Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, describes the LM potencies as the “far most perfect dynamized remedies” and describes them as medicines “of the highest power development and the mildest effect”.
Hahnemann developed the LM potencies (also called Q potencies) only towards the end of his homeopathic career. Moreover, they could only be published in 1921, long after his death, with the 6th edition of his Organon of the Healing Art, and thus made available to the general public.
The LM potencies are the legacy of Hahnemann’s Parisian period from 1835 to 1843. Strictly speaking, they are only found in his Paris Medical Journals (Paris Case Books) towards the end of 1840. From 1841 Hahnemann used them more and more frequently.
No other homeopath, not even Kent, Allen or Hering, knew this potency type. Only Clemens von Boenninghausen, a close confidant of Hahnemann, seemed to have knowledge of it, but was not yet allowed to publish anything about it.
It was only after World War II that the Swiss homeopaths Flury, Pièrre Schmidt and Voegeli used these potencies for the first time and coined the term LM potency. First and foremost, the German physician Dr. Eichelberger should also be mentioned here, who systematically used the LM potencies in his Munich practice and who was actually the first homeopath to pass on these potencies to his students in his seminars and colloquia.
The fact that this type of potency could only be published in 1921 and basically only found its way into German homeopathic practices long after World War II is the reason why hardly anyone in the world knows these potencies and why they are almost impossible to obtain outside Germany, Austria and Switerzerland.
Furthermore, there is hardly any documented experience regarding their use. Most homeopaths still work according to the 5th edition of Hahnemann’s Organon, in which these potencies are not mentioned.
Logical continuation of the use of high C potencies
The LM-potencies are the logical continuation of the application of high C potencies with daily doses in a glass of water. In his time in Paris, Hahnemnann initially went over to also administering long-running high potencies, which would usually have to have an effect of five to six weeks (30C), strongly weakened in a glass of water, in order to be able to repeat the administration (only a sip of it) more frequently (even daily), if necessary, without disturbing, even torpedoing the chronic cure (e.g., he prescribed a globule of Sulfur C191 dissolved in a glass of water, one teaspoon in the morning, stirring vigorously before each administration). Later he introduced this step into the potentization with the result of LM-potencies.
LM is not an abbreviation like X (D) or C in the other two potencies. L stands for 50 and M for 1,000; taken together, it is supposed to describe the dilution ratio 1:50,000. Strictly speaking, this is wrong, since LM actually means 950, because in Latin a preceding L is considered a subtrahend (1,000-50 = 950).
Correctly one should say Q – for quinquaginta milia. But LM has become common in homeopathic literature and in everyday language – and basically it does not matter what these potencies are called, as long as “the child has got a name”, as we say in German. Recently, however, the synonymous term Q-potency can also be found in homeopathic journals, with homeopathic remedies and in advertising.
Preparation of the LM remedy
LM potencies are fundamentally different from all other types of potencies, because they are based on an additional dilution step in each potentization step. The starting point is a potency of level 3C as a trituration. From this 3C, the so-called stock solution is prepared in the following.
For this purpose, 1 grain (0.06 g) of this powder is dissolved in 500 drops of distilled water and alcohol. Now 1 drop of this stock solution is mixed with 100 drops of alcohol and succussed 100 times (!) by hand. (For all other types of potency, shake only 10 times!)
Tiny globules – the size of poppy seeds – are then moistened with this solution – whereby 1 drop wets about 500 globules (purely mathematically) – and dried on blotting paper. Each globule of these 500 wetted globules corresponds to the first LM potency.
LM2 is obtained by processing only one LM1 globule. This is dissolved in one drop of distilled water and mixed with 100 drops of alcohol via 100 shakes. One drop of this dilution in turn wets 500 globules, whereby each globule defines the LM2. This process is continued as often as desired until the desired potency is reached.
LM potencies in chronic treatments
According to Dr. Eichelberger’s many years of experience with LM potencies, LM18 has proven to be a good starting potency for chronic treatments, which has been repeatedly confirmed in my practice. However, according to the Paris Case Books, Hahnemann did not have a clear standard LM potency.
Rather, potencies such as LM11, 10, 15, 16, 7, 8, 9 (especially for Sulfur; for other medicines he rarely went beyond LM7) can be found, which he prescribed in descending and/or ascending grades. His highest LM potency seems to have been LM24.
Active and passive dilution step
In the case of LM potencies, the dilution ratio results from two different steps: on the one hand from an active potentization step via the drops in the ratio 1:100 and on the other hand from a passive dilution step via the globules in the ratio 1:500, because the basis for the next potentization step is only the 500th part of a drop. This together results – purely arithmetically – in the total dilution ratio 1:50,000 (1:100 x 1:500). Furthermore, it should be noted that the LM potencies are always succussed 100 times from step to step, which naturally results in a completely different magnitude of power development.
The number of shakes
Through potentization, hidden medicinal powers are developed and transferred to the carrier substance. It is obvious that the number of shakes plays a central role here. Any effect stops immediately if there is no shaking (or triturating)! In this dynamization process lies the secret of the transmission of the information of the medicinal source substance.
With a high number of succussing strokes, such as 100 strokes from potency level to potency level, one obtains relatively “sharp” potencies that have a “hard” effect and are like a flash. In contrast, 10 shaking strokes have a gentler and milder effect, but are not quite as profound.
Hahnemann almost always recommended 10 shakes, but in the meantime he also experimented with only 2 shakes, and even publicly propagated them for a while. Finally, he returned to 10 strokes, because he could determine a better and more profound effect.
The C and X potencies are always succussed 10 times from level to level. The LM potencies, on the other hand, are given 100 shakes. Thus by their nature they are much sharper and more profound than comparable other potencies.
Nevertheless, they have a very gentle and less “aggressive” effect. According to the founder of homeopathy, they are the “far most perfect dynamized remedies” and “of the highest power development and mildest effect”.
This is due to the fact that not the entire drop is used for further potentizing, but only its 500th part (passive dilution step). For this reason, LM potencies can be used very individually in chronic cures (keywords here: dosage individually adapted to the patient’s reaction and the severity of his disease, acute intermediate treatments in case of overreactions during the chronic rewinding process or in case of intercurrent diseases, and so on and so forth).
Comparison of different types of potentization with each other
Potentizing and diluting have physically nothing to do with each other! In a dilution series, the mechanical action on the smallest parts of the substance to be diluted is dispensed with, which, however, is of crucial importance in potentization.
The physical nature of the potentization phenomenon is particularly evident in the example of Phosphorus. Through gradual diluting and succussing, the medicinal substance is completely removed from its chemical sphere.
Phosphorus 30C globules act as Phosphorus a year and a day – even after a very long time. In contrast, the chemical element Phosphorus oxidizes very quickly to phosphoric acid.
(By the way, this is also available as a homeopathic remedy: Acidum Phosphoricum). Furthermore, all homeopathic remedies do not have an expiration date. (Expiration dates exist only for legal reasons; allopathic problems are simply transferred to homeopathy, which is really nonsense!) Even the remaining globules of Hahnemann are still effective, although the founder of homeopathy has been dead for more than 170 years.
In a comparative evaluation of the drug in different types of potentization, the number of potentization steps is primarily decisive. The consideration of the substantial content is comparatively insignificant! Accordingly, one cannot equate a 3C with a 6X, as it is propagated betimes.
When comparing potencies of remedies with the same number of potentization steps but different dilution ratios, there will certainly still be relatively large differences in the low potency range, such as 6X and 6C. But the higher the potencies, the more they converge. For example, a Hering 30X is already relatively similar to a Hahnemann 30C in its effect.
The LM potencies cannot be related in any way to the other potencies, the C as well as the X potencies, since their nature is completely different.
LM potencies in dilution
The LM potencies are administered in the form of a liquid remedy. As a rule, one or more drops are instilled directly under the tongue. Another option is to take the drops in a teaspoonful of water, so that more oral mucosa is wetted by this liquid. To weaken the effect of a dose, one can put the drops in a glass of water, stir vigorously with a glass, ceramic, ivory, plastic or wooden spoon (no metal spoon!) and take a spoonful of it – possibly only half a spoonful or even only a wetted spoon or a single drop of it (the so-called water glass method).
Or for very sensitive persons, the whole procedure with half a liter of water (liter: approx. 34 ounces or 2 pints), quite possibly also with a whole liter. It is also possible to add a spoonful of this solution to a second glass of water or afterwards even into another third glass, etc., and to take a dose of it.
As you can see, there are many ways to take homeopathic drops. The optimal administration depends on the severity of the disease, the sensitivity and responsiveness of the patient, as well as his body weight and age.
Shaking the vial
However, one special feature of the LM potencies should be pointed out. Before taking each drop, the vial must always be succussed vigorously 10 times by hand – forcefully striking it against a firm surface about 10 times or knocking it down like a clinical thermometer.
This is due to the fact that especially high potencies must not be repeated too soon in one and the same potency, because subsequently the good effect of the remedy would be lost and the remedy would hinder itself. By shaking, we intensify the dynamization a little, so that the potency no longer has the same vibration as before and the problem of repeating a dose too early does not necessarily arise when it is taken again.
This procedure is not to be confused with a potentization step, since the latter always includes a new dilution step. Thus, striking an LM18 10 times against the palm of the hand by no means turns it into an LM18½ or LM19. The remedy only acts a bit more intensively.
Confusion when repeated too early
As long as the symptoms are still in motion, the remedy must not be repeated. This law of nature already results from the observations during the homeopathic drug provings, but has also been confirmed again and again at the bedside.
Homeopathic drug provings
Drug provings are the basis of the entire homeopathic materia medica. Without them we would not know the efficacy of the individual homeopathic medicines and could not prescribe according to the law of similarity. In a proving, in simplified terms, a group of clinically healthy people take a remedy unknown to them, a few drops a day; that is, in a more concentrated form and more often than the sick person would.
The aim is to “derail” the vital force so that it reacts with symptoms, which are then neatly recorded. The totality of the symptoms that have occurred, taken together by all examiners, result in the so-called homeopathic drug picture.
A drug proving should always be conducted and supervised by an experienced homeopath, as there are certain risks that should be known in any case. However, if during a proving the individual examiner immediately discontinues the medicine taken when the first symptoms appear, serious problems or even permanent damage will never occur.
That is, if during the drug proving of, for example, Lachesis, corresponding symptoms of this remedy develop, they will slowly subside over time – after discontinuing the remedy at the appearance of the first symptoms – until everything is over.
At this point it should be recalled Hahnemann’s historical self-experiment with cinchona bark: “… This paroxysm (access, high degree increase of disease symptoms – note by the author) lasted 2 to 3 hours each time and renewed itself when I repeated this administration, otherwise not. I stopped and I got well.”
So, with the appearance of symptoms, it is necessary only to observe and not to disturb the process of action of the given remedy by repeating it. This is the most dangerous thing you can do, Kent says. The opinion and grossly negligent handling in the sense of “Let’s refresh the picture a little, that the symptoms become a little stronger and clearer”, in order to thereupon continue to increase the administration, although the first symptoms have already become visible, can be fatal under certain circumstances, since thereby a drug diathesis, in our example a Lachesis diathesis, can be impressed on the organism, which will never give way again and is basically incurable.
With regard to the quality of proving symptoms, on the other hand, even in less dramatic cases, there is always “confusion”, as Kent calls it, and only the result of very general symptoms, which almost every remedy has to show. The characteristic symptoms, which are most valuable for the homeotherapist and which are typical only for this particular remedy, will never be known. But these are exactly what a proving should actually produce.
Repetition of the administration of a simile
The same applies at the bedside, i.e. when administering the simile in case of illness. If a dose is repeated too early, the good effect is lost, although it is the right remedy. And furthermore you can’t help with other remedies or potency degrees either. Hahnemann himself writes the following quite clearly on this subject in the preface of his “Chronic Diseases”, Volume 3:
“… I must make the important remark that our principle of life does not tolerate that the same unchanged dose of medicine is taken even twice in succession, let alone several times in succession. Partly the good of the previous dose is then partly cancelled out again, partly new symptoms and complaints appear which lie in the remedy (so-called proving symptoms – note by the author) and which were not present in the disease and which hinder the cure; in a word, the remedy, which has itself been aptly chosen homeopathically, has an oblique effect and achieves the intention only imperfectly or not at all.
Hence the many contradictions among homeopaths in the intention of repeated administration. – If, however, for the repeated taking of one and the same remedy (which is, after all, indispensable for the attainment of the cure of a great, protracted disease), the dose is changed and modified each time in its degree of dynamization, even if only by a little, then the vital force of the sick person takes the same remedy, even in short intervals, unbelievably many times in succession with the best success and each time for the increased benefit of the patient, calmly and, as it were, benevolently.
– This change of the degree of dynamization by a little is already effected if one shakes the bottle, in which the dissolution of the single globule (or several ones) is contained, with 5, 6 strong arm strokes before each time it is taken”. (emphasis by Hahnemann)
Elsewhere, the founder of homeopathy even warns of incurability when repeated too often, especially with high C potencies, due to suppression of symptoms: “… a homeopathic remedy is, on this account, always injurious, even when it was homeopathically appropriate to the case of disease. And in strong doses the more, the more homeopathic and in the higher potency it was chosen, far more than any equally large dose of an unhomeopathic medicinal substance (allopathic), which bears no analogy whatever to the disease.
Too great a dose of a properly chosen homeopathic remedy, and especially a frequent repetition of it, usually causes great disaster. They often put the sick person in a life-threatening situation, or even make his illness almost incurable. Of course, they extinguish the natural disease for the feeling of the life principle; the sick person no longer suffers from the original malady from the moment when the too strong administration of the homeopathic remedy acts on him, but he is then more ill from the very similar, only far more severe medicinal disease, which is extremely difficult to eradicate again.” (emphasis by the author)
Comparison – spoke wheel
A very vivid and memorable comparison to the facts of the effect of a homeopathic remedy is the continuous rotation of a spoke wheel. With the administration of the remedy, the spoke wheel is given a powerful push – by grasping into the spokes – so that it rotates around its own axis.
With time, this movement becomes slower and slower until it almost comes to a standstill, so that one can now give the wheel – again only by grasping into the spokes – a next swing (remedy repetition). If one were to grasp into the spokes significantly earlier, one would considerably disturb the continuous rotary motion, and possibly even bring it to a complete standstill.
In other words, if the administration is repeated too early, the drug itself interferes with its good effect and may even cancel it out completely.
Repeat administration for LM potencies
In the case of LM potencies, the question of the repetition of the administration does not arise as in the case of the other potencies, since the potency is made sharper by the succussing, so that one no longer reaches into the same spoke wheel, but into a wheel slightly above it and gives it a rotational movement. The rotary movement of the original wheel runs paralled to it further and ends then sometime, without disturbing the second spoke wheel with its rotary movement and vice versa.
In the chronic area, LM potencies are usually repeated every 2 to 3 days and are administered about 4 months. This has been found to be best, at least in my practice, with LM18 potency. However, there are patients who receive LM18 potencies only once a week, while others receive them daily.
For example, mental or physical disabilities often require a stronger “push”, while neurodermatitis patients, asthmatics or anxiety syndrome patients receive more discreet doses, depending on their reaction situation.
LM24-potencies, which in a chronic cure often follow LM18-potencies, I usually have them repeated only every 5 days (of course – as always with LM-potencies – shake 10 times each time beforehand), while the number of drops to be taken is reduced from 5 with LM18 to 3 with LM24, since these potencies differ from each other by quite a few orders of magnitude (that’s not just 6 (24-18), but 50,0006, i.e. a number with 28 zeros!).
From my practical experience, I even have a LM30 taken only every 2 weeks and this usually only in half a liter of water, while the two predecessors were to be put on a glass of water (200 ml).
Exceptions, depending on the sensitivity of the patient, confirm the rule. – With even higher potencies, such as LM60 or LM90, the intervals between doses increase accordingly (e.g. once a month or even more seldom).
Speaking of the sensitivity of the patient: I have a small patient who is so sensitive to homeopathic medicines that we have to dose extremely carefully, just one drop to a liter of water, stir vigorously (with swirl); then stir a spoonful of it into a second liter of water, and so on. The whole procedure 7 times in a row! From the seventh liter then take only a spoonful. And this little boy still shows reactions on the day of taking!
I recently treated another child who previously had to take an LM90 of Natrum muriaticum twice a week (!), much to his detriment, so that his condition visibly aggravated and this child certainly also entered very early into so-called proving symptoms.
The same therapist also prescribes concentrated LM30 administrations during pregnancy, several times a week! Such things one experiences unfortunately more often than one thinks! One should keep respect for homeopathy, because there is concentrated energy in its medicines! The peak of ignorance and irresponsibility regarding LM potencies, however, is held by a former therapist of a little patient of mine, who prescribed the child during a very acute phase of a chronic disease 3 times a day (!) a profound chronic antimiasmatic remedy in the potency LM500 – yes, you read correctly: LM500! – and furthermore changed the remedy several times within only two weeks! It is obvious that a persistent reaction rigidity followed up to a temporary incurability.
Phenomenon of late aggravation with LM potencies
Finally, a special feature of the LM potencies should be pointed out: the late homeopathic aggravation, to which already Hahnemann refers in §161 of his Organon when taking LM potencies. This occurs when symptoms that have improved or completely disappeared in the weeks and months before with the simile now slowly reappear. Or also that over time symptoms appear which the patient has never had before, but which belong to the remedy, in the sense of proving symptoms.
The phenomenon late homeopathic aggravation means that the remedy has worked well, at least in this potency, but has been given for too long, and should be changed (another potency or another remedy; depends on the follow-up).
There would be a lot more to say about the LM potencies, but that would go beyond the scope of this article.
The LM potencies are Hahnemann’s Parisian legacy and a blessing for homeopathy. Many complex chronic case examples, partly with repertorization, can be found in my book “Gentle Medicine – The True Causes of Disease, Healing, and Health” (https://www.gentle-medicine.com), a few online here at HPathy as well: https://hpathy.com/author/graetz/.
- Grätz, Joachim-F., Gentle Medicine – The True Causes of Disease, Healing, and Health, 2021, Balboa Press, Bloomington, USA
- Grätz, Joachim-F., Die homöopathischen Potenzen – Ein Ratgeber aus der Praxis – im Akutfall und bei anti-miasmatischer Kur (The Homeopathic Potencies – A Guide from a Practitioner), 2nd edition 2014, Tisani Verlag, Oberhausen i. Obb.
Dr. Joachim-F. Grätz
Oberhausen i. Obb.
 Proving symptoms (drug proving symptoms): symptoms not previously present that appear during homeopathic treatment. These reactions are usually of temporary nature and actually not based on the individual patient, but on the remedy administered, which was either taken for too long and/or in doses that were too highly concentrated, in terms of a homeopathic drug proving. These reactions, however, can persist for a very long time or even forever, if the remedy is taken continuously despite the issues that occur!