The homoeopathic of drug potentiation may be considered as an extension into medicine of what is known in physical science as the “Theory of the Potential,” a function of fundamental importance in the theory of Attractions, under which the greater part of the modern progress in invention has been made.
To give Hahnemann his just dues as an original investigator in science, however and to place his dynamical theory in its right relation to modern scientific thought, it should be remembered that he promulgated his theory of potentiation long before the Theory of the Potential was announced. It was pointed out even during Hahnemann’s lifetime that his experiments and the theory based upon them opened the way for an entirely new consideration of the subject of dynamics, and led to new conceptions of the constitution of matter. It would be permissible, therefore, from the chronological standpoint, to reverse the opening statement of this article and say that the modern scientific Theory of the Potential is an extension into physics of Hahnemann’s pharmaco- dynamical Theory of Potentiation.
For the clearest and most concise definition of the Theory of the Potential I quote the Standard Dictionary:
” Potential exists by virtue of position, as opposed to motion said especially of energy.”
1. Potential is a condition at a point in space, due to attraction or repulsion near it, in virtue of which something at that point, as a mass of electric charge would possess potential energy or the power of doing work: in the case of electricity, measured by the work done in bringing a unit of positive electricity thither from an infinite distance against an electrical repulsive force.
2. If any system of attracting bodies, a mathematical quantity having at each point of space, a value equal to energy acquired by a unit mass in falling from an infinite distance to that point.
Potential regarded as something distributed throughout space, determines by the difference of its values at neighboring points, the intensity and direction of the force acting through the region. Its variation from one point to another thus constitutes or at least measures force, the law being that a material body always tends to move in the direction of increasing potential and a positive electrical charge in that of decreasing potential. The function in the former case is called *gravitation potential, and in the latter *electrical potential, which is taken from the opposite algebraic sign.
Electrical potential, which determines the flow of electricity, has been compared to *temperature, which similarly govern the flow of heat. The potential due to the earth’s attraction in like manner determines *level, which governs the flow of water.”
To this we may now perhaps add that the drug potential due to the attraction of the living organism, determines in a similar manner, the direction and kind of action of the drug prescribed or taken.
Have we not here suggested in this contribution from an allied science a possible means of measuring the power and action of infinitesimal doses of medicine in the living organism? In physiological experimentation we have to deal with living organism, energized by a power which exerts a force akin to, if not identical, with, electricity- but one which, in its physical manifestation, is demonstrably governed by the laws of motion. that force should be measurable by the methods and standards used in physical science.
Here is a suggestion for our research workers. Let them lay aside for a time their unfruitful studies of serums, vaccines and micro-organisms and devote their attention to the subject of vital energy as manifested in living organisms. Let them learn how to measure the actions and reactions of that fundamental, entitative power and principle called Life in the same way that the electrical scientist, measures the force with which he deals in his department.
The idea of a drug potential analogous to the electrical and gravitation potential, has never been advanced before, as far as I know; but it appears to be one capable of being worked out mathematically by some one who is competent. It is merely presented here as a suggestion which may lead to the discovery of a new means of measuring the dynamic energy and mode of action of potentiated homoeopathic medicines.
Something determines the intensity and direction of the force of a drug acting within it sphere in the living organism; and its variation from one point to another, or from one condition or state to another, might be made to mathematically measure its force, if such a measurement were desirable for any purpose.