The effect of Phytolacca decandra in the prophylaxis of bovine mastitis.
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the homoeopathic remedies Phytolacca decandra 12CH and Phytolacca decandra 200CH on the incidence of acute clinical mastitis, on the somatic cell count and on the butterfat, protein and lactose levels of composite milk samples obtained from dairy cows. It was hypothesised that the remedy would have an effect on the incidence of acute clinical mastitis, on the somatic cell count and on the butterfat, protein and lactose levels of composite milk samples obtained from the two respective treatment groups in the dairy herd used A placebo-controlled double blind study design was used. The trial group consisted of252 Jersey cows from a farm in the Underberg district of KwaZulu- Natal, South Africa. These cows were ranked according to age before being randomly divided into three groups consisting of 84 lactating cows each. The random allocation of treatments in this manner ensured an even spread of treatments across all age classes and lactation number. The three groups were painted with different colours of enamel paint to ensure easy and accurate dispensing of medicine and placebo. All identifiable variables were the same for the three groups for the duration of the 100-day study . The homoeopathic remedies Phytolacca decandra 12CH, Phytolacca decandra 200CH, and the placebo' were supplied in granules in plastic sachets that were randomised and colour coded by an independent Homoeopath. Dispensing took place after milking while the cows were being fed and was done by the person responsible for the feeding. Five millilitre medicated or unmedicated granule doses were dispensed into the dry feed by matching the colour code on the container of the granules of placebo or verum with that of the cow and then sprinkling the granules over the dry food with a 5ml-measuring spoon. Composite milk samples were obtained the day before treatment commenced to obtain baseline readings for the whole test population. Sampling occurred on day 1,35,70 and 100. The milk samples were analysed at Taurus Central Laboratory to determine values for somatic cell count, butterfat, protein and lactose on the day of the milk recording . The data from 191 cows from the test population was used after selection criteria were applied. There were 65 cows in the Phytolacca decandra 200CH, 67 cows in the Phytolacca decandra l2CH, and 59 cows in the placebo group. All cases of acute clinical mastitis were recorded for the test population,