The extreme subdivision of homoeopathic remedies has been keenly criticised for one hundred years. But as Hahnemann taught the potentising of medicines the thing is perfectly simple and accurate.
For Hahnemann’s favourite “30th” or “decillionth” potency, only thirty small vials are needed as a few drachms of alcohol or water. One drop of the strong tincture is put in a small bottle with ninety-nine drops of alcohol and this vigorously succussed is the first centesimal potency. Subsequent potencies are prepared in the same way – always one drop of the preceding potency in ninety-nine drops of the attenuating medium to form the next. And it will be easily seen that so long as matter is divisible each, succeeding vial will contain a saturated solution of the drug, in finer and finer subdivision : always : activated and not diluted and rendered less potent. Boyd of Glasgow has recently proved that every single succession up to forty alters the potency : then it remains constant till further potentised by taking one drop into a fresh ninety-nine drops of alcohol.
But homoeopathy makes use of many insoluble substances : and it uses them pure, and in tincture form… how can this be?
And here we have another of the discoveries of Hahnemann. With insoluble substances – gold – silica – carbon-lycopodium – his first potencies are made by trituration (one part of the substances in ninety-nine parts of sugar of milk, triturated in an agate mortar for a couple of hours). One part of this first centesimal trituration is again ground up with ninety-nine parts of sugar of milk for the same period to make a second centesimal potency, and a third is made in the same way. That gives the substances as one in a million. And he shows that after these three trituration all substances become soluble in alcohol or water, and potencies can now be run up in the usual way.
The profession now has colloidal silica etc., but silica, gold, vegetable charcoal, silver, and a host of insoluble substances were bequeathed to us, proved as to their exact role in combating sickness, by Hahnemann, over one hundred years ago.
Many in the past have called this diluting and the resulting tinctures,”dilutions.” so did Hahnemann, till experience taught him that subdivision (and he never reached its limits ) meant more completely-liberated energy; when he substituted for “dilutions” the truer term, potencies. And here again he appealed to facts and to experience and has taught us to do the same; insisting that so long as a remedy, so treated can evoke some evidence of aggravation we have curative power. And our personal experience of some twenty years is that it is from the highest potencies (provided that the remedy is correct ) that we get the most alarming aggravations; so much so that we dare not employ them in advanced disease with much destruction to tissue For instance in advanced phthisis, a very high potency of Phosphorous in establishing too severe a reaction may determine a fatal haemorrhage.
Hahnemann (from years of experience ) claims further that by potentisation, not only do insoluble substances become soluble, but that their medicinal virtues can thereby be fully and even infinitely developed: besides which their chemical properties are so altered that they are no longer subject to chemical laws. They have passed for instances beyond the laws of neutralisation…. (Hahnemann was one of the foremost chemists of this day.