Although I am new to the ways of permaculture, I have always had the mentality of ‘do no harm’, to the Earth, to animals, to other people. So my gardens were always organic, but not nearly wild enough, as I am learning. I have always loved recycling, not just for the money saved, more for the health of the planet. While most women love the idea of shopping for clothes, I love exploring salvage yards and secondhand shops. Other people’s junk can be inspirational. My latest salvage yard prizes have contributed to a filtration grey water system that combines a clean source of water for the garden, an extra duck pond and a permanent source of water for the local wildlife. After 20 years in business, also in the recycling trade, I wanted something more. Something that contributed to the greater good. I had recently discovered how amazingly helpful homeopathy was after it had completely cured a long lasting skin problem in one of my cats. The veterinary drugs did help, but also turned a normally calm and placid cat into an angry one. I didn’t know then what I now know, that no drug cures; they only suppress symptoms. And all come with side effects, many serious. It’s not uncommon for drugs to cause more problems than the original ailment. Iatrogenesis (a condition caused by prescription drugs) is the third leading cause of death in America, perhaps the world. A opportunity came to study homeopathy. As I got deeper into the study, I became more and more enthralled. The insights into health and disease were profound. It felt that this was my calling. I have now been in full time practice since the year 2000. With a keen love for animals, my practice also includes treating animals. That inevitably brought me to their diet. I learned how damaging commercial pet food really is. I learned what the dietary needs of cats, dogs and horses are and how this can completely turn their health around. This spurred me on to learn about the best diet for humans. A healthy, natural way of life coupled with a healthy species-specific diet are nothing new to permaculterists. Many find their own health improves dramatically after a shift away from a stressful, corporate way of life to one with a high involvement in nature; from a diet high in fast or processed food eaten on the run, to one of home-grown fruit and veggies, grown with love and eaten at leisure. While most of the problems with humanity today can be laid fairly and squarely on our deviation from nature, especially on our one tracked mind for money and control, not all can. At least not in a single life time, although perhaps collectively. We can have residual effects from past traumas, be they physical or psychological. Never underestimate the damage from intense fear. Soldiers involved in active service can suffer badly from this. So do abused children. PTSD is chronically debilitating. The family also suffer. Arthritis is common in a previously injured joint. We also inherit familial tendencies. Past unhealed traumas are passed down through generations. This is where homeopathy comes in. Homeopathy is an energy based medicine. In other words, it cures by treating the cause of the problem, not by masking the symptoms. Medicine tends to treat us therapeutically. Not unlike a mechanic mending a car. But we are dynamic beings. We are energy beings. We are not inanimate, as a car is. The difference between a living body and a freshly deceased body is energy. So it makes sense that we need to be helped with an energy based medicine. So let’s look at some examples, to show you what I mean. A bikie came for help with his arthritis. 20 years before he had suffered badly in a bike accident. He had sustained multiple breaks (17 in all) and had spent nearly a year in hospital. Since then, he had not been able to fully stretch an arm and was suffering with aches and stiffness in various joints. Even though this cause was many years old, I focused on healing this. Healing old injuries is different from recent ones, and it takes longer. But the outcome is just as favourable. Within a few months, he had full use of his arm and the aches and stiffness in other joints had disappeared. When an injury to a joint is helped homeopathically, arthritis won’t develop later in life as the healing was complete. A four year old was presented with asthma. She HATED her medication and had to be held down by four adults to take it. I find this so sad. Adults don’t know everything by a long shot. Children’s instincts need to be honoured and respected. Lack of respect is so rife in our society and is so damaging, particularly to children. I worked out her treatment. I suggested that the bottle should be placed on a low table where she could see it. When she was ready, she would ask for it. I certainly wasn’t going to be part of forcing her. As expected, it took her a couple of hours, but finally she took the bottle to her mother. She willingly accepted the remedy. Thereafter, she was the one who indicated when another dose was needed. Her asthma completely cleared in a few months. A young dog was brought to me with a rare disease. The vets said the only hope for her was an expensive drug for life. This was out of the question financially. I treated the dog based on her personality (what we call constitutional prescribing), which was very clear. The dog loved her remedy. She would race in from the far side of the garden to have it. She fully recovered and lived to a ripe old age with no other illness or treatment. A few years ago, I discovered that you could also use homeopathic remedies in the garden for pests as well as for plant sickness. Even in the best permaculture design, we can be growing unsuitable plants for the location, causing stress. So I started to experiment. I had a native tree that was dying from an insect infestation. There were large insect holes around the trunk indicating the invasion. I didn’t need to know what the insect was. I made up the remedy and, using a small syringe (without a needle), squirted it into all the holes I could see. Within a couple of weeks, I could see new signs of growth. The tree is still alive and strong, a few years later. I had an invasion of caterpillars that were eating my greens. Not wanting to kill them, I looked for homeopathic ways to deter them. And found one. I made up the solution and watered the plants with it. The caterpillars were still around, but they left the greens alone. Homeopathic solutions are quite harmless and inert to anything that does not resonate with them, so are safe to use anywhere, including around small children or pets. I didn’t have the same success with slugs and snails. But by then, I had an invasion. As it was time to balance my ecosystem anyway, ducks were brought in who did an admirable job, with lovely fertiliser to boot as well as eggs and endless entertainment. So I didn’t pursue that line. It is possible to use homeopathic remedies in two ways. For deep healing of chronic or inherited problems, it is best to work with a professional homeopath. But once you have some experience, you can learn how to use the common remedies for acute conditions as well as for animal and garden use. Homeopathy is safe, free from side effects, holistic, effective, incredibly cost effective and very empowering. No wonder the drug companies are doing all they can to direct people away from it.