Homeopathic medicine has been practiced around the world for about two hundred years; it is presently receiving more recognition because of its non-invasive but effective powers of healing. Veterinarians are becoming interested in homeopathy as an alternative to conventional drugs, especially in some of the chronic problems horses have. Horse owners are interested because homeopathy is an excellent treatment for many simple acute problems. When used correctly there are no side effects.
Homeopathy utilizes medicines derived from plants, animals and minerals. The medicines, or remedies as they are often called, are made under FDA regulation, by diluting each substance many times, and "succeeding" or shaking the solution between each dilution. The diluted remedy is generally put onto a small lactose or sugar pellet, making a very palatable and easily administered medicine.
To understand how homeopathy works it is easiest to use an example. If a person has a red itchy, hot rash that feels better under hot water, like poison ivy often does, the remedy would be the dilute homeopathic form of poison ivy, called Rhus Tox. This would trigger the body to heal itself from that specific problem.
Homeopathy can be used easily by the horse-owner to treat the every-day problems horses create for themselves, such as wounds, bruises and colds. Some other chronic conditions treated with homeopathy are: colic, "heaves", tendonitis, laminitis, allergies, behavior problems and skin diseases. It is important that the person prescribing remedies for chronic disease problems in your horse be a veterinarian trained in homeopathy, because a diagnosis is always required in order to accurately select the remedy. There are veterinarians knowledgeable about homeopathy throughout the world (link to organization for homeopathic vets).
You can learn more about homeopathy through reading (my First Aid booklet is a great starting place) and occasional courses that we will list here. Books are also available at some health food and book stores. The homeopathic remedies are available at many health food stores as well as on our web site – the ones for humans are the same ones we use for the animals.