Many homeopaths believe that researchers of iit-mumbai have “proved how homeopathy works”. Some people claim that they have “proved homeopathy is nano-medicine”. I fear homeopathic profession have fallen victim to the hype created over the recent IIT-B findings reported in the media.
I would request all homeopaths to read that report carefully, and try to filter out the exact factual findings of the team and separate them from their ‘hypothesis’ and media hype.
Report says that in a study done as part of project work of a ‘chemical engineering’ ‘student’ for his doctorate theses, they ‘bought some samples of medicated globules of homeopathic potencies of some ‘metal elements’ from neighboring shops’, and prepared ‘high dilutions from these globules’. When examined under high resolution electron microscope, they could detect ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles of metallic elements floating on the top 1% of the solution’. They also found that all potencies from 6c to 200cthey examined contain nanoparticles of same quantity and shape.
Going through the whole published reports, I could summarize the following points:
“IIT-B’s chemical engineering department bought commonly available homoeopathic pills from neigbourhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.”
“Homeopathic pills—made of naturally occurring metals such as gold and copper-—retain their potency even when diluted to a nanometre or one-billionth of a metre”
“Our paper showed that certain highly diluted homoeopathic remedies made from metals still contain measurable amounts of the starting material, even at extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 (200C),’’ said Dr Jayesh Bellare.”
“The hypothesis is that nanobubbles form on the surface of the highly diluted mixtures and float to the surface, retaining the original potency. “We believe we have cracked the homoeopathy conundrum,’’ said Bellare.”
“The hypothesis is that a nanoparticle-nanobubble rises to the surface of the diluted solution; it is this 1% of the top layer that is collected and further diluted. So, the concentration remains”
This is the real story of the ‘research’. Everything else is mere hypothesis and media hype.
What ‘fundamental truth’ regarding homeopathy you think has been proved and ‘accepted by the world’ by this finding”?
Did they in any way prove that these ‘nanoparticles floatining on top layers of dilutions’ are the real active principles of potentized homeopathic drugs. And if so, how?
Did they explain our theory of ‘similia similibus curentur’ on the basis of prsence of these ‘nanoparticles’?
Could they detect any nanoparticles of ‘parent drugs’ in any complex drugs of vegetable or animal origin, other than potenciesof ‘elemental metals’ such as gold, copper and iron?
Can you imagine why the IIT team conducted their experiments using only potencies of ‘elemental metals’?
Doctors, we have to apply a lot of logical thinking before declaring that “the universal truth has to be accepted by the world some day or the other. iit-b showed the way”.
Remember, ‘metallic elements’ are triturated before subjecting to the subsequent process of serial dilutionss and succussions. During this violent ‘rubbing’ of triturating, some metal ions may be converted into ‘nanoparticles’. If the higher potencies were not prepared exactly as prescribed, some of these nanoparticles may remain in traces in ‘higher’ potencies. The IIT team actually may have detected these remnants of nanoparticles ‘floating’ in upper layers of solutions. This finding by no way proves that these nanopartcles are the real active principles of homeopathic high potency drugs. The presence of traces of nanoparticles in high potency solutions only shows that the samples they ‘bought from neighboring shops ‘were not perfectly potentized.
Only ‘elemental’ drugs and simple minerals can be converted into nanoparticles by process of trituration. Hence, nanoparticles of complex molecules of complex drugs can never be detected. No body can prepare nanoparticles of complex molecules such as atropine or strychnine by homeopathic potentization process. I think the IIT team was very clever to conduct their experiments with ‘metallic elements’ only
Do you subscribe to their reported observation that only “top layer” is therapeutically effective, since it is only there the nano particles are ‘floating”?
What will happen if we remove not only ‘top layers’, but whole upper half from a bottle of potentized medicines? Do you think the remaining part will not be effective therapeutically?
If the ‘nano particles’ are only in ‘traces’, and they ‘float’ on top layers of liquid, it is obvious that these nano particles are not the real active principles of potentized drugs. In order to explain our every day experience that every single drop of drug is powerful, the whole drug should be uniformly saturated with this nanoparticles, and if that were the case, we cannot say it is in trace amounts. Kindly think over.
Why can’t we examine this issue from another angle? The report says that the samples for study were products of some Indian manufacturers, purchased from ‘neighboring shops’. What if the samples were not actually potentized to the level labeled on them, so as to get rid of traces of drug particles? Do you think it is correct on the part of such a reputed research house to purchase samples from open market for conducting such a sensitive experiment? They should have first devised some way to ensure the quality and potency of samples.
Let me quote from the report: “Further they have shown that despite large differences in the degree of dilution from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles(shape and size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations (in pg/ml).”
What does this observation show? If “from 6cto 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles (shapeand size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations”, it leadsto some serious doubts whether the samples used were really genuine. Ifdilutions were prepared in prescribed manner, 6c and 200c will never contain’same’ quantity and concentrations of starting material. This observation lacks logic.
Over all, there are many gray areas in this study,which should be seriously considered by homeopaths.
Some doctors saying that they are happy “to get the inference that there is some material present” in homeopathic potencies shows our anxiety to hear that ‘there is something’ in homeopathy. ARE WE NOT CONFIDENT ON THAT?
Doctors, do you think this detection of some’ traces’ of nanoparticles of ‘metal elements’ floating on ‘top layers’ of the dilution in any way help homeopathy in providing a scientific explanation for ‘simila similibus curentur’, or mechanism of homeopathic therapeutics?
The hype regarding the IIT-B study has grown to such a state that thousands of email attachments are being forwarded between homeopaths all over the world on this report.
This over enthusiasm shows the gravity of ‘scientific deprivation’ homeopathic profession is presently subjected to. This hype shows their ‘thirst’ to hear some ‘good’ news from scientific world to get themselves convinced that ‘at least there is something’ in homeopathic medicines.
The present hype has grown to such a stage that some homeopaths even declare that the IIT study has ‘proved’ that homeopathy is nanotechnology!
IIT team only said that they could detect ‘traces’of ‘nano particles’ of naturally occurring ‘metal minerals’ in the samples they tested. “nano particles’ and nano technology is not the same. “Nano’ only refers to a range of measurement in the study of ultraminute forms of matter.Nanotechnology is a modern technology dealing with matter at nano range of measurement, and manipulating them to prepare various nano devices.
No IIT scientist said nothing about ‘nanotechnology’ in homeopathy. They only said that they could detect traces of nanoparticles of ‘elements’ in homeopathic drugs. Why we utterly fail to note the difference and apply some logical thinking before being part of this hype?
We should not forget that the reported IIT study was only a project work of IIT chemical engineering student, as part of his doctorate thesis.
See the report. “IIT-B’s chemical engineering department bought commonly available homoeopathic pills from neighborhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.”
Is this the way a sample is to be collected for a serious research study on such a sensitive subject?
They purchased ‘homeopathic pills’ and prepared ‘high dilutions’. Is this the way homeopathic potencies are prepared?
What about controls? They should have used control solutions of ‘unmedicated pills’ in same dilution and the out come compared.
We all know, ‘trace’ particles of ‘metal elements’will be present in any sample of water we obtain from nature. They should have ensured that there is no ‘traces’ of ‘metal elements’ in control dilutions, before publishing this report.
Instead of ‘naturally occuring’ minerals, that may be present in any natural diluents, they should have conducted the study using potencies of complex drugs such as nux vomica, which contain complex molecules such as brucine, strychnine etc, and try to detect ‘traces’ nanoparticles of those molecules in high dilutions.
“Traces’ of ‘elements’ cannot mimic the medicinal properties of complex molecules.
Were there any homeopathic expert present in the team to over see this study? No body asked about it.
This study only proves either the samples they collected were not properly potentized, the study was not well planned, or the outcome is not logically interpreted. Such half-cooked ‘researches’ and well planned hypes over them will only do harm to homeopathy.
The problem is that “times of india” or any media reporting this study or creating this hype never said that “this is just the beginning of their studies”. See the head line: “IIT-Bteam shows how homeopathy works”. Is this not mere empty hype? Did they actually show how homeopathy works? They only purchased some “medicated pills” of homeopathic potencies of “naturally occuring metal elements” and prepared highly diluted solutions, and detected ‘traces’ of nanoparticles of of elements ‘floating in the 1% top layer’ of liquid they tested. Did this provide any clue regarding “how homeopathy works”? I consider this as mere hype intended to defame and injure homeopathy. If we accept that homeopathy potencies act by ‘traces of nanoparticles’ remaining in them even after dilution, the whole laborious process of homeopathic potentization become a meaningless waste. Can we subscribe to this injurious interpretation?
Why should “we have to first prove them there is some medicinal particles present”? So far we were saying that potentized homeopathic medicines do not contain any original drug molecules! Why should we change our stand?
How can we say that the ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles’ detected to be floating on the ‘toplayer’ is the real medicinal substance in our potentized drugs? If that inference were correct, ‘traces’ would not be present ‘every where’. But we use every particle of our drugs with expected therapeutic results. Obviously, our drugs contain not ‘traces’ but ‘saturated’ with real ‘medicinal factors’,whatever it may be.
SOMETHING PRESENT IN EVERY PARTICLE OF OUR DRUGS CANNOT BE CALLED “TRACES”.
Only because IIT-B has “the elite group of academia in our country and whole world” do not ensure the correctness of everything they say about homeopathy. Please note, no homeopathic expert is part of this team. Moreover, this work was only a project work of students as part of their doctoral theses. This is not a seriously planned and executed research of “the elite group of academia”. Instead of merely relying upon the ‘eliteness’ of the organization, let us use our logical thinking to examine the correctness of their methods and interpretation.
Do you expect that “the elite group of academia in our country and whole world” would one day come forward to help homeopathy? They only want to ‘disprove’ homeopathy. The present hype created around this reported study also is part of that ‘ulterior’ ploy. Enemies of homeopathy can utilize this study to ‘prove’ that what ever homeopaths were saying about homeopathic potentization was ultimately wrong. If the active principles of homeopathic drugs are ‘remnants’ of basic drugs existing in ‘traces’, the whole process of potentization become meaningless. Does anybody think that such an interpretation would help homeopathy?
Really, this is an untruthful mis-representation of facts. May be, done by media to create a hype and news value. The title “IIT-Bteam shows how homeopathy works” has nothing to do with the real content of the work done by the team. The experiment wasnot really planned to find out “how homeopathy works”. The experiment was only to find out whether there remained any traces of starting materials in high potencies. From the selection of samples itself, their method was totally disagreeable to us. Any how, they could detect some ‘traces’ of ‘metal minerals’ in the samples they used. Only that much. From that simple observation it is not at all right to declare that they have “‘showed how homeopathy works”, and homeopathy is ‘nano technology’! Only because they could detect some ‘traces’ of elements, that does not necessarily mean that the active principles of homeopathic drugs are those ‘traces of element particles’. Could they explain how these ‘nanoparticles’ interfere in the pathological bio molecular processes on the basis of ‘similia similibus curentur’?. With out that being done, how the media declare that they have ‘shown how homeopathy works? In my opinion, responsible homeopaths should try to get a reasonable reply to this question from media or researchers. They should be made to understand they would be answerable while mis-representing their real findings and creating unnecessary hype, which is injurious to homeopathy.
Only because somebody could detect the presence of some’traces’ of ‘nanoparticles’ of original ‘metal elements’ floating on the surface of a ‘particular sample’ of homeopathic drug purchased from market, is it prudent to declare that these ‘traces’ are the active principles of homeopathic drugs, and that they have ‘shown the way homeopathy works’?
This is a very hasty and unwise conclusion. One has to take into consideration a lot of other variables and factors before makingsuch a tall claims.
What if that particular ‘sample’ was not properly potentized as per strict homeopathic guidelines? What if those drugs were not really ‘high’ potencies, as the labels indicated? What if those ‘traces’ of ‘elemental particles’ came from the water they used for making ‘dilutions’ from ‘medicated pills’ they purchased from ‘shop’?
There are a lot of such possibilities.
But our homeopaths succumb to the media hype even without fully reading the lines of the available reports carefully, applying a pinch of logical reasoning. It shows the ‘scientific starvation’ homeopaths are long subjected to.
If they had read the report carefully, they would have realized that ‘project study’ only proves that the ‘researchers’ could’detect’ some ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles of metal elements’ floating on the ‘1%top layer’ of the solution of homeopathic ‘sugar pills’ they ‘bought from neighboringshops’.
Does it provide anything to support their claim that they have ‘shown how homeopathy works? Or to substantiate the enthusiasm of homeopaths to declare that somebody has proved ‘homeopathy is nanotechnology’? Will they understand, only by using a word ‘nano’ does notmake anything ‘nanotechnology’?
This is a very pathetic situation. The IIT students who conducted this study and created this empty hype may be laughing in private seeing this vulnerability of homeopaths.
Really, i feel like crying for homeopathy and homeopaths!
We need no body’s help to “prove that homeopathy works! Thousands of homeopaths the world over are ‘proving’ it daily through millions of cures, for more than last two centuries. We need no ‘certificate of scientist’ to ‘prove’ that ‘homeopathy is not placebo’.
LET ME QUOTE FROM THE MEDIA REPORT:
“The confirmed presence of nanoparticles challenges current thinking about the role of dilutions in homeopathic medicines. They have found that the concentrations reach a plateau at the 6c potency and beyond. Further they have shown that despite large differences in the degree of dilution from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles (shape and size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations (in pg/ml).”
How would those homeopaths, showing so much enthusiasm over this reported study, respond to this statement?
This statement shows how the study can be utilized by opponents of homeopathy to ‘disprove’ the whole theory of homeopathic potentization.
If the real active principles of homeopathic medicines are the ‘traces’ of nanoparticles’ of ‘starting material’, remaining even after dilutions, and from 6c to 200 no major differences in the ‘nature ofparticles’, does it not ‘show’ that our whole concepts regarding ‘potentization’ were utter foolishness?
Do you think that this study really ‘strengthens’ homeopathy or ‘prove’ homeopathy’?
Carefully read this part of media report: “The confirmed presence of nanoparticles challenges current thinking about the role of dilutions in homeopathic medicines”
How can such a finding that ‘challenges current thinking about role of dilutions in homeopathy’ be depicted as a ‘proof’ in favor of homeopathy?
Really, it is going to be used as the greatest ‘evidence’ against homeopathy, by the skeptics in future.
Once this ‘nanoparticles’ theory is accepted by the profession, we will also have to accept the argument that any samples that is proved negative for the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ is ineffective. Obviously, we will have to yield to the argument that any cures we obtain from such homeopathic drugs that do not contain ‘nanoparticles’ are mere placebo effect.
What will we say when finally the government makes a legislation banning all homeopathic potencies that do not contain ‘nanoparticles’ of parent drugs?
Hope the profession would realize the gravity ofthe situation.
Once the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ is accepted as the criteria for effectiveness of homeopathic potencies, the same IIT scientists can develop a sophisticated device to test the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ in any given sample of homeopathic drug. Government can easily make some legislation making it mandatory to subject every homeopathic drugs to this test before getting certified.
How would this finding explain the mechanism of therapeutic action of potentized homeopathic drugs? 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”. Can presence of “nano-particles” of ‘metal elements’ contained in these complex drug molecules mimic the highly complex molecular level properties of those very large molecules?
From the observed presence of ‘NANO PARTICLES OF METAL ELEMENTS’ how would IIT team help us to construct a working model that would explain “similia similibus curentur” logically?
Most funny part of their hypothesis is that “nanoparticle-nanobubble rises to the surface of the diluted solution; it is this 1% of the top layer that is collected and further diluted. So, the concentration remains”.
This statement clearly shows that they know nothing about the real process involved in homeopathic potentization.
Hahnemann advised to throw away the whole content in the bottles after each stage of potntization, and fill the bottle with diluent for moving to next stage. That means, he advised to use the bottom layer drops remaining in the bottle. He never said to use the ‘top layer’ for next stage of potentization.
The observation of IIT team that only the “1% of the top layer that is collected and further diluted” is totally against facts, as all of us know,
In my opinion, IIT team’s reported findings prove nothing regarding the fundamentals of homeopathic therapeutics. They only prove that high potencies of certain metal elements such as “gold and copper” retain some nano particles in them on the ‘top layers’ of dilutions.
I think this finding has no any serious in implications in explaining the therapeutic principle of “similia similibus curentur”, or the molecular mechanism of ‘potentization’.
If their reported hypothesis that “nanoparticle-nanobubble rises to the surface of the diluted solution, and it is this 1% of the top layer” that contains “nano particles” of element which is the active factors is accepted, how would you explain the everyday experiences of homeopaths that even the last drop of our medicines are equally powerful? Do homeopaths utilize only “only 1% of top layer” for therapeutic application in their daily practice? Do they throw away remaining parts of their stock? Is not this hypothesis at least in this aspect utterly meaning less?
IIT study might have been successful in detecting the presence of nano particles of “metal elements” used for potentization, floating on the “surface” of the solution, which they say is only 1% of total liquid. If those nano particles they detected were really the therapeutically active factors of homeopathic medicines, why we get excellent results by using even the last stains of drugs in our dispensing bottles?
Our experience is that not only the “1% top layer”, but each and every particle of our potentized drugs are therapeutically effective. That clearly shows that the therapeutic factors of our drugs are distributed evenly in every part of the liquids. Our potentized drugs are really saturated with the active therapeutic factors, not only on the surface.
I would also like to invite your attention to another aspect of “nanoparticle” theory. There exist a lot of apprehensions over the topic of ‘nanotoxicity’.
Let me quote from Wikipedia on NANOTOXICOLOGY:
“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.”
I have quoted the above passage so extensively, to invite attention to the long term implications of the hype being created over the findings of IIT team.
If we accept ‘nanoparticles’ as the active principles of potentized homeopathicmedicines, ongoing nanotoxicology studies can bemade applicable to homeopathic medicines also.
If the present apprehensions in the scientificworld regarding nanotoxicity finally turns out into a strict legislationalprocesses globally, and homeopathic medicines are included in the group of’nanoparticle’ materials, homeopathy will have a very tough time to come.
I have quoted the above passage so extensively, to inviteattention to the long term implications of the hype being created over thefindings of IIT team.
If we accept ‘nanoparticles’ as the active principles of potentized homeopathic medicines, ongoing nanotoxicology studies can be made applicable to homeopathic medicines also.
If the present apprehensions in the scientific world regarding nanotoxicity finally turns out into a strict legislational processes globally, and homeopathic medicines are included in the group of ‘nanoparticle’ materials, homeopathy will have a very tough time to come.
“NANOPARTICLE” THEORY REGARDING HOMEOPATHIC POTENTIZATION SHOULD BE WELCOMED WITH GREAT CAUTION.
I warn homeopaths against falling prey to the hype over the reported IIT findings. It proves nothing positive in homeopathy. Ultimately it only provides some new weapons to those who want to ‘disprove’ the whole theory of homeopathic potentization. BEWARE.