Source: A Guide to the Practice of Homeopathy - By Edward Hamilton, 1844

The proper dose and attenuation is still in some measure an unsettled question. Some Homoeopathic physicians maintain that the highest dilutions are the most serviceable; whilst others, amongst whom are many very eminent Homeopathists in Germany, assert that they have found more benefit from the lower attenuations. The importance of this difference will diminish, when we take into consideration the class of diseases treated : I have no doubt it would be found, that those whose opinions are in favour of the high dilutions, have been in the habit of treating principally chronic diseases, and the reason of this is obvious; they being the first propagators of Homoeopathy, received as patients, for the most part, those who had tried in vain all the remedies of the old school, until despair had driven them to find some other method to alleviate their sufferings. To this class of patients, there is not the slightest doubt that the higher dilutions are of much benefit; but on the other hand, since the doctrine of Homoeopathy has been more promulgated, and the public more convinced of the efficacy of the system,—its professors have been consulted in all stages of acute diseases,—and it is then found, that when a morbid action is exerting its greatest influence on the human organism,—when symptoms arise rapidly,—and when a fatal result may occur in a few hours, that the low dilutions are unquestionably more speedy in their action. But we must always bear in mind, the susceptibility of the patient, the age, constitution, &c.; as it has been often found that the higher act more beneficially on some patients, whatever be the nature of disease, than the lower, and vice versa.

The aggravation of the medicine is not in proportion to the lowness of the dilution; on the contrary, it has frequently been found that the higher attenuation causes greater suffering (or aggravation) without proportionate benefit; and it will be seen, that in acute diseases, medicines, of whatever dilution they may be, seldom produce aggravation.

My own experience suggests the following rules : — that in chronic cases, the higher attenuations, from the 18th to the 30th, are to be preferred; 2 to 4 globules, given either at intervals of 3, 6, .9, 12 days; or 2 to 6 globules, dissolved in 2-3 ounces of distilled water, and a tablespoonful given either every night, or night and morning. In acute diseases, I usually give the low dilutions, from the 3rd to the 12th, (generally the 6th), either 2-4-6 globs, or 1 drop dissolved in 2-3 ounces of water, and a tea or dessert spoonful given every 2, 4, 8, 12, 24, 36 or 70 hours, according to the symptoms; always bearing in mind the susceptibility of the patient. In children, the dose must be proportionally smaller, from 1-3 globs., or 1 drop dissolved in twice the quantity of water.

My reasons for thus treating disease, are based not only on my own experience, but also on the practice of some of the most eminent Homoeopathic physicians in Germany; whose treatment of both acute and chronic diseases, I had the opportunity of witnessing, during a residence of some months. But the important point to be impressed on the mind of the student is, the proper selection of the remedy; and if that is rightly chosen, success will generally be the result, whatever be the attenuation used.

As it is most essential that the remedies should be given pure, I can confidently recommend Mr. Headland, Homoeopathic Chemist, Princes Street, Hanover Square, who has devoted himself, for a number of years, solely to the preparation of Homoeopathic medicines.

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