For its own special purpose, the homeopathic medical art develops to a formerly unheard of degree the internal, spirit-like medicinal powers of crude substances. It does so by means of a procedure which belongs exclusively to it (and which was untried before my time) whereby these substances become altogether more than ever-indeed, immeasurably-penetratingly effective and helpful, even those substances which, in their crude state do not manifest the least medicinal power in the human body. 216 This remarkable alteration in the properties of natural bodies is achieved through mechanical action on their smallest particles by trituration and succussion while these particles are separated from one another by means of an intervening, indifferent substance that is either dry or liquid. This procedure develops the latent dynamic (fn11) powers of the substance which were previously unnoticeable, as if slumbering. 217 The dynamic powers of these substances mainly have an influence on the life principle, on the condition of animal life. 218 Therefore, this process is called dynamization or potentization (development of medicinal power). Its products are called dynamizations or potencies of different degrees. 219
216 Long before I devised this procedure, it was known through experience, that several alterations in natural substances could be brought about by friction (e.g. , warmth, heat, fire, development of odor in odorless bodies, magnetization of steel, etc.). However, all of these properties engendered by friction relate only to what is physical and lifeless, whereas there is a natural law according to which the physiological and pathogenic powers that are in the raw material of the medications (indeed even in natural substances never yet proven to be medicinal)-powers that alter the living organism’s condition-are engendered by means of friction [in trituration] and succussion, under the condition that the natural substance is triturated and succussed with certain proportions of a non-medicinal (indifferent) intervening medium. This wonderful law, which is physical but more especially physiological and pathogenic, was not discovered before my time. No wonder then, that the natural scientists and physicians of our day (this law being unknown to them) did not, until now, believe in the magical curative power of medications prepared (dynamized) according to homeopathic theory and employed in such small doses!
217 For example, there is no mistaking that a trace of latent magnetic power slumbers in the interior of the iron bar and the steel rod. There is no mistaking this because both of them, if they are stood upright after their forging, repel with their lower end a magnetic needle’s north pole and attract its south pole, while the upper end of the iron bar or steel rod proves to be a south pole. But this is only a latent power; not even the finest iron filings can be magnetically attracted or held by either end of such a rod. Only when we dynamize this steel rod by strongly rubbing it in one direction with a blunt file does it become a true, active powerful magnet, capable of attracting iron and steel to itself and even of imparting magnetic power to another steel rod by mere contact (and even when the other steel rod is held at some distance). The more the steel rod has been rubbed, the greater its magnetic power. Likewise, rubbing a medicinal substance and succussing its solution (dynamization, potentization) develops the medicinal powers lying hidden in the medicinal substance and discloses these powers more and more. The dynamization spiritizes the material substance, if one may use that expression.
218 The only thing that is heightened and more strongly developed is the power of these natural bodies to bring forth alterations in the condition of animals and humans when the natural bodies, in this improved state, are brought quite near to the living, sensitive fibers or touch the same (upon ingestion or olfaction). This is just like the magnet that only engenders magnetic power in a steel needle (especially in one whose pole is near to it or touching it) without altering the steel itself, which remains unchanged in the rest of its chemical and physical properties [fn 11]. And just as magnets do not bring about alterations in other metals, such as brass, dynamized medicines do not exert any action upon lifeless things.
219 Daily we hear homeopathic medicinal potencies referred to as mere dilutions when they are, in fact, the opposite. There is a true opening up of the natural substances produced by trituration and succussion, bringing to the revelatory light of day the specific medicinal powers that lie hidden in their inner wesen. The non-medicinal dilution medium merely helps as a supervening accessory condition. For example, the simple dilution of a grain of salt in a large amount of water results in just plain water; the grain of salt disappears and never becomes the medicinal salt [natrum muriaticum] that our well-prepared dynamizations have heightened to such admirable strength.