Indian Journal of Research in Homeopathy

DISCUSSION
Year
: 2021  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 62--69

Active principle in potentised medicines: Nanoparticle versus quantum domain – An overview


Papiya Nandy, Durga Sankar Bhar 
 Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Education, Kolkata, West Bengal, India

Correspondence Address:
Prof. Papiya Nandy
Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Education, 404 B Jodhpur Park, Kolkata - 700 068, West Bengal
India

Abstract

Background: The fact that homoeopathic medicines act even at very high dilutions has created a confusion amongst scientists. This led to different models such as formation of nanoparticles and memory of water. The basic question 'what is responsible for physiological activity of homoeopathic medicines' is yet to be answered conclusively. Objective: The objective of this overview was to find out if formation of nanoparticles or creation of quantum domain in the medium is responsible for the physiological activity of homoeopathic medicines. Methods: This overview is based on the experiments done between 2004 and 2019. Results: The succussion of the medicine has the following effects: i. At high potency, due to the mechanical energy transferred to the system, the size of the substrate reduces to nanodimension increasing membrane permeability. Furthermore, they affect several electrical properties of an electroactive polymer and enhance thermovoltage generation. ii. In the presence of an ambient electromagnetic field, domains composed of the vehicular polar molecules are formed, which bear the signature of the dissolved solute. The domains are sources of quasi-free electrons which are manifested in voltage generation separating two different polar media. The structured water also explains the ultraviolet–visible (UV-Vis) spectra. Conclusion: In high potency, formation of nanoparticles explains the effect of homoeopathic medicines on properties such as permeability, electrical properties of polymers and thermovoltage generation, whereas formation of domains in the vehicle medium explains properties such as voltage generation separating two different polar media and UV-Vis spectra.



How to cite this article:
Nandy P, Bhar DS. Active principle in potentised medicines: Nanoparticle versus quantum domain – An overview.Indian J Res Homoeopathy 2021;15:62-69


How to cite this URL:
Nandy P, Bhar DS. Active principle in potentised medicines: Nanoparticle versus quantum domain – An overview. Indian J Res Homoeopathy [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 May 18 ];15:62-69
Available from: https://www.ijrh.org/text.asp?2021/15/1/62/312632


Full Text



 Introduction



Potentisation, the most vital part of preparation of homoeopathic medicines, brings forth the hidden therapeutic abilities of a substance. It has got two components: (a) serial dilution in a polar medium (b) followed by vigorous vertical jerking, known as succussion: together termed as potentisation.

At ordinary dilution of 103–107, the effect of the solvated molecules is there, but in case of higher potencies, when the dilution can go up to 1018 or more, the ratio of number of molecules of dissolved matter to the number of molecules of the vehicle medium will become approximately one to billions of billions. Under this condition, according to classical understanding, in the solution, the solute will not exhibit any of its properties and the solution at this dilution should show the characteristic of the medium, which however is not the case; the solution even at very high dilution does not resemble the medium but shows separate medicinal activity.

The paradox created a debate between believers in Homoeopathy and the so-called rationalists and this threw a big challenge to basic scientists which led to formulation of different models. With this brief introduction and using some experimental evidences, we proceed to review two different models, namely formation of nanoparticles and formation of quantum domains, and show how these models explain the action of homoeopathic medicine on different physical properties.

This overview is based on the experiments done between 2004 and 2019.

 Results



Different experimental results indicate the existence of nanoparticles in homoeopathic potentised medicines as also evidence for formation of quantum domains are also there and both of them are responsible to affect some physical properties of matter.

In a prior study, doping of the homoeopathic medicine in the electroactive polymer, poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) films were done by following a low-cost and simple solution casting fabrication technique.[1] Generation of thermovoltage was recorded in a glass U-tube, kept in a temperature-controlled chamber.[2] The two arms of the tube were separated by a platinum foil barrier. Generated voltage was measured by placing two platinum electrodes symmetrically in two sides of the barrier. Diluted hydrochloric acid was poured in one arm, and the homoeopathic medicine Z incum oxydatum of specific potency dissolved in ethanol was poured in the other arm.

 Discussion



Formation of nanoparticles

It was our presumption that the size reduction of the original aggregated drug particles to nanodimension takes place during the succussion process, when a large amount of mechanical energy is transferred to the system.[2] An indirect evidence of existence of nanoparticle at extreme potencies for the homoeopathic medicine Aconitum napellus was reported in 2010.[3] Formation of nanoparticle at high potency [Figure 1] has been well established by several authors.[2],[3],[4],[5],[6],[7],[8] It has been established that extreme homoeopathic dilutions retain starting materials.[5] Temgire et al.[7] have shown that metal and inorganic salt-based homoeopathic medicines retain the starting material as nanoparticles, encapsulated within a silicate coating. They proposed 'that all types of homoeopathic medicines consist of silicate-coated nanostructures dispersed in the solvent'.{Figure 1}

The mean size of the nanoparticles of Cuprum metallicum at three different potencies 6 C, 30 C and 200 C, as measured by dynamic light scattering (DLS), is approximately in the range of 13.5–18.5 nm, 1.5–1.7 nm and 0.62 nm, respectively [Figure 1]a, [Figure 1]b, [Figure 1]c. This is also supported by the HRTEM measurements [Figure 1]d, [Figure 1]e, [Figure 1]f. However, the size distribution, obtained from DLS study when the experimental sample was in the liquid state, is not exactly the same as measured by HRTEM image study where aggregation takes place during drying the sample under vacuum.

Using several different homoeopathic medicines, an empirical formula relating the size of the drug associate (Y) with the potency (X) was derived[4]

Y = aX−n

where 'a' and 'n' are characteristic constants of the medicine.

It has been experimentally proved that extreme homoeopathic dilutions retain starting materials.[7] To understand the extreme dilutions from a biological perspective, it has been shown that metal concentration as low as fg/ml increases the intracellular protein synthesis.[6] Hence, the term potentisation indicates the qualitative and quantitative increase in medicinal power as compared to mere dilution. And thus, Homoeopathy is truly defined as nanomedicine.[8]

The idea of formation of nanoparticles has been used to explain the effect of these medicines incorporated in the poly (vinylidene fluoride-co-hexafluoropropylene) films. An enhancement of electrical conductivity, dielectric constant and decrease of tangent loss of this electroactive polymer has been observed [Figure 2]a, [Figure 2]b, [Figure 2]c[2],[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] making these medicine-doped films a suitable candidate for efficient charge storage device and useful in electronic industry.{Figure 2}

The nanoparticle formation at higher potency has been used to explain the enhancement of membrane permeability.[2],[15],[16],[17],[18],[19],[20] The effect of Cuprum metallicum on the microviscosity of the liposomal membrane is shown[2],[16] and the result indicates an increase in the membrane rigidity (measured as anisotropy of the membrane) with increasing potency of the drug, suggesting more penetration of the drug into the membrane [Figure 3]. An explanation for this effect had been sought at the molecular level, based on the dug–lipid interaction. The result is evidence that the initial aggregated structure of the drug decreased in size with potentisation, leading to nanoparticle formation of smaller dimensions, which facilitated enhanced membrane penetration and decreased membrane fluidity.[17] In case of microbial membrane, the enhanced permeability has an antimicrobial effect as it damages the membrane.[18],[19],[20]{Figure 3}

In an experiment using Zincum oxydatum, it has been observed that thermovoltage generation increases with increase in potency [Figure 4].[2],[21] Maximum voltage generated was found to increase with potency of the medicine. Efficiency of the cell with the medicine at potency 30 C at 40°C is ~0.39. Using a dye with ZnO, a similar photovoltaic effect is obtained.[22],[23] This enhancement is due to formation of nanoparticles which increases the surface area manifold with potency and the surface absorption of the radiation becomes more.[21],[22],[23]{Figure 4}

Formation of quantum domains

However, the idea of formation of quantum domains comes into the picture[24] to explain several experimental results, namely ultraviolet–visible (UV-Vis) absorption spectra [Figure 5] at high dilution[2] and development of electric field in the vehicle medium and its increase with potency,[25],[26],[27]as these cannot be explained by considering the formation of nanoparticles.{Figure 5}

In the UV-Vis absorption spectra [Figure 5], the absorption band of 225–325 nm is typical for structured water.[28] The absorption band of 200–225 nm is also due to structured water. There is a clearly distinguishable increase in the absorbance with potency, which indicates that structuring of water increases with potency and the differences between homoeopathic medicines at different potencies are distinguishable (private correspondence with Dr. T. A. Yinnon).

In the customary models, electrostatic forces are explicitly included and electrodynamic ones are treated as perturbation. However, in the quantum electrodynamic (QED) theory for polar liquids, forces due to electromagnetic field (EMF) are explicitly included showing interaction between EMF and liquid molecule. Self-organisation takes place in the polar medium where molecules oscillate with the EMF.[29]

In case of polar medium while potentising by serial dilution followed by succussion, below a certain solute-dependent concentration threshold, Cthr, there appears a disperse system of fluidic associates (~10−5m and 10−7m size) surrounded by randomly moving solvent molecules. These nanosized molecular associates are self-organised, substrate-induced entities stabilised during the potentisation process and were mainly composed of the solvent molecules.[24] In fact, evidence of large supramolecular clusters in polar liquids has been recorded.[30] As the molecular associates present in the polar medium below Cthr stabilise under ambient EM radiation, it signifies a strong interaction between the molecules and the radiation.[31],[32],[33] Solid residues of these associates can be obtained by evaporating the solution, and after dissolving in water, the liquid's physicochemical parameters are back to almost exactly like those of the original solution from which the associates were extracted.[34] Furthermore, the physical properties of the extremely diluted and succussed solution are different from the untreated ones.[32] The biological effects of highly diluted solutions in polar medium are due to these tiny nanomolecular associates formed under the action of the dissolved substance and the outer EMF.[34]

In the presence of the EMF, the molecules of the polar medium distribute over a coherent phase (CP) and a non-coherent phase (NCP). In the CP, all molecules coherently oscillate.[24],[29],[31],[33] A part of these CP molecules are organised in domains (CDelec). Here, they coherently oscillate between their ground electronic state and a well-defined excited state, where the electrons are nearly free, i.e., quasi-free electrons.[26],[33] Only a small amount of energy is sufficient to free these electrons. The other part of the CP molecules coherently oscillates between two rotational states. These molecules organise in coherent domains (CDrot), wherein their electric dipoles are aligned.

The effect of succussion on CDelec and CDrot has been explained in great details.[24],[33] Succussions break up these domains. The broken pieces of CDelec reassemble very quickly, whereas in the broken pieces of CDrot, the molecules have their electric dipoles aligned and thus they can be regarded as electric dipole aggregates, which enhance stabilisation of CDelec, the source of quasi-free electrons.[33] Once these domains are stabilised, they are perpetuated in the resulting dilutes.

The relative abundance of CP and NCP is temperature dependent. No domains stabilise in the absence of EMF as predicted by QED and experimentally verified.[34] Serially diluted solutions, which at each dilution step are not vigorously shaken, do not contain groupings for C below Cthr. It was also shown that on omitting the vigorous shaking, the physicochemical variables of serially diluted liquids and 'normal' liquids were the same.[32] Recently, it has been shown that in the absence of serial dilution, for potentisation only by succussion, the nanoparticle aspect predominates.[1]

Using an U-shaped glass tube where one arm contains bidistilled water and the other arm potentised ethyl alcohol (91%), separated by a platinum foil, voltage is generated across two platinum electrodes and a dc power of the order of nanoW has been measured. The generated voltage and the power lasted for many hours and their magnitude increased with increase in potency.[25],[26],[27] Considering the absence of any significant quantity of ionic solutes in the medium, this voltage generation from two different polar liquids, separated by a metal separator, is a unique phenomenon in the context of classical electrochemistry and can only be explained by the principle of QED. The quasi-free electrons released from CDelec, as predicted by QED model, perhaps is responsible for this increase in voltage across the two electrodes[26] and the associated power generated. The potency-dependent activity of these medicines has been compared from classical and quantum mechanical approach.[35]

 Conclusion



We have studied the effects of potency of homoeopathic medicine on some physical properties of matter and looked for the factors that control the effect of the medicine on these properties at higher potency such as formation of nanoparticles or formation of quantum domains.

It has been shown that due to formation of nanoparticles, the size of the drug associates decreases and the surface area increases manifold. Due to these reasons, entry into the biological membrane increases,[4],[15],[16],[17] causing higher membrane permeability. The amount of radiation absorbed on the surface increases[21],[22],[23] enhancing thermal or photovoltaic effects. Furthermore, the enhancement of electrical properties of electroactive polymer[9],[10],[11],[12],[13],[14] arises due to the nanoparticle nature of the medicine at higher potential (these two effects can be used as an application of Homoeopathy in technology – thereby giving rise to a new field technohomoeopathy).[36]

Thus, the formation of nanoparticle at higher potencies is responsible for several membrane-based phenomena. Temgire et al.[7] have shown that the particles develop a coat of silica and proposed 'that all types of homoeopathic medicines consist of silicate-coated nanostructures dispersed in the solvent'. It has also been noted that in the absence of serial dilution, for potentisation only by succussion, the nanoparticle aspect predominates.[34] The dilution followed by succussion affects the liquid's structural properties.[37]

However, the UV-Vis absorption spectra of Cuprum metallicum measured at different potencies can only be explained by considering the formation of structured water due to interaction of the media with the EMF.[28]

In the presence of the EMF, the molecules of the polar medium distribute over a CP and a NCP. In the CP, all molecules coherently oscillate.[24],[29],[31],[33] A part of these CP molecules are organised in domains (CDelec and CDrot). The domains are present only when the solutions are diluted beyond a solute-dependent threshold concentration Cthr.[38] The process of succussion interacts with the domains formed in the polar medium and the effect gets enhanced with increase in potency. The quasi-free electrons released from CDelec, as predicted by QED model,[33] is responsible for the increase in voltage across the electrodes placed between two different polar lipids and the associated power generated.[25],[26],[27]

Thus, we conclude that the effect of homoeopathic medicines on some physical properties of matter can be explained either by considering the formation of nanoparticle of the drug associates or by the formation of domains in the vehicular medium, as the case may be. Till now, the conventional thinking was unable to differentiate between pure solvent (such as water or alcohol) and potentised homoeopathic medicine. The present scientific findings are now able to differentiate between them in terms of the presence of nanoparticles or quantum domain in the medicines which render them the medicinal properties. How these nanoparticles or quantum domain acts in the body is again a matter of research. Clinical research is to be initiated for in-depth study of the physiological properties of these nanoparticles or quantum domains.

Acknowledgement

[Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4], [Figure 5] have been reproduced from the Indian Journal of Research in Homoeopathy 2015, 9(3), 141-151 with the kind permission of the editorial board of the Journal.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

None declared.

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