‘Homeopathy Is Nanomedicine’- An Irrational Claim That Contradicts Verified Scientific Knowledge System
Some homeopaths try to appear ‘scientific’, by claiming homeopathy is nanomedicie. This trend has become somewhat like a fashion after the publication of IIT -B research which claims detection of ‘nanoparticles’ in potentized drugs. A lot of new imaginative theories are being proposed, which try to present wonderful ‘models’ for mechanism of action of potentized drugs on the basis of nanoparticle theory. All these new theories accept as their foundation the much publicized claim of IIT team that they have ‘proved’ that potentized drugs contain nanoparticles of source materials even in high dilutions. I would request every body concerned to carefully examine the IIT team’s work and interpretations with a rational and logical mindset, before trying to build ‘models’ based on that ‘invention’. For my critical evaluation of IIT scientists’ proposals, kindly go to: http://dialecticalhomeopathy.com/2011/09/25/did-the-nano-particle-theory-anyway-explain-similia-similibus-curentur/
We should understand, homeopathy will not become more scientific, merely by sprinkling some terms like ‘nanoparticles’. Same time, when saying homeopathy is nanomedicine, one is bound to logically explain how potentized drugs become ‘nano’ drugs even in dilutions much above avogadro lmit, and molecular mechanism of how that nanoparticles act as therapeutic agents according to similia similibus curentur. We should remember, all homeopathic medicines are not prepared from simple “metallic elements”, but complex drugs of vegetable, mineral and animal origin containing highly complex molecules, not only ‘metalic elements”. We will have to explain how “nano-particles” of ‘metal elements’ contained in these complex drug molecules mimic the highly complex molecular level properties of those very large molecules.
“In its scientific meaning, Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology. Nanomedicine ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials, to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology. Current problems for nanomedicine involve understanding the issues related to toxicity and environmental impact of nanoscale materials. One nanometer is one-millionth of a millimeter.”
While claiming potentized medicine is nanomedicine, we have to consider certain fundamental facts related with number of molecules, avogadro number and dilutions, and examine whether there is any chance for presence of even a single molecule of drug substance in high potency drugs.
Avogadro constant is a fixed number that helps us to calculate the number of atoms or molecules contained in a given amount of substance.
In chemistry and physics, the Avogadro constant is defined as the ratio of the number of constituent particles (usually atoms or molecules) in a sample to the amount of substance (unit mole). Thus, it is the proportionality factor that relates the molar mass of an entity, i.e., the mass per amount of substance, to the mass of said entity. The Avogadro constant expresses the number of elementary entities per mole of substance and it has the value 6.022141×10*23
Molar mass constant is a fixed number- 1.
The molar mass of atoms of an element is given by the atomic weight of the element multiplied by the molar mass constant
H = 1.007 97(7) × 1 g/mol = 1.007 97(7) g/mol
S = 32.065(5) × 1 g/mol = 32.065(5) g/mol
Cl = 35.453(2) × 1 g/mol = 35.453(2) g/mol
Fe = 55.845(2) × 1 g/mol = 55.845(2) g/mol.
Some elements are usually encountered as molecules, e.g. hydrogen (H2), sulfur (S8), chlorine (Cl2). The molar mass of molecules of these elements is the molar mass of the atoms multiplied by the number of atoms in each molecule:
H2 = 2 × 1.007 97(7) × 1 g/mol = 2.015 88(14) g/mol
S8 = 8 × 32.065(5) × 1 g/mol = 256.52(4) g/mol
Cl2 = 2 × 35.453(2) × 1 g/mol = 70.906(4) g/mol.
The molar mass of a compound is given by the sum of the standard atomic weights of the atoms which form the compound multiplied by the molar mass constant:
NaCl = [22.989 769 28(2) + 35.453(2)] × 1 g/mol = 58.443(2) g/mol
Approximately, Atomic weight of hydrogen is 1, and a molecule of hydrogen contains 2 atoms. Molar mass of hydrogen is 2 gm/mol. As such, 2 grams of hydrogen will contain 602214000000000000000000 molecules of hydrogen.
Atomic weight of oxygen is 16. A molecules contains 2 atoms. Molar mass of oxygen is 32 gm/mol. That means, 32 grams of oxygen will contain 602214000000000000000000 molecules of oxygen.
Atomic weight of sulphur is 32, and a molecule is formed by 8 atoms. Molar mass of sulphur is 256 gm/mol. 256 gms of sulphur contains 602214000000000000000000 mlecules of sulphur
Molar mass of water is 18 gm/mol. That means, 18 grams of water contains 602214000000000000000000 H2O molecules.
Let us consider what happens during serial dilution of SULPHUR.
If SULPHUR Q is prepared by adding 1 gm f sulphur to 100 ml of solvent, it will contain 1/256 gm mol of sulphur. That means, 1oo ml of tincture contains 602214000000000000000000/256 molecules of sulphur. It will be 23523984375000 molecules.
Since 1 ml of tincture is added to 99 ml solvent to prepare first potency, it contains 23523984375000/100 or 235239843750molecules.
Since each stage of dilution is at the rate of 1:100,
100 ml of 2c contains 2352398437.5
100 ml f 3c contains 23523984.38
100 ml of 3c contains 235239.84
100 ml of 4c contains 2352.4
100 ml of 5c contains 23.52
100ml f 6c contains 2.4
100 ml of 7c contains 0.02
Since molecules cannot exist as fractions, there is no chance for 100 ml of 7c dilution to contain even a single molecule of SULPHUR.
Remember, to prepare 30 c, we have to dilute this 7c preparation 23 more stages in 1:100 ratio. That means, it is a 1:10000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 dilution of 7c.
How can anybody with sane mind can imagine ‘nanoparticles’ of sulphur to be present in a 30c potency? Actually, nanoparticles are not molecules, but larger aggregations of molecules.
We were considering 100 ml. Homeopaths use doses much below 1 drop or fractions of a drop. Even if there was a few nanoparticles in 100ml, how can it be distributed evenly in each drop and fractions of drop? What is the magic you imagine to happen?
When declaring ‘nanoparticles are the active principles of potentized drugs,’, why not these people realize they are talking utter nonsense?
If anybody ‘detected’ nanoparticles of ‘starting material’ in samples of 30c and 200c, it only proves the samples were not genuine high potencies as they are deemed to be. Otherwise, ‘molecules’ will have to ‘multiply’ indefinitely during potentization! I fear proponents of nanoparticle theory may come with such a ‘molecular multiplication’ theory to prove that ‘avogadro law is not applicable’ to homeopathic dilutions!
More over ‘nanoparticle theory’ has to be examined from another angle. When we claim homeopathy is nanomedicine, we are actually putting homeopathy under a great risk. Nanoparticles are a subject of much concern for scientific community, since it raises serious questions of nanotoxicity. If we say our drugs contain nanoparticles, it would be easy for our antagonists to attack us from the angle of nanotoxicity. If homeopathy is admitted to be nanomedicine, we can no longer claim it is ‘safe medicine’. In such a context, our drugs will have to be subjected to rigorous nanotoxicity studies and licensing system.
Let me quote from Wikipedia on Nanotoxicity:
“Nanomaterials, even when made of inert elements like gold, become highly active at nanometer dimensions. Nanotoxicological studies are intended to determine whether and to what extent these properties may pose a threat to the environment and to human beings. For instance, Diesel nanoparticles have been found to damage the cardiovascular system in a mouse model.
Calls for tighter regulation of nanotechnology have arisen alongside a growing debate related to the human health and safety risks associated with nanotechnology.
The smaller a particle is, the greater its surface area to volume ratio and the higher its chemical reactivity and biological activity. The greater chemical reactivity of nanomaterials results in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), including free radicals. ROS production has been found in a diverse range of nanomaterials including carbon fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and nanoparticle metal oxides. ROS and free radical production is one of the primary mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity; it may result in oxidative stress, inflammation, and consequent damage to proteins, membranes and DNA
The extremely small size of nanomaterials also means that they much more readily gain entry into the human body than largersized particles. How these nanoparticles behave inside the body is still a major question that needs to be resolved. The behavior of nanoparticles is a function of their size, shape and surface reactivity with the surrounding tissue. In principle, a large number of particles could overload the body’s phagocytes, cells that ingest and destroy foreign matter, thereby triggering stress reactions that lead to inflammation and weaken the body’s defense against other pathogens. In addition to questions about what happens if non-degradable or slowly degradable nanoparticles accumulate in bodily organs, another concern is their potential interaction or interference with biological processes inside the body. Because of their large surface area, nanoparticles will, on exposure to tissue and fluids, immediately adsorb onto their surface some of the macromolecules they encounter. This may, for instance, affect the regulatory mechanisms of enzymes and other proteins.
Nanomaterials are able to cross biological membranes and access cells, tissues and organs that larger-sized particles normally cannot. Nanomaterials can gain access to the blood stream via inhalation or ingestion. At least some nanomaterials can penetrate the skin; even larger microparticles may penetrate skin when it is flexed. Broken skin is an ineffective particle barrier, suggesting that acne, eczema, shaving wounds or severe sunburn may accelerate skin uptake of nanomaterials. Then, once in the blood stream, nanomaterials can be transported around the body and be taken up by organs and tissues, including the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, spleen,bone marrow and nervous system. Nanomaterials have proved toxic to human tissueand cell cultures, resulting in increased oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokine production and cell death. Unlike larger particles, nanomaterials maybe taken up by cell mitochondria and the cell nucleus. Studies demonstrate the potential for nanomaterials to cause DNA mutation and induce major structural damage to mitochondria, even resulting in cell death. Size is therefore a key factor in determining the potential toxicity of a particle. However it is not the only important factor.”
If we accept ‘nanoparticles’ as the active principles of potentized homeopathicmedicines, ongoing nanotoxicology studies will have to be made applicable to homeopathic medicines also.
If the present apprehensions in the scientificworld regarding nanotoxicity finally turns out into a strict legislative processes globally, and homeopathic medicines are included in the group of ’nanoparticle’ materials, homeopathy will have a very tough time to come.
My request homeopaths to refrain from creating unnecessary problems for homeopathy by claiming it is nanomedicine, even if due to ignoance regarding what the word actually implies.