Questions Patients Ask-17

Questions patients and students ask about homeopathy

Prescribing for Hypersensitives, Avoiding Antidotes & Hering’s Law

Hello Elaine.

I wanted to thank you so much for suggesting the book Hahnemann Revisited by Dr. Luc De Schepper.
As you said, it is easy to read and understand.

Yes, it truly is!

I really enjoyed reading it, rereading some chapters, even though not done with the whole book yet.  I also reread some of your articles, maybe because there are quite a few new things for me to learn, I think I got a little bit lost and confused.  So I wanted to ask you a few questions if I may.

You are saying that the case can’t be moved forward with dry pellets for chronic cases (except for the first dose) and dry pellets should not be repeated in order to avoid an accidental antidote, proving or aggravation, especially for hypersensitive people, if I understand correctly.

Yes. It was actually Hahnemann who said that. The first dose can be dry, but subsequent doses should be in water with roughly 5 succussions before each dose.  Or, if the remedy is in a cup, stir the remedy before each dose.   But don’t use the good silverware.  Use a straw or a plastic spoon.  And use a paper or plastic cup, not the good glasses that the whole family uses.

Dr. Luc writes (in Potencies) that hypersensitive chronic cases may tolerate 1 pellet of dry 6c potency better and may use one pellet dry daily for some time.

Dr. Luc says that 6C dry is a lower potency than 6C in water, and since hypersensitives can sometimes only tolerate the lowest potencies, therefore they can only take the dry dose.  But, that means you can only repeat the remedy when the case starts to relapse!  Otherwise, you risk that this person will aggravate.  What I, personally, would do, and have done, is put one pellet of the 6C into a large bottle of spring water, and give the following directions: “Take one small sip and wait.”  Often, that’s all they need, because of how sensitive they are.  Hypersensitive patients are a real challenge!  They can become very sick from all medicines, including homeopathy.  If they tell you they’re allergic to numerous things, you have to assume they’re hypersensitive.

I didn’t find where he would write when to start trying 6c in water.  He says 6c in water in chronic cases can be too strong for hypersensitives.

Yes, exactly, but maybe he didn’t think of using a very large bottle of water.

Does he talk about 4oz of water?

Yes, for the average person, he says 4 oz. is fine.

Will it be the same strength if diluted in 8 or a 16 oz. bottle?

No, the more water you use, the less likely a person is to aggravate.

Will taking tsp. vs drops make a difference?

Yes, for sensitive people, you may have to say “One drop, or as close to a drop as you can make it.”  Some people have REALLY, somehow, deranged their immune systems and consequently over-react to everything!  I don’t know how it happens!   Maybe it’s repeated rounds of antibiotics, flu shots, processed food; I don’t know, but, I’ve seen some horrible cases where people are hyper-reacting to everything–odors, foods, fragrances and of course, remedies!  Normally, I just say to a person, “One pellet in a small half-filled bottle of spring water, one sip and wait 24 hours, see what happens, let me know.”  This way you find out how sensitive a person is.  Luckily, most aren’t so hypersensitive; but, far too many are.

I tried one 6c pellet in 4oz of water, 1 tsp. and got an immediate aggravation

If it’s still present, do the aggravation zapper.

The Aggravation Zapper

(Seems like old symptoms). After trying one 6c dry, I fell asleep deep, good sign I thought.

It IS a good sign!  And that should have been your cue to stop dosing!  Let me repeat that for our audience:  People, when you take a remedy and fall into a deep sleep, that’s it, you’re done!  No more dosing for you, unless you relapse, then repeat.  Repeating too soon can cause an unintended antidote!

Next day, at one point, I started to feel, by some symptoms, that I needed to redose (took one 6c dry). It didn’t work well; again, kind of strong aggravations.

Picture a Pinball Machine…

See, and I say this to everyone, this is why you should not be treating yourself for a chronic case, because you are not trained to know what to look for.  Let me explain it this way.  You are a pinball machine (yes, you are!), and the remedy is the ball.  It starts at the top (think of the top as your head–the mentals/emotionals.)  The mentals always improve first and you feel much more normal; but, meanwhile, the “ball” (remedy) is bouncing off of one thing and another on its way down.  (“Healing takes place from above, downward”–Hering.)  So, instead of your whole body just suddenly getting better all at once, it gets better “here” and worse “there”; better here, worse there.  It can make you think, “Oh no, I’m getting worse!  I have a lumbar pain now!  I better repeat the remedy!”  No, no, not as long as you’ve improved mentally and emotionally!  That should be all that’s guiding you!  But of course, your average person doesn’t know that and here is where he ruins his case by either repeating the remedy too soon–which causes an antidote; or, starting a new remedy when he had the right one all along!

Here’s what happened to you, try and follow along:  First dose (6C in water): aggravation.  Second dose: 6C dry antidoted the aggravation of the 1st dose!  3rd dose (6C dry): you antidoted your remedy!  Don’t repeat while a remedy is working!  Also, you said, “I started to feel by some symptoms that I needed to redose.” See, this is where you need a professional to guide you. There are frequently symptoms after a remedy as I explained above, and how do you evaluate them is the question!  What do these symptoms mean– a relapse?  Return of old symptoms?  Aggravation?  “Exteriorization”?  Remedy proving?  And after you determine what the symptoms mean, you have to determine what the appropriate action is to take.  If it’s “exteriorization” (“center to the periphery”), you do nothing!  In fact, you may feel better because of it, like the child with a Belladonna fever who’s given Belladonna, he throws up (“exteriorization”), and then he’s fine and goes right to sleep!  That’s a curative response, it means we do nothing!  We do not need to find a remedy for “vomiting”, and we do not need to look for a way to antidote Belladonna!  That was Hering’s Law, it’s just what we want to see!

So, you have to know how to evaluate the symptoms that crop up after taking a remedy.  Sometimes these symptoms can be a good sign, sometimes they’re a bad sign and action is needed.  Generally it’s bad if no amelioration took place at the mental/ emotional level; so, you might be considering the “Aggravation Zapper” if something like that took place.

I decided to wait at least a few days and not take it but managed to go without only one day. I took another dry at night and got some aggravations but then fell asleep deep for several hours and felt not bad next day. Now I feel I would like to redose.

Why? You got a curative response, that means no more dosing.

Did I antidote the remedy with second dry dose?

Yes, that’s what you did.  You should not keep trying to manage your case on your own, for obvious reasons.

 Tips from Dr. Luc:

Dr. Luc wrote a book called The People’s Repertory.  In it he has a set of questions and answers which may help our readers in general, here are just a few of them:

  1. What’s the best way to take the remedies?

Take the remedies in water. … Take one pellet and dissolve it in 4 ounces of water. … When you are completely well, stop the remedy.

  1. Why doesn’t the label say to dissolve the remedy in water?

Maybe because they can sell more tubes this way!  Or maybe they just don’t know.  Hahnemann…developed this method at the very end of his life.  The manuscript in which he described it was lost for nearly 100 years.  Even now it is not well know. The people who manufacture homeopathic remedies may never have read it.

  1. Are there any situations when it’s better to take the remedy dry?

Preventively, the remedies should always be taken dry.  People who are sensitive to remedies should only take one pellet.  In acute situations, use a remedy dry only if it’s impractical to take it in water.  Here’s another secret: if you are going to be out all day, put the remedy in a small bottle and take it with you.  Then each time you take the remedy, you can succuss it (give it a hard thwack….). This gradually increases the potency of the remedy and it will work even better this way.

  1. How many pellets for a 16 oz. bottle of spring water?

Just one.  You don’t need 4 just because it’s four times as much water. … It’s a little more dilute this way but succussing it will keep increasing the potency….

  1. Some people say you have to go through an aggravation to be cured…would you agree with that?

Not at all!  Hahnemann developed the water method to save people from the discomfort of aggravations.  A similar aggravation always means that you took a little more than you really needed.  So you wait until the effect wears off and then take a little less or take the dose less frequently.


What Potencies Cure?

Thank you.  And if I dare, I would like to ask you a few more questions.

There goes my snack!

  1. Is it possible to cure a not so chronic ( I mean not badly screwed up case) with one or two doses 30c 3 pellets dry for good? Or it may be just helped but not cured? And if those doses would hold for a month or more and then the symptoms come back again, is it still ok to use dry 30c or this time in water, and if in water, would it be same 3 pellets or one is enough?

You’re asking the wrong question.  “Potencies” don’t cure.  The right remedy cures.  Potency is selected based on the intensity of the complaint and the sensitivity of the patient.  Repetition is based on how well the patient did after the first dose. You can never know in advance what your dosing schedule will be.  Common sense approaches to potency would be as follows:

In chronic cases– start with a 6C because you don’t know how sensitive your patient is.  You might assume you’re going to give 6C in water three times a day with 5 succussions before each dose; but, what happens after the first dose may change all of that!  An aggravation will certainly make you rethink everything!  Over 50% improvement after just one dose will make you want to stop and wait and watch and see how long this improvement lasts.  When it finally starts to wear off, you will succuss your Remedy Solution Bottle a few times and dose again.  Those are the two extremes: aggravation, meaning “stop”, and striking improvement, meaning “stop”.

In between those two extremes, you may find yourself starting with 6C 3 times a day, perhaps raising the potency to 7C or 9C if the results seem slow and plodding; you’re constantly re-thinking your dosing schedule, re-evaluating your potency based on how the case is moving.  It’s just like riding your bike–you would never say in advance of leaving your house, “I will be pedaling at a speed of 15 mph until I reach the corner, at which time I will be getting up to 20 mph until I reach the intersection, at which point I will increase my speed to 30 miles per hour ….”  Really?  How can you know all these things in advance?  What if there’s traffic?  The truth is, you’re going to be rethinking your speed at all times based the feedback you’re getting from the ride.   Isn’t that right?  So it is with case-management.  No one starts a case saying, “I’m going to cure this case with 2 doses of 30C.”  That’s like saying, “I’m going to get home going 50 MPH.”  How do you know?  No one knows these things!  But you would be surprised how many homeopaths actually prescribe this way!  They have it all figured out!  “Thuja 30C once a day for 3 weeks, followed by Lyssin 200C once a day….”  And then, of course, yes!  Very unsatisfactory results for the patient!

In acute cases–A sensible place to start in an average acute is 30C.  Wait roughly an hour.  If nothing happens at all, succuss your bottle and give another dose.  Wait an hour.  If no results at all, you might want to try a different remedy.  However, in a case with a lot of suffering that just came on, like from eating bad food, if you haven’t seen a response from the 30C in half an hour or less, I would try the 200C if you were confident in your remedy choice.  And if that brings about no response within half an hour, I would try another remedy.  I have written an article called “Dosing in Acute Cases” which should help you:

Dosing In Acute Cases: How Often to Take the Remedy and in What Potency?

Regarding the number of pellets you use.  This only matters in hypersensitive patients. If you’re worried about your patient aggravating, use only one pellet and start with a lower potency than what you might ordinarily use.

  1. In badly screwed up hypersensitive cases (like mine) , if not using LM potencies and staying with c’s , would it always be 6c’s in water with succussions or at some point 30c and/or higher dry and in water will be needed. And could 6c only in water cure the case (if it’s curable)?

Actually, in badly screwed up hypersensitive cases, starting with LM1 might be too high a potency.  I would start with 1 pellet of 6C in a large bottle of spring water, a dose being a very small sip, possibly even a drop.  If I had to dose again, I would succuss the bottle lightly two times.  And don’t ask if a 6C can cure the case, it’s like asking, “Can I get home going 6 mph?”  I don’t know!  You decide these things as you go; you have to adapt to conditions!  If traffic is very slow, you may well wind up going 6 mph the whole way home, but you can never know these things in advance.



Refusing To Take Carcinosin!

Hi Elaine,

just to keep you posted. I have decided to go for Nux Vomica 6c, as you proposed.  I have taken the first dose a few moments ago.  We’ll see what happens tomorrow.

OK, good luck!

I am not ready for Carcinosin, I don’t like the idea of taking a remedy made from a cancerous discharge.

But you just took Nux vomica which is Latin for “poison nut”!  The bottom line is that there is nothing left of the original substance in a homeopathic remedy.  Almost all of our remedies are made from poisons: snake venom, bee venom, arsenic, aconite… and the reason for this is because of our law: “What causes can cure.”  So, if a substance can’t cause anything, it most likely can’t cure anything either, making the most valuable remedy in our Materia Medica the “worst” remedy in the world!

A remedy like rattle snake venom (Crot. horridus) can cure ebola, one of the worst diseases there is.  I can tell you that there is no homeopath in the world who has an aversion to remedies based on what they’re made from; but commonly, patients do; and this is why so many homeopaths won’t tell their patients what they’re getting!  And this makes it very hard for the next homeopath who gets the patient to keep the case moving; for example, I will often get a patient who will say, “I have this problem, my previous homeopath cured it but now it’s back.” and I of course say, “What remedy did he give you?” and they inevitably say, “He didn’t tell me.”  This drives me crazy!  But can you blame them if patients are going to refuse to take remedies based on prejudice? 

So I think both sides are going to have to give a little on this issue and make the effort to come to the center.

The homeopath will have to take the time to explain to the patient that there is nothing left of the original substance in a homeopathic remedy other than a vibration and the patient will have to be willing to trust the practitioner on this.

When I think of remedies, I don’t think of what they were made from, I think of the people or personalities they have come to represent! For example, do you know who’s a Carcinosin? Jerry Seinfeld!  He’s a comedian who had his own show called “Seinfeld” for 9 years, here he is now:

One feature of Carcinosin, according to Philip Bailey (author of Homeopathic Psychology) is that the eyes are relatively set close together.  Take a look at Jerry’s eyes!  Also they have an artistic, aesthetic sensibility, their outfits match, they dress in good taste, their apartments are harmoniously and tastefully decorated; they are very responsible people, very neat and very concerned with cleanliness and hygiene, which was a running theme on “Seinfeld”, that he couldn’t tolerate germs and messes, and the other aspect of Carcinosin he exemplified was that he couldn’t hurt anyone’s feelings and he couldn’t say “No!”  He wanted to change barbers once but was afraid of hurting his barber’s feelings; so, he had to see his new barber in secret. 

So, when you think of Carcinosin, you can choose to think of tumors, or you can think of Jerry Seinfeld!  That’s what I do!

 What If You Lose or Spill Your Remedy Bottle?

Hello Elaine.

In your articles when you talk about dosing you say to always succuss 5 times before each dose. Is there any explanation for this number? Dr. Luc in his book mentions 2-8 succussions.

Right, and 5 is right in the middle of that, right?

I understand that sensitive people would need to succuss less.  How far would one go with succussions with non sensitive patient ?

A non-sensitive patient might need 10 or 12 succussions before each dose.

Also you say one sip from the bottle and video shows after succussions to put one teaspoon in a glass of water and take one teaspoon from there. Is it necessary to do that?

The video does show that the person is succussing the bottle, taking a teaspoon from the bottle, adding it to one glass of water, stirring, then adding a teaspoon from glass-1 to glass-2 and stirring and taking a teaspoon dose from glass-2.  It is only necessary to do this if your patient is sensitive; but, I have eliminated teaspoons and glasses altogether.  Why?  Because nobody travels around with teaspoons and glasses! 

I might tell someone, “Put one pellet of your remedy in a small spring water bottle, shake it up, and take one sip from the 3rd cup.”  Now, what does that mean?  It means a drop from the spring water remedy bottle goes into a disposable cup of water, the cold water faucet is turned on, and the cup is dumped and refilled 3 times and a sip is then taken–from the third cup.  That’s for sensitive people.  If it works, I say, “Make a new remedy bottle out of the 3rd cup.”  And how do you do that?  Drop a drop of the third cup into a half-filled bottle of spring water and lable it: “Thuja 30C, 3rd cup”.  Then each time they take it, they succuss the bottle 2 times and take a sip. Two times because of how sensitive they are.

You also mention that if someone is on a certain remedy for a treatment of a chronic condition and gets something acute, acute symptoms should be treated first and then go back to other remedy.  My question is, wouldn’t the remedy we took for acute symptoms (can be 30C, 200C, 1m potency) still be in the body working and preventing the chronic remedy (that we went back to) from working since this remedy will be in lower potency (as you said should be for chronic conditions)?

No because the illness eats up the acute remedy.  After you take it, if your chronic condition is still there, no better than before, then you can go back to your chronic dosing schedule.  What I’ve seen a number of times, for some crazy reason, is that after you give a remedy for an acute disease or injury, the chronic case actually improves, crazy as it sounds!  Unfortunately, I haven’t seen it last, and eventually the chronic symptoms come back.  Then you have to go back to your chronic remedy again.

You said that when we’re almost done with RSB (remedy solution bottle, or spring water bottle) not to add any more pellets, just fill it back up with water.

That’s right.

And succuss the bottle 40 times.

Assuming you want the potency to go up to the next level.

What if the RSB, not yet finished, got spilled or lost?

If you spilled your bottle, just refill the bottle with water and the remedy is back, that’s all you have to do, even if there is “nothing” left, just refill it!  If you lost your remedy solution bottle, you have to start all over again with a new pellet and new bottle of water.  BUT, you also would have to add all the succussions back to it that were in the old bottle!  Let’s say you lost it after two days and you had taken 3 doses a day with 5 succussions before each dose.  How many succussions were in that bottle?  30!  You’d have to succuss your new bottle 30 times to get back to where you were!  But, you can see how this can get ridiculous if you had your remedy bottle for two weeks!  So that being the case, I would simply raise the potency of the new bottle.  If it were a 6C, I would raise it to 9C by plussing the bottle or I would buy the 9C at the health food store or even the 12C or 30X if they didn’t have the 9C.  Plussing instructions are here:

Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions

It’s not good to take dry same potency or to make a new bottle with the same potency?

You can make a new bottle of the exact same potency for the following reasons: 1) you spilled the old bottle (just fill it back up to where it was before you spilled it)  2) you think your remedy bottle is getting germy and old (just pour a drop from the old bottle into a new half-filled bottle and shake it up)  3) your bottle’s almost empty but you want to stay at the same potency because you’re doing so well on it.  Just add more water.  But now that you have your new RSB (remedy solution bottle) always remember to succuss it a few times before each dose.

If someone had some event like surgery, MRI, X-Ray, do these procedures antidote the remedy someone is on?

Maybe, and heaven knows, surgery requires a whole set of remedies be given after it!  See my article on homeopathy after surgery:

Tidbits-18: Pain-Free After Surgery With Homeopathy!

But I wouldn’t assume that just because I had a dental X-ray that my remedy had been antidoted; but, basically, you know your remedy has been antidoted if it stops working and your complaint comes back, that’s how you know, it’s not a great mystery.

You also mention that disposable cups/spoons should be used for homeopathic remedies.

Absolutely!  Don’t use the good glassware and silverware.

I was thinking In Hahnemann’s times they didn’t have disposable things.  Is there a proven or new information/study that supports it.  Obviously, not all homeopath doctors heard of it.

If the remedy didn’t stick to things, it wouldn’t stick to the blank sugar pellets it’s dropped on!  But here’s a story, a really sad story, a person from the hpathy discussion board was proving Nitric acid, it took her a long time to figure out that that’s what was wrong with her!  So, she was using her REAL glasses to put the remedy in!  So she emptied the glass down the drain, thinking that would be the end of it, and then proceeded to wash the glass with dishwashing liquid and water, all she did was wash the glass in the sink, and in doing so, she got another dose of the remedy and started proving it all over again!  Why?  Because when the glass was refilled with water, it became Nitric acid all over again!  So, this is no joke, about using only disposable items when working with remedies.

Is there any easy to understand Repertory that you would recommend to have.

Yes, Robin Murphy’s Repertory is the only one that’s alphabetical.  There is no mystery about how to find things, plus, he’s added new chapters, like “Food”, “Time”, “Taste” and “Pregnancy”, making it really easy to find what you’re looking for.  I should say “easier” because there are still many things that are difficult to find, like, how do you find the common cold in the Repertory?  It’s under “Nose: coryza”.  I know, crazy!  But, by and large, I think Robin’s goal was to make a repertory that was self-explanatory.

Or is there any other books on homeopathy you can recommend?

You’ll need at least one acute prescribing book, like Alan Schmukler’s: Homeopathy: an A-Z Home Handbook and you’ll need Dr. Luc De Schepper’s Hahnemann Revisited and to learn how to solve acute cases, you’ll need Jonathan Breslow’s Homeopathic Medicine In The Home.

Thank you.

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

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at

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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
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: and


  • People who read your column Elaine are very lucky! They get straight forward, easy to understand answers to important questions. You’ve done it again here. These are questions that most people won’t find answered in any one book, except perhaps the Organon, which is not an easy read. Clarity, Clarity, Clarity and Succinctiness and Relevance. That’s your column!

  • Hi Elaine
    I found Alan is another admirer like me, always “Real and Easy to understand”, I repeat no other Elaine Lewis,
    THE BEST TEACHER, WISH YOU LONG and healthy life, so that we can learn more from you.
    With regards and due respect.

  • Elaine, I always read your articles, for me you are the “Hpathy”.
    May I have your valued comments on
    I would be obliged.

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