What is a homeopathic remedy?

What is a ‘homeopathic remedy’? This term is often used incorrectly, even sometimes by trained homeopaths. For those who have no experience with homeopathy, they may assume that it is just another way of saying ‘herbal remedy’ or even ‘natural remedy’, but it has a much more specific meaning than this.

The other huge misconception which people have about the term ‘homeopathic’ is that it is a reference to the method of potentization used in homeopathic prescribing (ie a substance which has been diluted and succussed to radically diminish its material component). When people have debates about whether or not ‘homeopathic remedies’ work, they often are using the term in this sense, of a diluted and potentized substance, and are questioning the possibility of a non-material remedy having any efficacy.

To understand the term ‘homeopathic remedy’ correctly, we need to understand both the words ‘homeopathic’ and ‘remedy’ accurately. In its literal sense, the word homeopathic means ‘similar suffering’ (as mentioned above), and is referring to the law of nature known as the ‘Law of Similars’. In this sense, then, it refers to a relationship between a disease and a medicinal substance which are very closely similar (and therefore, there is a curative relationship between them). Whether the medicine was potentized, or not, does not define a homeopathic relationship. This is why the use of some herbs, for example, may sometimes have a homeopathic relationship to the disease being treated, or even some pharmaceutical drugs, for that matter. It is not the safest way to apply a homeopathic remedy, but nevertheless, it can still be homeopathic.

The term ‘remedy’ is another one which tends to be used too loosely. Again the so-called ‘homeopathic remedy’ which you buy at the health food store may be neither ‘homeopathic’ nor a ‘remedy’ in any given case. It may be called ‘homeopathic’ only if it has the relationship of similarity to the disease being treated, and it may only be called a ‘remedy’ if it actually remedies something. A ‘remedy’, also, isn’t always necessarily a medicinal substance, but may be a lifestyle modification, or even an idea which catalyzes a change in someone’s perception or psychological state. It is the result of a ‘remedy’ upon which we can judge whether it actually was one or not.

Dose And Potency

Generally a 30CH, 200CH, or 1M will be sufficient in all cases of acute self-limiting issues. The 30CH being on the less severe scale of suffering, while the 200CH will be the mid-range dose, and the 1M being for more severe cases.

The Homeopath’s maxim, though, is to always ‘use what you have’, so don’t worry if the dose doesn’t wholly fit, as the remedy is the more critical part of the equation. Remember that it is the similium that you seek, which means that you have a bit of play or a margin, enabling you to point and shoot at the disease state, invariably hitting some or all of the target even if not exact in your prescribing.

Thankfully, for this forgiveness, and the fact that you can not cause yourself harm, you will generally still be able to address some of your suffering in many cases. Most of us experimented a great deal before our more formal training. My own son once said to me, “Mommy, you’re getting better at this homeopathy thing, you didn’t even have to try twice this time.”

How Do I Take A Remedy?

The remedy should be taken orally (by the mouth), unless otherwise indicated. The more acute the issue, then the more dosing required. If your patient is in shock, then you must encourage them to dose every few seconds, for example. Sipping on the remedy in water will make this easier. If the remedy is for a low grade headache, then dosing once an hour is probably sufficient.

If the first aid situation is more acute, then more frequent dosing is required. Ideally, the remedy should be taken orally (by the mouth), however, in some cases, out of necessity, we’ve dropped the remedy onto exposed skin. The same with treating animals, it will work just as well to drop the rx on their body.

It is best if the water used to sip your remedies in is pure and pH balanced, however, at a minimum, it should be properly filtered. Fluoridated and chlorinated water is not best for our overall health and should be avoided where possible.

Dropper (Liquid Remedy Dose):

Take one drop (not one dropper full) of the remedy as indicated by your practitioner. Ideally, you should not touch the glass dropper to your lips, tongue, or teeth, as this could introduce bacteria into the dropper (this is why there is usually use a bit of vodka or cognac in droppers to help keep the remedy more sterile). Succuss (bang on the palm of your hand) the dropper bottle 2-3 times before taking each dose. This creates an energy vortex that is beneficial for the continued efficacy of the remedy.

Dry Remedy Doses (Pellets, Powders or Rice Papers):

The dry dose remedies are typically taken at 24 hour intervals apart from each other, unless indicated otherwise. Typically, these remedies are in pellet form, delivered on a small piece of rice paper, or dropped in a puddle of lactose powder. In special circumstances alternate methods of delivering the dry dose will be offered, and instructions unique to that situation will be provided by your practitioner or pharmacist. For example, nursing moms can take the remedy for the baby, or the rx can be dissolved in their pablum or vegetables.

Sipping in Water:

As indicated above, if you have a remedy that bears repeating often, for an emotional upset or a physical trauma, it is best to put one drop of the remedy (or dissolve the pellet or remedy powder/rice paper), into a cup of water. In that way, you can have access to the gentle and effective remedy as often as needed in acute situations (as advised by your practitioner). When you take a sip, it is best to hold the water in your mouth for a moment before swallowing, so it can be fully absorbed by the mucous membranes of the mouth.

Dropper (Liquid Remedy Dose):

TTake one drop (not one dropper full) of the remedy as indicated by your practitioner. Ideally, you should not touch the glass dropper to your lips, tongue, or teeth, as this could introduce bacteria into the dropper (this is why there is usually use a bit of vodka or cognac in droppers to help keep the remedy more sterile). Succuss (bang on the palm of your hand) the dropper bottle 2-3 times before taking each dose. This creates an energy vortex that is beneficial for the continued efficacy of the remedy.

Replenishing the Bottle:

When a centimeter of water remains, simply refill your dropper with pure water, stir or shake bottle, and continue sipping, as the bioenergy remains in good stead.

You can find out more about where to buy homeopathic remedies, and how to use them at home Homeopathic remedy kits and books.