Homeopathic Preparations in the Low Potency Range Studied by Means of Pattern Formation in Evaporating Droplets: Influence of Succussion Stroke Number
05 February 2020 (online)
Background and Aims: Evaporation-induced pattern formation in droplets has been applied to characterize homeopathic preparations at high and low potency levels. Here we investigated whether the droplet evaporation method (DEM) may identify differences in succussed vs. unsuccussed homeopathic preparations, and in potencies prepared with different succussion stroke numbers in the low potency range.
Materials and Methods: In the present experimentation we analyzed five potencies (Echinacea 2x, Baptisia 3x, Baptisia 4x, Luffa 4x, and Spongia 6x) prepared in three variants each: potentized by the application of (i) 100 or (ii) 10 succussion strokes between the consecutive dilution steps, and (iii) prepared as an unsuccussed, only gently mixed, control. The experimental set-up stability was examined by positive control experiments. The DEM experimental protocol consisted of the evaporation of droplets of the analyzed potency per se, placed on microscope slides and under controlled conditions. The resulting patterns were photographed in dark field. The images (4026 in total) were subjected to computerized pattern evaluation, consisting of the measurement of their grey-level distribution, aspects of texture, and fractality.
Results: In all five analyzed homeopathic preparations, the succussed (100 and 10 times) and unsuccussed variants could be significantly differentiated by means of at least three of the five analyzed image evaluation parameters. Significant differences between all variants were found only for potency levels 4x and higher (Baptisia 4x, Luffa 4x, and Spongia 6x) in one parameter per preparation. In most cases, the application of succussion strokes reduced the size, homogeneity, and complexity of the DEM patterns. The control experiments showed reasonable experimental model stability.
Conclusions: Phenomenological study of homeopathic preparations in the low potency range, prepared with different succussion stroke numbers, may contribute to a better understanding of the changes that the material, which is still present at low potencies, undergoes during successive potentization steps.
Keywords: Evaporation, patterns, homeopathy, low potencies