Homeopathy - Handy To Have Around
by Carol Kroupa
I have used homeopathy on my children, horses and cats for over 13 years. In this time I have discovered a few things by experience.
First of all, it works! Having witnessed the effects of homeopathic remedies such as Arnica preventing bruising from injuries from my boys' rough and tumble play and Arsenicum alleviating colic in my horses, I am convinced that homeopathy is not just a placebo. After all, rarely does a horse view any bottle or syringe as beneficial, or 'helping him' in any way!
If you want to try homeopathy, but don't want to buy a whole kit, I suggest the 3 A's - Arnica, Arsenicum, and Aconite.
Arnica Montana is for blows and injuries. While old injuries can also be treated, I find that Arnica administered as soon as possible is best. It will prevent swelling and start the healing process immediately. A second dose in a half-hour for the more serious injuries will boost the healing action. I keep Arnica handy for my stallion in case a visiting mare has had a sudden change of heart, and makes her statement perfectly clear with a well-placed kick. (See NHM Volume 1, Issue 1, 1999, For the Rider, A is for Athletes and Arnica.)
Arsenicum album is made from arsenic. When homeopathy is prepared, not even a drop of the original substance is found in a 30x potency product, yet the 'essence' of arsenic triggers the body to cure itself of poisons. I grab Arsenicum if a horse should appear colicky, right after I call the vet. Often, I alternate Arsenicum with Aconite if the symptoms call for them.
Aconitum napellus is for 'suddenly sick'. Aconite is a powerful remedy to turn the healing clock in your favor. Following an initial dose of Aconite or Arsenicum, I continue to dose a colicky horse with Arsenicum at half-hour doses until the veterinarian arrives. Nux vomica is also a powerful colic remedy. It is helpful to learn the remedy pictures ahead of time so that you will know which remedy to use in a pinch.
Homeopathic remedies are very sensitive to strong odors and light. This is important for use with horses, after all, what horse isn't either outside or standing in the smelly corner of the barn? Camphor and liniments especially can counteract the effectiveness of homeopathic remedies. I feel better storing these remedies in my home, away from sunlight and aromatic substances. When needed, I retrieve a dose of 7 to 10 tablets in a clean, empty plastic remedy bottle with room temperature water. I carry the dose in my pocket to the ailing horse parked in the shade. Then I tip it up into the corner of the horse's mouth, mumbling, 'It's just water', to relax the horse. Inevitably, there is a surprised expression on his or her face, perhaps only relief that it wasn't a chemical wormer I just gave him, when the horse realizes that I was mostly right.
These remedies can be found at most health food stores. I look for lactose
I believe no home (or stable) should be without the '3 A's'. They are inexpensive peace of mind for some of the most troubling emergencies.
About the author:
Carol Kroupa is a freelance writer, editor and artist as well as the owner and manager of Rainbow Paints, a horse breeding operation in Alexandria, MN. She and her family are actively involved in horseback riding, wildlife/wilderness protection, biking, and learning about natural therapies
This is an informational article only and is not intended to replace veterinary or professional care.