Part 8: A Comparison of the Centesimal and LM Potency
Centesimal and LM Potencies
One of the first questions of those new to the LM potency is how do the centesimal and LM potencies relate to each other in homoeopathic posology? After more than 14 years of comparing their actions I have come to the conclusion that there is no exact numerical equivalency.
Comparisons cannot be made by mathematically analyzing the amount of the original substances present after dilution or by the numbers of succussions cumulatively given. There is a definite qualitative difference between the two potency systems as well as a quantitative one. Their similarities and differences become more apparent on the constitutions, sensitivities, and conditions for which they are most suitable.
It is by comparing the powers of the two potency systems on similar constitutions, sensitivities, and diseases that we begin to build a correlation of their complementary but opposite remedial powers.
John Morgan, a pharmacist/homoeopath working at Helios Pharmacy Tunbrige Wells, England offers a comparison of the amount of original substance between the C and LM potency. The LM 0/1 has around the same amount of original material as a 6c. (5.5c); the LM 0/2 is equal to 8c; LM 0/3 is equal to 10.5c; and LM 0/4 is equal to 13c. It is at this point that the potencies pass beyond Avogadro's number.
LM 0/30 has around the same amount of original material as 70c. Of course, these relationships are changed when 1 pill is dropped into 4 oz. of water and then 1 teaspoon of the medicinal solution is stirred into a dilution glass. Avogadro's number is reached more quickly when the entire process in taken into account.
Those of us who have used the LM potency have seen that the remedies are much deeper acting than their centesimal counterparts in relationship to the amount of original substance left. Boenninghausen noted in his Lesser Writings that the 50 Millesimal remedies act as deeply as the higher potency centesimals. This is because the 1/50,000 ratio with 100 succussion liberates a unique remedial potence that is essentially different from the 1/100 ratio with 10 or more succussions.
The depth of penetration of the LM potency is more similar to the high potency centesimals than the low potencies. This is why one must learn how to use them correctly and know how to control their remedial powers.
Constitution and Sensitivity
It is not possible to give a linear mathematical comparison of the medicinal powers of the centesimal and LM potencies. They possess remedial powers that are quite different and have proved to be complementary opposites.
I have obtained copies of the microfiches of Hahnemann's Paris casebooks from the Robert Bosch Institute in Stuttgart, Germany. During the years 1840 to 1843 Hahnemann commonly used the 7 tablespoon medicinal solution for both the C and LM potencies in his cases. He mostly used between 6c to 200c and a full range of LM potencies on his patients.
He seemed to use his centesimals for the most acute diseases, crisis, or as acute intercurrents during the disruptions of chronic treatment. Hahnemann used his LM potencies mostly for chronic miasms, suppressions and degenerative states. This pattern is followed throughout his casebooks until he left for in his Heavenly Abode at 88 years old.
The pattern found in Hahnemann's cases led me to study the nature of the centesimal potencies and LM potencies more closely. In the 5th Organon Hahnemann states that the centesimal potencies are quick in their onset and tend to aggravation in the beginning of chronic treatment. In the 6th Organon Hahnemann states that the LM potencies are gradual and tend to aggravate at the end of treatment. I have witnessed this many times.
This offers a clue to the differences of the remedial powers of the centesimal and LM potencies. Acute disease, crisis, and acute-like acerbations of chronic pathology all have the same qualities of quick onset and rapid crisis much like the aggravations of the centesimal potencies.
The pattern of chronic disease is slow and gradual and it reaches its crisis toward the latter stages of development much like the aggravation of the LM potencies. The pace, progression and termination of the remedial powers and the acute and chronic states are similar.
Is this the reason Hahnemann was testing the centesimal remedies in acute disease, acute-like acerbations of the chronic miasms or crisis? Did he use his LM potencies on the miasmic and constitutional states because they are more similar to the chronic disease process?
In my 12 year trial in India I tested this hypothesis closely and found it was relatively true but not an absolute fact. I did studies with LMs in acute diseases and centesimals in chronic cases just to get a balanced perspective.
It is quite true that the higher potency centesimals can do marvelous work in acute disorders and crisis. They also sometime perform miracles in functional diseases of a chronic nature. The most difficult area to use the high and highest potency centesimals is in chronic diseases with miasms, suppressions, iatrogenic disease and cases with serious organic pathology.
In these situations it is very hard to manage the case with high potency centesimals. Hahnemann knew this from his experience of the 200c to 1M. That is why he began his new experiments. He decided that raising the potency further was not going to solve this problem. This is why he experimented with increasing the dilution rate instead.
This is indeed an area where careful control of the LM potency can perform wonderful cures and increase the quality of life and years of the elderly and those severely damaged by pathology. Many of the difficulties of the dry dose of the high potency centesimal in such cases are completely overcome by the new methods.
Some of the quick acting qualities of the centesimal potencies are moderated by the medicinal solution, and rendered more controllable, but their essential nature remains. The centesimals have received an incredible number of 1 to 100 dilutions and succussions forced into a small dilution ratio compared to the LM potencies. This gives them their fiery nature and quickly penetrating remedial qualities.
The LM potency depends on its high dilution ratio to produce its deep acting remedial powers rather than the number of times diluted as in the Cs. They are also not as immaterial of a dose as the high potency centesimals. A 12c crosses Avogadro's number while the LM 0/1, LM 0/2, and LM 0/3 still have material substance.
This combination of the qualities of the high dilution rate and serial potencies provides the best qualities of a low and high potency. A 30c is much more immaterial then the LM 0/1 but its remedial actions have much less medicinal power. This is why the LM 0/1 acts more like a high potency yet it is still less immaterial.
The LM potency is the balance point between the vital and the organic planes. This is why it is useful in advanced chronic diseases and miasms.
After many years of observation I have come to the conclusion that the centesimal potency suits some individuals while the LMs suit another. Sometimes one can only tell by hind sight after testing both potency systems on the same patient.
Nevertheless, it does seem clear that the C potency suits traumas, acute diseases, acute miasms, acute-like acerbations of chronic diseases, chronic diseases that are still in a functional rather than pathological state, and chronic diseases that start with a serious crisis and rapidly progress toward pathology.
The LM potency seems to suit the long term affects of traumas, acute diseases and acute miasms that have already produced organic pathology, crisis that slowly develops, disease with well developed organic pathology, and chronic diseases that develop insidiously over a period of years.
The fact that the C and LM potency are complementary opposites greatly expands the therapeutic horizons of the homoeopathic pharmacy. For this reason, it is our belief that homoeopaths should take advantage of both potency systems.
The Sensitivity Scale
One area where the homoeopath can clearly compare the actions of the centesimal and LM potencies is on individuals of similar constitutional situations. Not all constitutions react in the same manner to the same potency. Hahnemann adjusted the potency of his doses in relationship to the constitutional susceptibilities of his patients. From these observations he was able to observe a quantitative difference in the sensitivity of a hyposensitive and a hypersensitive.
Vide aphorism 281 of the Organon.
"If a cure is to follow, the first small doses must likewise be again gradually raised higher, but less and more slowly in patients where considerable irritability is evident than in those of less susceptibility, where the advance to higher dosage may be more rapid. There are patients whose impressionability compared to the unsusceptible ones is like the ratio of 1000 to 1 [DL]."
The sensitivity scale of 1 to 1000 demonstrates the vast variations that are found in the constitutions of individuals. A dose and potency which would not affect a hyposensitive could cause a terrible aggravation in a hypersensitive. The phenomenon of homoeopathic aggravation is related to three factors, i.e., an excessively large dose, too high of a potency and administration of a remedy when it is not needed.
The methods of adjusting the dose were developed to give the homoeopath the ability to individualize the posology with the same care as when personalizing the selection of the remedy by the symptoms.
All individuals do not have the same sensitivity even if their vitality is relatively equal. If we studied the constitution and temperament of the individuals carefully we can observe certain signs and symptoms that give indications as to their relative sensitivity.
1. The hyper-sensitive patient (700-1000). The major signs of hypersensitivity include the following symptoms:
A. Highly nervous individuals, quick moving persons, rapid mood swings and quick alternations of symptoms, active senses, quick, strong reactions to environmental influences such as noise, lights, crowds, etc., the need to eat a careful diet, multiple allergies or chemical sensitivities, prone to side-effects from taking herbs and vitamins, etc.. They often have trouble sleeping. These constitutions are usually in a state of hyperfunction and hypertension and need to be calmed down.
B. Sensitivity is often increased in those with advanced tissue pathology, weakened vitality, oversensitive vital force, and a history of prolonged drug use or drug reactions. Care must always be taken in the elderly.
2. The hypo-sensitive patient (1-300). The major signs of hypo-sensitivity include the following symptoms:
A. These constitutions manifest the opposite states of a hypersensitive. Such person have slow movements, duller senses and intellect, the ability to eat almost any foods, herbs, vitamins, etc., reduced reaction to environmental stimuli (unmoved by noise, lights, smells, crowds, etc..). They rarely have allergies. These constitutions are in a state of hypofunction and need stimulation to get moving.
B. Sensitivity is sometime decreased in those who have taken too many drugs, especially tranquilizers and sedatives. They often lack energy and may be in a weakened condition and lack reactive capabilities. If they have weak vitality the homoeopath should be conservative with the dose and potency.
3. The moderately sensitive patient (400-700) represents your average constitutional sensitivity. The major signs are as follows:
A. Those of average sensitivity usually have good vitality and are moderate in their reactions to environmental stimuli. They are usually able to eat a broad diet and can take vitamins, minerals and herbs in reasonable doses. Few if any have allergies or chemical sensitivities. Their organs and tissues are neither hyperactive nor hypoactive. They demonstrate signs of moderation in all things. They are fairly stable individuals who are not prone to rapid changes in symptoms.
Once the homoeopath becomes a good judge of the constitution they can read the sensitivity to some degree. Of course, you never really know for sure until you give the first dose! This is why it is always best to give one test dose and assess the reaction of the vital force for a reasonable time.