1. Scientific Research in Homeopathy —by Dr. Manish Bhatia
When Dr. Hahnemann discovered Homeopathy more than 2 centuries ago, science was not the way we see it today. Modern Science – be it physics, chemistry, biology, or medicine – itself was in a stage of relative infancy. At that time science was still trying to figure out the basis of matter. The whole focus was on the physical state, with very limited work on the energy related phenomena. Keeping in his mind the state of science at that time, Hahnemann had said that it would be difficult to find the physical basis of Homeopathy as Homeopathy medicines deal with energy and not with matter. They are dynamic in nature. He said that ultimately what matters is curing the sick person, and knowing or not knowing the basis would not affect that.
But to provide a status to Homeopathy, proper scientific research and understanding of the mechanisms behind it has become a must. Curing a patient still remains our primary goal, but if we need to make this system accessible to everyone, then we need to do a lot more. Also I personally believe, where there is an ‘effect’, there is a ’cause’ and there is a ‘mechanism’
With increasing understanding of energy physics, improving sensitivity of machines, and newer concepts coming into play, the research work in Homeopathy has taken a new direction. Already there has been a lot of research with nuclear magnetic resonance, memory of water, chaos theory, electrical resistance etc. Even some mathematical theories for the action of homeopathic medicines have been proposed. And some of this research work is already bearing fruits. Like some of the NMR research has shown that it is possible to differentiate homeopathic medicines from pure alcohol and water, because there spectroscopic pattern is different. It is possible to differentiate one medicine from other and one potency from other. It has also been shown that if homeopathic medicines are exposed to heat greater than 60 degrees centigrade or to a strong electromagnetic field, then the spectroscopic pattern loses its characteristics
Science itself remains in a state of constant flux. What it calls unscientific today may becomes scientific tomorrow because the science itself evolves with time. Science is not definite. And so are its conclusions. The current science may not be fully able to explain the mechanism behind Homeopathy, but sooner or later this puzzle will get solved. The pieces have started to come together and I hope soon they all will fall in the right place. Let us be patient and let us be hopeful.
II. ORIGINAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO HOMOEOPATHY
Dr. Prof. Rati Ram Sharma, DSc, PhD(London), MD(MA), MSc, MAMS, FIAMP
Professor & Head (retired), Department of Biophysics, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education & Research, Chandigarh, India; Present mailing address: 615, Sector 10, Panchkula-134113, Haryana, India; Phone: 0091-172-563949; e-mail: [email protected]
1.Necessity of -OH Group in Diluent Molecule : Prof. Sharma pointed out that all the diluent media (lactose, water, ethanol) traditionally used for raising homoeo-potencies have one and only one thing in common, the -OH group(s) in the molecule. As explored by French Prof. Benveniste, the -OH bearing propanol also has these properties. But the Dimethyl-sulphoxide (DMSO), which does not have the -OH group behaved similarly when diluted with -OH bearing water ( H-OH).
2. Essentials for Potentization : Thus, Dr. Sharma showed that for homoeopathic potentization, the molecule of the diluent molecule should have -OH group(s) and the mixture be vigorously agitated by trituration, succussion or stirring at every step of dilution. The diluent molecules are thereby induced to acquire the drug molecule’s chemical specificity which they mimic during curative drug action. So, it is the diluent medium and not the drug that gets potentized during the process.
3.. New Physical Basis of Molecular Chemical Specificity & Recognition: The electromagnetic spectrum is generally accepted to identify an atom or a molecule because the spectrally exchanged energy for every line of the spectrum is uniquely specific. Prof. Sharma argued that the same very outermost electrons which generate the e.m. spectrum also participate in the chemical and biochemical interactions / reactions. These involve transfer, sharing, exchange of the outermost electrons and also of their associated energies. The chemically exchanged energy for a chemical bond between A with B depends not only on A but also on B. So, the same chlorine atom Cl should be in four different energy states in the four molecules Cl2, NaCl, AgCl, CH3Cl.
The chemical and biochemical discriminatory machineries recognize a given molecule A in two steps : first of physical fit between complementary 3-dimensional structures of recognizee A and recognizer B, and second of exchanging the energy specific for the recognizer-recognizee pair.
In Dr. Sharma’s theory, the chemically exchanged energy is the new physical basis of the chemical specificity and positive recognition of molecules. If a small recognizee site on a molecule X acquires the chemically exchangeable energy of A then the chemical and biochemical discriminatory systems will treat X as A, and 3D structures of A or X will have insignificant role. This, for the first time, provides for the induction of chemical specificity of one molecule into another which is ruled out in modern Physics & Chemistry but is suggested by and needed for explanation of the homoeo-potentization. The new science of Inductive Chemistry studies the nature and properties of “induced molecules”.
4. Mechanism of Homoeopotentization : Hahnemann invoked the spiritual nature of high potency homoeomedicines akin to the concept of Vital Force which no modern Science up holds. In Prof. Sharma’s theory the -OH groups of the diluent molecule play the crucial role. Here, the central atom Oxygen has four sp3 hybrid orbitals of equal energy. Two of these contain bond pair of electrons, one from oxygen and another from the bonded radical e.g. H-, H- in water and H-, CH3 CH2– in ethanol. The other two hybrid orbitals have unshared lone pair of electrons whose role is basic here.
The dynamization processes raise the drug molecules to their excited energy states which then resonantly promote the lone pair electrons of oxygen atom in -OH groups of diluent molecules to the same energy levels. For the preparation of higher potencies the diluent molecules resonantly promoted with drug molecules and present in the aliquot from lower potency help promotion of other unpromoted diluent molecules during dynamization agitations. During subsequent drug action the promoted diluent molecules get depromoted to chemically exchange the quantum of energy characteristic of the original drug molecule thereby mimicking its chemical specificity. Since homoeomedicines retain their activity for years, it is plausibly hypothesized that the resonantly promoted diluent molecules do not get spontaneously depromoted because the energy levels of the lone pair electrons are closely spaced. Their life span D t = h / D E is long because energy difference D E between the neighbouring energy levels is small, h being the Planck constant here.
5. Experimental Support for Theory : (i) R.B.Smith Jr and G.W.Boericke (1974) studied the CH3-, CH2– & -OH peaks in the NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) spectrum of ethanol (CH3CH2 OH), dynamized potencies of Sulphur in ethanol and of undynamized simple dilution of Sulphur in ethanol. Only the -OH peak of only the dynamized potency got affected, indicating that -OH group is the seat or site of action of the dynamization processes.
(ii) J. Boiron and C.L.D. Vinh (1976) found that the Laser Raman spectral peaks of the solvent ethanol disappeared in the dynamized dilution of Potassium bichromate and reduced in height in that for Ammonium nitrate, and a new peak of solute (-Cr2O7, -NO3) appeared in both the cases.
No theory of any modern Science can explain the above (i) and (ii) observations which on the other hand support and are explained from Prof. Sharma’s theory of the induction of chemical specificity of the solute into the solvent molecule.
Prof. Sharma as well as French Prof. Benveniste’s team found that only vigorous agitations of the solute drug molecules and the -OH bearing solvent molecules transmit the chemical specificity of solute drug to the solvent.
The resonantly promoted molecules of water and ethanol can easily cross the water and lipid channels in the biological membranes to produce profound physiological effects inside. That is why Homoeopathy could cure some of even those cases which were not amenable to allopathic treatments under modern Scientific Medicine, vide para 2 above.
6. The Vital Force Updated : When Hahnemann discovered Homoeopathy (1790) and wrote six editions of the Organon ( 1810 to 1842) the concept of Vital Force was common to all the sciences. Therefore he based the homoeopathic philosophy on it. However, in mid-1950s the researches in Molecular Biology created the hope and confidence that biological phenomena of health and disease could be understood via molecular mechanisms. This marked the real beginning of modern Scientific Medicine and the end of Vital Force. Dr. Sharma’s 1984-book Molecular Homoeopathy therefore explained all about Homoeopathy through molecular mechanisms without the Vital Force. But in his theory, the new physical basis of the molecular chemical specificity and positive recognition is the chemically exchanged energy. And all forms of energy, according to his updated theory of the 1997-book Neoclassical UNIFIED PHYSICAL THEORY of Every Thing, are composed by the new particle ‘sharmon’. Therefore, shamon and the sharmon -medium which fills the free space become the new bases of the old Vital Force.
7. New Science of Xenobiology : All biological functions and phenomena in health, disease and cure are mediated by molecular mechanisms. The primary molecular disease-complex MX’ is caused by the pathogen xenobiotic molecule X’ affecting the strategic biomolecule M. This alters the routes and /or rates of basic biochemical reactions to produce unnatural biochemical products, tissue changes, morbid feelings & sensations etc. The disease symptoms (objective plus subjective) with modalities of variations represent the “total biological response” of the healthy subject in the patient to the pathogenic xenobiotic. The new comprehensive science of Xenobiology is proposed to study these and related phenomena. Its particular sub-sciences are : the Toxicology, Pharmacology, Parasitology, Immunology, Hypersensitivity, Allergy etc, as also the homoepathic ‘Principle of Drug Proving’ on healthy humans.
8. Scientific Bases of the Law of Similars : Here that dynamized medicine Dx prepared from the drug X is given to cure the natural disease caused by the xenobiotic X’ which (i.e. X) in healthy subjects produces the total biological response similar to the symptom totality of the patient. The original drug X, the dynamized medicine Dx and the natural pathogen X’ elicit similar biological responses because their molecules have the same chemically exchangeable energies and affect the same biomolecule M. The cure is effected by dislodging the disease causing molecule X’ from the biomolecule M in the disease-complex MX’ via competitive chemical exchanges.
Amelioration of symptoms during homoeo-treatments support this explanation. arsenic toxicity was cured by Dr. Sharma with Arsenic alb 200, opium toxicity with Opium 1M and belladonna toxicity with Bell 10 M. The animal experiments of para 3 above similarly also support the explanation. The homoeopathic aggravations, however, suggest stimulation of the immune defense response by the antigenic determinants on the drug molecule X carried over to Dx via dynamizations.
9. The New Science of Inductoxenopathy: The scientificity of Homoeopathy climaxes in Dr. Sharma’s this new medical science: (i) Its therapeutic agents are the “induced xenobiotics” i.e. the diluent media (finally ethanol) resonantly promoted with xenobiotics — the chemicals alien or unnatural to organisms. (ii) Potencies used are above the 12th centesimal which, according to Avogadro’s law, do not have any molecule of the original drug. (iii) It works on the homoeopathic Law of Similars. (iv) Its Materia Medica is provided by the Xenobiology including that of Homoeopathy (vide para 10). (v) It makes use of the tests and investigations of Scientific Medicine besides Symptom Totality. (vi) It does not need or accept the old concept of Vital Force and spiritual natures of disease and homoeomedicine.
10. The Retrospects and Prospects : Prof. Sharma, for the first time in the world, has experimentally and convincingly established that the mechanical dynamizations, which are unique only to Homoeopathy, hold the key for understanding the action of high potency homoeo medicines having no molecule of the original drug. The chemically exchanged energy as the new physical basis of molecular chemical specificity and positive recognition, for the first time, provides for the induction of chemical specificity of one molecule into another. This is beyond the modern Physics and Chemistry but is supported by experiments. The role of -OH groups in the diluent molecules in potentization has been brought out for the first time and is supported by experiments. The diluent medium is thus induced by dynamizations to acquire the chemical specificity of the original drug to itself act as the therapeutic agent The homoeodose is not micro but contains plenty of medicinally active diluent molecules. The high potencies in ethanol cross the biological membranes through water and lipid channels which larger molecules of original drug in low homoeopotencies or in allopathic drugs, cannot. This rationalizes and supports Homoeopaths’ observation and belief that higher potencies act more profoundly. The perennial conceptual impasses created by Avogadro’s law and the Law of Mass Action are thus for the first time removed .
III. Bioenergetic Balancing
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IV. Researchers in biophysics now know that changes in subatomic structures result in measurable fluctuations within the electromagnetic matrix of any entity or material. These energy fields or matrices are measurable and discernible, being biophysical in nature. This energy matrix is what is commonly called the “vital force” of a person; this “vital force” is that which is responsible for giving “life” instructions and directions to every cell and tissue in the body.
Scientists have also demonstrated that by stimulating these fields, the body may be prompted to heal itself more quickly and readily than if no stimulation has occurred. As the energy field or matrix changes so does the health of any cell and tissue. Dampen the energy field, and disease ensues. Increase and brighten the field, and life and regeneration takes place. The status of the electromagnetic field surrounding any cell or tissue at any time will then provide some measure as to its well being, and perhaps a portending of things to come with regards to future health.
In Homeopathy, this means that such changes within the electromagnetic flux of a potentised remedy or medicine are then capable of producing an electromagnetic transmission of its new frequency, imprinting a new signature upon the body fluids in which it comes in contact; and thereby changing the electromagnetic instructions to cells and tissues. (Remember, the body is over 90% water and such electromagnetic instructional messages are therefore easily transmitted through such a medium). Thus, it is thought that unique Homeopathic Potencies/Medicines (especially those of the medium to higher potencies), possessing peculiar resonant frequencies or electromagnetic signatures interact with specific frequencies produced by various body cells and tissues, impressing them, and so affect them by “retuning” them to a higher state of electromagnetic balance. Moreover, such precise “instruction” is not possible by any other method of known conventional medical intervention.
The electromagnetically conducted instructions contained within the field of a Homeopathic potentised remedy act directly and immediately upon available building materials within the body, such as those nutritional entities provided by the Neutraceuticals ingredients found within Vaxa’s formulas. Homeopathic remedies and potencies, then, seek to strengthen and instruct the body’s “vitality,” actually composing and directing “instructions” to those areas of the body in need, and thereby increasing its ability to respond to disease and dysfunction.
If you have tried homeopathic medicines and witnessed the body’s natural ability to heal itself when stimulated by homeopathic remedies you will come to appreciate their benefits. Sure, there are times when antibiotics save lives and they can be over-prescribed, when natural means could be taken to restore the body to balance in most cases. So if you have yet to try this form of natural healing recognize that homeopathy is one of the safest, most effective natural remedies available.
Can water remember?
A second theory is the systemic memory mechanism of water, which simply states that water can remember. It can be imprinted with the memory of a substance.2 This may explain the effects of homeopathic drugs well beyond Avogadro’s number (12C or 24X). This concept is also being researched with modern analytical procedures. There is much that we still do not know about something so apparently simple as water. Stay tuned.
V. Other possible mechanisms of action
The American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacists (AAHP) in their pharmacy c.e.u. program, an Introduction to Modern Concepts of Homeopathic Pharmacy3 presents the following “possible mechanisms of action” of homeopathic drugs:
The human body is wonderfully adaptive and is constantly maintaining its equilibrium and harmony. This process of adjustment is continuous. For example, on a hot day we sweat and in the cold we shiver. These simple examples are good illustrations of the constant adjustments being made due to the environment or specific stimuli. The endocrine and nervous systems are involved in mediating these adjustments, though all of the body’s systems are involved in a complex process designed to maintain homeostatic equilibrium.
When the stimuli is weak, the body’s response is moderate; the resulting changes are minimal or pass without our notice at all. When the stimuli is great, then the body’s response must be equally strong or the body will be overwhelmed and the changes which occur to our body can be equally dramatic.
These adjustments are our “symptoms.” We may not think of perspiration as a symptom, but it is the body’s way of cooling itself. When we fall and bruise ourselves, the area becomes tender and discolored. These symptoms, while mild, are the healing processes for the damage done to the injured tissue. Inflammation occurs, damaged cells collect, the lymphatic system and lymphocytes mobilize to phagocytize dead cells and debris and remove it from the area. In the case of a viral infection, the same process of inflammation occurs, the immune system is activated, antibodies are formed and systems develop. The symptoms may include fever, runny nose, sneezing, cough, headache, body aches. All of these symptoms represent the body’s efforts to overcome and eliminate the viral infection.
Symptoms are therefore a positive phenomenon. They are the body’s way of telling us that it is coping with stimuli or stress being applied to it. Homeopathy utilizes these symptoms to assist the body in its efforts to regain its balance and state of health through the application of the “law of similars.”
Many of the concentrations used in homeopathic drugs may at first glance seem to be so dilute as to have no possible physiological effect. But it is important to put these concentrations in perspective by comparing them with the normal concentrations at work in our bodies. Our body typically deals with ion concentrations in lymphatic fluid and serum of 10-3 g/ml. Hormone concentrations range from 10-6 to 10-18 g/ml depending upon the hormone and the tissue where it is being measured. From this it is apparent that most of the lower homeopathic potencies correspond with the natural physiological concentrations found in the body. Higher homeopathic potencies, which correspond to extremely low concentrations, utilize mechanisms for their actions that are not understood. While controversy surrounds the effectiveness of high dilutions, there is research which reports that these very highly diluted solutions do have physiological effects on a variety of natural systems.
In a series of experiments continued over 35 years, Kolisko4 reported that wheat seed growth was promoted by low dilutions of various metallic salts, inhibited by somewhat higher dilutions, and stimulated again at dilutions higher than Avogadro’s number. Another experiment5 tested the effect on guinea pigs of daily doses of sodium chloride prepared in 30X, 200X, 400X, 600X, 800X, 1000X, 1200X and 1400X dilutions (all well past Avogadro’s number). The trial, lasting six months, was repeated two years in succession. Controls received distilled water. Test animals lost weight and appetite, had dull shaggy coats, and dull watery eyes, were less active than controls, gave birth to young weighing less than the controls and had a higher mortality and lower reproduction rates than the controls.
Other experiments, using techniques from physics, have also reported that homeopathically dilute substances display measurable differences that may seem paradoxical due to the small concentrations present. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments6 conducted in 1963 measured three solutions: a) 87% ethanol in water, b) sulphur 12X (prepared with succussion at each step, and c) an equivalent dilution of sulphur 12X prepared without succussion. The authors were able to distinguish the properly prepared sulphur 12X from the others, and concluded “some form of energy is imparted by succussion to a homeopathic drug, resulting in a slight change of the alcohol in these dilutions. There is a structural change in the solvent as the potency is made from the tincture to a higher dilution.”
A more recent experiment7 measured the changes in hydroalcoholic solutions prepared with serial dilution and succussion. Dilutions of sulphur from 5X to 30X were prepared using succussion, vial rotation and neither succussion nor rotation. Measurable and characteristic changes in the spectra were found at each stage of dilution with succussion. These characteristics were absent in analogous solutions prepared without succussion or solute.
A number of theories have been attached to homeopathy in an attempt to explain how these dilute solutions work. The effects of homeopathy can be clinically evident and the physiological changes that homeopathic remedies create in the body have been measured. However, the exact mechanisms for how homeopathy interacts with the body’s systems remain unknown.
One possibility is that homeopathic dilutions assist the body to reactivate enzyme and endocrine systems by interacting with regulatory and biofeedback mechanisms. Homeopathic concentrations are in the proper range for interacting with the receptor sites at the level of cellular membranes, enzymes and neural synapses.
Researchers have stated that the length of the bond between molecules increases in length with repetitive succussion sites. Bond length is a measure of bond strength since it takes more energy to hold the molecules together at greater distances. The kinetic energy of the succussion process becomes transformed into potential energy held within the molecules in the form of molecular bonding.
Current thought is that low dilutions (1X-12X) work on organs and tissue and are used in acute conditions or for drainage. Drainage remedies facilitate or enhance the function of the detoxifying organs, such as liver, kidneys or lymphatic systems. They are claimed to have a stimulatory effect on the system. The intermediate dilutions (12X-30X) are thought to act in a regulatory fashion, with a slight stimulation of intermediary metabolism in order to achieve homeostasis. Potencies above 30X are used for emotional and mental symptoms or for the constitutional nature of the individual.
Some individuals feel that homeopathic medicines work in a manner similar to vaccines. Others claim that their action is due to the specific resonance that each drug possesses. There is a specific and consistent energy pattern under electromagnetic resonance imaging. Technology allows resonant frequency to be measured, so this may be part of the answer. Still others claim an action similar to the phytotherapeutic effect for low dilutions of herbs. All of these ideas may be true. However, if the symptoms of the body are viewed as total disregulation, and an attempt is made to find the appropriate homeopathic drug(s) based on similarity with symptoms, it could be theorized that homeopathics are able to affect receptors in a way to reestablish normal function. The bottom line is that the exact mechanism of action in homeopathy has not yet been determined.
VI. Hormesis: The New Breakthrough
Look up the Arndt-Schulz Law in a modern textbook of pharmacology, and you will be lucky if you find it mentioned, let alone discussed. It died out of the textbooks as the allopathic interest moved further into the inhibitory part of the Arndt-Schulz curve, and as the pharmacological Dose – Response curve avoided the area of the threshold dose. It appeared that, for all its promising origins, theoretical support for homoeopathy had died a natural death.
Recently, however, further support for homoeopathic medicine has come from a most unlikely direction: the field of toxicology, or the action of poisons. Beginning in 1960, data began to accumulate that poisonous substances were having two effects on living organisms5. At high doses they inhibited metabolism and ultimately caused death, as was well known. But at low doses they exerted a stimulating effect, a response totally unexpected and not explainable by current medical science. Recently the trickle turned to a torrent, as toxicologists turned to examine the new phenomenon of hormesis, the name given to the stimulatory effect of low levels of usually poisonous substances.6-11 The Arndt-Schulz Law had not died: it had simply resurfaced with a new name.
The research results are incomplete, but the trend is inescapable. Evidence from experiments, both human and animal, shows hormesis as an effect occurring in all biological domains tested, with growing research support. It demonstrates that all substances (including pesticides and carcinogens) which show an inhibitory effect at high concentrations, have a stimulatory effect at low concentrations.
Typical Concentration-Response Curves Developed in Hormesis Research6
The alpha curve is the most expected pattern, and is assumed to describe the actions of drugs in humans as the concentration moves from low concentrations to progressively more inhibitory ones. This curve is a tentative one, and is assigned to those drugs which have not yet been fully tested for a stimulatory response.
The beta curve was the most frequently observed pattern, and accounted for the human reactions to the bulk of the drugs tested. It shows a typical curve as predicted by the Arndt-Schulz Law, but (understandably) was not tested in toxic and lethal dose ranges.
The two other curves the gamma and delta forms, were recorded where data was available for biological response at lower dose ranges. However data points for these ranges are generally less available, so the validity of these curves is unknown until further data is available.
Homoeopathic research has consistently produced results showing the basic curve structure of hormesis and the Arndt-Schulz Law. But the research goes further: as the drug substance is progressively diluted, the biological reaction alternates between stimulation and inhibition, as given by the hormesis gamma and delta curves. This periodic behaviour is called rhythmicity by the homoeopaths, and represents one of the several great unexplained phenomena in homoeopathic action. But one factor is established: as the dilutions become extreme and the concentration of the source drug approaches zero, the biological reaction will also fade out unless the diluted solution is succussed in accord with traditional homoeopathic practice.
A. Typical Rhythmicity Curve of the Homoeopathic Remedy Prunus Spinosa
The implications of hormesis are enormous and deserve a story of their own, but a few points here may give future directions.
Pesticides which are toxic to pests at high concentrations can cause a proliferation of their growth at lower concentrations, such as can occur in rainwater run-off and collecting river systems. The ecological value of their use will tumble.
Any substance which causes cancer will likewise be shown to be anti-cancer in its action at a lower dose range.
The present tactic of various health departments in this country of giving a herb in high doses to experimental animals (and then banning it in all dose ranges when tumours form) will become counterproductive. Any herb which causes cancer in high doses will be shown to protective against the same cancer in low dose ranges, suitable for human intake.
How Does Homoeopathy Work?
Central to the issue of medical acceptance of homoeopathy is the clarification of its mechanism of action. In particular, is there a model which adequately explains its clinical effectiveness and the successes of the trials?
In the development of a workable model, the research thinking has gone something like this: Given that the medicine is effective even when it can be shown that there is no likelihood of any molecules left in a particular dose (due to dilution), then the effect of the dose must lie with the water molecules themselves , since that is all that is left. Water itself can be assumed to have no effect in this case, since the dose is small, and the effect would always be the same. The answer must lie within the water molecules, and the only real possibility is in the type of energy that the molecule has stored.
Energy storage within molecules in biological systems lies within the realm of biophysics rather than biochemistry. Biophysics is a new field, having become established only within the last twenty years or so. It is not yet included in medical curricula in universities to any great extent, and is only now beginning to make its mark in the biological sciences. Small wonder, therefore, that the established medical world knows little of its existence, or the promise it holds in explaining the action of the medicines of energy, such as homoeopathy, acupuncture, psychic and spirit healing, and radionics.
Molecules such as water can store energy in four different ways – kinetic, spin, vibration and electronic excitation. Some storage modes can store more energy than others, and we will start at the lowest, least energetic mode, which is kinetic energy, or energy of motion. A molecule stores kinetic energy by virtue of its speed. It is this storage in gases and liquids which causes pressure (such as air pressure) by the continual collision of the molecules with surfaces like our skin, and also causes the bulk of chemical reactions to occur. At room temperature, the energy which these molecules contain is low, compared with other states. It is unsuited to homoeopathic medicine since the energy is constantly altered by collision, and so any energy stored is degraded.
VII. Energy Storage In Molecules
Spin and Microwave Cooking
Spin energy is found in gases and liquids, but not in solids, where the stronger attractions between molecules prevents rotation.It is also not found in water until about 420C, a factor of considerable importance to living organisms, composed as they are of up to 90 percent water, with humans being about 40 percent. Heating up water to about 42 degrees causes sufficient disruption of the molecular attraction between molecules to allow spin to occur, and that’s precisely the temperature at which humans start to die. Life processes in general seem to keep a safe distance from the temperature band of 42 to 45 degrees.
Spin energy in molecules corresponds to microwave radiation, which is one reason why this radiation is lethal. It is also an indication of the potential power of energy storage in this mode – strong enough to cook food. But it is unsuited to homoeopathic medicine, since at room temperature, the spin storage state in water has not become active.
At the top end of the scale is electronic excitation, which is the stuff powering lasers, of great strength and intensity. Excite the electrons circling the component molecules up into higher orbits and energy is stored. Drop them down together, and a pulse of light is given out. It may be of sufficient strength and power to burn a hole through a razor blade, cut tissue in surgery, or stop an army tank – it depends on what molecules are used, and how strongly the electrons are excited. It is not suitable for homoeopathic medicine, because the excited electrons are unstable, and will decay in a matter of fractions of a second.
Standing midway between the cooking power of microwave and the destructive power of lasers stands vibratory energy. Although it has an accepted place in physics as a means of storing energy, it has had a chequered career in medical science because of its association with trance mediums, psychic phenomena and extrasensory perception. Vibratory energy can be found in molecules throughout all three states of matter – solid, liquid and gas. It is responsible for phenomena such as the expansion of metals when heated, and the transfer of heat by conduction. Vibratory motion of a molecule increases when the molecule absorbs energy, and can re-radiate it at a later date, usually in the infrared part of the spectrum, where heat is also found.
It is in the storage of vibratory energy in water molecules during the succussion process that homoeopathic medicine places many of its hopes for a scientific explanation of its action. It is proposed that during the collision process, vibratory energy is exchanged between the source drug and the water, and that the water is left with a vibratory imprint of the drug. Further succussion makes the imprint deeper, which explains why the medicines are regarded as acting more strongly as the dilution increases. Furthermore it is not just energy which is being stored, it is proposed, but information, differing from one remedy to another depending on the source substance used, with every substance leaving a different vibratory signature in the water molecule. In this way homoeopathic medicine is seen as carrying information into the body when it is taken in dose form, perhaps as biological instructions.
If water molecules were dissociated from each other at room temperature, any vibratory energy stored would quickly degrade. But at 250C, about 70% of water molecules are incorporated into a stable hexagonal lattice structure, capable of storing a considerable amount of vibratory energy before it breaks up. But storage of vibratory energy causes structural changes, because any molecule which absorb energy will always change its shape. So a convenient way of telling if this particular model was correct was to examine homoeopathic water for structural changes.
A number of workers over the years have shown that both high and low potency homoeopathic medicines show structural changes in the water they contain. It was additionally shown that in order for the structural changes to occur, two things must happen. First, there must be a source drug to begin with; that is, you can’t make a homoeopathic medicine from water alone. Secondly, you must succuss the remedy as it is diluted stepwise, in the rhythmic shaking manner used by the homoeopaths for many years. Only when these two processes are included will structural changes show.
Certainly one of the most visually impressive experiments to test the possibility of structural changes was carried out recently, involving ice crystals. Ice crystal structures are very good mirrors of the energy status of their component water molecules. It is why, for instance, you will never find two identical snowflake patterns, for each is formed under slightly different conditions. In the experiment, different potencies of the homoeopathic remedy pulsatilla were frozen at -100C, and photographed under polarised light to show any changes in the ice crystal structure. The results are strikingly beautiful, and the changes in crystal size as the potencies increase indicate increased energy storage in vibratory modes.
Benveniste – Champion or Charlatan?
In one of the stranger episodes in the recorded history of scientific publishing, the prestigious British research journal Nature recently published experimental results which the editors say they consider utterly impossible. The typically indigestible title of the paper is “Human Basophil Degranulation Triggered by Very Dilute Antiserum Against IgE”14, and the conclusions it proposes have been similarly indigestible to the medical community. The main players in the experiment were a special type of white blood cell known as a basophil and an antibody, IgE. When basophils are normally exposed to this antibody, their chemistry and internal structure change, in a way that is easily checked by staining techniques. But what Benveniste and his colleagues found was that the changes occurred even when the antibody was used up to the 120x potency, a dilution at which it is virtually impossible for even one molecule of the antibody to remain. The results also showed the familiar rhythmic changes in basophil reactions as the potencies increased, a factor still unexplained, even by homoeopaths. The deputy editor of Nature remarked that two centuries of observation and rational thinking about biology will have to be abandoned if the results stand, because they cannot be explained by existing physical laws.
The 13 member international research team headed by Professor Benveniste conducted their experiments after being challenged by two eminent French homoeopaths to disprove homoeopathy once and for all, by conducting a sensitive, tightly controlled experiment in an accredited research centre. The centre chosen was at the University of South Paris, where Professor Benveniste is a Research Director. “That was how it all started”, he said. “They challenged us to prove them wrong, and we couldn’t.”
The furore surrounding this experiment has produced some unique reactions within the scientific community, and highlights an important question: how should the scientific establishment deal with anomalous findings which challenge the very roots of established thought? Nature journal had its own answer: it sent a fraud squad comprising one of its editors, a professional magician, and an investigator of scientific frauds from the USA to Benveniste’s laboratories. Over a period of a week they criticised shortcomings in experimental design, studied the laboratory records, and interrogated the researchers. Finally, they failed to replicate the results in a double-blind trial, and declared the experiments “a delusion.” Benveniste, not unexpectedly, considered the investigation a witch hunt and an outrage. “I welcome any explanation for our findings” he said, “but not this kind of crap.”
The homoeopaths of the world, together with interested onlookers, can be assured that the matter will not rest there. Further interesting reading on the bizarre reactions to homoeopathic experiments on the part of the scientific and medical establishments will surface. Benveniste will undoubtedly be back, with a more tightly controlled experiment which will probably decide, once and for all, the future of homoeopathy