Homeopathy Papers

Questions Patients Ask – 13

students with question marks
Written by Elaine Lewis

Homeopathic Aggravations, Antidotes and Dosing Schedules!

What’s The Aggravation Process?

Hi Elaine,
You don’t know me, I just joined the Hpathy.com website and read your “Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions” article.  I hope you can help me understand the Aggravation process.

There actually is no “aggravation process”.  You’re not supposed to have an aggravation.  Here is Hahnemann saying you’re not supposed to have an aggravation:


When I say that the so-called homeopathic aggravation … takes place in the first hour …this is certainly true in more acute troubles…but, when long acting medicines are to overcome a … chronic disease, none of these [aggravations] should be allowed to take place during the treatment.

How much clearer can he possibly be?

§ 270 (f)

…in chronic diseases, one can best proceed by beginning the treatment with the lowest degrees of dynamization and if necessary continue to the higher degrees….

What Hahnemann just said was, in acute disease, you may have an aggravation in the first hour after the remedy; but, in a chronic disease, no aggravation ought to appear, and if you prescribe properly–starting these cases with the lowest degrees of dynamization (potency) and going up gradually as needed–it won’t.

I wonder if anyone is familiar with these aphorisms from The Organon?  I’m guessing not from the way people are prescribing, starting every chronic case with 200C, 1M or 10M.  Some even start cases with CM, which just makes my jaw drop to the floor.  An aggravation means the prescriber has made a mistake and given too high a potency or told you to take the remedy repeatedly with no regard for how you’re reacting to it.  It is apparent to me that the majority of homeopaths are using standard allopathic medical prescribing as a model to emulate!  Our model is supposed to be Hahnemann and The Organon.

I have H-pylori, acid reflux, anxiety and some female menopause symptoms that I would like to address with homeopathic remedies.  I am highly allergic to many antibiotics which is one reason why I refuse to treat my H-pylori with antibiotics.  I have done a lot of research about Homeopathy and really think it can cure my issues.  My fear is the aggravation you get from taking a remedy.

It’s more like the aggravation you get from not knowing what you’re doing.

I probably have this fear because of the reactions I have had with antibiotics.  I originally thought that homeopathy had no side effects.

It doesn’t.  “Side effect” is a term of convenience used by drug companies to make light of bad reactions people have to drugs; but, in reality, these reactions are effects of drugs, period!  It’s like, we all know that alcohol causes nausea, stumbling, hic-cups, dizziness and stupor.  All these things are effects of alcoholBut if I own a brand of beer, I only want to advertise that alcohol helps you have a good time!  I’d call all these other embarrassing things “side effects” to minimize them!  It’s the same thing with the drug companies.  It’s in their interest to refer to certain embarrassing drug reactions as “side effects” because otherwise, we might be disinclined to take them!

The only way homeopathic remedies can have untoward effects is by reckless and random prescribing without any knowledge of what Hahnemann warned us not to do!  This is where people get into trouble.  But drugs spell trouble even when they’re taken as per instruction!  That’s the difference.

Now, I hasten to add that when a patient does get an aggravation, and even I’ve gotten them a few times, at least it does tell you one thing– that the remedy is, most likely, correct and one simply has to wait a short while for the aggravation to wear off and all will be well!  That’s better than taking a remedy and having nothing happen at all.  However, the problem is, a patient will get an aggravation and instead of stopping the remedy, which is what he should do, will keep on taking it, over and over again, having “heard” that having an aggravation is a “good” thing!  No, it is not a “good” thing!  You are not supposed to keep taking the remedy at that point, you have to stop!  The remedy has clearly acted, and that’s all it can do!  There is no further value to continued dosing other than to ensure that you will never bounce back and never move forward!

If I were you, I would not think that you can treat yourself because, clearly, you can’t; no more than I can correctly prescribe antibiotics for myself.

Can you let me know how severe the reaction (aggravation ) is?

Again, there should be no aggravation at all; but, that is a function of how learned the practitioner is and how sensitive the patient is to remedies.

Thanks so much for your help.  I am tired of not feeling well.

Here is a link to “The Aggravation Zapper”, you might need it:

The Aggravation Zapper



My Homeopath Said To Just Take A Bath!

Hi Elaine,
I don’t know if you answer questions from people who aren’t your patients but I need help to slow down the aggravation my daughter got from Silica 1M and so far nothing helps.  I have been working with a homeopathic practitioner who prescribed Silica 1M on January 5th.

After about two weeks my daughter’s hearing got very sensitive.  She is in college and she was not able to sleep because of noise from the fan her room-mate has.  Now she has severe insomnia and had to change her room for a different room-mate who can sleep without a fan.  She is also having anxiety about not being able to manage her work, she cannot concentrate, she is over-tired, has severe insomnia, does not respond to even a sleeping pill!  We tried your “aggravation zapper” I read online.  I had her put Silica 1m in a cup of water and dump the water out 20 times and take a sip.  She tried that twice and it did not work.

She tried taking Silica 6x couple times a day for few days and it made it worse.


Nothing is working and my homeopathic practitioner said to just take a warm bath before bedtime and let the body regulate itself.

A warm bath?  Now why didn’t I think of that!  A warm bath was the answer all along!  

In the meantime my daughter was so sleep-deprived she was getting heart palpitations.  I was wondering how to stop the aggravation without antidoting the remedy.

I wouldn’t worry about that because the remedy is doing absolutely nothing for her at all.

Could you maybe suggest something. I need somebody with your experience because my homeopathic practitioner is not helping and she is trivializing the whole issue.

That’s because she knows she’s done something wrong, doesn’t know how to fix it, and is therefore trying to play it down!

My daughter is exhausted from no sleep, worry over her school performance and feels like she cannot handle her school work.  All her anxiety fits the picture of Silica but she was not like that before she took the remedy.  I would really appreciate if you can show me how to slow down this aggravation.

If you’ve read “the Aggravation Zapper”, you probably saw that Diane had one patient who didn’t bounce back until the remedy was antidoted in the 60th cup!  So, the mistake you made was that you tried the 20th cup, twice!  First of all, I would have started with the 12th cup.  If that didn’t work after a day’s time, I’d have tried the 24th cup.  If that didn’t work after a day’s time, I’d have tried the 36th cup and so on.  There has got to be a number that will stop this aggravation.  If antidoting ultimately failed, I would then check to see which remedy antidotes Silica.  As it turns out, Helleborus, Camphora and Fluoric acid are listed as antidotes.  If that didn’t work, I would take the case of the current presentation and try to find a remedy that matched it.

By the way, no chronic case should ever be started with a 1M, there’s just no justification for that.  6C two to four times a day, in water, with five succussions before each dose is a more appropriate way to start a chronic case; other options: 9C twice a day, 12C once a day. As Hahnemann said in the Organon, aphorism 249b,

“There can never be any case in the practice of a well-trained, scrupulously careful physician in which he would have to give an antidote if he starts–as he should–with the smallest possible dose of his well-chosen medicine….”

That doesn’t mean that your starting potency isn’t going to wear off at some point, requiring the next higher potency to be started, and you might even eventually wind up at 1M for all I know; but, you get there gradually according to the patient’s needs, not according to a one-size-fits-all prescribing method the practitioner has made up.


Suppose I Were Told To Take Medorrhinum 200C every 48 Hours

Dear Ms. Lewis, my name is Jorge, I refer you to your article:

Questions Patients Ask: Why Does the Remedy Have to Be in Water?

Hola, Jorge, thank you for reading my article and following up.

Suppose I were told to take, say, Medorrhinum 200 CH, every 48 hours.

First of all, let me quickly chime in here by saying that there would be almost no reason for you to be taking Medorrhinum 200C every 48 hours that I’m aware of.  Whatever it is you might be taking it for, one dose should be enough to get a response.  If it’s an acute situation, you should see some sort of response from a 200C within a short period of time; after which, it would be apparent when your next dose should be; namely, when the first dose wears off and you start to relapse!  And there is no way to tell when that might be!  A week?  A month?  Never? 

On the other hand, if this is a chronic case, and all you have is a 200C, you would just have to give the remedy once and wait.  You may have to wait a month!  This is why I tend not to treat chronic cases with high potencies.  I prefer to give a 6C three times a day, or a 12C once a day, and believe it or not, you see results in just a few days!  (I didn’t say a cure, I said “results”, and based on the results, you’re able to figure out when to dose next.) 

Now of course, yes, you do have to frequently raise the potency when you start this low–raising the 6 to 9, the 9 to 12, the 12 to 15… but the patient sees results right away that he can attribute to the remedy; often when you give a high potency and tell the patient to come back in a month, he forgets all about the remedy and attributes his new-found well-being to something else he did–exercise, praying, or who knows what!  You may never see this patient again, and if he relapses, he’ll never think, “Maybe I need more of that homeopathic remedy I took ages ago!”

Now what can happen if you repeat the 200C too soon?  It could antidote the first dose, and you’d be right back where you started from!  If a remedy is working, don’t repeat it!

Kindly tell me whether I would be doing the correct thing if….

1. after having taken my first 3 or 4 dry granules, I dissolve, say, 30 granules in water

Oh my gosh!  No, no, no!!!!!  2 granules is enough!  2 or 3.  Anything more than that is just a waste, certainly not 30!  And pour some water off the top.  You have to be able to succuss the water bottle before each dose, which you can’t do to a full bottle.  Succussing means pounding the bottle into your opposite palm–usually 5 times.

2. put the bottle in the fridge;

3. 48 hours later, succuss the bottle, say, twice,

I would say 5 times, unless you have a hyper-sensitive patient, in which case you might want to do only 2.

take 1 tsp. of the remedy so diluted/succussed;

Just take a sip, no need to be so fussy.  No one walks around with spoons!  Plus, you should only be using disposable spoons or bottles, or, here’s an idea: you could use the bottle cap to dose with, that would approximate a teaspoon.

4. replace the 1 tsp. of remedy taken, by pouring 1 tsp. of water into the bottle;

No, no, no!  Let the amount of water in the bottle go down without being replaced!  Ultimately you’re down at the bottom with only one dose left, then refill with spring water to the the half-way mark (do NOT add more pellets!), succuss 40 times, and now you’ll have a 201C.  Then continue as before with 5 succussions before each dose.


5. repeating steps 3, 4 and 2 (in that order), every 48 hours.

No, except for putting bottle in the fridge.  And if you want to keep this bottle for a long time, adding a little alcohol–vodka, brandy, etc.–will keep mold from growing in it.

Kindly tell me further if:

1. one could not ever run out of the remedy this way; and

2. the remedy would be potentized further every time one succussed it just 1 or 2 times.

Yes, you will never run out of your remedy, the bottle is potentized anew every time it’s succussed, and again, 5 succussions before each dose unless your patient is hyper-sensitive.

Thanking you in advance for your kind attention, I look forward to your news!

Jorge, what kind of case is it that you’re giving, or think you should give, Medorrhinum 200C every other day?  Because this sounds excessive to me and you could wind up aggravating from it or proving it.  Generally, you give just one dose of a 200C in a chronic case, and you have to wait a month or longer to see what will happen.  This is not my preference because I can get results in just a few days by starting with 6, 9 or 12C, in water, given daily.

Most sincerely,

Jorge A.


The Remedy Sticks To Everything?

I was reading again your article about zapping method of antidoting and I wonder, you said if you use a glass container, you will practically never “get rid” of the remedy? (the same when preparing a liquid remedy in a glass?)

You were reading “The Aggravation Zapper”?  And you’re asking me if it’s true that if you put a remedy in a glass, you can never use the glass again because the remedy will always be there when you fill it back up with water?  Yes, that’s what I am saying!  If remedies didn’t stick to things, they wouldn’t stick to the blank sugar pellets in your Boiron tube!

This is why I always say, when working with remedies, use disposable bottles, disposable cups, disposable spoons, etc.  Don’t use the good glassware, your silverware, etc.  And… one remedy per bottle!  Don’t use a bottle for Lycopodium one week and Phosphorus the next week!  When you’re done with Lycopodium, throw it out, buy a new bottle!  These little 8 ounce plastic bottles are cheap, especially if bought by the dozen.  Maybe it comes to twenty-five cents a bottle.

This package of 24 spring water bottles costs $5.00.  That’s roughly 20 cents a bottle.


Elaine, would you expand on your “P.S.”?

Elaine — Would you expand on your “P.S.” regarding repeating dosages, specifically about how a repeated dose can antidote the previous one?  Here’s what you said: “P.S. Any time you’re going to take more than one dose of a remedy, put two pellets in a small, half-filled, bottle of spring water, and always succuss the bottle 5 times before each dose/sip; otherwise, you risk antidoting the previous dose!”  So here’s my question, if repeated dry doses antidote the previous dose, then every remedy to be repeated must be made into a water remedy and potentized — under normal circumstances, e.g., at home, this method is practical, but what about during travel or emergencies when water may not be available?  I’ve been at accident scenes when repeated dry doses seem necessary, and only one potency is available.  Thank you!

OK, as I have explained before (see my article “Case Management in a Hop, Skip and a Jump”) Hahnemann wasn’t just against repeating dry pellets while the previous dose was still working, he was against repeating even liquid doses that were not succussed or stirred before each dose–the exact same potency, in other words–while the first dose was still working.  First of all, I would urge everybody: If the first dose you gave is still working, don’t repeat it, unless the patient relapses, or begins to relapse.  If a remedy is working, it’s working!  That’s all you can ask for!  All you want is some evidence that it’s working!  And usually that evidence is seen first on the mental/emotional plane, not on the physical plane.

The only way you can raise the potency of a remedy is to succuss it and the only way you can do that is for the remedy to be in water.  Now, you say at an accident scene, all you have are dry pellets and the remedy has to be repeated sometimes.  First let me quickly point out that this rule only applies if the previous dose is still working!  And why would you want to repeat under those circumstances anyway?  If the remedy stops working and you give the dry dose again, that’s OK because there’s nothing to antidote, the remedy has already stopped working, you don’t have to worry about the second dose antidoting something that’s no longer there!

I carry a liquid potency (dropper bottle) of Arnica 10M in my pocket.  I have a 30C Emergency Kit in my backpack, and Arnica 200C in the car.  I carry a 10M potency in my pocket knowing I may only be able to give one dose to someone in need; but, if your remedy was working and now the patient is starting to relapse, as I just said, you CAN repeat a dry dose, because clearly, there is nothing to antidote, the remedy has stopped working!

The danger lies in repeating a dry dose WHILE the remedy is working!  Our own Dr. Bhatia actually describes this situation in his book Lectures on Organon of Medicine.  The first case he ever had, an eczema case, was doing well on Graphites 30C; but, the patient wanted to get well faster and Dr. Bhatia felt pressured into repeating the remedy despite the fact that it was already working!  “It’s not working as fast as it did the first week,” the patient complained.  Well, you guessed it, after the dose was repeated the eczema came back!  And it wasn’t clear how to proceed at that point!

Now if the first dose had started wearing off on its own and the patient came back and said, “I was doing great but now the eczema that cleared up the first week is coming back,” a repeat of the 30C would probably have done no harm and may have moved the case forward. 

I hope this helps you.  Hahnemann says that it appears that the vital force requires increasing potencies of the same medicine going forward in order to effect a cure, that by succussing the bottle before each dose, the vital force is more likely to respond favorably than if you just give the exact same potency over and over again.


Do You Think I’ll Be Able To Navigate Through This 10M?

Ms. Lewis,

Thanks for your quick response!  I feel like I was able to get rid of the cold I had, I think what happened was the remedy kind of lost it’s power after the cold and I plateaued.

Then I took Calc-carb 1M and felt a little more energy the first couple days and then I started to slowly get worse, where all my old intense sinus pressure symptoms came back (the ones I am trying to get rid of with homeopathy).  Once I stopped dosing at my homeopath’s direction, I felt a decent amount better but not totally better as he said I would (he said it was an aggravation and I would continue to improve even off the remedy).  I went back on it after a week, felt good the 1st day, then again the old symptoms came back and stopped and again felt relief but not continual improvement (I did not relapse to square 1).  Yesterday I took Calc-carb 10M and initially felt energized and less sinus pressure.  Then I felt more pressure about 2 hours later. ****And then last night the pressure faded away, the sinuses opened up, and I felt good.

OK, so it sounds like you really needed an extra high potency to roll over this sinus problem, that the 1M just wasn’t strong enough.

My anxiety went away, my body felt like it was in complete harmony and completely connected, and I felt fatigued but in a good/pleasant way.  Based on your article I read online this sounds like an aggravation?

An aggravation?  What do you mean?  What are you talking about?  You’re all better!  This is a complete amelioration–for as long as it lasts anyway!  You’re calling the fatigue an aggravation?  The right remedy causes people to fall asleep, that’s normal!  I wouldn’t pay any attention to that, but you should probably take it easy and not push yourself and maybe go to sleep if your body is telling you to.

I eventually got back in touch with my homeopath and he’s now saying to only take it twice in the first week and then go back to every other day.

No, no, no!!!!!!!!  These people kill me with their “dosing schedules”!  You’re completely well now, right?  So, there’s nothing more to treat!  What if you never relapse?  Why should you be told to repeat a remedy when there’s nothing left to treat?  Do you know what repeating a remedy can do when the first dose is still working?  Antidote it!  That’s right, antidote it, put you right back where you started!  I am appalled (my usual state) that he would tell you to keep taking the remedy even though you’re basically well.

Don’t do anything, OK?  Don’t take anything, unless you start to relapse, then you would be justified in redosing.

This is not allopathic medicine, we’re not trying to kill bacteria; we’re not trying to kill anything, it’s not like we know that we need X-many milligrams to kill so-many bacteria, so-many pills a day for so-many days…. It’s not like that; but, people who know little about homeopathy, practice it like they’re giving drugs!  Hahnemann clearly says in The Organon that any striking improvement precludes all further dosing!  Here it is,

Aphorism 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.”

What could be clearer than that? “…as long as it lasts,” he says!  As long as you’re continuing to do well, do not repeat the remedy!  So your homeopath’s “advice” was without any foundation!

Right now, knock on wood, I feel better than I have in a couple months.  Based on these occurrences, do you think I should be able to navigate my way through this 10M remedy?  I think all of these struggles have been remedy related as I don’t feel like I have any cold or sickness.

I’m glad you’re better, I have no idea if you’ll be able to manage your own case.  Hopefully you’re well and will never need another dose.


Can I Give Histaminum 200C Every 6 Hours?


My son has pollen allergy.  I observed that Histaminum 200C works for 6 hours for him and the symptoms come back after 6 hours.

Then just repeat it.

Can I give him Histaminum 200C every 6 hours daily?

Yes, and when repeating it no longer works so well, put a pellet in a bottle of water (pour some water off the top first), succuss 5 times before each dose/sip and it should start working again.

I will have to give it to him for the complete month of May.

Is it ok?


Or can that cause a side effect?

No, not if you’re waiting for him to relapse before redosing.  If he relapses, it means the remedy is all used up; it’s not like it’s accumulating.  The danger comes from redosing while the first dose is still working.  Hahnemann said–and I find myself repeating this a lot…

“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.” (Aph.246)

In other words, a striking improvement after a remedy means no further dosing of any medicine of any kind is permitted for as long as the improvement lasts, implying that if the improvement stops, it is permissible to then redose.

I use this because Zyrtec does not suit him and I was looking for a substitute.

Drugs do not suit children, or anyone else!


What Do You Think Of Iodium?

Elaine, what do you think of of Iodium for “Debbie”?  It’s got the weight loss, the sunken features….

I know; but, the remedy has to match the pathology too, not just the symptoms.  Iodium is known for thyroid problems but “Debbie” has colitis!  Let me give you an example; you walk in a room and observe that someone has passed out on the floor!  Do you give a remedy based on what you see?  Do you look up “fainting” in the repertory?  Or do you find out from the family members what HAPPENED, what the CAUSE of the fainting was?  For example: passed out from bad news?  Ignatia. Passed out from good news?  Coffea.  Passed out from menses?  Sepia.  Passed out from high altitudes?  Carbo veg or Coca.  Passed out from low blood sugar?  Lycopodium or Phosphorus.  See? It all looks the same; but, different remedies apply based on the cause.  Once again, the importance of etiology is demonstrated.


Please help this dog!

“Please Help The Dog” has been moved to “Tidbits 67”:

Tidbits-67: “Please Help The Dog!”


Return Of Old Symptoms

Elaine, I have still been going back and forth between these 2 remedies for my cold (Arsenicum for the cough, Kali bic for the nose and sinuses) although I did not have to take the Arsenicum since Saturday.  I am still taking the Kali bic when I get stuffy or the discharge becomes sticky.

Here’s something interesting for you.  Since I have been taking this combination – I actually think it began with the Kali bic – I went backwards through some old symptoms – first I got the rash on my face I had been dealing with last winter (had been gone for a while), then after a few days it went away and the stye on my eye and the eye inflammation I had is now back.  It seems better today – but it is weird.  I sort of wonder what will happen next.

Wow!  Return of old symptoms!  Any remedy that brings back old symptoms is really doing some major house-cleaning; stay with it!  This is part of Hering’s Law: “Healing Takes Place In Reverse Order”!  So something really positive is taking place here.

So, everybody take note: when a patient takes a remedy and they tell you, “Now I have this other thing!” be sure and ask, “Is this an old symptom you had before?”  If it is, it may not need a remedy because it will probably resolve quickly on its own.  Also, prepare your patients for the possibility that something they had before might come back and not to become demoralized if it does, and to be sure to let you know!  Otherwise they’ll be running to the doctor for antibiotics or Tylenol!

Bye, see you again next time!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website: elaineLewis.hpathy.com

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


  • Hi Elaine, thanks for sharing my dog’s tale of woe! Lena is a little better. The big problem is MY ignorance about finding a balance… knowing whether itchiness is from an aggravation or she just needs another dose. She is now at the point where she has long periods of rest, but still will scratch for a while periodically.

  • Hi Rebecca, thanks for writing and giving us an update! What’s your dosing schedule? If she has a period of scratching, and you give her Rhus tox, does it work right away? Is she still on 6C or have you plussed to 7C yet? “Long periods of rest” sounds like a big improvement to me.

  • It is always a pleasure to read Elaine’s articles;Very lucid in exposition and of great practicle use.

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