How long does it take to know if a homeopathic remedy is working?
I always give people some guidance about what to expect from their remedy based on what their symptoms are like and what remedy I am giving them. I’ve been practicing for over a decade and have a reasonable idea what to expect - people still surprise me though! I thought it might help to detail some of the possible reactions here.
So, how do I know - is my remedy working?
In the case of an acute symptom people often start to feel some relief before they’ve finished sucking the pill. Homeopathic pills are little balls of sugar (or xylitol if you are sensitive to even a tiny amount of sugar) varying from about the size of an apple pip to a poppy-seed.
Generally, the sooner you take a remedy after
experiencing symptoms, the quicker the reaction. The most striking reaction I think I’ve witnessed was when my toddler ran into the corner of a table. The egg came up on his head immediately and he was screaming with the shock and pain. I gave him an arnica pill immediately and my neighbour and I gasped as we watched the egg recede back down again in front of our eyes. Crucially though he stopped screaming, cheered up and was keen to get back to whatever he was whacking, bashing or chucking about before he was stopped in his tracks.
With chronic symptoms which could have been going on for a few months to sometimes many years, after taking details of a person’s physical, mental and emotional symptoms plus looking at what they’re eating, how much they’re able to move and what else is going on in their life, I will choose a remedy which best matches these symptoms.
If it’s a good match I would expect someone to begin seeing the remedy working within 48 hours of starting it; a better night’s sleep, some lessening of the duration, intensity and severity of pain and usually a sense that something is shifting within, are all signs I would hope to see.
Occasionally, if the remedy is a good match but the dose is too strong, the symptoms can worsen. Again though, stopping the remedy means that within 48 hours this “aggravation” ceases, followed usually by an improvement in symptoms. I often use an LM potency which can be taken daily in drops so this can be stopped easily.
I am often astonished how long people will wait to see if medication works or not - up to 2 weeks for anti-depressants, 2 months for asthma controller inhalers, 3 months for arthritis or HRT and blood pressure meds can take even longer.
I like to check in with someone in the first week of taking a new remedy and if there is no change we can move to a better one quickly. It can still take a while for symptoms to go and they may return when the potency needs to be increased but crucially we can see progression and are able to get back to living instead of being ruled by symptoms.