When Samuel Hahnemann, a German chemist, first began experimenting with homeopathic substances in 1789, he envisioned formulating an ideal single remedy for every ailment. To this day, classically trained homeopathic physicians perform detailed analyses on individual patients, assessing them holistically, in addition to their symptoms, to identify a single remedy best suited to the person. (Learn more in our What is homeopathy section).
With so many over-the-counter homeopathic remedies, however, patients are much less likely to consult a homeopath or a guidebook before treating themselves. And the sheer number of single remedies can easily overwhelm an unguided consumer. But choosing a remedy that is not optimal for the condition may prove ineffective.
To counter this problem, many manufacturers also offer homeopathic formulas, which comprise multiple substances that target an ailment’s various symptoms. Because slight differences in symptoms may call for different remedies, the combination approach helps cover all the bases. The body can then isolate the substance needed for healing and eliminate the ineffectual ones. This concept also applies to multiple potencies because a substance may be more or less effective based on its strength.
Some manufacturers also package single remedies together, such as Boiron’s Care Kits. This gives consumers who are hesitant to experiment with singles on their own a chance to try several different remedies, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase singles in the future.