitude, lethargy, fatigue, alertness, etc.

After all those observation, questions, and answers are carefully analyzed, the classical practitioner would study his/her thick materia medica volume for the substance which would effect the symptoms of the patient. Classical homeopathy is a very precise, exacting, and time consuming art/science.

I can’t see someone just dabbling in homeopathy going through all of that.

It’s quite clear that Dr. Reckweg, and others who later followed, would be filling a needed niche for those who wish to use homeopathy but do not have time for the in-depth study required to use it the way it was originally conceived.

I was not aware, however, until you pointed it out, that use of the low-potency combinations could be dangerous because the dilutions weren’t high enough to eliminate every molecular trace of the substance. Such products would require supervision of a professional or with certain substances, like arsenicum, you could be poisoning the patient with long term use, rather than healing.

Now…for a practical application of homeopathy. I’m glad you are here to firm up my understanding, and feel free to help if I say it wrong. 🙂 We are all learning here.

It is my understanding that if a bird were to display respiratory distress and we wanted to treat with homeopathy, it wouldn’t matter if the distress was caused by a bacterium, a virus, or something external like inhaling some toxin or allergen.

The bird we are treating is an individual. It is based on the bird’s individual symptoms that we select a treatment. The cause is unimportant. Our analysis is made entirely upon observation since we cannot ask the bird questions. We would observe lethargy vs nervousness, worse/better beginning of day/end of day, appetite/no appetite, dry/moist, cold/heat, weak/strong, preferences for isolation/companionship, friendliness/aggression, cheerfulness/sadness etc.

After careful analysis of every characteristic we can think of (whether or not it seems to be related to the problem) we would have to determine the simillimum (remedy of similars). For this we need reference books: One is called the Materia Medica Pura, which contains all the proved remedies with symptoms listed for each. Another, the mainstay of homeopathic practitioners is by James Kent. Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica.

Once selecting the appropriate remedy, we have to decide the potency. How does one do that? We also have to consider things in the environment and in the handling of the remedy that could antidote it and make it ineffective. When the symptoms change, and they might as the bird goes through the healing process, the remedy needs to change.


Vaccines introduce a small amount of live virus into a healthy body, so the body can build antibodies against the disease ,right? Don’t homeopathic nosodes do the exact same thing? It is my understanding that the nosodes are comprised of a substance made from the diseased or infected tissue which, when introduced will stimulate an immune reaction just like a vaccine. My common sense tells me the nosodes are the better, more natural approach, but can someone help me understand the practical reason? Thank you………. >>

“Nosodes” is a term for a homeopathic remedy that is prepared from infectious material such as pus, vomit, feces, etc. They can be used in one of two ways: one, as a preventative, similar to an oral vaccine, and two, like any other homeopathic remedy, based on the law of similars ie, giving the remedy that produces the symptoms in a healthy person that are being shown by the sick person (or pet).

Nosodes are not dangerous, in the sense that they cannot infect with the diseased matter from which they are made. Homeopathic remedies above a certain potency (24x or 12c) do not contain even one molecule of the crude material from which they are made. Even lower potency remedies are made to safe standards according to the Homeopathic Pharmocopeia of the United States, and are considered safe by the FDA.

The use of nosodes (or vaccines) to prevent symptoms of acute illness is not classical homeopathy, although it’s probably one of the most common questions I get asked about homeopathy and about vaccines. We’re all very eager to find something that will make us feel we are doing our utmost to protect our animals from disease, especially in the beginning. I used nosodes for a few years, but no longer use them. Many classical homeopaths feel that nosodes share some of the same problems as vaccines, eg, they replace acute disease with chronic illness.

However, nosodes cannot trigger an allergic reaction, nor do they contain preservatives, antibiotics, and toxic adjuvants, as do conventional vaccines. Furthermore, taken orally, they do not enter the body directly into the blood stream; they enter through the mucous membranes and digestive system, as pathogens generally do.

Most nosodes do not produce an antibody reaction, although if the nosode actually is protective on an “energy” level, then your body will produce antibodies if challenged with the pathogen. However, it’s the pathogen itself that produces the antibodies, not the nosode. In the case of a vaccine, it’s the inactivated pathogenic material in the vaccine that produces the antibody response.

There have been studies of nosodes as disease preventatives. These summaries are from a variety of sources, all cited:

After 1830 – some 52 years ahead of Koch’s first isolation of the tubercle bacillus for the tuberculosis vaccine – nosodes (that is, homeopathic dilutions of the products of the illness in question given orally) were commonly used as just-in-case measures against a wide variety of diseases. According to government statistics, when homeopathy was a strong contender against orthodox medicine for medical dominance, the use of these homeopathic ‘vaccines’ was accompanied by an amazing drop in the incidence of whooping cough, diphtheria, scarlet fever and measles in children. In all groups, the numbers of people of all ages contracting TB, dysentery, typhoid fever and Asiatic cholera plummeted (Gaier, Thorsons Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Homeopathy, Harper-Collins, London, 1991).

Although proof of the scientific benefit of the various ‘vaccines’ are generally thin on the ground, a few published studies suggest the effectiveness of nosodes used as preventatives against specific diseases, including cancer.

One experimental study in the early part of this century investigated a strain of fruitfly (Drosophila melnogaster), in which 50 per cent of male offspring die from a genetically inherited tumour. In a large series of 218 larval cultures matched with 22 control groups, the death rate was reduced fourfold by giving the flies homeopathic potencies of a tumour nosode mixed with Arsenicum Album and Mercurius nitricus (Hom Recorder, 1925; 40: 130; J Am Inst Hom, 1925; 18; 433: 790).

Chags-Cruz disease, known as Brazilian trypanosomiasis, is a greatly feared South American insect-borne infectious disease affecting humans, rodents and armadillos. In a controlled study, a potentized homeopathic nosode, prepared from the blood of infected mice, was given to a group of mice 10 days before they (and a control group, not given the ‘vaccine’) were exposed to trypanosomal infection.

All the mice given the nosode survived, compared with no survivors among the control group. The nosode wasn’t found to be effective when given to treat the illness, once contracted (Annals Hom Fr, 1982; 24(3): 253-64).

Another three studies demonstrated that pretreatment with this nosode raised protective antibodies to Trypanosoma cruzi (Transactions XLII Congress Liga Medicorum Homoeopapthica Internationalis, Rio de Janeiro, 1986).

Although these are only animal studies against an arcane disease not encountereed in the West, at least one large-scale homeopapthic human trial exists. In 1974, more than 18,000 children were successfully ‘vaccinated’ with the nosode ‘menigococcinum IICH’ against meningitis (F.X. Eizayaga, Treatise on Homoeopathic Medicine, Buenos Aires: Ediciones Marcel, 1991).

Twenty years later, this trial not only shows how effective the treatment is, but also how safe. There wasn’t a single instance of side effects.(With thanks to WDDTY, 4 Wallace Road, London N1 2PG, Phone 0171 354 4592 Fax 0171 354 8907)

From Natural Pet Magazine, January 1996:

“In veterinary medicine, probably the best known study was done by Dr. Christopher Day of England involving `kennel cough’ in a boarding kennel. At the time he was called in, there were 40 dogs in the kennel with 35 that had kennel cough. About half had been vaccinated for this malady. He gave a nosode to all the animals that were there and all the dogs that came in through the rest of the summer (another 214 dogs). He successfully reduced the incidence of kennel cough from over 90% to less than 2%.”


Regarding the subject of homeopathic immunization, there is great indication that potential exists for this modality. In countries like India, where allopathic, homeopathic, and Ayurvedic medicine exist on equal footings much work and application of this paradigm occurs. Outcomes for homeopathic vaccination appear to be good, but are limited by the amount of time involved in sensitizing the organism to the pathogen.

Similar to many conventional vaccination procedures, homeopathic vaccines must be administered in a series. Unlike standard protocols, the length of exposure to the vaccine is much longer to achieve resistance to the pathogens. This time is found to be variable depending upon the constitution and history of the patient receiving the vaccines. The probability is that sensitization is more effective by combining both high and low potency remedies together. A standard homeopathic DPT remedy is usually administered in a 30C potency. However, deeper reaching effect is had by using a 1M or 10M potency. The only problematic with the use of nosodes is that prior history and constitution must be taken into account, as this group of remedies must often be preceded by a constitutional remedy (taking into consideration miasmatic presentation) prior to administration of the vaccine preparations.

I had heard of the use of homeopathics for vaccination of parvo and feline leukemia virus’. As I was led to believe, a several month course of therapy was shown to provide acceptable resilience and resistance to infection. I am looking into confirming the sources of this data. There are several specialty pharmacies in India which would prepare vaccines and nosodes of avian pathogens if supplied with samples which to make mother tinctures from. If anyone is interested in persuing this line and providing such materials, I can provide them with contact information. — Regards, Patrick Thrush

“The Itch”

by Christie Keith

A German physician named Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) developed homeopathy in the 1700s. After many years of working with the theory and practice of this new discipline, Hahnemann made the comment that at the root of most human illness was the suppression of “the itch.” He called this almost universal tendency to skin ailments “psora,” categorizing it as an inherited or acquired underlying tendency to certain conditions (what he called in German a “miasm”). We might call it a genetic or acquired predisposition.

The Europeans of Hahnemann’s day seemed to frequently suffer from skin problems, including dry, itchy, scaly skin or weepy, broken, cracked skin. Conditions that today we might term allergic excema, contact dermatitis, or Hahnemann categorized a number of other diagnostic terms as the “psoric miasm.” He believed that when we suppress skin eruptions, we are in effect cutting the wire to the “check engine” light on our dashboard, rather than having the engine checked.

In homeopathic theory, skin ailments and eruptions are the most minor of all conditions. In other words, the body has managed to externalize the imbalance, disease, or disorder to a high degree. A rash or itching on the extremities, such as the feet, would be an even better sign.

So what is the first thing we do with our itchy dogs? Holistic or conventional, we seek to suppress “the itch,” driving the disease deeper into the organism. We do this repeatedly, both in otherwise healthy animals, or when the skin condition follows on the heels of a change in husbandry such as a better diet, herbal therapy, chiropractic, acupuncture, or the administration of homeopathic remedies.

The law of cure teaches us that cure proceeds from within outward, and backwards in time, as well as from above downward. If you dog has chronic diarrhea, and you manage to “cure” her of that, and in the process she develops a weeping skin condition, or a terrible itchiness, you often feel that she’s getting worse. In most cases, she is in fact getting better, especially if this is an old symptom returning. Suppression of skin problems generally recurs as respiratory or digestive problems. (For an interesting angle on this, it’s been observed that a disproportionately high number of people with adult-onset asthma were treated for childhood excema.)

This is why it is so crucial for chronic disease to be treated homeopathically ONLY by an experienced and trained practitioner. To evaluate whether cure is progressing, even if it has stimulated a “healing crisis,” is not an easy thing to learn.

Again and again on the wellpet list and the holistic boards on AOL and in my holistic chat I see people asking how to “stop” their dog from itching. I see suggestions made from tea tree oil to Bitter Apple to vinegar rinses to oatmeal soaks and so on. Each of those suggestions, while well-intentioned and no doubt less toxic than allopathic alternatives, is nonetheless suppressive.

So, what do you do with your itchy dog? After all, intense itching is serious, as a bout with poison oak taught me. Many itchy dogs are in horrible pain and discomfort, and the quality of their lives without suppressive treatments has been poor. What to do?

I believe that the first step is to improve the diet. Bad diet is considered an “obstacle to cure” in homeopathic theory, and most skin conditions resolve on their own, “from within outward,” when the diet is addressed appropriately.

For those few that do not, treatment by homeopathy can effect a real, lasting cure, not suppression of the symptom. In its action on the vital force, it makes no difference if you suppress a symptom with cortisone or tea tree oil. Either way, you are driving the disease deeper and cutting the wire to that “check engine” light.

Christie Keith