A homeopathic medicine is believed to be more effective when its active ingredient is diluted: this is the minimum dose approach of homeopathy. The purpose of potency is to dilute the active ingredient until it can do no harm and to invigorate the base substance with energy such that the qualities are preserved while the substance itself is diluted out.
On a homeopathic drug product, the drug strength or potency appears directly after the name of the active ingredient. Unlike conventional medicines that typically report drug potency in milligrams, homeopathic potency is indicated by a numeral followed by an X or C. the potency of a medicine such as 6X or 30C says how many times and by what ration the base substance has been diluted. While counterintuitive, the potency is higher though the concentration of an active ingredient is lower.
The HPUS is the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States
Homeopathic medicines are regulated by the FDA as drugs. Legalization and standardization of homeopathy began in 1897. An ingredient is considered homeopathic when it meets the standards specified in the HPUS. The HPUS is a ” a non-governmental, non-profit scientific organization composed of experts in the fields of medicine, arts, biology, botany, chemistry and pharmacy who have had appropriate training and experience and have demonstrated additional knowledge and interest in the principles of homeopathy.”
The description of arnica montana in the HPUS is:
Name in contemporary use: Arnica montana L
Latin: Doronicum oppositifolium Lam., D. arnica Desf.
Eng: Mountain arnica, Leopard’s bane, Mountain tobacco
Family Compositae (Composite Family)
A perennial herb, with a slender, blackish rhizome 2.5 to 5 cm. long, from which are given off numerous filiform roots. The stem, 25 to 30 cm high, is erect, pubescent, rough, striated, either simple or with one pair of opposite branches. The leaves, 4 to 8 cm. long, are few, entire, sessile, opposite, obovate; the radical ones crowded at the base, the upper smaller than the rest. The heads, 5 to 6.5 cm. wide, are large and solitary at the summit of the stem and lateral branches. The involucre is cylindrical, dull green, with purplish points and hairy. The disk flowers are yellow and numerous, with tubular corolla with five spreading teeth. The ray flowers are about fifteen in number, yellow in color. It flowers in July and August.
Range and habitat:
moist, grassy upland meadows in the hills and mountains of northern and central Europe and Siberia. It is also found sparsely in the northwestern United States.
Preparation & Classification:
Tincture of the entire plant, including the root (Class C). Alcohol content: 45% v/v