I am often asked by both patients and family - 'So how often do I take the remedy?'. The answer is 'it depends'!
Firstly, it depends! It depends on whether the remedy is for an 'acute' illness, or constitutional.
A constitutional remedy is prescribed by a homeopath for the patient's overall benefit and for long-term symptoms. Here, clear direction on how often to take and sometimes repeat the remedy will be given. Your discretion as a patient comes into play when you have an 'acute' illness.
An acute illness is one that comes on suddenly, and is self-limiting. This could be a vomiting bug, flu, tonsillitis, earache, fever - the sort of illness that comes on relatively suddenly. It is not a 'chronic' illness like eczema or asthma. This is often the sort of illness that a remedy kit has a booklet about treating. These are usually treated with a '6c' or '30c' remedy.
Do you remember the old adage 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it'? This is pretty much your rule of thumb. If a remedy has been given and is still working (symptoms have improved, and stayed that way) then don't repeat the remedy. There is no need. However, if the symptoms start to creep back, or suddenly return, then that's the time to repeat the remedy. This might be after a few minutes - say, in the case of a fever, where the patient's energy is quite high.... or may be after a few hours, perhaps towards the end of a fever. The point is, like all homeopathy, it's individual. Different patients, with different illnesses, will use up a remedy at different speeds.
Another rule of thumb - if a remedy makes no difference after 2 or 3 doses, even if it was working quite happily before, then STOP giving it! It means that the symptoms have changed and the remedy will no longer work as it no longer matches the symptoms. Homeopathy works on the principle of similars - a similar remedy to cure similar symptoms. In this case, consult the booklet in your kit again, call your homeopath, or call the Homeopathic Helpline (not run by me, but open 9am to midnight - a charge applies for this service).
Has this helped? I welcome your comments, feedback and personal experience below.
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Joanna Shipley RSHom, Registered Homeopath. Loving homeopathy and natural health and passionate about sharing through practice and teaching. Lecturer and tutor at Salisbury Homeopathy College and NYR Organic Consultant. Informal talks, courses, workshops and provide one to one consultations for all ages. Clinics in Shrivenham, Highworth and via Skype.