Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Homeopaths Botanical Day Out

As a homeopathic veterinary surgeon a visit to the National Botanic Gardens of Ireland in Glasnevin, Dublin. gives one a wonderful opportunity to view first hand some of the plants that not only are beautiful, but are also used to provide food, fiber, medicines and a multitude of other uses; including acting as the source material for many homeopathic remedies with almost magical healing properties. The Botanic Gardens are an oft neglected resource, which are free to visit and with so much to offer in terms of beauty. There are buses to the entrance as well as car parking nearby and there is even a restaurant For many it is well within walking distance of their home, work or place of study.

Picture Delphinium - homeopathic remedy Staphysagria
National Botanic Garden Glasnevin Dublin October 2009 - Tom Farrington

I have always loved plants and remember in my college days visiting the Botanic Gardens to view the medicinal and poisonous plant beds, so that I could recognise them in cases of poisoning in what would be my future patients. Little realizing at the time that many plants that were not used as poisons or medications still had healing properties. (I often think there is little difference between the poisonous and medicinal plants when I hear of all the cases of death by medical misadventure)

Picture Turmeric Plant
National Botanic Garden Glasnevin
Dublin October 2009 - by Tom Farrington
It is such a pleasure to see the delicate beauty of plants from which the some many homoeopathic remedies are made. My next article for IrishAnimals is on Turmeric one of the many plants on display in the central pavilion of the Curvilinear Glasshouse Range and not just a valuable spice, but has a long history of use in medicine with the latest confirmation of its medical use coming just after my visit to the botanic gardens. In an article by Eithne Donnellan The Irish Times - Wednesday, October 28, 2009 she quoted research published in the British Journal of Cancer that researchers in University College Cork lead by Dr Sharon McKenna had found that Curcumin the main active chemical in Turmeric when extracted and brought in contact with oesophageal cancer cells they self digested within 24
hours. It is now to be tested against other cancers, but there are still obstacles to its use as a way to get it into the body avoiding the digestive process has yet to be developed.
It is of particular interest in the pharmaceutical world as it works with a novel mechanism that means it can be used for cancers resistant to current chemotherapeutics. Turmeric has many more medical uses some of which are covered in my article shortly to appear at

The following day a visit to the National Museum of Ireland - Decorative Arts and History, Collins Barracks, Benburb Street, Dublin 7,(Another free day out once again with a nice restaurant) yielded an equally fascinating if round about insight into homeopathic remedies in the section on Silver. In homeopathy silver is the remedy Argentum Metallicum and it 's related salts such as Argentum Nitricum (silver nitrate).
Picture Silver Ingots and Silver Ore - Tom Farrington

In homoeopathy Argentum Met. or Silver is used, among other uses, for conditions of the throat, such as loss of voice in the "Silver Tongued Speaker" . It is thus no surprise that it is a remedy for performers when one realises that the best flutes and trumpets are made from silver - one has just to hear the music a silver coin makes when it hits the ground. Silver is one of the top performance medals and greatly prized cups for performance are generally of silver more commonly than gold which is often the top medal. One of the aims of alchemy was to turn lead to silver and then gold. In the case at the museum beside the silver ingots was a piece of silver ore showing the natural relationship of the beautiful silver so often associated with the moon in archetypal images and mythology, while in nature it is closely associated with the dull lead appearing as a leaden stripe through the ore. Silver is used in what is now old fashion photography as silver nitrate (also known as lunar caustic) which changed on exposure to light Yet in the digital photographic revolution that has followed silver is still one of the doping metals used in CMOS and CCD chips used to capture a digital picture. Mirrors are "silver" backed showing that silver not just captures light but also reflects it. Silver both as a metal and a homoeopathic faithfully reflects the world around it. One wonders how much of history is so accurately reflected, as while in the same museum we saw a cabinet given by Oliver Cromwell to his daughter on her marriage. The cabinet was puritanically plain black on the outside and absolutely beautifully adorned on the inside. I commented to my wife how much it conflicted with what I new of Cromwell who wanted to be painted warts and all to which my wife quipped back maybe he had never opened it. With that final comment I suggest you explore some of these wonderful free Irish national treasure troves mentioned in this blog, when you are in their vicinity, and may be take a fresh tour of my website pages and links there in at


Tuesday, October 6, 2009


The internet is to me is a wonderful resource where one can quickly find information. (I do thankfully have a fast broadband connection - many years ago a client living in New York and
working for a major news corporation sent me a picture of a pets ailment which took me three full days to download, but was in the end a wonderful help in treating the patient, as I lived a continent away)
I often use this wonderful resource to look up a word or phrase within a book I have sitting in my own shelf knowing that I have seen what I am looking for within a book, but unsure where especially when it is something which isn't indexed.

An example of a recent search related to the use of a homeopathic mother tincture. I regularly use search sites such as Google Books ; The Guttenberg Project or The Internet Archive and then when I have the exact page for something which isn't in the index take out my own book, go to the exact page and sit back and read it.

There are so many wonderful resources like this and gradually I am adding some of them to my website The internet also gives one the chance to put out there some of the knowledge that one gains through ones own work and perspective on a subject or work built on the knowledge others have freely and generously shared their knowledge with you and to this end Pets & People Homeopathy have added a new button to its main page called FIRST AID REMEDY SERIES. Clicking on this button
will take people to a master page with buttons, such as the one heading this blog, for various remedies initially starting with those with a first aid theme. Each of these remedies will have information which will be updated over time and will link out to other resources in relation to that remedy. Much of the information will come from cases where there has been a successful outcome to the use of the homoeopathic remedy or typify that remedy either as a description or via a picture of a patient. The first in this series is Arnica Montana probably the most famous of homeopathic remedies in general use for all sorts of first aid situations for more click