Homeopathy as an alternative to antibiotics in diarrhoea in piglets

06-10-2010 | | |

A research study conducted at the Wageningen University & Research Centre in the Netherlands suggests that homeopathy may be an alternative to antibiotics in neonatal diarrhoea of piglets.

Irene Camerlink, Biological Farming Systems, Wageningen University & Research Centre, published her conclusions earlier this year in the magazine Homeopathy.
 
As an alternative to the use of antibiotics against diarrhoea in piglets, Camerlink used a homeopathic treatment with 26 gestating sows. This treatment was based on a variety of the bacteria E.coli, causing diarrhoea. A group of 26 additional gestating sows received a placebo.
 
Homeopathic treatments have been diluted so much, that hardly any molecules can be retraced. In theory, the working elements’ activity will be transferred to the adjuvant.
 
Results have been striking, the researcher explained. ‘In the treated piglets, only in almost 4% diarrhoea occurred. In the control group, this was almost 25%.”
 
Criticism
Professor Huub Savelkoul, Cell Biology and Immunology, WUR, was quoted to say: “There are examples of proven clinical efficacy of several homeopathic medicines, no physical-chemical and also biological mechanism, however, have been described which would explain homeopathy scientifically.”
 
He added, “Where to go if bodies continuously have to respond to these kinds of ‘non-existing fibres’; too much energy would be lost,” he said.
 
No coincidence
Camerlink added that the positive results are not related to coincidence. At the farm, the homeopathic approach is now successfully used replacing a regular E.coli vaccination. She thinks it is sad that science does not open up to these types of alternatives.
 
In the organic livestock sector antibiotics are preferably replaced by complementary or alternative medicines (CAM), of which homeopathy is the most frequently applied. Homeopathic treatment has significant benefits since there are no residues of homeopathic medicines in animal products, nor does homeopathy generate resistant microorganisms.
 
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