Homeopathy Papers

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

Written by Elaine Lewis

Why does Hahnemann say to put the remedy in water?

Why are we supposed to take the remedy in water? 

How does it work? 

Is it more effective that way?

I’m glad you asked that question!  Probably a lot of people want to know.  Why are we supposed to take the remedy in water?  Doctors have gotten us used to taking pills; so, drinking remedies out of a water bottle (by dropping 1-5 pellets into a half-filled bottle of water and taking a sip as a dose) seems very “unprofessional” and, basically, no one would ever be inclined to do it!  But in truth, our remedies are made with water!  

We make a remedy by taking a drop of the mother tincture and adding it to 99 drops of water (or alcohol, but not rubbing alcohol!  I mean Brandy, Vodka, etc.) and succussing (pounding the bottle into your opposite palm) 20 or more times.  I recall reading 40 times, so, that’s what I do, 40 succussions.  That gives you the first dilution, what we call a “1C”—the “C” refers to the Roman Numeral “C” which means 100, and we are, after all, working with 100 drops: 99 drops of water, 1 drop of mother tincture. 

To make the 2C potency, we take a drop of of the 1C and add it to another 99 drops of water and succuss 20 or more times again, and there you have your 2C.  To make the 3C, we take a drop of the 2C….  OK, you get the idea, right?  It’s all done with water and succussion!   “Well, where do the pellets come in?” you ask.  

In short, at the end!  When you arrive at the number (potency) you want to work with, you add a few drops of that potency onto to blank sugar pellets and leave them to dry.  The remedy sticks to the pellets!  It’s easier to sell a product this way; liquid glass bottles are heavy, cost more, take up space in the store!  Better your remedy should look like this:

Arnica Montana 200ck — Moore Holistic Health

When you pop a pellet in your mouth, you’re getting the remedy just as sure as if you had taken a drop from the water bottle!

So, why do we have to put a pellet BACK into a water bottle to make a water potency, AGAIN????!!!!!  

Because Hahnemann said so!  OK?  It’s here in The Organon:

Aph. 247, footnote-1, from The Organon of Medicine by Samuel Hahnemann, MD

1.  We ought not, even with the best chosen homeopathic medicine, for instance one pellet of the same potency that was beneficial at first, to let the patient have a second or third dose, taken dry.  In the same way, if the medicine was dissolved in water and the first dose proved beneficial, a second or third … dose from the bottle standing undisturbed, even in intervals of a few days, would prove no longer beneficial….

What Hahnemann’s trying to tell you is, you’re asking for trouble if you keep giving the exact same potency over and over again! 

Whether it’s dry doses/pellets or liquid doses, it doesn’t matter, you have to increase the potency of the remedy before each dose! 

And how do you do that?  By succussing it!  Can you succuss a non-liquid bottle?  No! 

A lot of homeopaths think they’re dosing Hahnemann’s way just by putting a remedy in water and telling the patient to sip it at intervals; no, you have to succuss five times before each dose! 

“Elaine, you said 40 times, remember?” 

I know!!!!  That’s when you’re MAKING the remedy!  Once made, Hahnemann wants you to succuss the bottle 2-10 times before each dose.  I say 5 because it’s right in the middle.  He wants you to do this so you can raise the potency before each dose.  

Clearly Hahnemann is saying here, taking liquid doses from an “undisturbed” bottle (an unsuccussed bottle), over and over again, is just as bad as taking dry doses (pellets) over and over again; it’s the same thing!

Hahnemann goes on to say….

But through modification of every dose in its dynamization degree,

But by changing the potency…

as I herewith teach, there exists no offense…

As I’m trying to teach you, you won’t cause any harm if you raise the potency of your bottle before each dose.

… It almost seems as if the best seleted homoeopathic remedy could best extract the morbid disorder from the vital force and in chronic disease to extinguish the same only if applied in several different forms.

It almost seems as if the organism requires the stimulation of changes in potency going forward in order to prod the “vital force” into taking the action needed to extract the morbid disorder from the body and effect a cure.  If you keep using the exact same potency over and over again, you get the opposite of “stimulation”, you get “tolerance”; the vitality stops responding to the remedy, it stops feeling its presence, and the case relapses!  And we don’t want this to happen! 

Now, in fact, you may reach a point where even succussing five times before each dose no longer suffices to stimulate your vital force, (or, as doctors call it, your immune system) and you feel yourself starting to relapse!  At this point, you have to raise your potency, maybe 3 times; in other words, you have to dump out 9o% of your bottle, refill to the half-way mark with water, and succuss 40 times.  That gives you the next potency.  If you do that 2 more times, you’ll be in a better position for your remedy to start working again.  This is called “plussing”.

To read more about “plussing” and other information on the subject of case-management, see my FAQ article below:

Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions


So here’s what I need to explain to you.  Your disease, especially your chronic disease, is not going to just sit there passively and let you dose it out of existence!  Do you understand that?  Diseases fight back!  You might catch them off guard with your first dose; but when they figure out what you’ve done, they’re gonna come back swinging!  And if you try repeating the exact same original potency that you used the first time?  Well, they’re ready for you!  The germs or bacteria or whatever they are, they’ve come prepared!  Your remedy has to be stronger!  And you also don’t want to wait around until you’ve completely relapsed!  At the first sign of relapse, succuss your remedy bottle and take a sip!  Don’t let the disease get ahead of you! 

Now, what do you do if your bottle gets down to the bottom?  Refill half way with water and succuss 40 times, and you’ll be back in business.  No, you don’t need to add more pellets to the bottle, OK?  Your bottle is stronger than the pellets are now; so, adding more pellets to the bottle is an utterly meaningless, pointless exercise that gives you nothing of value!!!!!

OK?  Is there anything you don’t understand?  I have to cook breakfast now; you have to try to do this yourself.  

Bye!!!  See you again next time!  


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


  • hi
    i have read some homeopathy book
    some book said when you taken homeopath remedy
    you can not drink coffee , chinese tea , mint ,
    some book said not every body can not drink coffee,tea,mint
    see your own body.
    so actually is this coffee , tea n mint will spoil
    the remedy or our body.

  • I think the idea is this–strong influences can antidote your remedy; whether it’s menthol, elctro-magnetic fields (like sleeping under an electric blanket) or even a severe emotional shock, any of these things can stop a remedy from working; so, it’s best to avoid them if possible. I have never heard that you can’t drink Chinese tea, and coffee is not an antidote for everyone; however, you can avoid this whole issue by chosing low-potency/daily dosing over one-dose-high-and-wait prescribing. The latter method causes one to constantly worry about antidoting factors, the former method causes no such worry because if your last dose gets antidoted, you’re going to take the remedy again anyway, so, no harm done.

  • Hi Elaine,
    Thanks a lot for this. Your articles on case management, potency, repetition have helped me a lot in my cases.
    Re: repetition, what happens if you shake the bottle with the dry pills before taking each dose? Does that also count as increasing the potency slightly?

  • Dr. Elaine,
    I never miss out on any of your article not because other articles don’t make sense but somehow I feel your down-to-earth approach is “catchy”.
    All my life I have given / received homeopathic medicines in pellets. Only last year I came to know of using water as a medium. I had read that after administering the water dose add a little water and stir it to increase the potency. You have advised simply stirring to change (increase) the potency. Your suggestion is well taken.
    Dr. Bhatia in one of his articles had said that if you are a regular consumer of a certain item, say coffee, it would not antidote the medicine. What about the menthol in the toothpaste?

    • Dr. E. Lewis has given interesting details about the use of medicine when diluted in water. This practice has been in vogue and found to be very useful. If you read Dr. S. P. Koppikar’s book ‘seventy years of homoeopathy’, there are cases where a single globule of remedy mixed in half cup of water has worked wonders when given in frequent spoon doses in acute cases. This practice was very much adopted by Dr.Yudhvir Singh, founder of Nehru Hom. medical college, new Delhi and first homoeopath health minister of free India. I appreciate Dr. Lewis for her article having the same views.

  • Dear Muhammad,

    toothpaste shouldn’t be a problem because if you’re on frequent repetitions of low potencies in chronic cases, then if toothpaste does happen to act as an antidote, it will only antidote the last dose you took, you’re going to take it again anyway. However, to be on the safe side, there are toothpastes made especially for homeopathy patients. I love the one that’s lemon flavored myself.
    And let me just add: Starting a case with 6C doesn’t mean that 6C will cure, it just means that you START there! The potency will surely wear off and have to be raised several times going forward. But it’s the difference between going to the top of the stairs from the bottom step or hurling your body suddenly all the way to the top in one giant leap–why do that? Why not go up one step at a time? It seems less dangerous.

    The thing with the straw and stirring and adding water? Well, I don’t know why you’d have your remedy in a cup unless it’s an acute case and you figure on taking the remedy for only one or two days. But if it’s a chronic, the remedy should be in a water bottle so that you can succuss it a certain number of times before each dose and so that when the potency wears off, and even taking it an extra time each day doesn’t help, you can then plus the bottle (pour it out, refill, succuss 40 times) and thereby raise the potency however many times you choose, so that you can keep the case moving forward.

  • In my experience, remedies succussed in water work extremely well for those who may be unable to open the small pellet vials because of muscular issues. I’d given some friends (one a stroke victim and the other with a neuro-muscular disease) some remedies in water, which worked amazingly well for their situations. Then one day, I got a call and just grabbed a vial of the needed remedy pellets out of my kit on the way out the door to another meeting. Later that evening, I got an email saying our friends couldn’t open the vial to get the pellets out and could they please have the remedy in water like before?

    Their granddaughter (a classic Chamomilla if there ever was one)now refuses to take remedies in pellet form because she wants the “magic water” like Granny and Pop-pop.

    Using the water potency has also proven beneficial with a patient who is partially paralyzed due to a brain tumor, and someone else who has extremely low vision and simply can’t see the pellets.

  • Dr. Elaine,
    You have explained quite elaborately as to why are we supposed to take the remedy in water and how does it work whether the remedy works more effectively that way. To substantiate your point you have rightly cited relevant aphorisms from Organon. All that is absolutely right, I do not mean to contradict in any manner. However there is a practical fact which cannot be faulted.
    In India the homeopaths who practice in remote areas on the country side where the people are not that well educated where they are only familiar with the way Allopathic medicines are taken (in the dry form), they find it difficult to explain and advise patients to take homeo remedies in water with successive succussions & dilutions. Rather than accepting the homeo treatment the patients simply quit and turn to Allopathy. Homeo docs in desperation allow them to take remedies in dry form. This practice is very very common. Results & experience from these places have shown ( rather it is established) that homeo remedies given dry in daily doses at times thrice or even 4 times even for a few weeks in potencies mostly 30 at times even 200 thrice, show sustained amelioration without causing any aggravation. This practice appears contradictory to homeo principles but it appears to practically work.
    Kuldip Singh

  • Elaine Lewis wrote;
    In the end, a drop or two of the 30th dilution is dropped on sugar pellets; but you can see that the water bottles have been there right from the beginning. The 30C comes from a bottle of water! The remedy water sticks to the pellets!

    I am surprised that you mentioned above statement. You cannot use water based dilution on pellets because it will dissolve the sugar based pellets. Therefore only 90% alcohol based dilution can be used on pellets to make dry pellet based remedies.

    In my own experience of many years you can drink coffee , Chinese tea , mint or even alcohol and it will not antidote or interfere with the homeopathic remedies you are taking. It is just one of homeopathic myths.

  • The whole body is 70-80 percent water. For that matter “all living things on planet earth -Oxygen breathing ” contain water. Liquid of life, Water is the best medium to transmit the medicinal effect and ofcourse the variation in the potency is very well explained by the author.
    I generally insist for my patients to dissolve one pill each time increasing one spoon of water making sure even in the amount of water we bring in the variation of potency, apart from shaking certain number of times.
    Especially “one dose group” of doctors need not worry. But then you do want to repeat, then it is very important we vary that littlle bit to see the efficient cure and a complete cure.

  • Its all going above my head….what to say..all my life my mom treated me with the globules of homeopathy medicine…but I loved the article and would like to know more about water doses in a more clear and easy language..

  • Hello everyone! Thanks to the person who advised that water cannot be dropped on pellets, the solution has to be mostly alcohol. That is true.
    To the person who said that in India, people are used to taking pills, thanks to allopathic medicine. It’s the same thing here, I’m afraid! Everyone wants to take pills! I often go to a person’s house with a small bottle of spring water, I open it for the patient, I drop the pellets in the bottle, I put a label on the bottle (Lycopodium 30C) and I say, “Here’s your remedy. A dose is a sip. Always shake the bottle before each dose. That activates it. Do not forget to shake it, you must shake it first, OK?” People are used to medicine bottles that say, “Shake well before each dose”; so, I think people can be taught this. I personally have experienced accidental antidotes by repeating the exact same unsuccussed/unstirred dose of a remedy when the first dose was still working! I know other people who have experienced this too. It’s best to explain to people:
    If the remedy has caused a noticable improvement in your health, stop taking it! Repeat only if the case stalls or a relapse occurs.

  • Dr. E. Lewis has given elaborated details about the use of medicine when diluted in water. The water based medicine even after 30C as mentioned has many disadvantages as to real advantage.
    1. Hahnemann mentioned of its use in 50M potency
    2. He also advised very clearly of the use of dispensing alcohol in ascending potencies
    3. The water based dilution has less life and can not be kept as back potency.
    4. It can be used in acute conditions where it needs the repetition of medicine.
    5. It is personally verified from my end that even the dry globules either in 50 M or centesimal have worked equally well like water based medicine.
    6. When medicated globule dissolves in water and given succussion before it’s use will enhance the latent power of the medicine.
    7. 30 C water based medicine can not be dispensed in dry blank globules as there is no alcohol in it.

    Dr.Hafeezullah Baig
    M.D (H)
    Drug Standardisation unit (H),
    Central Council for Research in Homoeopathy.

    • Dr.Hafeezullah Baig says:
      September 18, 2010 at 12:44 pm (Edit)

      Dr. E. Lewis has given elaborated details about the use of medicine when diluted in water. The water based medicine even after 30C as mentioned has many disadvantages as to real advantage.

      Elaine says: It sounds like Dr. Baig is saying that water potencies have more disadvantages than advantages. I wonder if he means that the remedy should be in alcohol, not water? It’s fine with me. Any liquid can be succussed before each dose, which is the point.

      1. Hahnemann mentioned of its use in 50M potency

      Elaine says: I think Dr. Baig here is referring to the LM potencies and not the 50M (50,000C) potency, per se.

      2. He also advised very clearly of the use of dispensing alcohol in ascending potencies
      3. The water based dilution has less life and can not be kept as back potency.

      Elaine says: Yes, I think I am now getting that Dr. Baig is cautioning against the use of water, that it doesn’t “keep”, and that’s true. I’ve seen mold growing in remedy water after a certain amount of time.

      4. It can be used in acute conditions where it needs the repetition of medicine.
      5. It is personally verified from my end that even the dry globules either in 50 M or centesimal have worked equally well like water based medicine.
      6. When medicated globule dissolves in water and given succussion before it’s use, it will enhance the latent power of the medicine.
      7. 30 C water based medicine can not be dispensed in dry blank globules as there is no alcohol in it.

      Elaine says: Right! So, if you plan to keep your water potency around for a while, do add some brandy, vodka, or something similar to it; perhaps your remedy bottle should be 20% alcohol; but if you plan to keep the bottle for years, the more alcohol it contains, the longer it will last.

  • Dear Dr. Elaine.
    In my 30 yrs of practice I have found that coffee, Chinese tea, Indian Garam Masala and many other prohibited things never interfere in the cure of the disease if your remedy is right. I just advise my patients to avoid these things immediately before and after the medicines. However I specifically prohibit the use of proven antidotes marked in our books.

  • I also never tell my patients to avoid coffee, asafetida, garlic or anything else but to be sure that there is no smell in mouth at the time of taking the medicine and to avoid eating for 10 minutes. And I believe it worked.

    It works in cases of children if given in milk and when emergency medicines work same way in infants or older patients as well.

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