Knowing which homeopathic remedy to use is just one part of using homeopathy effectively. Correct dosing is just as important as remedy selection, and can make a huge difference in the results. Correct dosing leads to:
quicker, more effective healing,
less chance of homeopathic aggravation (temporary worsening of symptoms before improvement) in hypersensitive people, and
using less remedy, so that each tube of remedy lasts longer.
Acute vs. Chronic Dosing
The same general principles apply to both acute and chronic situations, but the timeframe is different. In acute situations, the dosage frequency may be several times per day (or even per hour in very severe circumstances). But in chronic treatment, doses may be only once every few days, once a week, or even once every few weeks.
Effective chronic treatment is as much an art as a science, and inept chronic treatment can really throw a wrench in the body's healing processes, so I don't generally recommend that people try to undertake homeopathic treatment of their own chronic conditions. One exception would be when the chronic condition had a very obvious triggering trauma, such as a physical injury (e.g. car crash, head injury, etc), or a specific emotional event (e.g. death of a loved one, fright, birth of a child, etc). Treatment of those types of chronic conditions can be more straight-forward (but it isn't always).
Golden Rules of Homeopathic Dosing
Here are the basic rules for homeopathic dosing, both for acute and chronic situations. These dosing methods are not well-known, and they certainly aren't captured on the side of the homeopathic remedy tubes, which say something like "take 5 pellets 3 times per day". Nonetheless, these guidelines can make homeopathic treatment much more effective.
How To Dose
Just one pellet is *almost always* enough for a dose. There is no advantage to taking more than one pellet.
Doses are best taken when there is a neutral mouth (with no remaining taste from previous food or drink).
The pellet should be allowed to dissolve on top of the tongue. The remedy action happens in the mouth, not in the stomach.
Try not to eat or drink anything (except water) for at least 10 minutes after the dose.
When To Dose
Do NOT dose mechanically, or on some predetermined schedule.
When a dose leads to improvement, wait-and-watch to determine when to give the next dose.
During acute injuries or illnesses such as colds, a good starting place is to assess whether another dose is needed every 5-6 hours. With the right remedy, the dosing frequency will tend to become less frequent in the subsequent days until the illness is fully resolved, so that by the end, a dose may be needed only once every 18-48 hours or so.
Do NOT give the next dose while improvement is happening. Rather, wait to give the next dose until there is regression of the symptoms, or a plateau (when the improvement levels off and then remains unchanged).
If there is no obvious improvement within 2-3 doses, stop using the remedy as it is likely not the right one.
*In rare instances, if a person is hyposensitive (with a lower-than-average sensitivity level to medications and stimulus such as light/noise/odors), he or she may need more than one pellet of homeopathic remedy.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or licensed healthcare professional. I am a homeopathic practitioner whose services are considered complementary and alternative by the state of New Mexico. The uses of homeopathic remedies described herein are provided for educational use only.