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Rock Solid Facts About Homeopathy

Dr. M. A. Usmani

Usmani Resource Page

Copyright 2011-15/All rights reserved © Dr Usmani 
Contact author for permission to use

Homeopathy is here for more than two centuries. Its votaries and practitioners are second in number from the number of allopathic practitioners and adherents in the whole world.

Everybody knows that homeopaths use medicines, most of the time, in the form of potencies—a sort of dilutions, in which no medicine can be discovered by any ordinary means and methods of discovery—as they are sans colors, sans smell and sans taste and also sans any discernible substance or chemical. It is for this elusive characteristic that adversaries brand it as ‘moonshine’. But everybody knows that homeopathy works. Adherents to this method of treatment seldom desert it. One can easily find innumerable senior citizens who never have had used any allopathic nostrums their whole life.

What are Homeopathic Medicines? One asks. Why are they tasteless, colorless and odorless? Of what eerie nature these medicines are? Let’s clear this enigma.

The Potency Concept:
Being similia based medicine: that is this medicine can create symptoms similar to the disease for which it is prescribed. So definitely the homeopathic physician would avoid giving large or massive doses as they would fearfully add a similar drug-disease to the natural one, already present. Ipso facto he would find himself compelled to reduce the quantity of the medicine that he is prescribing to avoid the aggravation of the real disease. Hahnemann soon discovered that there was no limit to the extent of dilution or attenuation after which it may become ineffective. This realization led him to another vision which made him, along with his companions, aghast with surprise. He found that methodically gradual reduction of the material dose, instead of enfeebling the power of the medicine, made it more potent and vigorous. So the dilutions came to be known as potencies.

Two scales came into vogue for diluting the medicinal substance to make them homeopathically viable: the Decimal and the Centesimal. (Hahnemann’s preference was the centesimal).

The decimal was made with one part of the medicinal substance dissolved in 9 parts of the solvent, whereas the centesimal was made with the ratio of 1 to 99 parts of the solvent. The solvent could be anything from distilled water to dispensing alcohol. Non soluble substances were triturated with some medicinally inert material. Hahnemann chose lactose, the milk-sugar. Scales were the same: either 1 to 9, or 1 to 99. Hahnemann discovered that many insoluble substances became soluble at certain number of trituration. It was found, for example, that even metals became soluble in water or alcohol after 6th decimal trituration.
Let me give a graphic account of potencies preparation in homeopathy. This was very nicely given by Ellis Barker, perhaps in his book: "Miracles of Healing." This book was in my collection but got misplaced somewhere during the anti-turmeric treatment of my library. It was perhaps 40 years back that I read it. Two other books of his, viz., "The Testament of Healing"; and "New Lives for Old" are with me.

I will explain decimal preparation only, centesimal you can imaginatively calculate yourself. Say you take one ml. of mother tincture of some herbal extract. Its strength is already 1/10th. of the pure extract. To make first decimal potency of this mother tincture, you add 9 ml. of alcohol, and give few vigorous succussions, to make 1X potency. In this way you get 10 ml. of the 1X potency of the medicine by volume. Now to make 2X potency of this medicine, you add 9 ml. of alcohol, for every one ml.of 1X potency; or for the total 10 ml. of the 1X medicine you have to add 90 ml. of alcohol; and give succussions. In this way you have got now 100 ml. of 2X potency. To raise this 100 ml. medicine of 2X potency to 3X, you add 900 ml. alcohol, and give the usual succussions. Thus you have now got 1000 ml. or one liter of 3X potency. To raise this one liter medicine of 3X potency to 4X, you have to add 9 liter alcohol, that will makes the quantity 10 liter of medicine of 4X potency. Similarly to raise this 10 liter to the power of 5X, you have to add 90 liter alcohol; that will makes the total to 100 liters. To raise this 100 liter of 5X to 6X, the quantity will become 1000 liters—which means that 1000 liter of 6X medicine has only 1 ml. of mother tincture, or 0.1 ml. of the real plant extract—that is, 1ml. in 1000,000 liters. In this way 8X would mean 1ml. in 1000,000,00 liters. The 12X would be 1ml. to 1000,000,000,000 liters. The 60X potency, which is Hahnemann’s 30c, would be noted as: one followed by 60 zeros—called by Hahnemann as ‘the decillionth dilution’. About this potency, which was Hahnemann’s average potency, Wikipedia says: “this would require giving 2 billion doses per second to six billion people for 4 billion years.”

Whatever way you may ridicule it, it is a corroborated fact in every homeopath’s daily practice that this potency works, and there is no gainsaying this fact. Only supercilious vanity would deny it. There are some 25% of diseases—or, at least, from 10 to 15%--where the etiology of the diseases is not known or determined as yet. That does not mean that those diseases do not exist, or are fake. Those diseases do exist, and in fact are medically treated in routine practice; but their etiology has not yet been determined. So why homeopathic potencies in those dilutions where there is possibly no molecule of the dissolved substance is left, according to Avogadro, but they, very vigorously, act on the patients for whom they are prescribed according to homeopathic principles. So, accept them as true, till modern science discovers or devises some methods to testify their reality—their efficacy being already known.

These wikipedia’s remarks are about the 30th potency, one wonders as to how would they respond to the 200th, 1000th (written as 1M), and 10M, 50M, CM, and MM potencies. But these all are working potencies. There is no doubt about it.

Whenever a unit, e.g. a grain, or a drop, or one ml., is mixed with 99 units of inert medium and succussed or triturated, next potency, in sequence, is formed. And such a process can be done ad infinitum—never will you reach the limit after which the substance may become inefficacious as medicine. This is a proven fact. Hahnemann says:

  • “The dose of the homeopathically selected remedy can never be prepared so small that it shall not be stronger than the natural disease, and shall not be able to overpower, extinguish and cure it, at least in part…” (Aphorism 279)

I am going to give another rude jolt by revealing here a stunning fact about the dynamics of homeopathic potencies. A homeopath, who knows the philosophy and pharmacy of the preparation of homeopathic dilutions, never lets his stock medicines exhaust. When last drops are left in his stock vial, he adds dispensing alcohol to refill it to three-fourth level and give it successions, to replenish his stock. Such replenishments may have been done for thousands of times, with no lessening of the power and efficacy of the medicines—perhaps they instead become more intensively vigorous. The queer fact is that the potency will remain the same, though thousand times replenished. You can write it—if you like, as, e.g., Merc. Sol 30/1000, which would mean that it is the same potency, i.e. Merc. Sol.30, but fortified thousand times.

One can easily—in a practical way—corroborate the fact, that the 200 potency, the next sequential potency, can be recognized as the higher potency than the 30/1000 Merc. Sol. When the progress is stalled, under this potency, the 200th. re-quickens it: the case again starts responding. This shows that mere replenishing the emptying potencies’ vials by diluents can’t raise the potency to the next level. The next potency will only be made by using a new (unused) bottle and filling it with 99 parts of nascent diluent and adding to it one part of the previous potency, and giving succession to it. I know the difference between this thousand times diluted Merc.sol 30 potency and the next 200 potency.

  • [I totally disagree with the Organon’s Aphorism 270, that says that 30th can be prepared in one step from a grain of soda dissolving it in half an ounce of water ‘mixed with alcohol in a phial, which was thereby filled two-thirds full, and shook this solution continuously for half an hour, and this fluid was in potency and energy equal to the thirtieth development of power’. Cf. Organon, 5th.Ed. note to Aph. 270]

This practice of not letting exhaust any potency became the occasion for the demise of true homeopathic pharmaceuticals. Big houses can’t survive on meager incomes. The present pharmaceuticals that are actively in business, they are getting sustenance from their practice of preparing combinations and patents with the names of the diseases. They will ultimately bring bad name to homeopathy.

In principle homeopathy, pure and simple, can never be branded as quackery unless the principle of similia is proved false, which it can never be. But this practice of baselessly concocting nostrums with the names of diseases will certainly brand homeopathy as quackery and charlatanry. The deluge of these baseless and spurious preparations on the homeopathic pharmaceutical outlets these days—where you cannot find homeopathic potencies, except few polychrests and even those not in all potencies, and where the names of the rare potencies, even the head of the outlet, does not know — shows the aggrandizement and slobbering lust of the owners. This reveals their ignorance of both homeopathy and the basics of pharmacy in the real term of the word.

The prolonged and methodical research that underlies drugs discovery and production in the field of pharmacy and the strict discipline of drugs registration of the dominant school is known to all. A medicine to get registered takes many years, and after getting registered it is still under observation and can still be barred at any time. Can homeopathic concerns ever think of even a fraction of that research discipline in preparing their nostrums, and getting them registered? ‘Baseless’ means having no base and principle. According to homeopathic theory such preparations with the name of diseases cannot ever be conceived.

Historically this practice of concocting compound medicines began with Schuessler’s cell salts and its legitimacy ended with Schuessler’s salts. Schuessler’s theory is based on the supposition of deficiency of trace elements and minerals in the body. It has nothing to do with homeopathy. Seldom is any homeopathic remedy thought of for any particular disease exclusively. Take, for example, Merc. Sol.—one of the most frequently used medicine in homeopathic practice. One wonders sometimes this medicine only had been used for the whole day for almost all the patients for that day. It is prescribed for so many varied ailments, e.g.:

  • Flue, sore-throat, pharyngitis, laryngitis, bronchitis; many kinds of coughs; mumps, and parotitis;
  • Toothache, gingivitis, aphthous mouth, thrush, ulceration of mouth and tongue;
  • From ophthalmia to otorrhea,
  • From simple UTI to Bright disease.
  • For colic and bloody dysentery;
  • For abscesses, carbuncles and ulcers, and eczematic lesions, etc.

This is unheard of a fact in any system of therapeutics the world over. And how can such a versatile agent, as Merc.Sol. can ever be reduced to construct a patent for any particular disease?

Such an incredibly credible system of science as homeopathy must have an abstruse and intricate posology. Its manipulation should be vast and varied. Its all potencies should be used and their behavior at different levels be studied and experienced. Users of only high and the highest potencies of these potent medicines would look like tunnel-vision doctors, who intentionally bar themselves from experiencing the whole richness of homeopathy.
Dispensation of medicine took four manners or forms in homeopathic practice: viz., mother tinctures, low potencies, medium potencies and the high potencies. Hence the profession came to recognize them as the four levels of prescribing. Viz.

Raw substances, solid or powder, or extracts of plants and herbs, or the mother tinctures (which are usually the first decimal of these raw substances or extracts, and denoted as 1X, or with Greek letter Theta, (θ).

Low potencies, from 1X to 6X, on decimal scale; or from 1 to 3 or 6, on centesimal scale.
Medium potencies which are from 12X to 60X or little high. On centesimal scale, after 6c to 30c up to 200c.

High potencies in the range after200 from 1M to CM or MM.
[Another dimension of potentization was, later on, added by Hahnemann, called the 50 milessimal potencies; but this scale could not become popular with the profession.]

The 1st. level is material level which is from toxic substances to edible ones. Drop doses and gram (or fraction of a gram) doses of extracts or mother tinctures and of dry substances can only be of those plants or herbs and minerals which are either harmless in relatively large doses or nutritious, as ginger, cinnamon, alfalfa, syzygium jamb., minerals as flour-spar, phosphate and sulphate of lime, chloride of potash, etc. Substances and herbs that are more or less toxic cannot be employed therapeutically as such or in sizable doses. They are therefore used in much diluted forms and very small fractions.

Level 2 is mainly nutritious level and is best where nutrition is required for therapeutic purposes— therapy through nutrition. They are usually used from 3X to 6X or 8X to 12X, or 3 to 6c. The more they are near the edible level the lesser the potencies are used—from 1X to 3X.

For non-edible substances potencies from 3X to 6X or 12X are used—for example Phosphoric acid 3X to 6X, Creategus oxy. 1X to 6X; or Berb.Vulg., Cactus Grand., Echi., Asoka, Ginseng, etc. and all the biochemic cell salts.

Level 3 is mainly therapeutic level. It is from 30 to 200 potencies. And is for acute diseases, and can be repeated frequently.

Level 4 is dynamic level. Medicinal action has been conventionally divided into two: primary and secondary actions. There is also a third action. That is dynamic action. It is for chronic diseases where disease and the patient have merged into one dynamic sick personality—you can’t tell one from the other. Disease becomes inseparable, indistinguishable from the sick person. Every sick symptom is not a symptom, but a habit or a character trait of the patient. The dynamic potency disentangles the two, by annihilating the one and liberating the other, that paves the way to cure. This marvelous feat is a simple miracle. A new person is born—a nascent and new personality, for the pleasant, or otherwise, surprise for the patient himself and the people around him. It is here that we see from a meek (sick) personality, a ferocious jackal is born; or from a cruel and crooked person, a noble, moral and honest person takes his birth.

Nutritional substances are mainly used for their primary action, as ginger, cinnamon, alfalfa, avena sativa, and many sweet berries. And non-nutritional substances are used for their both primary and secondary action, as cinchona, rauwolfia, eucalyptus, and most of the organ affinity drugs. At nutritional level they stimulate and activate the relevant organ to unburden itself from disease and get nutritionally energized.

From nutritional to therapeutic levels and from therapeutic to dynamic level there are transitional zones; let’s call them buffer zones. From 6X to 12X, or from 6c to 12 or 30c, we can call it the Nutro-therpeutic zone; and from therapeutic to dynamic— i.e. from 30c to 200 (or rarely to 1M), therapetico-dynamic zone. So from 6X to 60X or, on centesimal scale, from 3 or 6c to 30c are Nutro-theraapeutic Buffer zone; and from 30c to 200 (or rarely 1000) is Therapeutico-dynamic Buffer zone. Buffer-zone concept will solve many confusions.

Making a homeopathic remedy

Making herbal based mother tincture in alcohol.

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