Naturopathic Principles: Treat the Individual and not the Disease

As an Equine Naturopath, one of the questions I am most commonly asked is ‘what herb is good for X condition’ or what nutrient should I give my horse with Y condition?

One of the key guiding principles of naturopathy is treating each patient as an individual. In developing effective treatment plans for the horse, having a comprehensive understanding of any health conditions relevant to the horse is important, and indeed the most important part of this is addressing the pathophysiological pathways involved in these health issues. Yet, we mustn’t lose sight of the horse in the disease… Each horse is an individual, and the factors which have contributed to them developing an illness and/or injury will differ, sometimes only subtly, between horses. This means that two horses with the same medically diagnosed condition may be prescribed different herbs and nutrients. A good example of this may be two sub-fertile stallions. One may be an ageing stallion with naturally declining testosterone levels, the other a younger stallion with poor sperm morphology. The factors contributing to their outcome of poor fertility are very different. Therefore, effective treatment will be very different for both stallions, and helps to partly explain why their is no one herb, nutrient or remedy which is the ‘cure’ for all…

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