Homeopathy Papers

Questions Patients Ask–29

Knowing When To Stop Dosing – Questions patients and students ask about homeopathy and natural healing.

Knowing When To Stop Dosing

Hi Elaine,

I just came across your articles searching how to take remedies.  I am wondering if it might be possible for you to respond.

I started taking Zinc met 30C dry at 5 pellets a dose yesterday for shingles on day 10 (two doses total yesterday).  This morning I felt so much better, pain level down from 6-8 to 1 and zero.  I was so unsure about stopping too soon and when to stop; so, I kept dosing twice more today and then my symptoms reappeared after the first dose today (although milder).  Right now my pain is about a 2/3/4.

From reading, it seems I should have stopped dosing today altogether.

Yes, that’s exactly right!!!!  You were so lucky to get such great results so fast!  But invariably, people wind up with very bad outcomes just because they don’t know when to stop!  (Or, as Kent used to say, “Why do we lose so many cases from the 2nd prescription on?”)  What Kent meant was, it’s not just ordinary people who are spoiling their cases by not knowing when to stop dosing, homeopaths don’t know either!  Why?  Because they’re imitating doctors!  (“Take 3 doses a day for 5 days.”)  But that’s not how we’re supposed to prescribe.  We’re supposed to stop the remedy as soon as a striking improvement occurs.  (And we’re also supposed to stop if an aggravation occurs!)

So hard to get people to realize that these remedies cause what they cure!  So, if you were lucky enough to have cured something….stop dosing!!!!  If you keep dosing after you’re all better, the complaint could come back! 

So, yes, stop dosing, and hopefully you will return to where you were when you were doing so well. 

If that doesn’t happen, “plus” your bottle 3 times, take one sip, and maybe that will fix it.  “Plussing” means raising the potency of your remedy; instructions for how to do that are in my FAQ article:

Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions


So, Elaine, it seems at least now I should stop until I am back to almost pain free again and don’t re-start until a flare- up/relapse occurs?  I also posted this in the article’s Comments section.

Yes, you must stop dosing “…for as long as the improvement lasts,” says Hahnemann (in The Organon.)  We all think that if we’re doing well, we would be doing so much BETTER if we could just take one or two more doses–“for good luck”, as they say.  No!  That is not the way to be looking at this!  Stated simply, if you observe a striking improvement after a remedy, stop dosing (for as long as the improvement lasts). 

And then, dare I say it, there is the whole other matter of the remedy needing to be in water!  Every remedy that you plan to take more than once should be in water (by dropping a remedy pellet into a half-filled, small bottle of water) so that you can “succuss” (pound the bottle into your opposite palm 5 times) before each dose. 

This raises the potency, which has to be done because Hahnemann wants your remedy to get stronger and stronger as you go, because surely your “illness” is trying harder and harder to survive with each dose you take.  Don’t let it get the jump on you, don’t let it get ahead of you!  You’re in a fight, whether you realize it or not! 

At some point, your remedy will stop working entirely and you will have to raise the potency by 2 or 3 degrees.  This is where “plussing” comes in again.  Please read my FAQ article (above) so you can learn how to properly manage a case.

Thank you so much.



Homeopathic Suppression

Hi, Elaine.

Hi Pam!

I don’t understand the “suppressive” remedy issue.

It’s what happens when you treat a local symptom when there was a MENTAL symptom you could have prescribed on!  The idea is, in homeopathy, that when you prescribe for what’s at the top of the Hierarchy of Symptoms, it automatically trickles down to whatever’s at the bottom.  See my “Kitchen Sink” article for a more detailed explanation:

Acute vs. Chronic Remedies, the Hierarchy of Symptoms, and the Kitchen Sink


Is that the one with the chest of drawers?

No, it’s the one with the kitchen sink.

Oh.  Are suppressive remedies only an issue when trying to use them for a chronic case?

First of all, let me just be clear that there is no such thing as a suppressive remedy.  They are all just remedies.  It’s what we aim them at that makes them either suppressive or curative. 

It’s all about avoiding what doctors do, Pam; namely, prescribing for the pathology and ignoring the MENTALS and ignoring the Causes. 

To begin with, they’re not interested in the “mentals” at all, and they are equally averse to finding the Cause of anything!  You know why?  Because according to orthodox medicine, everything is “idiopathic”!  (No Known Cause!)  You know why?  If you knew what the cause was, you could do something about it!  They want your only recourse to be the drug that they’re putting you on!  

To us, the cause is everything!  We have to know it!  We will chase it down if we have to!  Why?  Because that’s at the Top of our Hierarchy of Symptoms: the Cause (or “etiology”).  It’s in our Repertory as “Ailments From”.  If there’s a known cause and we ignore it and prescribe on the local symptom instead as doctors tend to do, we’re going to suppress the case!

So typical is the familiar example of eczema leading to a prescription for hydrocortisone cream.  So great are the results!  No one suspects that this cream is the cause when a month later the patient develops asthma “out of nowhere”.  And then when the patient is given a steroid inhaler for the asthma, no one will suspect anything when a month later he develops colitis!  And then, oh geez, what will he get after they start him on Prednisone for that?  Heart disease?

But our remedies can do the same thing if we ignore the Hierarchy of Symptoms and prescribe on just the pathology like doctors do because we don’t understand the principles of prescribing—and very few of us do!

How do I know that?  Because the biggest fad in homeopathy today is “The Protocols”!  All you need to know is the diagnosis and here come The Protocols!  (Or the “combination remedies”!)  “Give him Thuja 200C the first week, Lycopodium 200C the second week, Arsenicum 200C the third week….” and it just gets crazier and more arbitrary from there! 

No proper case-taking is done, no individualization is done!  It’s just all about the diagnosis, and a one-size-fits-all scatter-shot solution! 

In any given case, you should be wanting to be find out the following with your case-taking:

The Hierarchy Of Symptoms

  1. The Etiology (“Ailments From”)
  2. The Diagnosis
  3. The Onset (sudden or gradual)
  4. Delusions and Strange/Rare/Peculiar
  5. The Mentals
  6. Emotionals
  7. The physical-generals
  8. The particulars

This list starts from what’s most important in a case and ends with what’s least important.  The implication is that if you start prescribing for the bottom when there’s a clear etiology or clear mentals, you will suppress the case if your prescription was “successful”, just the way cortisone cream so successfully “cures” eczema.

Elaine, you’ve written that a case-taking does not have to be done for a case of blunt trauma.  You just give Arnica.

Yes, because Arnica covers the Etiology which is at the top of the Hierarchy of Symptoms!  If your remedy matches what’s at the top, everything below it is going to resolve, regardless of what it is!  You don’t even have to ask!  No one believes this, but this is why no one ever takes an Arnica case (does a complete case-taking) though they don’t realize why they’re not doing it!  A person injures himself in a car accident and Arnica is given right away without the slightest hesitation.  Isn’t that right?  How can the homeopath be so sure?  Because it covers the etiology, the top of the Hierarchy: Ailments From Blunt Trauma!

(Again, please see my Kitchen Sink article.)

Now, let’s say instead of giving Arnica, the homeopath prescribes Bryonia because of a local symptom: the patient’s leg has a sharp pain.  What would happen?  The leg pain might get better but the patient’s headache would get worse!  See, this is exactly what we do not want to have happen!

You have to be aware of “Hering’s Law of Cure” because Hering’s Law explains why the Hierarchy of Symptoms is in the order that it’s in!  You don’t want to be going against Hering’s Law!  One of the tenets of Hering’s Law is:  “Healing takes place from above downward.”  But: “Leg pain goes away, headache gets worse” is going from “downward to above”!  That is not the direction we want to be going in!  We call this suppression—going the wrong way; namely, going in the direction of the vital organs when we want to be going the other way!  The concussion that caused the headache is far more important than the leg pain!  You give Arnica for the concussion (Ailments From blunt trauma) and it clears the whole case!  The patient’s mind clears, his spirits lift, he comes back to his senses, his energy is restored….  But, you give Bryonia for the local complaint, and it might relieve his pain; but, he’s still dull, stuporous, confused and prostrated; whereas, you hit the top of the Hierarchy with a remedy and the patient comes alive! 

Using the example of Eczema again, when Cortisone Cream gets applied and a month later the patient has asthma, that, according to Hering’s Law, is “ailments going from without to within”–that’s the wrong direction!  The cream was suppressive!  Hering’s Law says, “Healing takes place from within, outward.”  Not from “without, inward”.  Again, that would be going toward the vital organs, we would be wanting to go away from them! 

“Reverse Order” is the final principle of Hering’s Law.  Start with the most recent symptom and work your way back.  If you’ve got a patient who was in a car accident, that’s where you start–  with the car accident:  Ailments From blunt trauma.  Not his constitution!  That’s back at the beginning!  That comes last!  If you conclude, looking at the patient, “This patient looks like a Phosphorus to me, he’s tall and thin and blonde… I’m going to give Phosphorus!”  NO!!!!!  That is a big mistake!  That would make all his injury symptoms worse!  Why?  Because you’re going the wrong way, against “reverse order”. 

These are all called “Principles of Prescribing”.  Not knowing them can cause patients a lot of harm.  I have a patient right now whose whole case is nothing but homeopathic suppression!  His case is on the mental plane now, he can no longer concentrate to read, he had to drop out of college.  It all started with treating eczema when he was young, probably with Sulphur, just because it’s so well-known for itching.  Someday I’ll write this case up, about how every prescription made this patient worse and worse; but, people think they can do no harm because they’re using homeopathic remedies and the perception is that homeopathic remedies are perfectly safe; but that is not true.  Even I have had aggravations and provings, so has Shana.  Now you can go to “The Aggravation Zapper” for help, we weren’t always so lucky:

Aggravation Zapper

  OK.  Thanks!


I Just Spilled My Bottle!

I see Yael is here from Israel….

Elaine, I got my LMs today which I ordered from a pharmacy: Pulsatilla LM10 and Nux Vomica LM10.

Why such high potencies?  What about LM1?  Hahnemann wouldn’t like this.

I left them on my desk in my office where the children are not allowed.  Finished my rice and sweet potatoes in the kitchen and where are my 2 and 4 year-olds?  In my office, the bottle of Pulsatilla LM10, empty!

Did they eat it or dump it on the floor?



That’s a lot of money + I wanted to try it on my 2-year old who’s a definite Pulsatilla.  Now I guess she’ll stay that way.

Not if she took a dose of Pulsatilla LM10!

I still gave her a teaspoon from a pellet or two I found on my chair, but I doubt there was anything left on them.  G_d bless them.

Oh, there was something left on them alright!  Where are the bottles they came in?  The trash?  Fish them out and fill them back up with water (or wine, etc). and the remedy will be back!  You won’t have lost anything!

Done.  I got about 1/5th of Pulsatilla’s bottle back and thank goodness, Nux Vomica’s pellets were sticky so they didn’t fall out the bottle.  And if they did, those are two very different remedies so I don’t think I’ll see my Nux boy become moody, emotional and weepy – although that would be funny.  And I doubt my little blondie will become bossy all of a sudden!

Yael, she ate a whole bottle of Pulsatilla LM10?  Then you came along and gave her a water dose of Pulsatilla LM10?  OMG!  All I can say is, good luck!  You might remember a Tidbits article I did once called “Pulsatilla Proving”: 


You might want to have a look at that.


Oy Vey!  I’ll be on the lookout for these symptoms and ready to spin a zapper!  Thanks!


“Oy vey” is right!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

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

Visit her website: https://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

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