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This is used to describe the vitality of a patient and symptoms he or she is prone to. We may have heard people say “oh, she gets a bad chest every winter”, “has done since she was a child”. Or, “I have had a bad back it runs in the family”. Susceptibility gives the homeopath clues. Clues as to whether symptoms belong solely to that particular person or if the symptom is hereditary and has been in the family through time.

 Homeopathically, we can say someone is susceptible to a homeopathic medicine. If this is the case and a patient is susceptible, he/she will react easily to it. If it is not the case, then the medicine will have little effect.


As soon as the homeopathic medicine touches the vital force – energy meeting energy, the vital force reacts, the reaction causes immediate changes to the situation. The vital force accommodates the disturbance and moves in. sometimes the disturbance is an ongoing factor in the environment, then, the vital force has capacity to build a higher threshold of reaction. In this case a second dose would be given, which is a higher potency. If the same dose were to be given nothing would happen. This can be seen by the homeopath when having prescribed the best remedy he/she sees no reaction. A higher potency may stimulate a reaction but must be given with care.



Prescribing Homeopathic Remedies



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It is not always necessary to treat acute or first aid problems. If the patient is coping perfectly well without intervention then it is best to leave well alone. Only prescribe if the patient actually wants or needs you to. Even children can ask whether or not they need a remedy and usually judge well for themselves

      If the patient is undergoing treatment from a homeopath then always try to check with their homeopath before prescribing EXCEPT when there is an accident or emergency in which case the appropriate remedy (arnica, aconite, hypericum, ledum etc) should be given immediately.

       When treating yourself or a close relative it is not always possible to see objectively, when there is an emotional involvement. It may help to discuss your choice of remedy with a friend.


How many doses and how often?


There are no absolute rules about how often to take remedies. There are however, some general guidelines which can be followed.

  1. Frequent doses can be given for urgent cases that come on quickly or strongly. For example, when a child starts suddenly with a very painful earache it may be necessary to repeat the dose every 5 to 10 minutes until relief is obtained. Sometimes in an emergency situation, if you are not sure which remedy to prescribe it is best to alternate appropriate remedies, for example, after fingers have been shut in a door then arnica and hypericum may be alternated giving one dose every 5 to 10 mins.
  2. Slowly developing acute cases usually need 3 to 4 doses per day
  3. Once a definite reaction has been noticed, then lengthen the time between doses.
  4. If a marked improvement has been seen then the remedy should be discontinued altogether as it will continue to do its job. If you continue the remedy at this point then the symptoms could worsen again.
  5. If there has been no reaction after 6 doses or the patient is becoming steadily worse i.e. the illness is taking its natural progression, then the remedy is probably wrong. (see assessing the response).


Which potency?

Remedies are widely available at health food shops and chemists in the 6c potency. This is a very useful potency for less serious acute and first aid problems. The 30c potency is the highest in the low potency range and will have a quicker, more powerful effect than the 6c.

                   When using the lower potency it will have to be repeated more often than the higher. It is best to stick to the lower potency when you are unsure of your prescription. Aggravations tend to be less with the lower potencies.


Assessing the response to the remedy


If there appears to be no response to a remedy then this may be due to one of the following factors:

  1. The remedy has not been taken for long enough
  2. The wrong remedy was given
  3. The remedy may have been antidoted


  1. Not enough doses?

If  possible, to give the remedy for about 6 doses before discarding it altogether. If you are giving the remedy on the 6 potency and finding that it has only had a slight reaction then, try giving it in the 30 potency.

  1. Wrong remedy?

 After giving the 6 doses the remedy still does not work then reassess the case and check for another remedy which may be more suitable. It may be that you came up with more than one remedy in the first repertorisation in which case you should try one of these.

       It is not dangerous to give the wrong remedy, normally the result will be that nothing happens as there has to be a good matching of symptoms for the remedy to work. If however the remedy is continued for a length of time even when there appears to be no response then there is the possibility that the patient may begin to prove the remedy. On the top of their own symptoms this can lead to a confusing situation.

  1. Antidoting

There is much disagreement between homeopaths on the question of antidoting. Some believe that the remedies are antidoted by coffee, and strong smells such as peppermint, menthol, eucalyptus and camphor and that these substances should always be avoided. Undoubtedly some people are more sensitive to these substances than others as are some remedies. Perhaps the safest way round the antidoting issue is to avoid all possible antidotes whilst treating the acute problem. This means for example, no Vic on the chest, no menthol lozenges and no peppermint tea whilst taking remedies.


If the patient appears to get worse after taking the remedy this may be due to the following reason.

  1. The remedy is not working
  2. The patient is going through an aggravation


Remedy not working

If the remedy is having no effect and the patients condition is becoming worse then the illness is just taking its natural progression.


Often after giving a remedy the patient’s symptoms may temporarily worsen before they begin to get better. This is known as a homeopathic aggravation. They often take the form of some kind of discharge on the physical level, for example, weeping if a lot of grief has been suppressed. One way to tell if the patient is going through an aggravation is to ask them how they seem in themselves. Normally the response will be that they feel better in themselves, stronger, calmer, more energetic despite the fact that their physical symptoms have worsened.

     It is best to discontinue prescribing through an aggravation if the patient is finding it difficult to cope with and leave things to settle down before considering whether the patient needs any further treatment.

       Aggravations tend to be worse with higher potencies but may also be shorter. A kind of short, sharp, shock treatment!

If in doubt stick to the lower potencies and go for the longer, calmer route to cure.


Always remember that the remedies are only behaving as a catalyst to stimulate the body into healing itself. One or two doses, is often sufficient to begin the healing process so that the body can take over. What we are aiming is a minimum dose, the smallest amount necessary for healing to occur. If the patient improves for a while but then relapses we can always give another dose.

            Lastly note that a patient may need more than one remedy through the course of an acute problem. As the symptoms change so the prescription may need changing. NEVER change a remedy that is working just because the symptoms change. Only change the remedy if the one being used ceases to act.


Taking a homeopathic remedy


When taking a homeopathic tablet, carefully tip one into the lid of the bottle. Place the tablet into the mouth without handling then replace the lid. The tablet should be taken straight away, ideally being allowed to dissolve under the tongue. If any tablets fall onto the floor they should be discarded. When giving tablets to small babies or animals they may firstly be crushed between two spoons or dissolved in a little water if necessary.


Storing homeopathic remedies


Remedies should always be stored with their lids tightly screwed on in a cool, dark place away from strong smelling substances. Keep out of direct sunlight in a cool dark place but not in the fridge. In this way they may keep their efficacy for many years. Some remedies are still being used which are over 100 years old.

    Keep the remedies away from children as most children like to taste and can easily demolish many bottles of pills in one go, a rather costly experience. Do not worry unduly about the consequences of eating many tablets in one go. With homeopathic prescriptions a single dose at one time is a single dose whether it is one pill or a whole bottle.




The website is copyright of Lynne Wheatman 2007 - 2009

fairies through the site,  courtesy of Gwynneth and Artist Amy Brown