Dilution and Dynamization
Hahnemann recognized that the use of substances that cause symptoms
similar to an existing disease would acutely aggravate the condition and
present other side effects. Thus he advocated the dilution of the
substance to the point where the symptoms were no longer
Dilutions are performed as ten or one hundred fold steps.
Dilutions of 1:10 are designated in the U.S. by the Roman Numeral X (1X =
1/10, 2X = 1/100, 3X = 1/1000, etc). Dilutions of 1:100 are
designated by the Roman Numeral C (1C = 1/100, 2C=1/10,000, 3C =
1/1,000,000, etc). Liquids are diluted with alcohol (ethanol)
and insoluble powders are diluted with milk sugar (lactose).
The dilutions advocated by Hahnemann and those used today often reduce
the concentration of the active substance to infinitesimal levels.
Hahnemann himself understood that at dilutions (such as 30C) of this
magnitude eliminated ALL of the original substance was gone.
However, he believed that the healing power of the substance could
be preserved and actually concentrated by the process of dynamization.
Hahnemann believed that physical disruption of the drug solution
or powder during the dilution process could release the spirit-like
dynamic healing force contained within the substance. Even after it
has been completely removed from the solution by enormous dilution, the
healing force remains. The dynamization could be induced by succussion
of the solution between dilution steps or, in the case of a powder, by trituration
in a mortar.
Hahnemann writes of this proposed phenomenon by analogy to
"Only after (a) bar of steel is dynamized, rubbing it with a dull
file in one direction, will it become a true active powerful magnet, one
able to attract iron and steel to itself and impart to another bar of
steel by mere contact and even some distance away, magnetic power and this
in a higher degree the more it has been rubbed. In the same way will
triturating a medicinal substance and shaking of its solution (dynamization,
potentation) develop the medicinal powers hidden within and manifest them
more and more or if one may say so, spiritualizes the material substance
Samuel Hahnemann, The
Preparation of Medicines, The Organon, 6th Ed