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Aug 23

Questions about Alternating Remedies

Dear Friends,

A man wrote me yesterday with some questions about alternating remedies, and I thought it would be fun to post his questions and my answers here, as others may have the same questions, so here goes:

Question:  I had a question regarding alternating remedies. If you can’t find one remedy that covers all your symptoms, can you take different remedies to treat different conditions, on the same day? For example, around 6 am, graphites for a skin condition, 12 pm, arnica for a muscle injury, 6 pm, silicea for hair growth, etc.

Answer: Thank you for writing with your excellent question. I have been trained as a classical homeopath, and alternating remedies the way you describe is something we would never do. There are a few excellent reasons for that:

A remedy takes time to set up its action, especially in a case with chronic symptoms. The remedy has to go through a reaction period, a time when it looks for the symptoms it needs to work on, brings the symptoms up for treatment, and it also may intensify the symptoms as it works on them. The reaction time for a 30C and 200C dose is approximately three weeks. This is the reason why I do not evaluate the response to the remedy till between four and seven weeks.

If you are on a good remedy and it works well, it can do profound healing work for many months and even years without needing to be repeated. An active dose should never be interfered with.

Homeopathic remedies carry tremendous power and you really have to be familiar with homeopathic philosophy and go through a course of training before you attempt to self prescribe, as you can end up causing yourself unnecessary suffering, and confuse the symptom picture, if you do it without understanding how it works. Good luck.

Question: Thank you for the reply and advice. I won’t be alternating remedies on the same day then. How about alternating between two remedies on separate days? For example, Lycopodium Monday, Calc. Fluor. Tuesday, Lycopodium Wednesday, etc.?

I have several symptoms I want to treat, and while Lycopodium is shown to be my constitutional remedy, I fear it won’t cover all of them.

Also, if the potency is 30c, how frequently should it be taken? I’m thinking just 1 pill a day, every 2 days. Is that fine?

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

Answer: Please read some beginning books on homeopathic philosophy and methodology, if you want to self prescribe. I have seen a single 30C dose hold 1.5 years.

If you are going to take a 30C dose of a remedy. Take it once. Do not repeat it. Evaluate your response to it in 4 to 7 weeks. If symptoms are better, do not repeat it until those symptoms have moved backward for at least seven days. Do not change from a remedy that is helping, until you have gone up in potency, and worked with the higher potency for a while. Only change the remedy, if new symptoms appear calling for a change of remedies. This is the way I work, and classically trained homeopaths will prescribe.

Alternating remedies quickly the way you are suggesting is a misunderstanding of homeopathy and the power of the remedies and I do not feel that it is a safe way to prescribe. Good luck.

Question: Wow, thank you so much for that info, it saved me from administering the wrong way. I just have one final question, if I’ve been taking 30c remedies daily for a while, how do I antidote them? I drank 2 large cups of coffee…is there anything else I should do?

I’ll be sure to post this info on my site, where it’ll help many others who are trying to use homeopathy to treat a skin pigment disorder. Thanks again for your knowledge.

Answer: One of the things you have to assess is did the remedies you took change your base-line symptoms? That means do you have different symptoms now than what you started with, or is everything exactly the same? Were new symptoms added on? Did symptoms you had before disappear?

One thing you can do is wait and let things settle out for a month or so to see where you stand after all of this. When you take too many remedies you can complicate the symptom picture. That’s why homeopathic provings have to be conducted with extreme care, as there is a risk of imprinting symptoms from the remedies you are taking onto yourself, which can be difficult to remove.

I really suggest that you work with a competent homeopath who can sift through your symptoms and sort it out for you. As far as antidoting with coffee, some people say that this works. I have not seen that from my own experience. I think the best antidote is a well selected remedy.

I also want to stress that the science and art of repeating the remedy in homeopathy really takes years to master. Homeopathic remedies are nothing at all like western medicine. The FDA requires that pharmacies print “take three times a day” or something like that on the bottles. This is appropriate for Western medicine, but not for homeopathy, where a single dose of a remedy can hold several years. You are talking about enormous power both for good and for harm, (if not used carefully), in the homeopathic remedies. If you want to self prescribe, you really do need to go through a training course before you can do this semi-safely.

I wish you the best of look with your healing.

Best regards,

Deborah

 

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16 comments

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  1. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Sety,
    Thank you for writing with your question. The 1M is a high potency remedy. A dose of this size should hold anywhere from 3 months to many years. Please see my article on How to Take Homeopathic Remedies to understand the rules of repetition that I follow.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

  2. Sety

    Hi
    I have a question about Staphysagria, how long is this remedy duration of action in 1M potency? I see relapce in some symptoms after 3 months.
    Best Regards

  3. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Leticia,
    Thank you for writing. It is wonderful that you have been working with a very good homeopath, who has given you remedies that have helped you. It is very good also that you are learning about homeopathy and studying materia medica.

    My suggestion is to tell your homeopath about your studies and that you feel Natrum muriaticum may be a good fit for you. Then she can repertorize your case and see whether your current symptoms correspond well with Natrum muriaticum. She can suggest a potency that would resonate well with you and help monitor and manage your case.

    I am very excited for you that you have found a remedy that sounds good for you. I hope that you will have an excellent response to it.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

  4. Leticia Garcia Guerra

    I’ve had the best possible homeopath a person could have, and have had great success with her. Because teaching takes most of her time, I’ve ventured to search carefully and thoroughly remedies for different issues I’ve had, and I’m extremely pleased with the responses I’ve had every time.

    However every time I tried a remedy it was a stand alone remedy. Right now I find myself looking into remedies for belly aches and for the first time I came across several remedy combinations. The type and body description that was close to mine indicated Ammonium carb and Antimonium crudum. What was appealing was the personality description.

    Another one that popped out to me was Calcárea which also fit given that I am hypothyroid. But the most frustrating thing about my search is that I stumbled into Nat Mur! I was totally blown away because I could be the poster child, not a single description didn’t apply to me!

    I must make an appointment with my doctor, but would greatly appreciate whatever brief input you can give me. My doctor knows more than well my mother issues, has taken a lot of caring time with me, and I’ve come a long long way since I started seeing her, and has given me amazing remedies but never Nat mur.

    Will greatly appreciate any information. Thank you

    Leticia

  5. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Julie,
    Thank you for writing with your questions. Please visit the article on this website on How to Take Homeopathic Remedies. This will explain my method of administering remedies and the rules of repetition that I follow. There are so many different opinions about this subject, and you will not find two homeopaths who administer remedies the same way, and each individual homeopath is constantly evolving in their understanding of this.

    Will Taylor taught a series of webinars on Posology, which you can purchase at At Home Learning Courses, or Whole Health Now.

    You can also call Dana Ullman at Homeopathic Educational Services to ask him for book recommendations on this subject.

    I wish you joy in learning about homeopathy.

    In love and service,

    Deborah

  6. Julie

    I have bought a bunch of remedies for things I thought my daughter has needed for several issues and didn’t realize I only give her one dose. I gave her 3 pills twice yesterday. And 3 this evening Kali Phos. 6CH. It says 3 three times a day. I would love if someone can reccomwnf some homeopathic books for self prescribing. I have no naturopathic or homeopathic drs. In my area. Thanks.

  7. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Asma,
    I am very happy to hear that your son is responding well to the homeopathy and that you are seeing improvement in his speech and shyness. This is extremely important, so congratulations. It looks like your homeopath is doing good work. Some homeopaths only work with one remedy at a time, and some use more than one remedy. Whatever your homeopath is doing is working, so I would trust in your homeopath and his judgment.

    I wish you all the best.

    In love and service,

    Deborah

  8. Asma

    My son is prescribed for kalium Phosphoricum 6x and later on after a month he was prescribed for Staphysagria 30. Can he take both medicine together?
    He can’t speak full and long sentences and problems in saying L,r and T words.
    Someone told me that you cannot take two medicine together l.
    My son was shy as well. He is better and improving.
    He is still lagging in sitting for long period to play with one toy or watching tv for long period.
    He must bed on to next activity very soon. It’s been a one and half month he is on kalium Phosphoricum and two weeks back he started Staphysagria and I saw improvement in his speech.
    Can you suggest anything?

  9. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Christine,
    Without taking your complete case, I cannot say for sure if the Sepia will help your anxiety. Homeopathy is very good for helping with anxiety, if your type of anxiety corresponds to the type of anxiety the remedy produces. My suggestion is to trust your homeopath’s judgment and work with him or her to evaluate your response to the Sepia in about seven weeks. Most of the time you should feel improvement in the emotional plane long before that.

    I hope you will have a very good response to the Sepia, and a good experience with homeopathy.

    In love and service,
    Deborah

  10. Christine Stephen

    I am suffering from chronic anxiety which is with me all the time. I find it very difficult to go out and I have anticipatory anxiety. I also have some menopause symptoms but am taking hrt. My homeopath has given me sepia. Will this help anxiety? Thank you

  11. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Najaf,
    The dosage is not dependent on weight or age. It is based on other factors. I do not know the size of the 200C pellets that you purchased of the Lycopodium, but if they are the medium size pellets, I usually use 8 pellets for adults. If they are the large size I use 2 to 3 pellets.

    Please remember that the difficulty is not in how to take the remedy, but when to repeat. A 200C dose can hold several months to many years. I do not repeat the remedy unless symptoms that had gotten better begin to relapse. I make a base-line chart of the person’s symptoms at seven weeks, and I would only repeat after that point if symptoms in the better category began to move backward for awhile. Here are the directions I usually use for a first time dose.

    Instructions for Taking the First Dose of a New Remedy

    1) Please dissolve # of pellets (depending on the size of the pellet) of Lycopodium 200C in 4 oz. of water in a small cup. You can use a disposable cup if you wish.
    2) Once the remedy has thoroughly dissolved in the water, please stir it well.
    3) Please drink 4 tablespoons of the liquid (or the number suggested by your homeopath). You should hold the liquid in your mouth for 15 or 20 seconds before swallowing each sip. You may drink regular water after that if you would like. Please do not eat an hour before or after taking the remedy.
    4) You can also take the dose by olfaction, which would be to breathe over the cup for one minute.
    5) Discard the remainder of the liquid on the ground outside, and clean or dispose of the cup carefully, so as not to expose anyone else in the household to the medicine.

    The remedy will begin to cycle through your repertoire of symptoms while it looks for what it needs to work on. When it does so the symptoms may intensify for awhile before they get better. That intensification is a good thing, as it shows you that the remedy has located what it needs to work on and is addressing the symptoms. The cycling process can take weeks or months depending upon how deep rooted the symptoms are. It is normal for symptoms from the past to show up during the cycling process, but they should resolve on their own in a short time. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the initial reaction period.

    I hope this answer is helpful. I wish you all the best.

    In love and service,
    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

  12. Najaf

    I want to use lycopodium 200c
    What is dosage table for me i m 32 old male

  13. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Foara,
    Thank you for your question. Since I have not taken your relatives case, I am unable to say whether Hyoscyamus and Aconite fit his symptoms. The symptoms that you are mentioning are common to many remedies. I am a classical homeopath, so I would never prescribe two remedies to be taken simultaneously. Also I am very careful with repetition. A single dose of a 9C is capable of holding many weeks. Repetition is a delicate matter with homeopathy, and should not be done in a routine fashion.

    I recommend that you consult a classical homeopath who can guide you in the management of your relative’s case. I hope he feels better soon.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

  14. Foara

    One of my relative has been suffering from bad dreams ,delusion ,paranoia and ceaseless talking .He is taking HYoscyamus 9 twice in day time and aconite during night .Please be kind enough to let me know whether this is correct ?
    With regards .

    Foara

  15. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Ambar,
    You are absolutely right. People prescribe remedies in many different ways. I usually prescribe centesimal scale remedies: 30C, 200C, etc.I rarely prescribe above 200C. I prescribe 10M, maybe once in 10 years. From my experience repetition is a very delicate matter, and needs to be done with respect for the power of these remedies. A single dose of a 30C holds three months on average, but I have seen people with multiple health complaints go years without needing a repetition.

    The average hold time for the 200C strength is 8 months, for children often a year and a half. For many people repetition is not needed as it is curative, or the remedy can remove a layer and a new symptom picture clearly emerges after they take the remedy.

    For these reasons I do not recommend nor condone giving a 1M remedy one day, then changing it the following day. After a remedy is given a healing process unfolds, which can last many weeks. During that time it is not possible to accurately assess the response to the remedy, because what you are seeing is initial reactions. One has to wait until these reactions pass, and then add a couple of weeks onto it before assessing the response to the remedy.

    As far as repetition goes, I do not recommend repeating a centesimal scale remedy 30C and above until the reaction time has passed, a base-line chart of symptoms has been made at a follow up consultation and there is a clear indication that the symptoms that had improved are moving backward. That way you can repeat with confidence, knowing that you are not interrupting an active dose, and causing unnecessary suffering to the patient by having to go through the reaction period once again when it is not needed.

    LM potencies are administered in a different way. I do have articles on my website describing how these are used.

    People have success prescribing in many different ways. Some people prescribe using the Fibonacci scale, which sounds very interesting. Others prescribe low dry doses daily. For me the important thing is what am I experienced with and what do I understand using. The same goes for other practitioners. There is a huge learning curve when a new method is tried. The method I use is Kentian and has been around for centuries now, and I have many years of experience using it, so I am comfortable with it.

    Thank you for your comment. I wish you all the best.

  16. Ambar Sarkar

    It appears to me that different schools of Homeopathy follow different standards of prescribing. Europe has its own standard where a medicine is prescribed at a lower potency first to see effect, and later same or higher potency prescribed to cure, if required. In India repetition is more frequent.
    If medicine is given in 1M potency, like Arnica for Injury, no other medicine given on that day, other medicines follow from next day.
    For effect on mind, 1M to 10M potencies are recommended, though 200 potency can be used for trial. 10M potency is not recommended to be repeated frequently. In India Doctors keep a gap of 15 days. In Europe USA such a dose is normally not repeated before six months unless relapse takes place.
    Thus many views from many experts.

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