The commonly used delivery system for homeopathic remedies is the oral application. However, Hahnemann had used and recommended other application methods, which he found to be useful and effective after many years of study and practical experience. For:
|“Every part of our body that possesses the sense of touch is also capable of receiving the influences, and of propagating their power to all other parts”.|
§ 289 Organon Fifth Edition
Remedies are usually put into the mouth in the form of globules, liquids, tablets or powders, as the mouth and tongue are the most susceptible parts for medicinal impressions. They can either be taken as dry doses or in water solution.
Hahnemann recommended the single unit dry dose in the fourth edition of the Organon, usually one, two or a few poppy seed size pills. The dose is not repeated as long as it is acting and the patient improving even in the slightest manner. Hahnemann wrote:
|“Such a globule, placed dry upon the tongue, is one of the smallest doses for a moderate recent case of illness. Here but few nerves are touched by the medicine”.|
§ 272 Organon Sixth Edition
To apply medicines in water on 1,2 or 3 consecutive days was an exception, limited to acute and some chronic diseases in strong constitutions (vide § 127 Organon fourth edition).
The general application of the water solution was introduced in the fifth edition of the Organon, in 1833, with the intention of minimizing the dose further and avoiding aggravations. It allowed for adjusting the dose to the patient’s susceptibility and sensitivity, and modifying the dose by means of prior successions, so that the vital force could accept them without resistance. The best selected homeopathic remedy can best extract the morbid disorder from the vital force and in chronic disease extinguish the same, only if applied in several different forms as written in § 247 Organon. Hahnemann wrote about the water solution:
|“A similar globule, crushed with some sugar of milk and dissolved in a good deal of water (§ 247) and stirred well before every administration will produce a far more powerful medicine for the use of several days. Every dose, no matter how minute, touches, on the contrary, many nerves”.|
§ 272 Organon Sixth Edition
The water solution makes the remedy much stronger as it touches many more nerves. Yet the dose can be made considerably less strong than the dry pellet as only a part of the solution of the dissolved globule can be applied. The diminution of the dose essential for homeopathic use, will also be promoted by diminishing its volume.
Initially Hahnemann prepared the liquid dose in the way that the solution was always prepared anew, with one globule before its repetition. In this way the patient was taking multiple doses of the remedy.
With the introduction of the plussing-method the solution is prepared only once, which is taken then in divided or split doses over a period of time. This keeps the dose very small and allows one to modify the dose before its repetition. It is rarely necessary to use more than one globule to prepare the solution as Hahnemann writes in § 248 Organon sixth edition.
With the introduction of the water solution Hahnemann also changed his instructions regarding the repetition of the dose. He advised that any striking progressive improvement precludes the repetition of the remedy as cure is already taking place at a maximum rate. In these cases a single dose is applied and the remedy only repeated when amelioration ceases. However, in only slowly improving cases he recommended to “repeat the remedy at suitable intervals if necessary” to speed the cure. The adjunct “IF NECESSARY” implies the individualization of the dose and precludes their mechanical application and repetition to avoid aggravations and accessory symptoms. He also points out that only EXPERIENCE can teach the most suitable intervals for each individual.
With the application of the water solution in split and modified doses, the period can be diminished to one-half, one-quarter, and even still less, if all conditions prescribed in § 246 Organon fifth and sixth edition are met. The fifth edition refers to the application of centesimal potencies whereas the sixth edition refers to LM (or Q) potencies.
Centesimal potencies can be given dry or in water solution, but should be given in water solution due to the superiority of this application method. If applied dry the homeopath has to follow the instructions given in the fourth edition of the Organon. Then the dose has only to be repeated if the action of the remedy ceases completely and the patient does not improve anymore in the slightest manner. Here the homeopath has to wait out the aggravation after the application of the remedy, then to wait for any improvement, and then for the relapse to repeat the remedy. LM potencies, which Hahnemann introduced around the year 1840, are to be given in water as a matter of principle.
The globule or liquid should be put into a clean mouth. Globules are best dissolved under the tongue. Although the stomach is also receptive for the action of medicines, they should preferably not be swallowed but dissolved in the mouth, as its lining membrane is more susceptible to medicinal impressions.
No foods or drinks should be taken 15 minutes before and after, and the patient should not brush his teeth or smoke shortly before and after. However, experience shows that medicines also act if taken together with food. But the risk of interference with the action of homeopathic remedies is less when given in water solution, especially LM’s. Drinking immediately after the oral intake of the remedy should be avoided by all means as the increased fluid may alter the dose.
Olfactation and Inhalation
|“Besides the tongue, mouth and stomach, which are most commonly affected by the administration of medicine, the nose and respiratory organs are receptive of the action of medicines in fluid form by means of olfaction and inhalation through the mouth”.|
§ 284 Organon Sixth Edition
Hahnemann noticed that the membrane lining the nose and respiratory tract are also highly susceptible to medicines. He was aware that the action of medicines upon the living human body “spreads out from the point of the sensitive fibers provided with nerves whereto the medicine is first applied with such inconceivable rapidity and so universally through all parts of the living body, that this action of the medicine must be denominated a spirit-like (a dynamic, virtual) action” (vide § 288 Organon Fifth edition).
Although he already wrote in the first edition of the Organon that the nose is also susceptible to medicines, he only recommended olfactation explicitly for very sensitive patients in the fourth edition and describes its application in most detailed form in § 288 Organon, fifth edition.
He experimented with olfactation at a time when he was unsatisfied with the previous delivery systems and was in search of a new delivery system to complement the centesimal’s, to overcome aggravations and especially to cure advanced chronic diseases. These proved to be the most difficult to cure with centesimal potencies, as the low C potencies often did not act deeply enough to stimulate a curative secondary healing reaction, whereas the higher C potencies caused too strong primary actions of the remedy and aggravations.
In §288 Organon, 5th edition, Hahnemann wrote that olfactation is much preferable to administering the medicine by the mouth as it produces a salutary influence on the vital force in the mildest yet most powerful manner.
|“It is especially in the form of vapor, by olfaction and inhalation of the medicinal aura that is always emanating from a globule impregnated with a medicinal fluid in a high development of power, and placed, dry, in a small phial, that the homeopathic remedies act most surely and most powerfully… All that homeopathy is capable of curing … will be most safely and certainly cured by this olfaction… I have become convinced (of what I never could previously have believed) that by this olfaction the power of the medicines is exercised upon the patient in, at least, the same degree of strength, and that more quietly and yet just as long as when the dose of medicine is taken by the mouth”.|
§ 288 Organon Fifth edition
To perfect the delivery system Hahnemann experimented further with olfactation, using more dilution glasses, less succussions, proving new remedies and new potency systems until he finally discovered the LM potencies which gave him the most satisfactory results, being the most powerful potencies yet, and mildest in action. He viewed them as being superior to olfactation in the average patient, but continued to use olfactation depending on circumstances.
The olfactation method is of special value for hypersensitive, in order to avoid aggravations, and if the remedy cannot be taken orally, for example if the jaws are clenched or the patient is unconscious.
At least one of the nostrils should be free of any obstruction when olfactation is used. The globule is placed, dry, in a small phial and moistened with a drop of water. The patient holds the open mouth of the phial in one nostril and inspires the air out of it into himself. If he wishes to give a stronger dose he shall smell in the same manner with the other nostril, more or less strongly, according to the strength it is intended the dose should be. Sensitive patients may only need to use one nostril and take just a small sniff. In little children it may be applied close to their nostrils whilst they are asleep. Olfactation can also be used if the patient is destitute of the sense of smell.