What are the remedies made of?

A homeopathic remedy can be made from any substance that can produce symptoms if given to a healthy person. As such, they are made from a variety of different sources - plant sources (e.g. pulsatilla, aconite, nux vomica, arnica), mineral sources (e.g. gold, aluminium, sulphur, fluoric acid) and animal products (e.g. tarantula, sepia – cuttlefish ink, lachesis – snake venom). There is also a special group of remedies called ‘nosodes’ that are made from the products of human disease.


There should be no concern when taking these remedies, even apparently poisonous ones, because they are only prescribed in high potencies when not a single molecule of the original product is present in the remedy (see below).

Belladonna or "Deadly Nightshade"



To avoid harmful and toxic effects of some of the remedies he employed, Hahnemann decided to dilute the remedies with water, add alcohol to preserve them, and subject them to a series of knocks against a hard surface (called succussion) in order to mix the solution thoroughly. This process of serial dilution and succussion is called potentisation and may be done a few times, or many thousands of times.

Paradoxically, Hahnemann subsequently observed that potentisation appears to enhance the curative power of a substance.

Potencies range in dilution from 1 part remedy in 10 parts water/alcohol (a low potency, called a 1x) to one part remedy in 1,000 million parts water! The more a remedy is diluted and succussed, the higher the potency.

Using potentisation, we are able to utilise the curative powers of substances which could never be safely given in their crude form. The nosodes mentioned above are one such example, as are
arsenic, belladonna (deadly nightshade) and the animal poisons.

Additionally, Hahnemann’s method of potentisation enabled the use of common, inactive compounds for cure. This includes remedies such as
natrum muriaticum, which is made from common table salt! He discovered that when potentised, salt was able to produce symptoms in healthy subjects, and therefore cure these same symptoms in the unhealthy. It has become a very important and helpful remedy.

Some remedies that are used by homeopaths are listed below with their common names given on the right

Aurum metallicum - Gold
Bellis perennis - Daisy
Bryonia - Wild hops
Calendula officinalis - Marigold
Cantharis - Spanish fly
Digitalis - Foxglove
Euphrasia - Eyebright
Ferrum metallicum - Iron
Gelsemium - Yellow jasmine
Hamamelis - Witch-hazel
Hekla lava - Lava from Mount Hecla

Iodum - Iodine
Kali carbonicum - Carbonate of potassium
Lac caninum - Dog’s milk
Lachesis - Venom from bushmaster snake
Lillium tigrinum - Tiger lilly
Magnesia sulphurica - Epsom salts
Mygale lasiodora - Black Cuban spider
Narcissus - Daffodil
Paraffine - Purified paraffin
Piper nigrum - Black pepper
Ranunculus bulbosus - Buttercup

Marigold or "Calendula"

Rheum - Rhubarb
Rhus toxicodendron - Poison ivy
Sacchurum officinale - Cane sugar
Taraxacum - Dandelion
Urtica urens - Stinging nettle
Veratrum album - White hellebore
Wyethia - Poison weed
X-ray - Vial containing alcohol exposed to X-ray
Zingiber - Ginger

Taking the remedy

The remedy will be administered either as a sugar pill, or as a liquid. You may be given a single dose of a remedy and asked to wait a matter of weeks to see the effects. Alternatively, you may be given a low potency to be taken more regularly. Always be sure that you understand the instructions given by your homeopath before commencing treatment.

To take a sugar-pill remedy, avoid touching the tablets by tipping a tablet into a spoon and then putting it in the mouth. Let the tablet dissolve slowly under the tongue. In the case of liquid remedies, your homeopath will advise you how to take these.

Do not eat or drink anything (except water) for twenty minutes before and after taking the remedy. The nature of the remedy is so finely-tuned and subtle that strong flavours can effect the action of the remedy.
Homeopathic remedies should be stored in a cool, dry place away from strong odours, sunlight and waves emitted by mobile phones or other electrical equipment.

Your homeopath may advise you to cut out substances such as coffee, peppermint, and aromatherapy oils as these may interfere with the action of the remedy.

If you go on holiday, do not let your homeopathic remedies go through the X-ray scanning machines, as it is possible that this reduces the curative powers of the remedies.

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