What Is ‘Scientific Method’? How To Prove Homeopathy According To ‘Scientific Methods’?
My scientific explanation of homeopathy could be abstracted as follows:
“Homeopathy is a therapeutic method of curing diseases by using ‘molecular imprints’ of drug substances, which in ‘molecular forms’ could produce ‘symptoms’ similar to those presented by the patient. ‘Similarity’ of drug symptoms and disease symptoms indicate that the drug molecules and pathogenic molecules have ‘similar’ functional groups, by which they could bind to ‘similar’ biological molecules, produce ‘similar’ molecular inhibitions that caused ‘similar’ molecular pathology which are expressed through ‘similar’ subjective and objective ‘symptoms’. Molecular imprints of ‘similar’ drug molecules can act as artificial binding sites for ‘similar’ pathogenic molecules due to complementary configurational affinity, thereby deactivating them and relieving the biological molecules from pathological inhibitions, which amounts to ‘cure’. This the scientific meaning of Similia Similibus Curentur.”
This explanation has to be proved according to scientific methods, to make homeopathy a legitimate medical science.
While saying “homeopathy has to be proved according to scientific methods”, I never expected there could be any chance for misunderstanding regarding what I meant- I thought my argument was obvious.
But, when a very senior, learned homeopath friend of mine commented on my post that “trying to prove homeopathy with scientific methods, it is like trying to mate a donkey with a horse”, it was most bewildering to me.
Here is his full statement: “Homoeopathy acts definitely, but has to be proved not in the way like modern science- but by the principles of Homoeopathy. All modern methods do not follow principles. Every medical science has its own principle. Likewise, prove Homeopathy by its principles. Don’ t mate a donkey with a horse. Every Science has its principles to lead forth- as Ayurveda’s Vaat..Pith..Kafa. . Likewise Homeopathy. Prove it on its principles. It stands True.”
I tried to explain: “Sir, hope you do not confuse ‘modern science’ as ‘modern medicine’. By ‘scientific methods’, we do not mean ‘modern medicine’. ‘Scientific method’ is applicable to all fields of science- for homeopathy also. WE SHOULD, and WE CAN explain and prove homeopathy according to SCIENTIFIC METHODS. Only then it will become a legitimate medical science. If we want to make ayurveda a real scientific medicine, we should explain and prove its principles according to scientific method- not according to principles of ayurveda. To make homeopathy a real medical science, we have to explain and prove its principles according to scientific methods. There is no different science- only different medical systems. According to you, homeopathy should be ‘proved by its principles’. Prove ayurveda by its principles, prove homeopathy by its principles, prove drug transmission by their principles, prove astrology by their principles, prove mp3 homeopathy with their principles!!! Everything become science! Wonderful, sir.”
Then came the most bewildering question from my friend: “What is scientific method? Please tell me, what is scientific method? The moderns arer more mongrels?”
This question was a great revelation for me. I was so far talking to a person who has no any idea about what I mean by “scientific methods”! More shocking to me was the fact that he was a senior homeopath as well as a well known teacher of homeopathy! That means, there may be many people in the homeopathy community reading my articles, who do not understand the real meaning of ‘scientific methods’.
Many homeopaths confuse between ‘modern science’ and ‘modern medicine’. They see it as synonyms. When I say homeopathy should be ‘proved’ in terms of modern science’, they understand it as ‘prove in terms of modern medicine, or allopathy’. One homeopath even asked me “are you talking for homeopathy or allopathy?”
I now realize, I have to explain what is ‘scientific method’. I have to make it clear that ‘scientific method has nothing to do with modern medicines, except that they also explain and prove their principles and methods according to ‘scientific methods’. That is why modern medicine is also called ‘scientific medicine’. If we succeed in explaining and proving homeopathy according to scientific methods, it also will become ‘scientific medicine’. That is what I am trying for.
At this point, let me explain “what is scientific methods”, to answer my friend.
I am quoting extensively from WIKIPEDIA, to make it comprehensive and authoritative:
“Scientific method is a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. To be termed scientific, a method of inquiry must be based on empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. The Oxford English Dictionary says that scientific method is: ‘a method or procedure that has characterized natural science since the 17th century, consisting in systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses.’
The chief characteristic which distinguishes a scientific method of inquiry from other methods of acquiring knowledge is that scientists seek to let reality speak for itself, supporting a theory when a theory’s predictions are confirmed and challenging a theory when its predictions prove false. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methods of obtaining knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses via predictions which can be derived from them. These steps must be repeatable, to guard against mistake or confusion in any particular experimenter. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many independently derived hypotheses together in a coherent, supportive structure. Theories, in turn, may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context.
Scientific inquiry is generally intended to be as objective as possible in order to reduce biased interpretations of results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, giving them the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established (when data is sampled or compared to chance).
The overall process involves making conjectures (hypotheses), deriving predictions from them as logical consequences, and then carrying out experiments based on those predictions to determine whether the original conjecture was correct. There are difficulties in a formulaic statement of method, however. Though the scientific method is often presented as a fixed sequence of steps, they are better considered as general principles. Not all steps take place in every scientific inquiry (or to the same degree), and not always in the same order. As noted by William Whewell (1794–1866), “invention, sagacity, [and] genius” re required at every step:
Formulate a question: The question can refer to the explanation of a specific observation, as in “Why is the sky blue?”, but can also be open-ended, as in “Does sound travel faster in air than in water?” or “How can I design a drug to cure this particular disease?” This stage also involves looking up and evaluating previous evidence from other scientists, as well as considering one’s own experience. If the answer is already known, a different question that builds on the previous evidence can be posed. When applying the scientific method to scientific research, determining a good question can be very difficult and affects the final outcome of the investigation.
Hypothesis: An hypothesis is a conjecture, based on the knowledge obtained while formulating the question, that may explain the observed behavior of a part of our universe. The hypothesis might be very specific, e.g., Einstein’s prediction of the orbit of Mercury, or it might be broad, e.g., unknown species of life will be discovered in the unexplored depths of the oceans. A statistical hypothesis is a conjecture about some population. For example, the population might be people with a particular disease. The conjecture might be that a new drug will cure the disease in some of those people. Terms commonly associated with statistical hypotheses are null hypothesis and alternative hypothesis. A null hypothesis is the conjecture that the statistical hypothesis is false, e.g., that the new drug does nothing and that any cures are due to chance effects. Researchers normally want to show that the null hypothesis is false. The alternative hypothesis is the desired outcome, e.g., that the drug does better than chance. A final point: a scientific hypothesis must be falsifiable, meaning that one can identify a possible outcome of an experiment that conflicts with predictions deduced from the hypothesis; otherwise, it cannot be meaningfully tested.
Prediction: This step involves determining the logical consequences of the hypothesis. One or more predictions are then selected for further testing. The less likely that the prediction would be correct simply by coincidence, the stronger evidence it would be if the prediction were fulfilled; evidence is also stronger if the answer to the prediction is not already known, due to the effects of hindsight bias (see also postdiction). Ideally, the prediction must also distinguish the hypothesis from likely alternatives; if two hypotheses make the same prediction, observing the prediction to be correct is not evidence for either one over the other. (These statements about the relative strength of evidence can be mathematically derived using Bayes’ Theorem.)
Test: This is an investigation of whether the real world behaves as predicted by the hypothesis. Scientists (and other people) test hypotheses by conducting experiments. The purpose of an experiment is to determine whether observations of the real world agree with or conflict with the predictions derived from an hypothesis. If they agree, confidence in the hypothesis increases; otherwise, it decreases.
Agreement does not assure that the hypothesis is true; future experiments may reveal problems. Karl Popper advised scientists to try to falsify hypotheses, i.e., to search for and test those experiments that seem most doubtful. Large numbers of successful confirmations are not convincing if they arise from experiments that avoid risk.
Experiments should be designed to minimize possible errors, especially through the use of appropriate scientific controls. For example, tests of medical treatments are commonly run as double-blind tests. Test personnel, who might unwittingly reveal to test subjects which samples are the desired test drugs and which are placebos, are kept ignorant of which are which. Such hints can bias the responses of the test subjects. Failure of an experiment does not necessarily mean the hypothesis is false. Experiments always depend on several hypotheses, e.g., that the test equipment is working properly, and a failure may be a failure of one of the auxiliary hypotheses. (See the Duhem-Quine thesis.) Experiments can be conducted in a college lab, on a kitchen table, at CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, at the bottom of an ocean, on Mars (using one of the working rovers), and so on. Astronomers do experiments, searching for planets around distant stars. Finally, most individual experiments address highly specific topics for reasons of practicality. As a result, evidence about broader topics is usually accumulated gradually.
Analysis: This involves determining what the results of the experiment show and deciding on the next actions to take. The predictions of the hypothesis are compared to those of the null hypothesis, to determine which is better able to explain the data. In cases where an experiment is repeated many times, a statistical analysis such as a chi-squared test may be required. If the evidence has falsified the hypothesis, a new hypothesis is required; if the experiment supports the hypothesis but the evidence is not strong enough for high confidence, other predictions from the hypothesis must be tested. Once a hypothesis is strongly supported by evidence, a new question can be asked to provide further insight on the same topic. Evidence from other scientists and one’s own experience can be incorporated at any stage in the process. Many iterations may be required to gather sufficient evidence to answer a question with confidence, or to build up many answers to highly specific questions in order to answer a single broader question.
This model underlies the scientific revolution. The current method is based on a hypothetico-deductive model formulated in the 20th century, although it has undergone significant revision since first proposed”
“SCIENTIFIC METHOD” is defined very clearly with all its steps above. To make homeopathy a scientific medical system, we have to prove our principles according to that protocol. We must do it. I am confident, we can
Question, Hypothesis, Predictions, Testing, Analysis – These are essential general steps in ‘scientific method’.
In our case of proving my explanation of homeopathy,
Question: How Homeopathy Works?
Hypothesis: Molecular Imprints Therapeutics. Explained on this link https://dialecticalohmeopathy.wordpress.com/
1. Physical Structure of water-alcohol mixture will be different before and after potentization.
2. Chemical structure of water/ethyl alcohol mixture before and after potentization will be same.
3. Potentized drugs will antidote the biological effects of same drugs in crude forms.
4. Potentized drugs can participate in vitro biochemical interactions , which disproves ‘vital force theory’ of homeopathy
Tests: We have to prove the above ‘predictions’ through a series of scientific experiments. I have already devised a series of experimental tests to verify the above predictions, and am in the process of their execution. Once my initial experiments succeed in proving my predictions, I will have to repeat them under the supervisions of impartial experts and professional scientists. If the ‘predictions’ are proved right, MIT hypothesis is validated, and homeopathy is ‘scientifically proved’. In order to prove beyond any doubt, many ‘additional predictions’ will have to be formulated during the course, and appropriate experiments devised for testing them. It is a complex process.
Analysis of results and interpreting them to reach conclusions is the final stage of this process.
Hope, now it is clear what is actually meant when I say homeopathy should be explained in scientific terms, and proved in accordance with ‘scientific methods’ to make it a legitimate medical science. Let us keep confusions at rest!
1. A Scientific Study That Endorses The Concept Of ‘Molecular Imprinting’ Involved In Potentization:
Explanations of potentization in terms of molecular imprinting implies a supramolecular rearrangement of potentizing medium, resulting in the formation of nanostrutures called as molecular imprints. Obviously, any study that indicates such a supramolecular rearrangement could be considered as an evidence to endorse MIT concepts.
Tanmoy Maity (Department of Electrical Engineering, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, Jharkhand 826004, India), D. Ghosh & C.R. Mahata (Department of Electrical Engineering, Bengal Engineering and Science University, Shibpur, Howrah 711103, West Bengal, India) has published a research paper regarding Effect of dielectric dispersion on potentised homeopathic medicines, which I think is of immense implications in our understanding of active principles of our drugs as ‘molecular imprints’ or ‘hydrosomes’. This report is available on http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1475491609001258
This paper reports dielectric dispersion occurring in potentised homeopathic medicines subjected to variable frequency electric field using an instrumentation method developed by the authors. Oscillations occur in the direction of electric field, and are usually termed longitudinal/acoustic-mode vibrations.
The test material was lactose soaked with homeopathic medicine. Multiple resonance frequencies, forming a frequency-set, were observed repeatedly for each medicine.
The team reports experimental results for three potencies of Cuprum metallicum (Cuprum met) in the frequency range of 100 kHz–1 MHz. Each exhibits a set of resonance frequencies, which may be termed as its characteristic set. As the frequency-set of each medicine is different from those of others, each medicine may, therefore, be identified by its characteristic frequency-set. This suggests that potentised homeopathic medicines, which are chemically identical with the vehicle, differ from one another in the arrangement of vehicle molecules.
According to them, these “experiments show that potentised homeopathic medicines, which are chemically identical with the vehicle, differ from one another in the arrangement of vehicle molecules”.
“Difference in arrangement of vehicle molecules” strongly indicates the presence of “supra-molecular clusters of water and ethyl alcohol, into which the three-dimensional configuration of drug molecules are imprinted as nanocavities” as proposed by the hypotheses proposed by Dialectical Homeopathy.
The observation that “the resonance frequencies frequency-set of each medicine is different from those of others” strongly indicates clusters of water-ethyl alcohol molecules specifically rearranged in accordance with the shapes of constituent molecules of drug substance used for potentization.
Such a re-arrangement of vehicle molecules strongly indicates the process of ‘molecular imprinting’ happening during homeopathic potentization. Present work is a decisive step in the scientific understanding of homeopathy.
2. Study Indicates Potentized Drugs And Parent Drugs Behave Differently In Biological Interactions:
This question whether potentized drugs interact with biological molecules in a way different from their parent drugs is very important in the scientific understanding of molecular processes involved in homeopathic potentization and therapeutics. There are many homeopaths believing that during potentization, the medicinal properties of drugs are some way or other transferred to the potentizing medium, and hence potentized medicines can interact with human organism in the same way as the original drugs.
On the contrary, DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY proposes that potentization involves a process of ‘molecular imprinting’, in which the spacial configuration of drug molecules are imprinted into the medium as 3-D nano cavities, which can act as recognition sites towards original drug molecules or other molecules similar in configuration. As per this view, potentized medicines contain only ‘molecular imprints’ of drug molecules, which are complementary in configuration to the drug molecules. When applied for therapeutic purpose, these molecular imprints bind to the pathogenic molecules, and not to the biological targets.
In order to prove this concept, we have to experimentally prove that potentized medicines can not interact with biological molecules in the same way as original drug molecules used for potentization.
Here I am reproducing a previously published report regarding such an experiment already conducted by a team of eminent scientists in Germany five years back. It is published in “The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. May 2006, 12(4): 359-365. doi:10.1089/acm.2006.12.359”
The team conducted this experiment to verify whether potentized HgCl2 (Mercurius corrosivus) affect the activity of Diastase and α-Amylase in a way similar to crude form of HgCl2.
Research team consisted of: 1. Claudia M. Witt, M.D. Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany. 2. Michael Bluth, M.D. Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany. 3. Stephan Hinderlich, Ph.D. Institute for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany. 4. Henning Albrecht, Ph.D. Karl and Veronica Carstens-Foundation, Essen, Germany. 5. Rainer Lüdtke, M.Sc. Karl and Veronica Carstens-Foundation, Essen, Germany. 6. Thorolf E.R. Weisshuhn Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany. 7. Stefan N. Willich, M.D., M.P.H. Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economics, Charité University Medical Center, Berlin, Germany.
Their objective was to test for a stimulating or inhibiting effect of high potencies of the homeopathic remedy HgCl2 (Mercurius corrosivus) on two sugar hydrolases- (α-amylase from hog pancreas and diastase extract from winter barley)
High potencies of HgCl2 were produced using stepwise dilution plus shaking. Controls included potentized solvent (aqua bidestillata), equimolar dilutions without shaking, and enzyme-free references. Tested were potencies with dilution factors 1:200 (CC) on diastase extract from winter barley, and 1:100 (C) on α-amylase from hog pancreas. Enzyme activity was colorimetrically determined by Lugol’s iodine-starch reaction.
An inhibiting effect of HgCl2 on enzyme activities was observed only in low potencies and dilutions (which contained molecules of HgCl2). Statistically significant differences between potencies and controls were not found in randomized and blinded experiments.
This experimental design provided independent reproducible results of cell-free in vitro assays.However, it did not indicate an effect of potentized HgCl2 on hydrolases. The researchers conclusion was that demonstrating potency effects may require additional experimental features.
Reported experiments and the results they obtained may help us in designing and conducting further in vitro experiments to prove the hypothesis put forward by DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY regarding potentization.
HgCl2 is known in homeopathy as Merc Cor.
Crude HgCl2 is a known inhibitor of glucose hydrolases such as diastase and α-amylase.
Reported experiments show that similar to crude forms, lower dilutions of this compound also inhibits the hydrolyzing activity of those sugar hydrolase enzymes. Obviously, these lower dilutions contain molecules of HgCl2, and hence the inhibitory action on enzymes.
Same time, these experiments clearly showed that higher potencies of HgCl2 have no inhibitory action on those enzymes. That means, highly potentized HgCl2 cannot ‘mimic’ the original compound as expected by some theoreticians.
This finding, though considered by the researchers as a set back to their expectations, has serious implications in proving the concepts of DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY regarding potentization.
This experiment proves that through the potentization process, the properties of original drugs are not transferred to the potenizing medium in such a way so as to enable it to ‘mimic’ the original drugs.
We homeopaths know beyond any doubt that potentized HgCl2 or Merc Cor produces expected therapeutic effects when administered on the basis of principle of ‘similia similibus curentur’. That means, potentized HgCl2 contains some active principles having specific biochemical properties. Since the present experiments have shown that potentized HgCl2 cannot ‘mimic’ the biochemical properties of original compound, a logical and scientific explanation regarding the real molecular mechanism involved in potentization as well as therapeutic action becomes very much necessary.
Only possibility is ‘molecular imprinting’, as proposed by DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY.
Now, we have to repeat these in vitro experiment to verify whether higher potencies of HgCl2 can reactivate the enzymes already inhibited by lower potencies or crude forms of the same compound.
3. A Remarkable Study That Validates Concepts Of ‘Molecular Imprints Therapeutics”:
Here is a remarkable study regarding the variation in Fourier Transform Infrared Spectra of some homeopathic potencies and their diluent media, conducted by N.C.SUKUL, Ph.D., SUDESHNA GHOSH, M.Sc., A. SUKUL, Ph.D., and S.P. SINHABABU, Ph.D. It is published in THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE, Volume 11, Number 5, 2005, pp. 807–812. The report is available at this link: http://www.homeopathy.org/research/basic/acm-2005-11_11.pdf
Published report reads as follows: “The aim of this study was to determine whether potentized homeopathic drugs and their diluent media differ from each other with respect to their Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra. FTIR spectra of Nux vomica 30C, Lycopodium 30C, Santonin 30C, Cina 30C, Cina 206C, Cina 1006C, and their diluent media (90% ethanol and Ethanol) 30C were obtained in the wave number range of 2000–1000 cm_1 at 20°C. Potassium bromide powder soaked with the potencies, pressed into pellets, and air dried were used to measure the spectra. Because water structures in homeopathic potencies are thought to carry specific information on drug molecules and because O-H bending vibrational band (v2) exclusively belongs to water, the study was restricted to the bands in that wave number region. Alcohol has no absorption in the O-H bending region.
The potencies were found to differ from each other and their diluent media in the number of v2 bands, their wave number (cm_1), shape, and half-width (cm_1) of the bands.
The number and other characteristics of the v2 band represent the number of hydrogen-bonded water species and their hydrogen-bonding strength, respectively. The potencies and their diluent media therefore differ from each other in the number of hydrogen-bonded water species and their hydrogen-bonding strength. The observation that KBr pellets soaked with a potentized drug retains its specific spectral absorption properties simply confirms that medicated sucrose globules, used in homeopathic dispensing, are capable of retaining the therapeutic properties of the drug.
Drugs are prepared and stored in aqueous ethanol. Sucrose globules soaked with liquid potencies retain therapeutic properties of the drugs for a long time. Water also serves as a good medium but it does not keep the properties of a potency for long. It has been suggested that water structures in a potentized drug are responsible for carrying the information of drug molecules or particles present in the mother tincture. Ethanol molecules are thought to promote or to preserve water structures characteristic of a potentized drug.1A basic quality of a hydrogen-bonded solvent such as water is the hydrogen bond strength.
Physicochemical properties of the water in aqueous alcohol mixtures have been studied widely by such techniques as X-ray or light scattering, dielectric relaxation, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging et cetera. Among these methods, infrared (IR) spectroscopy is one of the most promising for the study of the distribution of hydrogen- bonding strengths of the water molecules in the mixtures because of the short time scale of measurements. There are two kinds of fundamental vibrations for molecules: (1) stretching, in which the distance between two atoms increase or decrease but the atom remains in the same bond axis; and (2) bending, in which the position of the atom changes relative to the original bond axis. Infrared radiation causes vibrational excitation of the molecular framework of a compound. In aqueous alcohol O-H stretching vibrational bands of water (v1 and v3) overlap the alcoholic O-H band. For this the IR spectra in the stretching region are of no use for studying hydrogen bonds of the water molecules in water/alcohol mixtures. In the region of bending vibrational band of water (v2), alcohols have no absorption bands. The purpose of the present work is to study v2 bands through Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy in 90% ethanol, Ethanol 30C, and some potentized drugs such as Nux vomica 30C, Lycopodium 30C, Santonin 30C, Cina 30C, Cina 206C, and Cina 1006C prepared in 90% ethanol. Conventionally vibrations are labeled in decreasing frequency within their symmetry type. The symmetric vibrations of H2O are labeled v1 for the highest fully symmetric frequency (3651.7 cm_1) and v2 for the next highest (1595.0 cm_1).7 FTIR spectroscopy provides simultaneous and almost instantaneous recording of the whole spectrum in the infrared region while minimizing background noise.
Nux vomica 30C, Lycopodium 30C, Santonin 30C, and Cina 30C were prepared by successive dilution (1:100 v/v) with 90% ethanol followed by succussion in 30 steps from the respective mother tinctures in this laboratory.8 Cina 200C and Cina 1000C, purchased from M. Bhattacharyya and Co. (Calcutta, India), were further diluted (1:100) and succussed with 90% ethanol in 6 more steps to prepare Cina206C and Cina 1006C. All of these potencies have the same absorbance (3.135) at 255 nm, showing similar concentrations of ethanol (90%). The purpose was to replace the manufacturer’s aqueous ethanol in Cina 200C and Cina 1000C with the ethanol in this laboratory so that the diluent medium (90% ethanol) of all the test potencies would be of the same quality. Ethanol was obtained from Bengal Chemical and Pharmaceuticals Ltd. (Calcutta, India). Sterile deionized and double-distilled water was added to absolute ethanol to prepare 90% ethanol, which served as the diluent medium of all potenties as well as the control.
FTIR spectra were measured at 20°C by a Jasco FTIR spectrometer (Jasco, model 420, Japan). The wave number resolution was 4 cm_1. Spectra were obtained in the wave number range of 2000–1000 cm_1. Potassium bromide powder (_150 mg) was soaked with 90% ethanol (_0.15 mL) or any of the six potencies tested. The drug-soaked powder was mixed thoroughly with a mortar and pestle, spread in thin film (1 mm deep) in a petri dish, and allowed to dry at 30°C (50% humidity). The powder was then pressed into small equal-sized pellets. The KBr pellets, which simulate sucrose globules soaked with a potency, were exposed to IR radiation in the spectrometer. Five pellets were prepared for each drug or the diluent medium, and the IR spectra measured.
Data were analyzed by one way analysis of variance. Different potencies and their diluent media (90% ethanol, Ethanol 30C) differ significantly (p _ 0.01) from each other with respect to the positions of bands in the wave number regions, their half-widths, and their absorption intensities except the wave numbers. ……..
Because all KBr pellets were prepared under similar conditions, it is quite unlikely that they have different amounts of water in them. In earlier work the present authors observed a marked variation in O-H bending vibration among 90% ethanol, Nux vom 30C (unsuccussed), and Nux vom 30C succussed.5 The results of the present study show that potentized drugs differ from each other and also from their diluent medium, 90% ethanol, in the number of v2 bands. The number of observed v2 bands should provide the number of water species with different hydrogen-bonding strengths.6 There may be a few more water species than those actually observed by v2 bands in the spectra. According to Mizuno (personal communication, June 2003), IR spectroscopy has superior power in that different water species are distinctive from each other, but it is very difficult to resolve the curve into components. Mizuno further observed that there was no linearity in the absorption intensities of different bands. Thus different potentized drugs have different water species with different hydrogen-bonding strengths. The v2 bands have different half-widths in different potencies. The broadening of v2 bands has been attributed to the distribution of hydrogen-bonding strengths and vibrational coupling.6 The v2 band of pure water has an unusually broad width of 82 cm_1 at half-maximum. The v2 band is found to be narrower with an increase in the alcohol concentration. The narrowing of the v2 band is considered to be caused by the weakening of the vibrational coupling as a result of dilution by the alcohol. The concentration of ethanol was the same (90%) in all the potencies tested. The variation in the half-width of the v2 band may thus be caused by influence of original molecules at the start of the dilution process and also by succussion. Previously the present authors observed that succussion caused blue shift of the v2 in Nux vomica 30C.In each column of Table 1 the band of different drugs showed either a blue or red shift. Blue shifts represent the formation of stronger hydrogen bonds among water molecules. This has also been confirmed by 1H-NMR studies. It has long been known in clinical practice that sucrose globules soaked with a liquid potentized drug retain all the therapeutic properties of the drugs. FTIR spectra of KBr pellets soaked with potentized drugs simply confirm the long-standing clinical observation.
Cowan et al. demonstrated that the three-dimensional structure of liquid water loses its memory of molecular arrangement through the H-bond network in about 50 fs. The work was based on O-H stretching vibrations of pure H2O. Pure water is not comparable to a homeopathic potency that is prepared by successive dilution and succession from a mother tincture and preserved in 90% ethanol. Ethanol molecules with large nonpolar parts can preserve or promote water structures specific to a homeopathic potency. The efficacy of a homeopathic potency prepared in pure water is very short-lived. An electrostatic component is usually the dominant force contributing to H-bonding. Succussion or any mechanical agitation would therefore make the H-bonding stronger in a homeopathic potency. In ethanol solution the sequential H-bond dissociation and reassociation occur between the same OH groups. In water the broken bonds probably reform to give the same H-bond. Dissociation is a rare event occurring only twice a day, that is, once for every 1016 times the H-bond breaks. Thus clusters can persist for much longer times. The relative proportions of different polymers of water preserved by ethanol are at dynamic equilibria of specific geometric configurations. It is assumed that this dynamic geometric configuration of water clusters in a collective way confers specificity on a potentized homeopathic drug. The homeopathic potencies used in the present study were prepared in 90% ethanol and soaked in KBr pellets. Here water structures were preserved by ethanol and their random.
Based on the study findings several conclusions can be drawn. First, in the FTIR spectra of aqueous alcohol mixtures O-H bending vibrational bands (v2) exclusively belong to water. Nux vomica 30C, Lycopodium 30C, Santonin 30C, Cina 30C, Cina 206C, and Cina 1006C differ from each other and also from their diluent medium, 90% ethanol, in the number of v2 bands, their wave-number (cm_1), their shape, and half-width (cm_1) in the FTIR spectra. Second, the number of v2 bands and other parameters of the same represent, respectively, the number of hydrogen-bonded species of water and their hydrogen bonding strengths. Thus the potencies and their diluent medium differ from each other with respect to the number of H-bonded water species and their H-bonding strengths. Third, KBr pellets soaked with potentized drug, such as medicated sucrose globules used in homeopathic dispensing, retain specific spectral properties of the drugs concerned. Finally, homeopathic potencies can be differentiated from each other by FTIR spectra with respect to the O-H bending vibrational band.”
This elaborate study rightly observes that the homeopathic potencies and their original diluent medium differ from each other with respect to the number of H-bonded water species and their H-bonding strengths.
Even though the authors could not understand the real process of “MOLECULAR IMPRINTING” involved in this phenomenon, their observation amply proves that the supra-molecular structure of potentized medicines differs from ethyl alcohol/water mixture, even though their chemical composition remained the same. That means, through the process of potentization, supra-molecular structure of ethyl alcohol/water mixture has undergone fundamental changes. Obviously, it is through these structural changes that the medicinal properties of drug molecules are transferred to the diluent medium.
This difference in the structure of potentized medicines from their original medium, the specificity of medicinal properties exhibited by potentized medicines, and the fact that potentized medicines exhibit medicinal properties just opposite to that of parent drugs can be satisfactorily explained only on the basis of “molecular imprinting’ as proposed by DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY.
4. Potentized Drugs Can Antidote The Biological Effects Of Crude Drugs- Experimental Evidences:
Can potentized drugs antidote or reverse the biological effects of crude forms of same drugs?
This question is of paramount importance when trying to prove the concepts of ‘molecular imprints’ proposed by Dialectical Homeopathy as part of scientific explanation for the molecular mechanism of homeopathic potentization and therapeutics.
Most homeopaths maintain that medicinal properties of crude drugs are transferred to the medium during potentization. They may call it ‘vibrations’, ‘electromagnetic signals’, ‘medicinal memory’, ‘dynamic power’ or anything like that. But all those theories are based on the concept that potentized medicines can ‘mimic’ the properties of parent drugs.
If potentized medicines were really ‘mimicking’ the medicinal properties of parent drugs, they should be able to produce similar biological effects. But it is seen from the previously discussed in vitro experiments that potentized medicines could not act the same way as parent drugs on biological molecules. Whereas the molecular forms of HgCl2 inhibited the sugar hydrolases, potentized HgCl2 was not able to produce such a result.
Next question we have to answer is whether potentized medicines can antidote the biological effects of parent drugs. According to the hypothesis put forward by DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY, potentized medicines contains ‘molecular imprints’ of constituent molecules of parent drugs. As such, these molecular imprints can act as artificial recognition sites for parent molecules, and bind to them, thereby preventing them from interacting with biological targets.
If this concept of ‘molecular imprint’ is correct, potentized medicines should be capable of antidoting or reversing of biological effects of their parent molecules. If we prove this point, it would be a big step in favor of ‘molecular imprinting’ concept put forward by DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY.
Here I am reproducing a report regarding such a successful experiment published in 2001. This historic experiment was conducted by a team consisting of Swapna S Datta, Palash P Mallick and Anisur AR Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh of Cytogenetics Laboratory, Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani-741 235, West Bengal, India and published online on 23 November 2001. Report may be read at this link: http://www.springerlink.com/content/b2t71744t426j5n4/
They proved through strictly controlled experiments that potentized homeopathic drug, Cadmium Sulphoricum, could reduce the genotoxic effects produced by cadmium chloride in mice. They used potentized Cadmium Sulph because they could not get homeopathic potencies of Cadmium Chloride. Since Cadium Sulph and Cadmium Chlor contains Cadmium, and Cadmium is the real genotoxic factor, such an experimental protocol is acceptable.
Through these experiments, the team could prove that both Cad Sulph-30 and 200 were able to combat cadmium induced genotoxic effects in mice. From the results of the reported investigation it is revealed that both Cad Sulph-30 and Cad Sulph-200 showed remarkable potential to reduce genotoxic effects produced by CdCl2. In the study the homeopathic drug apparently enhanced/activated the process of maintaining the structural integrity of chromosomes and sperm either protecting them from the destructive ability of CdCl2 in causing DNA damage or else, by enhancing the process of repair of DNA already damaged by activating specific enzyme systems to repair the damage. Even in the absence of a single original drug molecule both Cad Sulph-30 and 200 elicited spectacular ability of protection/repair to damaged chromosomes and sperm, a fact which would lead one to speculate that the drugs must have acted through the genetic regulatory mechanisms.
We have another relevant study conducted by a team consisting of Philippe Belon, Pathikrit Banerjee, Sandipan Chaki Choudhury, Antara Banerjee,Surjyo Jyoti Biswas, Susanta Roy Karmakar, Surajit Pathak, Bibhas Guha, Sagar Chatterjee, Nandini Bhattacharjee, Jayanta Kumar Das, and Anisur Rahman Khuda-Bukhsh of Boiron Lab, 20 rue de la Libėration, Sainte-Foy-Lės-Lyon, France, and Department of Zoology, University of Kalyani, Kalyani-741235, West Bengal, India , published on December 26, 2005. Complete report is available at this link: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1375236/
This team undertook a study to find out whether administration of potentized homeopathic remedy,Arsenicum Album, alter Antinuclear Antibody (ANA) Titer in people living in high-risk arsenic ontaminated areas.
To examine whether elevated antinuclear antibody (ANA) titers reported in random human population of arsenic contaminated villages can be reverted to the normal range by administration of a potentized homeopathic drug, Arsenicum album, randomly selected volunteers in two arsenic contaminated villages and one arsenic-free village in West Bengal (India) were periodically tested for their ANA titer as well as various blood parameters in two types of experiments: ‘placebo-controlled double blind’ experiment for shorter duration and ‘uncontrolled verum fed experiment’ for longer duration. Positive modulation of ANA titer was observed along with changes in certain relevant hematological parameters, namely total count of red blood cells and white blood cells, packed cell volume, hemoglobin content, erythrocyte sedimentation rate and blood sugar level, mostly within 2 months of drug administration.
Thus, potentized Arsenicum album was proved to have great potential for ameliorating arsenic induced elevated ANA titer and other hematological toxicities.
Both these controlled scientific studies have proved beyond doubt that potentized homeopathic medicines can antidote or reverse the biological effects of parent drugs.
In the absence of original drug molecules, how could the homeopathic potencies exhibit such an action? The theory that potentized medicines ‘mimic’ the parent drugs is obviously disproved through these experiments. Only logical explanation we can provide for this phenomenon is the ‘molecular imprints’ of parent drug molecules being the active principles of potentized medicines. ‘Molecular imprints’ can specifically bind to the parent molecules, and thereby antidote or reverse the biological properties of parent molecules.
INDIRECTLY, THESE STUDIES STRONGLY SUPPORT IN PROVING THE “MOLECULAR IMPRINTING” HYPOTHESIS PROPOSED BY DIALECTICAL HOMEOPATHY REGARDING MOLECULAR MECHANISM OF POTENTIZATION AND HOMEOPATHIC THERAPEUTICS.
5. Potentized drugs can participate in vitro biochemical interactions , which disproves ‘vital force theory’ of homeopathy:
A recent study published in the February 2010 issue of the International Journal of Oncology has documented that homeopathic remedies applied to breast cancer cells caused significant cell death, while resulting in nearly indiscernible harm to normal breast cells. The study, done by the respected MD Anderson Cancer Center, was entitled, ‘Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells’. (“Cytotoxic effects of ultra-diluted remedies on breast cancer cells”; Frenkel et al, International .Journal of Oncology, 36: 395-403, 2010)
“This reported study was done same way as any new chemotherapeutic drugs are tested. The researchers proved that homeopathic remedies have similar effects to chemotherapy on breast cancer cells but without affecting normal cells. This is the first study that evaluated the effect of homeopathic remedies on breast cancer cells using same methodology used for chemotherapeutic drugs”.
“Modern automated equipment was used to test the effects of four homeopathic remedies on two adenocarcinoma cell lines. Controls of normal breast cells and cells treated only with solvent were done”.
“Cell lines were cultured and treated with solvent or solvent with one of four remedies added: Carcinosin 30C, Conium maculatum 3C, Phytolacca decandra 200C, and Thuja occidentalis 30C”.
“The results were remarkable. The viability of cells treated only with solvent were inhibited, on average, by 20-30% in the three cell lines, to a maximum of 35% at the longest exposures. All four remedies further inhibited viability in the two breast cancer cell lines, but did not show a significant reduction in the normal cell lines. The amount varied by cell line, remedy, concentration of remedy, and time. One of the cancer cell lines was less viable in the face of homeopathic remedies than the other.”
“The two most effective remedies on these cell lines were Carcinosin and Phytolacca. At 5µl/ml, they reduced viability in one cancer cell line at 48 & 72 hours by 50-65%, and at 10µl/ml, viability was reduced by 65-70%. In the other cancer cell line at the same times, 5µl/ml concentrations reduced viability by 60-75% and at 10µl/mo, viability was reduced by 70-80%. The maximum viability reduction by solvent alone in the two cancer cell lines was 30-35%.”
“The effects of all the remedies on the normal cell line were nearly indistinguishable from the solvent’s effect, which showed potentized drugs has no action upon normal cells.”
Let us examine the implications of this scientific study on homeopathic theory and practice from a different angle:
In my opinion, this scientific study has following implications upon homeopathy:
First of all, this study proved the efficacy of potentized homeopathic drugs on cultured samples of cancer cells, thereby providing a fitting answer to the distracters of homeopathy who argue that potentized drugs have only placebo effect.
This study done by Frenkel and his team provides compelling evidence that homeopathic remedies have an impact on living cells, and may indicate an ability to distinguish between healthy and diseased tissues. It doesn’t demonstrate how homeopathic remedies work, though it does provide some evidence for cellular changes they produce in some cancerous cells.
At the very least, Frenkel’s team has shown that homeopathy and its remedies work without any role of ‘placebo effect’ as some people wrongly allege. Nobody can say ‘placebo’ can work on biological molecules outside the organism.
Secondly, even though my inference may not be acceptable to ‘classical homeopaths’, this study scientifically disproves the homeopathic theory regarding mode of action of potentized drugs, and role of ‘vital force’ in the action of potentized drugs.
Most homeopaths maintain that the ‘dynamic medicinal energy’ of potentized drugs act upon the organism through ‘nerve signals’, which is proved incorrect through this study, since ‘cancer cell cultures’ used for here do not contain nerve cells.
According to ‘classical homeopaths’, ‘dynamic drug energy’ acts up on ‘vital force’, which cures the disease first at ‘mental level’. It is believed that the ‘mind’ in turn cures the disease in the ‘physical body’. There is no ‘mind’ or ‘vital force’ present in cell cultures, and as such, this study totally disproves the whole theory of ‘vital force’ in the homeopathic drug action.
According to ‘classical homeopathy, disease and cure takes place only at the level of ‘vital force’, which is an ‘immaterial’, ‘spirit like’ force animating the living organism. According to this theory, potentized drugs should act only up on the living organism as a whole, animated by ‘vital force’ and having ‘mind’ and ‘nerve tissue’. .
The present study is not conducted on living individuals, but in vitro cell cultures, same way as modern chemotherapeutic drugs are tested. Cell cultures do not contain nerve cells, mind or vital force, which totally disproves the theory of vital force, nerves and mind as factors in homeopathic therapeutic process
Thirdly, this study has documented that homeopathic remedies applied to breast cancer cells caused significant cell death, while resulting in no harm to normal breast cells. That shows potentized homeopathic drugs have no action upon healthy cells, which disproves the theory that homeopathic drugs used without indications may harm the organism.
Lastly, since this in vitro study was conducted in the same way as modern chemotherapeutic drugs, it clearly proves that potentized drugs act on biological molecules through a mechanism similar to the action of modern drugs. That means, we have to explain the dynamics of homeopathic therapeutics in accordance with the principles of modern biochemistry and molecular medicine.
I think this study is a decisive step in the scientific understanding of homeopathy.
6. Jacques Benveniste Failed To Understand Phenomenon Of ‘Water Memory’ In Terms Of ‘Molecular Imprinting’:
Jacques Benveniste(1935–2004), who was a famous French immunologist, published a research paper in Nature magazine in the year 1988. This paper and the subsequent controversies which shook the world of science, were incidents which roused great interest as far as Homoeopathy was concerned. It was through this article that the idea of ‘molecular memory of water’ became a subject of discussion in the world of science. But an infuential section of scientists took a stand that ideas put forward by Benveniste were nothing but nonsense. Heated controversies followed, which have not subsided yet, even after 22 years. The accusation raised by his enemies was that Benveniste could not prove his arguments in the controlled experiments overseenby experts appointed by Nature. Benvenistse had later put onrecord that he was a made a scape goat, and subjected to inhuman revenge and character assassination from the part of reperesentatives of official science.
In his original paper, Beneveniste claimed that he could observe in his experiments that human basophil degranulation can be triggered by very dilute aqueous solutions of anti- IgE antiserum. Using the molecular weight of immunoglobulins and Avogadro’s number, he calculated that less than one molecule of antibody is present in the assay when anti-IgE antiserum is diluted to 1 x 1014(corresponding to 2.2 x 10-20 M). But in the experiments he reported, he could detect significant basophil degranulation down to the 1x l0120 dilution. Specific effects have also been triggered by highly diluted agents in other in vitro and in vivo biological systems, but he consented that it still remained unexplained. He pointed to the possibility of biological effects in the physical absence of molecules. He argued that the entities supporting this ‘metamolecular’ biology can only be explored by physical investigation of agitation causing interaction between the original molecules and water, thus yielding activity capable of specifically imitating the native molecules,though any such hypothesis is unsubstantiated at present.
He suspected that the molecular memory of the antibodies which was imprinted in water during dilution is responsible for this peculiar phenomenon. But the sad part of this story is that he failed to prove his arguments in the repeated experiments which were conducted in an atmosphere of absolute hostility, under the supervision of experts who were inimical to him, whose sole aim was to disprove him.
If we carefully examine the history of Benevenite’s failure, we would understand that it was not his basic propositions that failed, but the experiments he was subjected to, in order to to prove his arguements. Firstly, his argument that the drugs so diluted to the extend of making it impossible to contain a single molecule,can interfere in biological processes exactly mimicking the basic drug substance was a little exagerated interpretation of results of his original experiments. This inaccurate interpretation of the phenomena he observed, led him to agree to subject himself to inappropriate experiments, that were obviously designed to defeat him. He failed to observe that the molecular memory of the drug substances is imprinted into water in a negative direction, in complementary configuration. Put in another way, drug molecules will be imprinted in water not as exact configurational duplicates, but as negative complements, and hence, they cannot mimic the original drug molecules in biological processes.
Failure to understand this phenomenon was a great mistake, that cost heavy to him. His conclusion that the molecular imprinted water interferes in biochemical processes exactly like the original drug molecules proved to be immature. He failed to comprehend the exact mechanism of molecular imprinting in water, and design the experiments accordingly. Had he understood the real mechanism of molecular imprinting, he would have studied about the unsteady behaviour of hydration shells in water, and taken necessary precautions, before subjecting himself to a controlled experiment. He could have devised some techniques to ensure the stability of hydration shells, such as using alcohol-water mixture instead of pure water, as done in homoeopathic potentization.
Please note, he tried to explain it as ‘molecular memory’ that can mimick the original molecules. Molecular imprints never can ‘mimic’ original molecules. They can only bind to original molecules and deactivate them.
If drug molecules are ‘keys’, ‘mimics’ would act as ‘duplicate keys’. But ‘molecular imprints’ act as ‘artificial keyholes’ for those ‘keys’ and ‘similar ‘ keys. This point is very important. If we forget this point, we cannot explain ‘molecular imprints’ or ‘similia similibus curentur’.
If beneviste could have perceived the concept of ‘molecular imprints’ acting as not as ‘duplicate keys’ but as ‘artificial keyholes’, he would have designed his experiments accordingly, so that he can prove that ‘molecular imprints’ can ‘antidote’ or ‘deactivate’ original molecules, thereby preventing them from interacting with biological molecules.
Since ‘anti- IgE antiserum’ contains natural ligands of enzymes involved in human basophil de-granulation, ‘molecular imprints’ of anti- IgE antiserum cannot be prevent their natural interaction. We should not forget that ‘molecular imprints’ cannot interfere in the interaction between biological targets and their natural ligands. In the absence of this understanding, the experiments of beneveniste were wrongly designed, and were inevitably bound to fail.
‘Molecular imprints’ can prevent only ‘off-target’ actions of biological ligands. For example, we use potentized thyroid extract, which contain molecular imprints of various thyroid hormones having specific roles in metabolism. Potentized thyroidinum never interferes in the natural biological actions of thyroid hormones. But those molecular imprints can rectify the pathological conditions caused by ‘off-target’ bindings of thyroid hormones, especially in situations of hyperthyroidism. This is applicable to all potentized hormone remedies. They never interfere in normal biological actions of those hormones.
Reason behind this phenomenon is related with the dynamics of molecular interactions. Interactions between natural targets and their ligands involves two factors: configurational affinity and charge affinity. But interactions of ‘molecular imprints’ and their ‘ligands’ involves ‘configurational affinity’ only, without any charge affinity.
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