The Single Remedy

Homeopathy, a system of alternative medicine, was developed by Samuel Hahnemann in the late 18th century. It is based on the principle of ‘like cures like’, where a substance that causes symptoms in a healthy person can be used to treat similar symptoms in a sick person. One of the cardinal principles of homeopathy is the concept of ‘the single remedy’.

This principle asserts that only one homeopathic remedy should be administered at a time to a patient. This approach is believed to be less confusing for the body’s vital force and allows the action of the medicine to be complete and unmodified by other drugs.

The Single Remedy Principle: An Overview

The single remedy principle is deeply rooted in the philosophy of homeopathy. It is based on the belief that every individual has a unique energy pattern or ‘vital force’. This vital force is responsible for maintaining health and balance in the body. When this vital force is disturbed, symptoms of illness appear. Homeopathic remedies are believed to stimulate the vital force to restore health.

The single remedy principle asserts that only one remedy, which most closely matches the totality of the patient’s symptoms and their unique vital force, should be given at a time. This approach is in contrast to the use of combination remedies, which contain multiple homeopathic remedies and are prescribed for specific disease conditions rather than the individual.

The Importance of the Single Remedy

The use of a single remedy is preferred in homeopathy for several reasons. Firstly, it allows for a clear understanding of the action of the remedy. When multiple remedies are used simultaneously, it becomes difficult to discern which remedy is producing a healing effect. Secondly, using a single remedy reduces the risk of unwanted interactions between different remedies. Lastly, the single remedy approach respects the individuality of the patient, as it is chosen based on the unique symptom picture of the patient.

Challenges to the Single Remedy Principle

Despite its importance, the single remedy principle is often challenged, particularly by the modern homeopathic system that relies on combination remedies. These combination remedies have multiple indicated remedies for various conditions and come in multiple remedy combinations and potencies. While they may have an ameliorating effect, they do not cure as they are prescribed for the disease condition and not the person.

The Single Remedy in Practice

In practice, finding the best single remedy for a patient involves a detailed case-taking process. The homeopath must consider not only the physical symptoms of the patient but also their mental and emotional state, their likes and dislikes, their fears and dreams, and many other factors. This information is then used to find a remedy that matches the totality of the patient’s symptoms.

Once the remedy is administered, the homeopath observes the patient’s response to the remedy. Changes in the patient’s symptoms are noted, and the remedy is adjusted as necessary. This process requires patience and careful observation on the part of both the homeopath and the patient.


The single remedy principle is a fundamental aspect of homeopathic philosophy and practice. It respects the individuality of the patient and seeks to stimulate the body’s vital force to restore health. While it is sometimes challenged by modern practices, it remains a cornerstone of homeopathic treatment. Understanding and applying this principle is essential for anyone practicing or receiving homeopathic treatment.

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The Single Remedy