Homoeopathic Potencies

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The homoeopathic systems of recording potencies is often confusing to the lay person. There are a number of reasons for this. Hahnemann, in his “Organon” which is the treatise wherein he expounded the system of  homoeopathy, used only one system which is the decimal system. This was a procedure where a substance was diluted or attenuated, according to Hahnemann’s system, in units of ten. One part of the original substance diluted with nine parts of an inert diluent, alcohol, water or lactose, was recorded as being a Ix or DI potency. One part of a Ix substance diluted with nine parts of the diluent was a 2x or D2 remedy.

Hahnemann, in his practice, never went further than 12x. After his death, Hahnemann’s followers persuaded his widow, a quite young lady and Hahnemann’s second wife, after he became a widower, to include in the “Organon” a second system of attenuation known as the centesimal system. This involved progression to more attenuated substances and to speed up the process the systematic steps were in hundreds instead of tens.

To record these centesimal potencies, it was established that either the numeral alone was used such as 30 or 200 or it was designated with the letter ‘C’ for centesimal – 30c or 200c. In some countries it is recorded as C30 or C200.

In France a second system of attenuation, differing from Hahnemann’s system where each successive step was a separate one in a different container, recognition was given to a mechanised system using the same container. This is known as the Korsakov system. To show which system was used the French homoeopaths record potencies as CH for the Hahnemann method and CK for the Korsakov system.

Potencies below 30c or 60x or D60 are normally referred to as low potencies. From 30c onwards, the potencies are referred to as high potencies.

When high potencies reach I 000 they are normally referred to as 1M, 10K, 50M and CM and not 100M.

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