Homeopathic medicines have been diluted and refined to the extent that they show only minute traces of chemical activity, and their action is accordingly subtle, delicate, and subject to variable interference. Though stable across a wide range of temperature, they should be kept dry, in the dark, and shielded from sunlight, daylight, X-rays, and other ionizing radiation. The mouth should be empty, with no food, drink, toothpaste, tobacco, or mouthwash taken for at least 30 minutes before and after each dose.

Remedies are usually placed dry on the tongue and allowed to dissolve. With the tiniest pellets, a suitable dose would be just enough to taste, say 10 or so via a licked fingertip, or poured into the bottle cap and tossed into the mouth without touching them, but the precise amount is unimportant. For the larger pellets usually sold in stores, a dose of 3 to 5 is ample. In chronic work, remedies may be given in a single dose, three times in 24 hours, weekly, or once or twice daily as instructed.

For acute conditions, the remedy may be repeated every few hours, or even oftener as directed, until definite improvement or change occurs. For first-aid and domestic use, the 6X, 12X, or 30X tablets are convenient, especially for babies and small children, since they melt in the mouth very rapidly and are suitable for frequent repetition. Coffee and camphor should be avoided while under homeopathic care, even when no remedies are being taken. Tea, non-medicinal herb teas, and vitamins may be taken in moderation. Chinese and medicinal herbs, alcohol, deep heating rubs, and fragrant or aromatic substances (menthol, eucalyptus, incense, perfume, etc.) should be used sparingly. Although conventional drugs tend to inhibit the action of remedies to some extent, patients who are dependent on them should not try to discontinue them abruptly or without supervision.

Anyone needing dental work should either get it done before taking the remedy, or at least wait until the remedy has clearly acted or failed to act, so that it may be repeated if necessary. Osteopathy, chiropractic, acupuncture, rolfing, and other deep energy treatments should not be initiated at the same time, but are perfectly OK for maintenance or once the effect of the remedy is apparent and can be monitored adequately. The mode of life should be simple and healthful, with ample time for rest, recreation, and exercise. Eat and drink moderately.

 	Richard Moskowitz, MD