While searching for a safe dose, homeopathy’s founding father, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, was as surprised as everyone else to find that even in infinitesimally small doses, the healing properties of the source substance were not only present, but stronger. This was especially so when he succussed each dilution. He compared the "dynamizing" succussion process to that of pounding an iron rod to make a magnet. Thus in his search for a way to ‘do no harm, Hahnemann established Potency and the Principle of the Minimum Dose.
The potency of a remedy is the number of times it has been diluted and homeopathically processed. X potencies are diluted on a scale of 1:10, C potencies 1:100. At each dilution, i.e., 1X, 2X, 3X, ..., the triturate (powder form) or dilution of the remedy is succussed (shaken with a thump at the end) repeatedly.
The Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States (HPUS) defines the exact standards, tests and guidelines for each remedy.
Which is stronger 6X or 30X?
Less is more in homeopathy. 30x is more dilute, but also more potent and therefore deeper acting than 6X. The benefit of 6X is that it requires less precision in selection and can be ideal for light, repeatable dosing.
The idea that a remedy is stronger the higher its dilution, is confusing at best. For starters, here are some basic tenets to follow.
1. In general: Start low (6x - 12X) so you can go higher (30X, 30C), clearing symptoms as potency increases. 6X is standard.
2. Selection: Lower potencies cover a wider range of symptoms, so are ideal if you are not certain that you have chosen the best remedy for your symptoms. Higher potencies need more accurate selection to stimulate cure. For example, Pulsatilla colds and Aconite colds are very similar, but if you take Aconite 30C, you might not touch a Pulsatilla cold, however a dose or two of 6X might have enough of the right energy to stimulate relief.
3. Severity: The more severe or sudden the symptoms, the higher the potency you might want to use. For example, a sudden Belladonna fever with red face and radiating heat, responds faster to a 30X or 30C, but if a 6X is what you have available, that is fine and you can give it every 15 minutes or so for a few doses until you can see a response. A slower moving flu like Bryonia's is going to exit more slowly, but can be encouraged just as well with 6X to 30X doses taken 3-4 times a day or as needed when symptoms flare up.
4. Exceptions: Mental emotional symptoms are often said to respond better to 30x or higher. But again, selection is key, so it is best to stay low if you are not certain.
5. Frequency: The higher the potency, the less often you need to dose.
It is always best to STOP or reduce dosing when symptoms improve. If improvement slows or stops, you can re-dose with the same or next potency.
Things to know:
Low potencies: These include 6X, 12X and sometimes 30X. They cover a wider range of symptoms to simplify selection, allow more repetition and reduce the chance of stimulating a strong healing aggravation.
High potencies: These include 30X, 30C and 200C and higher. They require more precise selection and, if well chosen, can resonate more deeply (though some say that with the right repetition, lower potencies can go just as deep), by doing so, they are more apt than low potencies to stimulate healing aggravations – the body's responses to the healing stimuli, such as purging of mucus membranes after taking a sinus remedy.
We recommend that potencies of 200C and certainly higher potencies should be the exclusive domain of licensed professionals and 'constitutional' case work, as they should not be repeated often and their effects can be subtle and are not always measurable to the untrained eye.
Just remember, higher is not always better. Homeopathy's founder, Samuel Hahnemann, established homeopathic medicine by his success using potencies under 30X for most of his career. But everyone has their own opinion on this one. As a plan, we like to always leave somewhere to go, so it is best to start at the lowest potency that fits the problem - especially if the symptoms are mostly physical.
In our single remedies, all X potencies (6X, 12X and 30X) are pure NF formulary lactose tablets in protective amber glass bottles of 500. Our C potency single remedies are lactose covered sucrose pellets in protective amber glass vials of 160 pellets. If you need other forms or remedies not listed, just call us at 1-800-Homeopathy (1-800-466-3672) and we can send it from our sister lab.