Similarity Of ‘Functional Groups’ Of Drug Molecules And Pathogenic Molecules Determines ‘Similimum”
To understand the real science behind the phenomena of ‘similia similibus curentur’, ‘drug proving’ and ‘potentization’, we should study drug substances in terms of not only their ‘constituent molecules’, but in terms of ‘functional groups’ and ‘moieties’ of those drug molecules. A drug substance is composed of diverse types of drug molecules. A drug molecule interacts with ‘active groups’ of biological target molecules such as enzymes and receptors using their ‘functional groups’ or ‘moieties’. It is the ‘functional groups’ and ‘moieties’ on the individual drug molecules that decide to which biological molecules they can bind to and produce molecular inhibitions. Different drug molecules with different size and structures, but having same ‘functional group’ or ‘moiety’ can bind to same biological molecules and produce similar molecular errors and similar groups of symptoms. A drug molecule become similimum to a disease when the drug molecule and disease-producing molecule have same functional groups, so that they could bind to same biological targets producing same molecular errors and same symptom groups.
Drug molecules act upon the biological molecules in the organism by binding their ‘functional groups’ to the active groups on the complex biological molecules such as receptors and enzymes. These molecular interactions are determined by the affinity between functional groups or moieties of drug molecules and active sites of biological molecules. Here, the functional groups of drug molecules are called ‘ligands’, and the biological molecules are called ‘targets’. Ligand-target interaction is determined by a peculiar ‘key-lock’ relationship due to complementary configurational affinities.
It is to be specifically noted that same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reactions regardless of the size or configuration of of the molecule it is a part of. However, its relative reactivity can be modified by nearby functional groups known as facilitating groups. That means, different types of drug molecules or pathogenic molecules having same functional groups and facilitating groups can bind to same biological molecules, and produce similar molecular inhibitions and symptoms. Homeopathic principle of ‘similimum’ is well explained by this understanding. If a drug molecule can produce symptoms similar to symptoms of a particular disease, it means that the drug molecules and disease-causing molecules have same functional groups on them, by which they bind to same biological molecules. Obviously, similarity of symptoms means similarity of functional groups of pathogenic molecules and drug molecules. To be similimum, the whole molecules need not be similar, but similarity of functional groups is enough.
Potentized drugs would contain the molecular imprints of drug molecules, along with molecular imprints of their functional groups. These molecular imprints will have specific configurational affinity towards any molecule having same functional groups, and can bind and deactivate them.
According to the scientific definition proposed by Dialectical Homeopathy, ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’ means:
“If a drug substance in crude form is capable of producing certain groups of symptoms in a healthy human organism, that drug substance in potentized form can cure diseases having similar symptoms”.
Potentization is explained in terms of molecular imprinting. As per this concept, potentized drugs contains diverse types of molecular imprints representing diverse types of constituent molecules contained in the drug substances used for potentization.
In other words, “potentized drugs can cure diseases having symptoms similar to those produced by that drug in healthy organism if applied in crude forms”.
Homeopathy is based on the therapeutic principle of ‘similia similibus curentur’, which scientifically means “endogenous or exogenous pathogenic molecules that cause diseases by binding to the biological molecules can be entrapped and removed using molecular imprints of drug molecules which in molecular form can bind to the same biological molecules, utilizing the complementary configurational affinity between molecular imprints and pathogenic molecules”.
So far, we understood ‘Similia Similibus Curentur’ as ‘similarity of symptoms produced by drugs as well as diseases’. According to modern scientific understanding, we can explain it as ‘similarity of molecular errors produced by drug molecules and pathogenic molecules’ in the organism.
To be more exact, that means ‘similarity of molecular configurations of pathogenic molecules and drug molecules’. Potentized drugs contains ‘molecular imprints’ of constituent molecules of drug used for potentization. ‘Molecular imprints’ are three-dimensional negatives of molecules, and hence they would have a peculiar affinity towards those molecules, due to their complementary configuration. ‘Molecular imprints’ would show this complementary affinity not only towards the molecules used for imprinting, but also towards all molecules that have configurations similar to those molecules. Homeopathy utilizes this phenomenon, and uses molecular imprints of drug molecules to bind and entrap pathogenic molecules having configurations similar to them. Similarity of configurations of drug molecules and pathogenic molecules are identified by evaluating the ‘similarity of symptoms’ they produce in organism during drug proving and disease. This realization is the the basis of scientific understanding of homeopathy I propose.
To be ‘similar’ does not mean pathological molecule and drug molecules should be similar in their ‘whole’ molecular structure. To bind to same targets, similarity of ‘functional groups’ or even a ‘moeity’ is enough. If the adjacent groups that facilitate binding with targets are also same, similarity becomes more perfect. If a drug molecule could produce symptoms similar to a disease, that means the drug molecules contains some functional groups simialr to those of pathogenic molecules that caused the disease. By virtue of these similar functional groups, both pathogenic molecules and drug molecules could bind to same biological targets, producing similar molecular errors and symptoms in the organism.
Molecular imprints of similar functional groups will also be similar. As such, potentized forms of a drug substance can bind and deactivate the pathogenic molecules having similar functional groups. This is the real molecular mechanism of ‘similia similibus curentur’.
Except those substances of simple chemical formula belonging to mineral groups, most of the pathogenic agents as well as drug substances consist of complex organic molecules. In the study of chemical interactions involving these organic molecules, understanding the concept of ‘functional groups’ is very important. ‘Functional groups’ are specific groups of atoms within large organic molecules that are responsible for their characteristic chemical reactions. Different organic molecules having same functional group will undergo the same or similar chemical reactions regardless of the size of the molecule it is a part of. However, its relative reactivity can be modified or influenced to an extent by nearby functional groups.
Even though the word moiety is often used synonymously to “functional group”, according to the IUPAC definition,a moiety is a part of a molecule that may include either whole functional groups or a parts of functional groups as substructures.
The atoms of functional groups are linked to each other and to the rest of the molecule by covalent bonds. When the group of covalently bound atoms bears a net charge, the group is referred to more properly as a polyatomic ion or a complex ion. Any subgroup of atoms of a compound also may be called a radical, and if a covalent bond is broken homolytically, the resulting fragment radicals are referred as free radicals.
Organic reactions are facilitated and controlled by the functional groups of the reactants.
A ‘moeity’ represents discrete non-bonded components. Thus, Na2SO4 would contain 3 moieties (2 Na+ and one SO42-). A “chemical formula moiety” is defined as “formula with each discrete bonded residue or ion shown as a separate moiety”.
We should learn different types of ‘functional groups’ and ‘moieties’ of constituent molecules of our drug substances, as well as diverse types of pathogenic molecules. We have to study our materia medica from this viewpoint, comparing symptoms of different drug molecules having same functional moieties. Then we can logically explain the phenomenon of ‘drug relationships’. We can explain the similarity of drugs belonging to different groups such as ‘calcarea’, ‘merc’, ‘kali’, ‘acid’, ‘sulph’, ‘mur’ etc. Such an approach will make our understanding of homeopathy more scientific and accurate.
The following is a list of common functional groups.
Functional Groups containing Hydrocarbons:
Functional groups, called hydrocarbyls, that contain only carbon and hydrogen, but vary in the number and order of π bonds. Each one differs in type (and scope) of reactivity.
Alkyl ( Ethane), Alkenyl ( Ethylene) , Alkynyl (Acetylene), Phenyl (Cumene), Benzyl (Benzyl bromide).
Hydrocarbons may form charged structures: positively charged carbocations or negative carbanions. Carbocations are often named -um. Examples are tropylium and triphenylmethyl cations and the cyclopentadienyl anion.
Functional Groups containing halogens:
Halo ( Chloroethane), fluoro (Fluoromethane), chloro (Chloromethane), bromo (Bromomethane), iodo (Iodomethane).
Haloalkanes are a class of molecule that is defined by a carbon-halogen bond. This bond can be relatively weak (in the case of an iodoalkane) or quite stable (as in the case of a fluoroalkane). In general, with the exception of fluorinated compounds, haloalkanes readily undergo nucleophilic substitution reactions or elimination reactions. The substitution on the carbon, the acidity of an adjacent proton, the solvent conditions, etc. all can influence the outcome of the reactivity.
Functional Groups containing oxygen:
Hydroxyl (Methanol), Carbonyl (Butanone), Aldehyde (Acetaldehyde), Haloformyl (Acetyl chloride), Carbonate ester (Triphosgene), Carboxylate (Sodium acetate), Carboxyl (Acetic acid), Ester (Ethyl butyrate), Methoxy, Hydroperoxy (Methyl ethyl ketone peroxide), Peroxy (Di-tert-butyl peroxide), Ether (Diethyl ether), Hemiacetal, Hemiketal, Acetal, Ketal , Orthoester, Orthocarbonate ester.
Compounds that contain C-O bonds each possess differing reactivity based upon the location and hybridization of the C-O bond, owing to the electron-withdrawing effect of sp hybridized oxygen (carbonyl groups) and the donating effects of sp2 hybridized oxygen (alcohol groups).
Functional Groups containing nitrogen:
Compounds that contain nitrogen in this category may contain C-O bonds, such as in the case of amides.
Carboxamide (Acetamide), Primary amine (Methylamine), Secondary amine (Dimethylamine), Tertiary amine (Trimethylamine), 4° ammonium ion (Choline), Primary ketimine, Secondary ketimine, Primary aldimine, Secondary aldimine, Imide (Succinimide), Azide (Phenyl azide), Azo (Methyl orange), Cyanate (Methyl cyanate), Isocyanate (Methyl isocyanate), Nitrate (Amyl nitrate), Nitrile (Benzonitrile), Isonitrile (Methyl isocyanide), Nitrosooxy (Isoamyl nitrite), Nitro (Nitromethane), Nitroso (Nitrosobenzene), Pyridyl (Nicotine).
Functional Groups containing sulphur:
Sulfhydryl (Ethanethiol), Sulfide (Dimethyl sulfide), Disulfide (Dimethyl disulfide), Sulfinyl (Dimethyl sulfoxide), Sulfonyl (Dimethyl sulfone ), Sulfino (2-Aminoethanesulfinic acid), Sulfo (Benzenesulfonic acid), Thiocyanate (Phenyl thiocyanate), Isothiocyanate (Allyl isothiocyanate), Carbonothioyl (Diphenylmethanethione), Carbonothioyl.
Compounds that contain sulfur exhibit unique chemistry due to their ability to form more bonds than oxygen, their lighter analogue on the periodic table. Substitutive nomenclature (marked as prefix in table) is preferred over functional class nomenclature (marked as suffix in table) for sulfides, disulfides, sulfoxides and sulfones.
Groups containing phosphorus:
Phosphino (Methylpropylphosphane), Phosphono (Benzylphosphonic acid), Phosphate (Glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate), Phosphodiester (O‑[(2‑Guanidinoethoxy)hydroxyphosphoryl]‑l‑serine).
Compounds that contain phosphorus exhibit unique chemistry due to their ability to form more bonds than nitrogen, their lighter analogues on the periodic table.
Groups containing boron:
Borono, Boronate, Borino, Borinate.
Compounds containing boron exhibit unique chemistry due to their having partially filled octets and therefore acting as Lewis acids..
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