Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions

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Elaine has thought of everything you might want to ask about homeopathy.

1. What Is Homeopathy?

 

What is homeopathy?  It’s probably best not to ask, it makes absolutely no sense to a lot of people!  Our remedies have nothing in them but a “ghost” of their former selves.  

We start with a substance that’s usually toxic, like poison ivy.  We mash it up and place it in a container of wine; let it sit, stir it around, and after a time, strain the liquid off.  That’s the “tincture”.  We put a drop of that into 99 drops of water or alcohol, shake X-number of times, dump it out, refill with water or alcohol, shake again, dump out, refill, keep going like this …. until there’s “nothing” left of the original substance at all!  Then we give it for the very thing it used to cause! 

In fact, whatever something causes?  The homeopathic version of that is the cure!  Think about any substance and what it causes, the homeopathic version of that does just the opposite!  So, yes, homeopathic coffee puts you to sleep!  I think you can see that in this way, a world of cures opens up where previously no hope was to be found!

Is it that easy?  Sometimes, yes; but also no, because how to choose the right remedy among hundreds is what makes homeopathy a “study”, requiring many years of homeopathy school.  

Believe it or not, some “skeptics” find homeopathy so inscrutable that they say it can’t possibly work (Read How does homeopathy work?) , and if you tell them, “Yes, it really does, it saved my life!” they accuse you of having “tricked” yourself into getting better!  They call this “the placebo effect”, and to them, that’s all homeopathy is.  The problem with this “convenient” theory is that homeopathy works on cats and dogs and other animals too!  Their response to this claim is, “The pets are responding to the attention, the care you’re giving them, not the remedy!”  Unfortunately…  dogs and Cats won’t let you touch them when they’re sick!  Your “care” is not welcome!  They may growl, bite, scratch or hide in the closet or under the bed!  All pet owners know what I’m talking about!  Sometimes cats have to be wrapped up in a towel so you can pick them up without being scratched!  Fortunately, with homeopathy, you only need to pat a liquid remedy on their lips or squirt a dropper into their mouths to deliver a remedy, and then go away and let them be!     

I think it’s revealing that the “skeptics” never say that homeopathy doesn’t “work”!  Because they KNOW we have the before-and-after pictures, the X-rays, the lab tests and the doctor’s reports showing the patient got better!  So how do they counter that?  It all comes back to their tiresome mantra: Placebo, placebo, placebo!  “We’re not saying you didn’t get better; we’re just saying it wasn’t the remedy, it was Placebo!!!”  

When they say that homeopathy can’t possibly work, I tell them that the shoe is really on the other foot, because according to Dr. Ben Goldacre, author of Bad Pharma, we have no reliable information on any drug– what the “skeptics” call “scientific medicine”:

“…Drugs are tested by the people who manufacture them, in poorly designed trials, on hopelessly small numbers of weird, unrepresentative patients, and analysed using techniques that are flawed by design, in such a way that they exaggerate the benefits of treatments. Unsurprisingly, these trials tend to produce results that favour the manufacturer. When trials throw up results that companies don’t like, they are perfectly entitled to hide them from doctors and patients, so we only ever see a distorted picture of any drug’s true effects.”

The Drugs Don’t Work: A Modern Medical Scandal

So my final word to skeptics is: redirect your considerable energies to the real “snake oil salesmen”–your friends in the pharmaceutical industry.

 

2. When should I repeat the remedy?

This is a really important question.  Probably the easiest thing in the world to do is come up with the first remedy in a case, but then what do you do?  What potency do you give it in, how often do you repeat it, when should you stop repeating it and what do you do if it stops working?

The potency (what we call 30C, 200C, 1M, etc.) is dictated by the intensity of the complaint. Most acutes will respond to a 30C (a medium potency) and even just a single dose if you act right away.  A cold that’s been around for a week or more may require a 30C three times a day for up to three days before a striking improvement is felt.

Figure on this as a basic answer:  Most people have the 30C potency because that’s what’s generally sold in stores.  Put two 30C pellets of your remedy into a small, half-filled bottle of spring water, take three doses a day.  A dose is a sip.  Succuss your bottle five times before each dose.  For a demonstration of what I’m talking about, see video below from YouTube.com called “How To Make A Remedy Solution Bottle”; but, don’t do what this lady is doing in the sense that she is not using disposable cups and not using disposable spoons; also, she’s “going to the second cup”–which is something you only need to do if you’ve got a hyper-sensitive patient; but most of us will be taking a sip directly from the bottle after succussing 5 times before each dose; having said that, there’s still a lot you can learn from watching this video (and PS, let me just say for people who can’t watch videos online, “succussion” is just a fancy way of “shaking” the bottle.  It is done by pounding or banging the bottom of the bottle into the palm of your opposite hand):

As soon as you feel a striking improvement take place, stop dosing.  If you should get an aggravation, stop dosing.  If you feel only slightly better, continue with 3 times a day.  As you get better, take less and less often.

Occasionally an acute illness or injury is so intense that the right remedy in a 30C potency does absolutely nothing and a 200C is needed.  In pneumonia, for example, a 200C would be my preference and even a 1M or 10M (10,000 C) might be needed, as with a serious car accident or any other major injury, and the remedy may have to be repeated often.  Where do you get these high potencies?  You have to order them online.  So you see, the potency and frequency of repetition should be appropriate to the degree of suffering!  Less suffering means less dosing and a lower potency.  

I will never forget one really horrible virus Shana had when she was little.  She was very sick. I did eventually find the right remedy–it was Kali bichromicum (which we call “Kali bic” for short)–but she kept relapsing!  All I had left was Kali bic 10M, a really high potency!  I was afraid to give it, but it was all I had!  I gave it to her and I watched as her face changed right before my eyes!  Her expression returned to normal and she fell asleep!  She woke up the next morning, with no trace of having been sick the night before!  With 10M being apparently the perfect potency, the virus must have been very virulent, very severe!

For a chronic problem that’s not intense and has been around for a long time, starting with a 12C once or twice a day or a 9C twice a day or a 6C three or four times a day is appropriate as it matches the plodding nature of a chronic complaint.  Keep in mind that this is just the starting potency, as it will surely have to be raised going forward as it wears off; and we do that by “plussing” the bottle.

How do I plus my bottle?

Funny you should ask!  Hopefully you originally put one or two 6, 9 or 12C pellets in a bottle of water.  Now, dump out 90% of the bottle.  Refill half way with water, succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) 40 times.  Dump out, refill the bottle half way again, succuss 40 times.  Dump out again, refill half way, succuss 40 times.  There!  You’ve just raised your 9C to a 12C or your 12C to a 15C, etc.  It should work again now.  See also #5 below (“How Do I Plus My Remedy Bottle?”) 

What about repetitions?  

Even though your homeopath may have given you a schedule to follow (30C three times a day for three days), remember that this is just a suggestion based on the average person or average case, but remember, it’s still a GUESS!  This means:

Every prescription has to be tailored by you to match your situation!

Yes, that means you, you have to take responsibility for your progress!

This is a major plea to our patients and clients: Use common sense!

If the remedy worked in the beginning but isn’t working now, or just barely working, don’t just sit there, take it more often

If at some point, even taking it 3 or 4 or more times a day no longer suffices, don’t say, “Well, I guess homeopathy doesn’t work….” raise the potency, “plus” your bottle!

If you take a remedy and it causes an aggravation, stop taking it!  Contact your homeopath and he or she will tell you how to antidote the aggravation if it’s really bothering you and you can’t wait it out.

Under-repeating and over-repeating the remedy are both to be avoided.

Not taking the remedy often enough to get the illness under control is just as bad as overdosing, you don’t want to do either; which means you should be constantly re-evaluating and adjusting your dosing schedule according to your progress or lack of progress!  If you’ve gotten a lot better, take less often.

30C three times a day might have been perfect for you in the beginning, but maybe now you’re feeling 80% better, so, go to once a day and see if the improvement continues to hold.

If you start relapsing, go back to the three times a day and after you’ve recovered, try cutting back to twice a day this time.  What we expect is that eventually you’ll be down to once a day, then once every other day, and eventually stopping the remedy altogether.  But there is no rule for this, you have to navigate this path–only you know how you feel.

We are always striving for the minimum dose.

We want to be applying only the force that’s necessary to stop the complaint, not pushing too hard, not nagging our immune system to work harder the way our parents used to nag us to do our homework (did that ever work?); in fact, “as needed” is an appropriate phrase for homeopathic treatment.

The homeopathic patient has a greater responsibility than the average medical patient who is just expected to follow rules.  We expect you to be partners with us in managing your case, to use your judgement.  We can’t always be there to know how you’re feeling.  You have to stay on top of the case, you’re going to have to adjust your dosing according to how you’re improving–don’t allow your case to relapse!  Get more aggressive with the dosing if you slide backwards; and you’re going to need an acute prescribing book and a home remedy kit so that you can handle whatever unexpected emergency may arise; it could be anything from a bee sting to a virus.  Don’t you want to be self-sufficient in matters of acute-care?  Acute prescribing books and home remedy kits are available at many places online.

Sometimes, getting aggressive can simply mean letting your homeopath know the remedy stopped working.  In homeopathy we have an expression:

“The treatment is like skating on thin ice–you have to keep moving or you’ll fall through!”

3. How often should I see or be in touch with my homeopath?

Most homeopaths will tell you to come back in a month or six weeks. That may be fine for them, but it doesn’t suit me.  I tell my clients to email me whenever there’s a change in the case for better or worse, I tell them that I need to stay on top of things, that remedies need to change, potencies need to change, some cases are so challenging, they change every day!  I get so worried when a client is on a remedy and I don’t hear from him again for weeks or months!  “What is happening?” I wonder.  When they finally do write to me, sometimes I don’t even know who they are!  Because of this, you should always recap your case.   Say, “Hi, this is Joe, you put me on Lycopodium 12C once a day with five succussions before each dose for gas and bloating three months ago, and I was doing great but now the remedy doesn’t seem to work anymore, what should I do?”

Some people write to me and say, “This is what I’ve been doing, on April 12th I took Arnica, on May 3rd I took Rhus tox, on June 1st I took Bryonia….” and never tell me if any of the remedies worked!!  I’m not a mind-reader, I have no psychic abilities!  You should basically assume that I’m clueless and from another planet.

People also tell me they took a remedy but don’t tell me the potency or how often they took it, or if they took it in water, or how many succussions they did…  It just doesn’t tell me anything!  Maybe you over-dosed, how would I know?  So, when you write to me again, remember that I need to know your complaint, what you’ve been taking for it, your dosing schedule and what the results were.  Also, if the remedy stopped working, and you have some idea why (“I got a cold and stopped the remedy 3 weeks ago”) tell me. 

4. I don’t see why I have to make an RSB (Remedy Solution Bottle)

People hate it when I tell them to put the remedy in water, mainly because homeopathic remedies taste so good, they’re so sweet and melt in your mouth, people often resent being told to drop one or two pellets in a bottle of water–a sip being a dose…  All you can taste is the water!  It’s like I’m taking all the fun out of dosing!  Well, I am soooo sorry!  But, how else are you going to manage your case?  You can’t adjust or alter a dry dose!  All you can do is take the exact same, unchanged dose over and over again which opens you up to “provings” and aggravations!  

Now, if you put the remedy in a bottle of water, you can do something which will raise the potency ever-so-slightly which will mitigate against the possibility of an aggravation, and that something is called “succussion”, which is a fancy way of “shaking”.  You pound the bottle into your opposite palm 5 times, take a sip, and you can keep the case moving with less likelihood of having an aggravation.  Here’s a video demonstrating “succussion” which I may have linked to before, but, here it is again:

 

Your first dose can be dry (popping a few pellets in your mouth).  It’s what comes after that one that concerns me!  You don’t want to antidote your remedy with your second dose, do you?  For the second dose, you should drop a few pellets into a water bottle so that you can succuss your bottle before each dose, which will slightly raise the potency and keep you from developing a “tolerance” to the remedy.  (Pour some water off the top first or you won’t be able to succuss it.  You can’t succuss a full bottle.)

Now here’s a question for you, what do you do if your remedy stops working and you haven’t ordered your next potency?  Answer:  You can “plus” your bottle!

5. How do I “plus” my RSB? (remedy solution bottle)

Didn’t I already answer that?  Yeesh!  Never mind.  “Plussing” raises the potency of your remedy bottle.  Pour 90% of the water out, leaving just a tiny bit at the bottom–a swallow’s worth, probably.  Refill half way with water.  Succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) 40 times.  Dump the bottle out again, refill half way, succuss 40 times.  Repeat this dumping out and refilling and succussing once more and you now have a potency three degrees higher and it may work now.  If it’s still not strong enough, there’s no limit to the number of times you can plus your bottle until it’s finally strong enough to kick back in.  Some of you may prefer to simply order the next potency.  www.HahnemannLabs.com sells a lot of in-between potencies.

6. How should I feel after the remedy?

After a remedy, we generally look for one thing–has the person relaxed, calmed down, maybe fallen asleep?  That’s the sign to us that the remedy was chosen correctly.  And by the way, if you feel like sleeping after a remedy, don’t fight it!  It’s curative!  

The physical complaint may not go away immediately, but we have confidence if we’ve seen the all-important improvement on the mental/emotional plane that the physicals will catch up to the mentals in short order.

Why would we see improvement on the mental/emotional plane first?  Because when the body heals itself, it demonstrates that it has its priorities: always the mental/emotional plane comes first.  The first thing a person does is relax.

When you take an antibiotic for an infection and the infection goes away but you get a “crazy feeling” in your head (which has happened to me!), or you feel depressed or unlike yourself, we would say, “This person is technically worse than before, the case is going the wrong way!”  When we give a remedy, we expect that the first thing to resolve will be the disturbance on the mental plane and then the physical complaint will follow.  We often hear the patient say, “My local complaint is still there, but, I don’t care, it doesn’t bother me anymore, I’m not anxiety-ridden about it anymore!” 

If the case has no mental symptoms, if there’s no irritability, worry, anxiety, depression, stupor, confusion, etc., then we’re going to be looking for the physical complaint to resolve right away.  It may initially get worse if the potency selected was too high (aggravation)!  This has only happened to me once or twice and in a half an hour I felt better.  I had taken Rhus tox for a toothache and I said to myself, “Oh no, I think this remedy has made me worse!” Then I said, “Wait a minute!  This could be an aggravation, and if that’s so, I’m going to be fine!” and that was exactly what happened.

If you’re taking a remedy for something that just happened, for example, drinking bad water, you should see signs of the remedy working within roughly 15 minutes.  If there’s no sign of improvement, try a higher potency or try another remedy.  Keep trying until something works!  Heaven knows, that’s what I do!

If you’re taking a remedy for a chronic complaint, you may or may not get immediate relief.  In fact, you may have to wait a while, up to two weeks or possibly longer before noticing an improvement. This is especially the case if you’ve taken a high potency.  Lower potencies repeated often tend to show positive results in chronic cases sooner, like in less than a week or a few days, even one day. This doesn’t mean you’re cured!  The remedy has to be continued, relapses will probably occur and the dosing will have to be adjusted and the potency raised along the way.  Expect relapses to occur if you’re not staying on top of things!

7. If I get worse after a remedy, how do I know if it’s an aggravation or I’m actually coming down with some acute illness?

If it’s your exact complaint that’s gotten worse, that would be an aggravation, and probably a sign that the right remedy was chosen but in too high a potency and you’re going to feel better soon.

If it’s something else entirely, tell your homeopath or look it up under your remedy in the Materia Medica and see if your symptom matches a symptom the remedy is known for causing. If that’s the case, you may be “proving” the remedy. In that case, the remedy can be “zapped” (see below).

(What is the “Materia Medica”? We have two main books that we use in homeopathic practice: The Repertory, and the Materia Medica.  The Materia Medica lists the remedies alphabetically and contains information on what each remedy is known to cause, and therefore, cure.  The Repertory is a book of symptoms and the remedies that fall under them.)

If you’ve attained that relaxed, calm feeling along with your so-called “aggravation”, it probably means you got the right remedy but in too high a potency, the aggravation should wear off soon .  If it doesn’t let your homeopath know. 

Any illness you had that was suppressed with drugs may temporarily reappear after the right remedy is given in a case.  It will either go away or a homeopathic remedy can be prescribed for it. In chronic prescribing, expect the possibility of muscle aches, joint pains, rashes, discharging, etc. after a correct remedy. That’s because the disturbance is making it’s way out of your body starting with the mental-emotional plane, leaving the vital organs, making it’s way through the bones, the muscles and finally the skin, so don’t be alarmed, and don’t run and put cortisone cream on whatever it is and suppress it back to the mental plane or the vital organs. Just leave the rashes, etc. alone, they’ll go away.  Think of it as “de-toxing”.  If it’s too much discomfort for you, however, contact your homeopath.

On the other hand, if you break out into symptoms after a remedy that have nothing to do with your complaint and they’re not old symptoms you once had, and there’s no improvement on the mental-emotional plane, then it’s probably an actual acute or even possibly a “proving” of the wrong remedy and either way your homeopath can find a remedy for it.

8. When my RSB is practically down to empty, do I refill it and add more pellets?

No, no, no, a thousand times no, do not add more pellets!  Just add more water to the starting point and succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) 40 times, that’s all you have to do.  Don’t add more pellets, the pellets are a lower potency now than your water bottle, you’d be going backwards!

9. How do I zap an aggravation?

See article, “The Aggravation Zapper”

The Aggravation Zapper

Here’s the “Cliff Notes” version:

1.  Stand at the sink

2.  Turn on the cold water full blast.

3.  Fill up a medium-to-large disposable cup with water.

4.  Drop in a pellet of the remedy that aggravated (if the remedy was in water, make it a drop or as close to a drop as possible and drop it in the cup–and DON’T succuss your bottle first.  We want to antidote the EXACT SAME potency that aggravated; when you succuss, you change the potency).  The pellet doesn’t have to melt.

5.  Wait a couple of seconds, then dump the cup out.

6.  Refill with water.

7.  Dump out again.

8.  Refill with water.

9.  Dump out again.

10.  Keep doing this.

11.  Stop at the 12th cup and take a sip.

12.  Wait an hour.  It should work by then.  It may work right away.  While you’re waiting, read the actual article.

10. How do I store my remedy bottle?

Put your bottle in a dark place, like the refrigerator. We don’t want light to get in for an extended period of time. And if you expect to be taking the water for more than two weeks, adding alcohol, like brandy, will keep mold from growing in it.

11.  What does the number on the bottle mean? (6C, 30C, etc.)

These are potencies. Even the drugs you take have potencies. You have 2 mg. of Valium–that’s a low potency, and you have 10mg. of Valium–that’s a high potency. In homeopathy, 30C is a medium potency. 6C would be a low potency and 200 and up would be high. The pharmacies generally sell the following potencies:

6C, 9C, 12C, 30C, 200C, 1M, 10M, 50M and CM.

Thank goodness, many pharmacies now are selling a lot of in-between potencies so that we don’t have to always make big jumps when we need to go higher.

There are other potency scales too: The X/D scale and the LM/Q scale. They’re not as common as the C scale; so, if you have a question about them, ask your homeopath directly.

12. What are homeopathic remedies made of? How do you make them?

They can be made out of anything at all! There are remedies all around you! They’re all throughout your kitchen!  You can make a remedy out of anything!  The reason you would do that is because a certain thing had made you sick, like spoiled milk, let’s say.  You’d simply make a remedy out of it.  See #1 above.  Also see my article, “How To Make Your Own Remedy”. 

13. I tried homeopathy and it didn’t work.

The “skeptics” are always saying, “Homeopathy doesn’t work.  I’ve tried it.”  I notice that no one ever says, “I tried Mainstream Medicine, it doesn’t work!”  Probably no one’s ever said that because it’s a ridiculous thing to say.  No one “tries” a whole system of medicine, people try a thing, like aspirin, and it doesn’t always cure a headache!  We all know that.  In that context, taking a homeopathic remedy doesn’t always work.  You have to have the right remedy!  The wrong remedy is not going to work.  That doesn’t mean homeopathy doesn’t work.   If there’s anything I’m quite sure of, it’s that homeopathy works!

14. Now that I’m on a homeopathic remedy, can I continue with my junk food life-style?

No, no, a thousand times no!  Junk food is what we call “a maintaining cause”.  Homeopathy is great; but, you can actually cure someone of disease using diet and raw juices alone!  It’s actually processed food and drugs that are responsible for the majority of diseases we see today.

15. Now that I’m on a homeopathic remedy, can I keep taking my drugs?

Oh geez!  Actually, yes, you have to because stopping a drug can be very dangerous.  If you stop the heart drugs cold-turkey (all of a sudden) you can actually cause a heart attack!  Stopping sleeping pills can cause insomnia.  Stopping laxatives can cause constipation.  Stopping nasal sprays can cause sinus congestion.  And so on.  You have to wean yourself off of these things slowly.  All I can do is wish that you had never started them in the beginning.  They don’t cure anything and they’re all addictive. 

16. Since I’m seeing you, do I have to keep seeing a doctor?

If you’re on drugs, definitely!  Plus, your doctor can continue to run diagnostic tests that will let us know how we’re doing.   

17. Do I keep taking my constitutional remedy during an “acute”?

No!  Especially if you see a clear picture for another remedy and especially if you see a change on the mental/emotional plane. For example, let’s say your homeopath has you on Phosphorus 12C once a day as your constitutional remedy. Suddenly you come down with the flu: you’re thirstless, lethargic, drowsy, dizzy, sleepy with muscle aches, chills and a headache. You’ve got a clear “Gelsemium” flu. Why would you be taking phosphorus? It just doesn’t make any sense!  This is the value of having a home remedy kit and an acute prescribing book so you can handle these things!  When the flu is over, if your chronic condition is still there, resume the constitutional remedy as before.

18. What Are the LM Potencies?

Hahnemann, the founder of Homeopathy, wrote the 6th edition of The Organon to promote his newest discovery–the LM potencies: powerful, like the high potencies, but gentle and short-acting, like the low potencies–the best of both worlds, in other words, a perfect system, according to Hahnemann. Have they caught on? No; though more and more homeopaths are using them; still their use requires very specific instructions and most homeopaths are using them improperly.

The LM’s must be given in water. It is basically as I said above, about the remedies in water: the bottle is succussed before each dose in order to raise the potency ever so slightly to keep the case moving forward.

Aggravations can be better managed with the LM’s–not eliminated, but better managed. Their action dissipates sooner, so a mistake in prescribing is less of a crisis. Because their action dissipates sooner, they have to be repeated more often, perhaps daily. This allows you to better manage your case. You can stop your remedy, deal with an acute and then go back to it. You don’t have to worry about dental appointments and other “antidoting” influences because if your remedy is antidoted, you’re going to take it again anyway, so it’s only the last dose that was antidoted. If you took a 200C two weeks prior, a potency which is usually only supposed to be taken once, you’re constantly on the look-out for antidoting factors and trying to avoid them; it’s just not practical.

If you’re on an LM potency, you definitely have to stay in touch with your homeopath because when your LM/1 bottle finishes, you’ll be needing to go up to LM/2, then LM/3…it’s very methodical and the case has to be followed closely but these potencies are supposed to move your case along faster with less waiting and uncertainty than is sometimes the case with the C potencies.

19. What are the instructions for taking an LM?

1. You’ll need a bottle that holds four ounces of water, that would be half a cup. You can buy an eight ounce (the smallest) bottle of spring water, pour half out, and you’ll have a four ounce bottle of water known as your “Remedy Solution Bottle” (RSB for short).

2. Into this bottle, drop one pellet of your LM potency. Hint: tap the remedy bottle into a plastic spoon, jiggle the spoon until most of the pellets fall off but a few, then jiggle the spoon some more so that the remaining ones separate.  Gently push off all but one; then slide the single remaining pellet into the water bottle. These pellets are tiny, I must warn you.

3. A teaspoon of the water now goes into a disposable cup containing four ounces of water. Stir and take a teaspoon from the cup as a dose. Throw the rest of the cup away. Put the water bottle in the refrigerator to keep it out of the light.  Here’s that video again I showed you earlier.  It’s showing you, basically, how to do this; they’re using Thuja 6C but it doesn’t matter, it’s the same technique:

4. The next day, succuss (pound the bottle into your opposite palm) 5 times. Pour a teaspoon or capful from the water bottle into a disposable cup containing four ounces of water, stir with a plastic spoon, take a teaspoonful as a dose, put the bottle back into the refrigerator, and repeat this step again tomorrow.

5. When you’re finished with the LM/1 water bottle, begin LM/2 the same way. Buy a new water bottle, new cup and new spoon for the new potency.

20. How Do I Know When To Stop Taking a Remedy?

1. You may experience a “proving” when there’s nothing more for a remedy to work on or simply because you’ve over-dosed on it; so, definitely stop taking it. A person taking Nat-mur., which is homeopathic salt, may find himself craving salt; a person taking Mercurius (Mercury) may start sweating or salivating. These are examples of proving symptoms and a sign for you to stop the remedy. Always report an aggravation or proving to your homeopath. He or she will look in the Materia Medica to see if, in fact, you’re proving it. If you are, usually just stopping it is sufficient to fix the problem. The way to stop proving an LM potency is to take one dose of the next potency. I learned this from Diane Fuller, DHom and I’ve tried it and it works!  (Also, you can stop taking a remedy because you’re well!  But be prepared to start it again if you relapse.)

2. Return of “old symptoms”: An old rash comes back that you suppressed with cortisone cream, an old discharge comes back that you suppressed with antibiotics, and so on. If these phenomena coincide with an increase in energy or a positive inner feeling, stop the remedy as it has worked.  The return of old symptoms should resolve quickly.   

3. The Signs of Health. When you see the signs of health, stop the remedy (or take less often). The signs of health are:

  • clarity of mind
  • calmness
  • improvement in energy
  • able to adapt to change more easily
  • feeling of well-being
  • waking refreshed in the morning
  • improvement in sleep
  • improvement in appetite

4. Always be prepared to start the remedy again at the first sign of a relapse. If the remedy stops working, take more often. When that fails, raise the potency.

5. Stop the remedy if you’re getting worse. There are times when an aggravation is a sign that the right remedy has been given but in too high a potency and that an improvement is sure to follow. Even so, don’t keep taking the remedy under the circumstances, stop and wait.

6. If you’ve taken on a new remedy picture, stop the remedy: If you’ve developed a craving for food you’re not usually interested in, if your disposition has changed, if your body temperature has changed, if your thirst has changed, if your energy has changed…all this is an indication that you’re in a new remedy state. See question 17 also–“Do I Keep Taking My Constitutional Remedy During an Acute?”

21.  When you say “Take the remedy in the 3rd cup, or the 6th cup, etc.” what does that mean?

When you have a hyper-sensitive patient, you need a way of making the dose a lot gentler!  One way of doing this is by increasing the amount of water.  The video above demonstrates going to the 2nd cup.  That’s one way of doing it.  In fact, the number of cups you can go to is limitless.  But lining up cups like that is unnecessary and wasteful!  You actually only need one cup.  Here’s what you do: Stand at the sink, turn on the cold water, fill up a medium-to-large sized disposable cup, drop in a remedy pellet.  Wait a second.  Now dump it out (no, the pellet doesn’t have to melt first and yes, the pellet will be dumped out too), refill the cup with water, dump it out again, refill, dump out, refill, dump out, do this 6 times and then take a sip of the 6th cup!  There’s nothing magical about the number 6.  It could just as easily be the 3rd cup or the 12th cup.  It’s a function of how sensitive to remedies your patient is!  If your remedy is in a water bottle, succuss your bottle two times, and then instead of dropping a pellet into a cup of water, you would drop a drop or as close to a drop as you can get, into a cup of water and then dump out, refill, etc. as above.  When you finally reach a cup that doesn’t aggravate your sensitive patient, pour a drop from that cup into a new small, half-filled spring water bottle, and that will be your new RSB for that particular patient.   OK?  I hope that’s clear.

22. How do I wean myself off drugs? 

No drug can be stopped suddenly!  Confirm with your doctor that this protocol is correct–(I did confer with my colleague, Dr. Firuzi Mehta):  For ten days, cut your dose in half every other day; meaning, your dosing schedule will look like this: half, whole, half, whole, etc. Then, for the next 10 days, your dosing schedule should be half, half, half half.  The following ten days: half, 1/4, half, 1/4.  Then, for the next ten days, 1/4, 1/4, 1/4, 1/4.  Then 1/4 every other day for 10 days.  Then 1/4 every third day for 10 days.  Then 1/4 every 4th day for 10 days. Presumably you can stop at this point; but, I have to add, this is a general guideline; some people may need an even more gradual and longer tapering process, while others a shorter one if they’ve only been on the drug a short time; so, you have to be flexible.  If there are withdrawal symptoms, making a remedy out of the drug can help deal with them.  See my article, “How To Make Your Own Remedy”: 

How To Make Your Own Remedy

 

23.  Did I Mention: Don’t Use The Good Glassware and Good Silverware For Remedies?  The Remedies stick to everything; so use plastic, use paper, but not the stuff the whole family drinks from!  And use straws or plastic spoons for stirring!

***

If there’s anything you don’t understand–I know this is a lot of information–read my companion article, “Before Starting Homeopathy, Read This”:

Before Starting Homeopathy, Read This!

Good luck!  See you next time!

About the author

Elaine Lewis

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

21 Comments

  • A great article – lucid and detailed. Very practicable. Will guide beginners/ dabblers in the right direction. Will reassure many.

  • i got scared by homoeopath treatment ..my old rashes come bek again n it last for 10 days!now stil haven stop…

    • I’ve been using homopathic remedies for over a year for my son but i’ve seen no real results. Last remedy caused a terrible aggravation. It’s scary!

      • Homeopathy is complex and requires specific knowledge. If you don’t know what your doing, I can see how it might scare you. In the hands of an experienced homeopath, homeopathy is both safe and effective.

  • I had a severe case of eczema which my homeopath treated with homeopathic sulphur. It was going well until he changed the dose and the rash turned into very deep burns on my arms. When another doctor looked at my skin he said the wounds looked like 3rd degree burns. My homeopath told me to drink coffee as an antidote.

    I then started using acupuncture to heal the burns, which worked slowly over a period of many months. In the meantime I was unable to work as I couldn’t move my arms. The skin in the crook of my arms would tear when I extended my arms.

    What could have happened to cause the deep burns? I have never had this type of reaction before or since this that treament.

  • You were proving Sulphur and the homeopath didn’t know how to antidote and in general does not know how to manage cases. If you were doing well, there was no reason to change anything! As Dr. Luc De Schepper said in my interview with him, case management in homeopathy is bad world-wide! People should read his book, HAHNEMANN REVISITED.

  • My daughter had surgery, with acute trauma (swelling, bruising) to her jaw. Several people said to go a homeopathic store and get Arnica pills. The first woman suggested 6C, for acute trauma. We ran out and the next store (the first was close to Dr not home) said to try 30C. How do I know if the increased swelling is due to the change in dosage or the actual “healing” of her wound? Arnica, when searched has a whole list of “bad” things. Like “DON’T USE” it will cause heart attack, abdominal swelling, tongue swelling, lip swelling….I don’t want to so wrong and kill my daughter, but in the beginning she thought she felt swelling relief from the swelling. she was taking 6C ever 15 min for the 1st hour, then 4 times a day. Ran out and we switched to 30C @ 4 times a day and lots more swelling now…HELP!

  • Pam, I emailed you (lucky I saw your post!) and gave you antidoting instructions. I hope it went OK. So, everything was going well on 6C, you switched to 30C and I’m guessing you over-dosed and “proved” Arnica! (If arnica relieves swelling, that means that in over-dose it causes swelling!) The thing to remember about homeopathy is, once you feel a striking improvement, stop dosing! I am not aware of arnica causing heart attacks and all these other things you mentioned; but, it’s possible that the flower itself is toxic in over-dose. You won’t have these worries if you just stop dosing once you start improving.

  • I was taking Lycopodium, 30c,, for gas, bloating, indigestion. I took it every 2 hours the first day, and then 3 times a day for the next 4 days. It worked fine, so I stopped taking it, then noticed my symptoms coming back. So I took it about every other day, whenever I started feeling symptoms. That worked for a week or two, then all my symptoms came back worse, and now the remedy doesn’t work at all. Do I need a different strength, or a different remedy?

  • Sir,
    Good evening ,
    I am subscriber since 2013, but I am not a homeopathic practitioner. My maid servant aged about 18 years suffering from breast tumor,She has a tumor in left breast ,that is movable and have no pain. I have given her Conium-30 & Calc.Flour 30 thrice a day for one month but the tumor did not reduce .Please suggest me for further medicine.size of tumor approx.Tennis bal. I will be highly oblidge.Thanking you

  • Hello, does this mean that when my remedy I’ve made up into a bottle with brandy is really low I can just top it up with more water and brandy and that will still equal the same potency of remedy? So I can keep topping it up endlessly? Thanks

    • Thank you! Would the same apply to cell salts? And also, I’m still confused after reading your post on the basics about homeopathy. If dilutions increase the potency, wouldn’t each refill bring the potency up by one? Like when you say to make a 6th cup for sensitive people, if with each cup we succuss, doesn’t that increase the potency?

  • Thank you! Would the same apply to cell salts?

    YES BUT, I’VE NEVER HAD TO PUT CELL SALTS IN WATER FOR SOME REASON, I’VE ALWAYS TAKEN THEM DRY. I GUESS BECAUSE THEIR POTENCY IS SO LOW, THEIR ACTION EXPIRES QUICKLY SO BY THE TIME YOU REDOSE, THE FIST DOSE YOU TOOK HAS EXPIRED ALREADY; THEREFORE, NO FEAR ABOUT THE SECOND DOSE ANTIDOTING THE FIRST; AND ALSO, i HAVE TO TELL YOU, I DON’T TAKE THE CELL SALTS ALL THAT MUCH.

    And also, I’m still confused after reading your post on the basics about homeopathy. If dilutions increase the potency, wouldn’t each refill bring the potency up by one?

    WHAT RAISES THE POTENCY IS THE COMBINATION OF DILUTION AND SUCCUSSION. WITHOUT SUCCUSSION, THERE IS NO INCREASE IN POTENCY.

    Like when you say to make a 6th cup for sensitive people, if with each cup we succuss,

    NO, YOU ACTUALLY DON’T SUCCUSS WHEN GOING FROM ONE CUP TO THE NEXT.

    doesn’t that increase the potency?

    GOING FROM ONE CUP TO THE NEXT DOESN’T INCREASE THE POTENCY.

    • There aren’t machines in your own home. And you have to succuss your remedy before each dose so you’re not giving the exact same potency every time, which can lead to something called “tolerance”, and beyond that, aggravation.

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