Homoeopathy and Neurological Disorders - Part 3 

By Tanya Nolte

When it comes to neurological symptoms, homeopathy offers many valuable remedies.

This presents Part 3 of what has now become a four part series due to the large number of remedies that have been disclosed. Please refer to Part 1 in Volume 5, Issue 4 and Part 2 in Volume 5, Issue 5 of Natural Horse Magazine for the preamble to this article and remedy listings from A to G.

Remember that while the following remedies are indicated for various neurological complaints, they are not limited to these problems, nor are the problems limited to these remedies. Please study your materia medica for further differentiation and other remedy considerations. Consult with your homoeopath for verification and dosing advice. The following represents only a few key tips on some of the specific remedies that may help your horse and is by no means a comprehensive or complete list.

HELLEBORUS NIGER (Christmas Rose) - This remedy acts primarily on the cerebrospinal system. You will find muscle weakness, a wobbly gait, listlessness, and an easily observable feature is that the horse may have trouble stopping and starting when walking. He may have hip and knee joint stiffness with stocked up legs, dropping out of hair, or moments of standing with a fixed, vacant stare. Consider its use for affections of the brain and spinal cord that lead to a sluggish response to external stimuli. May be suitable for early stage meningitis when accompanied by scanty urine and particularly if the horse attempts to roll the head from side to side, or is chewing unnecessarily, or hanging the jaw down. A characteristic time for aggravation of symptoms is 4-8 pm . The patient can be irritable and not want to be disturbed. Generally thirsty and acting needy of a drink but can be the opposite and not thirsty at all. He is worse hunching forward with the head lowered or moving the head, and tries to draw the head backwards. Better for rest, open air and with covers on. Note: the remedy Zincum metallicum is complementary (a remedy that assists or reinforces the action of another remedy) to Helleborus.

HYPERICUM PERFORATUM ( St. John's Wort) - A major remedy for any injuries to nerves, excessive painfulness being a guiding symptom to its use. It is also described as the Arnica of the nerves. Frequently used for neuralgia, bites and stings, pains in scar tissue, puncture wounds, head injuries leading to convulsions, head and spinal injuries, back pain, crushed parts, deep lacerations, post surgery relief (along with Arnica), etc. Hypericum, alongside the remedy Ledum, is noted for its use as a tetanus preventative and treatment when symptoms fit. It has a special affinity for injured areas that are rich in nerve supply and the pains are more severe than the extent of the injury would seem to merit. Distress, depression or drowsiness may follow an accident or wound. All symptoms are worse from being touched, contact with damp, cold air, movement, and at night. The horse is better keeping still and lying quietly.

IGNATIA AMARA (Ignatius Bean) - Commonly used for restlessness and separation anxiety (effects of grief and worry), even to the point of hysteria. Great mental emotion may cause paralysis. Rapid changes of mental and physical condition, opposite to each other, are seen in this remedy. There are varied contradictory and erratic symptoms in the Ignatia patient. Many symptoms are of a spasmodic type. Spasmodic effects are often violent with rigidity, twitching and tremors with oppressed breathing. Twitching of the muscles of the face and lips with a stiff, hard masseter is found in emotional trismus (motor disturbance of the trigeminal nerve, especially spasm of the masticatory muscles, with difficulty in opening the mouth; lockjaw - i.e. tetanus). Trismus is also a sign of early tetanus. Sudden attacks of salivation are worse by the motion of the tongue as in chewing, and the mouth is full of mucous. Spasms or diarrhoea can occur after a fright. Pains change their locality, come gradually and go suddenly, or come and go suddenly. Pain is felt in a small, circumscribed spot (Kali-bic too) that is only noticed on touch. This horse has changes of mood and an anxious suffering expression of the face. He is worse for fright, shock, after losing someone dear to him, touch, and in the morning. Symptoms can pass after profuse urination and are also better for a change of position, pressure, and lying on the affected part.

KALI BICHROMICUM (Bichromate of Potassium) - Consider this remedy for conditions of viral flu, bronchopneumonia, purulent sinusitis, purulent pyelitis, and anaemia, where there is an absence of fever ("WNV" symptoms may present with or without fever). Yellow, tough, stringy discharges are characteristic of this remedy. This applies to all mucous surfaces and the yellowish colouring is a good guiding symptom. Early stages of EPM may benefit where there is lameness, toe dragging or staggering, and pain in a localised region. Another combination is pain, swelling, stiffness and cracking of all joints with soreness of the heels when walking. Rheumatic symptoms alternate with gastric symptoms. Mouth dryness may alternate with salivation. Protruding the tongue, or having it pulled out for inspection, is painful to the horse. The Kali-bic horse is irritable and indifferent but less so after eating. He is worse in the early morning or after sleep, cold, damp, open air, Spring, hot weather, and suppressed catarrh. He is better for heat, being rugged/blanketed, motion, and pressure (though worse for touch).

LATHYRUS SATIVUS (Chick pea or grass pea) - To be differentiated from the edible chick pea, or garbanzo, Cicer arietinum . Look at this remedy after influenza, wasting, and exhaustive diseases where there is much weakness, heaviness and a slow recovery of nerve power. The consumption of this legume in its crude form is a cause of lathyrism (stringhalt). Heaviness or weakness of the legs leading to spastic paralysis of the hind limbs is generally painless and ensuing exaggerated patellar reflexes are strongly indicative of this remedy's use in stringhalt. Cramps in the legs are worse for cold and the hooves may feel cold. Affects of the lateral and anterior columns of the spinal cord are a feature of this remedy. Rigidity of muscles develops producing a weak, tottery gait. Legs that cross when walking, or can not cross the legs when walking in a tight circle, demonstrates the loss of proprioceptive control. Wasting of various muscle groups, especially the gluteal and those of the hind limbs, is suggestive of EPM, polyneuritis equi, and other related disorders. Infantile paralysis is noted as a symptom and makes this remedy a consideration for neonatal maladjustment syndrome. An interesting concomitant symptom (a symptom that occurs simultaneously with another but does not appear related), especially in neurological conditions is yawning (Agaricus has yawning before complaints). The patient may have difficulty swallowing, excess salivation, and a numbness of the tongue or lips. Distressed breathing from paralysis of nerves to the diaphragm can occur. Frequent urination but weak expulsion is another handy symptom to observe. There is a gradual aggravation of symptoms, or they can be sudden after a period of latency. Worse touch is a strong symptom, also worse cold, damp weather. Better being uncovered.

MAGNESIA PHOSPHORICA (Phosphate of Magnesia) - A great anti-spasmodic of nerves and muscles that has been nicknamed as the 'homoeopathic aspirin'. Minor aches and pains such as cutting teeth, earaches, stomach aches/colic, musculoskeletal pain, etc. that are better for warmth and rubbing respond well to Mag-phos. Abdominal pain compels walking about which improves the condition. Helpful for a swollen throat with associated glands that become stiff, showing a swelling of the tongue and spasmodic constriction of the throat (laryngeal spasm) on attempting to swallow liquids. Involuntary twitchings, muscle spasms, and cramps with radiating pains are chiefly right-sided complaints. This remedy is an important treatment for hypomagnesaemia where prompt use may help to prevent brain damage. After a spasm the horse can be over-sensitive to touch or noise with a look of suspicion or fear and is easily agitated. However at other times symptoms may elicit an appealing look for sympathy. He is particularly worse for cold drafts and cold water, and also worse uncovering, lying on the right side, night, periodically, and after exhaustion. Better for warmth, warm/hot bathing, pressure, rubbing (not touch), and standing up.

NUX VOMICA (Poison-nut) - Noted for its use in digestive problems of various kinds and colic from ingestion of toxic food/water, from over-eating, and from drug overdosing. It has also many neurological applications such as tremor, convulsions, spinal irritation, and paraplegic symptoms. Partial paralysis, from overexertion or getting soaked, may be encountered. The horse can experience a sensation of sudden loss of power in his legs in the morning, dragging his feet when walking, with cracking in the knee joints during motion. A paralysed part may feel cold. Commonly addressed by this remedy are backaches in the lumbar region, burning in the spine, cervico-brachial neuralgia with bruised pain below the scapulae that is worse for touch, and sacral region lameness after a difficult foaling. In distortion of the face the left side appears longer than the right, food and drink escape the left side of the mouth when eating. One of the remedies to consider for optic nerve atrophy caused by overuse of strong medications. Frontal headaches where the horse has a desire to press the head against something is a helpful symptom and is suggestive of some of the meningeal conditions. Hyperaesthesia (increased sensitivity to stimulation) of auditory nerves, making loud sounds painful, angers the horse. He is hypersensitive in general with a low tolerance to cold air and drafts or the least jar. The patient can be irritable, impatient, depressed, and prefer to be left alone. Symptoms are worse at 3-4 am , from any form of cold, disturbed rest, touch, and dry weather. He is better kept covered, evening, resting during damp, wet weather, frequent stretching, and strong pressure. Note: Zincum metallicum is inimical (a remedy whose action opposes or antagonises another) to Nux-vom and must not be used directly before or after the administration of Nux-vom or vice versa.

This article is for educational purposes only and in no way replaces veterinary advice or treatment. Always call your veterinarian when serious events arise. If you desire to follow a holistic path, I would recommend that you obtain approval from your veterinarian to seek the professional services of a qualified classical homoeopath or other certified holistic health practitioner.


'Understanding Equine Neurological Disorders' by Bradford G. Bentz, VMD , MS

'Ruddock's Homoeopathic Vade Mecum' by E.H. Ruddock, MD

'A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica' by J.H. Clarke, MD

'Concordant Materia Medica' by Frans Vermeulen

'Synoptic Materia Medica II' by Frans Vermeulen

'The Treatment of Horses by Homoeopathy' by George Macleod, DVSM

'A Veterinary Materia Medica and Clinical Repertory' by George Macleod, DVSM

Case History and Clinical Notations by Tanya Nolte, DipHom

About the author:

Tanya Nolte lives in NSW, Australia where she keeps a number of horses and also an interesting array of other furry animal companions. She has educated horses and competed successfully in a number of equine disciplines for more than 35 years. Tan also operates equine holistic health and horsemanship workshops in what she describes as "EquiPotential". Being a registered classical homoeopath and a practicing veterinary nurse has given her the capacity to conduct consultations at several veterinary clinics, a human/animal homoeopathic practice, and privately at her home office. Tan is a professional member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association, the official Australian Register of Homoeopaths, and the Holistic Animal Therapy Association of Australia for which she is also a committee member. Although specialising in equine health, Tan also happily works with all our other animal companions and their human counterparts. She is available for distance consultations via phone, regular mail or E-mail correspondence.

For more information, and to find a homoeopath near you:

Tanya Nolte, Classical EquiHomoeopath
Whispering Horse Therapies
PO Box 170 , Nimbin
NSW 2480, Australia
Phone 0266 897500

Australian Homoeopathic Association
PO Box 396 Drummoyne
NSW 1470, Australia
Phone 02 97192763

Holistic Animal Therapy Association of Australia
PO Box 202 , Ormond, Melbourne
Vic 3204, Australia
Phone 03 59688100

The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
751 N.E. 168th Street
North Miami Beach , FL 33162-2427
Phone 305-652-1590

National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax St., Suite 306
Alexandria , VA 22314

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association
2218 Old Emmorton Road
Bel Air , MD 21015