Preparation of medicinal solutions

I’m often asked about preparation of remedies for dosing, especially in connection with use of LM potencies.  I’ve quoted David Little’s article on Solutions Large and Small below in full.  You can read the original here.  David also describes the experiments he carried out.


Solutions Large and Small
Preparation of the Medicinal Solution

The question of how to make a medicinal solution has been raised. Our research group uses the Hahnemannian Standard as discussed in The Chronic Diseases and The 6th Organon of the Healing Arts. The reason for this is twofold.

First, it allows our group a general standard by which to judge constitutional sensitivity and methods of adjusting the dose as we collect data on the new methods. If every individual makes their own version of the medicinal solutions the statistical research cannot be presented in an uniform manner. This also makes it harder for a world-wide comparative study of remedial potence in relationships to Hahnemann’s advanced methods. The entire subject of homoeopathic pharmaceutical methods arises in the mind. Our homoeopathic pharmacies are making remedies with different amounts of succussions on machines which bear little resemblance to each other in their action. Hence if you buy a 30c, 200c or a 1M centesimal potency or a LM potency from one pharmacy its remedial potence is different from another pharmacy.

There is no real Homoeopathic Pharmaceutical Standard among our pharmacies. Our pharmacies would be wise to have an international convention on homoeopathic pharmaceutical standards and make our remedies as close as possible to Hahnemann’s standard (taking into account modern conditions and realities). The methods of trituration, succussions and dilutions (hand vs. various concussive and fluxation machines), dilution mediums (alcohol-water), size of pills, grafting of remedies through generations, are all very important areas. Do you really know how your homoeopathic remedies have been made?

For general research I think Hahnemann’s standard for the medicinal solution is as important as his standard for making the original LM or Centesimal potencies. At the same time, I call on my colleagues to collect their research on new posology methods very carefully. Run your own studies with various techniques and keep your records. Take 50 people and try one dilution and succussion method and 50 more and do something different. Also keep one group on the 4 oz. solution as a control. Watch very closely for the medicinal actions over several months to years and then review your experiments. Then present your findings to the homoeopathic community. In this way we may discover new posology factors and methods of adjusting the dose.

Hahnemann’s Paris casebooks show Hahnemann experimenting with different dilution ratios not only the Cs and LMs. I am working on decoding the notations of the other potency systems and confirming the experiments with eyewitness accounts. One of Hahnemann’s favorites was the OO potency in serial potencies (00/1, 00/2, 00/3) in 4 oz. medicinal solutions. Hering also experimented with different dilution ratios like 1 to 10, 1 to 100, 1 to 1000, 1 to 10,000. If experimenters move in unison into new territory we can collect a large body of uniform data and offer it to the homoeopathic community for further confirmation. This is our goal.

Also, after prolonged experiments in over 12 years in the clinic I have found Hahnemann’s instructions to be very effective, gentle and rapid in action on the vital force. The Old Homoeopath provides a number of interesting options to the homoeopathic practitioner. This includes different sized medicinal solutions (small to large) and several different delivery methods (oral, olfaction, dermal contact). I have come to the conclusion that the delivery system and method of preparation has a tremendous affect on the remedial potence of homoeopathic remedies. For those who may be new to these subjects I offer the following information. For more complete study the reader is referred to my website.

The Preparation of the Standard Medicinal Solution for the LM Potencies

The size of the medicinal solution can be from 3 1/2 oz. to 20 oz. of water and alcohol solution depending on the sensitivity of the individual. The bottle which contains the medicinal solution is used by the patient to prepare their personal doses. The average size of the medicinal solution is between 4 oz. and 6 oz. of fluid. This solution consists of water mixed with 30 to 50 % brandy, or a smaller amount of pure alcohol, as a preservative. The LM potency is always used in a medicinal solution with the addition of a dilution glass filled with 4 to 6 oz. of water. The medicinal solution bottle should be protected from sunlight, heat and strong odors.

The remedy is always succussed just prior to ingestion in order to slightly raise the potency. After the dosage glass has been used, the remaining solution in the glass is thrown away and the glass and spoon are cleaned and placed in the sun. This twofold process of succussing and diluting causes a considerable change in the dynamization of the remedy. As the succussing raises the potency, the dilution reduces the amount, thus allowing the remedy to work rapidly, gently and permanently.

The preparation of the standard medicinal solution may be summarized in four points:

1. Take 1 (very rarely 2) poppy seed size #10 pills of the desired potency ( starting in the lowest degrees LM 0/1, 0/2, 0/3, etc.) and place it into a clean bottle. The minimal size of a medicinal solution is 3 1/2 oz., the average is between 4 and 6 oz. of fluid. In hot or moist climates the watery solution includes at least 30 to 50% brandy, or a smaller amount of pure alcohol, as a preservative and stabilizer. It is best to have at least 2 oz. of extra space in the bottle as an air gap so that there is room for effective succussions.

2. Succuss the bottle just prior to ingestion 1 to 12 times (or more) depending on the sensitivity of the patient. This slightly raises the potency and activates the remedy.

3. Take 1 or, more rarely, 2 or 3 teaspoons of the medicinal solution and place it into 4 to 6 oz. of water in a dilution glass and stir vigorously. Most cases are started with 1 teaspoon and the amount is increased only if necessary to get more remedial action. In children the amount should be 1/2 teaspoon. Infants may only need 1/4 of a teaspoon.

4. Take 1 or, more rarely, 2, 3 (or increasingly more) teaspoons from the dilution glass as a dose until medical reaction is attained. Most cases are started with 1 teaspoon and the amount increased only if necessary. Children should be given 1/2 teaspoon. Infants 1/4 or less of a teaspoon.

The dosage of the medicinal solution can be carefully adjusted to suit the sensitivity of the individual’s constitution. This is why I have not given an exact size to the medicinal solution, nor the amount of the dose, and the number of succussions. The use of the medicinal solution is an art as well as a science. The experience of the last decade has shown that the remedy bottle should be succussed between 1, 2, or 3 times for the hypersensitive types; 4, 5, 6, for the average sensitivity; and 8, 9, 10, or more, for the hypo sensitive patients. The succussion should be increased until there is a sufficient reaction from the vital force.

Normally 1, or increasingly more, teaspoons, of the medicinal solution are taken and stirred vigorously into at least 3 1/2 oz. of water. Sometimes it is necessary to slowly increase the number of teaspoons from the remedy bottle to get a favorable reaction. Those who are relatively more hypo sensitive, or have the primary eruptions of the four classic Hahnemannian miasms on the skin, may need increased amounts and succussions as the remedy is repeated at suitable intervals.

Generally, I start with 1 teaspoon, and only increase the amount if and when necessary. The ultra hypersensitive constitutions may need 1 teaspoon from the first glass can be stirred into a second glass of water. From this second dilution glass one teaspoon is then given to the patient. This can be carried on through a series of several dilution glasses if necessary. This method of adjustment is called a “serial dilution” ( type of hydraulic dynamization reminiscent of the fluxation machines of the 19th century). The patient then takes a teaspoon of solution from the last dilution glass as a dose. This has been most useful in the hypersensitive temperaments. These constitutions are very difficult to treat with the dry dose methods of the 4th Organon.

How to Prepare the Mini-solutions

Hahnemann used the 4 oz. medicinal solution most often. However he did publish a method for a micro solution in the preface to the 1837 Paris edition of The Chronic Diseases. First I will explain the classical micro dose and then share some experiments conducted with different ratios while in India.

Here is Hahnemann’s method for the use of small vials for administration of the medicinal solutions.

1. Make a mixture of 1/2 water and 1/2 brandy and keep it on hand.

2. Place 1 small # 10 pill in a small vial. Only in rare instances are 2 pills used.

3. Place 200, 300, or 400 drops into the vial. Less drops makes a stronger solution for the more insensitive patient whereas the larger amount is more suitable for the sensitive patient. An average of 200 or so drops fits in a 1/2 oz. bottle and 400 drops fits nicely into a 1 oz. bottle with an air gap for succussions. The bottle is then succussed from 1 to 10 or more succussions depending on sensitivity. Make a measuring vial with marks at 200, 300, 400 drops so you can easily pour the correct amount of the 1/2 &1/2 solution into a small dropper bottle with the 1 pill.

4. From this solution 1, 2, 3 or increasingly more drops are stirred into a cup containing a tablespoon (3 teaspoons) of water. From this 1, 2 or 3 teaspoons are given as a dose. Give the more hypo sensitive types more drops and solution and the more sensitive types less drops and teaspoons. The cup can be replaced by a second small vial which is succussed in the same manner as the stock bottle. A smaller or larger portion of the solution can then be given as a dose. The smaller delivery system can be used for the oral dose or olfaction. I find olfaction to be an interesting way to take a remedy. Next time you need a remedy you might do an experiment on yourself.

The Outcome of a Field Study

In my experience the larger bottles with more water act more gently than the small solutions made in 1 oz. The smaller vials are a little more dynamic and more prone to cause aggravation than the 4 oz. solution. Perhaps this can be moderated by taking the drops out serially into more water. For example, we could take 1 drop in 1 tablespoon and then take 1 drop of this and place it in more tablespoons of water and give the sensitive a teaspoon of this dilute.

I would advise the true experimenter to order some 8 oz. bottles so one has the flexibility to make 3 1/2 to 8 oz. solutions. Every student of Homoeopathy should gain experience of the remedial actions of this standard dose and its adjustments. It is important that the experimenter gain knowledge of both the small and large solutions. I normally use a 4 to 6 oz. medicinal solution in a 8 oz. bottle except in my emergency and travel kit. I also use the mini-dose in some circumstances that makes the larger bottle inconvenient if it is not contraindicated. I find the effect of a lot of water in the medicinal medium soothing to the constitution. I also use the smaller solutions in very controlled doses (sometimes in the two vial method) and the mini-solutions are excellent for olfaction.

I ran a number of trials using different sized solutions and combinations of the drops in lesser and larger amounts of water. Here’s what happened in a few larger studies:

1. First I tried to use 2 oz. bottles and 2 oz. dilution glasses. I reasoned that 1/2 teaspoon for a 2 oz. bottle should be the relative equivalent of 1 teaspoon from a 4 oz. bottle. I used this size solution on an entire group of subjects and followed them very closely. The results (to my surprise) were lots of unproductive aggravations and accessory symptoms. The remedy reactions were fragmented and troublesome. I had to regularize all these cases by giving them the 4 oz. solution, which to my great relief, corrected the vital force. I learned very quickly from the start that the medicinal solutions have resonance and harmonies that are unique and not necessarily dependent on linear ratios. Some seem more harmonious than others.

2. I also tried to use the small dropper bottle and a larger glass. I took 1, or increasingly more, drops and placed them into a larger amount of water such as 4 to 6 oz. I thought this might be the best of both worlds. I ran another trial side by side with my ordinary 4 oz. solution and glass method. This method seemed to cause more aggravations than the Hahnemannian standard group but did not cause the accessory symptoms like my 2 oz. experiment. I did not continue this study (because of compassion for those involved) although I think this area warrants more research. Perhaps I did not use the right amount of water to the 1, or increasingly more, drops. Hahnemann used 1 drop in 6 tablespoons (3 oz. ) in a case from Paris casebooks dated 1837. I will try a new series of experiment with this method at some point.

These trials, and others like it, lead me to the conclusion that there are harmonics in the preparation of the medicinal solutions and potency (Kent wrote on this). Even in those experiments where I tried to keet “equivalent ratios” the reactions were very, very different. I tried many other combinations while still using Hahnemann’s 4 oz. solutions as my main delivery system in the clinic. The 4 oz. solution is a well proven safe, gentle and effective medium for the administration of the homoeopathic remedies in aqueous solutions.

In my experience (so far), the drop dose works harmoniously in a smaller amount of water such as a tablespoon or a second small vial (mini-solution) and the teaspoon doses are more harmonious in a larger dilution glasses (macro-solution). I must confess this was not exactly what I had expected. As these harmonious ratios were already documented in the 1837 preface to The Chronic Diseases, Hahnemann’s casebooks and the 6th Organon, I suggest the use of Hahnemann’s posology. In our research group we keep the Hahnemannian standard so that our experiments are relatively uniform and we can compare results. In this way we can share our data on the methods of adjusting the dose and collect a consistent body of information.

I would recommend that homoeopaths use 1 drop as the base dose of the mini-solution (the most essential dose). Increase the number of drops and succussions until the reaction of the vital force is elicited and then act accordingly. I would either use a second small vial, or a cup, with 1 tablespoon of water. Give the person 1/3 or more of the contents of the dosing vial and l or increasingly more teaspoons of the solution from the cup if needed.

Always begin with one test dose so one can see the suitability of the remedy and its potential action. If the first dose causes a “strikingly progressive improvement” do not repeat the dose as the vital force is moving rapidly toward cure. Only give a second dose when you see the action slowing down. If, on the other hand, there is only a slow improvement one may repeat the dose at suitable intervals to speed the cure (in the liquid dose split-dose).

Slow down the doses as the client improves to avoid over-medication and aggravations. If an aggravation is produced wait and watch without any further doses for the time being. Always stay on the side of the minimum dose rather than the maximum and aggravations can be prevented.

Preparing a Medicinal Solution for Olfaction

The key to the advanced methods of Homoeopathy is the use of the medicinal solution. The remedy solution, however, has other avenues of delivery than just the oral tract. This is more difficult with the old method with its exclusive use of dry pills which are placed in the mouth. At times alternative methods of applying the dose may be more suitable or used in conjunction with the oral dose to speed the cure. These methods may also be of use if the remedy cannot be given orally due to the nature of an injury or unconsciousness on the part of the patient. Vide aph. 284 of the 6th edition.

“Besides the tongue, mouth and stomach, which are most commonly affected by the administration of medicine, the nose and respiratory organs are receptive of the action of medicines in fluid form by means of olfaction and inhalation through the mouth. But the whole remaining skin of the body clothed with epidermis, is adapted to the action of medicinal solutions, especially if the injunction is connected with simultaneous internal administration”.

The homoeopathic remedies can be given by a variety of methods. The median sensitivity does well on an oral dose of the 4 oz. medicinal solution. Those who are somewhat more hypersensitive may do better on a single dose given by olfaction followed by the split-dose if needed. The olfactory nerve is directly linked to the brain (by passing the digestive system) and is an interesting avenue for the ingestion of dynamic remedies. One can feel the remedy go directly to the brain and higher centers. The associated sensations and effects are different from liquid remedies taken via the oral tract.

The preparation and administration of the olfactory dose can be summarized in four steps:

1. Take one #10 pill and place it into a one dram vial.

2. Drop one drop of water to melt the pill. Then fill the small vial with alcohol leaving one third of the vial empty so that there is sufficient air gap left for succussions.

3. The vial is to be succussed an average of 5, 6, 7 times. The hypersensitive types may only need 1, 2, 3 or 4 succussions. Those of a lower sensitivity may need up to 8, 10, or 12 succussions. The remedy should be succussed just prior to the ingestion of the remedy as with the medicinal solution.

4. The vial is then held under the nose and the vapors inhaled by the patient. One dose is given to assess the sensitivity of the individual and the remedy repeated, if and when necessary. This may be repeated every 1, 2, 3, 4, or more days, as needed. In the 5th edition Hahnemann recommends not to give the olfactory remedy any more frequently than one would give the dose by mouth. He repeated his olfactory dose at most once a week. In many cases he used a single dose and placebo (the only true “second simillimum”).

A more complete explanation of administering olfaction can be found in the footnote to aphorism 288 of the 5th Organon.

“The homoeopathic physician allows the patient to hold the open mouth of the vial first in one nostril, and in the act of inspiration draw the air out of it into himself and then, if it is wished to give a stronger dose, smell in the same manner with the other nostril, more or less strongly according to the strength it is intended the dose should be. Should both nostrils be stopped up by coryza or polyps, the patient should inhale by the mouth, holding the orifice of the vial between his lips. In little children it may be applied close to their nostrils while they are asleep with the certainty of producing an effect.”

When using olfaction a sensitive may only need to use one nostril and take just a tiny breath. If a stronger effect is needed a deeper breath may be used. Those of a more moderate sensitivity may need to breathe the dose in each nostril separately. Some individuals are so hypersensitive that they only need to put their hand over the closed vial, or touch the top, and breathe in to open their “aura” to the remedy. This is the most subtle form of “olfaction”. After this they may remove their hand from the remedy. Hahnemann used olfaction almost exclusively for several years but decided later that the oral medicinal solution was a much more appropriate median dose. He also mentions the use of the medicinal solution directly applied on the healthy areas of the skin, while at the same time, taking the oral solution to speed the cure of a slow moving chronic diseases. There is also a discussion of giving the remedy to infants through the milk of the mother.

I hope this is useful information for the homoeopathic community.
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