Portraits: Silica


I have decided to make my practice experiences more accessible to those interested in homeopathy for animals and I will attempt to present a medicine portrait every few weeks along with some case examples from my own clinic.

It is also important for veterinary homeopaths to share their experiences of what they see as constitutional animal pictures so that we can develop animal repertories.


I use silica quite a bit in my practice and see a range of individuals and conditions that respond well to this medicine in homeopathic doses.

It is the second most common element in the Earth’s crust, next to oxygen, so it is likely to be helpful in many conditions given that it is so prevalent on Earth and in nature. Silica is used in material doses for constipation and strengthening bones, hair and fingernails.

As with all homeopathic medicines, the full clinical picture of the medicine can take many years to master and the art of homeopathic repertorisation and the depth of materia medica can be both daunting and exciting.  The major polychrests like silica have been used for so long now that a fairly accurate picture has developed in human medicine but the use in animal medicine is still being fully developed and adapted from the human experience.

I have had the added advantage of watching silica transform my son into a confident and capable young man over many years. This has helped me considerably to recognize the medicine in animals.

I find silica to be a nice gentle temperament that can anger but not wish to hurt.  Silica dogs can be tense and nervous but in my experience very rarely bite. Cats the same. There is a likeability in these animals but that may be a personal rather than a general feature because I also find pulsatilla animals quite unlikeable in contrast to some of my peers. We therefore need to identify our own reactions to medicines in order to understand them better.


Over time, once we develop a case load of successes with a medicine, the picture becomes a little clearer and we start to see more possibilities.

Then there are also the little parallels I like to find such as silica (sand), when superheated or activated becomes glass. Glass shatters. It is an irritant in its crude form (grit/abrasive) and becomes beautiful once transformed by heat into glass. There is a fragility and also a transparency in silica, they are often uncomplicated individuals with no hidden agenda. I think that is what I like about them. It feels like sweetness but may be more of a genuineness.  A common keynote is ‘lack of grit, moral or physical’ but they are not immoral just trusting and easily influenced. Maybe another reason I feel kindly towards them because they need rather than ask for protection. They can also be irritating at times but easily forgiven.



A grain of sand (silica) becomes a pearl inside an oyster and calcarea carbonica can often finish the healing action of silica and vice versa.

I find them to be self contained individuals that do not interact very much on a personal level and be easily overwhelmed by the expectations of others or by overstimulating environments. They are sensitive and reactive like plants and their monomaniacal behaviour can be misinterpreted as animal/territorial when it is actually stress induced rather than driven by instinct.

Many plants contain high levels of silica such as equisetum and lycopodium and we may see similarities and cross over in these and many other silica containing plant medicines in regard to physical signs and symptoms. They are often delicate or fine framed individuals but not generally weak or feeble. There is a resilience in them even though they may be timid and irresolute. A pulsatilla can become silica and with this can develop a rigidity or inflexibility both mentally and physically.


I have used silica for cases of vaccinosis, arthritis, chronic infections, inflammatory bowel disease, scar tissue from injury to eyes or soft tissue, luxating patellae with tendon contraction, birth/head trauma and lack of confidence in offspring, ‘autism’ in dogs, abscess and foreign body removal, anal furunculosis, blocked anal glands and tear ducts and even constitutionally for some of the above to a deeper, fuller level of cure.

As a first aid medicine it is invaluable for draining abscesses and removing grass seed foreign bodies. It is important to remember that it will cause implants to migrate so should not be used in animals that have bone pins, plates wires or screws unless you want the body to expel them sometimes incompletely and uncomfortably if impeded in exit.

There is some disagreement amongst homeopaths about miasm theory and classification and whilst leading modern homeopaths like Sankaran have silica as sycotic, I tend more to Banerjea and place silica as syphylitic and principally tubercular.

In fact, a recent case of inflammatory bowel disease in a dog was cured with silica by the direct association with the bowel nosode Gaertner Bach (tubercular) having been highly effective.  It can be difficult sometimes to clearly differentiate silica from other similar medicines and a deeper appreciation of the relatedness of medicines can be helpful as with the above case.



I sometimes have difficulty differentiating the routine or fussiness of silica and arsenicum.  They are both chilly and can be opinionated but overall silica is less destructive. They can both have dry flaky skin, gut upsets and similar time modalities. I do not see many true arsenicum animals except at end of life when it helps almost all constitutions to a peaceful end. Many silica signs and symptoms are similar to Calc Carb. I occasionally use these medicines interchangeably to effect. I usually rely upon body condition to differentiate but this may prove unreliable. There are also physical symptom similarities between Alumina, Silica and Phosphorus as they are all Row 3 minerals and have nervous paralysis. The mental and behavioural differences of these medicines help distinguish them. Even though they may all seem a bit slow to comprehend, phos and sil are generally sharper than alum.

I have occasionally run into a quandary about the choice between mercury and silica because they are inimical and I worry about getting the wrong one. It is usually eye cases or abscessations of a chronic destructive nature that leaves me wondering if merc would be better suited and it can be tricky to differentiate with a paucity of other information.

In fact, there is often a lack of information in animal cases in general because we rely on observation, intuition and inference rather than directly verbalized sensations from our patients. I am not very good at leading or allowing clients to give me accurate information although this skill improves over time and some owners are very good without prompting.  Ideally we should receive the case rather than direct it and this is a different skill from regular veterinary practice where we are in charge. Without a doubt, the information the owners give us forms a major clue to the simillimum but it is difficult to not influence this process by our own thoughts and preconditioning.

Hahnemann reminds us that we must clearly identify what it is that needs to be cured and then adapt the healing powers of the chosen medicine to effect a cure.

In the final analysis, a system of crosschecks can ensure an optimal prescription.

Check the main presenting pathology, the causation if known and the miasmatic tendency.  If the mentals can be identified clearly they are very helpful but I am discovering a lot of variability in animal cases in this regard and this is still a process of discovery. Whilst animal minds are not highly developed, they are still catalysts to deep disease states in an increasing number of cases. We need to be careful to properly represent out patients in this regard so that they can be heard and cured.


                 “Simplicity is an Advanced course”  Sri Chinmoy.


2 Responses to “Portraits: Silica”

  1. From admin

    It may be but there would need to be a lot more information about the animal and the history of disease before a homeopath would be confident to prescribe in this case. Silica is certainly a medicine to consider but there would also need to be further reasons since many many medicines also fit those three parameters.

  2. From Amy Yoder

    I saw silicea mentioned for cancer cachexia, strong appetite with weight loss. Do you think it is appropriate?

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