September 2010|Vol 7|Issue 9

September 2010 | Volume 7 | Issue 9


Different challenges on the law of infinitesimal


Dr. Bindu Rekha Sarangi, M.D (Hom.), Final year
Dr. A.C. Homoeopathic Medical College
Bhubaneswar, Orissa
Mobile : 09437295347

        In considering the amount of medicine to be used at one time, or to answer the query, what constitutes a dose? It is very important to have some concept of the history of homoeopathy, to throw light upon the development of the problem of dosage.

        Before Hahnemann’s time and indeed in his early work, the dose played an important part. Nothing but crude and massive doses had ever been used in the care of the sick. All physicians used these massive doses as matter of course, and Hahnemann being a product of the best training of that day, followed in his early career, in the footsteps of his predecessors. Even after Hahnemann began to see the light of the LAW OF CURE he continued to use massive doses, and it is to be remembered that he made cures with massive doses of crude medicine, but from his close observations and continual experiments he found that he was obtaining drug effects oftener than he was making a successful cure.

        When he became convinced of this, he reduced the dose dividing and again dividing the dose, watching closely the results. He soon found that the smaller the dose, the more beneficent the results. His experiments with the divided dose did not come until after he had discovered the dynamic action of disease, then with his logical mind, he correlated his results from the larger doses and brought his ideas of dosage into correlation with the same concept. For if disease be dynamic in nature, the use of a remedy to cure, or even to reach the disease, must be dynamic rather than physiological in form and power.

        The more Hahnemann became convinced of the dynamic nature of disease, the more he sought the dynamic plane in medicine, and the more beneficial he found the administration of the similia. Very, very gradually, the minimum dose, which is always a flexible measure, became ever smaller and smaller, until it has developed into the infinitesimal.

        The gradual recognition of the power of the minimum dose is manifested even in the dominant school of medicine, and is being proven in the laboratories of modern science. As a result gradually lessening doses are being adopted by many who have formerly derided the possibility of effectiveness from small doses. Many of the leading pharmacies have followed this road in preparing drugs for the use of the general physician. This trend manifests in the colloidal preparations and the ductless gland therapy. Of late the physiologist has shown the power of vitamins, and as a particular instance we might point to recent experiments with Vitamin D. It has been found that one part of the crystalline form to three trillionths has a curative action on rachitis, while one part to fifty thousandths has a destructive action to the point of causing rickets. This again verifies Hahnemann’s dictum on the power of the small dose and the harmful effects of the more material dosage, although this proven material would be classed as infinitesimal by many.

        This also demonstrates the Arndt-Schulz law of action and reaction. So we are coming to point where we fully recognize and comprehend the soundness of Hahnemann’s a deductions. Let us go to Hahnemann’s Organon (fifth American edition) for his teaching in regard to the dose, remembering that in every edition this was plainly taught. Each edition progressed one step further in the development of the minuteness of the dose.

    Paragraph 112: In older descriptions of the fatal effects of over doses of medicines…

    157: Although a homeopathically selected remedy, by virtue of its fitness and minuteness of dose ……

    159: The smaller the dose of the homoeopathic remedy, so much the smaller and shorter is the apparent aggravation of the disease during the first hours.

    160: The dose of a homoeopathic remedy can scarcely be reduced to such a degree of minuteness as to make it powerless to overcome and to completely cure an analogous…

        In Hahnemann’s chronic diseases he is equally emphatic when he says: aggravation of original symptoms appear later on in the same strength as at the beginning, or even more strongly later on, this is a sign that the dose of this antipsoric remedy, although it was correctly selected, was too great, and caused the fear that no cure could be effected through it, since medicines given in so large a dose are able to establish a disease which in some respects is similar, but even greater and more troublesome, without extinguishing the old disease. This is caused by the fact that the medicine used in so large a dose unfolds also its other symptoms which nullify its similarity and thus establishes another dissimilar disease, also chronic, in place of the former.

        Homoeopathic dosage is based upon law, as is the selection of the remedy based upon the law of similar. Action and reaction are equal and opposite, this is fundamental and it is this law that must guide us in the application of drugs.

        In the dividing of the dose no matter how far this is extended there is something of the drug left. Matter is never destroyed it may be changed in potentization, but an absolute zero is never reached. The quantity of action necessary to effect any change in nature is the least possible, the decisive amount is always a minimum, an infinitesimal.

        According to the laws of chemistry, there is a limit to how many serial dilutions can be made without losing the original substance altogether. This limit is called Avogadro’s number, and it roughly corresponds to a homeopathic potency of 24X (which is equivalent to 12C). Thus any potency beyond 24X or 12C has virtually no chance of containing even one molecule of the original substance. One would think that further potentization would cease to be effective at this point, but in actual fact potencies ranging far beyond this limit continue to increase in power. Thus far, there has not been found any limit whatsoever, even though homeopaths often successfully use potencies over 100,000C. As yet there is no available explanation for this phenomenon, although its validity has become undeniable.

        Dr. Fincke, the decisive moment is always a minimum, an infinitesimal. And to our therapeutics it will be perceived that the least possible is always the highest potency sufficient to bring about reaction and effect cure, provided always that the selection of the remedy is homoeopathically correct. The law of the least action (maxima minimis) appears to be an essential and necessary complement of the law of similar (similia similibus) and co-ordinate with it. According to this principle the curative properties and action of the homoeopathic remedy are governed by its preparation and application; in other words the quality of the action of a homoeopathic remedy is determined by its quantity. Consequently, the law of the least action must be acknowledged as the posological principle 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 had tried to make use of it therapeutically, but all had 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 potentisation and the minimum dose was discovered and that was not until Hahnemann, anticipating by a hundred years the modern conceptions of matter and force, hit upon the mathematic mechanical expedient of preparing the drug by dilution according to scale in a definite proportion of drug to inert vehicle.

        Experience proves that the dose of a homeopathically selected remedy cannot be reduced so far as to be inferior in strength to the natural disease and to lose its power of extinguishing and curing at least a portion of the same, provided that the dose, immediately after having been taken, is capable of causing a slight intensification of symptoms of the similar natural disease.

    1. Close, Stuart. “The genius of Homoeopathy lectures and essays on Homoeopathic philosophy”, B.Jain publishers, New Delhi.
    2. Vithoulkas, George. “The science of Homoeopathy”, B.Jain publishers, New Delhi.
    3. Roberts, Herbert A. “The principles and Art of cure by Homoeopathy” Indian books and periodicals publishers, New Delhi.
    4. Singh, Mahendra & Singh, Subhas. “Organon of medicine, 6th & 5th editions”, Homoeopathic publinations.