cows in field

Homeopathy: The Mechanics and Its Application for the Dairy Farm

Part 1 and 2

Part 1

By Glen Dupree, DVM

Added January 31, 2009. Of the therapeutic options available to the organic dairy, homeopathy stands alone in its elegance and simplicity. Of all the therapeutic options available for the organic dairy, none are more controversial than homeopathy.

I can make the first of these two statements because homeopathy alone is governed by four simple rules. Within these four rules is the ability to treat any set of symptoms in any species under any
circumstances without having to make exemptions or without having to change the rules.

I can make the second of these statements because nowhere within our currently accepted confines of science are the explanations for the theory and actions of homeopathy. However, even without these explanations, the changes seen in the patient after the administration of the properly selected homeopathic remedy are irrefutable. The sick body responds to curative therapy, even if there is not a commonly accepted scientific model to allow for such action.

The beauty of homeopathy is that if you understand the mechanics and applications of the medicine you can be successful with homeopathy, even if you do not understand exactly how or why the medicine works. The how and why make the medicine more interesting and its use more compelling but the mechanics and application make it successful.

In selecting the indicated homeopathic remedy for the case (whether the patient is an individual suffering some specific malady, an individual who is just not doing right but without a diagnosable disease, or a collective patient comprised of several individuals suffering from similar symptoms), the first rule of homeopathy is that you must select a remedy for the patient that is capable of causing similar symptoms. The medicine can cure symptoms (if given in very small quantities) because it can cause similar symptoms (if given in large quantities).

This sounds counterintuitive and self-defeating. Without delving into the philosophy and the theory as to why this is a necessary component of a curative medicine, we will simply say that by selecting a medicine based on its ability to cause similar symptoms in the patient, you are stimulating the body’s ability to heal itself rather than relying on the external and artificial effects of the medicine itself.

If this is the first rule of homeopathy, then the second rule is necessary to allow for the application of the first rule. The second rule says that if we are to apply the medicine that is capable of causing symptoms similar to the symptoms of the patient, we must first know what symptoms the medicine is capable of producing.

Provings and How They are Documented

This information is gathered through a process called a proving. In a proving a group of healthy individuals are brought together and are given the medicinal substance in sufficient quantity and repetition that they begin to produce symptoms. Since provings are only done on human volunteers, we can get a very accurate and detailed description of all the symptoms on all levels that the medicine is capable of producing. And since a symptom is a symptom regardless of species producing it (a wet cough is a wet cough regardless of the type of animal producing it, an itchy skin eruption is an itchy skin eruption regardless of the type of animal producing it, etc), we can extrapolate this human-derived information into any and every species. In order to keep track of this information, the provings are recorded in books called Materia Medica. These books are basically dictionaries of the remedies, telling the homeopath all the symptoms the remedy is capable of causing and therefore all the symptoms the remedy is capable of curing.

Materia medica run the gamut from the simplistic first aid and emergency manuals that are most useful in crisis situations to the most complete works like Hering’s or Allen’s 10 volume sets which list even the most subtle of symptoms, making them useful for treating the complexities of individual chronic disease.

Homeopathy Uses a Holistic Approach

Building on these first two rules is the third rule that speaks to the holistic approach of homeopathy. Since our patient is a functional totality according to the concepts of holism (the body is a complex unit made up of interdependent and interconnected parts that cannot be treated to the exclusion of the rest of the body since what affects the part affects the whole and what affects the whole affects each and every part), we must take into account the totality of symptoms produced by the patient as we match the proven remedy to the symptoms produced by our patient.

This rule keeps us focused on the fact that we are treating a living patient, not a static diagnosis. Since our patient is a functional totality, then every symptom produced is a clue to its state of illhealth and, therefore, of the remedy necessary to restore health. If we are treating a crisis or an emergency situation, we must take into account all the symptoms of the event, exclusive of the latent and pre-existing symptoms of the patient. If we are treating the subtleties of individual chronic disease in an attempt to remove the patient’s tendency to be sick, then we must take into account all the symptoms the patient is producing currently in all systems and in all levels as well as the historic symptoms that are a record of the previous state of health that has ultimated in today’s condition. In either case we are treating a single totality, rather than multiple diagnoses.

Use of the Repertory for Finding Potential Remedies for the Case

In order to simplify this process, there are books called repertories that are collections of symptoms along with the remedies capable of causing the symptoms. As with the materia medica, repertories range from the ultra-simplistic and diagnosis-driven first aid and emergency manuals to the much larger and complete repertories like Kent’s or Synthesis or the Complete Repertory.

By using the repertory, a potential list of remedies for the patient is developed based on the symptoms produced by both the patient and the medicine. This is a process called repertorization or
case analysis.

To begin the process of repertorization, the patient’s or the crisis’ symptoms are gathered and listed. The more detail involved in the description of the symptom, the more exact the choice of remedy will be.

From this list, the 3-5 symptoms that truly define the patient or the crisis are selected. These symptoms are selected based on consistency, recurrency, periodicity, degree, uniqueness, and
defining modalities (external events that alter the presentation of the symptom such as weather, motion, eating or drinking, etc. A modality is a feature of the symptom that is unique to the patient or the event).

If properly selected these 3-5 symptoms define the case in all aspects and will lead to a list of remedies that contains the correct remedy for the patient. This correct remedy will include all of these symptoms plus all the symptoms displayed by the patient but not used in the case analysis. (The remedy should contain all the symptoms of the patient but the patient will not necessarily display all the symptoms of the remedy.)

The repertory is simply a short cut to the potential list of remedies and does not select the remedy for the patient. This list of remedies must be taken to the materia medica and studied until the exact fit for the patient is found. The remedy selection will be verified by the inclusion in the materia medica of all the symptoms of the patient including those used in the case analysis.

Use One Remedy at a Time

Finally we are at the fourth rule that says we need to use a single dose of a single remedy when it is time to treat. Since we are dealing with a single totality of symptoms there should be only one best
remedy for that totality. And since we are depending on the healing properties of the body rather than the chemical manipulation of the medicine, we must give the dose sufficient time to work. This does not mean that only one dose of one medicine is all the patient will ever need but that at each dosing only one dose of one medicine is given so that we can evaluate the patient’s response and can make corrections if the response is less than curative.

The time involved in making this assessment depends on the dynamics and speed of the disease process. True life-threatening emergencies may be dosed and assessed every 1-2 minutes. Long
standing, latent chronic disease may be dosed and assessed in days to weeks. In either case the response of the patient dictates the next actions of the homeopath.

Initially this process will seem foreign and time consuming. With experience comes speed and accuracy. But until you gain that experience, simply use the selected homeopathic remedy as an adjunct to your current treatment protocol for the condition. If you see improved results with the addition of the remedy, this will give you the courage to try the remedy first and use your previous protocol as an adjunct to the remedy. Then with experience, and because of the ease of administration and the economics of homeopathy, many, if not most, of your previous protocols
may be abandoned.

For example if your farm probably has a particular herbal protocol of one or more herbal mixtures and maybe some vitamins or other supplements for diarrhea or pneumonia or some other malady. You can continue to use this protocol when you see the problem developing but you now repertorize the case and select the homeopathic remedy that best matches the symptoms. To your herbal protocol, you add appropriate doses of the homeopathic remedy.

As you assess the results of your treatment, if the cattle respond quicker, more dramatically, or more economically with the homeopathic remedy than when this protocol was used previously without the homeopathic remedy, this improved response can be attributed to the remedy since this is the only variable introduced from the previous protocol.

If you see this repeatedly, then it will give you confidence in the homeopathic remedy’s ability to treat your cattle. With this confidence, you may opt at the next occurrence to try the homeopathic
remedy first and hold your herbs until later. You can always go back to the old procedures if the homeopathic remedy fails to meet your expectations.

Then with the correct remedy and with additional experience, you will begin to see that the correct homeopathic remedy is capable of addressing the issues with little or no secondary supports. It is at this point that you will be able to appreciate the elegance and the economics of homeopathy on the farm.

Also with experience will come the knowledge that, because of the genetics, the production, the management, the uniqueness of your farm, there will only be a finite number of symptoms and symptoms complexes seen on your farm. With this limited grouping of symptoms, there will be only a limited number of remedies commonly indicated in your stock.

Once you determine the most common disease presentations and the most commonly indicated remedies for your farm, and once you learn these remedies inside and out, the entire process becomes very simple to use. And that is the beauty of homeopathy, whether you understand the theory behind the mechanics or not.

Stay tuned for Part II in the March issue of the NODPA News, where Dr. Dupree will cover the nuts and bolts of administering homeopathic remedies on the farm along with some case studies.

Glen Dupree, DVM, CVH, has practiced veterinary Homeopathy for the past 10 years in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York. He received his initial training in Homeopathy from Richard Pitcairn, DVM. Further studies have been made with various human Homeopaths. Currently, Dr. Dupree’s practice of veterinary Homeopathy is based in St. Francisville, Louisiana.

Part 2

By Glen Dupree, DVM

Added March 9, 2010. To address the nuts and bolts of actually administering the homeopathy remedy, we can talk in even more practical terms.

Homeopathic remedies are supplied as very small pills. These pills can range in size from poppy seed size to baby aspirin size. The size is really irrelevant, as are the number of pills used in a dose.
Homeopathy is an energy based medicine (back to those theories that cannot be explained in current conventional science), not chemical based. Because of this the potency of the remedy (the measure of how it was prepared telling how refined the energy is and how dilute the chemicals are) and the dosing interval is of much more importance than the actual number of pills or the size of the pills.

In order to administer the dose of remedy, all that is required is for some of the remedy to make adequate contact with some mucous membrane of the patient. Again volume and location are not that critical.

On the dairy, when treating the single patient, using the pills directly in the vulva is a convenient approach since the cow is restrained and that mucous membrane is readily available to the farmer during milking.

But if you need to treat multiple animals that are not being restrained, a different method needs to be developed.

For these situations, I prefer to use remedies dissolved in water. By dissolving 1-2 pills in a volume of water (ounces to gallons depending on need), you can conserve your resources and ease the administration of the remedy. Again it may seem contradictory to conventional wisdom that we can dilute a medicine but maintain its strength, but you have to remember that we are dealing with energy not chemistry (and that you don’t have to understand how it happens but that by watching the response of the patient, you know that it happens).

A remedy diluted in water alone will maintain its therapeutic potential for 7-10 days. If you want to make a solution to store and use for longer periods of time (those remedies that are consistently being indicated in your stock and that you are using frequently), you simply make a stock solution of 50% vodka (and there are organic vodkas available) and 50% water. As long as this solution is stored away from bright lights, extremes of heat, and strong electromagnetic influences it will remain potent indefinitely.

To dose a liquid remedy, you simply must make some of the solution come into contact with some mucous membrane. This may mean that you are squirting it on the nose or in the mouth with a syringe, that you are misting it over the herd with a sprayer or misting fan, or that you have added it to the stock tank and are letting them drink it (although with this method you must make sure that they are not too sick or too thirstless to come to the tank and drink).

Any method that you find that allows adequate mucous membrane contact, that keeps the stock safe, and that keeps the people safe is acceptable.

On most farms, keeping a 50 or 100 remedy kit in either a 30c or a 200c potency will be the most economic choice. These kits are available from several homeopathic pharmacies and contain the remedies most often indicated for crises and for the most common chronic diseases. There will be remedies in the kits that you may never use but the economics of purchasing the kit rather than so many individual remedies more than offsets that waste.

From there your only other expenses are a few books (that can be purchased from the same places you buy your remedies), maybe some dropper bottles and vodka, and your time.

Case Examples of the Use of Homeopathy on the Farm

A Newborn Calf with Diarrhea:
A newborn calf, born to a first time heifer after a normal pregnancy and delivery, developed diarrhea within hours of being born. The diarrhea was profuse and watery. The farmer described the stool as foamy and frothy when expelled. It was yellow in color and odorless. After a few stools the manure began to cake on the tail and around the rectum. The calf was showing no signs of pain or cramping but had a depressed appearance with the ears and tail down and not wanting to follow the momma cow.


1 STOOL - YELLOW - foamy 6

(The numbers following the symptom description is the number of potential remedies in that rubric)
podo. verat. ars. rhus-t. chin. ferr. kali-bi. sulph. arn. hyos. merc.
3/7 3/6 3/5 3/5 3/4 3/4 2/5 2/5 2/4 2/4 2/4
(The fractions under the remedies are the number of rubrics the
remedy was in over the sum of the strength of the remedy in that rubric. The higher the 2 numbers the more strongly indicated the remedy for the case.)

The top three remedies, Podophyllum, Veratrum album, and Arsenicum, are all typical diarrhea type remedies. Unfortunately none of these three contained an accurate description of what we were seeing in this calf. It was not until we read Rhus tox that we found the match for this patient, even though Rhus tox is typically thought of as either a skin eruption or a lameness remedy.

This calf was treated with a single dose of Rhus tox 200c diluted in water and squirted into the mouth. Within a matter of a few hours, the calf was as alert and active as any normal calf and was following momma wanting to eat. By the next morning the stool was normal and remained that way. The calf showed no more symptoms.

Collapsed Cow:

A cow developed a sudden, very high fever. Within a few hours she also had a profuse, watery diarrhea. With the onset of diarrhea, the cow collapsed and was so weak she could not hold her head up off the ground. She continued to be interested in food but would not drink when offered water.

Case Analysis:

1 FEVER - INTENSE heat 94
2 GENERALS - WEAKNESS - diarrhea - from 100
3 STOMACH - THIRSTLESS - fever; during 118

ars. phos. apis chin. nux-v. sil. con. rhus-t. verat. ant-t. arn. bapt.
4/11 4/9 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/8 4/7 4/7 4/7 4/6 4/6 4/6

This cow was treated with China 200c based on the tendency of a China patient to collapse into prostration with loss of body fluids (vomiting, diarrhea, lactation, hemorrhage, etc). With the suddenness of her symptoms, we expected sudden response to the remedy so she was dosed every hour until she began to respond.

After 3-4 doses her fever broke and she was able to lift her head. No more doses were given until her fever returned. This pattern was followed over the next day until the cow was up and walking and had no more diarrhea.
Both of these were cases of diarrhea that required totally different remedies because the presentation of the patient and the diarrhea were totally different. Homeopathy can never be a “cookbook” approach based on a static diagnosis. Homeopathy is only successful then the individual tendencies and patterns of the patient are addressed.


Homeopathy is not very high tech and does not require any of the new and fancy diagnostics that drive so many forms of medicine. Its strength is in its simplicity and the fact that anyone can master it, with just a little guidance and some hard work.

Glen Dupree, DVM, CVH, has practiced veterinary Homeopathy for the past 10 years in Louisiana, Pennsylvania and New York. He received his initial training in Homeopathy from Richard Pitcairn, DVM. Further studies have been made with various human Homeopaths. Currently, Dr. Dupree’s practice of veterinary Homeopathy is based in St. Francisville, Louisiana.