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Homeopathy: potencies and their meaning

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 235 views

Homeopathic remedies come in different potencies. They are made by gradually diluting and “succussing” a so-called mother tincture. In homeopathy, a remedy is considered to be more effective the more it has been potentized and thus diluted. Read more about the potentization process and how the different homeopathic potencies are used here.

What are homeopathic potencies?

The basis of a homeopathic remedy is the mostly alcoholic starting solution of an active ingredient (mother tincture). It is diluted several times according to a special scheme and “shaken” after each dilution step. This process is called exponentiation. Only in this way should a diluted substance develop a homeopathic effect. To produce homeopathic globules, the potentized solution is dripped onto sugar globules.

Mathematically, highly potentized remedies contain hardly any molecules of the original substance. The effect that homeopaths ascribe to their remedies cannot be based on a molecular active ingredient, as is the case with conventional medicines or medicinal plants. Instead, information from the original active substance is to be transferred to the diluting liquid at a non-molecular level through potentization. However, this principle of action cannot be explained scientifically.

What homeopathic potencies are there?

The potency of a homeopathic remedy can be read from a code made up of letters and numbers.

C6 homeopathy

Mixtures in a ratio of 1:99, for example, result in drugs with C potencies. The C stands for centum (Latin: one hundred).

To produce a C potency, the manufacturer mixes one drop of the mother tincture with 99 drops of an alcohol-water solution. Then the liquid is “shaken up”. To do this, the manufacturer bangs an incompletely filled bottle ten times forcefully on an elastic surface in the direction of the center of the earth. So he gets a so-called C1 potency. If he repeats this dilution process five times, he obtains a solution of the potency 6C.

From the homeopathic potency C12, the dilution is so high that it is no longer possible to detect a molecule in the starting substance.

D12 homeopathy

For the frequently used potency D12, the mother tincture has to be diluted 12 times in a ratio of 1:10. D stands for decem (Latin: ten). In the end, the dilution and thus the homeopathic potency is lower than with the C potencies.

LM and Q powers

In addition to C potencies and D potencies, there is the LM potency or Q potencies (from Latin: quinquagies millesimus). They correspond to a dilution of 1:50,000.

Which homeopathic potency is the right one?

In classical homeopathy , the therapist mainly uses C-potencies and Q-potencies. They should be particularly suitable for the treatment of chronic diseases, but also help against acute symptoms.

Although D-potencies are widespread in Germany, they are rather uncommon abroad. According to homeopathic teaching, they are similar to the C potencies and are particularly recommended for self-treatment and the treatment of acute illnesses.

Higher homeopathic potencies, stronger effect?

Homeopathic medicines are said to be more effective the higher they are potentized. Due to the special processing procedure, the healing power of the original substance should not be weakened, but strengthened.

Therefore, so-called high potencies with higher potency levels than D/C200 should not be used for self-medication or for the treatment of acute symptoms and should only be prescribed by an experienced homeopath. The same applies to homeopathic potencies of level Q, more precisely from Q6.

Note: The concept of homeopathy and its specific effectiveness are controversial in science and not unequivocally proven by studies.

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