Making Sense of Homeopathic Dilutions
This post is courtesy of our friends at Boiron, makers of top-notch homeopathic remedies of all sorts. if you've ever picked up a homeopathic remedy at our office or your local health food store, you may have noticed that each remedy has an "X" or "C" after it. And you may have wondered what that means! Below is a great explanation of these letters, and what they mean regarding the potency of your remedy.
What does the "C" listed after the active ingredient stand for?
The most common type of dilutions is “C” dilutions (centesimal dilutions). The 1C is obtained by mixing 1 part of the Mother Tincture with 9 parts of ethanol in a new vial and then vigorously shaking the solution (succussion). The result is a 1/100 dilution of the plant (the Mother Tincture being a 1/10 dilution of the plant itself). The 2C is obtained by mixing 1 part of the 1C with 99 parts of ethanol in a new vial and succussing. Recurrently, the 3C is obtained by mixing 1 part of the 2C with 99 parts of ethanol in a new vial and succussing.
What does the “X” listed after the active ingredient stand for?
X dilutions are decimal dilutions prepared similarly to C dilutions, but the factor of dilution is only 1/10 from one dilution to the next.
What does the “K” listed after the active ingredient stand for?
The K refers to a method of manufacturing known as the Korsakovian method. The Korsakovian method dilutes the homeopathic preparation of the substance at the rate of 1 part of the previous dilution with 99 parts of solvent.
What does the “CK” listed after the active ingredient stand for?
Korsakovian dilutions are manufactured using a device specially designed to ensure that the dilution process is reproducible from one dilution to the next. Only one vial is used for the entire process. Using ultra-purified water as the solvent, the machine removes 99% of the Mother Tincture and replaces it with the same volume of solvent. The vial is succussed for 10.5 seconds. The result is called 1CK. The 2CK is prepared identically from the 1CK. The automatic process using only 1 vial allows higher dilutions to be reached. The most common Korsakovian dilutions are 200CK, 1,000CK (also called 1M), 10,000CK (10M), 50,000 CK (50M) and 100,000CK (100M or CM).
What does “200CK” mean?
200CK means that the substance has been homeopathically diluted 200 times at the rate of 1 to 100.
Remember, the larger the number prior to the "X" or "C" (or whatever the letter), the stronger the remedy. For example, both arnica montana 30X and arnica montana 30C are used by many for first aid at home. The higher potency, 30C, is appropriate for immediate and acute conditions, while the lower potency, 30X, is appropriate for acute or chronic conditions. (1) With this knowledge of how various homeopathic potencies are marked, you can choose which ones may be most helpful to you and your family.
(1) Kayne, Steven. "Health and Homeopathy." British Homeopathic Association. Summer (2001).