PONDERINGS: The New Posology
Hahnemann was not completely satisfied with the posology methods and case management he developed in the late 1820s. He wanted to improve the single unit dose “wait and watch” method, especially in resistant chronic diseases. The old master felt there must be a more efficient way of administering his remedies so he began a new set of posology experiments. As early as the First Provers Union he used aqueous solutions to dilute remedies to control their powers during provings. With this in mind he decided to run trials on the action of the remedies in aqueous solution and compare the results with the single unit dry dose.
Samuel Hahnemann published the 5th edition of the Organon in the year 1833. This was followed by the publication of the 3rd, 4th and 5th editions of The Chronic Diseases in 1835, 1837 and 1839 respectively. In these twin manuscripts he developed the sixth level of the homoeopathic system. In aphorisms 285, 286, 287 and 288 he clearly states his view that the aqueous solution is far superior in every way to the use of dry pellets. This is the final outcome of many years of experimentation with both methods.
Vide aphorism 286.
“For the same reason the effect of a homoeopathic dose of medicine increases the greater the quantity of fluid in which it is dissolved when administered to the patient [DL] although the actual amount of medicine it contains remains the same. For in this case, when the medicine is taken, it comes in contact with a much larger surface of sensitive nerves responsive to the medicinal action. Although theorist may imagine there should be a weakening of the action of the dose of medicine by its dilution with a large quantity of liquid, experience asserts exactly the opposite, at all events when the medicines are employed homoeopathically.”
At the same time, Hahnemann offered one more critical detail in the note to aphorism 287 which is essential to the new methods. This is the importance of succussing the remedy solution immediately before administration in the same manner as one succussed the homoeopathic dynamization when preparing the stock potencies. In the note to this aphorism Hahnemann points out that anywhere from 1, 2, 3, to 10 or more succussions will progressively increase the potency of the aqueous remedy solution.
From this solution one or more teaspoons are given to the patient as a dose whenever necessary. In this way the homoeopath makes a more powerful solution that penetrates deeper than the dry dose, yet at the same time, the remedy acts more gently on the vital force. this is one of the major methods of adjusting the dose to suit the sensitivity of the constitution.
Hahnemann pointed the way forward in aphorism 287 when he asks homoeopaths to use their own experience to guide them in adjusting the dose to suit the patient.
“…everyone will be able to judge for himself how to proceed with regulation of the homoeopathic medicinal doses when desiring to diminish their medicinal action as much as possible, in order to make them suitable for the most sensitive patients.”
The remedy solution must be succussed an appropriate number of times just before ingestion to make it harmonic to the sensitivity of the patient. The most sensitive constitutions may only need 1 or 2 succussions, whereas in the less sensitive types, 10 or more may be necessary to get a response. The average number of succussions suggested in Hahnemann’s The Chronic Diseases is 5 or 6. In this way the dose and potency may be tuned to suit the sensitivity of the constitution. This method is called adjusting the dose and is one of the greatest gifts of the 5th Organon