Importance of the homoeopathic dose

Dr. Navita Sharma*1, Dr. Priya Bhardwaj*1, Dr. Pravishtha Awasthi2

Abstract: Homoeopathy is a holistic system of medicine wherein patients are treated with an individualistic approach, taking an overview of the patient, including their individual mind, body and spirit, life situation and other circumstances, is central in evolving a curative approach to chronic and complex diseases. After the appropriate medicine is selected, it is essential to decide the requisite dose which is important for optimum response and a faster recovery in each case. A homoeopathic ‘dose’ means the particular preparation of medicine used, the quantity and form of that preparation as well as the number of administrations of the medicine.

Keywords: Homoeopathy, Dose, Repetition, Administration, Potency

Introduction: The fundamental principle of Homoeopathic practice is selection of a remedy according to the Law of Similaris. The major task in homoeopathy after case taking and selection of a similimum, is selection of proper dose. The Homoeopathic ‘dose’ includes potency, quantity, form and number of administrations of the medicine.

1) Potency in Homoeopathy: is selected on the basis of the following:

a) The susceptibility of the patients

  • The greater the susceptibility of the patient, the higher the potency is required.
  • The children, young robust persons, sensitive, irritable, nervous and intellectual persons all possess high susceptibility requiring higher potencies.
  • The old aged, phlegmatic, dull and sluggish individuals, labourers, deaf and dumb etc. possess less susceptibility and therefore require low potencies.

b) Nature of the disease

  • The cases with pathological symptoms indicating gross structural changes in the tissues and organs require low and medium potencies.
  • The malignant, rapidly fatal diseases require low potencies.
  • When the vital reaction of the patient is poor the patient requires low potencies.
  • Disease, where the patient has increased vital reaction to high potencies, are needed.
  • In terminal conditions when the vitality is very low Dr. Hahnemann advised use of antipathic remedies, mesmerism and the kind.
  • The cases in which the mental symptoms dominate or the symptoms are mostly of functional disturbances require high potencies.

c) Nature of the medicine 

  • Nosodes and medicines prepared from inert substances should be administered in high potencies.
  • Organ remedies and biochemic remedies are generally administered in low or medium potencies. 
  • Medicines having powerful action in crude state are better given in higher potencies.

d) The similarity of the medicine with the disease

  • The greater the similarity of the pathogenesis of medicine with the disease, the greater is the susceptibility of the patients requiring higher potencies.
  • When there is less similarity and the medicine is partially indicated low and medium potencies are used.

e) The previous treatment

  • Persons who have already taken a particular potency with no apparent benefit (though the medicine is indicated) may be administered higher or lower potency.
  • If a person has already taken large number of drugs in material doses his susceptibility is lowered, requiring low potencies.
  • Later when the drug effects pass off medium and higher potencies can be given with benefit.
  • Hypersensitive patients, which prove every remedy they take, should be administered low and medium potencies. 
  • Persons continually exposed to the influence of drugs require low potencies.

2) Repetition of potency in Homoeopathy: following general rules could be laid down about repetition:

  • As soon as an adequate response is observed further repetition is stopped.
  • As long as the response continues, the remedy is not repeated.
  • Cessation of progress is not to be taken as an indication for repetition.
  • The only indication for repetition is the return of the symptoms that have disappeared under the action of the remedy.

3) Time of administration in Homoeopathy: 

  1. Most remedies are best given at bedtime.
  2. Sulphur is best given on an empty stomach in the morning. If Sulphur is given at night to a case not having insomnia, it is said to give rise to it; however, if the patient has insomnia, then it will put him to sleep.
  3. A remedy should not be administered either before or during the period of aggravation; it should be administered after the period of aggravation. 
  4. In disease characterized by periodicity, a deep-acting remedy should not be administered just before or during a paroxysm. 
  5. In a chronic case, an acute phase often precludes a constitutional remedy for fear of precipitating an aggravation. A related superficial remedy often works best, controlling the acute exacerbation and preparing the ground for the constitutional remedy.
  6. When prescribing for Menstrual troubles, the remedy very often has to be selected on constitutional grounds and is best administered immediately after the menses so that sufficient time is allowed for the remedy to take hold of the patient. For relief of pain of menstrual colic, some superficial remedy has to be administered during the menses.
  7. In asthmatic states, the constitutional remedy is best administered after every attack is treated with a related superficially acting remedy. An anti-sycotic remedy will have to be administered sometime in the course when the indications pointing to the same are seen. In cases treated in this fashion, progressively longer periods of remission are observed, prior to final disappearance.
  8. Tuberculinum is best administered in the quiescent state.

Discussion: Hahnemann in his initial application of the Law of Similaris employed remedies in crude state and in large doses. When he found that severe aggravation invariably preceded amelioration, he embarked on the classical experiment of progressive reduction in the dose, according to a certain plan in which adequate dispersal of a drug was ensured by succession of trituration at every step of dilution employing an inert medium like alcohol or Lactose. This led to the chance discovery of potentization and Hahnemann conclude that minimum force is sufficient to disturb as well as to restore the lost balance for this he advocates proper selection of potency of the similimum, its repetition whenever necessary and proper administration for the restoration  of the vital force in its state of harmony.

Conclusion: The practice of Homoeopathic therapeutics rests not on the Law of Similaris alone but on the selection of small infinitesimal dose. A Homoeopathic physician has to accurately assess the susceptibility in a patient before he selects the right potency. Any error in this is immediately reflected either in a poor response or in an exaggerated response even though the remedy has been correctly selected. A Homoeopathic physician employs a minimum dose and has little use for maximum tolerated one. Thus, the proper Dose in Homoeopathy is as important as the similimum for cure of an individual. If anything, lacking in the selection of potency, proper repetition and administration the chances of failure or the similimum are there.

References:

  1. Organon of medicine Samuel Hahnemann.
  2. The Principle and art of cure by Homoeopathy- H. A. Roberts.
  3. The Principles and practice of Homoeopathy – Richard Hughes.
  4. The Hidden treasure of the last organon – P. Schmidt.
  5. Textbook of Homoeopathic Pharmacy – D. D. Banerjee.

Dr. Navita Sharma*1, Dr. Priya Bhardwaj*1, Dr. Pravishtha Awasthi2
(*1. MD part 1, Batch 2018, Department of Repertory, M.P.K.H.C.&R.C. a constituent college of HOMOEOPATHY UNIVERSITY, JAIPUR.
2. MD part 1, Batch 2018, Department of Practice of Medicine, M.P.K.H.C.&R.C. a constituent college of HOMOEOPATHY UNIVERSITY, JAIPUR.)

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