I’m sure this is a question many of you ask when you’re home prescribing for your children or pets!!
Because we do have such high expectations of homeopathy, often based on our past experience, we may expect that a remedy we give for a sore throat or a cold will immediately stop the symptoms we are wanting to resolve.
This can happen, but sometimes the change is more subtle before the real improvement begins and observation is critical.
Obviously if you have a very acute situation arise, I would recommend a visit to your GP or ED, even if you are going to give some homeopathics. And if your remedies and medicine from your GP are not working after a period of time, don’t leave contacting your homeopath too long as too many remedies can muddle the picture of what is really required.
It can be hard to know what’s happening, even in simple acutes, so here are a few examples that may help you know what’s going on:
- You are treating a fever*, teething or sore ear; you give the remedy and the child falls asleep although the temperature doesn’t drop immediately or even goes up a little more.
Continue with the remedy for up to five doses as this is an indication you may have the right remedy and the immune system is working harder to overcome the symptoms and bring the system back to balance. If things are still going in the right direction, reduce the frequency of the remedy to every hour or two, or just stop and wait and repeat if the symptoms reappear.
- You are treating a gastro bug and the child vomits after the remedy and then either falls asleep or asks for something to eat.
This is a wait and watch situation. The remedy may well be working and you don’t need to give anything further unless the vomiting or diarrhoea starts up again.
- You are treating a cough and the cough becomes less frequent after the remedy but does not completely resolve.
You are probably on the right track. Repeat the remedy only if the symptoms become more intense. If you find you get to a point where the remedy is doing nothing, choose another remedy to match the current picture or read below and contact your homeopath.
Coughs are probably one of the trickiest things to treat, so often a consult with your homeopath is required. Check in early if the cough is violent or there is vomiting and I’d assume in this situation you would also be checking in with your GP or ED.
Check in later if the cough is lingering after a cold or other viral illness and needs a remedy to finish things up. Persistent or recurrent coughs of any kind are often an indication of an underlying inherited tendency which needs to be addressed.
- You are treating teething symptoms where baby is dribbling, chewing madly on everything and is highly irritable.
After the remedy baby becomes more cuddly but is still chewing and dribbling. Consider that the remedy may be right but needs a few more doses or that the remedy is only partly right and you need to choose again.
My advice is to give 5 doses 10 minutes apart where a situation is pretty acute and if nothing at all happens on any level choose again. I would expect to see change and if you don’t, then the remedy is not correct or if you are using a combination, the remedy you need is not in that combination.
I also often suggest to see what happens over night as many fevers will break during the night and a sick child (or adult!) will wake in the morning beginning to feel better.
Some cases are actually acute manifestations of a chronic problem (see Cough above) and will require a constitutional remedy regardless of what you do. This is often the situation I find when a child is brought in after a few remedies have been given unsuccessfully at home. It was not that the remedy was wrong or homeopathy doesn’t work, but rather the child needed a deeper acting remedy which only an experienced prescriber could perceive.
Remember there are more than 5000 remedies, but as home prescribers you probably use about 20-30!
Mother’s intuition is always good in these situations but if you are in doubt about any of the above consult your GP and your homeopath, especially if you are new to homeopathy.
*Conventional medical advice is to always seek medical assistance for fever in a baby under 6 months old.