Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Docente: Anna Zaghini
  • Credits: 8
  • SSD: VET/07
  • Language: Italian
  • Teaching Mode: Traditional lectures
  • Campus: Bologna
  • Corso: Single cycle degree programme (LMCU) in Veterinary Medicine (cod. 8617)

Learning outcomes

Learning outcomes

The “Non-Conventional Medicines (NCMs) alternative or complementary to the traditional Medicine” Course aims to provide students with useful informations to better know and understand Acupuncture, Phytotherapy and Homeopathy-Homotoxicology.

The main learning outcome for the student will be to obtain the fundamental and elementary bases about Phytotherapy and Homeopathy-Homotoxicology and to understand the applications of NCMs in the therapy for breeding animals as well as for pets.

By the end of the Course, the student should have acquired:

· KNOWLEDGE AND COMPREHENSION SKILLSthe student should be familiar with the elementary bases of Acupuncure, Phytotherapy and Homeopathy-Homotoxicology, and with the applications of NCMs in the therapy for breeding animals as well as for pets.

· ABILITY TO APPLY KNOWLEDGE AND COMPREHENSION – the student should be able to make a sound use of NCM remedies, i.e. be able to recognize also the limits of their therapeutic applications, and to use NCMs not only as an alternative to traditional Medicine, but combining and integrating as much as possible the different approaches in the concept of a “veterinary integrated medicine”.


o Find the link between different but connected subject matters;

o Demonstrate to have a reasoned and critical approach to the subject matter, rather than rote-learned knowledge;

o Discuss the topics of the Course;

o Find, analyse and choose the best and more useful information provided by scientific literature.

Course contents

Presentation and aims of the course VA IN COURSE CONTENTS

The NCMs Course will allow the student to obtain the elementary tools provided by the NCMs, concerning the holistic approach which is the basis especially of Acupuncture, Homeopathy-Homotoxicology and Phytotherapy. Moreover, the student will learn the scientific principles and basis, the most frequent clinical applications, but also the limits and the critical points of the use of NCMs in Veterinary Medicine. Galenic formulations and pharmaceutical dosage forms will be considered, as well as the legislative aspects on the use of NCMs in Veterinary Medicine, especially concerning the breeding species.

The use of a “self-directed learning” approach, in terms of teamwork and personal investigation, represents the main teaching innovation of this Course. The student will also learn how to discuss specific topics properly using the tools that are available to gather relevant information, building awareness and decision-making autonomy.


Homeopathy-Homotoxicology. NCMs officially recognized internationally. State of the art on NCMs. Why, when and how to choose between MNCs? From ponderal concentration to low dose concentration (low doses). The inflammatory process seen from an immunological point of view. Homeopathy-Homotoxicology: ties and differences. Homotoxicology. Homotoxicological pharmacology. Clinical cases: application of homotoxicology.

Phytotherapy. Definition of Phytotherapy, short history of herbal medicine, classification in the Official Pharmacopoeia. Brief hint to drugs of vegetal origin and their botanical aspects, recognition, collection, conservation. Phyto-preparations (plants powders, tinctures, hydro-alcoholic extracts, essential oils, propolis extract); techniques of stabilization and conservation, extract preparation/production, pharmacological activity. Essential oils, main constituents, pharmacological activity, antibiotic resistance and use of essential oils, aromatherapy. Extract characterization, active principles titration, mechanisms of action. The concept of phytocomplex. Drug interaction between medicinal plants and drugs. Legal provisions governing drug use in the veterinary medicine; prescriptions (also for compounding); European Feed Material Register; European Register of Feed Additives.

Plants with anti-inflammatory action: Salix alba, Harpagophytum procumben, Boswellia serrata, Ananas sativus, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Curcuma longa; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with an immunostimulatory action: Echinacea angustifolia, purpurea e pallida, Uncaria tomentosa, Astragalus membranaceus; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants for topic applications (skin, fur, external mucous membranes): Calendula officinalis, Echinacea sp., Agrimonia eupatoria, Aloe vera; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal actions: essential oils (Thymus, Origanum, Melaleuca, Lavandula, ecc.), other officinal plants; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with actions on alimentary canal: liver (Cardo mariano (silimarin) and Cynara scolymus); eupeptics and carminatives (Gentiana lutea, Cinchona succirubra, Pimpinella anisum); laxatives and purgatives (Aloe vera, Rheum officinale, Rhamnus frangula); antidiarrhoics (Potentilla tormentilla, Castanea sativa); decreasing the fermentation (Foeniculum vulgare); clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with anti-parasitic and repellent actions: oli essenziali (Thymus sp, Eucalyptus globulus, Lavanda sp, Cymbopogon nardus, Pelargonium graveolens); Oli (Azadirachta indica); clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with sedative, tranquillizer or anxiolytic actions: Valeriana officinalis, Escolzia Californica, Passiflora incarnata, Piper methysthicum; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals. Plants with actions on urinary and reproductive systems: Solidago virgaurea, Betula alba, Hieracium pilosella, Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, Vaccinium macrocarpon; clinical applications in pets and breeding animals.


Teaching material

Regarding the organization of the Course, the student will have to research for the material under the teacher’s indications (i.e. scientific papers and reviews, textbooks); these will be needed for the work during the lessons.

Below are some suggested texts and links.









http://www.fondiz.it/ 2008 Atti Corso Introduttivo alla Medicina non Convenzionale Veterinaria

P. Pignatelli: "Medicina Veterinaria Non Convenzionale" - Edagricole


http://www.medibio.it/pubblicazioni - Ordinatio Antihomotoxica et Materia Medica- Heel; Guida veterinaria-Heel

H.H.Reckeweg, Omotossicologia – Prospettiva per una sintesi della medicina. Guna Editore 2001

Heine H., Manuale di medicina biologica - Guna Editore 1999

AA.VV- Terapie d'avanguardia, compendium- Nuova Ipsa Editore

G. Sitzia - Conoscere la Medicina Omotossicologica- Guna Editore

I. Bianchi - Repertorio Omeopatico-Omotossicologico Materia medica Omotossicologica- Guna Editore

S. Ripa - Protocolli di Clinica Omotossicologica - CIC Edizioni Internazionali


E. Campanini: Dizionario di Fitoterapia e Piante Medicinali, Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 3a Ed., 2012

F. Firenzuoli: Fitoterapia. Guida all’uso clinico delle piante medicinali, Ed. Elsevier, 4a Ed., 2009

F. Capasso, G. Grandolini, A.A. Izzo: Fitoterapia. Impiego razionale delle droghe vegetali, Ed. Springer Verlag, 3a Ed., 2006

M. Valussi: Il grande manuale dell’aromaterapia. Fondamenti di scienza degli oli essenziali, Ed. Tecniche Nuove, 2a Ed., 2013.


A syllabus will be built as well as the materials showed during lessons will be available through the University website (https://iol.unibo.it).

Teaching methods


The Course will be held by Professor Anna Zaghini.

The teaching may involve postgraduate research staff of the Department of Veterinary Medical Sciences. During the Course, several lectures might be organized with the collaboration of external teachers experts on Phytotherapy, Homeopathy-Homotoxicology and Acupuncture.

Teaching methods and lesson format

The course involves 48 hours of frontal lessons/lectures and is divided into the main topics: Acupuncure, Phytotherapy and Homeopathy-Homotoxicology.

Classroom lessons are intended to encourage close interaction between the teacher and students. This is aimed to prompt the students to appreciate the links between the various matters, stimulate a reasoned approach and the independent work in small groups of students ending with a final presentation (power point) of the student’s work.

Assessment methods

The final evaluation of the students is carried out on the basis of: 1) self-learning group work carried out, with the presence of the teachers, during the course on an assigned topic and 2) oral presentation of the learning group work using a power point. The mastery of the topic, the expository clarity, the ability to synthesise and, through questions asked by the teachers during the final discussion, the mastery of the topics dealt with during the theoretical lessons or the activities in the laboratory are taken into consideration.

The final vote is agreed by the teachers at the end of the examination and is expressed in thirtieths.

How to enrol in examinations and the examination calendar: please go to the AlmaEsami online system (https://almaesami.unibo.it/almaesami/welcome.htm).

For the 2021/2022 academic year, informations are currently awaited from the University on how to carry out the exams in relation to the COVID 19 health emergency. At the moment the student can choose to take the exam face-to-face or online.

Teaching tools

Video player to show power point slides; clickers may be used.

Links to further information


Office hours

See the website of Anna Zaghini


Good health and well-being Quality education

This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.