Entire books have been written on homeopathic potency (see a partial list below). It truly is a nuanced topic.
There are many theories and “rules” and throughout homeopathic history, there is no end of discussion as to which potency should be used under which circumstances.
I will make choosing the right potency short and simple.
1. In an emergency, the right potency is the one you have.
2. If you have the right remedy, the potency is secondary.
If you take a remedy and it works for you, stick with that remedy and that potency.
3. When in doubt, use a low potency (6c).
Repetition of remedy:
1. In an acute illness or injury, use whatever potency you have as frequently as needed to keep the situation in hand. Follow the symptoms. (Example: If fever is the main symptom and Arnica* is helping to lower the fever, repeat the Arnica if/when the temperature begins to rise. As the temperature stabilizes, decrease the frequency until the remedy is no longer needed.
* People assume Arnica is a homeopathic remedy which is only used to treat muscular aches and pains from “over doing it.” Homeopathic Arnica has a keynote symptom of “Bruised sensation. May feel, ‘as if beaten'” (Morrison, M.D. 1998). Those needing Arnica sometimes describe their condition, “as if they had been hit by a truck.” Your body doesn’t care if the aches and pains come from an injury, strenuous activity or from a fever. The remedy, in this case Arnica, will address the symptoms, regardless of causation.
2. If after a few doses of a remedy and the acute situation is not improving, it is most likely that you do not have the correct remedy and a new remedy should be chosen.
3. When dealing with chronic problems, I strongly recommend working with an experienced homeopath to help guide you through these issues. Every individual and every circumstance is different. One person’s arthritis is therefore not like the next person’s arthritis. An experienced homeopath can help guide you accordingly.
4. When in doubt, use a low potency (6c).
5. The higher the potency, the less frequently it should be repeated.
6. If using a homeopathic combination remedy, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
One of the beautiful aspects of homeopathic medicine is that it is truly an individualized method of healing. Everything I have mentioned in this article are basic "rules of thumb" and these suggestions may not fit all individuals. Working with an experienced homeopath, especially for chronic conditions, is highly recommended.
Julia Coyte, CHom
Classically Practical Homeopathy
A few remedies are known to act better in specific potencies for specific conditions. Note: individuals may react differently and these are only general rules of thumb.
Lycopodium clavatum 30c for edema/swelling, such as the stuffy nose which accompanies a cold or allergies. Banerji Protocol, repeat twice daily until improvement. In an acute situation like a stuffy nose, expect Lycopodium to act more quickly. If it does not, it may not be the correct remedy for your symptoms. Consult a homeopath.
Nux vomica 30c for constipation. Banerji Protocol, repeat twice daily until improvement. Note: this is not the Banerji’s first line protocol for constipation, but it is their easiest protocol for constipation. In acute situations, expect this remedy to act within a day or so. If it does not, switch remedies or consult a homeopath.
Magnesium phosphoricum 6x for painful menstrual cramps.
Mag phos has been said to work better when administered in hot water. (This is not known to be the case for other remedies). To use this method, drop a few pellets into a cup of hot water and sip as though drinking a cup of tea.
ADMINISTERING HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES
Dry pellets can be administered by placing them under the tongue. For an unconscious person, infant or pet, the dry pellets can be placed between the gum and cheek.
Alternatively, dry pellets can be dissolved in liquid✦ and administered by mouth (take a sip) or by placing a few drops on a cloth and placing it on the thin skin of the inside of the wrist. It is important to note that when dissolving remedies in water, every sip or application is a dose.
Some people are simply very sensitive and do better on a lower potency. Others are still even more sensitive and do better by putting their remedies in water and taking a teaspoon of that water✦. And still others are even so sensitive that they do best by taking an olfactory dose — taking a little whiff of the remedy❊.
✦ for instructions on water dosing:
Hahnemanns LM and Water Potencies
Homeopathic Remedy Dosage
Instructions for turning pilules into liquid remedies
❊ Olfactory dosing
For those wanting to learn more about using homeopathy, here are a few links to get you started.
CHE’s Home Prescriber Course, FREE!
Gateway to Homeopathy, Joette Calabrese, $47.
Robin Murphy, ND, Emergencies and First Aid 1, $90 (available either as a CD or download directly to your computer or phone)
Books and articles, if you would like more in-depth information on the topic of homeopathic potency:
Barker, R., 1992. LM potencies : a selection of articles giving a practical guide to their use. Norfolk: The Homeopathic Supply Company.
Bhatia, Dr. M., 2009. Homeopathic Potency Selection - Dr. Manish Bhatia [online]. Hpathy.
Homeopathy Plus, 2021. Q. Which Potency Should I Choose? [online]. Homeopathy Plus.
National Center for Homeopathy, 2021. How to Choose a Remedy’s Potency [online]. National Center for Homeopathy.
Plouvier-Suijs, M., 2014. About potencies. Emryss Publishers.
Rawat, P. S., 2016. Select your dose & potency. New Delhi: B. Jain.
Rozencwajg, J., 2010. The potency : advanced prescribing in homeopathy : the Fibonacci potencies : a unified theory and practice of modern homeopathic posology. Haarlem? Emryss.
Sources used in this article:
Banerji, P. and Banerji, P., 2013. The Banerji protocols : a new method of treatment with homeopathic medicines. India: Pratip Banerji.
Morrison, M.D., R., 1998. Desktop companion to physical pathology. Nevada City, Calif.: Hahnemann Clinic Publ.
Julia Coyte, CHom
I am passionate about homeopathy and I love sharing this passion. Having a working knowledge of homeopathy shouldn't be kept a secret. If people have the ability to help themselves, their children and their friends when they have minor ailments, life just gets better for everyone. That is the purpose behind Ruminating on Remedies.