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Jul 16

How to Take Homeopathic Remedies

Homeopathy Remedy Bottles

Homeopathic Remedy Bottles

How to Take Homeopathic Remedies

There are as many opinions on the subject of how to take homeopathic remedies as there are homeopaths. Understanding homeopathic posology is not easy, and it really takes years of practice to get a feeling for it. The goal of Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was to prescribe in a way that would be as gentle as possible, while keeping the healing moving forward.

In fact, his advocacy of the minimum dose, which is one of the cornerstones of homeopathy, was to try to find a way to eliminate the toxic side effects that people would experience from crude doses of substances, hence his use of highly diluted remedies. He tended to work with lower potencies throughout his life, like 6C’s and LM potencies. Only toward the end of his life did he begin to use 30C potencies, and I believe he only used the 200C a few times.

The American homeopaths, such as James Tyler Kent, tended to use much higher potencies, because they wanted quick and dramatic results, and were not as concerned about gentleness as Hahnemann was. I was very influenced by Kent in the early years of my practice, but now I am leaning more toward the gentleness that Hahnemann advocated. Please read below to understand how I try to achieve that gentleness.

How Soon to Repeat the Remedy

- Never follow the dosage instructions on the bottles of homeopathic remedies that you buy in the health food store. The FDA requires this information to be printed on the bottles, but it is overdosing for homeopathic remedies.

- For constitutional treatment a single dose of a homeopathic remedy can hold many months without needing to be repeated. I would only repeat a remedy if the symptoms that had improved after taking the remedy begin to relapse. After taking a remedy there is usually an initial reaction period that can last several weeks or months, depending upon how deeply rooted a symptom is. I allow this initial reaction period to unfold without any interference. At six to seven weeks after taking the remedy, I evaluate the response and make a base-line chart of the patient’s symptoms. I would then only repeat the remedy, if the symptoms that had improved on the base-line chart begin to relapse, as that is an indication that the remedy has gone full circle and has run its course, and it is now safe and advantageous to repeat.

-I stress the above point, because many people treat the fluctuations in the initial reaction period as indications that it is necessary to repeat the remedy. This is not accurate and slows down or interferes with  the healing process.

-For acute ailments after administering the remedy, I observe the patient for 48 hours. In most cases there should be noticeable improvement within 24 hours. In other cases it can take longer. I do not repeat the remedy frequently during acutes, as many homeopaths do, because I have found that if the remedy is working and the person is feeling better, repeating the remedy can aggravate the situation unnecessarily. I find it very rare that a repetition of a remedy is needed during an acute illness. I would only repeat if the symptoms that had gotten better were definitely moving backward for quite a while.

Boiron Remedy Bottles

Boiron Remedy Bottles

-When a remedy is taken, the remedy will cycle through the patient’s repertoire of symptoms as it looks for what it needs to work on. It will find the most recently experienced symptoms first, and it will work on older symptoms later on. Generally, you will know that the remedy has located a symptom and is working on it, because you may experience a brief intensification in that symptom. That is a sign that the symptom is being worked on and that it will be better soon. Many people misinterpret this and regard the aggravation that occurs in the first few days or weeks after taking the remedy as a sign that the remedy is not working, and then change the remedy, or repeat it too soon. This is a very common mistake. When changes are taking place, whether you interpret them as good or bad, the rule is not to interfere, but watch and wait to see how things settle. Do not interfere during transitions.

 

Evaluating the Sensitivity Level of the Patient and Adjusting the Remedy Accordingly

-Following the advice of Samuel Hahnemann in the Organon of Mediine*, I always administer the remedy diluted in water. When given in water reactions are more gentle and aggravations are minimized.

The potency of the remedy used,  the quantity of pellets used, the amount of water used to dilute the remedy in, the quantitiy of the liquid dilution that the patient drinks are all factors that the homeopath can adjust based on his or her intuition about the strength of the vital force of the patient, or the sensitivity level of the patient. The goal is to keep aggravations or reactions to a minimum while moving the healing forward in as gentle a manner as possible.

For a highly sensitive person, I would use a low potency remedy, choosing between a 6C, 12C or 30C potency or LM potency. I would use only one pellet, diluted in two, four or more ounces of water and give one teaspoon or more of the liquid to start with, as the patient gets accustomed to the remedy, and then reassess the quantitiy used when a repetition is needed.

For very strong people I would use a 30C potency, or possibly a 200C. I tend not to go to higher potencies unless the person has worked up to it over time. In this case I may dissolve 2 to 3 pellets of a 30C or 8 pellets of a 200C, as the 200C pellets tend to be much smaller than the 30C pellets from certain pharmacies in 4 ounce of water, and have the patient drink between three and six tablespoons of the liquid.

-I have found that the quantity of the remedy taken can affect the duration of action of the remedy, but not always. For some people one teaspoon of the remedy can hold longer than a year, and for other people six tablespoons only holds three to four months. In general, however, I have found that the quantity of the remedy consumed can affect duration of action of the remedy, and how soon a relapse occurs.

One Should Never Repeat the Remedy in Exactly the Same Form

-According to Samuel Hahnemann one should never repeat a homeopathic remedy in exactly the same form. He recommended altering the dose slightly when it is repeated. I accomplish this in several ways:

Pharmacist with Homeopathic Remedies

Pharmacist with Homeopathic Remedies

I vary the quantity of water used, so if I used 4 oz. of water to dilute the remedy for the first dose taken, I will use 6 oz. of water for the second dose, and 8 oz. for the third dose, 10 oz. for the fourth dose, and then I start over again at 4 oz.

I always succuss for the second and subsequent doses. I do not succuss for the first dose, unless I am using LM potencies. The way I succuss is that I dissolve the remedy in a glass jar or plastic bottle that seals tightly, and then I bang or hit the jar against a book. Then I ask the patient to drink the amount that I feel would be appropriate for them based on my intuition about how much they can comfortably tolerate, with the intention of keeping aggrtavations to a minimum. I ask them to swish the liquid in their mouth for 15 to 20 seconds before swallowing each spoon. I also recommend taking the remedy by olfaction, which would be to breathe over the solution for a minute.

In the past I used to use dry doses. What I found was that dry doses do tend to hold quite a bit longer than doses dissolved in water, but they can cause unnecessarily strong aggravations. When I switched to dosing in water, I have found that the remedies work much more gently, even if they need to be repeated sooner than they would with a dry dose.

-There are some patients who are very afraid of taking homeopathic remedies. One way I have found to help them get comfortable with the remedy and overcome the fear is to put one or a few pellets in an envelope and put it under their pillow for an hour or so, oven the whole night. In this manner they enter the energetic field of the remedy, without needing to ingest it. Once they feel the benefit of this, they are more likely to accept taking the remedy orally.

Sample Prescription

Here is a sample of a first prescription of a typical 30C strength remedy in a person with average sensitivity:

Instructions for Taking the First Dose of a New Remedy

1)    Please dissolve 2 to 3 pellets of (Name of the remedy) 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. It may take 15 minutes for the pellets to thoroughly dissolve.
3)    Please drink 3 oz. of the liquid.  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)    In addition to taking the remedy orally, you can also take the dose by olfaction, which would be to breathe over the cup for one minute.
5)    Please 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.

Here is a sample of a second prescription  of a typical 30C strength remedy in a person with average sensitivity.

Instructions for Taking the Second Dose of Your Remedy

1)    Please dissolve 2 to 3 pellets of (Name of your remedy) in 6 oz. of water in a glass jar or a small disposable water bottle container.
2)    Please givethe bottle 10 firm succussions.  You do this by hitting the bottle or jar against a book.
3)     Please drink 3, 4, or 5, oz of the liquid.  You should hold the liquid in your mouth for 15 or 20 seconds before swallowing each spoon. Please do not eat an hour before or after taking the remedy.
4)    In addition to taking the remedy orally, you can also take the dose by olfaction, which would be to breathe over the bottle for 1 minute.
5)    Discard the remainder of the liquid on the ground outside, and clean or dispose of the bottle carefully, so as not to expose anyone else in the household to the medicine.

You may experience a time in the first weeks after taking the remedy when your symptoms might be up and down. This is the remedy cycling through your repertoire of symptoms and looking for what it needs to work on. Each time you take a remedy the cycling process gets easier, but I wanted to make you aware that this is a normal process after taking a remedy. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the initial reaction period.

I am sharing this information about homeopathic posology and how I dose with you, because there is a lot of confusion about this amongst homeopaths and the public. I have had many years of experience with homeopathy and I would love people to have positive, safe and gentle experiences with it. This is the way I have found to accomplish this goal.

In love and healing,

Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

 

* There are many translations of this book and the titles are different. Here are a few translations on Amazon.com

This one is called the Organon of Medicine and combines the Boericke and Dudgeon translations. 

A recent translation is Wenda Brewster O’Reilley’s translation called The Organon of the Medical Art.

There is another translation by Kunzli and others, also called the Organon of Medicine:

 

 

 

10 comments

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  1. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Vjay,
    Thank you for introducing yourself. Ruta graveolens is not listed for arthritis in the knees. My recommendation would be to work with a homeopath who can take your complete case and select a good remedy for you, and help manage your treatment.

    The frequency with which you were planning to take the Ruta graveolens is way too high. A 200C strength is a high potency remedy and a single dose of the remedy taken only one time can hold anywhere from three months to a year and longer. Please read the article on this website entitled: How to Take Homeopathic Remedies to learn about this.

    I wish you success in healing your knees.

    In love and service,

    Deborah

    In love and service,

    Deborah

  2. Vijai kumar srivastava

    Sir
    I am 60 years old
    Xray report of my both knee shows
    BILATERAL KNEE JOINTS OSTEOARTHRITIS
    PLEASE ptescribe medicine and its dose

    Sir on net search i bought ruta graveolens liquid 200ch of 30 ml from sbl company
    Whether it is useful to me or not .please if it is iseful to me please prescribe dose .i am taking 5 drops with water in three times from two days .

  3. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Chaya,
    Thank you for writing. I do consider 6X dilutions and 30x dilutions to be valuable remedies when prescribed according to homeopathic indications. I like to work with the full range of potencies, as I believe there is a place and a use for everything. I do use low dilutions from time to time. Generally, though, when I feel someone needs a low potency remedy, I prefer to work with LM potencies, as I can succuss and gently plus the remedy with each new administration. I also often prescribe the 12C strength or the remedy, which is about equivalent to a 30X.

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

    In love and service,
    Deborah

  4. Chaya

    Hello Debora
    I want to thank you for usefulness and clarity of your articles.
    I started my homeopathic experience only a few years ago, with tissue S alts. I have been mostly using 6X dilutions and then 30x. I wonder why you don’t seem to consider those low dilution potencies.
    Is it because toxicity difference between those and herbal remedies?
    Thank you in advance for your response.

  5. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Paul,
    Thank you for writing. I am happy that my article was helpful to you. Thank you very much for translating it into your language. I wish you all the best.

    In love and service,

    Deborah

  6. Paul

    Dear Deborah,

    Thanking you for the enlightenment!

    I am a lay person following the Homeopathy since 1985.
    Very recently, from Oct 2016 onwards, I have been overdosed and repeated varieties of remedies in high potencies. I was a bit confused and stop going to the practitioner. Looking on answers of how to take Homeopathic doses and you are there!

    Happy to see your article. Most probably, I’ll translate into my language, Tamil, for the benefit of the people, with the credit.

    Thanks again !

  7. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Clare,
    Thank you very much for your really great question. I hope that your son is feeling well now.

    Generally, the rule is that first aid situations take precedence over everything else, so you have to treat it. You did very well by giving him a single dose of Arnica 9C. From my experience Arnica can interfere with the constitutional remedy, but not always. You gave it to him in a low potency, so that reduces the possibility of it interfering. Sometimes it is just a temporary interference, and then after a week everything settles back, and the remedy he took before appears to be working well.

    If the Arnica did indeed antidote his constitutional remedy, you would be able to detect that, because when there is an antidote, the symptoms relapse very fast, and come back quickly. If that has not happened, then you can feel confident that the Arnica did not interfere with the constitutional remedy.

    One of the reasons why I like to use homeopathic first aid creams is for just such eventualities, because you get the benefit of the healing properties of the remedy in a cream form, with an extremely low risk of interfering with the remedy. In your son’s case, however, since there was a cut involved, it would not have been appropriate to apply Arnica cream, because you should not use Arnica on open wounds. Please visit my firstaidcreams.com website.

    I wish you and your family all the best.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev

    Clare’s response to my letter a week later:

    Dear Deborah,

    Firstly thank you so much for your reply, i have found it extremely helpful indeed. My son responded very well indeed to the Arnica 9c, the “egg” went down within one hour of giving the dose and the blue of the bruise came out immediately, then the next morning the bruise had all but disappeared, just a slight yellowy colour. Like you have said, i dont think that the Arnica has antidoted the constitutional remedy because he does not appear to have relapsed in any way, so i will just leave him be for the time being and see how he’s getting on in a month or so time. It will be my absolute pleasure to post my question on your website, i will do this right away. Im sure this will be helpful to others aswell.

    With kindest regards

    Clare Talha

  8. Deborah Olenev

    Dear Karla,
    Thank you very much for your wonderful question. I will do my best to do it justice.

    I always use one remedy at a time, because I am a classical homeopath, and I believe in these principals. Once you take a remedy a healing process is set in motion, and it often happens that you process through the current symptoms, and a new symptom picture appears, or there are just one or two stubborn symptoms that do not respond to the remedy you have taken, even though you may have waited six months or longer. In this case I will look for another remedy that will address the symptoms that are uppermost currently. Let your body be your guide. It will show you the way. I sound like Dorothy on the yellow brick road. So yes, take the remedies in sequence, addressing the uppermost symptoms, and the largest totality that you see.

    You gave the example of the head injury. You took Arnica for the initial blow. Now you have watched for two weeks, what is happening? What is the nature of the pain? Do you have radiating pains? You may need Hypericum? Is there depression, again Hypericum or Natrum Sulphuricum. Is there bone pain in the skull? You may need Symphytum or Ruta. My suggestion is see what is uppermost and what needs to be healed and address that.

    I hope this answer has been helpful. I wish you health and happiness.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev

  9. Clare Talha

    Dear Deborah, I very recently gave my youngest son a wet dose of a remedy in a 30c potency. After only 3 weeks on the remedy he had a bad fall outside when playing with his brother and friends. He banged his head and a big egg of a bump appeared very quickly just above his eyebrow with a cut in the middle. My first instinct was to give him low dose of Arnica and I only had a 9c in the house so i gave him one pellet dry. Of course after I had given it to him O wondered (a bit too late) if this would in fact interfere with the other remedy 30c potency that id given him 3 weeks earlier? I’d be very greatful for your views on this please.
    Kind regards
    Clare Talha

  10. Karla Joy

    Thank you for this very clear explanation. It answers many of my questions. Less is more. I have noticed this in many areas of life. Right now I do not live close to a homeopath. There is a store selling 30C and 200C. I asked about 6X and those are available as cell salts.

    Question: what to do as healing progresses and different layers arise which indicate different remedies? Mix them ? Take them in sequence as healing progresses?

    E.g. Two weeks ago Arnica for initial blow, but then later Mag phos And now Ruta for the remaining injury to periosteum. But what about calc phos or silicea for healing the bone?

    Your article reminds me of Dr Dorothy Shepherd’s 1945 classic “Homeopathy for First Aiders.” Thank you!!

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