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Homeopathic remedies are prepared through
a process called potentization. Potentization involves a
series of systematic dilutions and successions (a forceful shaking
action). Potentization is important, because it removes all risk of
chemical toxicity while activating a remedy substance and enabling
it to affect the body therapeutically.
Homeopathic pharmacies operate according
to strict guidelines, to ensure that the remedies and potencies are
consistent and reliable. The first step in producing a homeopathic
remedy is acquiring a pure preparation of the original substance in
its natural form (a solution of a mineral salt, a “mother
tincture” of a plant, etc.). The original substance is then put
through a measured series of dilutions, alternating with succussions,
until the desired potency is made.
Homeopathic potencies are designated by
the combination of a number and a letter (for example, 6X or 30C).
The number refers to the number of dilutions the tincture has
undergone within a series to prepare that remedy. The letter refers
to the proportions used in each dilution of the series (the Roman
numeral X means 10, and the Roman numeral C means 100), as well as
the number of succussions the vial of solution undergoes in each
For example: To prepare a 6X potency of Ledum
palustre, one part of the Ledum mother tincture is
combined in a vial with nine parts of the carrier liquid, and
succussed ten times again, making a 2X solution. The process is
repeated four more times, for a total of six dilutions and
succussions—and the final result is a 6X potency of Ledum.
(To make a 30C, one part of the tincture would be combined with
ninety-nine parts of the carrier liquid and succussed 100 times in
each of thirty steps.) Pellets, tablets, or powders are then
medicated with the potentized liquid, or drops of the remedy are
taken in liquid form.
The more dilutions and succussions a
substance undergoes, the higher the potency will be. Higher
potencies of homeopathic remedies (anything higher than 12C) have
been diluted past the point that molecules of the original substance
would be measurable in the solution. This is a major stumbling block
for skeptics when it comes to understanding and accepting the idea
of homeopathy. Homeopathic remedies, when correctly chosen, clearly
work—but not in the way that drugs do (through chemical actions
that affect the body processes). It is not completely understood why
potentized remedies can work so deeply and specifically, but many
likely theories have arisen through research and observation. It
appears that they function on an energetic level to stimulate the
body to heal itself more efficiently.
For more information, see also What
Select the remedy that
most closely matches the symptoms. In conditions where
self-treatment is appropriate, unless otherwise directed by a
physician, a lower potency (6X, 6C, 12X, 12C, 30X, or 30C)
should be used. In addition, instructions for use are usually
printed on the label.
physicians suggest that remedies be used as follows: Take one
dose and wait for a response. If improvement is seen, continue
to wait and let the remedy work. If improvement lags
significantly or has clearly stopped, another dose may be
taken. The frequency of dosage varies with the condition and
the individual. Sometimes a dose may be required several times
an hour; other times a dose may be indicated several times a
day; and in some situations, one dose per day (or less) can be
If no response is seen
within a reasonable amount of time, select a different remedy.
For more information, including references, see What
is Homeopathy? and Understanding
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Online is for informational purposes only. It is based on
scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical
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individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment
with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also
available. Consult your physician, nutritionally oriented
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any changes in prescribed medications.
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