Homeopathic Posology


The selection of the dose is as much an integral part of the process of making a homoeopathic prescription as the selection of the remedy, and often quite as important. A well selected remedy may fail utterly, or even do injury, because of wrong dosage. …


By posology (from the Greek, posos, how much) we mean the science or doctrine of *dosage.

Small doses and homoeopathy are commonly regarded as synonymous terms. If they who have such an idea of it are favorably inclined toward homoeopathy, it is as likely to be because they have heard that the medicines are “pleasant to take” as for any other reason. While such an impression, taken with what it involves, is not altogether undesirable, it is to be regretted that a broader basis of judgment has not been furnished by those whose duty it is to instruct the public in the principles of homoeopathy. Had this been done such a juvenile conception would not exist, and homoeopathy would be more widely appreciated.

It is not to be denied that the subject of the dose in homoeopathy is a very important one. The three essential elements of the system are the *principle, the *remedy and the *dose; and the three are of equal importance. Posology, and the related subject of Potentiation were the subjects of so much misunderstanding, discussion and controversy in the early days of homoeopathy that the profession, after being divided into two opposing camps, grew tired of the subject. It came to be regarded as a kind of “Gordian Knot,” to be cut by each individual as best he could with the instrument at his disposal.

Hahnemann himself at one time, almost in despair of ever being able to bring his followers to an agreement on the subject, cut the knot by proposing to treat all cases with the thirtieth potency. Following this suggestions others tacitly adopted a dosage confined to one, or a very limited range of potencies. The materialistically minded restricted themselves to the crude tinctures and triturations, or the very low dilutions, ranging from 1x to 6x. Others ranged from the third to the thirtieth potencies, while another small class of metaphysical tendency used only the very high potencies, ranging from the two hundredth to the millionth, each according to his personal predilection.

Such a state of affairs is unfortunate. Assuming that there is a difference in the action of the various doses of medicines, and that a series of potencies or preparations of the different medicines has been available for use; it follows that the entire series should be open to every practitioner, and that each man should be competent, willing and ready to use any potency or preparation of the remedy indicated in a given case, without prejudice. If he confines himself to one or two potencies, be they low, medium, or high, he is limiting his own usefulness and depriving his patient of valuable means of relief and cure.

Under homoeopathic principles any potency may be required in any case. It is as unreasonable to expect to cure all cases with any two or three potencies as it is to expect to cure all cases with any two or three remedies. In either case, those who follow such a course are governed more by the love of ease and their prejudices than they are by their desire for efficiency.

The selection of the dose is as much an integral part of the process of making a homoeopathic prescription as the selection of the remedy, and often quite as important. A well selected remedy may fail utterly, or even do injury, because of wrong dosage. Does as well as remedy must be adjusted to the patient’s need.

The homoeopathic doctrine of dosage, like the law of cure, was based upon the discovery of the *opposite action of large and small doses of medicine. It is another application in medicine of the Law of Mutual Action – the third Newtonian law of motion “Action and Reaction are Equal and Opposite.” Every one at all acquainted with the action of drugs knows, for example, that Ipecac in large doses cause nausea and vomiting and in small doses, under certain conditions, will cure the same; that Opium in large doses will cause a deep sleep or narcosis, and in small doses, under certain conditions, will cure the same.

Closely allied to this is the so-called primary and secondary action of drugs, in which we see many drugs, in the first or primary stage of their action producing one group of symptoms, and in the second stage a directly opposite set of phenomena; as when the deep sleep of the primary action of Opium is followed by a much longer lasting wakefulness; or where the diarrhoea induced by a cathartic is followed by a longer lasting constipation. This applies, of course, only to drugs given in tangible form and considerable quantities, in what are called “physiological doses.”

Stuart Close
Stuart M. Close (1860-1929)
Dr. Close was born November 24, 1860 and came to study homeopathy after the death of his father in 1879. His mother remarried a homoeopathic physician who turned Close's interests from law to medicine.

His stepfather helped him study the Organon and he attended medical school in California for two years. Finishing his studies at New York Homeopathic College he graduated in 1885. Completing his homeopathic education. Close preceptored with B. Fincke and P. P. Wells.

Setting up practice in Brooklyn, Dr. Close went on to found the Brooklyn Homoeopathic Union in 1897. This group devoted itself to the study of pure Hahnemannian homeopathy.

In 1905 Dr. Close was elected president of the International Hahnemannian Association. He was also the editor of the Department of Homeopathic Philosophy for the Homeopathic Recorder. Dr. Close taught homeopathic philosophy at New York Homeopathic Medical College from 1909-1913.

Dr. Close's lectures at New York Homeopathic were first published in the Homeopathic Recorder and later formed the basis for his masterpiece on homeopathic philosophy, The Genius of Homeopathy.

Dr. Close passed away on June 26, 1929 after a full and productive career in homeopathy.