This is a tough one because there is no “rule”, per se; nonetheless, we do have “guidelines”:
Take the indicated remedy in a 30C potency (which is a medium potency) 3 or 4 times a day for two or three days.
Drop one or two pellets of the remedy into a small, half-filled bottle of spring water and succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) five times before each dose; a dose is a sip. Here is a video showing how to do what I just described:
Now, here come all the “buts”!
1. If after an hour or two (I really hesitate to give a specific time because how fast a remedy works can depend on how long you’ve had your complaint; recent complaints should resolve really fast.) So as I was saying, if after an hour or two there is no indication that the remedy is having any effect whatsoever, and you’re having active symptoms, 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 having an effect, try taking another dose. Wait another two hours. If the second dose still does nothing, consider going up to the next potency—which is 200C. You should not need to repeat a 200C unless it works and then stops working. If the 200C doesn’t work, it’s most likely the wrong remedy.
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 hate to give a time table. I remember taking one dose Nat-mur 30C for a painful shingles rash I once had, and I didn’t notice an improvement until the next day! I just don’t think there is a hard-and-fast rule about when you will start to feel better, other than what I said before about recent and intense. During such times, improvement can be felt within minutes. And here’s the other thing about that. An acute case can resolve quickly but often with a “discharging” event. Don’t let that throw you! Almost always the patient is completely better afterwards!
2. As soon as the remedy starts to work in a significant way, which may be as soon as 5 minutes, Stop Dosing!!!!!
A homeopathic remedy is like the ignition key that starts your car, once you’re moving there’s no point in starting your car again, that’s not going to make it go any faster!
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.
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 distress, should work in roughly 15 minutes, especially if it’s a recent occurrence, as in, just happened. (And the more severe your situation is, 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 because if you do, you leave yourself nothing to go up to if your potency stops working! More often than not, a 30C will cover just about any acute case; 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, OK?
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 used to say, “Give a few quick hits of a 30C and then back off.” 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 this time, stop dosing! Even if you get strikingly better, stop dosing! (Over-dosing will not help you get better faster!) If nothing happens after a few hours or by the next day, it’s probably the wrong remedy.
On the other hand, if it’s something sudden and severe like an injury or ingesting bad food or water, take your 30C remedy, and you should fully expect that in 20 minutes or less, you’re going to find out if it’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 and want to fall asleep. Don’t repeat it. Repeat only on an as-needed basis, meaning whenever you start to relapse.
Since you might feel drowsy after the right remedy, you might want to take it at a time and place where you will be able to lie down and sleep if you need to. But, if you’ve been injured, take your remedy right away, don’t wait!
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 “3 or 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 gone!” “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” (a few pellets on the tongue), but try to take subsequent doses in water as explained above and always succuss 5 times before each dose. This protects you from accidentally antidoting your previous dose. But again, if you’ve improved from the first dose? Don’t Repeat The Remedy unless the improvement only goes but so far and then stops, or the case starts to relapse.
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 it needed to be, 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. Just make sure you stop dosing! 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 of a remedy! Meanwhile, if an aggravation is troublesome and distressing, you can “zap” it. See my “FAQ” article (click below) and scroll down to: “How To Zap an Aggravation”:
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 any disturbing remedy reaction is to do the “Aggravation Zapper” (see link above). But remember this, when you say a remedy didn’t “work”, you have to look at the 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 did work! You just have to wait and the physical complaint will no doubt follow soon.
10. What about chronic cases you might 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, hard-to-remove complaints that give the homeopath a fright! There is no easy way out of these cases, but, here’s what you can do. Ask the person what is the worst thing that’s wrong with him 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 then ask again: what’s the worst thing wrong with you right now, and so on until you finally get to the bottom which is where the constitutional layer is. But when I say “worst thing”, people will often answer “cancer” or “Parkinson’s Disease” which is not the answer we’re looking for. What we want to know is, “What’s bothering you the most right now? Is it dizziness? Is it a cough? Is it pain? Itching? Insomnia?” These are the things you can help a chronically ill patient with.
Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom
Elaine takes online cases, write to her at [email protected]
Visit her website: https://ElaineLewis.hpathy.com