I have been practicing for quite a few years now. But there are always new things that I encounter that make me think about what I do. Recently, a client inquired with a concern about the prescription of a remedy derived from an Animal substance. Can Vegetarians and Vegans use Homeopathy? I think this is a great question, so I’m taking this opportunity to write a blog about this topic.
I write this not with the intention to convince you, as Vegetarians and Vegans, that you can use Homeopathy or these remedies. As the answer to this lies within yourself. And it is up to you to decide, after reading this article and doing your own due diligence, what you feel comfortable with.
I am merely explaining the process of homeopathic remedy preparation and considerations for prescribing. As I understand them and provide options to look into and discuss with your homeopath. It is my hope this blog helps you to form your own opinion on this topic. After all we are each of us individual. And even amongst Vegans and Vegetarians there are also differing opinions and points of view. As well as differing levels of what one may feel comfortable with for themselves in a given situation.
Your options and your values
Presumably when you seek homeopathic advice you are suffering from a complaint or experience symptoms that impact you. Homeopathy is but one option in a range of natural health options I have written about before. Many you may consider and choose to use. Depending on your health complaint; you may consider that the resolution of your problem overrides your philosophy, and lifestyle choices, in this specific case. But you will be seriously weighing up the positive and negative elements of the options available to you. It is important that you choose what is right for you and what most fits with your needs and values.
Homeopathy is a natural and green option
Homeopathy is an environmentally friendly modality. It is sustainable, gentle, non toxic and a ‘green’ form of natural medicine. Homeopathic remedies are not tested on animals. They require very minimal source material to produce. They leave no toxic residue and do not harm the environment. Plus they are also economical to produce and use. You can read more about this here.
Animal tests are conducted in the development of many modern medicines. Those medicines can have been prepared from/grown on growing mediums that contain animal products. Or they may contain animal derived ingredients themselves. This can be so for e.g. antibiotics and vaccinations. This may be one reason for A vegan or Vegetarian to be looking for alternatives and coming to consider Homeopathy.
The preparation of homeopathic remedies
A small amount of an original substance is required to manufacturing a new homeopathic remedy . Most remedies we have available to us are derived from Plant and Mineral substances. With a smaller proportion of remedies from Animal or Imponderable substances (such are e.g. sunrays, x ray, moonlight, electricity.)
In order to make a homeopathic remedy from that original substance; the substance undergoes a long process of serial dilution and succussion. Succussion is a vigorous shaking to enter energy into the dilution at each stage of the process. This arduous process is time consuming; the more so, the higher the potency number achieved. As each stage of potentization takes approximately one hour.
- 1 drop of a crude substance added to 99 drops of dilutent and shaken vigorously makes the 1C potency.
- 1 drop of a 1C potency added to 99 drops of dilutent and shaken vigorously makes the 2C potency. Etc.
- The 200 C potency has undergone this process 200 times,
- The 1M potency 1000 times. (equating to 1000 hrs!)
Here is a little video clip by Helios Homeopathic Pharmacy (UK) about the making of homeopathic remedies from Plant or mineral sources.
Homeopathy is an energy medicine
A 3 C potency no longer contains any physical evidence of the original substance in the dilution. What is captured, transferred and energized instead in further stages of dilution; is the ‘energetic memory, or imprint’ of the original substance. Therefore; Homeopathy is referred to as an “Energy medicine”. The exact mechanism of action of homeopathic remedies is scientifically still difficult to explain. Modern technological advances have led to evidence that homeopathic remedies may be operating on the level of Quantum energy or Nano particles. Although research is still ongoing to understand this more fully.
Each known substance in existence, no matter its origin, has some medicinal properties in their own right. And it is great to be able to harness that in this way. Even using the most toxic substance; the process creates a very low risk remedy through this sequence of dilution and succusion. Because it results in the absence of any actual physical particles that could be harmful. As Vegans or Vegetarians are considering Homeopathy, they can be assured that they will not be ingesting physical doses of animal products as such.
Taking a homeopathic remedy is like taking an energetic stimulus to your body’s own healing mechanism. That operates on a vibrational level. Thus instigating it to change its ways. To remember its healthy state, to heal and to find the balance for your system again. And consequently restoring your health as best it can do.
A remedy, once made, can supply us through the ages
When a new remedy is developed it is created into a ‘Base potency’. ‘Base potencies’ of new homeopathic remedies are used again and again in order to produce more stock. When you order a remedy from your pharmacy, they do not need to go out and harvest crude substances in order to make your remedy. They use existing remedy stock to medicate and make up your remedy for you, as per your order. Homeopathic dispensaries and pharmacies store these base potencies carefully. And they are available to others to obtain. This is important for Vegans and Vegetarians to understand. A remedy may have required an animal to provide some of the original substance. But Homeopathy does not require the ongoing harvesting of the crude substance from animals on large scale.
There is a constant development of new remedies as time goes on. But many of our remedies originate from the end 1800s. And are still in use today, providing support to people with their symptoms. Once there is a stock bottle of remedy; a few drops of this can medicate a new bottle and so on it continues.
Homeopathy for Vegans and Vegetarians
To some it is an upsetting idea that animal product are used to make some remedies. However this does not automatically imply that animals are hurt in that process. Most animal remedies are created with the use of only a very small part of an animal’s matter. Seldom will an animal be purposefully killed for the purpose of making remedies. This may however happen in the case of insect remedies (e.g. an Ant or Bee or Spanish Fly), just because of the small size they are. Otherwise, these remedies can be produced merely from e.g.;
- matter that has been shed by an animal (eg fur or feathers, teeth or skin, horns)
- discharges, excretions and products produced by animals (eg milk, ink, oil, eggs, venom)
- samples humanely obtained as a result of veterinarian procedures ((e.g. taking blood/ tissue samples etc during routine vet procedures).
I cannot guarantee that, in the production of homeopathic remedies, no animals are ever killed . But, as I understand the philosophy and life supporting values of Homeopathy; I am confident in the knowledge that the principle of ‘First do not harm’ is also applied in the making of its remedies.
Only e.g. one tiny Ant, a feather, or a drop of milk are needed to produce a remedy. Which then can then be used for years, on a global scale, with thousands of people. And reproduced merely by using the original base potency remedy, to make up many consecutive bottles.
To recap; From the above you may understand that
- Only a minimal of animal substance is used to create the initial remedy.
- Further quantities, and other potencies of that remedy are reproduced from that initial remedy.
- Some remedies have origins in the 1800s and are still supplying us with remedies today
- No remedy above the 3C potency contains any physical animal (or other original source) substance
There are no substitutes
While this may be reassuring to some; others may still feel concerned and hesitant. Some people request an alternative remedy for their complaints; instead of one from the Animal kingdom they were prescribed.
Here is where Homeopathy gets tricky.
This is due to the fact that in homeopathy we prescribe remedies because their indication matches the symptoms someone has. We use the principle “Like cures Like” when we decide a prescription for a client.
In order to determine what symptoms could arise from taking that substance in its crude form; each remedy, in its development, is tested specifically on healthy human beings. These results are written up into reports that read like toxicology reports. When we are looking at a set of symptoms someone is suffering with; we choose the remedy that most closely matches those symptoms. And this will encourage healing. Because each substance is so unique with its own characteristic properties, one won’t do for another.
Animal, mineral, vegetable
Substances from the different natural ‘kingdoms’ are very different in their expression and substituting them is just not possible. Looking at the characteristics of animals, minerals and plants/ vegetables as groups; it is easy to understand their differences. They look, feel and behave in different ways. But even within the kingdoms, sub groups will behave in different ways and each individual is unique again. When considering what remedy to prescribe (e.g. Apis/ Honey Bee, Aurum/ Gold, or Windflower/Pulsatilla); we base the choice on the known and specific healing effects of those substances. To prescribe an alternative or closely related remedy may provide limited scope in your healing.
- A remedy prescribed to you, most closely resembles your needs. And fits the symptoms you have. There is often only one best match. If you need an animal derived remedy this is for that reason.
Other considerations for vegans and vegetarians when choosing Homeopathy
There are some further considerations to make when looking at using homeopathic remedies when you are a Vegan or Vegetarian.
Lactose free remedies
Know that homeopathic remedies come in different shapes and forms. They may be liquid remedies (in distilled water with a little alcohol as a preservative), pills, tablets, pilules or powders. If you are prescribed the solid remedy forms; it is good to check whether your homeopath or pharmacy uses either Lactose (= milk sugar), or Sucrose bases. As Vegan or Vegetarian (or lactose intolerant) it is good to understand that there are options to help you avoid taking Lactose, but still use Homeopathic remedies.
Remedies made on Radionix/ vibrational potentising machines.
Homeopathic remedies can also be (re)created by using a vibrational potentising machine. This machine allows for the option to medicate pills or liquid. By using unique numerical frequency rates that correspond to a certain substance to directly medicate pills at chosen potencies.
Each substance we know has its own vibration and energy. Translating this energy into ‘frequency rates’ allows us to make remedies without actually ingesting, using or needing the original substance. This may be an acceptable option for Vegan or Vegetarian people who would want to avoid the taking of remedies derived from animal matter. However, the frequency rates are still determined by involving the original physical matter (often involving dowsing/kinesiology). Or obtained by copying the energy of an existing remedy. It just adds an extra layer of ‘distance’ to the original material in a sense.
Not all homeopaths or homeopathic pharmacies have remedy making machines. Regarded as ‘not the classical method’ of making remedies; not all homeopaths accept them as an acceptable tool. But it pays to know of the option and to ask your homeopath about this.
Vegans and Vegetarians can consider homeopathy as an option.
I hope you have found this information useful in deciding whether animal remedies are acceptable for you to use, or in learning of your options, if they are not.
However; the idea of taking an remedy derived from animal matter may still be difficult for you to contemplate. Even after reading the above. The most important thing is; to discuss with your Homeopath any concerns you may have or how they can cater for your personal preferences. Your concerns shall be accepted and respected, without judgement. Talking with your homeopath will also allow them to explain their methods and options to you.
If you wish to discuss your options with me feel free to book in for a 15 minute chat free of charge.