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.
Image Courtesy of nuchylee / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
I am so excited as I've just committed to a 5 month postgraduate course as 'Continuing Professional Development' is a cornerstone of my practice!
This is 5 month advanced course in Bristol, run by the Contemporary College of Homeopathy. A photo of one of the tutors is on the left, taught my Mike Bridger and Dion Tabrett. The syllabus includes eczema and asthma, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), cancer, allergies and increasing knowledge of different remedies and the best way to prescribe them. But why learn more? Wasn't 3 years of full time University study enough?
Although homeopathic principles have pretty much remained unchanged since their 18th Century discovery, I regularly update my practice. There are between 2000 and 3000 remedies available, and I seek the remedy most 'like' the symptoms my patients experience for each prescription. This is the principle of 'like cures like' (more on than, another time!).
Learning homeopathy is rather addictive - the more I learn about remedies and their potential, the more I wish to learn! I could never hold all the information in my head, but the more I know the better I will be able to choose between them, and more quickly. And looking at how to prescribe in complicated cases is, well, a life time study. The more I can learn from those with more than my 7 years experience, the better!
So, happily, I'm off to Bristol to learn more. And I know that both my patients and I will benefit from my greater knowledge. Like a stone dropped in a pond - the information I learn can 'ripple' out through my prescriptions and, I hope, make the world a slightly better place!
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. Informal talks, courses, workshops and provide one to one consultations for all ages.