Homeopathy distinguishes between a whole range of reactions to a prescribed remedy. The general types of reaction are:
Curative reaction – the symptoms change to become more superficial, more remote from the major organs, and from further back in the patient’s medical history. Ultimately all symptoms disappear and the patient is in the best state of health achievable.
Palliative reaction – the symptoms are alleviated temporarily but can change to others of a similar severity;
Placebo reaction – this is not the same as a placebo reaction in orthodox medicine, but is one where the patient expresses a non-specific improvement without there being an actual curative change in the symptoms (as defined above). As such this represents the desire to feel better without the evidence of it.
Harmful reaction – the symptoms have become more severe (and there may be new symptoms), affecting more central and significant parts of the body than before.
Dr James Tyler Kent (1849-1916) identified 12 patterns of response after treatment with centesimal (and decimal) potencies and explained the particular indications these give of the patient’s state of health.  These are consistent with the homeostatic nature of the body. Curative reactions to LM potencies, however, tend to involve only beneficial change until the remedy no longer needs repeating, though sometimes the reaction can be similar to that after a decimal or centesimal potency. The variations in the reactions to these different types of potency indicate that there is still a lot to be discovered about their mechanism of action.
1. James Tyler Kent, Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy (New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, repr. edn 1993), pp. 226-34.
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