A review of machines and devices to potentize homeopathic medicines
Received18 April 2017
revised17 September 2017
accepted18 September 2017
02 January 2018 (online)
Background: Potentization, consisting of serial dilution and succussion, is a key step in the manufacture of homeopathic medicines. Originally prescribed as a manual process, several attempts at mechanization have been published, patented and even commercialised in order to remove the human element and introduce reproducibility without drudgery. Various machines have been used over the years to prepare homeopathic medicines. Although these machines follow the same principles, i.e. energetically mixing the medicines and diluting them significantly, their mode of operation is different from each other.
Methods: This review paper surveys the main methods of preparation of homeopathic medicines. The main machines discussed are: Boericke's potentizer, Tyler Kent's instrument, John Alphonse's machine and the fluxion potentizer, which were used in the past, as well as more recent potentizers like arm-and-weight instruments, the K-Tronic potentizer and Quinn's machine. We review the construction and operating principle of each of these machines, along with their advantages and limitations. A scheme for relative performance assessment of these machines is proposed based on the parameters mechanical efficiency, physico-chemical efficiency, turbulence generation, energy dissipation, and accuracy of dilution.
Results: Quinn's machine and the arm-and-weight potentizer perform well for generating turbulence due to high impaction forces, while John Alphonse's machine is much more accurate in diluting the homeopathic medicines at every step.
Conclusions: Both the commercial potentizers, Quinn's machine and the K-Tronic potentizer, are completely automated and therefore reduce the manual labour and variation in succussive forces during each step, which may produce uniformity in physico-chemical changes within the resulting homeopathic medicines.
• The operating principle of the machines to produce homeopathic medicines is reviewed.
• Advantages and disadvantages of the machines are discussed in detail.
• Parameters are identified to assess and compare the performance of the machines.
• Suggestions for optimal physical attributes of machines are provided.
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