Homeopathy Papers

Frequently Asked Questions – II (Dry vs. Wet Dosing)

Scholarly reader, Jessica, challenged me to show her where in the Organon it says to put the remedy in water. Hahnemann was trying to make a statement about aggravations: he didn’t like them and he had found a way to avoid them as much as possible. In other words, there is a prejudice against doing anything or starting out slowly.

A Closer Look at Remedies in Water

My article in last month’s ezine, “Frequently Asked Questions” has sparked a lot of mail. Jessica, especially, had a lot of questions. Again we see resistance to the idea that the remedy should be taken in water–as if it were MY idea and not Hahnemann’s–and succussed (“succussed” means pounding the bottle into your opposite palm) before each dose.

Scholarly reader, Jessica, challenged me to show her where in the Organon it says to put the remedy in water. (Jessica’s comments are in Itlaics and my Organon “translations” are in bold black):

“I have been scanning The Organon. I did not notice where Hahnemann suggested giving a remedy in water. I noticed he writes that even a remedy given in water can be given too much. Could you clear me up on this?”–Jessica.


Sixth Edition Organon by Samuel Hahnemann

§ 246

Every perceptibly progressive and strikingly increasing amelioration during treatment is a condition which, as long as it lasts, completely precludes every repetition of the administration of any medicine whatsoever, because all the good the medicine taken continues to effect is now hastening towards its completion.

If you see a striking improvement, stop dosing.

This is not infrequently the case in acute diseases

Especially in acutes, if you see a striking improvement after you’ve given a remedy, stop taking it.

, but in more chronic diseases, on the other hand, a single dose of an appropriately selected homoeopathic remedy will at times complete even with but slowly progressive improvement and give the help which such a remedy in such a case can accomplish naturally within 40, 50, 60, 100 days.

In chronic cases, a single dose of a remedy may complete the cure in anywhere from 40 to 100 days.

This is, however, but rarely the case; and besides, it must be a matter of great importance to the physician as well as to the patient that were it possible, this period should be diminished to one-half, one-quarter, and even still less, so that a much more rapid cure might be obtained.

However, it is rare that this occurs; plus, it ought to be possible to move the case along much, much faster than this!

And this may be very happily affected,

And happily, I–Hahnemann–have found a way to do this!

as recent and oft-repeated observations have taught me under the following conditions: firstly, if the medicine selected with the utmost care was perfectly homoeopathic;

First, select the right remedy.

secondly, if it is highly potentized, dissolved in water

Secondly, put the remedy in water!

and given in proper small dose

We all know that Hahnemann’s motto was “The Minimum Dose”. People can argue over what this means, but when you look at the 6th edition of The Organon in its totality, it’s clear that Hahnemann was trying to make a statement about aggravations: he didn’t like them and he had found a way to avoid them as much as possible.

Paragraph 253, footnote:

“The signs of improvement in the emotions and mind can be expected immediately after the medicine ONLY IF THE DOSE WAS SMALL ENOUGH (I.E. AS SMALL AS POSSIBLE) [Hahnemann’s emphasis]; an unnecessarily larger dose, even of the most homeopathically appropriate remedy…acts too violently and initially disturbs the mind and emotions too strongly and too long….”

What is Hahnemann talking about here? He is describing an aggravation. Does it matter what might have caused it? Would it make a difference if it were caused by a 3X or a 10M or a tincture or a crude drug? He didn’t like medical violence, period!  We all know what causes these aggravations: 1. Too high a potency. 2. Unnecessary repetitions. 3. Crude drugging of toxic substances.

He created his water potencies in an attempt to speed up the cure in as gentle a way as possible. “From old prejudices these persons abhor the smallest doses of the lowest dilutions….” he said. In other words, there is a prejudice against doing anything small or starting out slowly. The lowest dilutions, going up gradually, one step at a time, and you really will witness, according to him, “the rapid and gentle cure–the physician’s highest calling”. 

So, continuing on then, you put the remedy in water and give a small dose… 

that experience has shown to be the most suitable, in definite intervals, for the quickest accomplishment of the cure but with the precaution, that the degree of every dose deviate somewhat from the preceding and following 

You give a small dose at distinct intervals and never repeat the exact same dose twice!  You must slightly deviate the dose each time. The way to deviate the dose is by shaking/ succussing/ stirring. You cannot deviate the dose of dry pellets.

in order that the vital principle

By “vital principle” he means the vitality, the vital force, the immune response, etc.

which is to be altered to a similar medicinal disease be not aroused to untoward reactions and revolt as is always the case1 with unmodified and especially rapidly repeated doses.

The vital force is to be lured by the remedy, which is a fake disease but similar to the one you have.  But, you don’t want to arouse it to untoward reactions!  Frequently repeated doses of the exact same potency will do that!

1 What I said in the fifth edition of the organon, in a long note to this paragraph in order to prevent these undesirable reactions of the vital energy, was all the experience I then had justified. But during the last four or five years, however, all these difficulties are wholly solved by my new altered but perfected method. The same carefully selected medicine may now be given daily

But I’ve devised a method whereby the same medicine or remedy can be given every day if necessary.

and for months, if necessary in this way, namely, after the lower degree of potency has been used for one or two weeks in the treatment of chronic disease, advance is made in the same way to higher degrees, (beginning according to the new dynamization method, taught herewith with the use of the lowest degrees).

Start with the lowest potencies and ascend the potency scale gradually.  Remember we are talking about chronic disease here, not acutes and emergencies.

§ 247 Sixth Edition

It is impractical to repeat the same unchanged dose of a remedy once, not to mention its frequent repetition

When you have to repeat a remedy; remember, don’t repeat the exact same potency.

(and at short intervals in order not to delay the cure). The vital principle does not accept such unchanged doses without resistance

The body rebels against repeated unchanged, unaltered doses.

, that is, without other symptoms of the medicine to manifest themselves

“Proving” symptoms–if you take repeated unaltered/unsuccussed/unstirred doses, you’ll cause a proving.

than those similar to the disease to be cured, because the former dose has already accomplished the expected change in the vital principle and a second dynamically wholly similar, unchanged dose of the same medicine no longer finds, therefore, the same conditions of the vital force. The patient may indeed be made sick in another way

You could make a person sick doing this–repeating the exact same dose over and over again.

by receiving other such unchanged doses, even sicker than he was, for now only those symptoms of the given remedy remain active which were not homoeopathic to the original disease, hence no step towards cure can follow, only a true aggravation of the condition of the patient. But if the succeeding dose is changed slightly every time, namely potentized somewhat higher

But if you change the potency to a higher degree each time you give a dose by succussing or shaking or stirring vigorously,

(§§ 269-270) then the vital principle may be altered without difficulty

you’ll be able to repeat the remedy with no problem.

by the same medicine (the sensation of natural disease diminishing) and thus the cure brought nearer.1

1 We ought not even with the best chosen homoeopathic medicine, for instance one pellet of the same potency that was beneficial at first, to let the patient have a second or third dose, taken dry.

Don’t repeat dry doses–meaning the pellets!

In the same way, if the medicine was dissolved in water and the first dose proved beneficial, a second or third and even smaller dose from the bottle standing undisturbed,

Even if you’ve put the remedy in water, taking a second or third dose of the water “undisturbed”–meaning, without shaking or succussing or stirring, is just as bad as repeating dry pellets!

even in intervals of a few days, would prove no longer beneficial, even though the original preparation had been potentized with ten succussions or as I suggested later with but two succussions in order to obviate this disadvantage and this according to above reasons. But through modification of every dose in its dynamiztion degree, as I herewith teach, there exists no offence,

But if you “dynamize”–succuss–the bottle before each dose, there is no offence–nothing bad can happen.

even if the doses be repeated more frequently, even if the medicine be ever so highly potentized with ever so many succussions. It almost seems as if the best selected homoeopathic remedy could best extract the morbid disorder from the vital force and in chronic disease to extinguish the same only if applied in several different forms.

§ 248 Sixth Edition

For this purpose, we potentize anew the medicinal solution1 (with perhaps 8, 10, 12 succussions)

Succuss the bottle 8, 10, 12 times before each dose.

from which we give the patient one or (increasingly) several teaspoonful doses, in long lasting diseases daily or every second day, in acute diseases every two to six hours and in very urgent cases every hour or oftener.

In this way, a person with chronic disease gets a dose once a day or every other day. A person with an acute problem gets a dose every two to six hours or oftener if it’s really bad.

Thus in chronic diseases, every correctly chosen homoeopathic medicine, even those whose action is of long duration, may be repeated daily for months with ever increasing success. If the solution is used up (in seven to fifteen days) it is necessary to add to the next solution of the same medicine if still indicated one or (though rarely) several pellets of a higher potency

When your bottle is empty, start a new bottle with the next higher potency.

with which we continue so long as the patient experiences continued improvement without encountering one or another complaint that he never had before in his life. For if this happens, if the balance of the disease appears in a group of altered symptoms then another, one more homoeopathically related medicine must be chosen in place of the last and administered in the same repeated doses,

If new symptoms have arisen, change the remedy.

mindful, however, of modifying the solution of every dose

Don’t forget to succuss the bottle before each dose.

with thorough vigorous succussions, thus changing its degree of potency and increasing it somewhat. On the other hand, should there appear during almost daily repetition of the well indicated homoeopathic remedy, towards the end of the treatment of a chronic disease, so-called (§ 161) homoeopathic aggravations by which the balance of the morbid symptoms seem to again increase somewhat (the medicinal disease, similar to the original, now alone persistently manifests itself).

At the end of treatment, you may notice proving symptoms.

The doses in that case must then be reduced still further and repeated in longer intervals and possibly stopped several days, in order to see if the convalescence need no further medicinal aid.

So, stop the remedy or at least take less often.

The apparent symptoms (Schein – Symptome) caused by the excess of the homoeopathic medicine will soon disappear and leave undisturbed health in its wake. If only a small vial say a dram of dilute alcohol is used in the treatment, in which is contained and dissolved through succussion one globule of the medicine which is to be used by olfaction every two, three or four days, this also must be thoroughly succussed eight to ten times before each olfaction.

Even if you’re taking the remedy by sniffing it, it still has to be in water, with alcohol added and succussed before each dose.

“Elaine, you say don’t use the same disposable bottle twice for 2 remedies because the remedy “sticks” to the bottle, how do you know the first remedy is not washed off enough to allow the second one to work.”–Jessica

Because many times I’ve told people who thought they had run out of their remedy to, “Just refill the bottle, and the remedy is back!”  I’ll say, “Where is the bottle, is it in the trash?  Get it out.  Fill it back up.”  You can NEVER run out of your remedy!

“My parents often told me to repeat the remedy, same potency, when it works.”

Right, repeat the remedy–when it has worn off or is starting to wear off or is only moving the case along slowly. But if the remedy is working and you repeat the exact same potency, you run a strong risk of antidoting it and losing the improvement you’ve gained; in fact, you might relapse right back to square one. After all, when we want to antidote a remedy, this is what we do: repeat the remedy in the exact same potency!


And now, a few more clarifications before we go: What happens when people can’t get the LM potencies? They are more expensive than the C potencies, and they are often unavailable. In these cases, I use a lower potency, like a 6C, 9C or a 12C, and I treat it as if it were an LM–putting it in a four-ounce bottle of water, succussing before each dose, adding a capful to a dosage cup filled with water, stirring, and then a sip from the cup is a dose. I tell the client to order all the lower potencies–the 6C, 9C, 12C, 15C, 18C, the 21C…. granted, not every pharmacy sells these, but http://www.hahnemannlabs.com/ does, for example. I find that in this way, the results are often the same as with LM’s.  If you can’t afford to order all the potencies, you can achieve most of them by “plussing” your bottle.  I explain how to do that in the original “Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions” article, which is on my website (elaineLewis.hpathy.com)

In acute prescribing, here is where the high C potencies shine! A 200C will often knock the ball right out of the park!  But, if you give a 200C and it’s not working, don’t repeat it; if it was right, it would have worked. The exception would be an acute so severe, even 200C won’t touch it, such as a snake bite or pneumonia. For this you might need a 10M.

Another reader, Samantha, asked me if pellets need to dissolve, lamenting that they rarely do in a timely fashion. No, the pellets do not need to dissolve! Drop them in water and the water is medicated and ready to go!

I should also add that it is rarely necessary to take more than one pellet, whether you’re taking it dry or dropping it in water. Everytime you take more than one, you’re just ensuring that you will be running out that much sooner than later. In preparing an LM bottle, Hahnemann literally wants just one pellet to be dropped in! This can be rather tedious, since the #10 pellets that are mandated for LM pharmacy are the smallest pellets made, but, that’s what he wants!

As for people who are buying LM’s in liquid bottles? I have no idea what this is all about. It certainly is not in the Organon, and I have a feeling that what people are buying in these cases is the “liquid stock bottle”, one drop of which is supposed to be dropped on 1500 #10 pellets, so that when you drop your single pellet into your 4-ounce bottle of water, you are actually medicating with a fraction of a drop, do you see that?

So, if you are using a drop from a liquid LM bottle to medicate a 4 oz. bottle of water, your solution is actually over a thousand times stronger than Hahnemann intended! To make LM’s correctly, you should order the pellets, not the liquid.

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
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:
https://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org


  • Is making a RSB out of a 3c too low of a potency? Is that mostly a “material” dose rather than energy? Almost like a cell salt kind of level?

    • Becky, are you saying you would like to make a remedy out of something and would like to know if you can stop at the 3rd dilution? I guess the answer has a lot to do with what substance you’re trying to make a remedy out of. A very toxic or disgusting substance might still be quite discernable in the 3rd potency. Something like Nat-mur, however (salt) might be more permissible. Even the cell salts are generally in the 6th dilution.

      • Sorry I wasn’t more clear. No, what I meant was taking a 3c remedy that I already have from a pharmacy and making a solution bottle with one pellet of that.

          • Thanks so much. I’m still not clear about my first question, though, which was about whether a 3c potency is too low to do that with. It’s at the frequency level at a 3c? Not a material dose like cell salts?

        • Becky, we may be talking past each other? I’m not sure. Are you asking if a 3C is energetic? Yes, I would think so. It’s always appropriate to drop a remedy pellet in water. If it can be taken dry, then it can equally be taken by mouth in water, especially if it’s the second dose. Because the idea is, as Hahnemann is saying in The Organon, that as you go forward, your doses should be getting stronger and stronger–not staying at the same level–and this can only happen through succussion, which can only happen in water. And why does the remedy need to get stronger and stronger? Because the disease is getting stronger and stronger as it fights hard to win! And you, or your medicine, has to be getting stronger and stronger too in order to keep up with it! So the only question then is, is your 3C remedy working? If it is, then it is entirely proper for it to be in water. If it’s improper in water, then it was also improper for you to take it dry. And here’s the other thing. We pretty much never prescribe the 3C’s. Generally speaking, the 6C is the lowest dilution we start with. Exceptions are the cell salts that are usually in the 6X potency (the Europeans say “6D”). So, I might end by encouraging you to avoid the 3C altogether, then this question of “Is it safe?” never comes up–if, indeed, safety was the question; maybe it wasn’t.

  • Elaine, I wanted to let you know that you inspired me to read the 5/6th edition Organon, front to back! I have been reading lots of your articles and deeply appreciate the way you discuss things. It’s been so helpful as I poke around, a layman broadening her horizons in the world of homeopathy. 🙂 I’m hoping to one day afford a copy of Robin Murphy’s Repertory. Do you also prefer Robin’s Materia Medica or are there other favorites besides the classic Boericke, which I have?

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