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How potentized remedies work

How could potentization work? Towards that, it is helpful to look at the process of breathing. When we breathe, we take in oxygen (O 2) and breathe out carbon dioxide (CO2).

Just like a log fire, we use oxygen to generate warmth. Burning is usually looked upon as a destructive process, but it can be viewed in a different light, as an incredible process of liberation. Certain things are liberated by using oxygen. With a log fire, we can see the light of the fire and feel the heat. These qualities have been liberated by oxygen from the wood. To understand this liberation, we must take a look at the breathing process of plants, which is completely the reverse of that of mammals and humans, because plants take in carbon dioxide.

Plants do this using photosynthesis. Photo means light and synthesis refers to making things. The leaves on a plant or tree use the light and the warmth of the Sun to collect carbon dioxide (CO 2) and build the carbon particle (C) into the plant. At the same time, the oxygen (O 2) is released. Chains of carbohydrate molecules are created through this process. Starch and sugar are examples of such chains. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants not only build a sugar-like substance, but actually create a living substance, the plant itself. We could argue that not only is the warmth and light of one star (the Sun) bound to the plant, but so also are other cosmic forces, for example, influences from other stars of the Zodiac and the planets. Every different species in the plant world will bind particular cosmic influences unique to that species. Thus, the macro cosmos reflects itself in the micro cosmos of the world.

If illness is seen as a disturbance of certain processes and substances, then it is possible that anthroposophical remedies could help to restore this balance within a person. To liberate what plants have bound into themselves during their growth without burning them, Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) developed the process of potentization. This pharmaceutical process involves making a mother-tincture and diluting it at different stages. The mother-tincture is the first stage in this process; a liquid is made from the herb. With every dilution, the fluid is shaken. This is called potentization because with every dilution and subsequent shaking of the fluid, the cosmic forces that were bound into the plants are liberated step by step from the substance. In the higher potencies, which are more diluted, more of the process (quality / forces) is liberated, and less remains of the actual substance (quantity) in the remedy. So these medicines can be given as a substance (low potency) or as a process (high potency), depending on what is needed to help restore the balance of health in a particular illness.

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. How potentized remedies work

  3. Breathing and circulation

  4. Asthma symptoms explained

  5. The digestive system

  6. The nervous system  

  7. How alcohol affects the nervous system and liver

  8. How opiates act like a dam

  9. Inflammation and infection

  10. Fever

  11. The common cold

  12. Earache

  13. Hints and tips