When working with a homeopath for chronic symptoms, it can be helpful to know what to expect after you take a homeopathic remedy. The remedy responses outlined below are simplified for readability by a general audience and may be observed within the first week to first month after taking a single remedy, not a combination of remedies at one time or alternating remedies over time.

Importance of working with a homeopath

Remedy responses are a complex phenomenon. You may experience one or a combination of the responses to a remedy listed below at some point during your care. What occurs following a remedy depends on your individual case, the remedy, potency, frequency or repetition of the remedy, and more.

Part of homeopathic care is observing your symptoms and overall state, including sleep, energy, and your sense of wellbeing, and sharing this with your homeopath. It is advisable that you work with a classical homeopath for chronic symptoms, should you choose this system of medicine, and follow their recommended instructions. Remedy responses are ultimately best understood by your homeopath who is familiar with your case, but the explanations below may be helpful if you’re new to homeopathy and unsure about what to expect when you begin chronic homeopathic care.

Improvement of symptoms

Finally, what you’ve been waiting for – improvement of your symptoms. Generally, this may look like a reduction in the frequency and intensity of your symptoms over time.

Improvement may also take the shape of Hering’s Law of the Direction of Cure. Hering argues that healing progresses from deep to superficial parts of the body, from above downward, from center to peripheral, and in reverse order of appearance. Here is a quick breakdown of what this may look like:

  • From deep to superficial parts: Affections of the lung are improved following eruptions on the skin as the skin is a more superficial part of the body.
  • From above downward: A rash all over the body improves high on the body (neck, chest) followed by low on the body (torso, buttocks).
  • From center to peripheral: Joint pain in the lower extremities improves in the knee, followed by the ankle or toes.
  • In reverse order of appearance: More recent symptoms will improve first, followed by older or more long-standing symptoms loosely according to the timeline in which you experienced them.

Improvement is usually perceptible after your initial remedy, or it may take a few remedies for symptoms to notably shift. The rate of improvement varies from case to case and depends on your level of health, presenting symptoms, lifestyle, and more.

It’s important to keep in mind that healing isn’t linear. Because homeopathy stimulates a healing response from your body, we can’t necessarily choose wat we want our bodies to address first, second, or last. Ultimately, your body is the guide and will move toward a state of health in the way it needs to.

No change in symptoms

After taking a remedy, you may not experience any notable change in symptoms within the first week or month. Obviously, this isn’t what you were hoping for. Don’t despair! This type of response is more likely to occur in the beginning of care. As you respond (or don’t respond) to a remedy, your homeopath learns more about you and your case, which informs their decisions.

If you don’t respond to a remedy in any way, it could be because the remedy or potency is not suitable. It could also be that more time is needed for your body to respond. Ultimately, your homeopath will deduce reasons why you haven’t experienced a change in symptoms yet and know what to do next.

Aggravation of symptoms

Sometimes, you may experience an aggravation of symptoms within the first few days, week or month of taking a remedy. An aggravation is a temporary worsening of symptoms. It may sound alarming, but take note of the word temporary. It doesn’t mean your symptoms are worse and will remain that way.

In fact, an aggravation is considered to be a healing response and may indicate that the remedy is suitable. It can be understood as a way in which the body brings forward what is held within at a deep level or what has been oppressed, inhibited, obstructed, or hidden. When it’s held within, the body will remain in a state of ill health. However, when it can be released, the body can then move freely toward restoration of health.

Because aggravations are always a possible remedy response, it’s important to take the minimum dose needed of a remedy to stimulate a healing response. Your homeopath will advise on the potency (strength) and frequency or repetition of your remedy, but a classical homeopath should be following this principle of practice.

Determining the minimum dose is more of an art rather than a science. Potency is not based on age or body weight like a prescription medicine might be. Instead, potency is based on the intensity and depth of your symptoms, as well as other factors. As your homeopath learns more about your symptoms and how you respond to homeopathic remedies, the minimum dose you need generally becomes clearer. If a remedy is given in the minimum dose needed to stimulate a healing response, an aggravation, should it occur, will be short and less intense, and usually hardly perceptible at all.

Proving symptoms

A proving symptom is a symptom belonging to the remedy, not the person. A proving symptom is also referred to as an accessory symptom. You can usually tell it’s an accessory symptom because what you’re experiencing isn’t a symptom you’ve had before. If you were to take a medicine prescribed by your doctor and shortly after beginning, you experience a new symptom you’ve never had before, it may be a side effect of the medicine. Proving symptoms of remedies are similar to the occurrence of side effects of allopathic medicines.

Proving symptoms are usually harmless and resolve on their own or with minor adjustments in how you take the remedy. It doesn’t necessarily mean the remedy is the “wrong” remedy or that the proving symptom will remain indefinitely. If you suspect that you’re experiencing a proving symptom, then consult with your homeopath.

Proving symptoms can happen in classical homeopathy, but it’s less likely to happen compared to other ways of practicing. With classical homeopathy, we’re individualizing the remedy, but also the potency (strength) and frequency or repetition of the remedy.

To learn more about the differences between classical and practical homeopathy, check out this blog post.

Suppression of symptoms

Symptoms are the language of the body and how it communicates internal imbalance. Symptoms are essentially the fire alarm of the body. If you were to have a fire in your home, ideally the fire alarm would go off to alert you before something terrible happened, such as loss of your home or a loved one. But, if you disabled the fire alarm and subsequently had a fire in your home, you likely wouldn’t be aware until much later when the fire has spread, causing more damage.  

Suppression results when an incorrect remedy is given and repeated to the point that the body no longer has symptoms. In other words, the fire alarm has been disabled. Having no symptoms sounds great. After all, symptom-free is what you’re probably aiming for when you’re sick and want to feel better. However, suppression can actually result in a deeper state of ill-health.

With suppression, symptoms are getting repressed further, often to the point where you can’t see or feel them anymore. If the symptoms aren’t there, we don’t know what the body is trying to communicate. Anything that dials down or “turns off” symptoms can be suppressive.  

There are a couple of reasons why a remedy may result in suppression and it goes back to the principles of homeopathy. When you take a remedy for one or a select few symptoms, it can be suppressive. Also, when you take a different remedy for each ailment as opposed to a single remedy for the totality of symptoms, the remedy can be suppressive. For example, if you suffer from frequent headaches and seasonal allergies and take a remedy whenever you feel a headache come on and another remedy when your allergies kick in every spring, you’re essentially trying to turn off the fire alarm.

A classical homeopath will look at your headaches and allergies, how you experience them, and any other symptoms to understand what pattern they represent and what remedy has a similar pattern. In effect, when you take the recommended remedy having that similar pattern, your headaches and allergies should become less frequent and intense over time. This is an oversimplified explanation, but hopefully it drives home the point.

Finding a classical homeopath

You can respond to a homeopathic remedy in a number of ways. When supporting chronic symptoms, it’s best to work with a classical homeopath that is trained to manage your homeopathic care. To learn more about my practice or to schedule and begin your healing journey, visit Hope and Healing Homeopathy. You can also find a homeopath using the National Center for Homeopathy Directory.