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Tutorial 15 – What to Expect (Part A)

Tutorial 15 - What to Expect (Part A) 1Different people have different experiences following their first homeopathic treatment. For some, the results are dramatic and profound; for others, they seem mild and almost unnoticeable. Knowing why these differences occur and what they mean will help you get the best from your treatment. Remember, homeopathic treatment is a shared responsibility – while you depend on your homeopath to make a good prescription and manage your case well, they depend on you to provide accurate information and note any changes that happen. So, with that in mind, lets have a look at the process involved.

Once you have taken your first dose of a homeopathic remedy, one of the following seven things will happen

  • A curative response – your symptoms get better and go away.
  • A similar aggravation – your symptoms first worsen and then improve.
  • A dissimilar aggravation – new symptoms appear for a short time but your old ones stay the same.
  • Accessory symptoms – your symptoms improve but in the process a new one appears for a short period.
  • Return of old symptoms – your existing symptoms improve but in the process, old symptoms from the past return for a short period.
  • A surrogate discharge or eruption appears for a short time.
  • Absolutely nothing happens.

What do they mean? Plenty to a homeopath! Each response reveals whether or not the correct remedy has been prescribed and provides valuable information your homeopath will use to adjust your treatment and help return you to health. So, let’s look at each of these responses in greater detail.

1. A Curative Response – Your Symptoms Improve and then Resolve Completely.

What this means

The remedy was correct – it matched your symptoms and was the:

  • Right strength (potency)
  • Right amount (dose)
  • Right number of repetitions (frequency)


This is the fantastic result that everyone wants and usually, this is what happens. For acute complaints such as cystitis or a gum abscess, it may occur quickly – sometimes with just one dose of one remedy. For chronic problems such as recurring tonsillitis or asthma since childhood, treatment will take a little longer. If a number of diseases or problems have built up over years, a series of remedies and potencies may be needed to unravel the mess.

What to do next

Enjoy your improved health and live life well.

2. A Similar Aggravation – Your Symptoms First Worsen and then Improve.

What this means

The remedy was correct but too strong for your sensitivity; it intensified your symptoms before triggering a healing response.


Even when the remedy is a good match for your symptoms it can temporarily intensify them if:

  • The dose is too large,
  • The potency incorrect, or
  • It has been given too frequently

This similar (homeopathic) aggravation occurs as the overly strong effects of the remedy combine with your existing symptoms.

Fortunately, similar aggravations are usually mild and short-lived, settling as the energetic nature of the remedy leaves your system. Your own vitality then rebounds against the disappearing remedy, triggering an improvement in health. Similar aggravations confirm that the correct remedy was prescribed – your homeopath now has to fine-tune the next dose to better suit your sensitivity. On the rare occasion that an aggravation is prolonged, your homeopath may antidote it with another homeopathic remedy.

What to do next

Notify your homeopath. They will most likely advise you to let the similar aggravation settle naturally so an improvement in your symptoms can follow. Future similar aggravations can be avoided by your homeopath adjusting the dose, potency, or number of repetitions of the remedy to suit your sensitivity.

3. A Dissimilar Aggravation – New Symptoms Appear for a Short Time but Your Old Ones Stay the Same.

What this means

The remedy was incorrect; it did not match your symptoms but you were sensitive enough to feel some of the different symptoms it can produce.


When an incorrect remedy has been prescribed (one that poorly matches your symptoms) you may experience a dissimilar or unhomeopathic aggravation, especially if you are sensitive to the remedy. The remedy will have produced some of its own symptoms in you in the same way it can during a proving (see tutorial 6 on Provings for more information). As these symptoms are different to your original symptoms, it is called a dissimilar rather than a similar aggravation (see tutorial 1 on the Law of Similars for further explanation). Because of the lack of similarity between symptoms, this remedy will not help you.

Fortunately, like similar aggravations, dissimilar aggravations are usually mild and short-lived. They settle as soon as the energetic nature of the remedy leaves your system. Unfortunately, they do not trigger a self-healing rebound effect. Your homeopath will have to prescribe a different remedy that is a closer match to your symptoms. On the rare occasion that a dissimilar aggravation is prolonged, your homeopath can antidote it homeopathically.

What to do

Notify your homeopath. They will retake your case so that a remedy that better matches your symptoms can be prescribed. Your homeopath will be particularly interested in the symptoms you experienced during the dissimilar aggravation, as these can help guide future treatment.

In Conclusion – A Word About Aggravations

Aggravations, while not a necessary part of homeopathic treatment, are sometimes unavoidable. Aggravations occur when a person is either very sensitive to a remedy, or when a poorly skilled prescriber has given a remedy it in too large or too frequent a dose. For this reason, better practitioners always give test doses at the beginning of treatment to check the person’s sensitivity. They will also prescribe the remedy as a liquid rather than in pills so it can be easily diluted if a gentler dose is needed.

When aggravations occur, they are usually short-lived, mild, and an interesting phenomenon to experience. Their one benefit is that they act as a challenge to the person’s vitality and so can strengthen resilience.

Next tutorial we will learn what it means and what to do when either:

  • Your existing symptoms improve but new ones appear for a short period.
  • Your existing symptoms improve but old symptoms from the past return for a short period.
  • A surrogate discharge or eruption appears.
  • Absolutely nothing happens.


  1. Homeopathy: an Introduction
  2. Tutorial 1 – The Law of Similars
  3. Tutorial 2 – Law of Similars Discovered
  4. Tutorial 3 – Potentisation
  5. Tutorial 4 – Three Scales of Potency
  6. Tutorial 5 – Benefits of Potentisation
  7. Tutorial 6 – Provings
  8. Tutorial 7 – The Vital Force
  9. Tutorial 8 – Potentised Remedies and the Vital Force
  10. Tutorial 9 – Palliation, Supression or Cure?
  11. Tutorial 10 – Direction of Cure
  12. Tutorial 11 – Return of Old Symptoms
  13. Tutorial 12 – Homeopathy and Other Medicinal Therapies
  14. Tutorial 13 – Finding a Good Homeopath
  15. Tutorial 14 – That First Appointment
  16. Tutorial 15 – What to Expect (Part A)
  17. Tutorial 16 – What to Expect (Part B)

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    […] flares for a day after each dose – a sign the dose is too strong for Mina’s sensitivity (see Tutorial 15: What to Expect for more information about this). Instructions are given on how to dilute the dose so improvement […]

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