From the discussion of “A New Remedy”, by C.L.Olds, M.D., at the I.H.A, June 1929.
Mohegan Lake, N.Y., Nov.28, 1929.
To the Editor of The Homoeopathic Recorder:.
In the little friendly dispute on the potency question there seems to be almost entire agreement on essential facts but a good deal of misunderstanding of different statement. It seem to be agreed that the choice of potency makes a great difference in therapeutic results.
the old question of the extent to which matter is divisible is very admirably expressed by Dr.Coleman in the sentences quoted below. I quote the whole because it is a concise statement of the problem, the solution of which, to my mind, would settle some of the disagreement between the so called low and high potency camps of the homoeopathic school.
“It is my conception that in the potentization of a remedy we must retain the same chemical in the ultimate subdivision. Pulsatilla must remain Pulsatilla, Arsenicum must remain Arsenicum. In other words the molecule must be preserved.
“We do not know just how many molecules there are in the drops of our tinctures. There must be a certain definite number, however. No concrete mass can contain an UNLIMITED supply of its constituent parts. In the potentization of remedies there is a place in the dilution where the final molecule disappears. At what potency does this occur?….Nobody knows. From our scientific knowledge of the construction of matter, if must be in far less dilution that any potency such as the CMs, DMs or MMs, if such really exist”.
It would be very helpful if we could determine at just what point in the potency scale the molecules became so few and far between that the chance of getting one into the patient in an average dose would be negligible. What would be the decision on the CMs, DMs, and MMs? Would one be forced to descend to the lower potencies in order to get the results he thinks he now gets with the high?.
In spite of the the statement that nobody knows to what potency this limit of the materia stretches it so happens that we have a very accurate figure from which to calculate this point. There are 2.X 10 21 (2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000) molecules in a drop of water. This calculation is based on a figure given us by Professor Robert A. Millikan, which enables us to find the number of molecules in any desired weight of any substance whose molecular weight is known.
Millikan says that in a gram molecular weight of any substance there are 6.062 x 10 23 (606,200,000,000,000,000,000,000) molecules of that substances. This figure (known in chemistry as the Avogadro constant) has been verified by several independent experimental methods, and is said by E.Rutherford to be accurate to within at least 1 percent and probably to 1/10th of 1 percent.
The imagination need not be troubled to try to grasp the immensity of this number as that is not our purpose at the present time. What we desire to know is its decision on the question under discussion. The potency where there remains only one molecule in a dose of 1 cubic centimeter is easily found by simple arithmetic. It varies with the molecular weight of the drug in question. I give below the result of this calculation for a few drugs.
NAME FORMULA WEIGHT POTENCY
Radium Bromide RaBr2 386.4 10.60
Plumbum Pb 207.2 10.73
Natrum mur. NaC1 48.46 11.01
Sulphur S 32.06 11.14
Phosphorus P 31.04 11.15
Fluoric Acid HF 20.008 11.24
Carbo C 12.005 11.35
Hydrogen H2 2.016 11.74
Hydrogen H 1.008 11.89
Electron — 0056 13.52.
As long as Dr. Coleman given nothing higher tan the 12th. centesimal potency (provided the potencies are accurately made), he is true to his conception that the identity of the chemical substance must be retained, but he himself tells us that he has run up his own potencies by hand to the 30th. and uses potencies as high as the 100th. In so doing he is on the other side of the fence and might just as well give a CM, DM, or MM, (if such can be made) for he has already proven to himself by his own clinical results that potencies still act when beyond the realm of the matter known to modern science.
The question for us to decide is not,”Do high potencies act”? but “Do potencies above the 12th. centesimal act”? On this point I believe all homoeopaths are in perfect agreement and should work in harmony to convince the world.- N.R.SPEIDEN.