This section is from the book "The Chronic Diseases, Their Specific Nature And Their Homeopathic Treatment", by Samuel Hahnemann. Also available from Amazon: The chronic diseases, their specific nature and their homeopathic treatment.
The changes which take place in material substances, especially in medicinal ones, through long-continued trituration with a non-medicinal powder, or when dissolved, through a long-continued shaking with a non-medicinal fluid, are so incredible, that they approach the miraculous, and it is a cause of joy that the discovery of these wonderful changes belongs to Homoeopathy.
Not only, as shown elsewhere, do these medicinal substances thereby develop their powers in a prodigious degree, but they also change their physico-chemical demeanor in such a way, that if no one before could ever perceive in their crude form any solubility in alcohol or water, after this peculiar transmutation they become wholly soluble in water as well as in alcohol- a discovery invaluable to the healing art.
The brown-black juice of the marine animal Sepia, which was formerly only used for drawing and painting, is in its crude state soluble only in water, not in alcohol; but by such a trituration it becomes soluble also in alcohol.
The yellow Petroleum only allows something to be extracted from it through alcohol when it is adulterated with ethereal vegetable oil; but in its pure state while crude it is soluble neither in water nor in alcohol (nor in ether). By trituration it becomes soluble in both substances.
So also the Pollen of Lycopodium floats on alcohol and on water, without either of them showing any action upon it - the crude Lycopodium is tasteless and inactive when it enters the human stomach; but when changed in a similar manner through trituration it is not only perfectly soluble in either fluid, but has also developed such extraordinary medicinal powers, that great care must be taken in its medicinal use.
Who ever found marble or oyster-shells soluble in pure water or in alcohol? But this mild Lime becomes perfectly soluble in either, by means of this mode of preparation; the same is the case with Baryta and Magnesia and these substances then exhibit astonishing medicinal powers.
Least of all will anyone ascribe solubility in water and alcohol to quartz, to rock-crystal (many crystals of which have contained enclosed in them drops of water for thousands of years unchanged), or to sand; nor would anyone ascribe to them medicinal power, and yet by the dynamization (potentizing)* peculiar to Homoeopathy, by melting silica with an alkaline salt, and then precipitating it from this glass, it not only becomes soluble without any residuum in water and in alcohol, but also then shows prodigious medicinal powers.
*In its crude condition and without this preparation quartz and pebbles do not seem to allow a development of their medicinal powers by trituration and therefore it is that the triturating of various medicines with the indifferent sugar of milk in the porcelain triturating bowl seems to impart to them no admixture of Silicea as some anxious purists have vainly feared.
What can I say of the pure metals and of their sul-phurets, but that all of them, without any exception become by this treatment equally soluble in water and in alcohol, and every one of them develops the medicinal virtue peculiar to it in the purest, simplest manner and in an incredibly high degree?
But the chemical medicinal substances thus prepared now also stand above the chemical laws.
A dose of Phosphorus, potentized highly in a similar manner, may lie in its paper envelope in the desk, and, nevertheless, when taken after a whole year's interval, it will still show its full medicinal power; not that of the Phosphoric acid, but that of the unchanged, uncombined Phosphorus itself. So that no neutralization takes place in this its elevated, and as it were, glorified state.
The medicinal effects of Natrum carbonicum, of Ammonium carbonicum, of Baryta, of Lime, and of Magnesia, in this highly potentized state, when a dose of one of them has been taken, is not neutralized like basic substances taken in a crude form by a drop of vinegar taken afterwards; their medicinal effect being neither changed nor destroyed.
Nitric acid, when thus given in its highly potentized state in which it is serviceable for homoeopathic medicinal use, is not changed by a little crude lime or crude soda given after it, as to its strong well defined medicinal action; therefore it is not neutralized.
In this preparation, peculiar to Homoeopathy, we take one grain in powder of any of the substances treated of in the volumes of the Materia Medica Pura,* and especially those of the antipsoric substances* following below, i. e., of silica, carbonate of baryta, carbonate of lime, carbonate of soda and sal ammoniac, carbonate of magnesia, vegetable charcoal, animal charcoal, graphites, sulphur, crude antimony, metallic antimony, gold, platina, iron, zinc, copper, silver, tin. The lumps of the metals which have not yet been beaten out into foil are rubbed off on a fine, hard whetstone under water, some of them, as iron, under alcohol; of mercury in the liquid form one grain is taken, of petroleum one drop instead of a grain, etc. This is first put on about one-third of 100 grains of pulverized sugar of milk, and placed in an unglazed porcelain mortar, or in one from which the glaze has been first rubbed off with wet sand; the medicine and the sugar of milk are then mixed for a moment with a porcelain spatula, and the mixture is triturated with some force for six minutes, the triturated substance is then for four minutes scraped from the mortar and from the porcelain pestle,* which is also unglazed, or has had its glazing rubbed off with wet sand, so that the trituration may be homogeneously mixed. After this has been thus scraped together, it is triturated again without any addition for another six minutes with equal force. After scraping together again from the bottom and the sides for four minutes this triturate (for which the first third of the 100 grains had been used), the second third of the sugar of milk is now added, both are mixed together with the spatula for a moment, triturated again with like force for six minutes; then having again scraped the triturate for four minutes, it is triturated a second time (without addition) for six minutes more, and after scraping it together for another four minutes it is mixed with the last third of the powdered sugar of milk by stirring it around with the spatula, and then the whole mixture is again triturated for six minutes, scraped for four minutes, and a second and last time triturated for six minutes; then it is all scraped together and the powder is preserved in a well-stoppered bottle with the name of the substance and the signature 100 because it is potentized one hundred fold.*