7 Superb Mineral Remedies
The highest ideal of therapy is to restore health rapidly, gently, permanently; to remove and destroy the whole disease in the shortest, surest, least harmful way, according to clearly comprehensible principles. - Dr. Samuel Hahnemann
What Is Homeopathy?
Homeopathy - 'Like Cures Like' and 'The Law of Similars'
The word homoeopathy (now commonly spelled homeopathy) was coined by Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy, from two Greek words, homoios, meaning similar or like, and pathos, meaning suffering or disease. The basic homeopathic principle is treating like with like.
A substance that produces disease symptoms in a healthy individual can be used to cure an individual with similar disease symptoms. For example, poison ivy produces itching, burning, and inflammation. The specially prepared, diluted and succussed homeopathic remedy called Rhus tox, made from the poison ivy plant, is used to treat the burning, itching, and inflammation of hives, insect bites, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Hahnemann believed that through this principle, nature provides us with the medicine we need to heal ourselves of nearly every illness if we maintain a balanced lifestyle, including proper nutrition and a clean environment.
Homeopathy Treats the Patient, Not the Disease
The emphasis of homeopathy is on treating the whole individual rather than the disease. Disease is viewed as merely a signal from the body that all is not well. The symptoms of disease are a set of clues guiding to the appropriate remedy, or simillimum. The best remedy is determined by considering all the symptoms, and all the characteristics, of each individual.
While homeopathic remedies can be selected merely to treat the current problem, the best approach is to find that remedy which matches all the patient's characteristics, peculiarities, strengths and weaknesses - mentally, emotionally, and physically. When the simillimum is used, the patient can be cured rather than just relieved, and the individual becomes healthier overall.
Stimulate, Not Manipulate
The body has an inborn intelligence, known, in homeopathy, as the vital force. The body's amazing capacity to overcome illness and heal wounds without help proves that this innate wisdom exists. The purpose of a homeopathic remedy is to support and encourage that wisdom by stimulating the vital force to start a healing response in an individual.
The remedies, unlike drugs and some herbs, do not manipulate the body. A correctly chosen remedy gives a signal, triggering a response, and the body does the healing. While drugs force a response, often affecting the entire body unnecessarily and thwarting its attempts to heal itself, properly chosen homeopathic remedies work with the body and not against it. With its inner intelligence, the body knows what to do and where to do it.
Sources of Homeopathic Remedies
Plants, Animals, Minerals
More than 60 percent of all homeopathic remedies are from plant sources. Plant-derived homeopathic medicines are prepared from whole plants, leaves, buds, flowers, roots, bulbs, berries, fruits, seeds, nuts, and barks.
Approximately 20 percent of all homeopathic remedies are obtained from animal sources - spiders, snakes, bugs, beetles, bees, marine wildlife, glands of animals, and even the chestnuts on a horse's leg. Other animal sources, considered nosodes, sarcodes and isodes, are tissue extracts, diseased tissue, and tissue from the diseased patient himself.
The rest include the chemical elements - metals, non-metals, and metalloids, and mineral sources from naturally occurring elements and ores.
The Body Needs Minerals
Because of the nature of the horse's structure, and the service he provides by bearing weight or being used as a work animal to pull, the hooves, skeletal structure, and connective tissue must be adequate or the horse would collapse under the stress. The hooves are the basis of soundness, as are the legs, and the suspended spine. Each of the 4 corners of this framework must do its fair share. And what makes up this framework? Largely, it is minerals. Minerals are a very necessary part of the nutritional requirements of the horse, for the skin, hair, and soft tissues as well. Therefore, the horse, with its solid hooves and sturdy skeleton, can inherently benefit from homeopathic mineral remedies.
Homeopathic mineral remedies are not really mineral supplements, however. There is a big difference. A mineral supplement is the mineral in the crude form, as a ground-up or powdered substance ingested by the horse, hopefully absorbed and utilized by the body. A mineral deficiency can be caused by not enough crude minerals being ingested, not enough minerals being absorbed, and/or an imbalance or loss of minerals. The minerals may be entering the mouth, but perhaps the system is not absorbing and utilizing them.
A homeopathic mineral remedy is different from the mineral in the crude form; a homeopathically prepared remedy is the potentized form of the crude substance. The crude substance has been repeatedly pulverized and sequentially diluted with a medium such as powdered lactose (or alcohol for dilution) to bring out the pure, powerful energy of the substance while leaving behind the bulk of the substance. To determine if a remedy is homeopathic, look for an X or C on the label. These numbers indicate how many times the remedy has been potentized, or energized and diluted. Homeopathic remedies come in varying potencies, or strengths, denoted on the label as a number followed by an X or C (Roman numerals), for example 6x. The lower the number, the lower the potency and the lower the energy and efficacy; the higher the number, the higher the potency and the higher the energy and efficacy. Oddly enough, low potencies such as 3x and 6x still have measurable crude substance in them whereas the higher potencies such as 200c do not.
And of what use is this energy without crude substance? Plenty. It can stimulate the energetic vital force to correct underlying imbalances. The body is capable of correcting its problems - it just needs the proper stimulation. If the system has a problem absorbing a mineral, the homeopathic form of that mineral can help the body absorb it more readily. If there is a mineral imbalance, the homeopathic form can help the body balance out the minerals by absorbing the minerals it needs and eliminating the minerals in excess. The homeopathic form can also help eliminate excesses of minerals, such as mineral buildups in the form of bone spurs and scar tissue.
What homeopathy cannot do, however, is supply the horse with nutrients - proper nutrition must be provided for the body to be able to sustain itself. It would be foolish to think that homeopathy, or any therapy, can take the place of adequate nutrition. The same is true with maintenance practices; one must avoid doing harm by exposing the horse to toxins, poisons, and an unhealthy lifestyle. Proper nutrition and sensible maintenance are paramount to sustaining the body. If the nutrition is provided, but a derangement within the body will not allow proper utilization of the nutrients, homeopathy can be of great value.
Many remedies are described as being constitutional remedies, which means that such a remedy has proved to be very useful in treating patients constitutionally, or as whole, unique individuals, where symptoms match. Some homeopathic remedies are rarely used for constitutional treatment while others are commonly used.
A constitutional remedy has a fundamental importance to an individual throughout his entire lifetime. That remedy represents a more 'whole' picture and acts deeply and broadly rather than being targeted toward specific actions, acute diseases, or other uses on a more narrow and superficial level. The remedy closely fits the physical, mental, and emotional symptoms of a patient, his characteristics, and all his unique qualities. This does not mean, however, that a constitutional remedy is not useful in acute conditions, or that an acute remedy cannot be used constitutionally. It all depends on the patient and his symptoms when choosing the best remedy.
To treat constitutionally, one needs the expertise and guidance of a homeopath. In fact, any chronic condition requires the guidance of a veterinary homeopath. There may be changes that come about which will need interpretation; some favorable responses may appear unfavorable to one who is not familiar with homeopathy. It also generally involves working back through 'layers of disease'. The road to cure can be challenging and misleading at times, so an experienced homeopath should lead the way.
7 Mineral Remedies
This short list of 7 mineral-based remedies presents the basic characteristics of each. More detailed information can be found in a Materia Medica, which will provide a more complete picture of each remedy.
1. Calcarea carbonica - Calcium carbonate or carbonate of lime, the soft middle layer of the oyster shell, a natural blend of compounds occurring in nature which contains small quantities of other substances such as magnesium carbonate and sodium chloride.
A deficiency of calcium affects every tissue in the body. Calcium is readily excreted and its ingestion in the crude form does not ensure its absorption and utilization. Calcium in homeopathic form can establish the presence of the element in the system where a deficiency exists. Calcium utilization is also dependent on the presence and proper ratios of magnesium, potassium, and sodium in the system.
Its remedy picture includes excessive appetite, depraved appetite (tendency to eat or chew strange things), obesity, sluggishness, voluntary and involuntary muscle weakness, muscle spasms, skeletal disorders, chilliness, fearfulness, inflammation of the mucous membranes with discharges, enlarged glands, conjunctivitis, cataracts, and bronchitis. It is a constitutional remedy.
Symptoms are made worse by cold of all kinds, dampness, drafts, and a full moon.
Symptoms are made better by dry weather.
Definition: exostosis - a bony tumor, node, or growth on the surface of bone. It is often the result of the body's inability to evenly distribute the minerals, primary calcium and phosphorus, which build bone. Bone substance may be deficient in one area of the body while excessive in another. Defective bone formation, slow development of bone tissue, and softening of the bone occur as well.
2. Calcarea fluorica - calcium fluoride, fluoride of lime. This mineral is found in the outer layer of the bones, tooth enamel, elastic fibers of the skin, connective tissue, hooves, and walls of the blood vessels.
A deficiency of this mineral may cause a lack of elasticity of the tissues and blood vessels resulting in brittle bone, bone bruises, dental problems, and circulation disorders.
Its remedy picture includes bony formations and exostoses, bone and connective tissue lesions, enlarged and painful joints, jawbone problems and loose teeth, relaxation of connective tissue, blackened or bad teeth, cracking joints, cataracts, mouth ulcers, skin ulcers with raised edges, splints, ringbone, sesamoiditis, sandcrack, founder, coffin bone problems, brittle bones, hard and nodular tumors of the mammary glands, and enlargement of superficial glands. It is a constitutional remedy.
Symptoms are made worse by rest, dampness, and humid weather.
Symptoms are made better by heat and warm applications, rubbing, and continuation of movement.
3. Calcarea phosphorica - calcium phosphate, phosphate of lime. As this is the most abundant mineral in the body, it is essential to proper nutrition, growth, and repair of cells. A deficiency of this mineral may cause bone disease, dental problems, and defective nutrition.
Its remedy picture includes deficiency of assimilation, delayed development, poor bone and teeth development, slow healing fractures, brittleness of bones, swollen and painful joints with stiffness of muscles, back stiffness, burning discharges from the ears, colic with diarrhea after eating, eye problems such as corneal ulcers and opacities, cataracts, increased output of pale urine, tendency to be easily bored, imbalance of the calcium/phosphorus ratio, conditions of the young, growing animal such as rickets, colic, and diarrhea, similar to Calcarea carbonica but is more suited to the lean, active horse than the obese, sluggish one.
Symptoms are made worse by cold drafts, dampness, and melting snow.
Symptoms are made better by warmth and dry weather.
4. Hekla lava - Lava from Mount Hecla. The ash of this volcano contains silica, alumina, lime, magnesia, and some oxide of iron.
Its remedy picture includes disorders of the skeletal system (all bones being included), upper jaw and facial bone problems, exostoses from injury to bone, hard and inflamed lymph glands (especially of the neck), inflammation and thinning of the nasal mucous membranes, nasal bone ulcers, bone decay, tooth decay, difficult teething, gum abscesses, bone tumors and tumors in general.
Symptoms are made worse by pressure and touch, and the right side of the body tends to be affected more often than the left.
5. Hepar sulphuris - Calcium sulphide; one of the original remedies proved by Samuel Hahnemann, prepared by heating equal parts of finely powdered oyster shell (Calcium carbonate) and pure sulphur to white hot.
Its remedy picture includes hypersensitivity to pain, chilliness but sweats easily, irritability, discharge of pus which often smells like old cheese, abscesses (Hepar sulph can dissolve a small abscess that is still firm or open an abscess that is ready to drain), infected lymph glands, infected wounds, fistulous withers, mastitis, inflammation of mucous membranes with pus, wheezing, coughing, respiratory infections, bladder and urinary infections with pus, sandcrack, gravel, discharging ear infections, discharging conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers and ulcers in general, some forms of bursitis, and conditions that are extremely sensitive to touch. Hepar sulph
Note: Lower potencies (1x to 3x) of this remedy promote pus formation to hasten the healing process but the high potencies (200c to 1M) will stop the formation of pus.
Symptoms are made worse by cold drinks, cold air, drafts, moving about, and touch.
Symptoms are made better by heat, warmth, eating, and damp wet weather.
6. Natrum muriaticum - Sodium chloride, known as common salt; prepared from the powder or white crystals of naturally occurring rock salt. Salt is found in every liquid and solid of the body. Being 70 percent water, the body needs salt to regulate the degree of moisture within in the cells and around the cells.
A deficiency may cause the retention of water and intercellular fluid seen as swelling, watery discharges and salivation. Even though supplied with common salt, the tissues may not be able to utilize it unless the homeopathic form is provided. Excessive intake of salt may lead to anemia or accumulation of fluid in the tissues while the mucous membranes become dry.
Its remedy picture includes exhaustion, swollen eyelids with burning tears, sneezing, clear nasal discharges, eczema, flaky skin, itching skin in the bends of joints, salt craving, tendency to be thirsty, indifferent appetite, constipation, chronic inflammation of the kidneys with large amounts of clear urine, weakness of the limbs, chronic anemia, chronic unhealthiness, and the beginnings of cataracts. It is a constitutional remedy.
Symptoms are made worse by heat, noise, lying down, sun, and the seashore, and during 10 to 11 am.
Symptoms are made better by open air, cold-water baths, lying on the right side.
7. Silicea - silica, silicon dioxide, found naturally as flint, sand, and quartz. This mineral is essential to the body as it is present in bones, joints, glands, skin, hooves, and mucous membranes. It is found abundantly in plants.
A deficiency may delay normal healing and growth processes. Silicea is a cleanser and eliminator that helps reduce scar tissue and encourages the body to eject foreign bodies via pus formation and expulsion. Though not a common problem in horses, it is worthy of note that Silicea is not recommended for use if the patient has false body parts - eg. a pin in a bone or joint, hip replacement, synthetic knee cap, lens implant, or other false parts on the chance that the body may try to push out the foreign material.
Its remedy picture includes bone decay, corneal ulceration and moon blindness, mastitis, conditions with pus that have passed the acute stage and are in the chronic stage, poll evil, fistulous withers, chronic or recurring hoof abscesses, founder, thrush, weak hooves, sandcrack, exaggerated reflexes, sensitivity to noise, nervous exhaustion, anxiety, dislike of drafts, tendency to get cold easily, lack of body heat, lack of moral and physical grit, wounds which tend to form pus and are slow to heal, weakness, constipation, defective nutrition, swollen neck and jaw glands, chronic inflammatory conditions, breathing difficulties, tendonitis, fibrous thickening of ligaments and tendons, bowed tendons, scar tissue, some forms of tumor, and ill effects of vaccinations. It is a constitutional remedy.
Symptoms are made worse by cold, dampness, and getting baths.
Symptoms are made better by heat and dry weather.
Each horse is an individual and homeopathy recognizes the uniqueness of each patient. Therefore, homeopathic remedies are most effective when used according to this principle. A horse may tend to exhibit certain symptoms that will point one to the correct remedy for that horse. Rather than looking at a remedy as being useful for spurs and exostoses, view it as a remedy that is useful for a horse who tends to form bone spurs. Homeopathy is individualized and choosing the remedy to fit the patient is the key to its success.