How Homeopathic Medicines Are Dispensed and Sold
Homeopathic remedies are dispensed in the form of pellets, liquid dilutions, or tablets for internal use, and salves, tinctures, and ointments for external use. Your homeopath will either dispense the remedy to you directly or will instruct you to obtain it from a homeopathic pharmacy. Although most homeopaths in the United States give the remedies in the form of pellets or tablets, the remedies may also be given in water.
As long as the correct remedy is given, nearly any mode of administration will produce a positive effect. One homeopathic patient went to her homeopath for help with anxiety and insomnia. The homeopath prescribed Arsenicum album to take orally. The patient misunderstood the instructions and dumped the contents of the envelope in her bath water. The remedy still worked.
Many herb and natural food stores and pharmacies stock twenty or thirty single homeopathic remedies, usually in the 6X or 30C potency. Homeopathic pharmacies sometimes restrict the sale of high potency remedies to practitioners only, as their safe use requires adequate training. Kits of low potency remedies for home use are sold by most homeopathic pharmacies.
A dose is defined by the frequency of taking the remedy rather than by the amount given. Your homeopath will instruct you how often to take a dose. There are specific guidelines that homeopaths follow in deciding when and how often to administer a particular remedy. If you are being treated by a homeopathic practitioner, it is a good idea to ask her before self-administering any homeopathic medicines, even for minor illnesses. Taking a homeopathic remedy at the wrong time can interfere with the healing process.
Willie, 9 years old, was being treated successfully for a learning disability and a recurrent cough and rash. His attentiveness and aptitude for learning, as confirmed by his teachers, had improved substantially during the course of a year and a half of homeopathic treatment with the remedy Baryta carbonica (Barium carbonate). After Willie's mother prescribed several doses of Rhus toxicodendron for what she thought to be an outbreak of chicken pox, Willie relapsed within one week and needed another dose of his original remedy. If Willie's mom had called his homeopath before giving him the Rhus tox, an alternative could have been suggested that would relieve the itching but not interfere with his homeopathic treatment.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, your homeopath may choose to administer the remedy either in a single dose, with a relatively long period of time before repeating the medicine, or in more frequent, perhaps even daily doses. In other circumstances, a single high potency dose may be given followed by a low potency remedy given daily or at other prescribed intervals. The practitioner may recommend that you continue to take the remedy for a certain time period, or that you stop taking it when you feel better. How often the dose is repeated depends on many factors including the strength of your vital force and whether you are taking allopathic medications. Prescription drugs sometimes interfere with the action of homeopathic medicines and make it necessary for your homeopath to instruct you to take your remedy more frequently. If your vital force is not very strong, or you are very sensitive to medications, the remedy may be given more frequently, but in a lower potency, so as not to aggravate your symptoms unnecessarily.