THE DIFFERENT MEANINGS OF THE WORD – ” DOSE “
Having arrived at a conclusion as to what homoeopathic medicines are, it is now essential that we should clear our minds as to what is a homoeopathic dose, because the two schools of medicine attach very different meanings to the word.
When an allopath uses the word ” dose,” he means so many drops by measure or so many grains by weight — enough to produce the direct, positive, or physiological effect he desires, and not enough to endanger the patient. To go back to the example of Opium^ the *’ dose ” recommended to stay the action of the bowels in a case of diarrhoea is from one to three grains. So much for the meaning of the word ” dose ” when used by an allopath.
In common speech a homoeopathic dose of anything means an infinitesimal dose. But that is not exactly the meaning attached to the word by the professional homoeopath. If a homoeopathic doctor who had prescribed Opium for a patient suffering from constipation were asked, “What dose did you
give it in” he would not think of weights or measures at all — as the allopath would.
He would reply to the query that he gave the mother tincture (of which the sign is Q or 0), or the 3rd, the 6th, the 12th, or the 30th, as the case might have been. So we see a homoeopathic ” dose ” means the particular preparation of the remedy used, in the first place. In the second place it means simply the quantity of that preparation or the form of that preparation.
For example, say Opium 30 was given : it may have been given in one or two drops of the tincture, one or more pilules, one or more globules ; or the
drops may have been given pure on the tongue, or diluted in water, or mixed with sugar of milk. To an allopath the word ” dose ” would convey none of these meanings, whereas to the homoeopath the mention of the word ” dose ” naturally calls them all up in his mind.
It will be seen that ” quantity ” has very little to do with the idea of ” dose ” in the homoeopathist’s mind, and it has everything to do with it in the allopath’s. The homoeopath who has had prescribed for him Opium 30 might take it every hour of the day and all his life long — he could never live long enough to imbibe what would represent a single grain of the original substance.
In homoeopathy “dose” means ” impact of drug-force” rather than quantity.
And this brings us to another question which the homoeopathic use of the word involves. The doctor who, as we have supposed, prescribed Opium 30 for the case of constipation, might have been further asked, ” Did you give a single dose, or did you repeat } ” And until that query had been answered we should not have known exactly how the remedy had been given. So that the word ” dose ” in homoeopathy implies not only drug-impact, the form in which the drug-impact is communicated, but the further question whether it is a single impact or a repeated one.
It is necessary to make all these points clear if misunderstandings are to be avoided. Half the difficulties in the scientific world arise from different observers attaching different meanings to terms in common use.
Reference: Homoeopathy explained. J. H. Clarke