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Dosing In Acute Cases: How Often to Take the Remedy and in What Potency?

Hpathy Ezine, January, 2005 | Print This Post Print This Post |

Questions answered about acute prescribing.

This is a tough one because there is no formula per se; nonetheless, we do have a general 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 for the sake of succussion), 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 with a plastic spoon or straw before each dose/sip.  Don’t use the good silverware or good glasses.  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 either the wrong remedy or too low a potency.  If you’re pretty sure you have the right remedy and it’s not working, try the 200C.  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, Stop Dosing!!!!!  

The homeopathic remedy is like the ignition key that starts your car, once you’re moving there’s no need to start your car again, that’s not going to make it go any faster!

 Unless, of course, you stall; in which case, yes, repeat your remedy.

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 before taking a sip.

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, please don’t think you have to wait 24 hours after a taking a dose to see if it’s going to work. The acute remedy, when you’re in a lot of pain or discomfort, should work in roughly 15 minutes, especially if it’s a recent occurrence, as in, just happened.  (And the more severe your situation, the more likely you are to need the 200C, BUT save it!  Try the 30C first!  Don’t play your high card right off the bat unless you have reason to believe that a 30C won’t even touch the case because of how bad things are.  More often than not, a 30C will cover some of the worst things; so, don’t be afraid to start with it and see what happens; but, if nothing happens, you’ve always got your 200C to go up to.  

Now remember, a lot depends on what’s wrong.  If it’s, let’s say, an ordinary cold that you have, here’s what my teacher Robin Murphy always says, “Give a few quick hits of a 30C and then stop and wait.”  By that he means, put the remedy in water, of course, and take a sip once an hour for maybe 3 hours, always succussing the bottle before each dose, and then just wait.  Needless to say, if you get worse during that time, stop dosing; if you get strikingly better, stop dosing.  If nothing happens after a few hours or by the next day, it’s the wrong remedy.  

On the other hand, if it’s something sudden and severe like an injury or bad food or water, take your 30C remedy, and you fully expect that in 20 minutes or less, you’re going to find out if that’s the right remedy or not!  If not and there was another remedy you were considering, take a dose of that.  If you’re out of options, try a 200C of a best-fitting remedy that you already tried.  

If all you have are 30C’s you might want to think about purchasing a 200C Emergency Kit and having it ready.  Let’s take an injury, for example. Within 15 minutes, some relief should be felt, if only in the sense of feeling relaxed and centered.  That’s enough of a sign that the remedy was correctly chosen, is working, and you simply need to wait; you may even become drowsy.  Don’t repeat it.  Repeat only on an as-needed basis, meaning whenever you start to relapse.

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!”

7. Whenever you’re repeating a remedy, it’s OK to take the first dose “dry” (not in water), but try to take subsequent doses in water as explained above and always succuss 5 times or stir before each dose. This protects you from accidental “provings” (a kind of aggravation) and accidentally antidoting your remedy.  But again, if you’ve improved from the first dose?  Don’t Repeat The Remedy unless the improvement only goes but so far and no further, or the case starts to relapse.


Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom. Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

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  1. Dr.Md.Kasim S.Shaikhpatil

    October 3, 2012

    useful article

  2. arif rana

    July 10, 2015

    hi there, just wonder what would be the right dose of ruta 200 in tendinitis situation which is more than a year old. any hints would be appreciated.

    • Elaine Lewis

      Elaine Lewis

      July 10, 2015

      If you want to try Ruta 200C you should just try one dose. One dose is plenty. If it’s the right remedy, it will do something. There are 7 remedies listed for Tendonitis. Are you sure Ruta is the right one? What does the pain feel like? What are the modalities?