Criticism against Hahnemann’s theory of dynamization

Dr Husna TP

Abstract :
This article mainly deals with discussion about R.E. Dudgeons view about Master Hahnemann’s theory of Dynamization that mentioned in his book “Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homoeopathy” and modern scientific explanations for the criticism arise against this Dynamization theory from Hahnemann’s era as well as in 21st century.

Key words:
Theory of Dynamization ; criticism against Hahnemann’s Theory of Dynamization; Scientific  explanation for theory  of Dynamization

CONTENTS

  • Is a homoeopathic dilution is one were to put a drop of medicine into the Lake of Geneva!
  • Different methods of Dynamization
  • other pioneers in the way of Dynamization 
  • Investigations with microscope 
  • Scientific  explanation for theory  of Dynamization 

INTRODUCTION
According to R.E .Dudgeon in his Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homoeopathy, It is impossible so to separate Dr Hahnemann’s the dynamization-theory from the doctrines denoting  the doses ,both are connected each other .In this chapter dudgeon explains evolution of Dr. Hahnemann’s dynamization theory and views of different pioneers up to modern times (1) .Through this article we mainly aimed to give an evidence based explanation for one of cardinal principles of Homoeopathic system ie “ Theory of Dynamization” . 

Evolution of Theory of Dynamization
In Master Hahnemann’s  first essay announcing the discovery of a new therapeutic principle, published in 1796 not mention any doses different from those in ordinary use, also is there any mention made of any peculiarity in the mode of preparing the medicines;so nothing is said about dynamization. 

Master Hahnemann got the idea of dynamization for first time from” the mechanical heat theory” of Benjamin Thompson (1753) which considered as the base for thermodynamics. Thompson’s view was that the heat produced when two metals got friction was equal to the motion energy applied during friction. From this concept Hahnemann got the idea of energy production during trituration and succession during the process of dynamization (2)

In his writings up to 1801 nothing is to be found to lead us to suppose that there was anything exceptional in his mode of employing drugs, Also that he used them in accordance with the law he had enunciated in 1796, and advised that every medicine should only be given singly and alone.

It is in his work on Scarlet Fever, published in 1801, that he had first mentioned unusual mode of preparing the medicines, of the infinitesimal doses, and of the dynamization-theory.                     The dose of opium there recommended for the treatment of a certain form of the scarlet fever is very small compared with the ordinary dose, and the tincture of opium is to be prepared by intimate mixture of the opium with the alcohol is performed.

He mentioned in the same essay  In the preparation of the prophylactic tincture of belladonna, , he directs that the several dilutions used-they are three in number, and prepared in the proportion of one of the drug to 400, 300, and 200 of the vehicle (diluted alcohol)-should be prepared by shaking for a minute at a time.

  • This dilution was to diminish the power of the medicine chiefly, Also for in patients of very sensitive disposition the dose he orders, as a general rule, is not sufficient; it must be increased and stirred for a minute longer with the fluid vehicle

“It is only by stirring, by brisk, long-continued stirring, that a liquid medicine obtains the largest number of points of contact for the living fibre, there by alone does it become right powerful.”  He adds, as the medicine does not act atomically but only dynamically,”

In the Medicine of Experience, published in 1805, the forerunner of the Organon, there is a good deal of talk about the purely dynamic action of drugs, the incredibly small quantity of them that will suffice for the cure, and this is the absolute superiority in point of power of the weakest medicine over the severest disease; but all of this is depend on susceptibility of patient , for it is stated that the same doses have no effect on the healthy or on those patients for whose disease the drug is not suitable.

In the Lesser Writings, entitled “On the power of small doses of medicine in general, and of belladonna in particular. Hahnemann gave a reply to Hufeland for asking,  “What effect can the hundred-thousandth part of a grain of belladonna have ???????“

Hahnemann’s reply :  There is  difference observed in the effect of a hard dry pill of extract of belladonna and of a single grain of the same extract dissolved in a couple of pints of water, and then strongly shaken for five minutes, and taken by the most robust laborer by teaspoonful’s within six or eight hours.

Eg:  instances of paralytic and nervous diseases, which he had cured with a hundred-thousandth, and even a millionth part of a grain of belladonna

In first edition on the Organon, published in 1810 , Hahnemann  not mentioned about the dynamization-theory . (3)

Hahnemann’s view in 1st edition of Organon are following: 

  • 1. By diminishing the size of the dose — to avoid aggravation, and the accessory effects of the medicine.
  • – 2. By the process employed in diminishing the dose,  by the intimate mixture of the medicine with a non-medicinal vehicle by means of vigorous shaking, an increase of its activity is the net result
  • – 3. In order to diminish its power, the medicine must not be dissolved in water and don’t drinking water thereafter,( otherwise power will increase) 
  • Reply for “How can small doses of such much attenuated medicines as homoeopathy employs have any action on the sick?  Is given in the 2nd edition of the 6th volume of the Materia Medica, published in 1827. To the allegation that a homoeopathic dilution is one were to put a drop of medicine into the Lake of Geneva!!!!

He says that the comparison does not hold good, for that the processes of succession and trituration make it different than it .It’s not the superficial mixture of water and medicine 

Eg:  The odors of certain substances, which are only elicited by friction (E.g: Arsenic has garlic order when it heated.)

Also “by these processes the internal medicinal power is liberated from its material bonds, so as to enable it to operate more penetratingly and more freely on the living organism,

In the preface to Thuja, in the 5th volume of the Materia Medica pura ( 1828), he says that the higher dilutions of this medicine, e. g., the 30th or even the 60th, if each dilution be shaken 10 or more times,  are actually more powerful than previous dilutions . –Warning about over succession

  • By trituration and succession, he says, the medicinal power of medicines may be increased almost to an infinite degree.

Eg :  a drop of Drosera of the 15th or 30th dilution, 20 shakes,  …in whooping cough endanger life 

  • A globule of same solution with 2 succession cure a child’s health 

Other progressions made in Dynamization

  • 1. Korsakoff was the real original inventor of the high potencies, for the first conceived and executed the idea of diluting medicines up as high as 1500. 

He prepared a case containing bottles filled with non-medicated globules, and into each bottle he dropped a medicated one, and after a little shaking all became medicated.

But Hahnemann even support life expectancy of a globule even up to 20 years, but oppose the concept of dry pill medication 

2. Jenichen’s higher potency

  • His first essay with high potencies was with the medicine plumbum. But Dr.Hahnemann, Dr.Hering , Dr.Gross also oppose this concept.

3. Dr.Hering

  • His concept was potencies of different degrees may be made by altering the proportion of medicine and vehicle, and that the effect of these are different according as they are made in the proportion of 1 to 10, of 1 to 100, of 1 to 1000, or 1 to 10,0000

4. Dr. Mayrhofer,     

  • He give his valuable observations about trituration in the 1st volume of the Austrian Homoeopathic Journal. In order to understand what is happening during trituration , he investigated the homoeopathic Trituration’s of some metals by means of the microscope,  

Eg: The preparations of platina showed distinct signs of the presence of the metal under the power of 300 diameters in the 10th dilution, 

But Dr. Mayrhofer does not mention how high up in the scale of dilutions he could still detect its metallic particles.

  • Whilst the old school called such a minute subdivision of the metals “killing them,” the new school calls it ” new interesting one ,” when applying in living organism

But actually recent studies shows that a grain of the third trituration of tin or arsenic, contains the amazing number of 115,200, 000 particles of the medicine.,(4)

Each of which possesses size can freely penetrate to all parts of the organism, and develop their peculiar effects on every part.

5. Professor Doppler  in Magazine of Physics and the Allied Sciences, 1837

  • shows that the physical superficies of a medicament is increased in a fixed mathematical progression by its being rubbed up with a non-medicinal vehicle.-

Chemistry and homoeopathy
Chemistry has by many been brought to elucidate the doctrine of the dynamization of medicines. following are examples : 

  1. Dr. Samuel Brown, in his journal entitled “ Theory of Small Doses,

 In the 1st  volume of the British Journal of Homoeopathy, illustrate positive effects of very minute and even infinitesimal doses

  1. Abbé Spallanzani  .. Italian physiologist 

Mixed 3 grains of frog’s semen with equal parts of water, and found that a drop of the mixture possessed the power of fructifying a large number of the eggs.

RELATED ARTICLES

  • “A Modern Understanding of Homeopathic Medicine” By Dana Ullman MPH from Discovering Homeopathy: Medicine for the 21st Century, North Atlantic Books, 1990)(5)

Symptoms as Defenses
Too often physicians and patients assume that a person’s symptoms are

The disease and that simply treating these symptoms is the best way to cure. But such treatment is like that of trying to unplug a car’s emergency oil light because it is flashing. Even though unplugging the bulb is effective in stopping that irritating flashing light, it does nothing to change the reason it is giving its warning.

Homoeopathy is an approach that utilizes medicines that stimulate the body’s own immune and defense system to initiate the healing process. It is an approach that individualizes medicines according to the totality of the person’s physical, emotional, and mental symptoms

Now a days modern scientists also supporting this concept.Few examples are following:

  • Dr. Hans Selye, who is considered to be the father of stress theory, recognizing that symptoms are actually efforts of the organism to deal with stress or infection. Rather than viewing symptoms simply as signs of the body’s breakdown, these medical doctors see symptoms as defenses of the body that attempt to protect and heal itself.
  • ➢Recent research has shown that fevers represent an effort of the organism to try to heal itself. Fever usually accompanies bacterial or viral infection. Physiologist Matthew Kluger and his associates at the University of Michigan Medical School have shown that the body prepares itself to resist infection by creating a fever; it is then more able to produce interferon (an antiviral substance). Fever also increases white blood cell mobility and activity, instrumental factors in fighting infection
  • “ Therapeutic Effect of Arsenicum album on Leukocytes” Elaine C Ive et al; in this study  The therapeutic effects of homoeopathic Arsenicum album potencies were investigated in-vitro, by  using a continuous cell line (MT4), pre-intoxicated with arsenic trioxide (As2O3), and then treated with succussed and unsuccussed homoeopathic potencies, 6CH, 30CH and 200CH are used . This study concluded that the cell viability increased with increasing potency from 81% to 194% (over 72 h). The treatments and the times of exposure were found to be statistically significant determinants of cell viability(4)    

Answer for Oppositions against theory of Dynamization

  • The skeptic at this point would assert that when the medicines are potentised beyond a certain point,* there probably is not even one molecule remaining?????

Homeopaths agree that solutions diluted beyond the 24x or 12c may not have any molecules of the original solution. But Scientists make reference to Avogadro’s law which basically asserts that in all probability there should not be any molecules remaining after a substance is diluted beyond 6.02 * 10 23  (5)

  • In another study “Testing the Nanoparticle- Allostatic Cross Adaptation-Sensitization Model for Homeopathic Remedy Effects” Bell et al; concluded the reversal of direction from disease towards health from the ability of low doses of nanoparticles in homoeopathic medicines to initiate hormesis (6)
  • In biology this can explained as concept of pattern. In our body 2.5 million red cells die every second, and a similar number are born. After seven years every cell in our entire body has been replaced. Although we have new cells, we are still the same person. We are the same because the underlying pattern of our being remains.
  • Evidence of how small doses can actually have increased strength was reported in Science News. A study engaged in by chemists who work for the U.S. Government’s National Bureau of Standards and who knew nothing about homeopathy, noted that when they shook the coupled molecules of nitric oxide, the units did not weaken and break into parts, but rather developed stronger molecular bonds. One can correlate from this research that the homeopathic process of dilution and succession (shaking) may actually create super strong molecules, so super strong medicines (5)

CONCLUSION
Here we have many evidence-based studies to prove the effectiveness of the action of homoeopathic medicines and to prove the efficacy of theories in terms of modern science at all. We know Homeopathic medicines are prescribed to aid the organism in boosting up its immunity and to heel completely. The homeopathic approach is a basic respect for the body’s wisdom, it is thus no wonder that it is a safer medicine.

References 

  1. Dudgeon RE. Lectures on the Theory and Practice of Homoeopathy. B. Jain Publishers; 2003. 630 p. 
  2. Hahnemann S. Materia Medica Pura. W. Radde; 1846. 252 p. 
  3. Samuel Hahnemann. Organon of medicine [Internet]. Boericke & Tafel; 1901 [cited 2019 Jan 19]. 351 p. Available from: http://archive.org/details/organonmedicine00hahngoog
  4. Therapeutic Effect of Arsenicum album on Leukocytes [Internet]. [cited 2020 May 2]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3317753/
  5. Danastore. A Modern Understanding of Homeopathic Medicine [Internet]. Homeopathic.com. 2017 [cited 2020 May 2]. Available from: https://homeopathic.com/a-modern-understanding-of-homeopathic-medicine/
  6. Bell IR, Koithan M, Brooks AJ. Testing the Nanoparticle-Allostatic Cross Adaptation-Sensitization Model for Homeopathic Remedy Effects. Homeopathy. 2013 Jan;102(1):66–81. 

Dr Husna.T.P
3RD MD Homoeopathic Philosophy
Govt Homoeopathic Medical College, Calicut

3 Comments

  1. Such a pathetic mistake! So far, Hahnemann has suffered from such unjust and pathetically wrong explanation of dynamization.

    According to J M Warner, “Hahnemann’s dynamization is nothing but reducing the number of molecules and disentangling the intermolecular attraction between the molecules through succussion, so that the lowest amount of molecules can create the threat momentum against nociceptors placed in the oral cavity.”

    Dr Husna, like most other homoeopaths, made the same mistake. She failed to delve deep into the dramatized process of breaking down the intermolecular forces active among the molecules of the medicines. In this article, she explained the “dramatization of medicines”. She did not perceive the scientific essence of dynamization.

    If you have little bit knowledge of the basic principles of science, the following book can help you understand the scientific essence of Homoeopathy: “The Science of Homoeopathic Immunology” by J M Warner at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0875XYL5C

  2. DEAR SIR,
    THERE IS NO STANDARD NUMBER OF SUCCUSSION FOR RAISING EACH POTENCY. IT IS 10 TO 40 OR ONE TO FIVE MINUTES. ORGANON IS SILENT. EVEN INDIAN OR INTERNATIONAL COUNCILS ARE SILENT. I WANT TO KNOW THE STANDARD NUMBERS OF SHAKING FOR EACH RAISE.
    REGARDS
    C S GUPTA

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