One of the most difficult questions related with scientific understanding of homeopathy was , how the medicinal properties of a drug substance could be transmitted and preserved into a medium without any drug molecule remaining in it. This cardinal question could be rationally answered once it was realised that homeopathic potentization involves a process of MOLECULAR IMPRINTING in water-ethanol azeotropic supramolecular matrix, and that MOLECULAR IMPRINTS of drug molecules are the active principles of post-avogadro diluted homeopathic drugs.

As per this scientific explanation, conformational details of drug molecules or template molecules are imprinted into the water-alcohol medium in the form of three dimensional nanocavities during the pricess of serial dilution and agitation involved in homeopathic potentization. By their conformational properties, these molecular imprints can act as artificial binding sites for pathogenic molecules that are similar to the template molecules, thereby deactivating pathogenic molecules and removing the molecular inhibitions they produced in the living system. Similia Similibus Curentur, the fundamental principle of homeopathy , could be satisfactorily explained by this biological mechanism, which fits very well to the advanced knowledge of biochemistry and pharmacodynamics.

In order to evolve this scientific explanation for potentization as well as similia similibus curentur, we had to delve deep into diverse areas of knowledge such as supramolecular chemistry of water and ethyl alcohol, polymer structure of water, hydrogen bonding, azeotropism, host-guest molecular interactions, cavitation, molecular imprinting in polymers, etc etc.

A mixture of water and ethyl alcohol in an approximate ratio of 10:90 is used as the medium for homeopathic potentization. According to some references, “pure distilled spirit” could also be used for this purpose, but all of us know, what is called “pure distilled spirit” actually contains 5% water and 95% ethanol, since it is impossible to separate water and ethanol beyond that level by fractional distillation, due to a peculiar phenomenon known as AZEOTROPISM. Studying the molecular level mechanism underlying the phenomenon of azeotropism is essential for understanding how molecular imprinting happens during homeopathic potentization.

In chemistry, AZEOTROPE is a mixture of liquids that has a constant boiling point, because the vapour has the same composition as the liquid mixture. The boiling point of an azeotropic mixture may be higher or lower than that of any of its components. The components of azeotropic mixtures of liquids cannot be separated by simple distillation.

An azeotropic mixture is a mixture of substances that has the same concentration at vapour and fluid phases. It is basically a mixture that contains two or more liquids. Azeotropic mixture basically has constant or the same boiling points and the mixtures’ vapour will also have the same composition as the liquid. Normally, we use distillation to isolate materials as the ideal solutions with one part normally more volatile than the other. However, in an azeotropic mixture, since the vapour and fluid concentrations will be the same this approach will prevent their separation.

Boiling a 95% solution of ethanol in water will produce a 95% ethanol vapour. It is not possible to obtain higher ethanol concentrations even by repeated distillations. Alcohol and water are miscible in any ratio, making it possible to combine any quantity of ethanol with any quantity of water to produce a homogeneous solution that could be separated by fractional distillation, but there will finally remain an azeotrope part in it containing 95% ethanol and 5% water that could not be separated by distllation.

I have been searching for a more biofriendly as well as stable substance that could be used as an ideal imprinting medium for preparing molecular imprinted drugs.

In an azeotropic mixture of two liquids, concentration of molecules will be such that each molecule of both compound will be strongly bound to each molecule of other compound, thereby restricting their freedom of movements. This mutual binding of molecules is retained even when they go to vapour phase. This is the reason why two liquids with different boiling points evaporate at a constant boiling point in azeotropic ratio. This unbreakable binding between molecules of constituent liquids in azeotropic mixture imparts peculiar physical and chemical properties to it.

Actually, it is this peculiar AZEOTROPIC properties that make water-ethanol mixture an ideal medium for homeopathic potentization and molecular imprinting. Even though pure water is a dynamic branched polymer, molecular imprints formed in it will be very transient and unstable due to the free movements of water molecules and the protonation-deprotonation process constantly taking place. But when ethanol is added to water in an azeotropic ratio, due to their mutual molecular binding, movements of molecules get restricted and protonation-deprotonation process reduced. Due to this mechanism, molecular imprints formed in an azeotropic mixture of alcohol and water remain stable and long standing. This phenomenon explains the importance of using water-ethanol mixture in a particular ratio as the medium for homeopathic potentization.

It is obvious that molecular imprints are actually formed by formation of hydrogen bonded networks of water molecules aroung drug molecules used as templates. It means, only the 5% water contained in the medium actually undergoes molecular imprining, and the remaining 90% alcohol plays only a preservative effects by stabilizing the molecular imprints formed in water. It means, potentized homeopathic drugs contain only 5% as their active principles. When we take 100 ml of potentized drug, only 5 ml of it actually carries molecular imprints. This is an important draw back of using water-ethanol mixture as potentizing medium, which also indicates the need for developing better alternatives.

Water-ethanol azeotropic mixture boils at 78.2 °C, even though boiling point of water is 100 degrees and that of ethanol is 78.4 degrees. It means potentized homeopathic drugs will evaporate in atmospheric temperature much easier than water or ethanol. It is a major problem encountered in homeopathy pharmacy.

I have been searching for long to find out an alternative imprinting medium for preparing molecular imprinted drugs and homeopathic potentization, that is more stable and more biofriendly than water-ethanol mixture.

After a lot of studies and research on this topic, an AZEOTROPIC mixture of water and propionic acid in the ratio 82.3: 17.7 is finally found to be a comparatively much better candidate as an ideal imprinting medium for preparing MOLECULAR IMPRINTED DRUGS, instead of water-ethanol azeotropic mixture conventionally used in homeopathic POTENTIZATION.

Propionic acid can hold much water than ethanol in an azeotropic mixture, it is a simple native fatty acid being a universal part of metabolic processes in living systems, it is hundred percent non toxic, and far much safer than ethanol.

PROPIONIC ACID is a simple fatty acid with chemical formula CH3CH2CO2H, belonging to the chemical group known as carboxylic acids. It is also known by different names, such as propanoic acid, ethylformic acid, methyacetic acid, carboxyethane, ethanecarboxylic acid, pseudoacetic acid, metacetonic acid etc.

Molecular mass of propionic acid is 74.079. It forms azeotropic mixture with water at a ratio 82.3 % water and 17.7% propionic acid. Boiling point of water-propionic acid azeotrope is 99.98 degree celsius, whereas boiling point of propionic acid is 141.1 degree celsius and boiling point of water is 100 degrees. As such, water-propionic acid azeotropic mixture cannot be separated by fractional distillation. Propionic acid consists of hydrogen bonded pairs of molecules in both the liquid and the vapor.

Propionic acid is a naturally occurring carboxylic acid with chemical formula CH3CH2CO2H. It is a liquid with a pungent and unpleasant smell somewhat resembling body odor.

Propionic acid has physical properties intermediate between those of the smaller carboxylic acids, formic and acetic acids, and the larger fatty acids. It is fairly miscible with water. As with acetic and formic acids, it consists of hydrogen bonded pairs of molecules in both the liquid and the vapor forms.

Propionic acid is a natural part of various biological processes and pathways. Propionic acid is produced biologically as its coenzyme A ester, propionyl-CoA, from the metabolicbreakdown of fatty acids containing odd numbers of carbonatoms, and also from the breakdown of some amino acids. The metabolism of propionic acid begins with its conversion to propionyl coenzyme A, the usual first step in the metabolism of carboxylic acids. Since propionic acid has three carbons, propionyl-CoA cannot directly enter either beta oxidationor the citric acid cycles. In most vertebrates, propionyl-CoA is carboxylated to D-methylmalonyl-CoA, which is isomerisedto L-methylmalonyl-CoA. A vitamin B12-dependent enzyme catalyzes rearrangement of L-methylmalonyl-CoA to succinyl-CoA, which is an intermediate of the citric acid cycle and can be readily incorporated there.
Propionic acid serves as a substrate for hepaticgluconeogenesis via conversion to succinyl-CoA.

Some propionic acid is used widely as a preservative for both animal feed and food for human consumption. Another major application is as a preservative in baked goods. As a food additive, it is approved for use in the EU, USA, Australia and New Zealand.

Designated as generally regarded as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, propionic acid has shown little toxicity in humans and other organisms.

In the human body, however, propionic acid is generally metabolized with little ill effect and ultimately becomes a chemical intermediate in the citric acid cycle.

Some propionic acid is oxidized to lactic acid during absorption, but most passes to the liver, which removes nearly all of it from the portal blood. Propionic acid represents 20-25% of absorbed volatile fatty acids. Propionic acid is rapidly absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract.

Most absorbed propionic acid is passed to the liver, which removes nearly all of it from the portal blood.

As a compound that is typically found naturally in the body, little to no adverse cumulative health effects have been associated with exposure to propionic acid.

Designated as generally regarded as safe by the US Food and Drug Administration, propionic acid has shown little toxicity in humans and other organisms.

There are no known birth defects associated with the use of propionic acid in animals or humans.


I would request the authorities at CCRH to conduct studies regarding my proposal to use 18% azeotropic solution of propionic acid in water as a better alternative to alcohol water mixture as homeopathic imprinting medium. Since water-propionic acid azeotropic mixture contain 82% water, the resulting homeopathic products will contain very high percentage of active principles or molecular imprints, which is a big advantage over water-ethanol mixture which contain only 5% molecular imprints.

Chandran Nambiar KC

Author: Chandran Nambiar K C

I am Chandran Nambiar K C Author, REDEFINING HOMEOPATHY Managing Director, Fedarin Mialbs Private Limited Developer. SIMILIMUM ULTRA Homeopathic Software I am not a scientist, academician, scholar, professional homeopath or anybody with 'big credentials', but an old lay man, a retired government servant, who accidentally happened to fall into the deep waters of the great ocean of homeopathic knowledge during his fiery teenage years, and was destined to live a whole life exploring the mysteries of that wonderful world with unending enthusiasm. My interest in homeopathy happened very accidentally when I was only 20 years old UNDERGRADUATE ZOOLOGY student, through a constant relationship with a local practitioner who happened to be father of my classmate. I was a regular visitor in his clinic, where from I started reading BOERICKE MATERIA MEDICA and other homeopathic books, which helped me to cure myself my troublesome asthma that have been haunting me since my childhood days. I became a voracious reader of homeopathy.

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