Homeopathic Remedy

What does your homeopathic remedy look like and how much do you need to take?

The remedy is often in the form of a small pill or a drop of a liquid, which you may be asked to take either just once, or monthly, weekly, or daily, depending on what your homeopath thinks you need.

The Minimum dose necessary

The main thing to remember is that homoeopathy believes in giving the patient the minimum amount of remedy that is required to bring about cure. Homoeopathy does not believe in overdosing: it is a gentle and non-invasive method.

More on Remedies

‘Homeopathic Remedy’ is the name used for a homeopathic medicine. Remedies are made from substances that have been found to produce a reaction in the body. Most remedies are made from substances that are normally regarded as poisonous, such as Arsenic and bee venom.

However, they are administered in such minute quantities that they have a stimulating effect on the body rather than a destructive effect.

Sources of remedies include

  • vegetables (digitalis, from deadly nightshade), and 
  • animals (Vespa, from the sting of a wasp.) 
  • They also include what we regard as foods, such as 
  • Coffea from coffee, and 
  • Allium from onion, 
  • because these can produce quite strong reactions in susceptible individuals. (For example, peeling an onion produces smarting in the eyes with tears.)

Basic Idea behind your Homeopathic Remedy, and how it compares with orthodox medicine

A substance becomes a homeopathic remedy only when it would produce in a healthy person the symptoms being suffered by an ill person. Although it may have been prepared by 'potentising', a substance is not a homeopathic remedy unless it would produce the symptoms you are trying to cure.

This is the basic theory behind homeopathy, that 'Like Cures Like'. (Similia similibus curentur – 'let similars be cured by similars'.)

It is a wonderfully simple and elegant idea. And it reverses the basic idea in orthodox medicine, which is based on allopathy. Allopathic medicines, the type Western, Orthodox doctors prescribe, are given because their action is opposite to the symptoms. In other words -

  • if you have a pain, you take a pain-killer, an analgesic
  • if you have a bug, you take an anti-biotic
  • if you have a virus, you take an anti-viral
  • if you have a fever, you take a medicine to cool you
  • if you have dry skin, you take an emollient, a moistener

These medicines seem to make sense but they overlook what is called the secondary effect of medicines.

Primary and Secondary Effects

Suppose you have a headache. You take a medicine that scientists have shown reduces the pain, an analgesic.

Read the list of possible side-effects of that medicine. Very often you'll find that a medicine given for headaches is listed, under its side-effects, as sometimes producing headaches.

How can this happen? The reason is that the primary action of the medicine, to reduce the pain, uses up your body resources so that the secondary effect is your body lacks the means to prevent another headache.

Take coffee. If I want to feel like Superman, I take 2 double Espressos on an empty stomach. I feel wonderful and powerful and I can charge through work. (Mind you, my concentration may not be stable, I may be easily agitated, I certainly won't be able to get to sleep, and my heart might even palpitate!)

That's the primary effect, and during it I'm powering through my supplies of adrenalin.

About 3-4 hours later, however, I fall out of the sky, flat. For several days I may find my sleep is disturbed and restless, my appetite is affected, my circulation upset, my temper frayed, my energy low.

These secondary effects are, near enough, the opposite of the primary effects. So, of course, I have another coffee to pump me up again.

But homoeopathy works on the opposite principal. It works on the secondary effects of medicines. So here if you are feeling over-active, mind restless, hyper, wired, etc, take something that would produce similar symptoms, like coffee. And you wouldn't take much of it either, just enough to make a change.

The primary effect of coffee is the same, it works to make my symptoms even worse - temporarily and very mildly, because we didn't take very much of it. (In fact, the reason homoeopathy gets a bad press from many scientists is because they can't accept that the diluted dose of the remedy is enough to make a change.)

The secondary effect of the very small dose of the remedy we took is that our body repairs itself and starts to increase our energy so we feel as we wanted to: healthy, energetic, poised and calm.

Read more on Primary and Secondary Actions here.

Homeopathic Toothpaste

So it makes no sense to say that a toothpaste is homeopathic. It would be homeopathic only if it produced – in healthy volunteers – bad teeth!

However, many toothpastes are sold as ‘homeopathic’ by which is meant that the toothpaste is either compatible (ie will not antidote the remedy you have taken) with a homeopathic remedy or that it contains substances thought to have a beneficial effect on the teeth.

It is probably better to avoid the latter kind of toothpaste if you are receiving professional homeopathic treatment as the herbs and other substances in the toothpaste may actually confuse your symptom picture for the homeopath.

Isopathy and Vaccination

Homeopathy is based on the theory that ‘Like Cures Like’. It does not say that ‘Same cures Same’, which is 'Isopathy'!

Isopathy means same suffering, and vaccination is based on Isopathic principles, about which, for homeopaths, there is no generally accepted opinion, except that, when treating an illness, the isopathic substance is not usually the best approach, compared with the remedy that is homeopathic, ie the homeopathic remedy.

Nosodes and Immunisation

However, isopathic substances which are based on toxic materials (called ‘nosodes’) taken from diseased individuals are sometimes used in the belief (not a homeopathic belief) that they may be preventative, like a vaccination.

Examples are:

  • Tuberculinum, for tuberculosis
  • Morbillinum, for measles
  • Parotidinum, for mumps and swollen neck glands
  • Syphillinum, for syphilis

We urge you not to rely on a nosode to prevent the disease associated with it. Nosodes play an important part in homeopathy, and are frequently used, but mainly for reasons other than to prevent the illnesses associated with them.

It is therefore, strictly speaking, not correct to say that immunisation is homeopathic or that, say, a ‘flu vaccination will always cure, or even prevent, influenza.

Indeed, experience by homeopaths over two centuries has tended to show that vaccination sometimes causes as many problems as it appears to prevent.

For example, a homoeopath recently wrote to me saying:

"10% of my patients have come directly because of vaccination with a clear aetiology.  Another 20% were probably worse due to vaccination but less obvious aetiology, then another 10% came to me for treatment for something they thought they were vaccinated against.  These are high percentages."

Modern medicine refutes this, insisting that long-term side effects of vaccination are rare and, in any case, statistically, the numbers can only be due to chance.

That's not what many parents think. We have many conditions nowadays that weren't much encountered or at least discussed in the past, but which have started since the introduction of massive programmes of immunisation.

Babies in the UK usually receive up to 20 different injections before they are 2, to get in 'under the wire' before their immune systems have matured.

The trouble with assessing the onset of modern conditions is that it may be difficult to find a control group to compare them with, except older people. Why? Because everyone young has been immunised!

By the way! This is not to denigrate all vaccinations. But many people will need to be re-vaccinated (expensively) throughout their lives to maintain immunity from childhood diseases such as mumps or measles which, though of course occasionally produced unpleasant results such as blindness, usually bestowed lifelong immunity.

This is a huge and difficult subject. We suggest you look it up on the internet for more views and arguments.

Storing and keeping Remedies

Your homoeopathic remedy should be kept in an airtight bottle, preferably of opaque or dark glass, and away from sources of electromagnetic energy, such as

  • heat, 
  • light, 
  • sunlight, 
  • high temperatures, 
  • microwaves, 
  • electric motors, 
  • televisions, and also 
  • strong smelling substances like perfume, disinfectants, nail-polish, cleansing agents etc.

The bottle should be opened for as short a time as possible when removing a remedy.

Do not breathe into the bottle.

If an extra pill or tablet falls out other than into the cap of the homeopathic remedy bottle, do not replace the pill or tablet back in the bottle: instead, discard it.

Never put anything else in the bottle unless you use it for something other than for homoeopathic remedies.

When the bottle is empty, if you are making your own remedies, start a new bottle.

To store remedies, do not re-use bottles that are empty but have been used for storing other things or substances, even homeopathic remedies, even the same homeopathic remedy!

Taking a remedy 

If you are extracting a remedy from a bottle with a top, unscrew or remove the top or cap of the bottle, tip the pill into the cap and from there into your palm or a clean spoon, then into your mouth. (We presume you have clean hands!)

Immediately replace the bottle top. Try not to do this where there are strong smells, or chemicals, or cooking odours nearby, because these odours may enter the bottle and contaminate its contents.

Having put the homeopathic remedy in your mouth, let it dissolve there before swallowing it. Have nothing else in your mouth for at least 15 minutes on either side of taking the remedy.

That means, do not take food, drink, tobacco, drugs, herbs, medications or toothpaste – or anything else in your mouth! – for 15 minutes before, and 15 minutes after taking the homeopathic remedy.

Some homoeopaths prefer you make it 20 minutes on either side.


Samuel Hahnemann - the man who discovered homeopathy, considered that, such being the minuteness of the dose used in homeopathic remedies, it was unwise to take anything that might upset its action.

Possibly anti-doting substances include:

  • coffee, (whether or not decaffeinated),
  • menthol,
  • camphor,
  • peppermint or other strong mints,
  • eucalyptus, and any strongly smelling or medicinally-active substance.

Nowadays, our general advice is to avoid those substances which are highlighted in the above paragraph for the duration of homeopathic treatment. Remember that your treatment is continuing even when you are taking a homeopathic remedy only occasionally, such as once a month, or even if your homeopath decides to wait, rather than prescribe another remedy.

However, life being what it is, this is not always possible. People forget the suggestions, and sometimes the remedies work despite this. However, if the action of a homeopathic remedy has been anti-doted or partly anti-doted, it can be difficult for the homeopath to choose the next remedy. You may need to start again.

Once you are better, by all means take coffee etc, unless you have found that it has a detrimental effect on you.


Keep a note of how you react to the remedy.

Unless the situation is acute, remedies are usually allowed to act for about a month before the follow-up appointment, though we sometimes ask to see you after two weeks to make sure that progress is being made.

When keeping notes, write down changes on a daily basis: it is not that we want to see the notes – in fact we don’t: we want your oral, edited version! – but it is easy to forget how you were. 

If you are taking remedies in 'LM potencies' (eg LM1, LM2, LM3 etc), the directions are different. Your homoeopath will tell you what to do.


After taking a homeopathic remedy, you sometimes notice a worsening of some or all of the symptoms you are trying to get rid of, or the return of earlier symptoms which you might even have forgotten about.

This happens for some people, and if it happens to you, do please keep careful notes of the order and severity of the symptoms, as this is often an important pointer to future improvement. As a general guide, aggravations tend to happen more when you have had a lot of 'orthodox' treatment over a long period of time that has 'suppressed' your symptoms.

Click Suppression for more on what the word means in this context.

If you are in doubt, do ring us: one minute's reassurance on the telephone can make all the difference!


Avoid prescribing a homeopathic remedy for yourself if you are having homeopathic treatment from a professional homeopath: and for six months after you stop having treatment for a long-standing condition.

Why? Because what you give yourself can interfere with the action of a remedy given for the chronic condition, even some time after taking the remedy.

Otherwise, try it. When you get the right remedy, you will be pleasantly surprised how fast it works. Click here for one of the best introductions to homoeopathy.

However, a small warning!
When you are ill, you are not necessarily the best person to take a detached view of your condition. When we are sick, we make sick decisions.

So ask a friend.

To find the right homeopathic remedy, you must stand back and look at your situation objectively.

And sometimes your emotional state may be as important in choosing the remedy as any of your physical symptoms.

You may think you are being objective when everyone else thinks you are being intolerably objectionable!

You might be right, of course. But so might they.

More information on Homoeopathy

If you have enjoyed this page, you may like to know about some of the books its author, Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott, has written.

Jonathan Clogstoun-Willmott Books

All the books in the 'Chinese Medicine in English' series should be fully accessible on Kindles and Kindle apps. (Or you can buy the softback print editions, of course.)

('Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine' published 1986, was never available in a Kindle version.)

Request! Please!

If, having read one of my books you can write a review - preferably positive - that would help others decide whether to read it.

You can put your review on Amazon or, on this site, here.

And if you think it was terrible?

Well, let me know so I can improve it for the next person. (Ideally let me know before cursing it in public!)

Here are some of the books I (Jonathan) have written.

Subscribers to Kindle Unlimited can borrow the first four for 'free'.

Qi Stagnation - Signs of Stress

Yin Deficiency - Burnout and Exhaustion

Yang Deficiency - Get Your Fire Burning Again!

Yuck! Phlegm! How to Clear Your Phlegm ...

Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine

Published 1986 and, amazingly, still selling. Western Astrology and Chinese Medicine was apparently used back then by at least one acupuncture college to help students understand Chinese medicine! See Reviews.

Seven Reviews so far for Yuck Phlegm. (Despite the lurid cover, it explains the five main types of phlegm and what works best for each type. I hope it's easy to read and will be much more useful than all the websites on the subject.)

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