What are LM potencies?
The LM potencies were the last scale of potencies (serial agitated dilutions of homeopathic medicines) developed by Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1842), the founder of Homeopathy. They are also known as Q-potencies and 50 Millesimal potencies. The scale represents a serial dilution of 1:50,000 with each subsequent potency.
Remember, there are two other scales in Homeopathy:
Decimal Scale (X): was created by C. Hering (1800-1880) and has a dilution ratio of 1:10
Centesimal Scale (C or K or CH): was created by Hahnemann and has a dilution ration of 1:100
Who created the LM Scale?
I told you, it was Christian Frederick Samuel Hahnemann, the person who started the system of medicine that we know as Homeopathy.
Between 1837 to 1842, in Paris.
During his Paris years, Hahnemann found that many of his patients were unusually sensitive and aggravated (homeopathic aggravation) even with the 30C of the centesimal scale. He also felt the need for frequent repetitions in cases with persistent pathology but the dry centesimal doses were not ideal for this. To avoid the aggravations and to find a method effective for frequent repetition, he started diluting the globules in water before administering and gave a part of the liquid as a dose. These experiments later resulted in the development of the LM potencies.
What’s in the name?
Hahnemann mentioned his new potencies by name: divisions infinitÃ©semales (infinitesimal dilutions). He called these preparations medicamens au globule, to distinguish them from the old centesimal potencies, called medicamens a la goutte (medicines of the drop).
Dr. Pierre Schmidt of Geneva termed this new scale as “50 Millesimal”. Rudolf Flury (1903-1977) gave the abbreviation ‘LM’ – ‘L’ for Roman ’50′ and ‘M’ for Roman ’1000′. However, this denotation is technically incorrect, as the Roman numeral LM would denote the number 950 rather than 50,000. The name ‘Q-potency’ is derived from the Latin word ‘quinquagintamilia’, which literally means 50,000 and was introduced by Jost Kunzli (1915-1992). So ‘Q’ is the correct abbreviation for the 50 Millesimal potencies. However, in spite of being the incorrect abbreviation, ‘LM’ is still in popular use.
What is the range of available LM potencies?
The LM potencies are usually available in dry globules and the potency range is from LM1 to LM 30.
Why is it limited to LM30?
Hahnemann found this range sufficient for most patients. But this is not an absolute limit and many pharmacies will make it for you in dilutions beyond LM30 on custom order.
How are the LM potencies denoted?
The LM potencies are usually written as ’0/potency number’ like ’0/1′, ’0/2′ …’0/30′.
This method of noting this new scale comes straight from Hahnemann’s case records. Hahnemann did not mention anywhere what the small zero or ‘o’ meant. Many historians feel that it denotes the small globule used to dispense the potency.
Many people also denote these potencies as LM1, LM2 …LM30. And some even use the Q as Q1, Q2 …Q30.
Where did Hahnemann describe the LM potencies?
Footnote to aphorism 270 in the 6th edition of Organon of Medicine. See Appendix.
How to make the first LM potency?
Unlike the mother tinctures that are used to prepare the first Decimal and Centesimal scale potencies, the first LM potency is prepared from the 3C trituration of the original drug substance.
So if you want to prepare the LM potencies yourself, you can buy the 3C trituration of the desired medicine from the market or you can do the trituration yourself using the crude drug substance. Remember for preparing the trituration, you will need one part of raw drug substance and 99 parts of sugar of milk. The mixture has to be triturated for 1 hour according to the guidelines given in the Organon to prepare the ’1C’. To prepare the 2C, you take one part of 1C and 99 parts of sugar of milk and triturate for another hour. Repeat the process with 2C to get the 3C.
So once you have the 3C potency with you, you can start preparing the LM1:
- Take a grain in weight (0.062gm) of the 3C powder and dissolve it in 500 drops (30ml) of 20% alcohol making a 1:500 dilution of the 3c.
- One drop of this solution is then further diluted in 99 drops of 95% alcohol, filling two thirds of a glass vial, giving a (1 in 500 x 100 = 50,000) solution of the 3c powder.
- This tube is then succussed 100 times against a firm but elastic object (like a leather bound book) to create the LM 1 medicating liquid.
- The LM 1 liquid is then poured onto some poppy-seed granules of which a hundred weigh 1 grain (0.06gm). The granules are so small that one drop of the alcoholic LM 1 liquid can completely wet at least 500 of them. Thus just one granule absorbs at least a 500th of a drop.
- Many homeopaths use globules of size 10, instead of the smaller ones recommended by Hahnemann.
- The globules are then dried and filed in glass vials. This gives you the first LM potency that you get from the market.
Why do you attain the dilution of 1:50000 using (500) globules and alcohol (100 drops)? Why not just use liquid for the dilution?
One could theoretically dilute with one drop to 50,000 drops. Since 100 drops of 95% alcohol equal 3.6mls, 50,000 drops would mean 1.75 liters. The bottle to be succussed 100 times would need to be at least 2 liters in size – not a practical size for the average human being to work with! But there are some pharmacies that make their LM’s with the alcohol only and without using the globules.
How do you make the subsequent LM potencies?
- Take one granule of LM1 and dissolve it in a drop of water
- Add 99 drops of alcohol to the bottle/vial.
- Succuss 100 times. This gives you the LM2 liquid solution.
- Medicate 500 globules with one drop of this LM2 liquid solution. Dry on blotting paper and fill in a well-corked bottle. Your LM2 is ready!
The LM 2 solution contains a 1/500th x 100 = 1/50,000th of the previous LM 1 liquid. The process is continued in this way by using the granule as the intermediary to transfer a 500th of a drop instead of the direct addition of a whole drop, as is the case with the centesimal 1:100 ratio.
How do you administer LM potencies?
1. Take a 4oz (120ml) to 6oz (180ml) clean glass bottle. Fill it 3/4th with water. Take 1 or 2 globules of the desired potency (often starting at LM 0/1) and place it into the bottle. Add a few drops of pure alcohol.
2. Succuss the bottle just prior to ingestion 1 to 12 times depending on the sensitivity of the patient. This slightly raises the potency and activates the remedy.
3. Take 1, or more teaspoons of the medicinal solution and place it into 8 to 10 tablespoons of water in a dilution glass and stir it. Most cases are started with 1 teaspoon and the amount is increased only if necessary. In children the amount should be 1/2 teaspoon. Infants may only need 1/4 of a teaspoon.
4. Take 1, (or rarely, 2 or 3) teaspoons from the dilution glass as a dose. Most cases are started with 1 teaspoon and the amount increased only if necessary. Children should be given 1/2 teaspoon. Infants should receive 1/4 or less of a teaspoon.
The dosage of the medicinal solution can be carefully adjusted to suit the sensitivity of the individual’s constitution.
Can LM potencies aggravate like centesimal scale potencies?
Since Hahnemann created the new scale to avoid homeopathic aggravations, many people think that LM’s do not aggravate at all. Some people also believe that LM’s aggravate at the end of treatment, whereas centesimal potencies aggravate at the beginning.
Both the notions are incorrect. LM’s are definitely gentler than centesimal scale but they can aggravate just like the C scale in sensitive patients. Aggravations are apparently less because the medicines are diluted so much and also the same potency is never repeated twice. But the aggravations can and do happen with LM potencies, so don’t use them blindly.
How do you repeat medicines in the LM scale?
The rule is to repeat the medicine once or twice daily, till a significant positive change becomes visible. After that medicine should not be used mechanically. But repetition entirely depends upon the individual sensitivity and the patient’s reaction. Ask the patient to report/call after 3 and 7 days or if he/she sees any significant reaction, to judge the initial reaction and modify the dose and repetition accordingly.
In acute cases, you can even repeat every few hours or even every few minutes.
What to do when the first bottle of LM1 is finished.
Do not make another bottle of LM1, graduate to LM2. Similarly when the LM2 is over, move on to LM3 and so on.
Should I do this till LM30?
No. Usually a patient won’t need all the potencies in succession. Stop repeating once you see a definite improvement. If your remedy were right, the patient would be cured much before reaching the LM30.
What if the patient shows no reaction to LM1?
You can first try to increase the dose and succussion. Ask the patient to succuss the bottle more and to take 2 or 3 teaspoons from the dilution cup instead of one. If the patient still does not react, move on to a higher LM. And if it still does not work, either your remedy selection is wrong or you need to use the centesimal scale.
What conditions can be treated with LM potencies?
Any condition and any patient can be treated with the LM scale. Earlier, LMs were considered useful only for hypersensitive patients but nowadays there are homeopaths who practice exclusively with LM potencies. Many others have found them useful in selective cases only.
Why haven’t LM potencies been as popular as the centesimal scale?
Hahnemann developed LM scale during his last years in Paris. He described the new scale in the 6th edition but passed away before it could be published. For many reasons, the 6th edition was not published till 1921. During this period, the whole world was practicing with the C potencies and they had become the norm.
Even when the world got to know about the new scale, it took another few decades before people understood it fully. And even after that most people remained apprehensive because of the extreme level of dilution and never used it.
Why are they becoming popular now?
LM potencies are becoming increasingly popular now because a lot of work has been done in creating a better understanding of the 6th edition of the Organon, as well as Hahnemann’s case records. People like David Little and Luc de Schepper have been instrumental in making the latest work of Hahnemann more acceptable.
So that’s it! Now you are ready to use the LM potencies easily and effectively. Do share with me your experiences with the LM scale so that our collective understanding of their use can increase further. You can write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Hahnemann, Samuel (1921) Organon of Medicine, 6th edition.
- Juette, Robert (2007) The LM potencies in homoeopathy: From their beginning to the present day. Available online at http://www.scribd.com/doc/61197991/The-LM-Potencies-in-Homeopathy-From-the-beginnings-to-the-present-day. Last accessed 27th Oct 2012.
- Little, David (2006) Hahnemann’s Advanced Methods. Available online at http://hpathy.com/organon-philosophy/hahnemanns-advanced-methods-part-1-hahnemannian-homoeopathy/. Last accessed 27th Oct 2012.
- Morgan, John (?) Dose, Dilution and LM Potencies. Available online at http://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/dose-dilution-and-the-lm-potencies/. Last accessed 27th Oct 2012.
Aphorism 270, Organon of Medicine, 6th Edition
“§270: In order to best obtain this development of power, a small part of the substance to be dynamized, say one grain, is triturated for three hours with three times one hundred grains sugar of milk according to the method described below (1)
(1) One-third of one hundred grains sugar of milk is put in a glazed porcelain mortar, the bottom dulled previously by rubbing it with fine, moist sand. Upon this powder is put one grain of the powdered drug to be triturated (one drop of quicksilver, petroleum, etc.). The sugar of milk used for dynamization must be of that special pure quality that is crystallized on strings and comes to us in the shape of long bars. For a moment the medicines and powder are mixed with a porcelain spatula and triturated rather strongly, six to seven minutes, with the pestle rubbed dull, then the mass is scraped from the bottom of the mortar and from the pestle for three to four minutes, in order to make it homogeneous.
This is followed by triturating it in the same way 6-7 minutes without adding anything more and again scraping 3 -4 minutes from what adhered to the mortar and pestle. The second third of the sugar of milk is now added, mixed with the spatula and again triturated 6 – 7 minutes, followed by the scraping for 3 -4 minutes and trituration without further addition for 6 -7 minutes. The last third of sugar of milk is then added, mixed with the spatula and triturated as before 6-7 minutes with most careful scraping together. The powder thus prepared is put in a vial, well corked, protected from direct sunlight to which the name of the substance and the designation of the first product marked /100 is given. In order to raise this product to /10000, one grain of the powdered /100 is mixed with the third part of 100 grains of powdered sugar of milk and then proceed as before, but every third must be carefully triturated twice thoroughly each time for 6-7 minutes and scraped together 3 -4 minutes before the second and last third of sugar of milk is added. After each third, the same procedure is taken. When all is finished, the powder is put in a well corked vial and labelled /10000, i.e., (I), each grain containing 1/1,000,000 the original substance. Accordingly, such a trituration of the three degrees requires six times six to seven minutes for triturating and six times 3 -4 minutes for scraping, thus 60. The LM potencies in homoeopathy up to the one-millionth part in powder form. For reasons given below (6) one grain of this powder is dissolved in 500 drops of a mixture of one part of alcohol and four parts of distilled water, of which one drop is put in a vial. To this are added 100 drops of pure alcohol (2) and given one hundred strong succussions with the hand against a hard but elastic body (3). This is the medicine in the first degree of dynamization with which small sugar globules (4) may then be moistened (5) and quickly spread on blotting paper to dry and kept in a well corked vial with the sign of (I) degree of potency. Only one (6) one hour for every degree. After one hour such trituration of the first degree, each grain will contain 1/000; of the second 1/10,000; and in the third 1/1,000,000 of the drug used.*
* These are the three degrees of the dry powder trituration, which if carried out correctly, will effect a good beginning for the dynamization of the medicinal substance. Mortar and spatula must be cleaned well before they are used for another medicine. Washed first with warm water and dried. Both mortar and pestle, as well as spatula are then put in a kettle of boiling water for half an hour. Precaution might be used to such an extent as to put these utensils on a coal fire exposed to a glowing heat.
(2) The vial used for potentizing is filled two-thirds full.
(3) Perhaps on a leather bound book.
(4) They are prepared under supervision by the confectioner from starch and sugar and the small globules freed from fine dusty parts by passing them through a sieve. Then they are put through a strainer that will permit only 100 to pass through weighing one grain, the most serviceable size for the needs of a homoeopathic physician.
(5) A small cylindrical vessel shaped like a thimble, made of glass, porcelain or silver, with a small opening at the bottom in which the globules are put to be medicated. They are moistened with some of the dynamized medicinal alcohol, stirred and poured out on blotting paper, in order to dry them quickly.
(6) According to first directions, one drop of the liquid of a lower potency was to be taken to 100 drops of alcohol for higher potentiation. This proportion of the medicine of attenuation to the medicine that is to be dynamized (100:1) was found altogether too limited to develop thoroughly and to a high degree the power of the medicine by means of a number of such succussions without specially using great force of which wearisome experiments have convinced me. But if only one such globule be taken, of which 100 weigh one grain, and dynamize it with 100 drops of alcohol, the proportion of 1 to 50,000 and even greater will be had, for 500 such globules can hardly absorb one drop, for their saturation. With this disproportionate higher ratio between medicine and diluting medium many successive strokes of the vial filled two-thirds with alcohol can produce a much greater development of power. But with so small a diluting medium as 100 to 1 of the medicine, if many successions by means of a powerful machine are forced into it, medicines are then developed which, especially in the higher degrees of dynamization, act almost immediately, but with furious, even dangerous violence, especially in weakly patients, without having a lasting, mild reaction of the vital principle. But the method described by me, on the contrary, produces medicines of highest development of power and mildest action, which, however, if well chosen, touches all suffering parts curatively.*
* In very rare cases, notwithstanding almost full recovery of health and with good vital strength, an old annoying local trouble ontinuing undisturbed it is wholly permitted and even indispensably necessary, to administer in increasing doses the homoeopathic remedy that has proved itself efficacious but potenized to a very high degree by means of many successions by hand. Such a local disease will often then disappear in a wonderful way.
In acute fevers, the small doses of the lowest dynamization degrees of these thus perfected medicinal preparations, even of medicines of long continued action (for instance, belladonna) may be repeated in short intervals. In the treatment of chronic diseases, it is best to begin with the lowest degrees of dynamization and when necessary advance to higher, even more powerful but mildly acting degrees.