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  Rudolf Steiner on Potentization and High Potencies

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By: Lili Kolisko

(Original title: Rudolf Steiner ueber Potenzierung und Hochpotenzen, Der Merkurstah 1994; 47: 507-8. English by A. R. Meuss, FIL, MTA.etc.)

(Thanks to the kind mediation of Juerg Himmelsbach and Olaf Titze we are able to publish an important source text that has often been referred to but not so far properly credited. Further literature on the subject: Kolisko L. Physioloyscher und physilwUscher Nachweis der Wirksamkeit kleinsier Entitaeten (50 pp). Stuttgart 1923 (this is the paper produced under R. Steiner's guidance). Kolisko L. Physiologischer und physikalischer Nachweis der Wirksamkeit kleinster Entitaeten 1923-1959 (275 pp. 60 tables, 139 figs). Stuttgart 1959. Husemann G. Lili Kolisko - Werk und Wesen. Beitr Env Heilk 1978; 2. Husemann F. Wie findet man die richtige Arznemutteldosis? DerMerkwstab 1991; 2. Husemann F. Rhythmusphaenomene beim Wirksamkeitsnachweispotenzierter Heilmittel. Der Merkurstab 1992; 45:73-91. Daems WF. Was sind potenzierte Heilmittel? Stuttgart 1993. Himmelsbach J. Das Potenzieren... Weleda Korrespondenzblaetterfuer Aerzte Nr. 137, Mai 1994.)

From a letter Lili Kolisko wrote to Hans Krueger, pharmacist, on November 6,1961. "Your query re high potencies is easily answered.

"When my first paper on the efficacy of extremely small entities - going as far as the 30th decimal potency - had appeared I said to Dr. Steiner that I intended to go higher, up to the 60th decimal, in my experiments. I told him that I thought this would result in further troughs and peaks. Considering the results obtained so far, a trough could be expected at the 28th potency and then again the 42nd, etc. Dr. Steiner's reply was: "Do it before you say anything." I did so, later showing him my results and asking him if I should go higher. I also wanted to know what he thought of the "high potencies," going up into the thousands, that were mainly used in the United States. Dr. Steiner replied that in that case people must have even higher bodies on which those high potencies could have an effect. Potencies up to the 1st trough could be used to influence the metabolic human being, those from the 1st to the 2nd trough the organism of senses and nerves. As human beings have no systems that go beyond these, it would be pointless to give them even higher potencies.

"As to your comment concerning the 'difficulty of getting a clear picture of effects,' I think there must have been a misunderstanding. When I gave Dr. Steiner the manuscript of the 2nd paper, which went up to the 60th potency, I asked his permission to give exact figures for the first troughs, 2nd troughs,etc. as this would make it easier for medical practitioners to read the graphs. Dr. Steiner was against this. He said: 'Only the first trough can be stated exactly. After that, the effects merge into one another.'

"I have given this a great deal of thought and would put it like this today. Consider what Rudolf Steiner has said about the configuration of the human body and the way different hierarchies influence it. We have his reference to the activity of the third hierarchy between the 1st and 21st years of life; then comes the next hierarchy, which influences the body between the 21st and 42nd years. This begins to intervene at around the 14th year, however, so that there is an overlap. The same happens later, with the next hierarchy already intervening in the 35th year of life. With reference to the action of potentized medicines, I would say that there is a range of potencies in which a medicine acts only on the metabolic human being; then comes a range where one still gets a slight metabolic effect and at the same time also an action on the rhythmic human being. Then comes a stretch where the action is purely on the rhythmic organism, and then the effects begin to be on the organism of senses and nerves as well. It is, therefore, difficult to give figures for account must be taken on one hand of the original substance and on the other of the individual one is treating - also the age of the person. So you see there a wide open field for physicians to make individual decisions, taking account of the indications given by my graphs.

"I hope this answers your questions.” Lili Kolisko

"P.S. I have to add something that may be of value to you. When we discussed the graphs, which was after my question about the high potencies, Dr. Steiner said: 'The rhythm appearing in these graphs is not only a rhythm in plant growth but also reflects such a rhythm in the human being. The 1st trough equates with sexual maturity, the second with the change that comes in the 28th year of human life, etc.' My objection to this was that the trough is not always at the 14th potency. It may be at the 13th or 12th and occasionally even the llth potency. The same would be true for the 2nd trough, etc. Dr. Steiner replied: 'YOU know very well that puberty may be early or late in some girls.' All this must be very much alive in the physician's mind."

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