September 2010|Vol 7|Issue 9

September 2010 | Volume 7 | Issue 9

 

Article
 
Evidences to infinitesimal doses in Homoeopathy
 



 



Dr.Syed Afsar Ali, MD(Hom)
6/1 Mistry Para lane
P.O.-Entally
Kolkatta
West Bengal

    Abstract
         Today is the age of evidenced base medicine. Modern science always trying to disapprove efficacy of homoeopathic medicine in the context of high dilution which is a revolutionary discovery of a great scientist Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Out of all the assertions made by homoeopaths, it is this one on the action of the infinitesimal doses which is utterly rejected by so-called men of science as being impossible. They point out that in a solution where the solute reaches dilutions beyond Avagadro’s number (6 x 1023; 12C, 24X, 0/4 potencies and above), that the probability of finding even one molecule of the initial substance goes from extremely small, to almost non-existent. The present article tries to explore the journey of the scienificity of homoeopathic doses since from the days of Hahnemann till the present era in a very concise form.

    Introduction
         “It has been my rule through life never to accept anything as true, unless it came as near mathematical proof as possible in its domain of science; and, on the other hand, never to reject anything as false, unless there was stronger proof of its falsity.” – Constantine Hering. [Preface,The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica]
    The Homeopathic mode of treatment often encourages use of drugs at such ultra-low doses and high dilutions that even the physical existence of a single molecule of the original drug substance becomes theoretically impossible. But homeopathy has sustained for over two hundred years despite periodical challenges thrown by scientists and non-believers regarding its scientificity. There has been a spurt of research activities on homeopathy in recent years, at clinical, physical, chemical, biological and medical levels with acceptable scientific norms and approach. While clinical effects of some homeopathic drugs could be convincingly shown, one of the greatest objections to this science lies in its inability to explain the mechanism of action of the microdoses based on scientific experimentations and proofs. Though many aspects of the mechanism of action still remain unclear, serious efforts have now been made to understand the molecular mechanism(s) of biological responses to the potentized form of homeopathic drugs. I begin the present article with Hahnemann’s view on the necessity of keeping an open mind, free from bias, and transcendental speculation which can receive no confirmation from experience.

    Homoeopathic Potentization
         Hahnemann perplexed by the aggravations resulting from the ordinary doses in his daily medical practice, seeked to find a dose so small that it would not endanger the life. Naturally this led him to reduce the size of the doses. Finding better results with this he continued to reduce the dose. His idea at first was simply to reduce the “strength” / material mass of the drug but his passion for accuracy led him to adopt a scale i.e., Fifty Millesimal scale which he particularly introduced in 6th edition of Organon of Medicine.

         In reducing the density of the mass he perceived that he was setting free powers previously latent and that these powers were the greatest and most efficient for their therapeutic purposes when the remedy so prepared was applied under the principle of Symptom Similarity. First he said it merely as dilution but ceased and named it “potentization”, a process of rendering potent / powerful that which was previously impotent.

         Now Homoeopathic Potentization or Dynamization is a mathematico-mechanical process, for the reduction, according to scale of crude, inert and poisonous medicinal substances medicinal substances to a state of physical solubility, physiological assimilability, therapeutic activity and to a state of harmlessness for use as a homoeopathic healing remedies. The aim of potentization is to reduce all substances designed for therapeutic use to a state of approximately perfect solution and complete ionization which is fully accomplished by infinite dilution.
    The greater the dilution, the higher the degree of ionization until, at, Infinite dilution ionization is complete and therapeutic activity is conditionally greatest. The procedure of potentization involves division of matter into particles, differentiations and progressions by which reproduction and propagations of medicinal properties of the drug takes place, and power and qualities of the drug are progressively transformed to the diluting medium.

    Scientific foundation of potentization:
    The use of the infinitesimal dose in Homoeopathy is an outcome of experience, doctrine having foundation in truth and embodied in the modern scientific theories like:-
    1. The Conservation of Energy – the sum total of the energy of the Universe neither increaseses nor decreases but assumes different forms successively.
    2. The Conservation of Matter – Matter is indestructible and the total quantity of it in Universe remains the same regardless of the innumerable transformation and permutations constantly taking place.

         Mathematically no limits can be assigned to the divisibility of matter. The smallest conceivable part always contains some of the original substance along with its power and qualities. Dynamisation is not merely a process of dilution or attenuation that liberates the pharmaco-dynamic properties of a drug but the friction which is given to the drug with the inert vehicle by a process of succussion or trituration. So dynamisation is a process of dilution plus friction which brings about the unfolding or intensification of the pharmaco dynamic properties of a drug. Thus Hahnemann started the study of pharmacological and therapeutic properties of drugs to a level of energetic where qualities or force is the primary consideration and matter secondary.

         Fincke explained the action and efficiency of infinitesimal doses by applying the “Law of the Least Quantity”, discovered by Maupertius, the Great French mathematican. The principle is stated as follows: “the quantity of action necessary to effect any change the nature is the least possible”. Dr. Fincke says, “the decisive amount is always a minimum, an infinitesimal”. The law of the Least Action (Maxima Minimis) appears to be essential and necessary complement of the Law of Similars (Similia Similibus) and coordinate with it. According to this principle the curative properties and action of the homoeopathic remedy are governed by its preparation and application. The quality of action of the homoeopathic remedy is determined by its quantity. So the law of the least action is the posological priniciple of Homoeopathy. Homoeopathy was not created by the discovery of the law of Similars. Many before Hahnemann from Hippocrates down, had glimpses of the law and some tried to make use of it therapeutically but failed because of their inability to properly graduate and adapt the dose. The principle of Similia was of no practical use until the related principle of minimum dose and potentization was discovered. So Homoeopathy became most practicable after this discovery.

         To the mind of the mathematican, astronomer or modern physicist, accustomed to think in the terms of the infinitesimal, such quantities present no difficulties, but to the unscientific mind, with its crude conception of constitution of matter, they are unthinkable and incredible. Hahnemann by his discovery of potentization raised Homoeopathy to a level with other natural sciences and created a method analogous to the infinitesimal calculus of mathematics, upon which is based the atomic theory of chemistry; harmonizes with ‘the theory of the interatomic ether of space’, the theory of the radiant state of matter, the theory of the electric potential of the present physics and with the chemico – cellular theory of physiology and pathological anatomy. Its agrees with modern bacteriology in its explanation of the action of pathogenic microbes as being due to the infinitesimal quantities of their secreted poisons. It is in harmony with the latest conclusion of modern psychology.
    Von Grauvogl has shown that the absorption of inorganic substances by the living organism regulates itself chiefly according to the organic need, hence such
    Quantities and in soluble form. Iron offers a good illustration. Vitamins, Minerals essential for our body are required in minute amount, even plants require minerals (present in various manures and fertilizers) in minute amount. Substances which in their natural state are unassimilable by the living organism like the minerals / toxic / destructive substances are by homoeopathic mechanical potentization rendered soluble homogenous and assimilable, rendered harmless when prescribed homoeopathically. They become to the diseased organism what food is to the healthy organism, that is reconstructive which supplies the organic need, restore order and harmony to disordered function and permits a resumption of normal functioning.
    Practical experience with homoeopathic high potencies in the treatment of the sick confirms the fundamental postulates of science. The highest potencies made by Hahnemannian process of dilution are shown to be capable of bringing about a curative reaction in the sick when the remedy is homoeopathic to the case. The effect of homoeopathic dose is augumented by increasing the quantity of liquid in which the medicine is dissolved preparatory to its administration.

         Today plenty of research works have been done in various streams of science showing the curative efficacy of homoeopathic high dilutions. The internet is loaded with such research papers which need a global acceptance. The idea of potentization is a gradual growth of development. It is at the same time the most vital and most vulnerable part, the very heart of Homoeopathy. The present era calls for Prospective studies involving homoeopathic experts who believe in and treat as per Classical Homoeopathy, formulating the protocols/ study designs/ methodology, in conformity with the doctrines of Homoeopathy, particularly for the in-vivo studies and undertaking in vitro studies involving the experts of the concerned areas, by adopting Double blind placebo controlled techniques.

    Conclusion
         Homoeopathy is a precisely structured doctrine. Even though most of its ideas find their parallels in allopathy, it differs from the latter in that the homoeopathic ideas are mutually consistent and coherent. In this discipline medicines may not be prescribed otherwise than in conformity with Hahnemann’s three rules. Homoeopathy science needs more and more exploration of its principal aspects. Scientific minded, enthusiastic and meticulous homoeopathic physician should take the challenge with great zeal and perseverance to disprove the false blame of modern science and at the same time co-relate and established relationship of modern scientific advancement with the homoeopathic principles. The day is not far when our science will find a universal acceptance with respect to its scientificity with regards to various controversial facets.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    1. Hahnemann, S. Organon of Medicine. Reprinted 5th & 6th edition, Reprint edition. New Delhi: Indian Book & Periodical Publishers; April 2004.
    2. Dudgeon, R.E. Lectures on the theory and practice of Homoeopathy. Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P). Ltd; 2002.
    3. Hering, C. The Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica. Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.; 2000.
    4. Coulter H. L. Homoeopathic Science and Modern Medicine : The Physics of Healing with Microdoses. Reprinted edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd.; 2004.
    5. Mondal & Mondal. A Text Book of Homoeopathic Pharmacy. First Edition. New Central Book Agency (P) Ltd; 1994.