by John A. Borneman III, RPh.
Frequency and Repetition of the Homeopathic Dose
Once you have selected the appropriate homeopathic medicine, the choice of the appropriate potency and the administration in the proper interval is important for the most successful use of homeopathy. The issues that one must confront are: selection of the appropriate potency, administration at proper intervals and decision making concerning the cessation of dosing or changing to another remedy.
Selection of potency
Homeopathic medicines are available in a full range of strengths or potencies from 1X (drug concentration 1/10) to CM (equivalent to a 100,000 C, drug concentration 1 x 10 -200,000) For more on potencies, see "On Potencies" from Standard Homeopathic. For practical purposes, the range of potencies used by consumers is from a 3X to a 3OX or 30C. For ease of use, we can call 3X and 6X "low potencies" and 3OX and 30C "high potencies". The selection of potencies can be done according to an easy rule of thumb. The more certain that one is that the correct remedy has been selected, the higher the potency that should be used.
So, the more sure, the higher you go. Conversely, the less sure of the remedy choice, the lower potency should be chosen. For example, if a case shows symptoms of fever, with flushed skin, thirsty for small sips, right sided sore throat and aversion to light and noise, one can be relatively sure that the right remedy is Belladonna. Since there is relative certainty, a 3OX can be used. Likewise, if the case features a headache with very few other prominent symptoms, the remedy choice is less clear. A 6X might be chosen.
Repetition of the dose
Once the remedy and potency are chosen, repetition is a function of two factors, the potency chosen and the vigor of the symptoms shown by the organism prior to the intervention or administration of the remedy. In simplest form, the higher the potency, the less frequently one should repeat the dose. Conversely, lower potencies should be repeated more frequently. If one chooses a 3OX, normal repetition should be about four times per day. With a 6X, repetition can be as much as every 2-4 hours. This simple formula is influenced by the vigor of the symptoms before intervention. If the case is acute, a high fever, trauma, intense pain and the like, a high probability of remedy choice is likely and thus a higher potency. In this case, however, one will repeat frequently in the beginning of the treatment, as much as every 10 - 15 minutes for the first l - 2 hours in the case of acute symptoms or trauma.
Cessation of treatment
One of the most difficult decisions to make in the course of treatment is when to cease the dosing. Since homeopathy works by catalyzing the body's ability to heal itself, stimulating the body's own autoregulatory or immune response mechanism if you will, the rapidity of action of the medicine will be
proportionate to the intensity of symptoms prior to the dose. There are some simple rules. If the symptoms get markedly more intense that is to say they do not change, they simply are more vigorous or intense, cease the treatment as the body has responded and is actively healing itself. Likewise if the symptoms get markedly better, or abate, treatment can be ceased. One can think about this like pushing a rock over a hill. As you approach the top of the hill, symptoms get markedly worse, but you've done your job as soon the rock will roll down the other side. Similarly if you were close to the top of the hill to begin with, a simple push sends the rock down the other side. Either way you have accomplished your goal.
The more difficult situation is knowing when to change the remedy because the selected remedy has not acted. A simple rule to follow in this case is the more vigorous the body is producing symptoms prior to the intervention or
administration of the remedy, the more quickly the body should react to the
correct remedy. The more vigorous the symptoms before the administration of the medicine, the more quickly one would expect it to work. Similarly, if the body is not producing vigorous symptoms, or the symptoms are chronic, having been present for quite a long time, one can expect that the remedy will take much longer to act.
For example, in the Belladonna case mentioned above, one can expect that the remedy will act very quickly, likely in 10 - 15 minutes. In another case, suppose one has had the flu for three or four days, without much vigorous symptoms, except weakness and aches and pains one could expect that the remedy might take 48-72 hours to be successful. In a chronic illness, when symptoms have been present for many years, it can take months or years for successful treatment. Of course, this chronic treatment should only be undertaken by a licensed prescriber. In any case, the principles of symptoms getting better or worse will be the key that the remedy has acted.
If after waiting the appropriate period of time there has been no change in the case, one can expect that the wrong remedy has been chosen. In this case, the symptoms should be reevaluated and another remedy chosen.
There is one last idea to consider. In some cases, the remedy will act
successfully but instead of the symptoms completely abating, they change. If this is the case, the body is still attempting to heal itself and a new remedy should be chosen based on the new symptoms that have appeared. This can be thought of as peeling a layer for an onion, and finding a new layer underneath.
1. Of primary importance is the selection of the proper remedy.
2. If the selection is highly certain, use a higher potency (30X/30C). If the
selection is less certain, use a lower potency (6X/6C).
3. If a higher potency is chosen, repeat less frequently approximately 4 times per day, if a lower potency is chosen, repeat more frequently approximately every 2-4 hours.
4. The more vigorous the symptoms prior to intervention, the more quickly the medicine will act. In cases with acute, intense, vigorous symptoms, the remedy should act quickly, within minutes. In cases when the body is not producing vigorous Symptoms, the remedy may take several hours to several days. In cases of chronic illness, a remedy may take months to act completely. If symptoms get markedly better, or markedly more intense with out changing, cease the remedy because it has acted. If the symptoms to do change or abate after waiting the proper amount of time, cease the remedy and reevaluate the symptoms to either change the remedy or potency.
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