Alternative treatment set to be put to the test

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HOMEOPATHY (or homoeopathy) is a form of alternative medicine involving highly-diluted preparations of the substances thought to cause illness, which aim to stimulate the body’s natural defences. Its efficacy is much disputed, but the NHS recognises it. HAWL has a letter from Prince Charles praising its “wonderful work”, and his farm manager is quoted on its leaflets saying: “We find homoeopathy both actually and financially effective.”

ALTERNATIVE vet Caroline Kim hopes to persuade Yorkshire farmers to take her favoured methods seriously by showing what she can do with a mastitis problem in cattle at Newcastle University’s experimental farm.

Ms Kim, a homeopathist, based in Harrogate, is trying to recruit in Yorkshire for a farmer-training organisation called HAWL (Homeopathy At Wellie Level), which has the support of Prince Charles.

HAWL is based at Chippenham, Wiltshire, and its courses for farmers – held on one of the Prince’s farms in Gloucestershire – have mainly attracted southern interest so far.

But its stand at the Soil Association conference, in Manchester, in February, caught the eye of Gillian Butler, lecturer in animal science at Newcastle and organiser of a number of studies of alternative farming methods at the university farm, at Nafferton.

Mrs Butler and Ms Kim met last week to discuss trying homeopathy on mastitis at Nafferton, for a student’s master’s degree project.

Mrs Butler told the Yorkshire Post: “Our dairy herd is split in two – one half managed organically and one half conventionally, with 80-90 cows on 150 hectares in each system, so we can compare them in terms of economics and biodiversity, animal health and profitability. All of them are loose-housed on straw, so mastitis is a bit of an issue.

“And on another farm, I have seen homeopathic medicine have an impact on cell counts. But that was not under controlled conditions, of course. I have an open mind.

“We will try Caroline Kim’s recommendations on both our herds, because I know from experience they can react quite differently.”

The student concerned has to report at the end of the summer, so some results should be ready for publication by then.

Ms Kim said she would be making prescriptions based on a range of factors, “including the environment and the symptoms displayed by this particular herd”.

Although she had not tackled mastitis since her training days, she was confident that she could address the problem, using broad principles she has applied to other animal ailments.

Aged 31, she qualified in conventional veterinary medicine in Sydney, Australia, but says she became frustrated with it and started studying dietary medicine, which led her to homeopathy.

She came to England seven years ago and worked for two Yorkshire general practices which use homeopathic methods on pet animals and horses – Balanced Being, of Wetherby, and the Tower Wood Veterinary Group of Leeds – and did voluntary work in India and Thailand on her way to a qualification in the alternative practice.

She is currently off work, expecting a second child with her partner, but is still doing some voluntary work for HAWL.

See or call Caroline Kim on 07798 625886 or email