This is a tough one because there is no formula per se; nonetheless, we do have a guideline: Take the indicated remedy in a 30C potency 3 or 4 times a day for two or three days, and here’s how to do that: Drop one or two pellets of the remedy into a small bottle of spring water (pour some of the water off the top first because these bottles tend to be over-filled), succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) five times before each dose; a dose is a sip; OR, you can pour water into a disposable cup, drop a remedy pellet in, and stir vigorously before each dose/sip. Stir with a straw or plastic spoon, not with the good silverware. Here is a youtube video showing how to do the things I just described:
(P.S., no need to wait for the pellets to melt before dosing).
Now, here come all the “buts”.
1. If after an hour or two there is no indication that the remedy has had any effect whatsoever, it’s probably the wrong remedy and you should try to find another. In fact, if the complaint is recent and intense, the correct remedy should work within half an hour and maybe even in less than 15 minutes. I really hesitate to give a time table. I remember taking one dose Nat-mur 30C for a painful herpes rash, and I didn’t notice the difference until the next day. I just don’t think there is a hard-and-fast rule about when you will start feeling better, other than what I said about recent and intense occurrences responding to the remedy rather quickly, sometimes within minutes.
2. As soon as the remedy starts to work in a significant way, which may be as soon as 5 minutes, don’t do any repetitions unless the case either stalls or relapses. The homeopathic remedy is like the ignition key that starts your car, once you’re moving there’s no need to keep starting your car over and over again,
unless you stall.
3. If you’ve taken the remedy and have gotten only slight improvement, continue to dose three or four times a day. Always succuss the bottle five times before each dose or stir the cup.
4. As I said before, if your complaint has come on suddenly, you should see the remedy work fast.
5. If you’re in a very severe state, don’t think you have to wait 24 hours after a remedy. The acute remedy should work in roughly 15 minutes. Let’s take an injury, for example. Within 15 minutes, some relief should be felt, if only in the sense of feeling more relaxed. That’s enough of a sign that the remedy was correctly chosen, is working, and you simply need to wait. Repeat on an as-needed basis.
6. Let’s say you’ve had a cold for 2 weeks. We would not expect you to be better in 15 minutes! This situation is better suited to the “4 times a day for 2 or 3 days” guideline. Here is a range of responses I get from people who have been helped in this way: “In 6 hours my sore throat was better!” “By the next day I knew I was getting better.” “I only took one dose, because I forgot to take the remedy after that, and the next day I was better anyway, I couldn’t believe it!”
7. Whenever you’re repeating a remedy, it’s OK to take the first dose dry, but try to take subsequent doses in water as explained above. This protects you from accidental “provings” (a kind of aggravation) and accidentally antidoting the remedy.
8. If your symptoms get worse (aggravation) after taking a remedy, don’t despair. This has happened to me. It only means that the potency was higher than necessary, but the good news is that this is almost always a sign that the remedy chosen was correct and an improvement is sure to follow. Give the case about half an hour to settle down and don’t repeat the remedy unless an improvement follows and then relapses. Don’t repeat the remedy during an aggravation, the aggravation is a sign that the remedy has acted, which is all you can ask for.
9. The wrong remedy: The wrong remedy generally will do absolutely nothing, meaning you’ll have to check your acute prescribing book
and make another choice, or tell your homeopath that the remedy did nothing. However, sometimes the wrong remedy may cause an unsettling feeling, not the same as when the right remedy causes a temporary worsening (aggravation) of the symptoms in the case. The way to antidote a disturbing remedy reaction is to do the Aggravation Zapper (do a search for it or see my website). But remember this, when you say a remedy didn’t “work”, you have to look at your whole case, not just the local complaint. Are you better mentally and emotionally? Are you feeling more “centered”, more calm and relaxed? Then the remedy worked! You just have to wait and the physical complaint will be next to go.
10. There are definitely occasions where the right remedy has been tried in a 30C (medium) potency and it hasn’t worked! This is because the case is so intense it needs a higher potency. This has happened to me at least twice. The first time, I remember that I sensed that maybe the 30C of Arsenicum I had taken had done some good, and going with that intuition, I tried Arsenicum 200C and it worked beautifully; and I also recall a recent incident, this was another case of eating bad food, which Arsenicum is so well-known for, and taking Ars. 30C did not work at all this time. I had moved on to other seemingly well-indicated remedies like Carbo veg. and China and Veratrum alb. and none of them worked. As a last resort I said, “Let’s try Arsenicum 200C,” and voila! a total success! Even having said all this, what if all you have is a 6C? I would put the 6C in water, succuss 10 times before each dose, and give a sip every 5 to 10 minutes in a severe case, maybe once every half an hour in a less severe case. Always remember to take your remedy less and less often as improvement sets in, and, it should go without saying, if the remedy makes you worse, stop taking it!
11. What about chronic cases, you may ask, or “constitutional” cases? People attend homeopathy school for years to learn how to do this, and even then it’s not so easy! Chronic cases are usually layer upon layer of unresolved, caked-on, hard-to-remove junk that gives the homeopath a headache! There is no magic bullet for these cases, I’m afraid, the way there often is for an acute, so I couldn’t possibly give you an answer to this question here other than to say: ask the person or yourself what is the worst thing that’s wrong right now, and take the case of just that and treat it like it was an acute, and if you’re lucky enough to get that to go away, you can ask again: what’s the worst thing right now, and so on until you finally get to the bottom which is where the constitutional layer ought to be. But when I say “worst thing”, people will often answer “cancer” or “Parkinsons Disease” which is not a helpful answer. What you want to know is, “What’s bothering you the most right now? Is it insomnia? Is it pain? Is it dizziness?” These are the things you can help a chronically ill person with. Good luck.