Homeopathy Papers Organon & Philosophy

Aggravation in Homeopathy

Disease aggravation

An aggravation of the patient’s disease occurs if treatment is inadequate and the natural disease and pathology progresses. Inadequate treatment is the prescription of a wrong remedy as well as the improper application of the homeopathically correctly chosen remedy. Maintaining causes may also attribute to a continued diseases aggravation and should always be investigated. Intervention is necessary by retaking the case and adjusting treatment and lifestyle.


Cure and the reappearance of old symptoms

True cure means to restore the sick to health and includes the normalization of all vital processes and increased resistance against all sick making forces. This can never be reached through the suppression of symptoms or mere removal of pathology.

When following Hering‘s direction of cure a decrease of the most recent complaints and the return of old symptoms is part of the reversal of the disease timeline and indicates that the correct remedy is working deeply and towards cure. Reappearing, old symptoms should be less severe than the original incident and pass off quickly, unless the potency or dose were too large or the remedy repeated too frequently. They should resolve within a short time and be followed by a subsequent improvement in health. Their reappearance should be accompanied by an increase of well being and an amelioration on the general plane. These symptoms should not be treated by changing the remedy or using allopathic medicine.

Apart from the reappearance of old symptoms, an aggravation of symptoms as experienced before the beginning of treatment may still occur. Cure needs time and not all symptoms are going to ameliorate immediately.


Elimination symptoms

The truly indicated, homeopathic remedy balances the vital force, stimulates the defense system and supports proper desintoxication so that increased discharges from the skin, mucous and serous membranes, kidneys, bowels, lungs or skin may appear.  This elimination of residuals through channels is a positive sign of the vital force throwing off the disease. Related symptoms are transitory and pass off soon whilst the patient feels better and his symptoms ameliorate.



  1. A female patient, age 71, received Iodum LM6 in frequent, liquid doses for chronic ailments upon which her existing respiratory ailments aggravated. The homeopath increased the potency to LM18 which caused incessant coughing and new vision ailments, including the retina to detach for which the patient came to ask for my advice. These new and troublesome symptoms constitute a dissimilar aggravation as not belonging to the pathogenesis of the given remedy, although some insecurity remains as the detachment of retina is a mere clinical symptom that hardly appeared during properly conducted provings. Due to the dangerous action of the given remedy Iodum, it’s antidote Phosphorus was given immediately as Phosphorus’ pathogenetic symptoms were similar to the patient’s new and troublesome symptoms and known to antidote the action of Iodum. Afterwards, the chronic case was retaken and a better indicated remedy for the patients totality prescribed. It is to be noted that Hahnemann clearly advised us to start treatment with LM (Q) potencies with the lowest potencies (LM1-3) and increase the potency gradually, not in big jumps. Even if applied in watery solution and modified doses, the remedy is only to be repeated as long as no new symptoms appear, and not mechanically! (Dissimilar aggravation with new, dangerous and troublesome symptoms.)
  2. A boy, age 3, received Phosphorus 200C in watery solution for acute respiratory ailments with symptoms that indicated this remedy. After two hours the remedy was repeated which caused the cough to get worse. As no further, new symptoms developed and the aggravation was not too severe, the remedy was discontinued. The aggravation wore off soon and restoration of health followed quickly. (Similar, untrifling aggravation.)
  3. A girl, age 4, received a dose of Belladonna 30C to prevent her getting scarlatina which appeared sporadically in the kindergarten. Soon the child’s original, chronic symptoms aggravated indicating the need for her individualized, chronic remedy which was then applied again. Hahnemann warned that for homeoprophylaxis, a properly chosen remedy – either the patient’s constitutional remedy, the genus epidemicus (or the individualized remedy if the genus remedy does not work), or a nosode – should only be given if the subject is really in danger of taking the disease. (Dissimilar aggravation with no severe symptom aggravation.)



The different forms of aggravation demonstrate that the correct choice of the remedy, potency and dose are important in the treatment of patients. Any aggravation is to be avoided, as it delays or even prevents the cure. Ideally, the patient does not aggravate, or experiences only a slight homeopathic aggravation, followed by steady improvement that follows Hering´s rule. In practice this is not always possible to achieve. However, correct prescription and case management are only possible if the reactions of the patients and different forms of aggravations are properly understood.

About the author

Katja Schuett

Katja Schuett

Katja Schutt, Msc, HP, DHM, PGHom, DVetHom, has studied homeopathy with several schools, amongst which David Little’s advanced course stands out as it offers a really deep insight into homeopathic philosophy and materia medica (simillimum.com). Her current focus lies in working with animals and studying history, the old masters, and research.


  • Thanks for presenting an overall picture of aggravation & the solutions. The article is very useful & will help not only the new comers but the established ones too.

  • Great to see this article and the detailed information provided in it.

    We should bear in mind boenninghausens introduction to the remedy relationships where he explained, that the best antidote is that remedy chosen according the now presenting disease-symptom picture.
    In this context the detailed remedy relationships at the end of the Therapeutic pocketbook are of great importance as they simplify the selection in these cases enormously.

    In practical terms after the remedy was given from the LM scale,
    — there can be overreaction — if this is not too severe, it just means, that the next dose has to be weakened
    — Homeopathic aggravation = the one or the other symptom of the disease is felt stronger for a time . This can happen at any time in chronic situations and is not confined to the first few hours.
    — worsening of the case = the one or the other symptom of the disease is felt stronger for a time. This can happen at any time in chronic situations.

    So you are right to ask: How do I distinguish a homeopathic aggravation from a worsening?

    Answer: In the presence of independent improvement signs it is a homeopathic aggravation, in the absence of these signs it is a worsening.

    Of course there are situations where under the beneficial influence of a remedy new symptoms emerge, which are cumbersome and persistent. This is a sign, that the previous remedy will not bring the case any further, and a new remedy be determined based on the now expressed signs and symptoms.

    Lucky who knows how to use the remedy relationships in this situation, as it shortens the process of finding the remedy tremendously.

    Hans Weitbrecht

  • Dear Dr,
    in all cases we must choose a remedy which must cover the ailment basically. in that case aggravation if any will be towards cure. let the remedy exhaust its force before it is repeated Article is very informative.
    Dr Shekhar

  • Good Info.

    Regarding a wrongly chosen remedy that has aggravated, the effect of it can be removed by taking a very high potency of the same remedy. Dr.Clarke has written:

    “Without restricting the amount of salt taken, Nat, m 30 will antidote most of the effects of the crude, and enable the patient to cut down the quantity taken afterwards.
    But the effect of a high potency can also be antidoted by a higher.
    A patient to whom I gave Nat-m. 1 m developed this new symptoms: Aching pain deep in left shoulder and down the arm, worse lying on right side, no tenderness.
    A single dose of Nat-m. c.m. quickly removed it.”

    Ok I want to ask a question:

    I had taken Arnica 30 in massive doses for about 4 weeks – This was about 30 years back but I feel that the aggravation of this remedy still persists in my body to this date.

    I developed Diabetes (although there is absolutely no history of diabetes in my family – parents or Grand parents)

    If happen to consume sweets or forget to take my regular diabetes medicines a feeling of terror pervades in my as if some accident would befall me – and then I would not get sleep also.

    Do you recommend that I take one dose of Arnica CM to counter this.

    Your advice will be appreciated.


  • I have been suffering from psoriasis .I go for a homeopathy treatment before 3 months ago.aggregation occurs …then I told my doctor that I can’t tolerate that much of pain than they changed the medcn ..after taking 5 days that medcn ..my psoriasis became life threatening ….and doctor recommended me to go for allopethic ..but my psoriasis became horrible …what to do? I can’t understand …please give me advice as soon as possible.

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