Homeopathy Papers Organon & Philosophy

Removing the Guesswork from Potency Selection

Joe Rozencwajg
Written by Joe Rozencwajg

Removing the Guesswork from Potency Selection

A new methodology for the use of C potencies based on a mathematical Law of Nature.


Finding the right remedy is one thing, the most important one. Then comes the question of which potency, in which system (C, X, LM/Q) to select the potencies and how to find the proper ones.  Articles, books and treaties have been written on the single, frustrating, issue of which potency to use and when to use it. In a recent book “What about the potency?” the author has interviewed many masters of homeopathy about their ways of using potencies; no consensus emerged, everyone had another very successful but different system and was committed to it.

David Little teaches us to evaluate the sensitivity of the patient on a scale of 1 to 1000 and “prescribe accordingly”; more precise than what others suggest but still very subjective as it is based on a “guesstimate” by the practitioner and is then very much a function of the practitioner’s own health and state of mind.

Kent’s Harmonics of 6C – 30C – 200C – 1M – 10M is widely used and based on his and his follower’s experience, but what is its logic, except for habit and availability?  The French series of 3C – 5C – 7C – 9C – 12C – 15C – 18C – 24C – 30C has been useful to generations of patients and has proved its usefulness, but again, what is its logic?

LM/Q potencies are purely linear, and remove a lot of trials and errors by starting at the lowest and climbing the potencies one after the other; even if you jump a potency, the progression is still linear, but straight lines are rare if at all present in Nature and this is often a protracted slow process, which is perfect when this is what is needed. 4

I present a new approach to the use of C potencies that is based on a mathematical concept found everywhere in Nature; this removes completely the guesswork and has proved so far to be easy to use, deep acting, fast acting, but needing an intense collaboration between the patient and the practitioner (although this could only be the method’s teething problems).  Moreover, it has the added advantage of using low and medium hand-made potencies, avoiding another piece of guesswork: what is it we really give above 30/200C?

Genesis: those nagging doubts and questions…..

You will recognize here a few of the many recommendations we are given as students and beginning practitioners in the Colleges and by seasoned practitioners:

– start low, progress slowly to high potency

– give a single dose and wait

– give repeated doses

– give them dry

– give them wet

– give ascending potencies

– give descending potencies

– start with LM1

– start with LM5, LM18, ….

– repeat LM every day

– repeat LM only when needed

– adapt the potency and repetition to the patient (how?)

– whatever………..

All claim to have good results, and there is no reason to doubt them, honestly, but none has any real logic except that “It works for me”.

The LM/Q series is said to be gentle, adaptable and having less aggravations; indeed it is, and a very useful technique with sensitive patients; yet it is nothing but a linear increase in potencies, modified by variable adaptation within each potency; but in the end, as you can see in the graph, it is a straight, slow, linear progression.

I have renamed the LM/Q progression “the Meandering Potency”.

Kent’s Harmonics of 6, 30, 200, 1M, 10M or 6, 12, 30, 200, 1M, 10M are based on his experience and confirmed as useful by generations of homeopaths, but what are they based on? As you can see on the graph, the progression is haphazard with huge gaps in potencies and no clear logic.

Still this system is so much used that I needed to examine it through different angles. Here it is when converted in Logarithm 10, used for simpler mathematical analysis:

In Neperian Logarithm, used for scientific calculations:

Even though those graphs are not proportional between potencies, we can see the irregularities and the disproportionate jumps between them.

The French technique of low potencies is more regular and appears almost exponential, especially when limited to a maximum of 30C.  9 But there is still a big jump after 30C and there is no logical rule in the choice of the potencies.

Why not 11C and 13C instead of 12C, 17C instead of 18C, 23C instead of 24C, go to 31C and eliminate 9C? What remains would be prime numbers, prime potencies and a case could be made for the use of those remarkable numbers; but what determined the choice of the actual series? It is a mix of prime, decimal and duodecimal numbers in incoherent progression….

The Quest.

This blurred and imprecise approach to potency and dose has annoyed me for the last 20 years! After all, I come from a school where posology is a major issue, not something that every practitioner can build according to his perception, which can vary at any time. It is beautiful to have this type of freedom to adapt one’s practice to each patient; but all my readings, and studying with different schools and teachers showed me in fact an important amount of rigid prescription methodology within each school of thought and little leeway to integrate other methods. Moreover, what mostly irritated the Cartesian scientist in me was the lack of logical, scientific and physiological explanation for any of the systems.

Another issue was apparent at the same time: the preparation, dynamisation, of the remedies, which I found out to be in a total state of anarchy. Do we really know which potencies we prescribe?

Hahnemann described the Centesimal Potency, 1: 99; that is fixed, clear, and simple. When we go to the Korsakovian system, we have “the residual part in the vial, assumed to be one drop” + 99 drops. That “residual part” will change with the time of inversion of the vial, the volume of the vial, the quality of the vial (simple glass, silicone, anti-wetting coating, etc,…).

I was not able to find any standardisation by looking up the different manufacturers (maybe there is) and no one bothered to answer my questions. So Korsakovian potencies are anything but Hahnemanian Centesimal (CH); they are centesimal within their own system, assuming that all the aforementioned criteria remain unchanged between potencies.

Moreover, some people have claimed that in the Korsakovian system, there could be residual earlier potencies remaining in the container, making the final remedy a chord or plasma potency, although the only way I could imagine how this would happen is that previous residual potencies are adsorbed on the glass wall and not affected by further succussions. That would explain the assertion by some practitioners that K potencies are more effective than strictly CH potencies…more questions…

When looking at higher potencies, many different methods have been used. I have extracted this list from Julian Winston’s book, The Faces of Homoeopathy:

– the Boericke potencies: MM potencies and 5 shakes (how much water?)

– the Fincke Fluxion potencies: 1 dram of water circulating through 1 vial = 1 potency

– the Dunham potencies: mechanical banging with high energy

– the Skinner potencies: a Korsakovian system with a theoretical 1 drop in 100 “minims”

– the Santee gravity potentizer: no succussions

– the Kent potentizer: a Korsakovian method with 10 shakes

How does that relate to a Centesimal Hahnemanian Potency? What are we using today? Who knows? Indeed they work, as every practitioner can testify but in honest reality we do not have a clue as to what REAL potency we give. We need to revert to a simple, reproducible and standardized method.

As if that was not enough there is the issue of the number of succussions at each dilution. This would probably better be discussed in a separate paper, but let me introduce the subject here: Shui Yin Lo of the California Institute of Technology (and many others) has demonstrated that water plus a substance, when shaken, forms clusters; those clusters are different in shape and configuration for each substance; therefore, Silica, monoatomic, would form smaller clusters than more complex substances like salts, tinctures, nosodes. Using the same number of succussions, the concentration of clusters in the Silica solution would be less than that of a more complex substance, which would be relevant for the next succussion and increasingly so with each succussion. At the final potency, there would be less information in the same potency of Silica than in a salt or tincture; this might explain why Silica is considered as a slow remedy; but if it were succussed a lot more, it might become a fast acting remedy. Or to write it differently, the same potency would have a different intensity, depending on the number of succussions. We need to study the cluster concentrations according to the number of succussions and find the optimal number that will certainly be different for each substance.

About the author

Joe Rozencwajg

Joe Rozencwajg

Dr. Joseph (Joe) Rozencwajg, MD, PhD, NMD, OMD was born in Belgium in 1951. After medical school, he went on to fulfill his childhood dream of becoming a surgeon. He subsequently learned Acupuncture, Homeopathy, TCM, Nutrition, Flower Remedies, Aromatherapy, Naturopathy, Reiki and other modalities. He has a PhD in Homeopathy and one in Natural Medical Sciences as well as a Doctorate in Naturopathy and one in Osteopathy. Dr. Joe lives in New Plymouth, New Zealand where he practices exclusively Natural Medicine at his clinic, Natura Medica Ltd. He developed a entirely new series of homeopathic potencies and is the author of numerous articles and the books :The Potency. Advanced Prescribing in Homeopathy, Homeopathy through the Chinese looking glass: Homeosiniatry revisited,. Dynamic Gemmotherapy and, Drainage, Detoxification and Organotherapy. His books are available from www.lulu.com Visit Dr. Rozencwajg at his website: www.naturamedica.co.nz


  • its really interesting, often i escape to 9CH as Dr. Abou Sawan do!(one of best expert homeopats i know in my area(Beirut-Lebanon)) who has the tendency to select 9ch as an average potency for many current remedies, he was told me about some of Henman’s descending potencies’ trials where he recognized no differences in results between high and low potencies.
    anyhow,i feel myself in need to be a patiant reader for such articles that like many others, i had many good results but with no logical sense in potency selections. till we work it out more n more,… it would be wise to escape for the practical selections of moderate potencies.otherwise…iam following up this interesting debats.thnx.


  • Interesting article. Kent adoptet his C-potency scale from the harmonious numbers in Swedenbourgs mystics. so, it has not come from his expereince at all.
    The potency question has been solved already by Hahnemann at the end of his live with the introduction of the Q-potency scale. What he realized is this: it is the amount of succusions, which determine the potency and not the diluting factor.
    At stage Q1 he already is well away from material doses, so that only more the dynamic information is present.
    He realized, that after about 100 concussions a change in medium was necessary (liquid to solid).
    So in a way — Hahnemann had it already solved, and I ask myself, what is the purpose of introducing another potency scale? What are the advantages of your scale to the Q-scale?

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