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Homeopathy 101: Selecting a Potency

In the Homeopathy 101 series …

1.  History

2.  How

3.  Tools

4.  Selection

Once you know which remedy best matches your most prominent symptoms, you will be looking at potency.

Matching the potency to the ailment and the person [or animal or plant] can be of the utmost importance.  However, occasionally we can use a less-ideal potency [if it is the only one we have!].  In this post, I’ll explain my general guidelines for how to select a potency.  The next post on dosing will cover how to work with a potency that is too high or too low.  [And, incase you are wondering, while most homeopaths would err on the side of going too low in potency, I would err on the side of stocking higher potencies, mostly because I use remedies only when we really really need them, and those are typically higher potency situations.]

There’s a kind of general belief in homeopathy that the low and middle potencies [6c-200c] are most useful for ailments with a strong physical presentation.  The potencies above 200c [1M, 10M] have been considered potencies for issues of emotional strength.  This applies largely to constitutional prescribing, however.

When you are looking at a bee sting, a bruise, the flu, that kind of thing, these are the guidelines I use for selecting a potency:

It is really minor, maybe just irritating–or it is a delicate situation:  6c

It is an ailment where aggravating it could be problematic:  6c, 12c, or 30c [i.e., reduce what you’d normally select by a level or two, so if you’d normally think 200c, go down to 30c or 12c]

This feels icky but I’ll be okay; relief would be nice though:  30c

Ugh, I’m miserable and nothing seems to help:  200c

200c didn’t help:  1M + a plan to get medical attention

A few centesimal potencies of Arnica
A few centesimal potencies of Arnica

Arnica Montana is probably the most commonly used homeopathic remedy.  By way of illustration, here are a few examples of how I’ve seen or used Arnica in various potencies:

Arnica 6c:  Our babysitter was a champion ballroom dancer, but she was suffering from sore muscles after practice.  She took a single dose of Arnica 6c after practices and no longer suffered from the sore muscles.

Arnica 30c:  My then-3 y.o. son was playing with a racquetball with my husband.  A bouncing ball hit my kiddo in the eye.  I pulled out the Arnica 30c for the first time ever on that day–a friend had given it to me–and gave him a single dose.  I was amazed when my son felt better within minutes and that a black eye never did form.

Arnica 200c:  My son, 1 y.o. at the time, fell and hit his head on a wire rack at a store.  His forehead ballooned, and the cold pack the store brought didn’t help at all.  I gave him Arnica 200c and the swelling went down considerably and quickly, and he was no longer bothered by the injury.  Our possible trip to the ER was cancelled.

Arnica 1M:  We were at a remote farm when my then 10 y.o. son, while holding a carrot, turned his back on a young, male draft horse.  The horse nibbled for the carrot and got my son’s back.  The injury fashioned a fantastic bruise immediately, which was swelling quickly.  I gave him some Arnica 200c, and it barely helped and only for a few minutes [I call that a ‘ping’ by the way–more on that in the next Homeopathy 101 post on dosing].  I gave him Arnica 1M, and he was able to ride home comfortably, the swelling having dissolved.  I checked in with his homeopath and ended up giving him maybe 1-2 more doses of Arnica 1M over the next couple of days before switching to Calendula 200c when the bruise turned yellow.  He then took a couple of doses of Calendula 200c over a couple of days … and that was that.

Getting Prepared

For a first aid kit that is used in urgent situations, you’d be looking at 200c, perhaps one or two 1M remedies [like Arnica for soft tissue trauma and Hypericum for injury to nerve centers].  The Helios accidents & emergencies kit is all 200c potencies.  Other first aid kits are offered at homeopathic pharmacies in 30c.  General use kits often are offered in 30c but you can also find them with some 30c and some 200c where the remedy is provided in its most commonly used potency, and many other combinations.

If you do not have the correct potency, you can sometimes finagle it anyway.  I’ll cover those details in the next post on dosing.

 

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.
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The Sooner The Better

The sooner you get to an issue, the better.  Pretty much always, and with every modality.  For acute issues and issues that have become chronic.

This is why I am a huge proponent of treating children [yes, even babies] who are having a tough time.  And one reason I carry remedies with me at all times.

Many issues result from some sort of trauma.  The sooner you remove that traumatic layer from your body and psyche, the better!  You will still remember it and be informed by it, but it will no longer have a hold on your body or your emotions.

We can even take a simple example like a baby who enters the world with a physical issue.  The resulting accommodations–logistical, emotional, in parenting–can change the parent-child dynamic, the child’s expectations of the world, etc.  The longer they persist, the more likely they are to be internalized by the child, etc.

It is exactly like habit formation—it is easier to prevent a bad habit than it is to break one.

And it’s a bit like making a snowman out of a snowball.

Prevent Trauma from Taking Hold

I like to keep Rescue Remedy [a Bach Flower Essence] and homeopathic Aconite [for fright, shock, trauma] with me.  I find Rescue Remedy and EFT helpful for milder situations, and Aconite 200c tends to be what I use if I’m so upset that I’m shaking or my child is so upset s/he cannot catch a breath to speak.  It resolves the fright so that we can deal with the situation at hand calmly, which has lovely practical implications!  It also heals the fear immediately so that it doesn’t have a chance to get a foothold.

I carry a single dose of Arnica 200 with me everywhere!
I carry a single dose of Arnica 200 with me everywhere!

The cause of the emotion, and the emotional state itself, are clear in that moment and the moments that follow.  That makes them exceedingly easy to treat right then.  But if you let “time heal all wounds,” without addressing the actual emotional injuries as well as any physical injuries, the physical injuries might heal while the emotional ones simply fester.  You might be able to look back and say, “It all started after that incident.”  And you might be able to recall the emotions that arose then.  But often we simply don’t recall all of those details or are simply in the habit of ignoring our emotions.

Prevent Sickness or Ailments from Taking Hold

There are numerous proponents of leaving fevers/colds/coughs/flu’s to do their thing, but if you simply do not have the wherewithal to do that, the earlier you treat them, the better your results are likely to be.  If you’re really in-touch with your body, you’ll know when you’re just a bit too fatigued or you have a vaguely sore throat, and you can boost your immune system with vitamin C and the like.  Homeopathically, you can take something like Ferrum Phosphoricum 6x or 6c or 30c when you are feeling those early symptoms.  If it comes on suddenly and with vigor, you could take a small dose [5-10 granules] of homeopathic Oscillococcinum to try to stop it in its tracks.

For physical ailments, I carry Arnica 200c with me at all times–I even put it in a waterproof iPhone case for the beach and pool!  It doesn’t cover everything, but it is the one thing most likely to help in most situations where you are in an uh-oh state!  In fact, recently on a family trip to the beach, my husband was stung by something when a wave rushed in while working on a sandcastle.  He took the stinger out immediately, and I gave him a dose of Arnica 200.  At that point, we had no idea what it was, only that it wasn’t good.  It helped tremendously, even though Arnica is not the most oft-described remedy for assisting with stings, bites, or the like.

Prevent a Chronic Issue from Worsening

For chronic issues, the sooner you address them, the better, in my opinion and my experience.  Chances are that you will need the help of a healer with that, so start asking around for some referrals!

DISCLAIMER:  THIS INFORMATION IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

  • The information on this site is posted for educational purposes only, and not intended to constitute medical advice. As with any important medical matter, you are advised to consult an experienced health care provider concerning your specific health concerns.
  • No doctor-patient relationship is intended, implied or created by the posting or viewing of information on this site; nor is a doctor-patient relationship created by the submission or exchange of questions or information via email or otherwise with Pamela Lialias.
  • Readers are responsible for their use of information provided on this blog or linked to from this site. Pamela Lialias assumes no liability for the same.
  • Pamela Lialias has made reasonable efforts to ensure the accuracy of information on this blog site, but absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.
  • Always check with your health care provider.