Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Homeopathic Techniques- Succussion and Dilution

The most characteristic principle of homeopathy is that the potency of a remedy can be enhanced (and the side-effects diminished) by dilution, in a procedure known as dynamization or potentization. Liquids are progressively diluted (with water, or alcohol) and shaken by ten hard strikes against an elastic body (succussion). For this purpose, Hahnemann had a saddlemaker construct a special wooden striking board covered in leather on one side and stuffed with horsehair.Insoluble solids, such as quartz and oyster shell, are diluted by grinding them with lactose (trituration).

Each dilution is either to 1 part in 10 (labelled "D" or "X", e.g. a 20D has been diluted to one part in ten 20 times in sequence, leaving 1 part in 1020 (one part in 100,000,000,000,000,000,000) of the original substance); 1 part in 100 (labelled "C", so a 10C has been diluted to one part in a hundred 10 times in sequence, leaving one part in 10010, or 1020 - but with only 10 sequences of dilution and succussion, instead of 20 as in the 20D). More rarely, 1 part in 50,000 is used for each dilution, known as Quintamillesimal (labelled LM or Q).

Hahnemann advocated 30C dilutions for most purposes, i.e. dilution by a factor of 10030 = 1060. As Avogadro's number is only 6.02 × 1023 particles/mole, the chance of any molecule of the original substance being present in a mere 15C solution is small, and it is extremely unlikely that even one molecule of the original solution would be present in a 30C dilution. For a perspective on these numbers, there are on the order of 1032 molecules of water in an Olympic size swimming pool; to expect to get one molecule of a 15C solution, one would need to swallow 1% of the volume of such a pool, or roughly 25 metric tons of water. Furthermore, 1cc of a solute diluted to a 30C dilution would be diluted into a volume of solvent (water) equal to that of a cube of 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters per side, or about 105 light years. Thus, homeopathic remedies of the standard dilutions contain, with overwhelming probability, only water. Practitioners of homeopathy believe that this water retains some 'essential property' of the original substance, due to the shaking after each dilution.

1 comment:

parhatsathid said...

In quantum physics, an atom or parts of an atom or even light particles has the properties of both particle and waves. If we dilute them, in theory if an element has both a particle and a wave, the essence is retained from the wave being generated by the first wave of succussing all the way to 100C or infinitely more. Think of it as a rock dropping in the pool, the waves will be there as in light rays travelling 93 million miles. All elements have two properties.