The Medicines – 2

by Samuel Hahnemann

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The first solution cannot be made in pure alcohol, because sugar of milk will not dissolve in alcohol. The first solution is therefore made in a mixture of half water and half alcohol.

To one grain of the medicinal powder triturated to the millionfold potency I, fifty drops of distilled water are dropped in and by turning the vial a few times round on its axis it is easily dissolved, when fifty drops of good alcohol * are added, and the vial, which ought only to be filled to two-thirds of its capacity by the mixture, ought to be stoppered and shaken twice (i.e. with two down-strokes of the arm). It is marked with the name of the medicine and 1/100 I. One drop of this is added to ninety-nine or one hundred drops of pure alcohol, the stoppered vial is then shaken with two strokes of the arm and marked with the name of the medicine and designated 1/1000 I. One drop of this is added to ninety-nine or one hundred drops of pure alcohol, the corked vial is then shaken with two strokes of the arm and marked with the name of the medicine and II. The preparation of the higher potencies is then continued with two strokes of the arm** every time to the 1/100 II, 1/10000 II, III, etc., but to attain a simple uniformity in practice only the vials with the full numbers II, III, IV, V, etc., are used in practice, but the intermediate numbers are preserved in boxes or cases with their labels. Thus they will be protected from the effect of daylight.


(* For the fifty drops of water as well as for the fifty drops of alcohol a vial containing just that quantity may be used, so that we need not then count the drops, especially as drops of water are not easily counted when it flows from a vial, the mouth of which is not roughened by rubbing with sand.)

(It will be well to mark on the label that it has been shaken twice, together with the date.)

(** After many experiments and searching comparisons with the patients I have for several years preferred from conviction to give to the medicinal fluids which are to be elevated to higher potencies and at the same time to be rendered milder, only two shakes (with two strokes of the arm) instead of the ten shakes given by others, because the potentizing in the latter case by the repeated shaking passes far beyond the attenuation at every step (though this is one hundred fold); while yet the end striven for is to develop the medicinal powers only in the degree that the attenuation may reach the end aimed for: to moderate in some degree the strength of the medicine while its power of penetration is increased. The double shake also increases the quantity of the medicinal forces developed, like the tenfold shake, but not in as high a degree as the latter, so that its strength may, nevertheless, be kept down by the one hundred fold attenuation effected, and we thus obtain every time a weaker though somewhat more highly potentized and more penetrating medicine.)

(Instead of the fractional numbers 1/1000000 (I/I), 1/1000000000000 (I/II), etc., these degrees of dynamization are frequently so expressed that only the exponent showing how often one hundred has been multiplied into itself is expressed, thus, instead of 1, 100 (3); instead of I/II, 100 (6); instead of I, 100 (9); instead of 1/100 III 100 (10); instead of 1/10000 IX, 100 (29) and instead of decillion I/X, 100 (3), thus only the exponents as to the third, sixth, ninth, tenth, twenty-ninth and thirtieth potency, etc.)

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As the shaking is only to take place through moderate strokes of the arm, the hand of which holds the vial, it is best to choose the vials just so large that they will be two-thirds filled with 100 drops of the attenuated medicine.

Vials that have contained a remedy must never be used for the reception of any other medicine, though they be rinsed ever so often, but new vials must be taken every time.


The pellets which are to be moistened with the medicine should also be selected of the same size, hardly as large as poppy-seeds, made by the confectioner, partly so that the dose may be made small enough, and partly that homoeopathic physicians in the preparation of medicines, as also in the giving of doses, may act alike, and thus be able to compare the result of their practice with that of other Homoeopaths in the most certain manner.

The moistening of pellets is best done with a quantity, so that a drachm or several drachms of pellets are put into a little dish of stoneware, porcelain or glass; this dish should be more deep than wide, in the form of a large thimble; several drops of the spirituous medicinal fluid should be dropped into it (rather a few drops too many), so that they may penetrate to the bottom and will have moistened all the pellets within a minute. Then the dish is turned over and emptied on a piece of clean double blotting paper, so that the superfluous fluid may be absorbed by it, and when this is done, the pellets are spread on the paper so as to dry quickly. When dry, the pellets are filled in a vial, marked as to its contents, and well stoppered.

All pellets moistened with the spirituous liquid have when dry a dull appearance; the crude, unmoistened pellets look whiter and more shining.

To prepare the pellets to give to patients, one or a couple of such little pellets are put into the open end of a paper capsule containing two or three grains of powdered sugar of milk; this is then stroked with a spatula or the nail of the thumb with some degree of pressure until it is felt, that the pellet or pellets are crushed and broken, then the pellets will easily dissolve if put into water.

Wherever I mention pellets in giving medicine, I always mean the finest, of the size of poppy-seeds, of which about 200 (more or less) weigh a grain.

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The antipsoric medicines treated of in what follows contain no so-called idiopathic medicines, since their pure effects, even those of the potentized miasma of itch (Psorin) have not been proved enough, by far, that a safe homoeopathic use might be made of it. I say homoeopathic use, for it does not remain idem (the same); even if the prepared itch substance should be given to the same patient from whom it was taken, it would not remain idem (the same), as it could only be useful to him in a potentized state, since crude itch substance which he has already in his body as an idem is without effect on him. But the dynamization or potentizing changes it and modifies it; just as gold leaf after potentizing is no more crude gold leaf inert in the human body, but in every stage of dynamization it is more and more modified and changed.

Thus potentized and modified also, the itch substance (Psorin) when taken is no more an idem (same) with the crude original itch substance, but only a simillimum (thing most similar). For between IDEM and SIMILLIMUM There is no intermediate for any one that can think; or in other words between idem and simile only simillimum can be intermediate. Isopathic and aequale are equivocal expressions, which if they should signify anything reliable can only signify simillimum, because they are not idem.