Homeoprophylaxis using Nosodes. What are they? Do they work?

Homeoprophylaxis using Nosodes

For those who would like to know more about the use of nosodes this paper is a really good easy to read synopsis - Prevention of TB (in humans) with Tuberculinum. There is an interesting reference to the prevention of TB (in humans) with the use of Tuberculinum. When farmers use nosodes it is really advisable to understand a bit about what you are trying to do and why nosodes might help. It is also important to know what nosodes are and the various different types. ‘Nosode’ has slipped into general parlance which is not at all accurate in homeopathic terms, and what is seen to be useful in prophylaxis (preventing disease) is not always either appropriate, or a nosode.

This is a very big subject with a number of different threads.

Many farmers first become acquainted with farm homeopathy because they are attracted to nosodes as a ‘preventative’ for specific diseases. Their use goes back a couple of hundred years, as does the debate about whether are actually homeopathy (‘like cures like’), or are being used homeopathically (ie when the symptoms are present), or even if they work at all.

A nosode is a homeopathically prepared remedy made from diseased tissue and given to prevent that same disease, so technically they are isopathy (ie ‘the same as’ rather than ‘similar to’). Homeopathy is based on the principle of ‘like treating like’ – ie using a substance similar in its effect to the symptoms it is being used to treat, eg coffee for insomnia.

Do nosodes work?

We need to take that question in stages. Do they work generally or do they work on the farm? For the first point, despite scepticism even within the homeopathic community, some have been seen to work very well, eg in Cuba where over 2 MILLION people were given the Leptospirosis nosode as a disease preventative with dramatic positive results.

Farmers report varying success; anecdotally there seems to be agreement about the effectiveness of nosodes for diseases like Orf and New Forest Eye, and less for those for conditions arising from production like Mastitis.

Unlike most farm homeopathy, trials have been set up to look at the effect of mastitis nosodes, (most recently a large DEFRA study, never published so not peer reviewed), and any negative results (beginning with Egan) are often cited as proof that homeopathy does not work at all.

The HAWL view is that relying entirely on nosodes is not practising responsible homeopathy, which means the farmer is still thinking about disease rather than health promotion, and is still depending on suppliers to solve their problems. The HAWL course is focused on empowering the farmer to take steps to promote health and to make their own decisions including, of course, when to call the vet (a homeopathic vet if possible!)