Homeopathy Papers Scientific Research

Science Pertinent to Homeopathy Addresses Skeptics’ Doubts

Prof. C.R. Mahata shares the latest research into the mechanism of action of homeopathic remedies. Dissipative structures in water carry information about the starting material through serial dilutions and succussions. The template principle is the curative mechanism.

Abstract

Background: For over two centuries Homeopathy has been benefitting mankind despite the controversy surrounding it from its inception. Defiance of the tenets of conventional science is at the root of this controversy. But the past, present and potential future benefits of homeopathy call for its explanation by appropriate science, for greater benefits to society.

Objective: This article is an attempt to show that the science capable of explaining homeopathy is a little extension of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED) that predicts generation of Dissipative Structures (DS) in the diluent i.e. water. (A dissipative structure is a thermodynamically open system operating far from equilibrium that exchanges energy/information with the environment).

It also tries to show that these DSs are carriers of information about the starting material through serial dilutions followed by succussions, and the structural or template principle is the curative mechanism.

Methods: Supports about presence of starting-material-specific DSs are obtained from their images using atomic force microscope (ATM). Further, investigations are cited here that point towards a structural/template principle at the cellular level as the curative mechanism.

 Results: The results are in broad agreement with the QED-theory and structural or template principle from investigations conducted by us and others as cited here.

Conclusion: We wish to conclude by saying:

Information about a material in succussed serial dilutions may be carried by the diluent via starting-material-specific dissipative structures capable of influencing living bodies through matching of structures – a structural model.

 Key words: science behind homeopathy, Quantum Electrodynamics, Dissipative Structures, allotropes of water.

Introduction

Homeopathy is an alternative healthcare system that uses potentized (that is, serially diluted and succussed) preparations. Herein the dilution often surpasses the Avogadro limit (6.023 x 1023 ) thereby making the preparations devoid of starting materials.

Chemically they become just the diluent (water) and are suspected to be biologically neutral substances. And as per the prevalent concept they are not medicines at all. Even so they have been benefitting people for more than two centuries.

This is the strange fact going against the tenets of conventional science! The skeptics capitalize on this inexplicability and wish to deny homeopathy entirely. But their position is illogical and funny. For, no sane person should deny facts even if they are unexplainable by conventional science or science of the day.

Natural events occur without any regard for the awareness of the scientists about laws behind them. Scientists’ duty is to explain them. For, science advances by explaining unexplained facts. Denial of inconvenient facts is against the spirit of science.

Even so, the skeptics and a part of the general public prefer to stick to the idea that it is mandatory for a medicine to have its distinct chemical identify. They are against the use of homeopathy. They pass the verdict against homeopathy even without using it.

It is simply dogmatic. In respect of medicine, they cannot look beyond gross chemistry. Fortunately, the world is a habitat of open-minded people also, who rely more on fact than the funny objection of the skeptics. They try homeopathy, feel its beneficial effects in their bodies and become strong advocates of Homeopathy.

Similar is the case with open minded scientists. They feel that homeopathic cures are genuine and are striving to find the scientific explanation of Homeopathy – a very challenging job!

The job is so challenging that careerist researchers wish to stay away from this area. Reward is very uncertain here. One fails to find anything to hold onto for starting a meaningful research. For, the starting material is diluted away in potencies above 12c, the surpassing point of Avogadro limit.

And 12c is but a very low potency considering that homeopathy uses 30c, 200c, 1000c and higher potencies.  No upper limit of potency is envisaged. It is interesting to note that for ensuring the presence of one molecule of Sulphur in Sulphur-30c one has to take a mass of several thousand Suns of this preparation!!! It is a very disturbing figure.

Even so homeopathic cures must not be denied, because they are facts. There is no question of denying therapeutic values of super-diluted homeo-preparations because they are the causative agents. How this happens is yet to be satisfactorily explained. But one thing is certain – Homeopathy cannot be resolved within the boundaries of gross chemistry.

In such a situation a dedicated researcher has to go on knocking the door till it is opened, till the fundamental questions are answered. Herein the questions are: (1) Where lies the medicinal information of high potency (that is, succussed super-diluted) substances? (2) How do they influence living bodies?

 Handling the first question

For answering the first question a researcher has nowhere to look except water because the high potency medicines are chemically nothing but water. So, nothing but water is hiding the secret.

The chemical formula of water is very simple, it is just H2O. Still, it is yet to be fully understood.  Often in explaining something as very easy, we say that it is as clear as water, devoid of any complexity.

In spite of its simple chemical formula water is a very puzzling substance. One of the most incomprehensible natures of water is reflected in its putative medicinal value. “Let water serve as medicine for you,”  — this is the translation of a Rigvedic verse [1] (Rig Veda, year unknown).

We do not know how our ancient sages came to this conclusion, but we must accept that appreciation of a possible medicinal value of water started from the time of Rig Veda — assumed to be composed nearly 4000 years ago.

We observe with wonder that modern science is now approaching this concept. It is discussed below in the context of high potency homeopathic medicines, which are chemically — but not in all respects — equivalent to plain water. Extremely diluted homeopathic medicines are chemically nothing but water. Even so, they cure diseases implying that they have medicinal values.

But, how can we explain the potential medicinal value of water? People of this century are not ready to accept Vedic statements indiscriminately. They want scientific proof. As such, the problem for us is whether water can carry any information about the solute dissolved in it that may even be subsequently diluted away.

What is the theory behind it? Is it validated experimentally? A lot of research on water has already been carried out [2,3] as listed in a website on water structure and science. It lists more than 4800 references on water.

As of September 2, 2020, this website has 309 web pages, 4,838 references, >30,000 links, >320,000 words, >1,500 images, and >120 3-D visualization and animation files. It enlists 75 anomalous properties of water.

Some of them are very intimately connected with life and its sustenance. Yet, the functions and structure of water are not fully understood. So, research on water continues. In this context, our next focus of attention is how extremely diluted homeopathic preparations, that are chemically equivalent to water, can become medicines.

For this purpose, the methodology adopted by us comprises of three steps: (i) Logical necessities for water to carry the therapeutic value in high dilutions, (ii) Development of a theory, (iii) Validation of the theory by planned experiments. If water is understood, then homeopathy will also be understood.

Logical necessities

By all indications water carries the medicinal information of potentized substances. So, water must carry some reasonably stable imprint or code specific to any medicine of any potency (which are very large in number) at room temperature. The supporting arguments and facts run like this.

(a) At room temperature ordinary water contains innumerable tiny floating ice-like structures [4,5,6]. This satisfies the requirement of stable structures.

(b) Forms of these structures are so varied in number that practically no two of them are identical [5]. This satisfies the requirement of large number of forms.

(c) The shape and size of these molecular clusters are influenced by impurities, ions of other substances and even foreign molecules [5,7]. This satisfies the requirement of specificity of structures with original medicinal substance.

Theoretical model

On the basis of these data Mahata [8,9] advanced a heuristic model which states: The medicinal value of a sufficiently potentized homoeo–medicine owes its origin not to chemical presence of the original substance with which the shock dilution starts but to structural modification of the atoms/molecules of the vehicle and creating specific types of macromolecules peculiar to the original substance as well as the degree of dilution carried over.

This heuristic model has the support of Quantum Electrodynamics (QED). It is stated below in a manner suitable for non-experts.

The ice-like structures were eventually identified to be dissipative structures (DS). They are thermodynamically non-equilibrium systems that can generate order spontaneously by exchanging energy with the environment and transform small-scale irregularities into large-scale patterns – a peculiarity of living systems. Ilya Prigogine (1917 – 2003), lovingly called a Poet of Thermodynamics, was awarded a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977 for his work on DS.

Quantum Electro-dynamic (QED) of Emilio Del Giudice (1940-2014), appraisingly called Prometheus of this science, provided the theoretical basis of the presence of ice-like structures in bulk water.

He predicted how ensembles of groups of water molecules called coherent domains (CD) are formed in bulk water and how they are influenced by a small amount of `guest molecules’ (one percent or less) to combine together to form larger domains called DS [10-12] that are energy-wise reminiscent of the starting material.

Prof. Giudice was awarded the Prigogine Medal in 2009 for his work on DSs. Thanks to his work bulk water is now revealed to be a mixture of structured and unstructured water molecules, their proportion varying with temperature [13].

The DS can energy-wise carry the information about the guest molecule [14] and become the starting-material-specific-mimicking-structures (SMSMS). These are of tremendous persistence and remain as solid residues when the liquid evaporates and can act as ‘guest molecules’ in the next dilution step.

The process can continue indefinitely even in the absence of the starting material.  The Avogadro limit does not come into the picture. DSs will be there in all potencies. The therapeutic value of potentized substances lies in these SMSMSs, because unstructured water and alcohol (contained in homeopathic -preparations) do not have therapeutic values.

This addresses the skeptics’ doubt about why homeopathic preparations of all potencies (below as well as beyond the Avogadro limit) are effective curative agents. This is the theoretical basis of homeopathy.

Methods related to the first question: It was experimentally checked by Atomic Force Microscope (AFM). The images of solid residues obtained by us [14-16] were different for different medicines suggesting that they are specific to the medicines and their potencies.

The dimensions of these structures are in the nanometer range. Konovalov et al [17-19] utilized mainly the dynamic light scattering (DLS) method to show that nano structures are formed in highly diluted aqueous solutions and they are material carriers of bio-effects manifested by them.

In a similar way P. Nandy et al [20] found nano-structures in potentized homeopathic medicines. Using thermo-luminescence technique Rey [21] observed that in high dilution the information about starting material is contained in the structure of the vehicle. Still further T Sarkar et al [22] uses Laser Raman Spectroscopy for showing water structures in homeopathic preparations.

Results Physical: So far we have obtained AFM images of the solid residues for aqua-diluted preparations of 6c and 30c potencies (one below and one beyond the Avogadro limit) of Arnica Montana, Calcarea Phosphorica, Cuprum Metallicum, Kali Muriaticum, Natrum Muriaticum, Pulsatilla Nigricans  and Silicea [14-16].

We find DSs in potencies below and beyond the Avogadro limit. But the structures related to water-insoluble material are better formed compared to those of water-soluble materials. This may be due to formation of nano-particles of the formers by rubbing with mortar and pestle in the early stages of their potentization.

Konovalov and Ryzhkina [17-19] studied aqua-diluted preparations of more than a hundred biologically active compounds (BAC) and found that formation of nano-structures is possible only with certain BACs in the presence of an electromagnetic field.

Konovalov [18] also shows that these structures are formed when the dilution exceeds a certain value. P Nandy et al [20] found nano structures using DLS technique and derived an empirical relation of particle size with medicine and its potency. Rey [21] infers vehicle-structures carrying information about the starting material. T Sarkar et al [22] infer vehicle structures from Laser Raman Spectroscopy.

 Handling the second question

 How do these structures influence the living bodies – this is the second question. Virus, bacteria and other micro-organisms are very small in size. Still, they influence our bodies which are much bigger in size. Then, why cannot we accept that nano-size water clusters will also be able to influence our bodies.

Why do we hesitate to accept it as a natural phenomenon? It is natural that a smaller object can enter a bigger object or wave and not vice versa. A smaller organism can enter a bigger one to destroy it from inside as it happens with virus, bacteria entering our body-cells, cell constituents like DNA, RNA etc.

The mechanism of action of homeopathic medicines is yet to get a satisfactory explanation. It is so because of lack of chemical ingredients in high-dilution medicines. They can be now understood as water-structures – CDs and DSs like allotropes of water.

Here we discuss the possible structural interaction between these water structures and bio-molecules, with reasoning and then some experiments conducted by us and others which seem to support the proposal.

Firstly, let´s take a hint from Nature. All healthy bio-molecules fit in within the hollows of water structures and are not damaged when water freezes, enabling us to preserve food items in a refrigerator.

On the other hand, the reaction of water towards the molecules whose form does not fit the structure of ice is quite different – it breaks the larger molecules and drives away their small fragments. For this reason, ice in the Arctic Ocean is fresh-water ice – free from all salts [6].

As such, it may safely be assumed that a suitably structured water molecule may ‘bend’ near-matching bio-molecules to get a desired fit and may bring them to their healthy state. It is demonstrated by the work of a Russian scientist [6] that damaged bio-molecules are found to be repaired by bringing them to their healthy state with the help of tiny ice crystals.

By freezing onto curved molecules, the icicles straighten them out, giving them their usual configuration. This reference also talks about beneficial effects (like faster growth and higher immunity) on young birds and animals fed with melted-ice (called live water as compared to boiled water being called dead water) rich with ice crystals. Vlasov and Trifinov [23] mention beneficial effects of melted ice on young chickens.

Structural interaction between medicine molecules and bio-molecules is already an established fact in mainstream medicine (e.g. penicillin). Interaction between bio-molecules and water is a two-way process, since bio-molecules also influence structure of cell water [24]).

Water of diseased human cells seems to be rather disordered as compared to water of healthy cells [25-28]. Thus, one may propose that homeopathy works on this type of interaction as described in the previous paragraph.

The template/structural principle plays a dominant (and probably, the most significant) role in biological metabolic processes. One finds that protein synthesis in cells is affected according to the template principle [29]. It is natural to expect that this principle will have a role in the curative process as well. This is a broad understanding of structural principle.

Methods related to the second question:

High dilution homeopathic preparations are devoid of their identifying chemicals. However, they seem to have their identifying physical structure. Thus, structural interaction is seen as the only probable action-mechanism.

Some planned experiments support this proposal. Using Anomalous Dielectric Dispersion Detector (ADDD) fabricated by our group,  frequency domain signatures were found for aqua diluted bio-samples (blood serum) of patients and ideal homeopathic medicines for them indicated through case-taking [30, 31].

Anisur R Khuda-Bukhsh argues for regulation of gene expression as the major mechanism of action of homeopathic drugs through a number of publications [32-38]. Body-cells’ somehow identification of homeopathic drugs and consequent alteration or correction of gene expression could be hypothesized as expressions of a structural principle.

Results Biological:

Herein the study was conducted with osteoarthritis and seronegative rheumatoid arthritis patients [30, 31]. The medicines which benefitted the patients were Guaiacum-30c, Sulphur-200c, Natrum Muriaticum-30c, Rhus Toxico-200c and Thuja Occ-30c.

We compared the frequency domain signatures of bio-samples of patients with the medicines which benefitted them using our ADDD. It was found that resonance frequencies of bio-samples and benefitting medicines were close to each other.

Anisur R Khuda-Bukhsh [32] suggested that regulation of gene expression may be one of the major mechanisms by which homeopathic drugs work. He gives an overview of the mechanism [33], where he advocates that one of the main mechanisms and pathways through which the potentised homeopathic drugs act could be by regulation of expression of some specific and relevant genes.

In another review article [34] he comes forward with evidence in support of his hypothesis according to which homeopathic remedies carry specific “signals” that can be identified by specific receptors and can act as a trigger to turn “on” or “off” some relevant genes, initiating a cascade of down-stream gene actions to alter and correct the gene expressions that had gone wrong to produce the disorder/disease condition.

Evidence of a gene regulatory hypothesis is also available from other publications of his group [35-38]. Body-cells’ somehow identification of homeopathic drugs and consequent alteration/correction of gene expression could be hypothesized as expressions of a structural principle.

So, these findings also seem to advocate a structural principle though the wordings are different. We feel that this issue may be effectively sorted out in the near future, by experiments at the cellular level involving effects of water-structures on DNA/RNA in vitro/in vivo.

 Discussion and Conclusion

Our investigations reveal the scientificity of homeopathy. Herein we have tried to show that the therapeutic value of potentized homeopathic medicines is associated with the dissipative structures, which are chemically nothing but water. They emerge as the putative curative agents because unstructured water and alcohol (contained in homeopathic preparations) are known to have no medicinal value.

Our investigation supports this concept. The group led by R Khuda-Bukhsh proposes regulation of gene expression as the possible action-mechanism. But our hypothesis of structural interaction is at the basis of gene expression.

Thus, confirmation of action-mechanism, which is the structural/template principle, is obtained from our investigations and those of others like A R Khuda- Bukhsh. So, our model of homeopathic medicines may now be stated as:

Information about a material in succussed serial dilutions may be carried by the diluent via starting-material-specific dissipative structures capable of influencing living bodies through matching of structures – a structural model.

These structures are like allotropes of water (if we may use such a term). Here we rule out any other weird hypothesis, which is devoid of theoretical and experimental/clinical support.

Evidently the DSs are devoid of toxicity, a major problem with main stream medicines. The non-toxic homeopathic preparations benefit people in common ailments and epidemics. Its drugs are most economical. Furthermore, homeopathy has many incredible cures to its credit. These are the bright sides of homeopathy.

Despite these bright sides, funding agencies have a general apathy to sponsor fundamental research in homeopathy. This is my experience. Sufficiently potentised homeopathic medicines do not contain any detectable chemical substance. So, they are (possibly) not patentable. ]And investment in fundamental research on homeopathy will not directly bring any money.

This may be the apprehension of the funding agencies. But they should keep in mind that skyrocketing of sales od homeopathic medicines occurred after the Benveniste controversy. This suggests  – that the homeopathic pharmaceutical industry will undoubtedly be  immensely benefited when the basis of homeopathy is scientifically established. And benefit to common men goes without saying. So, there should be more of fundamental research to strengthen the scientific basis of Homeopathy.

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About the author

Chitta Ranjan Mahata

Prof. Chitta Ranjan Mahata, born in 1939, obtained his B.E., M.E. and Ph.D. degrees in EE in 1961, 1964 and 1974 respectively from B.E. College, Howrah (now, IIEST Shibpur) under the academic control of Calcutta University at that time. After serving his alma mater in various capacities from 1962 he retired as Prof. of EE in 1999. In between from 1969 to 1971 he was in Moscow Power Institute for higher specialization in Control Systems through Indo-Soviet Cultural Exchange Program. Additionally, finding the science behind homoeopathy (an over two-century old challenge) has been his mission since 1965. He completed two research projects in IIEST Shibpur funded by UGC and AYUSH, Govt of India. He is also attached to NIH Kolkata, M.B.H.M.C.H Howrah, IIT Khargpur and CEM Kolaghat in an honorary way. He has more than 50 research publications including 2 books, guided 2 PhD scholars and delivered more than 30 invited lectures/seminar talks on this subject. According to Dr. Mahata, Solute-specific energy level of dissipative structures formed in water carries solute-information in homeopathic potencies. Gross presence of solute material is not mandatory.

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