Institute fur Geschichte Medizin Robert Bosch Stiftung
English edition: Prof. Dr. Robert Jütte, Institut für Geschichte
Hahnemann developed the Q-potencies almost 170 years ago to improve the effect of homoeopathic medicines, in cases of acute, but particularly also of chronic disease. After his death in 1843, his new method of producing highly effective remedies, which his fol- lowers found somewhat bewildering at first, fell into oblivion. His widow was not entirely innocent in this. She thought that she had good reasons for keeping this legacy of Hahnemann’s a secret. Only decades later, the homoeopathic world learned about the ex- istence of the 50 millesimal potencies. And another 25 years went by before Hahnemann found imitators who, next to high and low potencies, also used Q-potencies in their practice.
Apart from some pioneers of ‘classical’ homoeopathy (Flury, Voegeli, Schmidt, Künzli and others) a number of companies that specialised in the manufacture of the 50 millesimal potencies, such as ARCANA Dr Sewerin GmbH & Co in Gütersloh, contrib- uted to their rediscovery and dissemination.
Today, the Q-potencies take up a small, but not insubstantial share of the market of homoeopathic remedies which are prescribed by physicians and practitioners. They even found their way into the HAB and into the pharmacopoeias of other countries. Hahnemann’s legacy has, at long last, come to fruition. Patients and homoeopaths worldwide are obviously convinced of the efficacy of the 50 millesimal potencies. Although this by no means indicates that the high potency debate has come to an end, the gentle power of the small dosage convinces an increasing number of people, al- though the kind of evidence required by scientific medicine is still not available and will remain difficult to supply in the future.
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