Dos and Don'ts for Homeopathic Patients
While under homeopathic treatment for chronic illness, it is
best to notify your homeopath before taking any new medications
or other homeopathic remedies. An exception to this is a first
aid or emergency situation, in which case you should take the
appropriate remedy or action immediately and call your practitioner
Wait at least five minutes after eating or drinking before
taking your remedy. Strong odors or tastes may interfere with
Avoid touching the remedy with your hands in case you have
recently handled a strong smelling substance. Use the vial cap
or a clean spoon, and place the remedy under your tongue to avoid
contaminating the remedy.
Don't expose your remedy to direct sunlight, magnets, or strong
aromatic odors such as camphor, solvents, paint, and chemicals.
If you are traveling with homeopathic remedies, take them as
carry on luggage and hand them to the attendant when your luggage
goes through the airport x-ray machine.
Homeopaths have observed repeatedly that certain substances or
influences can disturb the vital force resulting in an interference
with the action of the homeopathic medicine. This phenomenon
is known as antidoting. When antidoting occurs, the healing
effects of the remedy will stop, either temporarily or permanently,
and your symptoms will return, partially or completely. The
relapse may be sudden or gradual. It is unknown why these substances
interfere with the effect of homeopathic remedies. Antidoting
may occur at any time, even two years after a remedy has been
given, if you are particularly sensitive to the substance or
the effect of the exposure is strong enough to affect your
Homeopaths have observed that the substances and influences listed
below may antidote homeopathic remedies, but the approach taken
by each practitioner varies. Many practitioners give their patients
a list of substances to avoid. Others decide not to make antidotion
an issue unless it actually occurs. Many homeopathic practitioners
estimate that the treatment of approximately 60 percent of their
patients will be adversely affected by ingesting coffee. Your homeopath
may recommend that you avoid coffee entirely or she may say nothing
at all until she sees whether the treatment has been successful.
These are the guidelines that we give to our patients based
on our own clinical experience. We have seen many cases in which
the substances and influences mentioned have interfered with
homeopathic treatment and prefer to err in the direction of being
overcautious, particularly while we are still trying to find
the best remedy for the patient. We have discussed the issue
of antidotion with many other homeopaths and their opinions vary
with their own experience with patients. What is most important
is that that you follow the instructions of your homeopath in
Back to top
What to Avoid While Under Homeopathic Treatment
Coffee: This is the one substance that most often interferes
with homeopathic treatment. Even one sip of coffee or a small
amount of coffee ice cream, Kahlua, or coffee candy may be
sufficient to disturb the treatment. It appears to be the oils
in coffee rather than the caffeine that is the culprit. Other
caffeinated substances, although not considered healthy, do
not usually interfere with homeopathic treatment.
Electric blankets: They affect the action of remedies by
altering your body's electromagnetic field.
Aromatic substances: Avoid camphor, eucalyptus, menthol,
and any products that contain them including Vick's, Noxema,
Tiger Balm, Ben Gay, Calamine lotion, and cough drops and lozenges
containing these substances. This includes aromatherapy oils
as well as mouthwashes containing menthol and other aromatic
compounds. Citronella oil, pennyroyal, and other aromatic herbal
mosquito repellants, all thuja and tea tree products, peppermint
oil, and lavender oil may interfere due to their aromaticity.
Chapstick, Blistex, and other aromatic lip balms should also
be avoided, although fruit-flavored balms are fine. Strong
fumes from oil based paint, turpentine, paint thinner and certain
household cleaning agents such as Pine Sol, Lysol, and strong
smelling industrial chemicals may also interfere, depending
on individual sensitivity.
Immunizations: Immunizations sometimes interrupt the homeopathic
healing process in certain individuals. Whether you take them
or not is your personal choice, however you may want to discuss
each specific immunization and your particular circumstances
with your homeopath.
Dental work: Dental drilling and the use of novocaine may
disturb the effects of homeopathic remedies. It is preferable,
if possible, to wait at least three or four months after taking
a remedy to have dental work done, which gives your vital force
more time to be strengthened by homeopathy. In the case of
emergency dental work, have it done and call your homeopath
afterwards. In many cases, homeopathic remedies will relieve
dental pain until you have a chance to visit your dentist.
Drugs: Avoid all recreational drugs including marijuana,
cocaine, LSD, barbituates, and amphetamines. Alcohol in moderation
is not a problem.
Other homeopathic remedies: Do not use Bach Flower remedies,
cell salts, or other homeopathic remedies without discussing
them with your homeopath first.
Herbs: Check with your homeopath before using herbs for specific
medicinal purposes. Herb teas for beverage use, when varied
from day to day, are fine, as are culinary herbs. Chinese herbs
may antidote remedies in some cases. If you've been given Natrum
muriaticum, you will be advised to avoid peppermint in all
forms, including tea. There may be other specific substances
that your homeopath will ask you to avoid when taking a particular
Vitamins: Let your homeopath know which vitamins you are
taking. Using a particular vitamin to eliminate a particular
symptom may make it difficult for your homeopath to evaluate
your symptoms. Multivitamins and minerals usually do not disturb
Beauty treatments: Permanent waves often interfere with
remedies because of the harsh and aromatic chemicals. Electrolysis
and aromatic facial and skin products and treatments are
usually not compatible with homeopathy.
Other therapies: Acupuncture
and therapeutic ultrasound have been known to disturb homeopathic
treatment. Please discuss this with your practitioner.
The Patient's Freedom During Homeopathic Treatment
You may feel that the list of potential antidotes places too many restrictions
on your life and makes you feel rebellious. Most patients who choose homeopathy
find that it becomes relatively easy to avoid these substances and that allowing
their remedies to work over time is well worth the effort. They find that the
increased freedom in their lives resulting from homeopathy is greater than
the freedom to drink coffee or use menthol. If you do feel too restricted by
your homeopathic treatment, discuss this with your practitioner. Perhaps you
are avoiding some substances unnecessarily.
"All these things must be eliminated
or else avoided as much as possible if cure is not to be prevented
Samuel Hahnemann, Organon of Medicine, Sixth Edition.
Back to top