Questions about Alternating Remedies

Dear Friends,

A man wrote me yesterday with some questions about alternating remedies, and I thought it would be fun to post his questions and my answers here, as others may have the same questions, so here goes:

Question:  I had a question regarding alternating remedies. If you can’t find one remedy that covers all your symptoms, can you take different remedies to treat different conditions, on the same day? For example, around 6 am, graphites for a skin condition, 12 pm, arnica for a muscle injury, 6 pm, silicea for hair growth, etc.

Answer: Thank you for writing with your excellent question. I have been trained as a classical homeopath, and alternating remedies the way you describe is something we would never do. There are a few excellent reasons for that:

A remedy takes time to set up its action, especially in a case with chronic symptoms. The remedy has to go through a reaction period, a time when it looks for the symptoms it needs to work on, brings the symptoms up for treatment, and it also may intensify the symptoms as it works on them. The reaction time for a 30C and 200C dose is approximately three weeks. This is the reason why I do not evaluate the response to the remedy till between four and seven weeks.

If you are on a good remedy and it works well, it can do profound healing work for many months and even years without needing to be repeated. An active dose should never be interfered with.

Homeopathic remedies carry tremendous power and you really have to be familiar with homeopathic philosophy and go through a course of training before you attempt to self prescribe, as you can end up causing yourself unnecessary suffering, and confuse the symptom picture, if you do it without understanding how it works. Good luck.

Question: Thank you for the reply and advice. I won’t be alternating remedies on the same day then. How about alternating between two remedies on separate days? For example, Lycopodium Monday, Calc. Fluor. Tuesday, Lycopodium Wednesday, etc.?

I have several symptoms I want to treat, and while Lycopodium is shown to be my constitutional remedy, I fear it won’t cover all of them.

Also, if the potency is 30c, how frequently should it be taken? I’m thinking just 1 pill a day, every 2 days. Is that fine?

Thanks again, I really appreciate it.

Answer: Please read some beginning books on homeopathic philosophy and methodology, if you want to self prescribe. I have seen a single 30C dose hold 1.5 years.

If you are going to take a 30C dose of a remedy. Take it once. Do not repeat it. Evaluate your response to it in 4 to 7 weeks. If symptoms are better, do not repeat it until those symptoms have moved backward for at least seven days. Do not change from a remedy that is helping, until you have gone up in potency, and worked with the higher potency for a while. Only change the remedy, if new symptoms appear calling for a change of remedies. This is the way I work, and classically trained homeopaths will prescribe.

Alternating remedies quickly the way you are suggesting is a misunderstanding of homeopathy and the power of the remedies and I do not feel that it is a safe way to prescribe. Good luck.

Question: Wow, thank you so much for that info, it saved me from administering the wrong way. I just have one final question, if I’ve been taking 30c remedies daily for a while, how do I antidote them? I drank 2 large cups of coffee…is there anything else I should do?

I’ll be sure to post this info on my site, where it’ll help many others who are trying to use homeopathy to treat a skin pigment disorder. Thanks again for your knowledge.

Answer: One of the things you have to assess is did the remedies you took change your base-line symptoms? That means do you have different symptoms now than what you started with, or is everything exactly the same? Were new symptoms added on? Did symptoms you had before disappear?

One thing you can do is wait and let things settle out for a month or so to see where you stand after all of this. When you take too many remedies you can complicate the symptom picture. That’s why homeopathic provings have to be conducted with extreme care, as there is a risk of imprinting symptoms from the remedies you are taking onto yourself, which can be difficult to remove.

I really suggest that you work with a competent homeopath who can sift through your symptoms and sort it out for you. As far as antidoting with coffee, some people say that this works. I have not seen that from my own experience. I think the best antidote is a well selected remedy.

I also want to stress that the science and art of repeating the remedy in homeopathy really takes years to master. Homeopathic remedies are nothing at all like western medicine. The FDA requires that pharmacies print “take three times a day” or something like that on the bottles. This is appropriate for Western medicine, but not for homeopathy, where a single dose of a remedy can hold several years. You are talking about enormous power both for good and for harm, (if not used carefully), in the homeopathic remedies. If you want to self prescribe, you really do need to go through a training course before you can do this semi-safely.

I wish you the best of look with your healing.

Best regards,



Note regarding blog comments:

Dear Friends,
I appreciate your visiting my website and reading my articles and taking the time to write your comments. I welcome your comments and will post them if it looks like what you have to say will be helpful to others. I may not write a comment back, but will let the article itself present my point of view.

I am no longer responding to people’s questions regarding personal health matters on my blog, because it becomes stressful for me due to the volume of such questions that I get.

Also there is no way I can actually answer these questions properly without familiarizing myself with the person’s  health.

For anyone who is interested in working with me, please complete the appropriate questionnaire and send it to me. This way I will know that you are ready to move forward with a consultation.

I wish you the best of health.

Peace be with you,

Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

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  1. Dear Sarvesh.
    Thank you for your question. My answer is no. First of all it is important to select the remedy well. Then you should give the remedy that you have confidence in and give it ample time to work uninterrupted. I usually do my first evaluation on a deep acting constitutional remedy, such as the ones you are naming at seven weeks from when the person took the remedy.

    The remedy requires time to set up its action and unfold the healing process. You want to make sure that you do not interfere and do not treat aggravations or reactions.

    I hope this answer is helpful. I wish you success with homeopathy.

    Peace be with you,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Sarvesh on August 22, 2020 at 5:30 am

    In homeopathy, can we give two complementary medicines simultaneously. For example Calcarea carb and Silicea are complementary.Can they be given simultaneously or after a gap of 15 minutes

  2. Dear Ahmer,
    Thank you for writing with you question about piles without bleeding and whether you can use Sulfur and Lycopodium together. Someone asked a similar question recently, so I will copy my response below:

    Answer: Sulphur has a distinct constitutional picture, and Lycopodium has its own distinct constitutional picture. You should not use them at the same time. If you have been given Sulphur or have taken it yourself, and after a time you see a distinct change in your symptoms that call for Lycopodium, then you can change to Lycopodium, but you should not take the remedies simultaneously. Lycopodium is known for predominantly right sided complaints, aggravation from 4 to 8 p.m., low self confidence, dictatorial nature, love of power, amongst many other symptoms.

    There are 513 remedies listed for hemorrhoids, so you cannot base the prescription on just this one symptom. You have to look at the whole person and see what the emotional state is and other symptoms occurring at the same time.

    I wish you success in achieving your health goals.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Ahmer on October 20, 2019 at 9:47 pm

    Sir can i use sulfur with lyco 200 i have piles without bleeding from 1 yer and i take different med but im still not perfectly cured plz guide me…

  3. Dear Andrea,
    Thank you for writing. Since I am not with the clients that Banerji is treating and do not know the circumstances, which prompt him to prescribe the way he does, I really should not make any comments. My own approach is one remedy at a time, and let the changes that come about in the patient dictate the homeopath’s response and choice of remedies. We do indeed need to be responsive to changes, especially in acute or emergency situations.

    I am not, however, comfortable, with routinism in homeopathy, because this is an intellectual idea of what needs to be prescribed, and not based on observation of the patient and being responsive to their needs.

    I wish you success in all your prescribing as a homeopath.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA0

    • Andrea on September 11, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Student Practical Homeopathy, what do you think of the Banerji Protocols, and the work that they do with repeated doses in the Banerji Handbook?
    What about Swami Nayranis sterling work and her advice even to trainees or lay people, that sometimes its okay to use a combination of remedies to get the results required. Stop when feeling better.
    You can read all about Naryrani is the Soham Handbooks, and Benerji Protoctols at Joette Calabrese.

    Best of luck with any one using homeopathy, get some training, read the books study the remedies. I always told the wrong remedy would do no harm, it wouldn’t work. I have an analogy for you from Swami taking a homeopathic remedy is like a ripple in a pool, the ripple starts from the centre and reverberates outwards.

  4. Dear Salim,
    Thank you for this very good question.To narrow the selection down to one remedy is the job of the Classical Homeopath, but this is not an easy task to accomplish and takes many years of training. The combination remedies are an attempt to simplify the matter by putting many remedies together in a formula that has a particular symptom that the formula is trying to address. Often this approach does work, because some ingredient in the combination iare indeed homeopathic to the symptoms of the patient, so the patient does feel relief.

    In the best case scenario, the combination is well done, meaning very few remedies are used, the potencies are low and few, and the selection of the remedies in the formula are made by a knowledgable homeopath with good intentions.

    This is not always the case, however, because many times the combination remedy is way off target and does not resonate with the patient. In this situation the best case scenario is that the combination is so off target, that it will have no effect on the patient.

    There are, however, some risks involved in taking combination remedies, especially if not supervised.

    1) It can disturb the immune system, because you have too many energies vying for attention at once.
    2) The patient can prove the symptoms of the remedies in the combination.
    3) The rules of repetition are not followed.
    4) This is a very materialistic way to treat, and does not take into account the spiritual, emotional and mental symptoms of the patient.
    5) Remedies are treated like they are supplements or vitamins, or ingredients in a Chinese Herbal Formula, and not as the profound healing agents that they actually are.
    6) Combination remedies often have multiple strengths of the same remedy, in addition to many remedies. It is truly not an ideal way to work.

    I hope this conveys my perspective on combination remedies and that it answers your question.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Salim on June 18, 2019 at 2:15 am

    Hi Doctor,
    I see that you mostly, if not always, give advice to go to a homeopath before any self medication. but here in India I find that a lot of homeopaths recommend to go for combos like the R series from Dr. Reckeweg. I feel they work also, so is there a problem with these combos? What’s your take on that please?

  5. Dear Naren,
    Thank you for writing with your question. No this is not a good idea. Nothing in homeopathy should ever be done in a routine manner. You always have to have the symptoms be your guide and follow the rules of repetition that I write about in my article: How to Take Homeopathic Remedies.

    After you or your homeopath selects a remedy that they feel covers the totality of your symptoms, you should take a single dose and evaluate in two months. See what symptoms are better or worse. You would only repeat the remedy if symptoms that had gotten better return for several weeks. At that point retake the case and see if the current remedy is still called for. If so, please repeat this remedy according to the instructions on my article.

    In my mind it is a big deal to change the remedy, and this should never be done in a routine manner, but with great care, and only when it is really called for,

    I hope this answer helps.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHOM (NA)

    • Naren on February 22, 2019 at 7:00 pm

    Can I prescribe Lycopodium and follow up a couple of weeks later with Sulphur instead of the normal Sulphur Calcaria Carb LLycopodium and again Sulphur routine suggested by Hahnemann.

  6. Dear Sety,
    Thank you for writing with your question. The 1M is a high potency remedy. A dose of this size should hold anywhere from 3 months to many years. Please see my article on How to Take Homeopathic Remedies to understand the rules of repetition that I follow.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Sety on October 15, 2018 at 7:46 am

    I have a question about Staphysagria, how long is this remedy duration of action in 1M potency? I see relapce in some symptoms after 3 months.
    Best Regards

  7. Dear Leticia,
    Thank you for writing. It is wonderful that you have been working with a very good homeopath, who has given you remedies that have helped you. It is very good also that you are learning about homeopathy and studying materia medica.

    My suggestion is to tell your homeopath about your studies and that you feel Natrum muriaticum may be a good fit for you. Then she can repertorize your case and see whether your current symptoms correspond well with Natrum muriaticum. She can suggest a potency that would resonate well with you and help monitor and manage your case.

    I am very excited for you that you have found a remedy that sounds good for you. I hope that you will have an excellent response to it.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Leticia Garcia Guerra on August 29, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    I’ve had the best possible homeopath a person could have, and have had great success with her. Because teaching takes most of her time, I’ve ventured to search carefully and thoroughly remedies for different issues I’ve had, and I’m extremely pleased with the responses I’ve had every time.

    However every time I tried a remedy it was a stand alone remedy. Right now I find myself looking into remedies for belly aches and for the first time I came across several remedy combinations. The type and body description that was close to mine indicated Ammonium carb and Antimonium crudum. What was appealing was the personality description.

    Another one that popped out to me was Calcárea which also fit given that I am hypothyroid. But the most frustrating thing about my search is that I stumbled into Nat Mur! I was totally blown away because I could be the poster child, not a single description didn’t apply to me!

    I must make an appointment with my doctor, but would greatly appreciate whatever brief input you can give me. My doctor knows more than well my mother issues, has taken a lot of caring time with me, and I’ve come a long long way since I started seeing her, and has given me amazing remedies but never Nat mur.

    Will greatly appreciate any information. Thank you


  8. Dear Julie,
    Thank you for writing with your questions. Please visit the article on this website on How to Take Homeopathic Remedies. This will explain my method of administering remedies and the rules of repetition that I follow. There are so many different opinions about this subject, and you will not find two homeopaths who administer remedies the same way, and each individual homeopath is constantly evolving in their understanding of this.

    Will Taylor taught a series of webinars on Posology, which you can purchase at At Home Learning Courses, or Whole Health Now.

    You can also call Dana Ullman at Homeopathic Educational Services to ask him for book recommendations on this subject.

    I wish you joy in learning about homeopathy.

    In love and service,


    • Julie on February 3, 2018 at 6:36 pm

    I have bought a bunch of remedies for things I thought my daughter has needed for several issues and didn’t realize I only give her one dose. I gave her 3 pills twice yesterday. And 3 this evening Kali Phos. 6CH. It says 3 three times a day. I would love if someone can reccomwnf some homeopathic books for self prescribing. I have no naturopathic or homeopathic drs. In my area. Thanks.

  9. Dear Asma,
    I am very happy to hear that your son is responding well to the homeopathy and that you are seeing improvement in his speech and shyness. This is extremely important, so congratulations. It looks like your homeopath is doing good work. Some homeopaths only work with one remedy at a time, and some use more than one remedy. Whatever your homeopath is doing is working, so I would trust in your homeopath and his judgment.

    I wish you all the best.

    In love and service,


    • Asma on January 17, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    My son is prescribed for kalium Phosphoricum 6x and later on after a month he was prescribed for Staphysagria 30. Can he take both medicine together?
    He can’t speak full and long sentences and problems in saying L,r and T words.
    Someone told me that you cannot take two medicine together l.
    My son was shy as well. He is better and improving.
    He is still lagging in sitting for long period to play with one toy or watching tv for long period.
    He must bed on to next activity very soon. It’s been a one and half month he is on kalium Phosphoricum and two weeks back he started Staphysagria and I saw improvement in his speech.
    Can you suggest anything?

  10. Dear Christine,
    Without taking your complete case, I cannot say for sure if the Sepia will help your anxiety. Homeopathy is very good for helping with anxiety, if your type of anxiety corresponds to the type of anxiety the remedy produces. My suggestion is to trust your homeopath’s judgment and work with him or her to evaluate your response to the Sepia in about seven weeks. Most of the time you should feel improvement in the emotional plane long before that.

    I hope you will have a very good response to the Sepia, and a good experience with homeopathy.

    In love and service,

    • Christine Stephen on December 24, 2016 at 5:54 am

    I am suffering from chronic anxiety which is with me all the time. I find it very difficult to go out and I have anticipatory anxiety. I also have some menopause symptoms but am taking hrt. My homeopath has given me sepia. Will this help anxiety? Thank you

  11. Dear Najaf,
    The dosage is not dependent on weight or age. It is based on other factors. I do not know the size of the 200C pellets that you purchased of the Lycopodium, but if they are the medium size pellets, I usually use 8 pellets for adults. If they are the large size I use 2 to 3 pellets.

    Please remember that the difficulty is not in how to take the remedy, but when to repeat. A 200C dose can hold several months to many years. I do not repeat the remedy unless symptoms that had gotten better begin to relapse. I make a base-line chart of the person’s symptoms at seven weeks, and I would only repeat after that point if symptoms in the better category began to move backward for awhile. Here are the directions I usually use for a first time dose.

    Instructions for Taking the First Dose of a New Remedy

    1) Please dissolve # of pellets (depending on the size of the pellet) of Lycopodium 200C in 4 oz. of water in a small cup. You can use a disposable cup if you wish.
    2) Once the remedy has thoroughly dissolved in the water, please stir it well.
    3) Please drink 4 tablespoons of the liquid (or the number suggested by your homeopath). You should hold the liquid in your mouth for 15 or 20 seconds before swallowing each sip. You may drink regular water after that if you would like. Please do not eat an hour before or after taking the remedy.
    4) You can also take the dose by olfaction, which would be to breathe over the cup for one minute.
    5) Discard the remainder of the liquid on the ground outside, and clean or dispose of the cup carefully, so as not to expose anyone else in the household to the medicine.

    The remedy will begin to cycle through your repertoire of symptoms while it looks for what it needs to work on. When it does so the symptoms may intensify for awhile before they get better. That intensification is a good thing, as it shows you that the remedy has located what it needs to work on and is addressing the symptoms. The cycling process can take weeks or months depending upon how deep rooted the symptoms are. It is normal for symptoms from the past to show up during the cycling process, but they should resolve on their own in a short time. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions about the initial reaction period.

    I hope this answer is helpful. I wish you all the best.

    In love and service,
    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Najaf on June 8, 2016 at 5:17 am

    I want to use lycopodium 200c
    What is dosage table for me i m 32 old male

  12. Dear Foara,
    Thank you for your question. Since I have not taken your relatives case, I am unable to say whether Hyoscyamus and Aconite fit his symptoms. The symptoms that you are mentioning are common to many remedies. I am a classical homeopath, so I would never prescribe two remedies to be taken simultaneously. Also I am very careful with repetition. A single dose of a 9C is capable of holding many weeks. Repetition is a delicate matter with homeopathy, and should not be done in a routine fashion.

    I recommend that you consult a classical homeopath who can guide you in the management of your relative’s case. I hope he feels better soon.

    In love and service,

    Deborah Olenev CCH RSHom (NA)

    • Foara on May 14, 2016 at 9:33 am

    One of my relative has been suffering from bad dreams ,delusion ,paranoia and ceaseless talking .He is taking HYoscyamus 9 twice in day time and aconite during night .Please be kind enough to let me know whether this is correct ?
    With regards .


  13. Dear Ambar,
    You are absolutely right. People prescribe remedies in many different ways. I usually prescribe centesimal scale remedies: 30C, 200C, etc.I rarely prescribe above 200C. I prescribe 10M, maybe once in 10 years. From my experience repetition is a very delicate matter, and needs to be done with respect for the power of these remedies. A single dose of a 30C holds three months on average, but I have seen people with multiple health complaints go years without needing a repetition.

    The average hold time for the 200C strength is 8 months, for children often a year and a half. For many people repetition is not needed as it is curative, or the remedy can remove a layer and a new symptom picture clearly emerges after they take the remedy.

    For these reasons I do not recommend nor condone giving a 1M remedy one day, then changing it the following day. After a remedy is given a healing process unfolds, which can last many weeks. During that time it is not possible to accurately assess the response to the remedy, because what you are seeing is initial reactions. One has to wait until these reactions pass, and then add a couple of weeks onto it before assessing the response to the remedy.

    As far as repetition goes, I do not recommend repeating a centesimal scale remedy 30C and above until the reaction time has passed, a base-line chart of symptoms has been made at a follow up consultation and there is a clear indication that the symptoms that had improved are moving backward. That way you can repeat with confidence, knowing that you are not interrupting an active dose, and causing unnecessary suffering to the patient by having to go through the reaction period once again when it is not needed.

    LM potencies are administered in a different way. I do have articles on my website describing how these are used.

    People have success prescribing in many different ways. Some people prescribe using the Fibonacci scale, which sounds very interesting. Others prescribe low dry doses daily. For me the important thing is what am I experienced with and what do I understand using. The same goes for other practitioners. There is a huge learning curve when a new method is tried. The method I use is Kentian and has been around for centuries now, and I have many years of experience using it, so I am comfortable with it.

    Thank you for your comment. I wish you all the best.

    • Ambar Sarkar on October 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

    It appears to me that different schools of Homeopathy follow different standards of prescribing. Europe has its own standard where a medicine is prescribed at a lower potency first to see effect, and later same or higher potency prescribed to cure, if required. In India repetition is more frequent.
    If medicine is given in 1M potency, like Arnica for Injury, no other medicine given on that day, other medicines follow from next day.
    For effect on mind, 1M to 10M potencies are recommended, though 200 potency can be used for trial. 10M potency is not recommended to be repeated frequently. In India Doctors keep a gap of 15 days. In Europe USA such a dose is normally not repeated before six months unless relapse takes place.
    Thus many views from many experts.

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