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Integrative nanomedicine: homeopathic remedies as source and silica nanoparticles acting as danger signals for nonlinear complex adaptive systems
24 January 2018 (online)
The alleged “implausibility” of homeopathic medicines is a foundation for attacks on homeopathy. Skeptics insist that homeopathic medicines are too dilute to contain any residual material from their mineral, plant, or animal sources or exert effects. Nonetheless, multiple studies on cells, animals, plants, and human subjects have demonstrated biological effects of remedies.
Research laboratories have shown that 6 different metal remedies and 3 different plant remedies contain persistent remedy source nanoparticles (NPs) from low to high potencies beyond Avogadro's number for bulk form materials. Multiple laboratories also have documented the ability of succussion in glass containers to release measurable amounts of silicon and silica into solution. Chikramane et al. (2012) showed that succussion can generate heterogeneous accumulation and layers of remedy source nanoparticles that lead to physical transfer carryover of nanoparticles from container to container during the “serial dilution” procedures, even though bulk form source materials may be diluted away. In addition, Das et al. (2013) demonstrated that homeopathic plant mother tinctures can biosynthesize silver nanoparticles from precursors, just as plant extracts can biosynthesize silica nanoparticles from silica precursors.
Nanoparticles could explain many puzzling observations and variability from study to study in homeopathic research. Elia et al. have found aging-related effects in homeopathically-prepared remedies in terms of heat release and electrical conductivity changes after storage – observations that overlap nanoparticle phenomena of aging and Ostwald ripening. Some homeopathically-prepared materials, e.g., specific bacteria nanoparticulates, also emit detectable electromagnetic signals after certain dilution-succussion processes. Certain spectroscopy studies showed unique patterns for homeopathically-prepared remedies compared with control solvents (succussed and nonsuccussed). Some investigators have also interpreted findings from proving studies as indications of quantum mechanical properties of remedies. NPs have enhanced bioavailability, adsorptive capabilities, adjuvant reactivity, electromagnetic, optical, thermal, biochemical, and quantum properties compared with their bulk forms. Different concentrations of ethanol, variations in pH, temperature, and glassware, as well as dilution sampling and succussions (or sonication, vortexing) will lead to different sizes, shapes, surface charges, and properties of the resultant nanostructures. Even minor variations in the latter variables could contribute variability to remedy actions.
This talk discusses implications of the homeopathic nanoparticulate findings for a biological signaling model of the homeopathic remedy nanostructures in initiating a cascade of endogenously amplified adaptations and cross-adaptations across the organism as a whole.
Homeopathic remedy manufacturing probably generates NPs by a crude “top-down” mechanical grinding in lactose and/or succussions in room temperature ethanolic solutions within borosilicate glass containers. Silica nanostructures could serve as remedy source NP drug delivery vehicles and nonspecific biological amplifiers. Nanoparticles induce self-organized adaptive changes in the organism at nontoxic doses (hormesis), serving as salient, low level danger signals to the biological stress response networks. Release of exosomes and activation of stress response effectors, including heat shock proteins, inflammasomes, cytokines and neuroendocrine networks, would initiate and progressively amplify beneficial compensatory reactions. Thus, homeopathy may represent the earliest practical development of “integrative nanomedicine” for using pulsed doses of nanoparticles from natural source materials safely and effectively in treating a wide range of acute and chronic clinical conditions.