Homeopathy Papers

Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions

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 “mother tincture” or just “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

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 LEWRA@aol.com
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:
http://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org

Leave a Comment


  • 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?


    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?


    • 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.