A trituration is a preparation of a drug introduced by Hahnemann, by which the finely powdered, medicinal substance is ground for a certain time in a mortar and pestle with a certain proportion of sugar of milk.

In the process of trituration, there is a progressive division and diminution of the medicinal substance, by which mechanical subdivision the visible particles of the substance become gradually smaller and fewer as the numbers of the triturations ascend - their surfaces are thereby immensely enlarged.

It can readily be seen that the surface occupied by a grain of any drug is greatly increased, if it can be divided into its constituent molecules. This can be done by triturating it with a larger quantity of some other substance - sugar of milk preferably - by which the distance between the molecules may be increased, and thus the surface extent enlarged. In this molecular form, the specific quality can be impressed upon the organism most effectually - for only in this form do the individual parts enjoy their freedom of motion, and can enter into the specific relations to the organism their affinity urges them on to. In the proportion as this molecular activity is attained, can these atoms enter the tissues of the body and there modify the functions.

To Make Triturations

Hahnemann's method is still adhered to in all essential points, except that with the great increase of quantity required, most of the process of triturating is now done by means of machinery. At least one hour should be consumed to make each trituration and some drugs, especially in the first trituration, require a much longer time. The principle is taught clearly by Hahnemann. His original method was as follows:

Take 100 grains of fine sugar of milk and divide it into three equal parts; then add one grain of the drug to one of these three parts of sugar of milk in a mortar, mix well with a spatula, and then grind for six minutes with a moderate degree of force. The triturate is then to be scraped together for four minutes. Another third of sugar of milk is then added and treated exactly like the first third, and finally the last third is added and proceeded with in the same manner. This results in the first centesimal trituration (containing 1/100 of the original drug). The second centesimal is made by taking one grain of the first and by proceeding with it in the manner described above. The third centesimal is made in the same manner from the second.

By adopting the decimal scale, a better preparation is ensured, since every centesimal trituration gets double the time of grinding, and this scale is therefore universally adopted.

All mineral preparations, most chemical salts, animal substances, and certain vegetable drugs and alkaloids, are thus prepared for purposes of homoeopathy by first triturating them up to the sixth decimal or third centesimal potency. Each separate potency is triturated at least one hour, so the sixth has had no less than six hours constant triturating; but, as most triturations are now made by machinery, the time given to each is usually greatly extended. One hour, however, was Hahnemann's rule. Although many medicines have been carried up to the twelfth, and even the thirtieth potency, by trituration, there is no need or advantage in doing so beyond the sixth decimal, since Hahnemann proved conclusively, and clinical experience fully verified the fact, that beyond that potency all medicines yield up their medicinal virtues to water and alcohol, and can thus be prepared in a liquid state.