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Updated: Mar 16, 2023

I used to work at Ainsworths Homeopathic Pharmacy. This was a long time a go back in the 1980's. I was on a fast trajectory; I was studying homeopathy and Ainsworths was the prefect platform to learn how to advise customers on remedies for all their ills. It was actually tiring work, seeing maybe 50 people in a day all of whom cam in wide-eyed hoping for some homeopathic magic. And of course sometimes we could perform magic!

But very quickly I learned that you couldn't help everyone. Quite often we would have a customer come in and say' I have MS; do you have a remedy for that?' or 'My dad has cancer and we are desperate; can homeopathy help'. And of course homeopathy can help, but not with the information garnered in a few minutes over a shop counter.

This is where we have to learn the difference between acute and chronic prescribing.


An acute illness normally arrises quite quickly, anything from a few minutes to a few days (certainly less than a month old); the symptoms are normally quite clear-cut (the fact the body is pushing out an acute illness can mean that the vital energy is high; although a big drop in energy is possible too). There are often clear modalities (better from > and worse from <).

Acute illnesses tend to have a short duration and most often resolve themselves. Homeopathy can shorten the period of illness and generally strengthen the body's constitution in the process. Often the acute consultation can be fairly short.

Acute illness examples: Measles, Chicken pox, Recent Injuries, Recent UTI's, Flu, Indigestion

But note... if these have been going on for longer than a few weeks then they come under the category of a chronic condition.


Chronic conditions normally have existed longer than a month. They can sometime be complex with a number of threads evident concurrently. They can display a pattern of recurrence; for instance asthma or bronchitis or tonsillitis that recurs on a regular basis. Or a pattern of miscarriages. Any acute condition that recurs is normally seen as part of the chronic picture. Likewise, emotional conditions that go back a long way(e.g. anxiety, depression etc) are normally seen as a chronic condition.

Chronic conditions need a longer in-depth consultation and need careful management by an experienced qualified homeopath. A number of remedies may be needed to resolve this chronic state and cure can take longer (depending on how long the condition has been evident).

When I was studying homeopathy I got a lot of satisfaction treating my family's many acute ailments. But I had to wait till I was more experienced until I tackled my dad's CLL leukaemia and my mum's Crohn's disease. So do develop your homeopathic skills by treating your family and friends' acute conditions. But also know your limits and when to seek help.

You can book a FREE no obligation introductory Q&A session with me to find out if homeopathy is right for you here . I look forward to meeting you!

Find out more about what happens during a homeopathic consultation here

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