PRESCRIBING : POTENCY SELECTION.
After thoroughly digesting the first six lectures of this brief course and doing wide collateral reading and studying one should be able to select the most similar remedy. The most similar remedy, however, does not become the simillimum until the potency is adjusted to the plane of the individual during his or her illness at the time of prescribing.
Our philosophy teaches us that pathology, and even bacteria, at ultimates of disease and that the true cause is far deeper and less material than these. in order truly wipe out the cause of a so called disease one must administer the remedy on or near the plane of the cause. It follows that for mental distresses and disease of manifestly psychic origin the high potencies (10M and upward) would be employed, other things being equal; and that for grossly material conditions, such as marked organic and pathologic changes, the lower or medium potencies would be selected.
In general, then, functional diseases, where the symptoms are subjective or physiological, where the vital force is tactile, respond well to high potencies; and the organic conditions to lower ones. It makes some difference whether the conditions be acute or chronic. For instance, diphtheria has marked pathology, as has pneumonia, yet the pathology is recent and swift in pace, and the high potencies are suitable.
In general, acute diseases respond well to high potencies, especially of acute remedies (high potencies of deep acting chronic remedies, when these are indicated in an acute condition, may be dangerous). Certain acute crises, based on chronic trouble, such as cardiac asthma, would have to be treated with medium or low potencies because the high potency would stir up more than the vital force could cope with in the face of the advanced chronic pathology.
In chronic prescribing it is a safe rule to begin with the 200th centesimal unless this is dangerous because of the nature of the remedy, the degree of the pathology, or the depth of the miasm. One great object in starting at the 200th in chronic cases is that you then have an ascending series of potencies to use as treatment progresses. The Kentian ideal being to exhaust the action of one potency (see section of Repetition below) and then to step up to the next, exhaust that, and so on, if no change of remedy is indicated to the highest potency.
(Hahnemann places the upper limit of potencies suitable at the end of a series in any given case at the last potency which will produce a very slight aggravation of the symptoms. In our experience you can usually use the highest known potency of the true simillimum and still get action, although at times action will cease with, say, the CM potency). When the top of the series has been exhausted and the same remedy is still called for you begin again at the 200th and repeat the ascending series.
Series of homoeopathic potencies have been made by many famous persons, either by hand, as in the case of the Jenichen potencies, or by various machines. As a general rule it is best to stick to the potencies made by one man as you go up the series in any one case, as for instance, Kents 200th, 1M, 10M, CM, etc. On the other hand, if a jolt is needed, although the same remedy is called for, a change from, say the Skinner to the Fincke potencies may whip up the case.
For those who understand rhythms and cycles it may be well, after a patient has been through a curse (ascending series) of a remedy from one source to change to one of the irregular potencies of the remedy from another source, for instance, we have seen Skinners Lyc. 2M beneficial instead of Kents 1M, or Finches 43M in place of a 50M. This change seems to start a new rhythm or cycle, it is as though the vital force became bored with the decimal system and responded with a renewed spurt to the alternation of potency. The is advanced doctrine.