Part 9: The Choice of Potency and Dose

When to Use Low Potencies

Lower potencies, larger amount of water and small doses should be used in cases with *higher sensitivity* (700-1000), allergies, chemical sensitivities, weakened vitality, and highly developed tissue pathology. Care must be taken with elderly people and when the organs of elimination are overloaded by toxins as there is usually much hidden pathology.

Low potencies can also be considered when the symptoms are of a common nature, the illness on the physical plane, and there are few characteristic signs.

1. With the *centesimal scale* the case should be started with 6c, 12c, 24c, or 30c depending on the individual. These cases do better on medicinal solutions made with 1 pill in 6 to 8 oz of liquid. The first test dose should be succussed only 1 to 3 times and the dose given in a small amount. It is best to stir 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the medicinal solution into a dilution glass with 6 to 8 oz. of water. From this dosage glass give the client 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of the remedy. To modify the action of a remedy the homoeopath should use lower potencies, smaller amounts of the remedy, just a few succussions and more water as a buffering agent.

2. When using the LM potency in a true hypersensitive (700-1000) the dose must be carefully adjusted to act in a gentle manner. The case should be started with a 0/1 potency prepared in a medicinal solution of 6, 8 to 12 oz. of water. The remedy bottle should be succussed only 1 to 3 times and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon should be stirred into 6 oz. of water. From the dilution glass 1 teaspoon of medicinal solution should then be stirred into a second dilution glass of 6 oz. of water.

From this second dilution glass give the client a 1/2 or 1 teaspoon as a dose. Hahnemann mentions using 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 serial dilution glasses in the ultra hypersensitive. In this way we can treat over reactive individuals who would normally be very difficult to cure with Homoeopathy. Olfaction of the remedy is a good alternative to oral ingestion in hypersensitive patients.

A. In order to use a LM 0/1 on the same type of person who requires a lower potency like 30c the homoeopath must modify the dose accordingly. The LM 0/1 is a much deeper acting potency than a 30c. I have started many cases on 30c and moved them to LM 0/1 once they gain strength and stability and appear to need a higher potency to complete the case. If in doubt always choose the lowest potency and work up as needed.

When to Use Higher Potencies

High potencies are suitable for those with lower sensitivity (1-300), slow reacting nervous systems, clients who are non reactive to stimuli, and have functional disorders rather than advanced pathology. They are useful when the characteristic symptoms are mostly on the mental plane and there is good vitality.

Another criteria is that the remedy picture is certain and there are clearly defined characteristics.

1. When using the centesimal scale one may begin these cases with relatively higher potencies such as 1M or 10M. Ultra high potencies (50M, CM, MM) are usually reserved for special circumstances or following a case through to completion after the previous potencies are no longer effective.

The solution should be made in an average of 3 1/2 to 4 oz. of water. The remedy bottle should be succussed between 8 and 12 times. If you using a very high potency it may be better to start with a lower amount of succussions such as 3 to 5 in the beginning and work up if needed.

The client should be given 1 or increasing more teaspoons as needed. The centesimals may be taken directly from the remedy bottle, but in cases where there is concern about the possibility of aggravations a dosage glass should be prepared and the remedy diluted still further.

2. With the LM potencies the client may be started on LM 0/1, LM 0/2, and LM 0/3 depending on the variable factors of the case. Some that are truly at the low end of the scale may need LM 0/4, LM 0/5 and LM 0/6 as an opening potency. These must be considered as ultra high potencies.

When using the LM 0/1 or LM 0/2 the remedy bottle may be succussed between 8 and 12 times to raise the potency. If one is beginning with LM 0/3, LM 0/4, LM 0/5, LM 0/6 it may be best to start with fewer succussions and work up as needed.

When using the lower degrees of potency use more succussions, and when using the higher degrees use less succussions. The amount taken from the remedy bottle may be 1, or increasingly, 2 or 3 teaspoons of solution stirred into 4 oz in a dilution glass. The client should take 1, or increasingly, 2 or 3 teaspoons until a good reaction is attained.

It is best to start with 1 or 2 teaspoons of the medicinal solution stirred into a glass and then slowly increase the amount until you get the reaction you want. The same is true with the amount of dosage out of the dilution glass.

We usually begin with 1 teaspoon and then increase the amount to 2 or 3 until the proper reaction is elicited. With the lower sensitivities the homoeopath uses relatively larger amounts, higher potencies, larger numbers of succussions, and smaller amounts of water.

When to Use Moderate Potencies

Moderate potencies suit patients with an average sensitivity (400-700). These individuals demonstrate moderation in most areas. They are neither too weak nor too sensitive, and have functional diseases or the early stage of tissue pathology. They should have good vitality and their organs of elimination  function well. The remedy picture should be relatively clear and the characteristics somewhat marked.

Moderate potencies work well on cases that affect the vital and mental level.

1. When using the centesimal potencies these cases may be opened with 200c to 1M depending on the circumstances. The average sensitive does best on a medicinal solution made in 4 to 6 oz which is given 4 to 8 succussions. From the remedy bottle the client usually begins with 1, or increasingly more, teaspoons until the healing reaction is established.

A. The method is basically the same for the centesimal and LM potencies although the dilution glass was not mentioned in the 1837 edition of The Chronic Diseases. Hahnemann was later witnessed using a dilution glass with the centesimal potencies also. I use the dilution glass in any case when I think it is better to be safe. This moderates the action of the remedy.

2. When using the LM potencies in the average sensitivity we usually begin the case with LM 0/1, LM 0/2 or more rarely LM 0/3 depending on the circumstances. The size of the solutions is usual 4 to 5 oz. and the number of succussions used is 4 to 8. From the bottle 1 or 2 teaspoons are stirred into a dilution glass of 4 to 5 oz. from which the client takes 1, or increasingly more teaspoons as a dose.

This gives us a basic idea of the relationship between the sensitivity and constitutional states and the posology of the centesimal and LM potencies. Such ideas help guide us in the choice of potency, dose and repetition.

One may find a mixture of signs in one individual as all the factors included are relative in nature. Average out the related signs and see where the predominance of factors point.

One should always err on the conservative side in the choice of the potency and dose because it can always be increased if needed. Aggravations waste time, slow down the cure, and are uncomfortable for the patient.

Next: A Review of the LM and Centesimal Potencies