Tuesday, September 6, 2011
One of the most fundamental developments that have taken place in the field of healing is homeopathy, which, in its most valid form, was developed and promulgated by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843). From the time of its appearance to the present day homeopathy has been passionately attacked by its opponents and equally passionately defended by its advocates. In the next few pages I shall try to throw some light on this subject. This is desirable because, at a time when homeopathy is threatened by hostile legislation, it is vital that there should be an understanding of it in non-medical circles. More importantly, it is relevant here, since homeopathy is much more than a mere therapeutic method.
On closer examination, homeopathy reveals itself as based on the true universal healing principle. It is only by virtue of this higher significance that its application as a physical healing method is justified. Furthermore, the example of homeopathy will serve to show how the esoteric world can reveal, quite clearly and simply, the workings of laws that to the person of materialist outlook seem totally unbelievable.
Opponents have directed their attack mainly against the method of preparing homeopathic medicines. They maintain that such medicines are “so diluted” that they can no longer contain anything effective. The press, with astonishing lack of understanding, has tried to prove the point to the public by putting a drop of some liquid into Lake Constance or the North Sea, stirring it in symbolically and then claiming that a bottle of full water from the opposite shore would represent a homeopathic dilution of D30. Others have attempted a more “scientific” demonstration by purchasing five different homeopathic remedies and analysing these down to their atomic structures, using modern equipment, only to discover that all five bottles contain nothing but alcohol with a few impurities in it. Thus, it is claimed, the deception is exposed, and voices are raised calling for it to be controlled by law.
To defend homeopathy against these totally irrelevant arguments, let us first examine how a homeopathic remedy is produced. The raw material for a medicine can be almost any substance in the world, but normally the choice is restricted to natural substances, whether animal, vegetable or mineral.
Let us take deadly nightshade, or Belladonna (Bell.) to use its botanical name. From the fruit of this plant a tincture is produced. This tincture is the substance we start with and is therefore called the primary tincture, designated by the symbol *. Now we take one part of this primary tincture and add it to 9 parts of a solvent such as alcohol, shaking the two together. This should, strictly speaking, be done with a specific number of shakes – a procedure which is called potentising. What we have now produced we call Bell. D1, that is to say the first decimal potency of Belladonna. Next we take one portion of this Bell. D1 and again shake it together with 9 portions of solvent, thus obtaining Bell. D2. This potentising procedure can be carried forwards repeatedly, leading to the following table.
1 part Bell. * +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D1 (proportion 1 in 10)
1 part Bell. D1 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D2 (proportion 1 in 100)
1 part Bell. D2 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D3 (proportion 1 in 1000)
1 part Bell. D3 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D4 (proportion 1 in 10,000)
1 part Bell. D4 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D5 (proportion 1 in 100,000)
1 part Bell. D5 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D6 (proportion 1 in 1 million)
1 part Bell. D6 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D7 (proportion 1 in 10 million)
And if we proceed a few more stages we get:
1 part Bell. D29 +9 parts alcohol = Bell. D30 (proportion 1 in 1 quintillion)
We shall stop at D30, although in fact the potentising of a remedy does not by any means have to end here. Every remedy can be carried to any number of potencies. You can have Bell. D12, D30, D200, D500, D1000, D10,000, and so on. With Belladonna D200 the number of parts of alcholo + one part of the primary tincture would be written with a figure one followed by 200 noughts.
Now we know that, even with D23, the dilution is so thin that not a single molecule of the original substance (in this case Belladonna) can be traced. Any potencies beyond that can only be a ritual shaking up of alcohol. Chemically speaking, there is absolutely no difference between Bell. D30 and Bell. D200. Both are pure alcohol and in chemical terms do not deserve the name Belladonna. Yet homeopaths do work with these “higher potencies”. Hahnemann, in carrying out his cures, used almost exclusively the thirtieth potency.
This pleases the opponents of homeopathy, as it seems to prove that the homeopaths are working with “nothing”. The truth of the matter is, however, that the genuine homeopath uses D30 precisely in order to be sure that he is no longer working with matter.
For the sake of completeness we should mention here that there exist also the so-called C-(centessimal) potencies. Here the dilution increases in steps of 100 instead of 10. In the case of the C-potencies – which in fact preceded the D-potencies and are therefore preferred – one obviously leaves the material plane much more quickly. From C12 no speck of the original substance remains. A later development of Hahnemann were the so-called LM- (quintcentessimal) potencies. These correspond to the higher potencies, but are easier to handle in treatment. However this is not the place to enter into a technical discussion of such specialized matters.
We have seen how homeopathic medicines contain little or nothing of the prescribed substance. If this seems paradoxical, even greater confusion is caused by the method of administering a dosage. If, for example, a patient is prescribed D6, he may have to take a dose every two hours, a dose consisting always of 7 drops or globules. (Homeopathic medicines are not only liquids but also some in the form of small milk-sugar pellets, called globules, where the milk-sugar corresponds to the alcohol solvent.) If our patient is prescribed a potency of D30 he is allowed to take one dose per day, whereas with D200 he takes one single dose and then no further medicine for six weeks. For someone used to swallowing pills one after another, it is very strange to be given seven drops of a medicine and then to hear that he can report again in six weeks time, especially when he knows that what he has taken contains nothing of the substance prescribed.
The confusion increases when one learns that a homeopath might, for example, prescribe the same medicine for a woman with varicose veins as he prescribed for her husband with tonsillitis. And when the woman comes down with tonsillitis she is given a quite different remedy again. Thus it appears that there is not rhyme or reason to the choosing of medicaments.