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You are viewing: History & Basis - Aggravation - Level 2
to Histroy & Basis - Level 1


Brought to you by Homeopathy-Help-net Author Simpn King

Had you heard that with homeopathy it has to get worse before it gets better,
like the Victorian ethos 'good medicine tastes nasty'?
Homeopathic aggravations do sometimes occur however.
What is it?
A homeopathic aggravation is the term used to describe a temporary intensification of symptoms before a condition improves.
Does it always happen?
NO, it does not usually happen. Aggravations are the exception, not the rule. However if you get an aggravation it is a sign that the remedy is working, a 'healing crisis' if you like as it indicates that the immune system is reacting, but you don't actually need an aggravation to know a remedy is working. An experienced prescriber will be able to avoid them where any intensification of symptoms would be life threatening (e.g. Asthma), this is why it is important to see a qualified homeopath.
Why does it happen?
It happens either because:
- symptoms move in the direction of cure (DOC) (an unsuppressing of a previously suppressed condition)
- the prescribed potency is higher than needed, repeated too often, or too soon,
- there is a block to cure
- the body has renewed energy and is returning to health with an immune system response (inflammation or a discharge)
What can be done about it?
If aggravations are too distressing they can be lessened by using frequent doses of the same remedy in lower potency, however as stated previously if they occur at all they are usually mild and simply an indication that the body is resolving the problem in a natural and healthy way. If anticipated they can be prevented with a different remedy taken concurrently with the main remedy (called support remedies) or by specialised prescribing in the first place. Aggravations are more common in chronic conditions and very rare in acute conditions.


Aggravations are largely avoidable.
We are looking for 'a sure and gentle cure'.

Aggravations are for the most part synonymous with with a 'healing crisis'. There is a general assumption that if someone gets worse after a homeopathic Rx they are having an 'aggravation' (healing crisis) and all will be well. Ninety percent of the time this will be true, but this cannot be applied as a blanket approach, incorporating as it does the idea that Homeopathy is perfect and can do no wrong. Sometimes patients do not improve after an aggravation and rarely some patients only ever aggravate without improving. (Which is why we have the LM potencies). Irrespective of what those who adhere to the earlier 4th and 5th editions of the Organon may say, aggravations are on the whole unnecessary, and an aggravation does not invariably bode well and may rarely lead to worse health. Nor do I agree with waiting ad infinitum for an aggravation to end in the belief that the Px will be alright finally even if there is not a clear DOC, nor again to waiting if the suffering from an aggravtion is intolerable.
So how do we know if an aggravation is a beneficial healing crisis or not?
- Direction of cure.. if the healing 'crisis' isn't following the DOC then it isn't a 'healing' crisis!
Normally any aggravation resolves within a few days and the subsequent improvement in health is obvious.
Why would a Rx produce an aggravation without following the D.O.C?:
- either the Rx was too deep acting, repeated too soon, or the potency was too high, the Px's energy or eliminative organs may be too weak or there may be other organs that are not functioning properly, the attempt to heal may have revealed a hitherto unrecognised weakness or pathology. In such a scenario a different methodology needs to be employed.

What can be done with unproductive or intense aggravations?

The options are:
1: to stop the Rx
2: to represcribe the same Rx in lower potency
3: to represcribe the same Rx in descending potency
4: to prescribe a new Rx based on the current Sx
5: to prescribe a new Rx based on organ affinity
6: to prescribe to antidote the previous Rx
7: to prescribe a new Rx on the basis of new information, i.e. retaken

1: Stopping the Rx, seems so obvious but it has been known , the homeopath
was so sure of the Rx despite the patient not improving or having an
agg. that is not in the DOC,.they doggedly continue the Rx .

2: represcribing in lower potency a Rx that has been given in high potency
is the best known tactic for curbing aggravations, though not necessarily
the most effective, works well if Px can wait 24 hrs or so for results

3: represcribe in descending potency , highly effective if the aggravation
has started quickly after the Rx was given , less effective if more than
24 hours have passed since taking Rx

4: Prescribe for the new Sx -this may mean prescribing for an acute, or
it may be that the agg'. has thrown up Sx that need a different Rx -it
essentially means changing methodology.

5: If the agg is due to particular organs being deficient e.g. the
kidneys, then by prescribing an 'organ Rx' for the kidneys
the main Rx may continue its good work the cause of the agg'. ,
(e.g.deficient kidneys), having been addressed

6: Antidoting the Rx- this is where you discover that all those rumours
about coffee and mint toothpaste were false....although the one about
cannabis may be true.....certain Rxs are said to antidote others and camph
is said to antidote most. The antidote needs to be also based on the Sx so
whether one is really "antidoting" in the allopathic sense or not is a
moot point-however it may be a good idea to check which Rxs are said to
A/dote as well as those that cover the Sx

7: Retaking the case based on the new info.i.e continuing with the same
methodology but changing Rx {of course to some that may be a contradiction
in terms}
Also you may want to do any of the above prophylactically........
you may for example want a quick result for an urgent problem but fear the use of a high potency will be more than the Px can

Experience has taught me that using different methodologies or prescribing tactics obviates the need for aggravations (healing crises) that are anything but tolerable and beneficial to the patient.


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