The Homeopathic Aggravation
The phenomenon of the homeopathic aggravation is quite interesting. It rather resembles the “healing crisis” some other forms of alternative medicine describe. It is not uncommonly observed after a correct remedy has been prescribed and typically consists of a brief intensification of the presenting symptoms of the patient. Usually, when a patient is in the midst of such an aggravation, something about his or her condition is different from the usual periods of exacerbation: the patient will feel vaguely better in general and better able to cope with the more severe symptoms, or some aspect of the physical symptoms will be altered. (For example, if fever always accompanied increased sinus pain in the past, it will be lacking during the aggravation, or the pain will be less despite high fever, etc.)
Patience is Required During the Healing Response
While one remains vigilant and circumspect during an aggravation in case the worsening is circumstantial and not remedy related, generally such occurrences are cause for an optimistic prognosis in a case. Their occurrence, perhaps paradoxically to some, signal a strengthening of the defense mechanism of the individual with attendant increased symptom intensity. The phenomenon is rather akin to the substitution of a similar brief intense illness for a long, drawn-out one.
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George Guess, MD