As Hahnemann began to conduct provings and use medicines according to the Law of Similars, he recognized that the dosage of the substances he used often created very severe toxic reactions in the provers (i.e. those who were the subjects of the provings) and patients. He therefore began to dilute the medicines to avoid these reactions. This led to another important discovery. The more the medicines were diluted, the gentler and more effective were their curative action. It seemed as if the dilute forms of these substances acted at a deeper level in the body.
In fact, it is more than a simple dilution process by which the homeopathic remedies are made. One part of the original form of the substance is first diluted in ninety-nine drops of water and/or alcohol. Then it is shaken vigorously. The shaking is called succussion and the entire procedure is termed “potentization”; the remedy is made potent by the process. This first generation of the remedy is called a 1C (or centesimal). A further generation is created when one drop of the 1C solution is diluted in ninety-nine drops of water and/or alcohol and succussed again. This is the 2C “potency”.
It is easy to see that after carrying out this process a few times, there is little or nothing left of the original substance. Homeopaths use potencies that range from 3C all the way to the CM – or one hundred thousandth generation of succussion. Clearly, the action of a homeopathic remedy goes beyond chemical reactions and physical substance as we commonly understand it.