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Deciding on Remedies

Silphion cyrenaiucum on a Cyrenean gold drachme

There are some things to know when you want to get rid of troubles and problems and want to try homeopathy or Bach remedies. Sane self-help efforts are not too bad. Go for be careful and moderate as you go on.

To settle on what remedies to try out, first think through your problems and seek to sort them too. Then seek out one or several preparation that could match such anomalities, get them, and ingest them. A round of a possible cure could take about seven weeks, maybe one or three weeks less. In acute diseases, maybe two weeks are all that are needed.

However, the effectiveness of homeopathy has been in dispute since its beginning over 200 years ago. Bear in mind that there is lack of convincing scientific evidence to support homeopathy's efficacy, although some individual studies have positive results, and that homopathy's wya of treatment by remedies that lack active ingredients - that lack any pharmacologically active molecules - have caused homeopathy to be described as pseudoscience, quackery, and a "cruel deception", as Wikipedia tells. Also consider that mainstream journals of medical literature may have a publication bias against clinical trials of homeopathy that show positive results. [s.v. "Homeopathy"]

The authors of a review in 1998, found that individualised homeopathy has an effect better than placebo (effects of fake medicine). Now, if homeopathy does not work, it is at least "safe", although not always so if it hampers and gets in the way of proper diagnosis and treatment. Yet let us suppose there is something in it for the sake of the studies that have had positive results, and see what we come up with, shall we? One reason is: Investigations may be fun even for little babies, just as moms and dads have noticed far and wide, and Sven Svebak has pointed out. [Wikipedia, s.v. "Homeopathy"; Fgl]

On the Road to Recovery

In gross outline, here is how to find one or more (2-3) homeopathic remedies that are supposed to help you on the road to recovery according to homeopathic teachings:

First decide on your troubles: Try to find out what ails you, and find succinct words for it. These words may be found in homeopathic works too, for example "extremely anxious", or "extreme anxiety", if you like. And along with such terms are listed various homeopathic remedies to try out, as the case may be. Some of your other troubles (symptoms) may be "eyelids turn inwards", "the mouth is full of white fungus" and there is "offensive diarrhoea", "burning pain in great toes with loss of nails" and "voluptuous dreams at night".

In remedy books there is one remedy that is claimed to match all these symptoms: the remedy Bovista. This remedy is listed with other mind symptoms than just anxiety. There is also "sensitive", "awkward", and so on. If some of these other symptoms also seem to match the case, it could be good for you - provided (1) the remedy (or blend of other remedies) is given in a fit potency to reach the seat of the troubles, (2) at fit intervals so that each dose gets the time it needs to effect the changes it is capable of and a little bit more, (3) and the information given about the remedy is correct, that is. Then the scene may be set for betterment or cure - maybe depending on the stresses and strains and troubles you are having from your circumstances or deep inside too - how congenial or enemical the main conditions are, for example.

The work of a homeopath is to check in rather big books or his or her memory to find one or a few remedy that together match the most weighty and peculiar of the symptoms a client tells of. Odd symptoms are called true helpers in this search.

  • The brilliant homeopath leafs openly and circumspect through one or more works of reference.
  • The mediocre homeopath hides his books, thinking it seems like a sign of weaknesss to find remedies from searching in that way.
  • The not so good homeopath thinks he has it all in his head. But he or she could be mistaken about that. If not, he might be the best of them all.
  • A fourth type knows nothing about remedies, just guesses for money from persons in trouble, for in some countries anyone may call himself a homoeopath and set up a business as one. In Norway, one such disqualified fellow was shot in the stomach by a disgruntled patient. Such events are rarities and make it into newspapers headlines.
  • A fifth and morbid type of homeopath means you harm by prescribing harmful remedies if they are found. Such evil homeopaths may be rarer than witch doctors in Norway.

That is about it. Medical doctors and other homeopaths of good repute could be the safest to consult, by and large. But watch out for the outsiders - some might be better than doctors, even though many could be worse.

"By their fruits ye shall know them":

The sloven homeopath does not keep up his knowledge of repertoires and does not expand his knowledge regularly and well. It is at least theoretically possible to check a homeopath's knowledge into remedies by administer homeopathic quizes on him, if he or she be willing.

The good homeopath - a medical doctor or skilled layman - can document how many percent of his patients have become better or completely cured after homeopathic treatments. Representative enquetes among his patients or clients - whatever you may call those who consult him - is not hard to do. If all homeopaths in a country would see to it that they got such adequate feedback from patients, there are good chances that several things could clear up and more tight research might follow.

Find a good homeopath by use of these insider tips, and be happy.

Better still, learn to let the following rules of the thumb guide the selections you make: The inward first, the upper things after that, the odd and peculiar things along with the upper things - and then the strong and clear physical troubles, if any. From inside out. Look up in the finest homeopathic books for the symptoms and try to find one or a few remedies that appear to "cover" or match the symptoms. Some such works are online, like Boericke's Materia Medica. Usually the inmost disturbances are to be ranked first, the inner involves "the mind" with its emotions, as you find it classified.

Look with pleasure into the most likely remedies for the guiding symptoms. It may happen that two or three remedies are found for each trouble (symptom). If so, it is perfectly legal to try all three at a time. Others hold stricter views, even notorious views in such matters: They try to find just one remedy for each person, and very often it cannot be done. One or two remedies at a time tend to be common.

Standard Routine

Here is one approach: In choosing the remedies, go for the strongest, most severe symptoms that you are aware of, as they surface. Study the remedy or remedies that contain these guiding symptoms. That is what the Materia Medica (List of Remedies with their guiding symptoms) is for, basically. Have this tiny ranking list uppermost in mind when you survey the remedy you hope could yield help:

  1. Mind symptoms weigh the most. Feelings are included among them.
  2. Peculiarities: Oddities or particular guiding symptoms come second on the ranking list when you are to choose remedies.
  3. Physical troubles: Severe or marked body symptoms are further down on the ranking list. And you may drop them for flower essences, as you like. I for my part would like to peek into that too, but do as you please.

The weighing of remedies is an art, but a few rules of the thumb should help. Here are some:

  • Give clear mind symptoms 4 points each
  • Give "low-mind" emotions 4
  • Give oddities (peculiar symptoms or special features) 3 - 5 points each.
  • Give the other strong symptoms 2 points each.

Add up, remembering that these are rules of the thumb. In some cases the peculiarites help determining remedies far better than the 3 points, and in such cases there is reason to adjust to that, for example by giving telling peculiarities 5 points each. It may vary from case to case. All in all, these indicators are given to help us weigh symptoms better: you can better compare and perhaps choose among remedies where similar symptoms appear if you understand how deep mind works from inside out, and "from top down" also. It is all in the lore.



Choosing Remedies

LoHomeopathic diagnoses differs from medical ones: they are thought to complement one another quite well

YOU ASSESS the guiding symptoms and rank them as shown earlier. Here is more information to that end, and it draws on guidelines from Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. In his Organon � 104 and 152 there are many explicit directions.

  1. In finding the suitable remedy or remedies, learn to consider the whole set of symptoms first, and pay particular attention certain concomitants - the particular troubles - in any case.
  2. The term modalities comes next. In remedy descriptions they refer to explicit changes occurring both in a disease picture and the guiding symptoms of remedies. Cravings and aversions to such as various foods help in deciding assist in selecting a remedy. Cravings and aversions are modalities, or modifiers; Modalities inform about such as periodical returns of certain ailmens, at what time or hour of the day symptoms or persons are better or worse, and much else.

Concomitant symptoms are to be ranked below the whole set of symptoms, for in the whole set is the main symptom picture hidden. Concomitants must not outrank the first or foremost of those symptoms. ◊

As for medical diagnosis, it may come in handy, but according to homeopathic theory, remedies are selected differently: by assessing "thoroughly mapped" ailments and being very specific about details in any concrete case. The two ways may complement each other, however. For example, in any concrete case the medical diagnosis should serve to leave out of consideration the homeopathic remedies that hardly match the symptoms of the disease.

For sure, medical diagnosis may assist.

It is further thought that some diseases can be nipped in the bud by well selected remedies. Once we know the complete disease picture, we may select homeopathic remedies that conform to the whole set of disease symptoms and the budding forms and facets of that disease.

By some, pathological observations and explanations may not be thought to be of much value in this sort of existential therapy, but, as hinted at above, they deserve to be reckoned with in the selection of remedy.

LoA wealth of examples of poisoning oneself and others by steps and taking notes of that!

WE ARE to note the peculiarities of the disease. Changes of personality and temperament are thought to be of special value, and need to be well marked, especially if they seem striking. Also, intellectual and moral proclivities can serve as indications for mental affections.

It is easier to find some matching remedy if there exists a well-drawn "picture" or "map" of it. When we match such maps with the person's various symptoms, one or several remedies may be found, or we use remedy recordings (called maps here) to choose among different remedies. The work depends to a large extent on the recordings of how different remedies seem to affect patients. Recordings from many odd sources are gathered in remedy finders, or repertoires, and in surveys of symptoms for listed remedies, homeopathic materia medicas.

One should ascertain the seat of the local disease quite accurately, and stick to finding remedies that can match singular symptoms, as mentioned above too.

Poisoning oneself and others for the sake of finding out things

Then there is the topic of poisonings. In its earlier phases, homeopathy was based on self-poisoning and poisoning of others by certain provings. The accumulated symptoms were written down in schemes, so that "profiles" of various homeopathic remedies were decided on, rightly or wrongly or in a mixture of right and wrong. If a remedy does not work anyway, it does not matter that much - then betterments may be ascribed to placebo effects among the stringeny guys. John Henry Clarke's Dictionary (references at bottom of the page) furnishes a wealth of examples of it. In homeopathic circles that medical doctor is well-known for poisoning himself repeatedly, using many different substances in turn, and then writing down the ensuing troubles. I confess the method has never appealed to me.

The recorded, assumed effects of homeopathic remedies are in part due to homeopaths poisoning themselves and writing down the changes that occurred from it. Is that way tragical, comical - and why is it thought to be the thing? The notion behind self-poisoning and poisoning of prison inmates first, and then administering homeopathic remedies made from those very poisons, was the hard-looking "like cures like". In Latin, similia similibus curentur: "similars cure similiars". That unproven assertion could be a freak teaching and not a law of nature, although much depends on what you make out of it. Three points may do so far:

  1. From self-poisoning to claimed remedy effects based on it. Lead is a heavy metal. It accumulates in the organism and brings on paralysis and death when enough toxic effects have been reached. If homeopathic lead counteracts the poisoning symptoms at all, does it help the organism to get rid of its accumulated lead? How can these things be measured, and next explained? Both steps seem missing.
  2. Many homeopathic remedies have not been selected on the basis of the "like cure like" program. Rather, "highly diluted" homeopathic preparations are believed to cause healthy people to exhibit symptoms that are similar to those exhibited by patients suffering from similar symptoms. Note the thing called belief that is into it.
  3. Many remedies have come up in mysterious ways.. Where ideas come from is not too interesting in scientific research; what matters most is what is made out of them, using standard research procedures of testing the ideas (treated as hypotheses) for the sake of ascertaining the views they carry with them, or imply.

Ideas about homeopathic remedies and the ways they work, may be found in homeopatich primers and other homeopath books. Most of these ideas result from the first two ways in the listing above.

Homeopathic Technesium 99 and questions it brings

Maybe the lead example did not look like much at first glance. But what if you poison yourself with a radioactive isotope like Technesium 99 in its stead? It accumulates in the organisms, and it is split (halved) every 200.000 year.

Can homeopathic Technesium 99 keep us healthy with Technesium 99 in our bodies, or does it help the organism in getting rid of it? I for my part would not take the risk of finding out of it by first ingesting Technesium and then put hopes in a homeopathic remedy made from Technesium. I have my reasons. They may be good ones. The same goes for lead and a long row of other metals that the body ordinarly does not (easily) get rid of unaided. I think we could need some research along these lines, for I do not like to believe without evidence, do not like just being told instead of finding out of things.

To enlarge a little on the homeopath's love for "like cures like". Many homeopathic remedies have not been selected on the basis of the "like cure like" program on dubious foundations. Let us say you manage to poison yourself on carrot juice. Can homeopathic carrot juice heal you from the up to mortal, poisonous effects of carrot juice overdoses? What is poisoning someone, depends on how his or her organism strives to get rid of harmful substances. How effective the inner organs are at handling substances, varies among persons, as Gordon Allport has documented. This pertains to both size and efficiency of many organs. People differ, and besides the organs function less efficiently in old bodies. The "thin blue line" between food and poison - it fluctuates in between what the organism is capable of handling under various circumstances and what overtaxes it here and there. [Pao 5-8]

Adhere to this, if you like: So far it has been established that "choice of a remedy or of remedies should be made from among remedies with the closest guiding symptoms all over". ◊

It helps to be quickly able to choose among remedies. Many things help. To know about diseases helps to, since they are quite dynamic, and may come in more than just one single "shape". Hence it is said in homeopathy that "Much depends upon a knowledge of the cause (Anamnesis) of disease."

Much also depends on perceiving and understanding the implications of symptoms. Many different diseases have some symptoms in common, others not. Diagnosis work helps in assessing what could be what, and diagnosis work is not always clear-cut or easy.

LoSomething very, very different can be fit for prevention far and wide too

IN FORMER and classic homeopathy one learns to examine and judge symptoms at surface levels, forming a picture on top of that, and comparing it to remedy descriptions, aiming for a closely matching remedy - or two or three. Assessing particular diseases as diagnosed and described by the medical profession at large, is said to be much unrelated. This means that strict, classic homeopathy is very different from ordinary medicine in some basic ways. Still, the two ways may be used hand in hand, in complementary manner. Let us do that.

Ordinary homeopathy further deals with recognizing types (personalities) and corresponding remedies. Such "types" are in fact the guiding symptoms of a score or so of much used remedies. Some, like me, drop those "remedy personality types" altogether. Instead the focus is on guiding symptoms that are striking, extraordinary, and peculiar (characteristic) inside the whole set of guiding symptoms, as said above.

Homeopathic remedies can also be used for prevention of diseases. This old use is called homoeopathic prophylaxis. It is said that remedies that cure the fully developed diseases will protect exposed persons. MM

If a classic homeopath finds no peculiar symptoms, he may refuse to try to select homeopathic remedies. But general knowledge of diseases and troubles could help in such work. I think the homeopath should try that part of the whole gamut too, for in my experience such work offers considerable help. (7)


  1. Be well aware of how homeopathic diagnoses differ from medical diagnoses, and the possible dangers that largely limited homeopathic diagnosis work may bring with them, and the dangers of the - possibly - only temporary betterments after starting on the cure. Act sensibly and alert ot great risks in a wider scenario, then.
  2. Poisoning oneself and others by homeopatic remedies these days requires homeopathic remedies made from microbes. They may contain lumps of bacteria or the like in potencies up to D30, and possibly over it too, according to information from someone at the Danish ministry of health. It was based on investigations. In average though, potencies of D30 are normally safe, though, in that there is nothing left of what went into the remedies in the first place. This holds true for all other remedies above D30 (give or take). I would keep away from nosodes (homeopathic remedies made from contagious microbes) below D80 to feel reasonably secure.
  3. It could be good for you to refrain from corky and odd ways of explaining phenomena unless there is good and valid proof that what is told of, is real. Acting candidly is real help in the homeopathic waters, in my opinion.

IN NUCE Homeopathic diagnoses and homeopathic remedies do carry with them some problems to be dealt with, but if you refrain from swallowing the non-founded parts of homeopathy and act tentatively from the rest of it, you might get the best of it, guessing that "Less is more". It is an aphorism by Mies van der Rohe, a famous architect. That motto has its obvious limits too, but in dealing with homeopathy, it has good and sensible uses. See the last page. [Less is more, more or less]


Singling out presumptively balanced impressions, Complementary medicine, homeopathy, getting old, remedies and other essences, Literature  

Ad: Clarke, John Henry: A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. 3 vols. London: The Homeopathic Publishing Company, 1900 (vol 1) and 1902 (vols 2 and 3).

Fgl: Svebak, Sven. Forlenger en god latter livet? Bergen: Fagbokforlaget, 2000.

Pao: Allport, Gordon. Pattern and Growth in Personality. New York: Holt, 1961.

Symbols, brackets, signs and text icons explained: (1) Text markers(2) Digesting.

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