Unravelling the mystery of high dilutions
Unravelling the mystery of high dilutions
The solution to the mystery might be very close!
Among the studies listed below is one by Chikramane et al., who discovered nanoparticles of the original substances in homeopathic medicines at potencies as high as 200C in the year 2010.
When long-time American homeopathy researcher Iris Bell, M.D. Ph.D. read this study, she had an idea: why not look at the science coming out about nanoparticles and physiology, a hot topic in medical research right now as it holds the promise of better drug absorption?
She did that for two years and was struck by the similarities between what this nanomedicine science was discovering and what is known in homeopathy.
This prompted Dr. Bell to formulate a theory as to how homeopathy works, which she published a paper about in October of 2012. See it here.
What should happen next is testing of the theory as she suggests, and independent replications of the Chikramane experiment. If these things both turn up positive, we'll be able to say that we know broadly at least that we know how homeopathy works.
Keep checking back here.
What is in that water?
No one has figured out, exactly, but they're working on it. It's becoming clearer and clearer that there is something in ultra-high dilutions, prepared the way homeopaths prepare them. Enough scientists are working on it that they have their own academic journal, the International Journal of High Dilution Research.
They affect living things:
E. Davenas, F. Beauvais, J. Amara, M. Oberbaum, B. Robinzon, A. Miadonnai, A. Tedeschi, B. Pomeranz, P. Fortner, P. Belon, J. Sainte-Laudy, B. Poitevin & J. Benveniste, Human basophil degranulation triggered by very dilute antiserum against IgE Nature 333, 816-818 (30 June 1988) [Warning: entire study including abstract behind paywall.]
This is Jacques Benveniste’s famous “memory of water” study which led to the destruction of his sterling reputation by those who simply refused to believe his results. We list all the authors, instead of just “et al” as usual, to make the point that three other labs had to replicate the results before the paper was published—an unprecedented requirement.
It has been replicated again since, however, as per this meta-analysis:
Witt CM, et al, The in vitro evidence for an effect of high homeopathic potencies–a systematic review of the literature Compl Therap Med (2007) 15, 128-138)
“From 75 publications, 67 experiments (1/3 of them replications) were evaluated. Nearly 3/4 of them found a high potency effect, and 2/3 of those 18 that scored 6 points or more and controlled contamination. Nearly 3/4 of all replications were positive. Design and experimental models of the reviewed experiments were inhomogenous, most were performed on basophiles.” (Same thing Benveniste was studying.) What frustrates the scientists is that this isn’t 100% reproducible. They are working on figuring out why.
They shine the same way the original material does:
Rey, L. Thermoluminescence of ultra-high dilutions of lithium chloride and sodium chloride Physica A 323 (2003) 67 – 74
“During that phase, their thermoluminescence has been studied and it was found that, despite their dilution beyond the Avogadro number, the emitted light was specific of the original salts dissolved initially.”
They emit electromagnetic waves:
Montagnier L. et al, Electromagnetic Signals are Produced by Aqueous Nanostructures Derived from Bacterial DNA SequencesInterdiscip Sci Comput Life Sci (2009) 1:81-90)
Conclusion: solutions of bacteria and virus DNA, when so highly-diluted that nothing of the original substance remained, were still able to emit low frequency radio waves. The radio waves affected water molecules, and the water molecules remembered and emitted radio waves. Oh, and in case you think Luc Montagnier is some junk scientist, he’s the one who discovered the HIV virus, winning a Nobel Prize for doing so. Due to lack of funding for homeopathy-related research in Europe, he’s recently moved to China to continue studying this phenomenon.
They can be told apart if you have the right equipment:
Rao, ML. et al, The defining role of structure (including epitaxy) in the plausibility of homeopathy Homeopathy, Volume 96, Issue 3, July 2007, pp. 175-182.
“Preliminary data obtained using Raman and Ultra-Violet–Visible (UV–VIS) spectroscopy illustrate the ability to distinguish two different homeopathic medicines (Nux vomica and Natrum muriaticum) from one another and to differentiate, within a given medicine, the 6c, 12c, and 30c potencies.”
Same authors continue this line of investigation:
Rao, ML et al: Characterization of the structure of ultra dilute sols with remarkable biological properties Materials Letters, Volume 62, Issues 10-11, April 15, 2008, pp. 1487-1490. “This opens up a whole new field of endeavor for inorganic materials scientists interested in biological effects.”
They’re just… different.
V. Elia and M. Niccoli, New Physico-Chemical Properties of Extremely-Diluted Aqueous Solutions, Journal of Thermal Analysis and Calorimetry, Vol. 75 (2004) 815–836.
“The procedure of dilutions and succussions, even if there are no con vincing theoretical explanations yet, is capable of modifying in a permanent way the physico-chemical features of water.”
And maybe they actually do have bits of the original material in them after all.
Chikramane, PS et al, Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective Homeopathy 2010 Oct;99(4):231-42.
“Using market samples of metal-derived medicines from reputable manufacturers, we have demonstrated for the first time by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction and chemical analysis by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), the presence of physical entities in these extreme dilutions, in the form of nanoparticles of the starting metals and their aggregates.”
What that last study points out… well, look at how recently it was published. Scientific research on high dilutions is ongoing.
It’s a story that is still developing.
Bonus: Here is a site with everything you could imaginably want to know about water, by a scientist who is arguably the world’s leading authority on it. From the “Memory of Water” page, a quote–note the certainty with which he says it–
“Water does store and transmit information, concerning solutes, by means of its hydrogen-bonded network.”
Another quote: “‘Maybe I should have thrown the data away’ -Jacques Benveniste, 1935-2004. But being a scientist and believing in his data he could not.”
And here is a film on the properties of water. Fascinating stuff.