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Nosodes: Alternative Advantages to the Dangers of Conventional Vaccinations

What Is A Nosode? In homeopathy, there is a special type of remedy called a nosode. A nosode (from nosos, the Greek word meaning disease) is a homeopathic preparation made from matter from a sick animal or person. Substances such as respiratory discharges or diseased tissues are used. It sounds repulsive, but the preparation, using alcohol, as well as the repeated dilution and succussion, essentially renders the substances harmless, while producing a powerful remedy. The use of nosodes in a prophylactic manner, for preventing disease, has been employed in veterinary and
human homeopathy for many years. It is supported by various holistic veterinarians and authors.

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Nosodes are Homeopathic Remedies

Nosodes in homeopathic practice Nosodes are homeopathic remedies that are made from the specific products of a particular disease. This can be tissue containing the actual disease agents or tissue affected by those agents. Sometimes nosodes are made from vaccines containing the organisms. The nosodes are prepared in a diluted and potential form just like all other homeopathic medicine.

There is no potential for an animal to become infected with a given disease agent from a nosode because of the pharmaceutical process that occurs which dilutes and inactivates any viable organisms. Nosodes seem to work most effectively, homeopathically, when they are given near or at the time of exposure. For instance, giving a Parvovirus Nosode immediately before and after a potential exposure would provide the best protection from the Nosode.

Homeopathic nosodes can be used when your companion becomes at risk for a disease before three months of age, or if warranted, in unvaccinated animals to help protect against some contagious diseases. Many guardians use these homeopathic medicines to help protect their companions against Parvovirus, Distemper, and Kennel Cough in dogs and Panleukopenia and FIP in cats.

There are many reasons for Homeopathic medicines to be "animal friendly"

Dr. Charles Loops D.V. M. Homeopathic medicines are "animal friendly" for several reasons. Because their action works across the mucous membranes of the mouth, it is not necessary to swallow the medicine. This makes it easier when dosing, since the mouth doesn't have to be opened and the remedy can be placed on the gum or inside the lip. The single dose powder is sweet tasting as it is in a lactose sugar base and the liquid remedies are diluted at home before giving, so that the alcohol taste is not a problem. Even cats generally do not mind taking their medicine. In fact, they often get excited when the bottle appears.

Homeopathic Antidote to Minimize the Side Effects of Vaccine Damage

By law, an animal must be vaccinated against rabies every three years. To protect your pet, you can request a homeopathic antidote to minimize the side effects of vaccine damage from Dr. Charlie Loops. For rabies vaccine, the remedy is "lyssin". The cost $6.00 for single doses and $15. for 1/4 ounce bottles for repeated dosing. Some nosodes seem to work more effectively than others. None produce titers against disease like a vaccination, so they are not vaccine replacements. They do seem to moderate a disease condition if the animal is exposed, even if they don't prevent it. Homeopathic nosodes are another option for guardians who wish to avoid vaccinations. Nosodes cost $15. each and provide many doses. They are dosed "as needed" and instructions are provided.

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Alternative Vaccines
by Randall Neustaedter

Vaccine terrified children Conventional vaccines prepared by modern vaccine manufacturers represent only one form of disease-specific prevention. Vaccines and preventive medicines are also available to parents in homeopathic form. There is a long history within homeopathic medicine of attempting to prevent specific diseases, especially during epidemics.

The medicines used in homeopathic form consist of two classes. One class includes those substances obtained from the natural world of plants, minerals, and animal products. The second class, called nosodes, includes substances derived from disease products, tissue samples, mucus, pus from discharges, or pure cultures of microorganisms. Nosodes correspond to the specific diseases associated with the individual bacteria or virus, or the infectious material sample taken from a patient. Both of these classes have been used to prevent disease. Examples of this include Lathyrus sativa (a plant) for polio and Pertussin (a preparation of the bacteria Bordetella pertussis) for whooping cough.

A medicine that has proven effective for a specific epidemic of a disease in the community can be used as the preventive for other cases of that disease, though homeopaths tend to use those medicines that have proven themselves in the past. As a general rule, homeopaths utilize the nosode of the infectious organism to prevent disease. Nosodes are named with the Latin terms for the infection or organism, Morbillinum for measles, Diphtherinum for diphtheria.

This method of homeopathic prophylaxis has been formulated into strategies and rules of two types - short-term prevention during epidemics and long-term prevention.

Experience with the use of nosodes during epidemics has led to a level of confidence and optimism about the protective effect of this method. Since the mid-nineteenth century, homeopaths have attempted to prevent or limit the spread of disease during epidemics, with some success. Most of the experience with this approach occurred during the era preceding the availability of vaccines. Homeopaths reported a decrease in the severity and frequency of disease in those patients who received the nosode preventively.

The method of homeopathic prophylaxis has never been rigorously tested. Nonetheless, there is some evidence suggesting that homeopathic medicines do act to prevent diseases during epidemics. One study observed the occurrence of meningitis in a group of children who received a homeopathic preventive (Meningococcinum 10c in a single dose) during a 1974 epidemic in Brazil. Of the 18,640 children given the homeopathic nosode, 4 developed meningitis (0.02 percent), compared to 32 cases in the 6,340 unvaccinated children (0.5 percent). This represents a significant difference in a controlled study, although the control group was not randomized (Castro and Nogueira, 1975). Eisfelder reported an uncontrolled study of 50,000 children who received Lathyrus, a homeopathic preparation used to treat paralysis, in varying potencies during the polio epidemic of the 1950s. Only one of these children developed (non-paralytic) polio. The general population had a significantly higher rate of polio than 1 in 50,000 (Eisfelder, 1961).

These studies do not prove the effectiveness of homeopathic prophylaxis in epidemics, but many homeopathic practitioners have been convinced by their own experience with this form of disease prevention. The practice of using homeopathic preparations to prevent disease during epidemic exposure may be effective. The medicines cause no adverse effects, and, in the absence of any other form of prevention, there was no reason not to use them. In an epidemic of a serious disease their use is still warranted, though there are valid reasons to allow children to undergo the milder childhood occurrence of measles, mumps and chickenpox to acquire lifelong immunity.

Alternative vaccines in homeopathic form are also available for long-term prevention. Several protocols exist for the administration of homeopathic nosodes or the corresponding remedies for the prevention of whooping cough, meningitis, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, and other diseases during childhood. There exists significant controversy within the homeopathic profession about the appropriateness of using these preparations for long-term prevention. This controversy involves the areas of effectiveness, safety, and ethics.

No long-term studies have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy of this form of prevention. There is no reason to assume that these vaccines continue to act preventively years after administration, unless immunity is shown through an objective test or clinical studies.

Homeopathic preparations have not been shown to raise antibody levels. Smits tested the titre of antibodies to diphtheria, polio and tetanus in ten children before and one month after giving homeopathic preparations of these three vaccines (DTPol 30K and 200K). He found no rise in antibody levels (Smits, 1995). He speculates that protection afforded by a homeopathic remedy acts on a "deeper" level than that of antibodies. Other homeopaths have stated similar opinions. Golden says, "unlike conventional vaccines, the Homeopathic alternative does not rely on antibody formation." He postulates that "Homeopathic remedies reduce the patient’s sensitivity to the dynamic stimulus of the virus or bacteria, thus lessening the patient’s predisposition to being overcome by this stimulus" (Golden, 1994).

If homeopathic remedies do not produce an increase in antibody levels, then the only way to measure the effectiveness of homeopathic prophylaxis is through clinical results. This is a formidable undertaking. The cost of long-term studies using homeopathic prophylaxis would be prohibitive, given the present resources available. Ethical problems could also prevent such studies from occurring; it is doubtful that ethics committees would allow children to be deprived of the commonly administered and approved allopathic vaccines. Moskowitz has suggested that the sizable population of unvaccinated children whose parents have refused vaccines, could provide a control group to assess the long-term negative effects of vaccines (Moskowitz, 1985). Perhaps this population could also serve as a test group for homeopathic prophylaxis.

Parents need to understand that there is no evidence to support the use of these homeopathic preparations for long-term prevention. There is nothing in the literature that shows homeopathic prophylaxis provides lasting immunity from specific diseases

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Nosodes as an Alternative to Vaccines in Veterinary Medicine

Veterinary homeopaths in the past did not have access to any vaccine or antibiotics and they hit this illness head on with their various homeopathic medicines and nosodes. Research into the old texts many of which are out of print and only found in the archives of universities have produced information which may be of value for today.

In the 1830s veterinarian Doctor Wilhelm Lux was called to attend a flock of sheep that were dying of Anthrax. This German scientist had previously experienced success using nosodes to prevent and treat other diseases in livestock.[J. H. Clarke, M.D. Dictionary of Materia Medica, Vol.. pg. 118-119] Dr. Lux prepared an alcoholic extract from the spleen of the sheep that had just died. Soon a number of physicians and veterinarians were employing this new homeopathic medicine for their patients who were suffering with serious illnesses. The lives of both sheep and their shepherds were being spared by his gift of Anthracinum. [C. Hering, M. D., The Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica, Vol. 1, pg. 299]

Kennel Cough is best known Case Study

In veterinary medicine, probably the best known study was done by Dr. Christopher Day of England involving `kennel cough' in a boarding kennel. At the time he was called in, there were 40 dogs in the kennel with 35 that had kennel cough. About half had been vaccinated for this malady. He gave a nosode to all the animals that were there and all the dogs that came in through the rest of the summer (another 214 dogs). He successfully reduced the incidence of kennel cough from over 90% to less than 2%. (Sorry Charlie, nothing is 100% foolproof.)

Nosodes have been developed and used successfully for almost all animal disease and more recently for `heartworm'. The late Dr. George MacLeod, in his book "Dogs: Homeopathic Remedies" had this to say about nosodes: "…gives a more solid immunity inasmuch as it incorporates the entire defense system, which is mobilized as soon as the vaccine is taken into the mouth and builds up protection with each further dose. This build-up leads from tonsillar tissue through the lymphatics incorporating the entire reticuloendothelial system. This procedure is equivalent to what is known as `street infection' viz., ingestion of virus etc. during daily contact with other animals, when immunity would be built up in the same way."
"…There are no side effects when using homeopathic oral vaccines-a reaction may sometimes be observed…but such reaction is transient and soon passes."
"…Another advantage in protection by homeopathic means, is that vaccination can be started very early in the pup's life, e.g., within the first week if necessary. This does not interfere with the presence of any maternal antibodies."

Nosodes appear to stimulate the entire natural immune system to react against a specific disease. One of the many reasons that they have not been accepted in the `orthodox' medical community, is that they do not produce specific, measurable antibodies! This `titer testing' is of little value in measuring effective immunity from nosode usage. Again, because the `mechanism' of action is poorly understood, the 'orthodox' reaction is to reject all evidence as merely `anecdotal.' Perhaps the `challenge' study by Dr. Schultz will provide more acceptable evidence to this mentality.

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Content dog wagging tailThe Dangers of Vaccinations and the Advantages of Nosodes for Disease Prevention
by Dr. Donna Starita Mehan

The purpose of vaccination is to protect your pet from potentially fatal infections by pathogenic (disease-causing) viruses such as distemper, rabies,and others. The way this is done is to inject either a killed or a "modified" (non-pathogenic) live virus, which sensitizes the immune system to that particular virus. Thereafter, if your dog or cat is exposed to, let's say, parvo virus, s/he will be able to respond quickly and vigorously, producing antibodies to overcome the infection.

This sounds like a pretty good plan, on the surface. However, as with any medical procedure, we must ask the simple and direct questions, "Is it safe? Is it effective? Do the benefits outweigh the risks?"

The Problem with Routine Vaccinations

Routine" vaccination, as it is practiced today, is not always effective (especially in the case of the feline leukemia vaccine), and frequently has adverse side-effects, either short or long term. With the use of multivalent (combination: 4 in 1, 6 in 1, etc.) vaccines that are repeated year after year, the frequency and severity of these side-effects in our pets has increased dramatically.

Not surprisingly, most of the problems involve the immune system. After all, the immune system is what vaccines are designed to stimulate. But they do so in a very unnatural way that can overwhelm and confuse the immune system. The body may overreact to normally harmless substances (allergies, especially flea allergies and other skin problems), or even produce antibodies to itself (autoimmune disease). At the same time, the body may be sluggish in responding to those things that it should reject, such as common viruses, bacteria, fungi, and parasites. This can result in increased susceptibility to acute infections (such as ear infections in dogs, bladder infections in cats), chronic tapeworm problems, or in more degenerative cases, cancer.

Lack of Alternatives

The big question has always been: What alternative is there? Despite these potential problems, vaccination must surely be preferable to losing puppies and kittens to distemper, parvo, and other fatal diseases! Until recently, there have been no practical alternatives, so the short term benefits of vaccination have seemed to outweigh the long term risks. Now, however, there is a safe and effective alternative to vaccination: homeopathic nosodes.

Homeopathic Nosodes: a Better Alternative

nosode is simply a homeopathic remedy that is made from a disease product. Nosodes are not in any way infections, and can be used in the same way as vaccines, that is, to prevent viral infection. Like vaccines, nosodes sensitize the body to a particular virus, so the immune system can react quickly and effectively to natural exposure. Nosodes are at least as effective as vaccines, and in some cases have been shown to be significantly more effective than vaccines in preventing infection.

The biggest advantage of nosodes over vaccines is the fact that they are completely safe. There are no risks or side-effects whatever. And they can be safely given to puppies and kittens much earlier than vaccines can. In fact, the mother can be treated before she gives birth, giving the puppies or kittens protection from the moment they are born.

Nosodes, like all homeopathic remedies, are very easy to administer: they are given by mouth, and don't even need to be swallowed. They are also very economical - far less expensive, in fact, than vaccination.

Limitations of Nosodes

There are some limitations to the use of nosodes. Rabies vaccination for dogs is required by law in most counties, and the rabies nosode, called Lyssin, will not satisfy that requirement. You should know, however, for the health of your animal, that all vaccines, including rabies are legally and medically approved for use in healthy animals only! So if your dog is showing any signs of acute or chronic disease, he or she is exempt from that requirement and should not be vaccinated.

Despite the obvious advantages of nosodes, most boarding kennels and veterinary hospitals will not accept them in lieu of vaccination. If you need to board your dog or cat in a boarding kennel or veterinary hospital, you may be forced to have him/her vaccinated. This is a problem that will hopefully improve with time as more kennel owners and veterinarians become familiar with nosodes.

Therapeutic Use of Nosodes
Donna Starita Mehan, DMV

In addition to helping prevent specific viral diseases with prophylactic use, nosodes can be used even after exposure to a virus has taken place. If given immediately after exposure, before symptoms develop, these nosodes can prevent the development of clinical disease.

Viral diseases such a feline leukemia, feline infectious peritonitis, canine distemper and canine parvo virus are usually incurable with conventional medical treatment (antibiotics, steroids, etc.). However, they frequently respond very quickly and favorably to homeopathic treatment. If your pet shows any symptoms of illness, specific, individualized homeopathic treatment will be needed. Due to the potential seriousness of these conditions, you should seek professional help.

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Veterinary Homeopath does not Recommend Routine Vaccination

Dr. Charles Loops D.V. M.

As a veterinary homeopath, I do not recommend routine vaccination for dogs or cats, except for rabies in health dogs. If, for whatever reason, you decide that you must vaccinate your pet, I would make the following recommendations:

  • Never vaccinate an animal with symptoms of acute or chronic health problems, or at the time of surgery or any other physical or emotional stress.
  • Vaccinate for one disease at a time that is, avoid multivalent (combination) vaccines. For cats, vaccinate for feline panleukopenia alone. The vaccines for the two upper respiratory viruses (calicivirus and rhinotracheitis) can be given together. I strongly recommend against vaccination for feline leukemia or feline infectious peritonitis virus. The vaccine is ineffective, and in my opinion, extremely hazardous. For dogs, give parvo separately from distemper. Do not vaccinate for leptospirosis, hepatitis, or parainfluenza. Never give the rabies vaccine at the same time as any other vaccine.
  • Avoid modified live virus vaccines whenever possible. Get killed virus vaccines, especially for rabies, canine parvo virus, and feline panleukopenia. (The canine distemper/hepatitis vaccine is not available in a killed virus form).
  • For middle ages dogs and cats, vaccinate every 2-3 years, instead of yearly.
  • After vaccination, give a dose of Thuja 30c. Wait one week, then give a dose of Sulfur 6x once daily for 7 days.
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Homeopathy, Immunity, Vaccinations, and Nosodes

An animal, properly fed and cared for, will have a significantly enhanced resistance to disease. The degree of resistance relies principally on nutrition and total care.

Nosodes are typically used in a therapeutic manner, to treat patients with the same illness (isopathic), or a similar disease (homeopathic). For example, Psorinum, the mange remedy, is made from human scabies, and is useful in treating other skin conditions as well.

Nosodes, when properly prescribed, are useful and safe for young animals who, while below the recommended age for vaccinations, have become ill with a particular preventable disease, or similar disease symptoms.

When using nosodes to treat an existing illness, such as EPM and other seriously debilitating diseases, however, it would be a mistake to look at a nosode, or any other homeopathic remedy, as the only solution. One or more veterinarians should be consulted to evaluate the animal's situation, and the results that follow treatment. For instance, if Hypericum and the EPM nosode are given to two different horses, one horse may have tremendous improvement, and another horse may appear much worse. It is also vitally important to balance the nutrition, to support the horse with vitamin and possibly herb therapy, and to consider other therapies, to get him in a state of recovery. Finding a well-trained homeopathic veterinarian is important if you choose this route. A list of homeopathic veterinarians is available through the AVH and the AHVMA (see SIDE BAR).

Regarding vaccinosis, if your animal is suffering from the ill-effects of a particular vaccination, the nosode of that particular disease could be used to antidote the effects. Some of the other remedies that may help the body rid itself of vaccinosis include Lachesis, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Sulphur, and Thuja. Chronic conditions, especially, are best left to the professional homeopath.

Nosodes are also being used in a prophylactic, or preventive, manner, such as in healthy young animals below vaccination age. It is viewed by some as a way to expose the immune system to the energies of a disease, without exposing it to the disease itself, thereby stimulating an immune response. Unlike a vaccination, a nosode will not introduce foreign, and possibly harmful, substances into the body.

It is believed by some homeopaths that energetic immunization can be achieved with nosodes, orally, via contact with the nervous system. There are more nerves in the mouth than anywhere else. In contrast to vaccinations, nosodes activate the entire defense system, energetically and physically, thereby yielding a more solid immunity.

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Homeopathic Alternative to Vaccines

Homeopathy is a complete system of healing, discovered 200 years ago by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. It has its own method of diagnosing and its own special remedies. The remedies are all natural, rarely have side-effects and are not addictive. They are safe for adults, the elderly as well as for infants and children. Even pregnant women can take the remedies safely. Homeopathic remedies are very effective in acute and chronic diseases. In the U.S., homeopathy is a legally recognized method of healing.

Nosodes are homeopathic preparations made from cultures of microbes and viruses. The nosode is prepared by serial dilution. Nosodes are administered in different two basic ways. In the case of nosodes from bacteria and viruses, the preparation carries the molecular imprint of the proteins and other constituents of the pathological agent. The working of the nosode is based on the fact that the immune system is sensitized to this molecular imprint without being exposed to the virulence of the living agent. The use of nosodes as a replacement for vaccination is based on this mechanism.

A nosode from a pathological agent, such as the measles, whooping cough (pertussis), etc., carries the molecular imprint of the agent and therefore sensitizes the immune system in such a way as to prepare the body for the defense against that same pathological agent. This is important in the case of children's diseases, where a primary infection is necessary to immunize the child, often for life, at a moment when the baby is highly vulnerable.

Whether a baby will be immunized with a vaccine or not, the administration of a nosode for each of the common children's diseases is an ideal way to start building immunity. Because of the fact that the agent is present in the nosode as an imprint and not as a virulent entity, it is a safe and gentle way to sensitize the immune system. It will protect against shock and serious consequences in the case of infection or vaccination

Titers: What do they tell us?

By Christie Keith

Many people who are trying to reduce vaccination are interested in using "titers" as a test to measure whether or not their dog is still immune to a disease. They often speak of titers as showing "high" or "low" immunity, or of "having to" re-vaccinate when a titer is low. While there is not a tremendous amount of research on titers in dogs, I think it's fair to say there is quite a bit of misunderstanding on the part of pet owners, and even many veterinarians, as to what a titer test does or does not tell us.

A "titer" is a measurement of how much antibody to a certain virus (or other antigen) is circulating in the blood at that moment. Titers are usually expressed in a ratio, which is how many times they could dilute the blood until they couldn't find antibodies anymore. So let's say they could dilute it two times only and then they didn't find anymore, that would be a titer of 1:2. If they could dilute it a thousand times before they couldn't find any antibody, then that would be a titer of 1:1000.

A titer test does not and cannot measure immunity, because immunity to specific viruses is reliant not on antibodies, but on memory cells, which we have no way to measure. Memory cells are what prompt the immune system to create antibodies and dispatch them to an infection caused by the virus it "remembers." Memory cells don't need "reminders" in the form of re-vaccination to keep producing antibodies. (Science, 1999; "Immune system's memory does not need reminders.") If the animal recently encountered the virus, their level of antibody might be quite high, but that doesn't mean they are more immune than an animal with a lower titer.

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