We are really grateful to Dr. Alfred Pulford for his learned interpretation of the above terms in his article published in the Homoeopathic Recorder issued in June 1938. He rejects, on grounds as elaborated in the article, the first two terms “Potentization”, and “Dilution”, and concludes that “Attenuation comes nearest, is the least inconsistent and should be chosen as the standard.”
As Dr. Pulfords interpretation of the above terms seems to be rather inconsistent with what our Master, Hahnemann, wrote on the subject in his preface to the fifth volume of the Chronic Diseases, we beg to quote below an extract from the latters interpretation, so that the readers of the Recorder may have an opportunity to judge for themselves which interpretation to accept and to use in their practical life.
Dilutions, properly so-called, exist almost solely in objects of taste and of color. A solution of salty and bitter substances becomes continually more deprived of its taste the more water is added, and eventually it has hardly any taste, no matter how much it may be shaken. So, also, a solution of a coloring matter, by the admixture of more and more water, becomes at last almost colorless, and any amount of shaking will not increase its color.
These are, and continues to be, real attenuations or dilutions, but no potentization.
Homoeopathic dynamizations are processes by which the medicinal properties, which are latent in natural substances while in their crude state, become aroused, and then become enabled to act in an almost spiritual manner on our life; i.e., on our sensible and irritable fibre. This development of the properties of crude natural substances (dynamization) takes place, as I have before taught, in the case of dry substances by means of trituration in a mortar, but in the case of fluid substances, by means of shaking or succussion, which is also a trituration.
These preparations can not be simply designated as dilutions, although every preparation of this kind, in order that it may be raised to a higher potency, i.e., in order that the medicinal properties still latent within it may be yet further awakened and developed, must first undergo a further attenuation (dilution), in order that the trituration or succussion may enter still further into the very essence of the medicinal substance, and may thus also liberate and expose the more subtle part of the medicinal powers that lie hidden more deeply, which could not be effected by any amount of trituration and succussion of the substances in their concentrated (crude) form.
From the above, it is clear that dilution and attenuation mean almost the same thing, while dynamization (potentization) s really the term we should use in our homoeopathic nomenclature to express the process by which the latent medicinal properties in crude natural substances are liberated and exposed, aroused and developed, and finally enabled to act in an almost spiritual manner on our life.
QUESTION AND ANSWER DEPARTMENT.
Question: HOW VALUABLE IS FRUIT AS A LAXATIVE?.
Answer: Raw fruit is a good bowel conditioner and regulator, but its laxative effect depends upon individual susceptibility, the obstinacy of the constipation, the kinds of fruit taken, the quantity and the degree of ripeness. We find it of value both as a laxative and cleansing routine to restrict the diet in selected cases entirely to raw fruit for one or two days, or longer, according to indications, placing no limit whatever on the quantity or the frequency with which it is taken. Fresh raw fruits are undoubtedly the most important foods in the world as far as physiological well being is concerned. Everyone should partake freely of every kind of raw fruit available in the market.
Question: WHY DO REMEDIES CEASE TO ACT WHEN REPEATED TOO MANY TIMES IN THE SAME POTENCY?.
Answer: It is probable that a degree of tolerance is acquired on the particular plane in which the remedy is prescribed. In a chronic case it may require three to six repetitions, or more, before a point is reached where reaction from the indicated remedy cannot be observed. Therefore, we usually advise stepping up the potency after three to five prescriptions of the same remedy.
Question: IN WHAT KIND OF CASES WOULD YOU PRESCRIBE AN ALL MILK DIET?.
Answer: We are employing milk less and less in our practice. Milk is not a food easy to digest and when pasteurized is particularly indigestible. Milk is a poor food for patients with low functional activity of the liver. It is also contraindicated in catarrhal conditions with increased mucous secretions as it will aggravate the trouble. The chief advantage of milk diet is its simplicity; by eliminating all other foods for a while the burden on the digestive tract may be somewhat relieved. However, in most of these cases suitable dietetic correction, independent of milk, will prove more beneficial.
Question: WHY ARE COOKED FRUIT AND VEGETABLES NOT AS BENEFICIAL AS RAW?.
Answer: As soon as fruit and vegetables are cooked they are altered chemically and energy values are lost to a considerable extent. Fruit acids, moreover, do not combine well with sugar, therefore stewed fruits are not easy to digest. An interesting experiment by McCollum of Johns Hopkins University demonstrated that raw cabbage will digest in two and one-half hours whereas cooked cabbage requires five hours for its digestion, and that the nutritional value of the raw cabbage was almost twice as great as that of the cooked.
If homoeopaths would pay more careful attention to the diet control of their causes, emphasizing the importance of the natural, raw, unprocessed foods, and correcting and simplifying their patients menus, their therapeutic results would be improved to a surprising degree.