When you are first learning about homeopathy (or even if you’ve been doing this for a while), trying to pick the right remedy can seem like a daunting task! Do you have to memorize what each remedy is for? Do you have to use the remedy for what it says on the label? What if you pick the wrong remedy? I’m hoping I can answer some of these questions by giving you 5 easy steps to picking the correct remedy.
Step 1: Learn to use a trusted homeopathic resource.
It is possible to learn how to use homeopathy just by trial and error, but there are too many resources available to use precious time trying to do that! I suggest picking one resource to start – whether it’s a book, online book, or blog – and getting familiar with it. Treat it like a friend that you need to get to know and understand. Spend some time reading and searching for ailments so you can understand how to find remedy information when you need it.
Personally, I prefer to have books on hand instead of relying on the internet. When choosing a good reference book, I suggest looking for something that has either differentials (lists of remedies for a specific ailment and what differentiates them from each other) OR something that has a materia medica (descriptions of the remedies) and a repertory (lists of remedies used for specific ailments) combined in one book.
The books I suggest for this purpose are Homeopathic Remedies by Asa Hershoff (a book of differentials), Homeopathy for Mommies by Sue Meyer, and Cure Yourself and Family by Joette Calabrese. Meyer and Calabrese provide a simple repertory and materica medica for common remedies and ailments.
For a free online resource, check out the Center for Homeopathy website, which has great differential lists for various different ailments.
Another online option is blogs. The most popular one I know if is JoetteCalabrese.com and, of course, I’m working to provide more remedy information here at True Health all the time! (Subscribe here if you want to stay updated with new posts.)
Step 2: Learn to observe and describe symptoms.
As you get familiar with your resource of choice, you will start to pick up the kind of language used in homeopathy. Since you are looking for a remedy description that most closely matches that of your ailment, it’s good to learn the lingo.
It also takes some practice to be more in tune with your body. Vague descriptions of ailments will not be very helpful in picking a remedy. Simply having a stomach ache would give you a hundred remedies from which to choose. But having a stomach ache right after eating a greasy meal narrows it down to two or three. Another example would be having a headache. There are 12-15 great remedies for headache, but only a couple for a pounding feeling. Other remedies cover a headache at the base of the neck, and still others cover a headache behind the eye or in the temples.
As you can see, learning to observe and ask detailed questions is important. And as you study your resource, you’ll learn which questions are important to ask.
Step 3: Compare remedies.
Depending on what kind of resource you are using, identifying the specific symptoms may still leave you with two or three remedies to choose from. Now it is time to go and read about those remedies. In this step, it may be beneficial to use more than one resource. For example, if you’ve been using a list of differentials in a book or on a blog to narrow down your choice, you can use a free online materia medica to read a more detailed description of each remedy.
When reading the descriptions, it is important to have “tunnel vision”. By this I mean that you need to focus in on the problem at hand. I’ll use the example of the stomach ache I presented earlier. You will want to read only what that remedy has to do with stomach aches to see if that description matches. It doesn’t matter that the remedy may also be good for dry skin, or pink eye, or a stuffy nose. If you do have any of those other symptoms then it’s an even better match! But if you don’t have those symptoms, you can still use the remedy if it matches the description of your stomach ache.
This brings up another question that many people have. Can you use a remedy that has something else listed on the label? The obvious answer to that is, yes! Each remedy has tons of uses. The ailment listed on the label is often just one of the more common reasons it is used, you do not need to have that symptom present in order to use the remedy.
Step 4: Take the remedy.
This may seem like an obvious step, but it can be an intimidating step. Once you’ve picked the remedy that best matches your symptoms, you can start with a 6C or 30C and take a dose! It may take a couple doses to be able to tell if it is working or not, but relief or change should be observable before you get to the fourth dose.
Step 5: Evaluate.
This is where you get to decide if you made a good choice. If there is relief you can stick with that remedy until you are better or your symptoms change. If it doesn’t help after 3-4 doses, you will need to go back to the books! Pick another remedy that seems to be close to your symptom description and try again.
A wrong remedy choice won’t be harmful (unless you keep on taking the remedy), but you will learn more about that remedy and your ailment by going through the process until you’ve found the right choice. Don’t be afraid to try other remedies for 3-4 doses, using just one remedy at a time, until you experience some relief.
Hopefully this simple process will help you be successful in picking a good homeopathic remedy the next time you want to use homeopathy to treat an ailment for yourself or a loved one.