“The highest ideal of cure is the rapid, gentle and permanent restoration of health; that is, lifting and annihilation of the disease in its entire extent in the shortest, most reliable, and least disadvantageous way, according to clearly realizable principles.”
Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy, was a Renaissance genius who was gifted in many fields: he was a master pharmacist who developed procedures still used in pharmacy today, a skilled Linguist and translator who was fluent in seven languages, and the forerunner of today’s natural healers. Decades before Koch and Pasteur, he understood the principles of contagious illnesses and successfully treated the deadly epidemics which ravaged Europe in the first half of the nineteenth century. He was a true visionary whose understanding of the energetic basis of health and healing anticipated by a century the paradigm of matter as energy in modern physics. Allopathic/conventional medicine has barely begun to incorporate an understanding of the mind-body connection, which Hahnemann delineated nearly two centuries ago.
During the last 10 years of his life, Hahnemann was trying to find a way to speed up the process of cure with homeopathy while at the same time minimizing the sometimes uncomfortable homeopathic aggravations, or intensification of symptoms, which were typical of homeopathy at that point with the 4th edition methods of giving remedies in dry doses.
Although Hahnemann’s personal practice grew immensely beyond the stage of the 4th edition Organon, homeopathy as a whole did not. Most practitioners today are still practicing by the rules laid down in 1828-1829. This is more than strange, as the next 14 years of Hahnemann's career were the most productive of his life, and in these years Hahnemann developed the Advanced Methods, as he was constantly searching for a way to improve in his methods.
There are six editions of the Organon. The Organon is the masterwork in which Samuel Hahnemann laid out both the theoretical framework and practical application of homeopathy, still employed today. The Advanced Methods of the 5th and 6th edition of the Organon are artistic methods that must be individualized to the patient, with no preconceived schedules or protocols. The homeopath needs to remain flexible and alert, as the daily dose may be correct in one case, while a dose a week or a month is sufficient for other cases. Just as the totality of the individual is important to each case, so is the individuality of remedy management of utmost importance to bringing a patient to cure.
As Hahnemann evolved in his methodology in the 5th and 6th edition of the Organon with putting the remedies in water, he found it to be gentler for the patient, and could almost entirely avoid the homeopathic aggravations for the patient associated with the 4th edition method of prescribing. He also found that liquid solutions had a stronger effect on the vital force (or chi) of the patient (this is the life force that is individual to each person, and this vital force works relentlessly to protect against negative influences/triggers that can cause dis-ease in the mind and body). Not only that, he discovered that the process of cure was speeded up so that it only took one-quarter or one-third as long.
Unfortunately, Hahnemann died while the manuscript of the 6th edition (which outlined the LM potency) was at the printer; and the manuscript was lost for nearly 100 years. It was discovered in an attic in Germany between the two World Wars. By the time the 6th edition became widely available, the practice of homeopathy was well-established. Homeopaths were reluctant to abandon the method they already knew. Thus the 6th edition with the LM potency* and method is still minimally unknown by many Homeopathic school and practitioners, except in India.
For further reading on LM potencies (in addition to the classic masterwork, the Organon itself) please see Dr. Luc's Human Condition Critical and Musculoskeletal
Rima Handley's A Homeopathic Love Story and In Search of the Later Hahnemann provide an excellent description of Hahnemann's later years and practice, of interest to the layperson and professional alike.
*LM and Q are the Roman numerals for the 1 in 50,000 dilution of the first step in the process of making these potencies.