Q. I am familiar with microgram (mcg) and milligram (mg) doses but what do the numbers and letters (Cs, and Xs) after the names of homeopathic remedies mean?
A: Micrograms (mcg) and milligrams (mg) measure the weight of active and inactive ingredients of medicines, supplements and herbs.
Homeopathy is an energetic system of medicine. As energy can’t be measured by weight, homeopathy uses the nomenclature of ‘potency’.
This is represented by the letters and numbers that follow a remedy’s name, providing dilution and potency information about it.
The dilution ratio is shown by the Roman numerals of X (meaning 10) or C (meaning 100).
- X indicates that the remedy has been diluted to a ratio of one part in ten (1:10).
- C indicates the remedy has been diluted to a ratio of one part in a hundred (1:100).
The number beside each Roman numeral shows how many times that remedy has been diluted, or its potency. That means:
- A 12X remedy has been diluted one part in ten, twelve times.
- A 30C remedy has been diluted one part to a hundred, thirty times. (By the time a remedy has been through 12 stages of dilution, not even a molecule of the original ingredient is left.)
While this nomenclature is useful for showing dilutions and ratios, it doesn’t show the vigorous agitation (succussion) given to the liquid between each stage of dilution.
Without this succussion, the remedy would just be an inert bottle of water.
With succussion it becomes a highly effective, potentised remedy capable of stimulating and strengthening a healing response from the body.
More information about potentisation and potency scales be found at: