Dr. Skinner’s centesimal fluxion potentizer.
THE instrument is composed of the following parts or elements: ‑
1. The motive power A, which is a six-inch water-wheel, making the instrument automatic, and requiring little or no watching, except when starting or stopping it.
2. A mechanical rack, and slot movement, for upsetting or emptying, and restoring the emptied potentizing glass, B.
3. A straight bar, or spindle, on which is placed two cradles for holding the potentizing glasses, C.C.
4. Two potentizing glasses; one only to be used at a time. The second one is intended in case of an accident, or anything going wrong with the other. It is also possible, with the aid of a diaphragm, to potentize two medicines at once; but the greatest care must be taken, as the spray produced is such as might contaminate the other glass.
5. An index, E, which is in communication with the spindle of the potentizing glasses by means of an Archimedean-screw, which index registers with mathematical accuracy every individual potency from one up to one million, without ever stopping, except when it is desirable. The long hand traverses the whole circumference of the dial, and is divided into one hundred units or potencies. The first dial, on the left, registers hundreds up to one thousand. The second dial, on the same side, registers thousands up to ten thousand. The next dial registers tens of thousands up to one hundred thousand; and the remaining dial, most towards the right, registers hundreds of thousands up to one million. In order to obtain any number of millions beyond, the entire circuit must be described as many times as there are millions required. The hands of the five dials are made similar to a watch, so that, they may be turned, by means of a key, backwards or forwards .after a particular potency has been made. By this arrangement the indices can be reset at zero, or 0, at any time in a few seconds.
6. F, is a half-inch brass pipe, attached to the main of the house by a union, or coupling. On this brass pipe at H, there are two smaller brass tubes attached, G.G. They are curved over, and discharge the water through fine jet nozzles, made of the hardest phosphor-bronze, into the potentizing glasses; which latter, when they are upset, allow the jet of water to pass into the hand-basin, or sink, to drain away. On each of these small tubes is a stop-cock, for regulating the quantity of the discharge. The same brass pipe feeds the water-wheel, which is also supplied with a stop-cock for regulating the speed of the motive force, K.
It is necessary to give a little further explanation about the potentizing glasses. These are made of the best German test-tube glass, about seven-eighths of an inch internal measurement, and about an inch and five-eighths of an inch in length or in height. They are reckoned to contain about one hundred and ninety minims of spring water, at the ordinary or mean temperature of the atmosphere. When the instrument is going at about its best, say fifty potencies per minute, and all is well regulated, the potentizing jet is equal to displacing ninety minims of the contents of the glass; therefore, when the glass is full to overflowing, or about to overflow, it only contains one hundred minims. It follows that every time it upsets. it throws off one hundred minims, and brings back that which adheres to the sides of the glass, which has been reckoned by Dunham, Boericke, Swan, and others, to be one, or little more than a minim; and which it carries on to the next potency, or charge of the potentizing jet. The attenuation is as centesimal as it is possible to make it, either by hand or by machinery. If there is any doubt about the centesimality of the potencies, by regulating the speed of the water-wheel, and the quantity of water passing through the potentizer, there is no difficulty in obtaining mathematical certainty. So far as mathematical accuracy is concerned, it is all very well to possess it, but for all practical purposes, when we get beyond the 1m. or the 20m., it is not a sine qua non. There are many of us who « strain at a gnat and swallow a camel », and who are not aware of it. Lastly, the glasses are made of German test-tube glass, for the purpose of enabling us to cleanse them by heat. Before changing from one medicine to another, the glasses are to be frequently rinsed in boiling water, gently and carefully dried, and passed through the flame of a spirit-lamp until quite dry and very hot, the glass always being held with its mouth uppermost, and never inverted. It is necessary that the vapor of the spirit should not enter or impinge upon the inner surface of the glass. In drying the interior of the glass, a perfectly clean dossil of soft carded cotton-wool should be used, and renewed every time. A towel, or the same cloth, must never be used. The glasses, when cleaned after using, should be kept as the apple of one’s eye, and always under lock and key. Six of them accompany each instrument. By such precautions the glass is rendered perfectly clean, and is incapable in any way of contaminating the next medicine. Always, after use, it is well to wipe dry the nozzle of the potentizing jet with clean, fresh cotton wool.
The machine is made so as to be inserted into an ordinary fixed wash-hand basin, such as is to be found in most bed-rooms, consulting-rooms, or offices, where there is a waste-pipe and the main water-pipe within easy reach, so that every Homœopathician may, if so inclined, make his own potencies.
The main being brought to the wash hand-stand, or basin, it must have a good lever-tap upon it, and it is necessary that the tap be as large in calibre as the main-pipe, in order to prevent any impediment to the free flow of the water. (A. screw-down tap is of no use.) There must be no contractions, or sudden curves, or angles in the pipes or taps. Any intelligent plumber or hydraulic engineer will see at a glance what is required. It is only necessary to let him know that the instrument must rest on the basin, without being twisted or strained in any way. The conduit, or supply pipe F, may be cut, shortened or lengthened, or bent to fit the main. It is an advantage to have a circular piece of wood fitted to the bottom of the hand-basin, broad enough for the instrument to rest upon. This platform should have several grooves on the edges, in order to allow the refuse water to drain away, and it ought to have three coats of copal varnish. Another improvement is, to bore a hole through the centre of it, to receive an inch or half-inch pipe, with a copper extremity fitted to the mouth of the waste-pipe, and having several holes perforating the sides. The advantage of this arrangement is, that the platform is thereby made firm, and is easily fixed or unfixed, and there is no impediment to drainage. Still another improvement is obtained by boring a hole through this platform or stage where the potentizing jet strikes it. All splashing and much spray is thereby prevented.
Directions for potentizing.
1. The main tap being shut, and the plug of the waste-pipe removed, turn on the three taps of the machine. Then hold the water-wheel and open the tap on the main, and let the water flow for a few seconds. This drives out the air from the pipes. Having closed the tap on the main—as also all the taps—see that the hands on the dial-plate are pointing to zero, or 0. Open the tap for water-wheel a half or three-quarters depending on the amount of pressure, and open the potentizer which is to be used, say three-quarters; then open the main gradually to the full, taking care not to drive the instrument too rapidly. The main being full on, adjust the speed of the water-wheel so that about fifty potencies are registered per minute, and, at the same time, adjust the force of the potentizing jet so that the glass is just filled to the level of the brim, air-bells and all, before it is overturned. Having done so, observe the long hand of the index that it has traversed once round, at least, without becoming entangled or obstructed by touching any of the other hands. The machine has now been tested, and is ‘ready for potentizing.
We take for granted that the main has been turned off. The first step before commencing operations is to reset the hands on the dial-plate at zero, or 0.
Preparing the Medicine.
Liquid preparations, soluble in water, mother tinctures, and solutions of the third centesimal triturations of metals, oxides, and other insoluble drugs, are legitimate forms for fluxion-potentizing purposes. Of mineral and vegetable acids, I use one minim, if liquid, and one grain if crystallized. Of mother tinctures, I use thirty minims as a rule. Of third centesimal triturations, I take one grain as my base of operations. I proceed as follows : — For instance, sulphuric acid, I take one minim of anhydrous acid, as pure as it can be obtained « Nordhausen »is the best, and was recommended by HAHNEMANN. I put it into a perfectly clean potentizing glass, and fill it from the potentizing jet half-full : having first turned the main on)—that is, about one hundred minims. I then cover it over with two ply of very fine, smooth, foreign post-paper, place the ball of my right thumb over the paper, taking the glass in my hand, and I shake it up for about a minute. My object in doing so is to impregnate the interior of the glass thoroughly with the medicinal substance. This solution is the first centesimal. potency. I now want the 5. 30. 200. 500. 1m. 5m. 10m. 20m. 50m. Cm. Dm. and Mm. of Sulph-ac. I empty the glass and place it in situ on the machine. I drive the wheel with my hand (as it is safer in making the first ten potencies) until the long hand of the index points to 4, having, before I began, set the long hand at 1. When turning the wheel, every time that the glass turns up, it must be filled by turning on the small tap of the potentizer, and turned off when filled. (This only when working by hand.) Having obtained the 4th potency, I pour it into a perfectly clean phial, filling it » two-thirds full, to give room for shaking. I then shake it, in order to impregnate the sides of the phial with the 4th potency. I empty the phial entirely, leaving only what liquid adheres to the sides of the phial. I then fill it again with about one hundred minims of pure anhydrous, or absolute alcohol, and cork it tightly with a fresh cork. I give the phial the up and down stroke of HAHNEMANN twice, holding the phial between the finger and thumb of the right hand. I then give the phial twenty-five powerful succussions, by my right fist being made to collide violently against my left fist vertically. I repeat the up and down stroke of the Master twice, and I then consider that I have got a bona fide 5th centesimal potency of Sulph-a.c., secundum artem. To obtain the 30th, the potentizing glass is emptied, and the machine is started, driven by the water-wheel, and stopped when the long hand points to 29 on the index. The glass is taken out, and the same process is repeated as for obtaining the 5th potency, and so on with every potency where it is desired to preserve the tincture of it.
I use absolute alcohol, because I find it is by far the best, quickest, and cleanest, for medicating and drying pellets or globules. The numbers of the potencies which I have given are the most on demand, and really the most useful. A s a rule, potencies, to be most useful, should double in power or in number as they mount upwards; the reason for this will be better seen as we advance. It is not difficult to see the reason why thirties and two-hundreds have been such favourites. HAHNEMANN’S cures were mostly effected with the 30th, and BoNNINGHAUSEN’S with the 200th centesimal. These great lights have immortalized these two powers.
If an acid or a salt is in the form of a crystal, I break it up and take one grain from the centre of it, or, I recrystallize it; I then dissolve it in a potentizing-glass half-full of water, and proceed the same as I have already described.
Fluxion-potencies made from the mother tinctures, I operate upon as follows: —As a rule, tinctures do not represent one grain of the medicinal substance used in making them in a less quantity than from twenty to thirty minims; therefore, in order to impregnate the potentizing-glass, before starting, I put into it thirty minims of q. I fill the glass two-thirds full with, water, and shake well, for two reasons, (1) to incorporate the medicinal tincture with the water, and (2) to impregnate or saturate the glass with the – medicine. Before putting the glass in situ in the machine, I empty it, and thereby proceed to operate upon one drop or something less—and the less the better—as ATTENUATION is everything in dynamization; we cannot get the medicine too attenuate for our purpose, so long as we dynamite it at the same time. HAHNEMANN has said « Experience proves that the dose of a homoeophatically selected remedy cannot be reduced so far as to be inferior in strength to the natural disease, and to lose its power of extinguishing and curing at least a portion of the same, provided that this dose, immediately after having been taken, is capable of causing a slight intensification of symptoms of the similar natural disease. » Again, he says, « We should not be deterred from the use of such doses by the high degree of rarefaction that may have been reached, however incredible they may appear to the coarse material ideas of ordinary practitioners; their arguments will be silenced by the verdict of infallible experience. » (Organon of the Art of Healing, sections 279, 280; C. Wesselhceft’s Edition, 1876. The italics in section 279, are those of HAHNEMANN in 280, they are my own.) Again he says, « One almost cannot give them » (homoeopathic medicines) « too fine. » (Chron. KranIch., 2nd. ed. I., p. 149.) This may stagger some who are scarcely on the threshold of Homoeopathy, but it is a mighty truth nevertheless. There is good reason to believe that once the glass becomes thoroughly penetrated with the medicine, and suppose the process of attenuation to go on forever, not only would it be impossible to wash out the medicinal properties from the glass by means of cold water, but its therapeutic power would be greatly heightened. If it were possible for Niagara to pour its unceasing torrent of mighty waters for twenty thousand years through the glass once thoroughly impregnated with the medicine, every drop in it, and each drop which has passed through it, would still correspond to the original pathogenesis of the drug, and probably much more. Heat alone can break the marvelous chain of spirit-power here developed. It would be equally as possible for Lady Macbeth to erase the « damned spot « from her conscience, or hand, as for one of us to cleanse with cold spring water a` potentizing-glass which has once been thoroughly impregnated with, say the millionth centesimal potency of Sulphur. We might say, with the wretched Lady Macbeth, « Out, damned spot ! out, I say ! » but it will not out at any man or woman’s bidding, because it is part of the great « I AM. »
In operating upon the emptied glass, where a q has been the base, the index is set at 0, to begin with, because we have not got the first potency until the glass is filled. I have adopted this plan with mother tinctures, because many of them contain resinous and other extractive matter, which do not readily mix with or incorporate well with water; and, as I have said before, one drop or minim is enough with which to commence the process of dynamization; but in order to impregnate the glass (a process of my own), that which represents one grain or so of the crude drug is preferable. With the above exception, I proceed with the dynamization of the q the same as before.
In regard to the metals, their oxides, and other insoluble substances, I take one grain of the 3rd trit., and dissolve it in one-half of the glass of water, by shaking for a minute or two until completely dissolved. I then empty it, and proceed the same as when the base is a q, with this difference, that I set the long hand of the index at 3, as we have started with one drop, or nearly so, of the 3rd potency, and we are beginning the 4th.
It may be necessary to add, that every test should be employed to prove the base to be what it is intended to correspond to, and where a low trituration (the 3rd, 4th, or 5th) can be obtained of the original drug which was used in proving it, that is, par excellence, the best base to start from. For instance, by the kindness of my Co-Editor, Dr. Lippe, I have been put in possession of the 4th centesimal trit. of Lachesis, which was a graft made from the original Lachesis used by the venerable Constantine Hering in his provings of Lachesis Trigonocephalus. I have already run it up to the Cm. potency, and I hope soon to have it as high as the Mm. (F.C.) and by the kindness of my cousin, Dr. Francis Black, I have been placed in possession of the 3rd centesimal trit. of the « original » Naja Tripudians employed by the late Dr. Rutherford Russell in his valuable provings of the poison of the hooded Snake, or Cobra de Capello of Hindustan. Any of my fellow-physicians having specimens of a similar kind to dispose of, will find in me a ready and grateful recipient. All potencies made on my instrument, I label as (F.C.), meaning thereby Fluxion Centesimal.
In conclusion, the primary object of this CENTESIMAL FLUXION POTENTIZER is to place all our potencies on the same scale of attenuation and notation—without cavil or doubt—the high on the same scale as the low, namely, the centesimal or Hahnemannian scale. That it is capable of accomplishing this great and desirable end there can be no doubt whatever, as it can make the first centesimal as easily and as correct as it makes the millionth and all between, only that, in making the latter, it takes one million times the time. It makes 50 centesimal potencies per minute, 3,000 per hour, 72,000 per day, 100,000 in about thirty-three hours, and the Mm., or millionth, in three hundred and thirty hours, or about fourteen days and a half, running night and day and there can be no doubt whatever that it is the millionth centesimal potency of HAHNEMANN; and of whatever drug it may be, every drop will be found to correspond to the pathogenesis of that drug, and to act with a precision bordering on the marvelous; and infinitely superior to the mother tincture or base from whence it had its origin, provided always that it is selected as HAHNEMANN advises, not otherwise.