Background: Cures by homeopathic medicines, which are devoid of even any particle of the original medicinal substance continue to defy the prevalent concept of medicine for more than two centuries. Clinically their medicinal value is undeniable. But, acceptance of these substances as medicines means acceptance of same chemistry (namely, H2O) for all medicines of potency 12c and above, where dilution is equal to or greater than 10012 or 1024 . It is more than the Avogadro Number, 6.023×1023. Our accepted body of scientific knowledge fails to explain the phenomena. The skeptics utilise this opportunity to brand these cures as ‘placebo effects’ or mental cures. This background provokes a serious re-thinking about the concept of medicine.
Method: This paper proves the skeptic view to be illogical, unscientific, dogmatic and frivolous. Then, it builds up a hypothesis that water may contain the information of a substance diluted away in it. Literature offers some supports for this concept. They are examined in the ‘Review of Supports’ in the text indicating a convergence towards the proposed hypothesis.
Conclusion: Based on these supports and our own investigations, water is given the status of a base for all medicines. Serial dilution of original medicine in this base followed by succussion at each stage creates structured macro-molecules of water. Transcending the chemical formula these structures act as medicines. Other medicines also may induce such structures in water outside or inside the body and the structures so created may act as the ultimate form of medicine. But, this needs further investigation.
Key words: concept of medicine; induced structure; same chemistry but different medicines; structures act as medicines.
*Corresponding author: C. R. Mahata. Phone: +91 9433739180. Email: [email protected]
Genesis of skepticism: Let us consider the homeopathic medicine prepared from Sulphur. Atomic weight of Sulphur is 32 and Avogadro No. is 6.023×1023. So, 1 gm of Sulphur will have [6.023×1023/32] atoms. Diluting it with 99 gm of vehicle of potentisation we get Sulphur-1c (in centesimal scale), 1 gm of which will contain [6.023×1023/(32×100)] atoms of Sulphur. Diluting in this way, 1 gm of Sulphur-12c will have [6.023×1023/(32×10012)] or 0.01882 atom of Sulphur — not even a single atom. Conversely, 1 atom of Sulphur can be ensured in a mass of 1/0.01882 or 53.134 gm of Sulphur-12c. That is why it is said that Avogadro Number puts 12c as limit of potency above which no molecule or atom of the original medicinal substance can be present in it.
Further, let us consider sulphur–30c to be the medicine. The dilution here is 10030 or 1060. It means one has to take 1060 molecules of sulphur–30c (practically, molecules of the vehicle, which is water) to ensure 1 atom of Sulphur in it. Denoting this mass by M,
M = mass of 1060 molecules of H2O
= 1060 X 18 X mass of 1 atom of Hydrogen
= 1060 X 18 X (1.673 X 10-24 ) gm
= 3.0114 X 1037 gm
We know that the estimated mass of the Sun = 1.99 X 10 33 gm
So, the required mass, M = Mass of [(3.0114 X 1037) / (1.99 X 1033)] Suns.
Or, M = Mass of 15,132 Suns!!!
Going by simple dilution formula we arrive at such a disturbing figure. It implies same chemistry for all vastly-diluted homeo-medicines. This is against the prevalent concept, which requires the substance to have a distinct chemical identity along with its capability of altering the state of health for being accepted as a medicine. Defying this concept these substances continue to act as effective curative agents raising a fundamental question – Where is the medicinal value of these so called medicines? Scientists are trying to find a convincing answer to this question. But, that does not bother the skeptics. With a superficial outlook they brand cures by homeo-medicines of potency 12c and above as ‘placebo effect’ or mental cures. But, the clinical success of these very low cost medicines with many incredible cures often showing their superiority over mainstream medicines for more than two centuries should not be brushed aside to hide the failure of our accepted body of scientific knowledge. Moreover, skeptics’ view is logically untenable as shown below.
Rebuttal of the skeptics: Some patients are cured with pills, which contain no active ingredient, just plain sugar. Such cures are called placebo effects or mental cures. The skeptics’ logic stems from such facts and they argue like this: A patient thinks that homoeopathic pills will be curative and that thinking cures him/her.
1. The point is, skeptics forget the fact that homoeopathy benefits not only persons with thinking minds, but also babies, animals and plants. Cures in all cases cannot be attributed to power of mind. So, ‘placebo effect’ or mental cure is an illogical proposition.
2. Moreover, there is no reason for a patient to think that only homeopathic pills will be curative and not main stream pills. In fact, such an effect was expected to be much stronger for pills of mainstream medicines. For, qualification of doctors, glamour of testing gadgets, medicines etc. all go in favor of the main stream to influence the thinking of a patient. So, diagnosis, prescription etc. would have been irrelevant issues. Any pill would have done the job. Still, skeptics hold that cure followed by a symptom-specific mainstream pill is medicinal, whereas even repetitive cures followed by potentised substances matching totality of symptoms for over two centuries are mental. This violates the spirit of impartiality of science.
3. Mind also, to which they attribute cures, does not have any quantifiable active ingredient. The mechanism of action of mind in curing a disease is also not given by the advocates of placebo effect. As such, the skeptics’ proposition is having the same drawbacks for which they stand against homeopathy. It is merely a dogmatic opposition to homeopathy.
4. Cures by power of mind are stray intrusions into our day-to-day life giving us a glimpse of mind-matter duality realized and applied by yogis and saints. Even accepting mental cures it is not reasonable to say that only the patients cured by homoeo-medicines (and not by main stream medicines) had the capability to invoke this duality principle. Ordinary people do not lead their lives by philosophy of yogis and saints. Their approach to life is predominantly materialistic. Hence, their cures are mostly medicinal.
5. Nobody, including the advocates of placebo hypothesis, depends on placebo for curing his/her own illness. It implies that nobody ‘really’ believes in placebo-cure. So, this proposal is just frivolous.
Incidentally, Randomized Controlled Trial (RCT) is an improper yardstick for judging the efficacy of homeopathic medicines. For, homeopathy gives satisfactory result only when the approach is holistic. It is quite possible that in RCT many patients/subjects will be given unsuitable medicines. As such, the results will be meaningless. This rebuttal along with the clinical success of more than two centuries is sufficient for recognition of homeopathy as a genuine system of medicine.
For further augmentation, we note that there are two ways to establish a viewpoint. The first one is to take the contrary viewpoint (here, it is the placebo-effect viewpoint of the skeptics) and then, prove it wrong by showing the inconsistencies, which it leads to. We have accomplished this part.
The second one is to adopt a direct approach and confirm it by using reason and scientific experiments. Rebuttal of the skeptics may be sufficient for recognition but not sufficient to put homoeopathy on a true scientific basis. It will not be convincing to the scientific community. What is needed is a logically sound hypothesis, which will pass through scientific tests. Such a hypothesis is presented below.
II. HYPOTHESIS OF INDUCED MOLECULAR CLUSTER IN WATER
In building up a suitable hypothesis we have to keep in mind that sufficiently potentised homeopathic medicines do not contain any molecule or atom of the original medicine. Still, each such medicine has its characteristic effect on the body. Effect of Ferrum Met-30 is different from that of Plumbum Met-30 though both are chemically same, namely, H2O. This means, characteristics are maintained even in these vastly ‘diluted’ preparations. So, their medicinal value can be explained only by some impressions or codes on the vehicle (i.e. water) by various medicines going from potency to potency and not by chemical presence of the original medicine. For this purpose water has to contain the information in the form of appropriate structures. Let us call them as induced structures. But, the question is – Does water have the potential to fulfill the requirements for playing such a role? Let us examine.
Water, the diluting vehicle, has to satisfy three requirements for containing the information about the original medicine even in vastly diluted preparations through induced ordering. They are: (i) stable structures, (ii) of very very large numbers (iii) of inducible nature. (It is to be noted here that medicinal grade alcohol, which is also used as a vehicle of potentisation, contains about 10 to 15% water.). Fortunately water has three properties satisfying these three requirements as stated below.
1st property and its implication: A unique property of water is that at room temperature it contains innumerable tiny floating ice crystals or icicles at least up to 400C [1,2,3]. It implies that water can hold the medicinal value by the stable ice crystals or icicles in it provided these structures are induced in appropriate forms.
2nd property and its implication: Forms of these crystals are so varied in number that practically no-two ice crystals are identical . This property implies that water can contain a large variety of induced structures corresponding to large number of homeo-medicines and their potencies.
3rd property and its implication: The third property is that the shape and size of these molecular clusters are influenced by impurities, ions of other substances and even large foreign molecules [2,4,5,6,7]. In homeo-medicines the induced structures are likely to be produced by the original medicinal substance when potency is low, that is, below 12c and by the structures of the previous potency when the potency is above 12c. These requirements are satisfied by the third property.
Based on these properties of water we may formulate the hypothesis of induced molecular structure: ‘Medicinal value of a sufficiently potentised homeopathic medicine owes its origin not to chemical presence of the original substance with which potentisation starts but to structural coding of the atoms and molecules of the vehicle (that is, water) creating macromolecules of specific type and dimension peculiar to the original substance and the degree of dilution’. In short, the medicinal value lies in coded molecular clusters of water.
III. REVIEW OF SUPPORTS
Attempts to provide a scientific basis to homeopathy presently seem to converge towards the concept of induced molecular structure. As such, we shall confine our review to the works directly or indirectly related to this concept.
In 1965 a British physicist G.O. Barnard  suggested formation of stereo-specific water polymer entirely characterized by solute molecule. He held that water polymers were formed in the solvent (namely, water) by succussion, the structure of which was determined by the original structure of the solute. He thought that these polymers were induced to grow and split by the energy provided by succussion. These solvent polymers could impregnate further succussed solutions and act as templates for generation of more polymers. This is a theoretical support but it is logical.
In 1988 E. Davenas etal  led by the French immunologist Jacques Benveniste reported human basophil degranulation triggered by vastly diluted antiserum against IgE. Basophils contain granules, which can elicit symptoms of allergy when they are released or degranulated. IgE is a special type of antibody, which causes the release of basophils, and “anti-IgE”, an artificial (man-made) antibody, can have a similar effect as IgE. What was revolutionary about this research is that they diluted anti-IgE 1:10, then shook it vigorously, diluted it again 1:10, then shook it again vigorously. They repeated this process of serial dilution with shaking as many as 120 times, equivalent to 60c of homoeopathy. It ruled out presence of even a single molecule of the original anti-IgE in such a solution.
As per our hypothesis, potentisation (or dilution with vortexing as adopted by Benveniste will generate related water structures. Information about the original solute will be maintained through these structures from dilution to dilution. That is why Benveniste found degranulation phenomenon with crude as well as vastly diluted substances. His results validate our hypothesis. We call it induced structure, he called it water memory.
In 1991 Anagnostatos  proposed his clathrates model as a three-step working hypothesis for homoeopathic micro-diluted remedies. First step assumes production of characteristic small clusters of the diluted substance in the first stages of sequential dilution. They are surrounded by shells of organized hydrogen-bonded molecules of the solvent (called clathrates).
Second step assumes that the small clusters are forced to move out of their clathrates by forces of succession. A new clathrate then forms around each relocated small cluster and an additional clathrate (mantle clathrate) is formed around the initial clathrate (now called the core clathrate), which has become hollow.
In the third step, the role of small clusters in subsequent dilutions and successions is totally influenced by compact structure of core clathrates possessing an interior void, characteristic of the properties of the initial substance. Here, succussion forces core clathrates to move out of their mantle clathrates and stimulate the formation of new mantle clathrates. Likewise, old mantle clathrates become new core clathrates and stimulate formation of their own mantle clathrates. The process is repeated as dilution and succession continues.
Anagnostatos describes a mechanism by which information about the original substance will be carried by the water vehicle from dilution to dilution. The mechanism needs experimental verification. But, essentially it supports our hypothesis.
In 2003 Rey Louis , a physicist of Switzerland described some experiments that suggest water to have a ‘memory’ of molecules that have been diluted away. It was demonstrated by a technique that measures thermo-luminescence. From the work of Rey Louis it appears that substances can modify the hydrogen-bonded network of water, and that this modification remains even when the molecules have been diluted away. The work of Dr. Louis primarily deals with ‘memory’ of solution and it has not been applied directly to any homoeopathic medicine. But, the relevance is obvious.
Rey Louis talks of memory of molecules in terms their effect on hydrogen bonds of water. This is a weak bond and variation in strength of this bond will bring in an altered structure of the solvent molecules. It is an indirect support for our hypothesis.
In 2005 Rustum Roy , a materials scientist of Indian origin, writes that “the central paradigm of materials science is that it is structure (not composition) that (largely) controls properties, and structures can easily be changed in inorganic phases without any change of composition”. Again, “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. Materials science concepts and experimental tools offer a new approach to contemporary science, for making significant advances in the basic science studies of homeopathic medicines”. They add further, “we examined the structures of many water and alcohol-based homeopathic remedies. The results show that such materials can be easily distinguished from the pure solvent and from each other…”. Later, his team published another paper  supporting the same concept.
Rustum Roy’s support for change of structure with change of medicine and potency is direct and unequivocal.
T. Maity in a team of investigators at BESUS, Howrah led by C.R. Mahata  –  adopts the technique of dielectric dispersion using only electric field. It is based on the fact that if potentised medicines are induced structures, which are specific to the medicine and the potency, then there will be resonance of its longitudinal mode of vibration when the excitation frequency coincides with the natural or characteristic frequencies of these structures. These frequencies are detectable by abrupt changes in real and imaginary parts of dielectric function around resonance. The team has obtained resonance-frequency-sets for Sulphur-30c, 200c, Phosphorus-30c, 200c  and Cuprum met-30c, 200c and 1000c . These sets are different for different medicines of same potency as well as for different potencies of the same medicine and may be treated as their identifying characteristic resonance frequencies. However, these works used dried up medicine-soaked lactose as samples.
In a subsequent paper Mahata  reports his investigation with liquid samples. Here it is shown that Arnica Mont-30c, 200c and Anacardium Orient- 30c and 200c all have different resonance frequencies when they were excited by electric field. The experimental data of these works indicate change of structure through change of resonance frequency. He concludes further that the dimension of the molecular cluster is around 30 microns.
In 2009 Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and Nobel Prize winner (2008), demonstrated with his team  that even massively diluted (up to 1012, equivalent to 6c of homoeopathy) DNA solutions emit electro-magnetic signals (EMS) when subjected to random electro-magnetic noise. It is interesting to note that prior to dilution the solution was filtered to remove the DNA structures. This work also was not done directly on homeo-medicines. But, the relevance is obvious.
As per our hypothesis a massively diluted DNA solution will contain the information about the structure of un-diluted DNA. Mahata and his team  show that matter expresses itself through electromagnetic signaling. So, it is no wonder that there will be EMS from massively diluted solution like the un-diluted solution. Filtering may prevent presence of DNA in the immediate filtrate but pass smaller and related structures. These structures could combine through vortexing and produce closely similar structures, which will then emit EMS like the original DNA. So, this work also indirectly supports the hypothesis of induced structure.
All the above investigations accept water to play a significant role. Each one in its own language ascribes water structures to contain the information about the original substance. In spite of difference in wordings the striking similarity of concepts is unmistakable.
IV. CONCLUSION: WATER IS A BASE FOR ALL MEDICINES
In summing up we note the following:-
(i) All the vastly diluted homeopathic medicines have the same chemical composition, namely, H2O. No trace of original substance remains in them.
(ii) Clinical experience proves that even with same chemistry we get effect of different medicines. It is vindicated by different responses of living bodies to different vastly ‘diluted’ homeopathic medicines. So, this author feels that medicine should be defined as – A medicine is a substance which has the capability of altering the state of health without any regard to whether it possesses a separate chemical identity of its own or not. This concept accommodates cure, ill effects and also ‘proving’ of medicines on healthy individuals as is done in homeopathy.
(iii) Different vastly diluted medicines have same chemistry but different structures. Obviously, difference in structure implies different medicines.
The induced structures in the water vehicle are also medicine and potency specific. Thus plain water becomes medicine through the potentisation process of homeopathy when we start the process with some crude form of medicine. Plain water may, therefore, be viewed as a base for all medicines. Serial dilution of original medicine in this base followed by succussion at each stage creates structured macro-molecules of water. Transcending the chemical formula these structures act as medicines. Other medicines also may induce such structures in water outside or inside the body and the structures so created may act as the ultimate form of medicine. But, it needs further investigation. In this way homoeopathy provokes us to revise our concept of medicine — Which is the ultimate form of medicine – Substance with Chemical identity or induced water structure? Homeopathy favors the second alternative. It explains the curative principle in vastly diluted substances of homeopathy. Investigation should be made by applying this concept to other systems of medicine including the mainstream medicines. A statement similar to our hypothesis is available in Rig Veda . We quote it without any comment. Its English translation reads as follows:-
Water is nothing but a medicinal base; water is the savior from all diseases; water is the medicinal base for all; from that (water) let them make medicine for you.
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