Today is the age of
evidenced base medicine. Modern science always trying to disapprove
efficacy of homoeopathic medicine in the context of high dilution
which is a revolutionary discovery of a great scientist Dr.
Samuel Hahnemann. Out of all the assertions made by homoeopaths,
it is this one on the action of the infinitesimal doses which
is utterly rejected by so-called men of science as being impossible.
They point out that in a solution where the solute reaches dilutions
beyond Avagadro’s number (6 x 1023; 12C, 24X, 0/4 potencies
and above), that the probability of finding even one molecule
of the initial substance goes from extremely small, to almost
non-existent. The present article tries to explore the journey
of the scienificity of homoeopathic doses since from the days
of Hahnemann till the present era in a very concise form.
“It has been
my rule through life never to accept anything as true, unless
it came as near mathematical proof as possible in its domain
of science; and, on the other hand, never to reject anything
as false, unless there was stronger proof of its falsity.”
– Constantine Hering. [Preface,The Guiding Symptoms of
our Materia Medica]
The Homeopathic mode of treatment often encourages use of drugs
at such ultra-low doses and high dilutions that even the physical
existence of a single molecule of the original drug substance
becomes theoretically impossible. But homeopathy has sustained
for over two hundred years despite periodical challenges thrown
by scientists and non-believers regarding its scientificity.
There has been a spurt of research activities on homeopathy
in recent years, at clinical, physical, chemical, biological
and medical levels with acceptable scientific norms and approach.
While clinical effects of some homeopathic drugs could be convincingly
shown, one of the greatest objections to this science lies in
its inability to explain the mechanism of action of the microdoses
based on scientific experimentations and proofs. Though many
aspects of the mechanism of action still remain unclear, serious
efforts have now been made to understand the molecular mechanism(s)
of biological responses to the potentized form of homeopathic
drugs. I begin the present article with Hahnemann’s view
on the necessity of keeping an open mind, free from bias, and
transcendental speculation which can receive no confirmation
by the aggravations resulting from the ordinary doses in his
daily medical practice, seeked to find a dose so small that
it would not endanger the life. Naturally this led him to reduce
the size of the doses. Finding better results with this he continued
to reduce the dose. His idea at first was simply to reduce the
“strength” / material mass of the drug but his passion
for accuracy led him to adopt a scale i.e., Fifty Millesimal
scale which he particularly introduced in 6th edition of Organon
In reducing the density
of the mass he perceived that he was setting free powers previously
latent and that these powers were the greatest and most efficient
for their therapeutic purposes when the remedy so prepared was
applied under the principle of Symptom Similarity. First he
said it merely as dilution but ceased and named it “potentization”,
a process of rendering potent / powerful that which was previously
Now Homoeopathic Potentization
or Dynamization is a mathematico-mechanical process, for the
reduction, according to scale of crude, inert and poisonous
medicinal substances medicinal substances to a state of physical
solubility, physiological assimilability, therapeutic activity
and to a state of harmlessness for use as a homoeopathic healing
remedies. The aim of potentization is to reduce all substances
designed for therapeutic use to a state of approximately perfect
solution and complete ionization which is fully accomplished
by infinite dilution.
The greater the dilution, the higher the degree of ionization
until, at, Infinite dilution ionization is complete and therapeutic
activity is conditionally greatest. The procedure of potentization
involves division of matter into particles, differentiations
and progressions by which reproduction and propagations of medicinal
properties of the drug takes place, and power and qualities
of the drug are progressively transformed to the diluting medium.
Scientific foundation of potentization:
The use of the infinitesimal dose in Homoeopathy is an outcome
of experience, doctrine having foundation in truth and embodied
in the modern scientific theories like:-
1. The Conservation of Energy – the sum total of the energy
of the Universe neither increaseses nor decreases but assumes
different forms successively.
2. The Conservation of Matter – Matter is indestructible
and the total quantity of it in Universe remains the same regardless
of the innumerable transformation and permutations constantly
limits can be assigned to the divisibility of matter. The smallest
conceivable part always contains some of the original substance
along with its power and qualities. Dynamisation is not merely
a process of dilution or attenuation that liberates the pharmaco-dynamic
properties of a drug but the friction which is given to the
drug with the inert vehicle by a process of succussion or trituration.
So dynamisation is a process of dilution plus friction which
brings about the unfolding or intensification of the pharmaco
dynamic properties of a drug. Thus Hahnemann started the study
of pharmacological and therapeutic properties of drugs to a
level of energetic where qualities or force is the primary consideration
and matter secondary.
Fincke explained the
action and efficiency of infinitesimal doses by applying the
“Law of the Least Quantity”, discovered by Maupertius,
the Great French mathematican. The principle is stated as follows:
“the quantity of action necessary to effect any change
the nature is the least possible”. Dr. Fincke says, “the
decisive amount is always a minimum, an infinitesimal”.
The law of the Least Action (Maxima Minimis) appears to be essential
and necessary complement of the Law of Similars (Similia Similibus)
and coordinate with it. According to this principle the curative
properties and action of the homoeopathic remedy are governed
by its preparation and application. The quality of action of
the homoeopathic remedy is determined by its quantity. So the
law of the least action is the posological priniciple of Homoeopathy.
Homoeopathy was not created by the discovery of the law of Similars.
Many before Hahnemann from Hippocrates down, had glimpses of
the law and some tried to make use of it therapeutically but
failed because of their inability to properly graduate and adapt
the dose. The principle of Similia was of no practical use until
the related principle of minimum dose and potentization was
discovered. So Homoeopathy became most practicable after this
To the mind of the
mathematican, astronomer or modern physicist, accustomed to
think in the terms of the infinitesimal, such quantities present
no difficulties, but to the unscientific mind, with its crude
conception of constitution of matter, they are unthinkable and
incredible. Hahnemann by his discovery of potentization raised
Homoeopathy to a level with other natural sciences and created
a method analogous to the infinitesimal calculus of mathematics,
upon which is based the atomic theory of chemistry; harmonizes
with ‘the theory of the interatomic ether of space’,
the theory of the radiant state of matter, the theory of the
electric potential of the present physics and with the chemico
– cellular theory of physiology and pathological anatomy.
Its agrees with modern bacteriology in its explanation of the
action of pathogenic microbes as being due to the infinitesimal
quantities of their secreted poisons. It is in harmony with
the latest conclusion of modern psychology.
Von Grauvogl has shown that the absorption of inorganic substances
by the living organism regulates itself chiefly according to
the organic need, hence such
Quantities and in soluble form. Iron offers a good illustration.
Vitamins, Minerals essential for our body are required in minute
amount, even plants require minerals (present in various manures
and fertilizers) in minute amount. Substances which in their
natural state are unassimilable by the living organism like
the minerals / toxic / destructive substances are by homoeopathic
mechanical potentization rendered soluble homogenous and assimilable,
rendered harmless when prescribed homoeopathically. They become
to the diseased organism what food is to the healthy organism,
that is reconstructive which supplies the organic need, restore
order and harmony to disordered function and permits a resumption
of normal functioning.
Practical experience with homoeopathic high potencies in the
treatment of the sick confirms the fundamental postulates of
science. The highest potencies made by Hahnemannian process
of dilution are shown to be capable of bringing about a curative
reaction in the sick when the remedy is homoeopathic to the
case. The effect of homoeopathic dose is augumented by increasing
the quantity of liquid in which the medicine is dissolved preparatory
to its administration.
Today plenty of research
works have been done in various streams of science showing the
curative efficacy of homoeopathic high dilutions. The internet
is loaded with such research papers which need a global acceptance.
The idea of potentization is a gradual growth of development.
It is at the same time the most vital and most vulnerable part,
the very heart of Homoeopathy. The present era calls for Prospective
studies involving homoeopathic experts who believe in and treat
as per Classical Homoeopathy, formulating the protocols/ study
designs/ methodology, in conformity with the doctrines of Homoeopathy,
particularly for the in-vivo studies and undertaking in vitro
studies involving the experts of the concerned areas, by adopting
Double blind placebo controlled techniques.
Homoeopathy is a precisely
structured doctrine. Even though most of its ideas find their
parallels in allopathy, it differs from the latter in that the
homoeopathic ideas are mutually consistent and coherent. In
this discipline medicines may not be prescribed otherwise than
in conformity with Hahnemann’s three rules. Homoeopathy
science needs more and more exploration of its principal aspects.
Scientific minded, enthusiastic and meticulous homoeopathic
physician should take the challenge with great zeal and perseverance
to disprove the false blame of modern science and at the same
time co-relate and established relationship of modern scientific
advancement with the homoeopathic principles. The day is not
far when our science will find a universal acceptance with respect
to its scientificity with regards to various controversial facets.
1. Hahnemann, S. Organon of Medicine. Reprinted 5th &
6th edition, Reprint edition. New Delhi: Indian Book & Periodical
Publishers; April 2004.
2. Dudgeon, R.E. Lectures on the theory and practice of Homoeopathy.
Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P). Ltd; 2002.
3. Hering, C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. Reprint
edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.; 2000.
4. Coulter H. L. Homoeopathic Science and Modern Medicine :
The Physics of Healing with Microdoses. Reprinted edition. New
Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.; 2004.
5. Mondal & Mondal. A Text Book of Homoeopathic Pharmacy.
First Edition. New Central Book Agency (P) Ltd; 1994.