Homeopathy Tips for 8/23/11 Provings vrs. Aggravations

Often when a person is taking a remedy on a daily basis symptoms appear that makes one question whether the person is doing a proving of the remedy or just having an aggravation of their symptoms. It pays to learn more about each of these conditions and how to tell the difference.

A proving is intentionally taking a remedy in various potencies to reveal the symptoms of the remedy. Usually provings have a short duration and are conducted through a proving supervisor in a very organized way. This facilitates the collection of information in regards to the persons experience while taking the remedy. This is how we learn part of what the remedy is for. The qualities of the more hidden aspects of the substance become revealed through potentization. These hidden qualities could only be known as they are made manifest through a living organism.

Aggravations are the existing symptoms of a person that become more intense after taking the remedy. This is an indication of the response to the remedy and the secondary action of the vital force. Aggravations are often accompanied with an amelioration of some other aspect of the persons symptoms, usually mental. Physical symptoms usually get worse while mental symptoms improve. The person will report that they feel better but the physical symptoms are more intense. This is an indication of the vital force bringing latent or previous symptoms to the surface, in the present point in time, so that they can be healed.

Provings and aggravations can sometimes be difficult to understand when the person is going through a lot after taking the remedy. The one thing that differentiates the proving from the aggravation is that a proving would be a new symptom that the person has never had before. This can sometimes be confusing because in the normal course of disease the symptoms may evolve and change. It is important to know what the normal course of the dis-ease may look like and if the new symptoms could be expected. For example in a common influenza the person may report a scratchy throat, lethargy and itchy eyes. As the symptoms worsen there may be a discharge from the nose and body aches and pains. As this evolves further there may be cough that is non productive. As the influenza progresses fever and productive cough may occur. These are all common symptoms. If treatment started at the onset of the condition, then one may say there are new symptoms that were not a part of the original expression. This would not necessarily indicate that the person was doing a proving.

If symptoms of the person continue to evolve and change and new symptoms the person has never experienced before happen, it is necessary to investigate the remedy. If the remedy has these new symptoms and the person is not improving in any way it is possible that the new remedy is causing a proving. Or it is also possible that the remedy is not correct and the persons dis-ease is evolving. In either case a better remedy is indicated and stopping the remedy and finding a new one is best.

If the person is feeling better in many ways and a new non-life threatening symptom appears it is possible that they are doing a partial proving. Partial provings are not necessarily bad. It indicates susceptibility to the remedy energy. If many symptoms are improving and there are minor new symptoms that appear I let the remedy work as long as possible before changing anything. Simple potency changes usually create enough of a shift that the new symptoms cease. The most common partial proving symptom I see are muscle twitches. Often the person will experience a twitch around the eye or some other body part. These are not to be concerned with. They are minor and will change when the potency changes.

We must be good investigators when doing homeopathy. We must find out what symptoms the person has had before. We must also study Materia Medica to learn more about the symptoms recorded for each remedy. If a person is feeling better then it is an indication of the remedy working. Aggravations are expected in every case. There is no cure without an aggravation of some sort. Sometimes the aggravations are difficult to spot. With proper treatment they should be very gentle. Provings though are something to be aware of. If the person is not improving and new symptoms appear, it may be a proving. It is then time to look for a new remedy. Stopping the remedy will usually get the new symptoms to stop also. But if they do not, then take the new symptom into the case along with the original symptoms and find the very best remedy. With good prescribing this should not happen very often.

21 comments so far

  1. Sandy on

    Great explanation, thank you. This can sometimes be confusing in real life so this will be a good reference for me.

  2. Dr. Kafail Ahmed on

    Very benefitial explanation

  3. C.Fernandes on

    Dear Robert,

    Every article that you write is inspiring as we try to learn more and more about homeopathy which has practically enhanced my knowledge.



  4. ahmad on

    your articals are more helpful in practical life aboyt homeopathy.thanks

  5. Tammy Johnson on

    >>>Aggravations are often accompanied with an amelioration of some other aspect of the persons symptoms, usually mental. Physical symptoms usually get worse while mental symptoms improve. The person will report that they feel better but the physical symptoms are more intense.

    What if their mental/emotional symptoms get worse. For example, starting to spiral down into a deep depression? What would you consider that to be? Aggravation or a proving or ???? The physical symptoms stayed the same, or might have been a little better.

    I appreciate you talking on this subject. As a new student, and one that is currently undergoing homeopathic treatment- it is a question that keeps coming up with me.

    • Robert Field on

      Hi Tammy,
      When the mental state becomes worse something is not right about the remedy. It could be an aggravation in which case it is very important to change how the remedy is being administered ( put it in water ). But if this does not change the persons mental state then it is necessary to change the remedy. If it is a state that they have never before experienced before it could be part of the remedy and associated with a proving. But if they have experienced this before then watch closely that it begin to improve quickly. If it doesn’t then it is probably not the right remedy.
      Thanks for your question. It is sometimes hard to be clear about when it is happening to your client or yourself.

      • Tammy Johnson on

        Thanks Robert,
        I appreciate the detail in the clarification!

  6. dr manoj d singh on

    very informative

    dr manoj
    d singh.

  7. Sharon Cardenas RN on

    Thank Robert, appreciate this needed explanation..

  8. tariq on

    very informative thank u

  9. Dr.Sarfaraz Ali on

    Really this is very useful explanation.Teaching the homeopthy in such a nice way is appreciable.

  10. Rajib Kumar Sharma on

    Its is very knowledgeable note.
    Thanks a lot

  11. Anurag Sareen on

    The difference explained is very benificial and supportive. I thank you for the article.

  12. geeta on

    thank u for this information,i got an idea little bit.am giving thuja 10M water dose for the pt for te the mental symptoms,who is having fixed ideas n stubborn,n he also have warts around neck.but i couldnt find any changes in him.is it correct treatment?pls guide me in this case.

  13. Dr Anand Kr Jain on

    Good Articles as Always.
    Thank You.

  14. k.v.prasannam on

    Good explanation,It is very knowledgeable for layman like me- Prasannam

  15. Dr.Rajendrasinh Devadhara on

    Very nice differentiation.

  16. Anindya Das on

    Thank you for discussing this useful and important topic.

  17. Ariel on

    Robert, Thank you for being the great teacher you are!

    I find it helpful to remember that usually healing happens from the inside out and top down. So if the mentals are better, but there are now skin symptoms, it’s usually a sign that the expression of disease is moving outward. I’ve re-read sections of Sankaran’s Spirit of Homeopathy a few times when have an aggravation of my own to help me determine whether the expression is outward to the less vital parts of the body or not.

  18. Monina Vazquez on

    Thank you very much Robert for sharing your knowledge in such an altruist way. Monina

  19. celes on

    Dear Dr. Robert,

    Can you share with me some knowledge about treatment of Dementia. I would be grateful if you could enlighten me.



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