Homeopathy Papers

What to Expect After Taking a Remedy (An Introduction to Hering’s Law)

drop in a pond
Written by Elaine Lewis

You must know this! We are conditioned by doctors to think that only the chief complaint matters! So, if you take a remedy and feel more relaxed but the fever is still there, most of us will be discouraged and give up or look for another treatment.

If we don’t understand Hering’s Law of Cure, we can’t manage even a single case!

The Law of Cure, also known as Hering’s Law observes that true healing takes place:

1. from the inside out

2. from the center to the periphery

3. from the most important organs to the least important organs

4. from the top down and

5. in reverse order of occurrence.  

The most serious, most limiting symptoms will be dealt with first, symptoms like pain, physical distress, anxiety, fear, itching, insomnia, loss of appetite, nausea.  The immune system knows what it’s doing!  Last to go will be something superficial, like acne or eruptions with no pain or itching.  The point is, your “favorite” symptom, the one you wanted to leave, might not leave first.  People often want the most superficial symptom to leave first because it’s on the skin and embarrassing, like a sebaceous cyst, acne or a rash.  But you will find, in general, that the “mentals” and the “generals” will always come first!

An old symptom might come back after the right remedy.  This is because a case will often “go back the way it came”!  We call this “return of old symptoms”.  We think of this as a good sign, a sign the remedy is working.  Sometimes an old symptom will come back in a slightly different way than how you originally had it, like perhaps in a different location.

It is also possible that a new minor symptom may pop up out of nowhere, or another symptom in the case might become amplified after a remedy.  We call this “exteriorization”, or as Hering said, “from the center to the periphery”.  That’s why the image of a pebble dropped in a pond with the ripple-effect moving outward is homeopathy’s unofficial symbol:


See all those ripples?  That’s your complaint moving outward, to the periphery.  It demonstrates what happens after a remedy:  the remedy hits the “center of the case” (the mental/emotionals) and sends the “disorder” out to the sidelines, as in when you drop a pebble into a pond and a ripple-effect ensues; meaning, you’re going to feel great at your “core”, while odd sensations or symptoms “ripple” through your body on their way way out. 

I just gave someone a remedy for the flu.  He felt better immediately, but developed a backache out of nowhere!  He was, like, “What is this???”  It stayed for a while and then went away.  Was this a “new” complaint that he needed a remedy for?  No, that was Hering’s Law!  I always say, as long as you’re improved at a deeper level, don’t worry about a new symptom or worsening symptom at a superficial level, it’s just Hering’s Law!    

Think of the remedy as the ignition key that starts your car: once started, you take your hand off the ignition and sit back!  Things happen: lights come on, bells go off– but no need to analyze any of it because the car knows what it’s doing, just sit and watch!  Similarly, your immune system knows what it’s doing, it just needs to be kick-started with a homeopathic remedy; as long as you’ve seen an improvement at a deep level, just observe in a detached way, knowing that all will be back to normal soon!  

And no need to keep starting your car over and over again once it’s running, isn’t that true?  If your case is “running”, repeating the remedy adds nothing of benefit!   It’s like the quarterback in football.

He throws the ball once.  That’s it!  After that, someone has to catch it and run with it!  He can’t keep throwing balls over and over again, that would be chaotic!  So, the quarterback starts the play, that’s all he does.

The remedy is only a catalyst, it’s a “starter”; your immune system has to pick up the ball from there and run with it!  You shouldn’t despair as long as the remedy is acting, doing something.  But just like on the football field, the runner can sometimes get tackled and the play is stopped!  Then what happens?  The quarterback has to come out and throw the ball again!  So similarly, sometimes your case will get stopped.  You’ll say, “All progress has stopped here!”  Now is the time to repeat the remedy!


After a remedy, the first thing to change will be your mental/emotionals (and you should feel like you have more energy and a sense of calm too; in fact, you might fall asleep, or feel like you want to fall asleep; children, babies, usually do fall asleep after a remedy, it’s very common and we generally count it as a sign that the remedy was chosen correctly), next will be the physicals and they will be dealt with in a certain order, not all at once and, again, when an issue is resolving, it moves out, like the ripples in a pond, rather than simply disappearing, vanishing!  

Mental disturbances, for example, may disappear and be replaced by a fever or a “cold” (don’t run and get antibiotics or Tylenol because you will just suppress your case back to the mental plane); so, it’s really important to be able to properly judge just what this new “complaint” is after a remedy.  Is it a real illness?  Or is it just Hering’s Law?  If your energy is better, if your emotions are better, it’s just Hering’s Law.     

Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, founder of homeopathy, said in his ORGANON OF MEDICINE, paragraph 253:


“The very beginning of improvement is indicated by a sense of greater ease, composure, mental freedom, higher spirits, and, a return to naturalness.”

When I see this occur after a remedy, I breathe a sigh of relief!  It means the case is headed for a touchdown!  I would rather see this than an improvement in the “chief complaint” with no change for the better on the mental/emotional plane! 

Don’t get me wrong, some cases are purely physical, like the pain from a sprained ankle or itching from various causes.  Even still, some people may feel a concomitant sense of relaxation and relief after the correct remedy is given, children especially; in fact, children often fall asleep after the remedy!  That is truly a good sign!  Pain, itching and suffering should be relieved right away!  You can’t have improvement on the mental/emotional plane if you’re in physical distress; at least, it seems very unlikely.  However, I hasten to add, I’ve heard people say, “I still have ________, but I don’t care!”  Their complaint is still there but is no longer affecting them mentally and emotionally.  That happened to me once.  I had a concussion.  I was now into day-2 of it, feeling deeply depressed and exhausted.  I took Nat-sulph 6X every 15 minutes.  After roughly an hour, I still had a headache but I felt completely normal!  I got up and went back to work!  Yes, I had a headache, but I didn’t care!

How soon will the pain, itching, etc. stop?  I can’t give you a time-table.  It could be literally right away, within 5 minutes; or it might take a few days.  It’s a function of how chronic or recent your complaint is.  Pain from an injury or illness that just happened should resolve immediately.  But you do have to get the potency right!  30C would be the lowest potency I’d want to give in an acute emergency; but, I’d feel a lot better if you had the 200C there too in case the 30C didn’t work.

Also, again, if your complaint is purely physical, you may be shocked that it doesn’t just disappear all at once.  You have no idea what your immune system considers to be a priority!  Let’s say you have colitis.  You want to see normal bowel movements occur right away, but it seems your immune system considers so many other things to be more important, like your appetite, or pain, or energy, or sleep, and naturally you’re thinking the remedy isn’t working; but in reality, all you want to see after a remedy is some evidence that the case is starting to move–and moving in the right direction: from the most important organs to the least important organs; from the center to the periphery; from above downward and in reverse order!  Is the case moving?  In the right direction?  Then that’s all you need to know!  

You might ask, when do I give the next dose, in three hours?  Six hours?  If you’ve improved noticeably on the mental/emotional plane, just wait!  The remedy continues to work even though you’re not taking it.  Repeat at the first sign of relapse.  Similarly, if the physical distress has stopped or greatly improved, no more dosing is needed.  Repeat only if a relapse ensues. Remember that if your spirits are high and you’ve relaxed, everything else is taking care of itself!

If the remedy makes you worse, what we call an “aggravation”, you can “zap” it.  See my article “The Aggravation Zapper”, it’s on my website: elaineLewis.hpathy.com.  No one should have to tolerate a distressing, prolonged aggravation.  Certainly stop the remedy if that happens.  Aggravations generally wear off by themselves.

But remember, when your patient comes back to you and says, “The remedy didn’t work”, always ask, “But, how are you feeling mentally and emotionally?  How’s your energy?”  Don’t be surprised if he says, “Oh, I’m doing great, I’m relaxed, I’m sleeping better…!” 

See, patients aren’t trained to believe this matters, so they won’t tell you; and to us, it means everything!  It means we’ve got the right remedy and what could be more important than that? 

If for some reason the remedy doesn’t cure the whole case, we have to consider the possibility that a local pathology requires its own remedy; OR, there may be a second etiology in the case we didn’t know about; for instance, I just had a case of a child who had a virus but ALSO had worms that pre-dated it!  I saw a general case for Pulsatilla, but I saw Cina (wormwood) in the case too!  I said, “Give Pulsatilla 200C but you may have to finish with Cina,” and it was true!  Generally, you treat the most recent occurrence first, after which a different “picture” might show itself requiring a different remedy. 

So now, let’s conclude.  After a remedy, what are we looking for?  Something I call…

“The Signs of Health” 

The signs of health let you know you’re on the right track.  This is what I call “The Center of the Case”.  No need to repeat a remedy unless the “Center of the Case” falls apart:

  1. Calm and Relaxation/feeling of well-being/centered/end to negative thoughts.
  2. Restoration of energy, less of a tendency to put things off that need to be done.
  3. Lifting of spirits, sense of humor restored.
  4. Improvement in, or restoration of, appetite and thirst.
  5. Better sleep.
  6. Clarity of mind.
  7. Pain and suffering stops.

When you see this, either stop dosing or at least take less and less often to see if the improvement holds.  However, as soon as a relapse ensues, go back to your previous level of dosing and, once again, when you see the Signs Of Health, either stop or slow down; we are always striving for The Minimum Dose.  Over-dosing and Under-dosing are both to be avoided, as both can set the case back!  You have to learn through trial and error how to become an expert navigator, how to enable a case to “coast” so that you’re not constantly experiencing “hills and valleys”.  Typical mistakes:

1. Repeating the remedy just for the sake of it.

2. Repeating the remedy during an aggravation.  An aggravation means “Stop!”

3. Repeating the remedy even though you’ve vastly improved!

4. Failing to repeat the remedy at the start of a relapse.


For more tips on case-management, see my FAQ article:

Homeopathy: Frequently Asked Questions

Good luck!!!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases and animal cases too!

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 been taking a homeopathic Parvo B19 remedy for almost a month for a severe and chronic Parvo infection of 7 years. There are two boxes for this remedy, each of which contain 10 vials. The first box contains vials that increase in solution and the second decreases. I take one vial every third day, and am about to take the 10th vial (the last vial in the first, or increasing, box). Interestingly, I have continued to feel significantly worse with each increasing vial (symptoms are nearly debilitating). Is this normal? I was under the impression that people only feel worse after the first 1- 4 vials, at most.
    Thank you!

  • Hi I have IBS DIARRHEA prone. the Homeopath started off with Argent Not 30c 3 times a day, Belladonna 30c 2 times a day and Colosynth 200c in case of cramps. Felt wonderful the first week. Colosynth which I took on Friday and Saturday night made my stool solid and normal. However the second weekend my diarrhea returned with a bang. I spoke to my Homeopath and was told to continue with the doses, some more often. Is this going back to symptoms normal. I am travelling next weekend and am very apprehensive. Help.

    • Sophie, I don’t think anyone can “help” without having the case in front of them. “IBS with diarrhea” isn’t a “case” in the homeopathic sense. It’s a diagnosis. It means a lot to a doctor but little to us. If you want my help, you would have to give your case to me. You were given 3 remedies to take in concert with each other. In classical homeopathy, that just isn’t done. You said you felt great but which of the 3 made you feel that way? That’s the $64,000 question. Since we don’t know, we don’t know which remedy to repeat, which remedy perhaps needs to be raised to a higher potency or given more often and so on. When your symptoms came back with a bang, was it because you stopped all dosing, waited a certain number of days, and then the symptoms came back? If that’s what you mean, I would say that’s normal. If you don’t keep the case moving, it’s going to relapse. That’s just a fact. But you can’t really manage a case with 3 remedies going at the same time. Which is the working remedy? We have to find that out, that’s the only way the case can be managed. So what did you do, did you do as the homeopath suggested? And are you having good results again as you did originally? If you are, maybe you should stick with it; but don’t let the case bottom-out again by waiting too long after a relapse to start the protocol back up again. On the other hand, if you’re not having good results again like you did at first, I’d say your homeopath got lucky in the beginning with finding a remedy that worked but doesn’t know how to keep the case moving, which happens a lot.

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