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Research: Does Homeopathic Succussion Make a Difference?

Research Highlights

  • Five homeopathic remedies were compared.
  • They were each succussed 0, 10, or 100 times during potentisation and assessed at each succussion level for any detectable difference in their evaporation droplet pattern (DEM).
  • Patterns were evaluated by DEM and computerised image analysis of grey level distribution, texture, and fractility.
  • Significant differences were detected for different remedies and at the different numbers of succussions.
  • Control experiments were conducted to confirm stability.

Graphical representation of one chamber-run design.

Introduction

It is already known that the agitation of substances such as proteins in a liquid can modify their nature and behaviour.

This may occur through the introduction of air bubbles, shearing forces, or oxidative processes.

These changes have been detected by particle formation, protein degradation, free radical formation, and flow dynamics, and analysis by different spectroscopy and calorimetric methods but none of these are appropriate for homeopathic potencies.

The Droplet Evaporation Method (DEM)  is an approach in which residue from evaporated droplets is examined against a range of preset parameters.

As the preparation of homeopathic remedies occurs through serial dilutions and agitations (succussions) of liquids – a process notated in reputable pharmacopoeias – DEM appears to be a model well-suited to homeopathic dilutions.

It is also an accepted approach that is increasingly being used within various fields of technology and science.

In this study, by using DEM, researchers were able to ‘visualise’ the formation of patterns between succussed and unsuccussed homeopathic remedies, and the different patterns produced by different numbers of succussions.

Remedies and Succussions

The remedies chosen for analysis were Echinacea 2C, Baptisia 3C, Baptisia 4C, Luffa 4C and Spongia 6C.

They were mostly chosen for their dendrite pattern forming properties.

Each remedy was prepared in 3 succussion variations:

  1. No succussions
  2. 10 x succussions
  3. 100 x succussions

Pattern Recognition Methods

The residues on glass from evaporated remedy droplets were photographed by 100x magnification dark-field microscopy.

Computerised pattern recognition was used to remove the subjective nature of human visual recognition and evaluations were made according to:

  1. Grey level distribution which measures image brightness and provides information on the structure size, thickness of branches, and their brightness.
  2. Foreground pixel which measures the structure’s area.
  3. Entropy which measures different pixel brightness values – their similarity (or not) and distribution.
  4. Local connected fractal dimension which measures and displays the structures complexity.
  5. Lacunarity which measures gaps within a structure.

Results

The DEM patterns of all five remedies displayed altered patterns following succussion that were clearly visible.

There were differences in grey level distribution, texture, and fractality, and these varied according to the number of succussions given to each remedy.

While pattern differed from remedy to remedy and potency to potency, in two of the remedies, Luffa 4C and Spongia 6C, significant differences were found at all levels of succussion.

Considerations

As some solute of the source material remained in all potencies, differences may be linked to the clumping of remaining molecules from either succussion or the introduction of air bubbles.

Further DEM experiments designed to compare the impact on results of different methods of succussion (intensity and type of movement) should be conducted.

These experiments could compare succussion factors such as the type of induced flow (e.g. chaotic vs. ordered, vortex-like), different surfaces and coatings of the container walls, and the difference in liquid vs air volumes of the container.

Investigations on links between the patterns produced and biological effect are also needed.

Full Paper

Impact of succussion on pharmaceutical preparations analyzed by means of patterns from evaporated droplets

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