This podcast is an excerpt from Dr. Robin Murphy, ND's "Comparative Materia Medica" lecture CD set. Dr. Murphy speaks on the Benefits of Using Low Potency Remedies in Homeopathy.
Comparative Materia Medica
A study of remedy groups with comparisons and keynotes of Calcareas (Calcium), Natrums (Sodium), Kalis (Potassium), Ferrums (Iron), the Mercuries, Acids and Snake Venom's. Synthetic Prescribing is also discussed as a technique of prescribing and understanding homeopathic remedies.
Dr. Murphy: There are some general principles in homeopathy, and one, according to the first paragraph of the Organon, is that we should be attempting to get a gentle cure. In Chinese medicine they have the yin and the yang as two polarities; we have them as a duality. There are homeopaths that are yin or yang prescribers. A yin prescriber is very passive -- they participate the least amount and they try to interfere the least amount. A yang prescriber is very forceful and aggressive with their treatments; they try to make things happen the way they think they should. A yin would be more low potency, repeated doses; the yang would be more high, single doses. They both have benefits and I use both. I use high potencies more for acute prescribing. My first aid kit is a 200C kit; I've found that even with the 30Cs I have to repeat them too much. With acute disease, the person's vitality receives a shock, whether it's exposure to the cold or the wet, and that brings out an acute remedy picture with all its manifest symptoms. The nature of that -- the shock, the sudden onset, the state of the energy -- reflects the need for a high potency, and we go in there and we neutralize that with a 30C or a 200C. It's very effective. If you start using 6Cs and 12Cs in acute prescribing, you're just palliating, you're just hitting the surface; the energy is too strong and too disturbed; you need to go in and neutralize it and knock it out.
With chronic disease, the chronic disease process is slow. It often comes on over years. It's ingrained in the person. It's fixed. They have fixed behavioral patterns, fixed desires, fixed fears. It's over ten years, 20 years. Fixed pathology, organ disturbances.... I find that if you have a person here and their whole vitality is in a weakened state, and they have these fears and all these symptoms, it's best to systematically remove it according to Hering's Law in reverse order. So a person's health is up here and it deteriorated down to this state, and now they have diabetes; so the cure, in a different time frame, would be to give the low potencies month by month and build back up their health. In my personal experience I find that this is much more stable.
One of the benefits of using the low potencies is that you see fewer relapses. You can give someone Natrum Mur 10M and you'll have all these yang effects: activity, aggravation, old symptoms coming out, crying -- it's dramatism; then all of a sudden it lifts and it's like a miracle. If we constantly seek the dramatic side of homeopathy we can run into problems; and then we start expecting it and we start saying that if a person doesn't get an aggravation then they're not going to get well. I've never read anywhere in the Organon that an aggravation is necessary to get well! It's the old moral story about the tortoise versus the hare. You know, the hare is very active and runs and burns himself out, and the tortoise is systematically reaching his goal. We can draw a graph here and this is symptom intensity and this is time [drawing on blackboard], and with high potencies you usually see something like this. You give a Natrum Mur 10M and the person is great for three or four or five months, and then they get exposed to coffee or the remedy runs out and they go all the way back to where they started; so six months later you're at the same place you began and you start all over. They may be on a remedy for a year! They may go through a couple of potencies. You may give them a 200C and it works six months; you give them another dose and it works for two months; then you have to go to a 1M. And after a year or two on a remedy they're finally getting that layer removed, but you see relapses and often you see the higher potencies run out.
With the low potencies you usually see a graph like this [drawing on blackboard]. It may take three months -- they may have to go through 6C three times a day, and then go to a 12C and a 30C, and then they're finished with that; but the benefit I've seen is that they don't relapse -- it's theirs. In this situation you have a foundation -- the person has something that is their own and it's not the remedy anymore. If you stop the remedy, they stay where they are, and they'd have to go through the same disease process to sink back down. Does everybody follow that?
If you look at it from an energy point of view, this is a person's vitality [drawing on the blackboard] and when you stimulate it with a high potency, you'd stimulate it up here; but this new level of vitality is unstable, it's easily antidoted, it's easily influenced by the environment. If some stimuli from the environment comes along, the person's vitality sinks back to the beginning and you have to start all over again. But it's more dramatic! It also makes clients and patients more dependent on the prescriber because they have more aggravations and things, and they need more support and consolation through these problems.
With the low potencies, as the weeks and months pass you see their vitality builds up this way; then if you stop the low potency treatment, their vitality will stay there, so one of the benefits is the stability of the vital force. It encourages independence; it encourages the person to cultivate and stabilize their own vitality. The gentle, soft stimulation of the vital force is, to me, superior to the shocking of it. All these rules we have about aggravations and provings and disruptions and all the fears in homeopathy are from these shock treatments. They're very effective, but there are a lot of unnecessary rules and things to worry about that we shouldn't have to be concerned with. So with lower potencies there are fewer relapses because of more stability.
Another benefit of the low potencies is less interference. With high potencies you are very limited with who you can treat. 50% of my clients are on medications or coffee or cigarettes or whatever, so that eliminates a lot of people who could be benefited by homeopathy. This is a very important point. If you give them a 10M and they're on cortisone or prednisone, or they have asthma and they need their medication, then you're going to shock them and stir it up, and then we have to convince them that it's good for them! We should be asking ourselves if it's necessary. It's the American mentality to "go get 'em," to confront them, to fight the disease. Why do we have to fight the disease? What's the disease process? The disease process, according to homeopathic philosophy, is the person attempting to heal himself, and we have to help it, and helping it is the opposite of fighting it. Shocking the vital force back to health can be done, or you can gently stimulate it to recover on its own. With low potencies we're not so worried about coffee, drugs, perfumes, and these things. That's a big trip to put on a lot of people, especially when they're new to homeopathy and they don't really understand. You eliminate all these things and then give them a high potency and all that, especially the children or the very ill.... Over-stimulation can be weakening. Using low potencies opens up a lot of cases.
The remedies work really well -- it doesn't matter if someone's on penicillin, cortisone, Premarin, birth control pills.... They don't have to stop those to benefit from homeopathy. They should stop those after they see improvement with the remedies. I see very few crises -- I used to see a lot, but I see very few now. If someone has asthma, I give Arsenicum 6C, and they take it two or three times a day for a month; then they come back and they're 50% better in general with their asthma and their overall vitality and everything else. And during that month they start weaning off their medications, and they come off smoothly and gently. To me the skill in homeopathy is to cure someone with them hardly noticing it, because then it's the most natural and the most gentle.