As I have mentioned before, my day job is as an infectious disease consultant in acute care hospitals. Often, early in the patients course, we may be uncertain as to the diagnosis and proper treatment and the patient worsens. And even after the cultures return and we have a diagnosis and appropriate therapy, sometimes the patient does not respond or worsens.

Do we have the right diagnosis? Are we missing another diagnosis or complication? Is it the right therapies? Do we need to do further diagnostics or just tough it out as we are watching the natural history of disease and we need to be patient. It is always a disconcerting clinical scenario.

And that is when we have a reality based diagnosis treated with reality based therapies.

What do you do if both your diagnosis and treatment are totally unhinged from reality. How do you rationalize away the lack of response to therapy or, worse, your patient not getting better? What if you are a homeopath? Then call it homeopathic aggravation.

The concept of 'homeopathic aggravation' which is unique for homeopathy may impose a particular risk as it allows the health status of the patients to deteriorate before there is a possible improvement.

You let the patient get worse as you hope it means they will get better.  That is because in the newspeak world of homeopathy,  if the symptoms worsen, the homeopathic remedy is working.

On some occasions your symptoms may get a bit worse within one or two days of taking a homeopathic medicine for the first time - this is called a homeopathic aggravation. It is almost always of brief duration, lasting from a few hours to a few days and is then rapidly followed by a marked and progressive improvement in your symptoms and general health. A homeopathic aggravation is therefore a good sign - it almost always heralds an improvement!

It is fortunate that homeopaths mostly treat trivial illnesses that improve on their own with time. They do not  worry when their patients do not get better because they are giving  magic water will have no effect on any process except thirst.

See a worsening patient after giving water as a good thing rather than worrying that you are giving the wrong therapy. I keep wondering why being a homeopath is not a DSM diagnosis, a form of delusion.