I will not enter here into a debate where rationalism has been confronted with skepticism for a long time (more than two centuries) and that the present times have not calmed down. Positive clinical studies and opposing counter-studies, homeopathy is for many a sham and this cannot be discussed or should not be discussed.
It seems that one is summoned to choose sides and that one cannot both support care by classical medicine, which has been accepted and a homeopathic approach, which has its detractors. To practice both seems to some to be a heresy, or at the very least, a contraindication or a contradictory diagnosis.
I have dealt with the subject in a book entitled Ces animaux qui nous guérissent (These animals that heal us) and my position is conciliatory, even benevolent, with regard to homeopathy, which, despite its opponents, makes it possible to obtain results that are not due to what they reject out of hand as the sole consequence of a placebo effect.
Long before I devoted myself to medicine, while still a teenager, I was able to verify that homeopathy had virtues that other medical modalities were unable to treat. Indeed, at the age of fifteen, I was affected by a violent impetigo on my face. The worst thing that can happen to a young man at the age of puberty where appearance plays a role
I was preparing for my baccalaureate. I was preparing for my baccalaureate and this physical ordeal was mixed with the chemistry of my body. Yellowish scabs, pustules, itching, I looked like a plague victim.
I was not only unhappy with this visible and laughable condition, but I was really suffering. For me, who was also very athletic, I didn’t dare to show myself anymore. I hesitated between the rattle to announce myself and the string to delimit my field of exposure. The hood or the balaclava could have been a solution, but the sweatshirt had not yet appeared.
One doctor prescribed eosin daubs with no effect other than to turn me into a boiled lobster. Another one made me apply yellow mercury oxide ointment with a temporary but insufficient improvement. The more the days passed, the more I lamented my fate and saw my life turning into a nightmare with no other way out than to hide.
My future had the horrible face of this pimply mask with eruptive craters and this acneic Vesuvius was boiling inside me. After a month in which I had plunged into a state close to depression, a friend of my parents recommended an eminent homeopath, Dr. Louis Borianne, author of a reference book Medicine and Common Sense. He immediately decided to stop the treatment that was not working in favor of small white pills that I had to swallow four times a day, including Sulfur and Psorinum.
A Miracle, in less than two weeks, the traces of my disfigurement faded and disappeared. I was healed, thanks to God, without any stigmata, and I could resume the normal course of my life and at the same time my classes at the Lycée Louis-le-Grand. I, Philippe-le Pustuleux, became myself again, Philippe-le-Matheux, since I was in math-elem class, ready to reconsider the course of my life and to re-approach studies, and the girls too!
Later, during my veterinary studies, I learned that Lachesis, extracted from rattlesnake venom, was part of the prescription. The doubt about the method that some people express had got the better of the poison (or the inefficiency) of their certainties and I have since been ringing the alarm bell about the benefits of this type of alternative medicine, to be judged and appreciated in the light of each person’s exerience.
I was all the more favorable to homeopathic medicine because the remedies are tested on man, who has become his guinea pig, instead of large-scale animal experimentation and the scandal of vivisection. Man at his service, respectful of animals, without sacrificing animals on the altar of Science and its procession of animal tortures. This was not to my displeasure and it encouraged me to consider homeopathy with interest and vigilance.
These thoughts were already animating me when I entered the Veterinary School of Maisons-Alfort and they were reinforced in conviction when I shared them with my master in surgery, Professor Roger Bordet, who later became one of my best friends.
Convinced of the effectiveness of this medicine of the infinitesimal, I wished to deepen this knowledge by reading specialized works, teaching other ways and searching for convincing experiences.
As if I had to go through another experiment and be my guinea pig again, I was going to test during my student life another treatment based on the same venom but this time in its Lachesis 9 CH version. Indeed, in my student room in the Latin Quarter, which I was renting with Georges Cotos, my painter friend whose memory I evoked in a previous chapter, I was the victim of a gas poisoning.
Malaise, vomiting, headaches were the symptoms that Doctor Borianne, who had treated my impetigo, treated with the same homeopathic zeal, allowing me to heal quickly. I discovered on this occasion what I had not suspected before, the very important contribution of animals in the homeopathic arsenal.
This was a revelation that coincided with an almost mystical period of my life when I was practicing yoga and had adopted a vegan diet while studying the founding texts of Hindu and Buddhist philosophies, even flirting with spiritualism. Baba cool before time, without the beard and the flowers, but adept of naturism, I kept however a curiosity for all that touches the esotericism and what concerns an unexplained mystery.
My taste for all these notions where the rational is counterbalanced by possible interpretations, finally joins this attraction for the animals and their own mysteries.
Once I graduated, as a young veterinarian, I let my curiosity spread to many branches to which I hung with delight, going from the insects which were at the center of my doctoral thesis to the medicine of birds which was still in its infancy, at a time when the profession was very generalist. I was interested in everything and had no blinkers on, open to everything that presented itself to me in this practice in Boulogne, where I saw a great number of animal species.
I refused very early on the diktat of the single thought and I wanted to explore various paths. Very quickly homeopathy seemed to me an interesting path and my own experiences encouraged me not to close the door on a medicine that some people still do not want to recognize or even hear.
With the support of the professor of surgery Roger Bordet, Pierre Barbier and Dr. Desmichelle, from the homeopathic center of France, we have successfully applied this method to sick animals in spite of the voices that were raised to contest our care. And since the results were there, I consider that we succeeded where the skeptics could only mock us.
The legacy of Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy in the early 19th century, whose life is a novel, is still refuted by a large part of the medical community, but it is based on a simple and common sense principle: the law of similars. “Similia similibus curentur” according to his formula which can be translated as: “The similar are cured by their similar”, that is to say that we must “seek remedies that ordinarily cause in the human organism an analogous disease and as analogous as possible”.
One can continue to say what one wants about homeopathy, good or bad, but what I can say is that it has cured me personally and I have not stopped practicing animal homeopathy with convincing results, which has not prevented some of my colleagues from classifying me as a marginal veterinarian.
In my travels abroad, in my various functions as a member of the Académie Vétérinaire de France and then as president of this same academy, I have wished to make a distinction and emphasize the validity of homeopathy. I do not mind that it is being debated today, but this debate should not be aimed at stifling the voices that support its principle and that it discredits a medicine that treats and saves lives when other, more traditional methods do not succeed.
Studies have shown that “homeopathy is significantly more effective than placebo” and, as Dr. Harris Coulter said, “the use of homeopathy in veterinary medicine is particularly interesting because the psychosomatic factor is largely excluded.”
I, for one, have always been an advocate of it and will continue to be so. And if, as some judge it, it is anti-conformism, then I claim for myself this treatment in more or less homeopathic doses.
If You Knew What Animals Have Taught Me – And what their masters have told me
By Philipp de Wailly, Henri-Jean Anglade, Jean-François Royer
Preface by Michel Klein
Veterinary Homeopathy Stories