INDICATIONS FOR THE CORRECT POTENCY. The problem of the correct potency has been puzzling homoeopaths for a long time. For the low potency group there is not much of a problem for they deny that there is any action to a high potency other than suggestion. They object to high potencies on theoretical grounds, or having tried them in a slipshod manner have been disappointed with results.

The problem of the correct potency has been puzzling homoeopaths for a long time. For the low potency group there is not much of a problem for they deny that there is any action to a high potency other than suggestion. They object to high potencies on theoretical grounds, or having tried them in a slipshod manner have been disappointed with results. However, thoughtful prescribers will find adequate proof of the action of high potencies if look for it. In passing, there are two proofs that come to mind. One is the observed action of a carefully prescribed high potency on babies or animals, any effects of suggestions can be discounted.

The other proofs is in the Hering rest-the action of the simillimum (in a high potency) on the blood serum can actually be seen and compared with the effects of other drugs and also controls. High potency prescribers both past and present approached the idea with skepticism Nash and kent were opposed to high potencies at first but tried them out in an experimental way. They were forced to their conclusions because of the results they obtained. Recently Gutman of New York, an allopath by training, has also approached the question of high potencies with skepticism but has come to the same favorable conclusions.

On the other hand, the high potency group having obtained some brilliant results with high potencies are loath to come down out of the clouds. Their mistakes are not necessarily those of drug selection.

If then you will agree that both high and low potencies will act under suitable conditions, let us proceed to consider when a certain potency should be used I think that all will agree that the basis of our homoeopathic knowledge lies in drug provings. If our provings help us to differentiate one drug from another it is reasonable that they can also help in the selection of a potency. It is well known that large doses of mercury salts produce vomiting and purging, smaller, doses produce salivation sweating, renal inflammation, etc and the higher potencies produce finer grades of symptoms- particularly mental symptoms. If this is so, we should conclude that.

1. Low potencies are indicated in gross pathologic states.

2. Medium potencies are indicated in functional disorders.

3. Highest potencies are indicated in mental states.

Many have observed that low potencies are easier to prescribe, that their action is less specific. This can be likened to the saying that a low potency is like a spray of buckshot while a high potency is like a long range rifle-if the aim is not careful it is easy to miss. This leads to another conclusion;

4. The greater the similarity between patient and proving, the higher the potency should be, However, this conclusion must be modified by a more important principle, namely;

5. The less vital the organ involved, the higher the potency that may be used and conversely the more vital the organ involved the lower the potency that must be used. For example a patient with an extensive kidney involvement, especially where kidney function is seriously impaired, should never receive a high potency. Likewise a patient with extensive tuberculous lung involvement. However, skin lesions, even extensive ones, will tolerate a high potency and with much benefit. If you have ever seen a severe aggravation from a high potency antidote will relieve the patient morphia or sedatives are powerless in a case of this kind. Of the five principles mentioned the last is the most important.

A few years ago Woodbury made a “plea for the pan-potentist”. The idea bears repeating If more low potency prescribers tried high potencies and high potencies the low ones, there would no longer be two schools of thought within our ranks and we would present a united front. In certis unitus…”

Dr. Grimmer; Dr. Shippen has brought us a very vital question to discuss. The potency question has been one of the thorns is our side for a long, long time. It is a good thing to get somewhere ground. We can I am sure.

Dr. Hayes; I am on common ground because I use all ranges.

Dr. Moore; From the tincture to the B.M.F.

Dr. Grimmer; Doctor, will you kindly give us some of your ideas when one should be used in preference to another? That is what we want.

Dr. Hayes; It is hard to collect my thoughts all at once on that. There is one place where low potencies- eighteen, fifteen, twelve, six- act very beautifully, and that is in palliation of dropsies, I have had results from 1 M., and so on. When that is done and they fail, and try it again and they will not respond, drop down to that low potency, and you will get beautiful results.

Dr. Grimmer; That is the case of incurable or on the border of incurability- a heart that is badly diseased. What happens if you give a high potency that stirs up too much vitality? It will kill those patients quickly.

Dr. Kaplowe; I think that Dr. Roberts has summarized this potency question about the best way that I could ever find it. He states that the disease symptoms represents the degree of susceptibility, that the greater the number of symptoms in a given case, the greater the degree of similarity between the patient and the indicated remedy, hence, the greater the susceptibility; the greater the susceptibility, the less quantity of drug necessary and therefore the higher the potency, with the exception, of course, of very seriously ill patients, especially where vital organs are involved. For example, Sulphur in a far gone case of tuberculosis will kill in high potency.

Dr. Woodbury; Dr. Shippen has done me the honour to use a phrase from a paper which I wrote a good many years ago pan potentist, and the name itself caries about all the implications that I could suggest to you if I were to say more about it. I do know, from reading and looking up the question of malignancy in a study of all available homoeopathic literature at hand, which took about a year, that most of the so-called cures, or supposed cures, say of malignant disease were made from the lower or mostly medium potencies, not above the 30th and Dr. Peterman, from some place in illinois, whom some of you may remember, reported a large series of malignant cases of carcinoma and sarcoma which he treated with a very excellent percentage.

I dont know of anyone who has excelled that percentage. He used mostly lower potencies. I believe the time isnt to come but is already here, when we have forgotten this old contention of whether you are a high or a low potentist. I think it is on of the greatest advances in homoeopathic thinking in the century and a half of its existence.

Dr. Stevens; It seems to me that one the greatest difficulties in using the low potencies is to know when to stop. because very often the physician who uses only the low potencies will give a whole bottle of tables, 3x., 6x., or whatever it is , to a patient, and keeps them going every two or three of four hours for some time. It seems to me that it is almost impossible not to give them longer than they are really indicated. If it is in a hospital where a patient can be watched every day, every few hours, that is one thing, but if it is a matter of seeing the patient only say, once a week or one in two or three weeks, it seems to me that almost surely they get too much of the drug if they are allowed to continue regularly with the low potency.

Dr. Grimmer; I am sure that point is well, and I agree. If you will look back into the literature you will find that Cooper gave tincture altogether, but how did he do it? He gave a single drop, but he let it act a month, the same as we do with our potencies, and he made cures. There is the danger of those who use the low potency. If they have not the discrimination and training and observation to know when their patient has gotten enough by his symptoms, they will do harm. Dr. Stevens is right and that is the real danger.

Dr. Moore; I dont think that homoeopathy has arrived at a time when we can say for this use a high for that use a low, not out of the experience of all the people who are working I mentioned the other day here the idea which came out of London where they have had great numbers of children to work on, pneumonias, and here is the idea; The 10M is given right along in these pneumonias every two hours or four hours, and it is continued six hours after the temperature has reached normal. The idea of that is that if you dont continue that half-dozen hours at least, you will have a recurrence. That idea was combated here by men out of their own experience, so that represents something that has been carried on for a long time.

Again, we have the case of the children who come in with these terrible summer diarrhoeas that carry them off so rapidly. Here is a healthy child today, and the next day it is dehydrated. From over there comes the word that we have tried these low potencies, we have tried the medium potencies, and they wont cure those cases. This is in London. I dont say this is your experience. I know it isnt the experience of some of them, but they cant touch these cases with the ordinary potencies. They must go up to the 10M., somewhere up there, and they have got to repeat them or they dont get the results. They have tried the lower potencies and have failed, and now we will find people here whose experience is entirely different from that.

Rodman Shippen