A practical guide for nutritional and traditional health care.
How Homeopathic Remedies Are Made
Homeopathic medicines, which are called remedies by those practicing the stream of medicine, are made using several substances. The primary processing required by all such substances to organize them for the energizing procedures of dilution as succession differs depending on each substance. Either the original materials from which homeopathic remedies are prepared need to be collected or they may also be made in the manner which is as close as possible to the method it was done while organizing the material for the purpose of proving.
It is important that extreme caution is exercised to the minutest detail of the procedure to ensure that the remedial homeopathic attributes are reproduced most precisely. In case you do not do this, it is necessary to perform another proving or test with a view to bring to light any variation in the consequences of preparing the remedy in a different way.
Homeopathic remedies are prepared using plants, minerals as well as animal sources. While about 70 per cent of remedies have their origin in plants, several intensely acting remedies are drawn from minerals. Homeopathic remedies may also be prepared from curative substances like marigold flowers, neutral materials like table salt (sodium chloride), or extremely poisonous substances like arsenic. Nevertheless, all these toxic substances become safe for human use as well as deep-acting when they undergo the exceptional homeopathic processes. Precisely speaking, the effects of the homeopathic remedies prepared from toxic or poisonous substances are just the opposite of the original substances which are used to make them. For instance, arsenic results in diarrhea, while the homeopathic remedy Arsenicum has the aptitude to cure this condition. All remedies known as nosodes are prepared from bacteria or additional substances that cause diseases. Similar to other homeopathic remedies, nosodes are prescribed depending on the symptoms caused by them, not only for treating infections caused by bacteria or viruses. On the other hand, remedies that are known as sarcodes are prepared especially using healthy tissues or organs. In addition, homeopathic remedies can also be made making use of non-material sources, for instance, electricity, musical frequencies, magnetic fields and even moonlight. In fact, the possibilities are infinite.
After collecting a plant or a part of any plant is collected it is used to prepare a tincture, generally known as the ‘mother tincture’, with a view to make it ready for potentization - the process that involves diluting the remedies in succession to obtain higher and still higher potencies. The plant or its part is rinsed and subsequently, its juice is drawn out and combined with absolute alcohol (alcohol without any water).
The proportion in which the juice of the plant and that of the alcohol differs depending on the plant as well as its state, especially the quantity of water present in the fresh plant - in effect, homeopaths have an extremely exact criterion for this.
Homeopathic remedies that are prepared from the common marigold (Calendula officinalis) have a very remarkable difference. A fresh tincture prepared using the leaves and flowers of this herb is frequently employed in the form of a remedy for grazes and shallow cuts as well as for curing additional symptoms. In this specific instance, the individual preparing the remedy has purposely selected a blossom growing near an unkempt highway with the intention to make this remedy especially appropriate for wound endured by people living in a modern city. In this case, a new proving should strictly be performed to ascertain its correctness in curing the condition it is meant for.
While you are preparing remedies using plants, caution needs to be exercised to ensure that the precise species are identified. At the same time, it is very essential to locate the most ideal samples of the species that are available. In addition, the plants should always be gathered in the best possible states and growing in their usual environment. It is important that the plant being used to prepare the remedy should grow in a place that is free from polluting factors, for instance, pesticides or chemically-made fertilizers seeping from adjacent fields. However, it is unfortunate that as currently most of the atmosphere as well as water are polluted, it is quite hard to guarantee that the plants are not contaminated. Nevertheless, hopefully, the fact that the tinctures are employed for treating people with various conditions may contain some traces of pollutants it may in reality prove to be helpful for people in resisting the consequences of environmental pollution, which has now become a unavoidable element of our daily life.
It is not possible to prepare the active attributes of several minerals as well as chemical substances and also a number of plant products for potentization by preparing tinctures, as the materials are not soluble. Therefore, the manner in which they are readied differs depending on the substance. Generally, all of them are made to undergo a process known as trituration - in other words, these substances are pounded using precise amount of milk sugar (lactose) by means of a mortar and disinfected pestle for approximately three hours. Milk sugar is used in the form of a medium owing to its neutral attributes. In fact, this process helps to water down the remedy by as many as one millionth dilution, which is also known as 6x or 3C potency. When the substance is changed to this level, it dissolves in alcohol.
Dilution and succussion
Prior to undertaking the succussion process, every dilution may be done in two dissimilar ways.
The method adopted by Hahnemann himself involved taking one drop of the earlier potency and water it down by adding alcohol or water that has been distilled twice in precise percentage. Subsequently, it is succussed. A fresh sterile phial is employed for preparing the subsequent potency.
The Korsakoff approach is different from that of Hahnemann. According to this method, when the first potency has been succussed, the substances in the phial are decanted into a different sterilized container in case the potency needs to be kept, or poured down the drain if it needs to be discarded. Nevertheless, a solitary drop of the remedy continues to cling to the phial’s wall. Subsequently, 9, or 99, or 49,999 grains or drops of distilled water or alcohol are added to it depending on the scale at which the remedy is being prepared. In the Korsakoff method, the same container is employed to prepare all potencies; apart from the fact that a fresh sterilized phial is used once in a while to make certain that it helps to put off any contamination from the atmosphere. While four, six or even eight phials are used in the Korsakoff method for making 30 or 200 potency, the Hahnemann method requires as many as 30 or 200 phials for the same purpose.
While making any potency, Hahnemann made use of pure alcohol (water-free alcohol). This denotes that alcohol in measures of tens of gallons were required for making each potency. When it comes down to it, this process is very expensive, particularly when the pharmacist is following the method used by Hahnemman to dilute remedies using a new phial every time. Therefore, in present times several pharmacies make use of water distilled twice (double-distilled) for making average potencies and use alcohol solely for making the potencies which they intend to retain. It needs to be mentioned that several of the dilutions prepared are not used at all, because people have learnt from experience that specific potencies are the ones that are most effectual.
Nevertheless, there exist some differences of opinion regarding the soundness of the Korsakoff approach. However, since there is no disparity in the amount of dilution at every stage, it seems that there is no valid ground to have doubts about the Korsakoff method.
In the early days of homeopathy, people succussed or forcefully shook the remedies manually. Currently, most of this process is performed by machines. Nevertheless, even when machines are used for succession, it may possibly take as long as 10 to 12 weeks for preparing tinctures having the maximum potencies. As this process consumed lots of time, during the 19th century, the task of readying a number of these potencies was delegated to other people, such as those who maintained lighthouses. Such people usually had very long duty hours and felt extremely lonely having to just take care of their light. As trituration as well as succession require careful, repeated, rhythmic motions, this job helped the lighthouse keepers to remain awake and, simultaneously, they helped in promoting homeopathy.
It is important to note that all succussions ought to correspond with the force applied by a typically healthy individual while beating a hand-held phial (a tightly-plugged test-tube or any other container used in laboratory) vigorously against a solid surface. It is worth mentioning here that Hahnemann made use of a big leather-bound book as a firm surface. During every succession, the phial comes to a brief stop and the inaction makes the liquid in the phial to bounce. Currently, machines replicate this action, but they require to be regulated carefully and need regular repairs to make sure that the succession is consistent.
The power of homeopathic remedies is signified by their potencies. In fact, the more you dilute a remedy, the greater is its potency or strength. The potencies of homeopathic remedies may be gauged in acceptance with two main dilution scales - decimal and centesimal. When you are using the decimal scale the potencies of the remedies are diluted ten-fold every time. In Europe and the Unites States these potencies are specified by a number for a particular potency and the letter x after it, while pharmacists in Continental Europe use the letter D - for instance, the potency of a remedy in decimal scale may be indicated by mentioning 6x or 6D. On the other hand, pharmacists using the centesimal scale dilute the potencies 100 times every time. In Britain and the United States, these potencies are specified by a number and the letter C, while pharmacists in Continental Europe use the letters CH - for instance, the potency of a remedy in centesimal scale may be indicated as 6C or 6CH.
Homeopathic remedies may be prepared in various form for treating different conditions - such as tablets, tinctures (liquids having alcohol as their base), granules, pilules, and powders. Irrespective of the form in which a homeopathic remedy is used, it carries a label indicating its potency consistent with either the decimal scale or the centesimal scale. It is rare that the Greek letter phi is used to indicate the potency of a mother tincture.
Hahnemann had once remarked that the method employed to prepare different potencies of remedies performs a vital role in releasing the active properties of the substances that were used to prepare the remedy. One drop or grain of the first mother tincture of trituration is watered down or triturated by adding 9, or 99, or 49,999 of lactose (milk sugar) or alcohol. The resultant dilution is then succussed using a particular method something between 40 times and 100 times, depending on the decision of the pharmacist. In fact, succussing the solution produces the first decimal, the first centesimal or the first millesimal potency.
Hahnemann as well as several other homeopaths closely following his teachings preferred the centesimal potency scale for homeopathic remedies. In dilution, the centesimal potency of each homeopathic remedy corresponds to two decimal potencies. To put it simply, 30C potency is equivalent to 60x. As mentioned earlier, the succussion process is responsible for releasing the active energy of every dilution into the solvents.
In the last stages of his life, Hahnemann developed the millesimal (LM) scale that actually dilutes homeopathic remedies in the ratio of 1:49,999 for every potency. But people were unaware of the millesimal scale till the discovery of the sixth edition of Hahnemann's Organon this century. In 1921, the first Professor of Homeopathic Materia Medica and Therapeutics at the University of California, Dr. William Boericke subsequently translated as well as published this edition in the United States.
Homeopathic practitioners have discovered from their experience that the dissimilar scales for measuring the potency of a remedy appear to be more effectual compared to others for specific conditions. In effect, such dissimilar potencies in each scale may possibly be more suitable for a number of patients as well as their conditions compared to others.
The arithmetical progression of potencies used by Hahnemann was something like this - 3C, 6C, 9C, 12C, 15C, 18C and so forth. This sequence appears to be especially efficient to treat individuals who are struggling with major persistent physical ailments having very poor energy. It appears that when the conditions are severe and dangerous, high potencies work most excellently provided the energy level is high and the symptoms are obvious. However, this does not hold true in all instances, as the findings of a latest research project revealed. Although the project was evaluated poorly, it hinted that bruises were more receptive to a more intense dilution of Arnica montana 10M (equivalent to 1,000C) compared to a lower dilution of 30C.
Homeopathic remedies do not possess any innate venomousness and, consequently, do not result in any side effect. However, homeopathic medicines do lead to reactions, which may sometimes be severe. In effect, these are just a part of the curative process and not any side effect. Occasionally, they are needed with a view to restore the health of the patient. While homeopathic remedies are safe for use, it is important that these potent medications are used carefully, intelligently and with reverence.
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