One of the most important facets of working as an herbalist and an essence practitioner is paying close attention to how a client responds to each new herbal remedy—and this is true whether the client has two legs, or four! I’ve recently been working to treat my horse Virgil, who tends toward depression and has a slim, delicate appearance. Virgil tends to recover slowly from even minor bites or scratches, he used to get slight thrush in his hooves, and he had a low appetite that would cause him to get too slim in the winter. I found that essences helped, but not enough, so I turned to a few additional homeopathic remedies.
First, I tried silica in a dose of 200c once per month. Since starting on the silica nearly a year ago, Virgil has recovered his appetite, looks much more robust, and seems to recover from colds and allergy coughs much more quickly. He has also become more assertive in his herd, rising to a position of second or third in the herd of about eight geldings. While his physical appearance was much improved, however, his mood was still flagging. He seemed to be chronically depressed, with a generally sad and clingy disposition.
Natrum muriaticum is a classic homeopathic remedy for depression, sensitivity, and clinginess, so I decided to try a dose of it along with the silica. Virgil loves sugar and will usually happily eat anything sweet, so I gave him a dose of 200c on a sugar cube, and was surprised when he promptly spit it out! Clearly, Virgil was telling me, this was not the remedy for him. I waited a week or two to see if the partial dose he had ingested would have any effect, but I saw no improvement.
Since he had not responded well to the Natrum muriaticum, I decided to try a different remedy instead. Pulsatilla nigricans is a plant that’s often used for physical frailty, and it’s known to pair very well with silica. I tried a dose of 200c this month, and almost immediately began to see improvement. Since starting the Pulsatilla he’s been in a great mood—his disposition has been quiet-neutral, which is his normal, healthy disposition. He has not appeared sad or clingy, and has been much more interested in learning new skills. He will happily lick the Pulsatilla pellets right off my hand, but it’s also easy to give them in his grain or mush. Going forward, I am planning to continue with the Pulsatilla and the silica together as a pair, adjusting to use more or less of one or the other depending on Virgil’s mood and physical condition, and I’m feeling very optimistic about the Pulsatilla as a great addition to his silica regimen.
While my animals may not speak to me in the same way a human client would, they can certainly still communicate their needs quite clearly. For the attuned practitioner, listening and paying attention to each new development is the key to creating a successful combination of remedies.