Homeopathic Preparations in the Low Potency Range Studied by Means of Pattern Formation in Evaporating Droplets: Screening Experiments, Sample-Differentiation and Repeatability
05 February 2020 (online)
Background and Aims: Here we propose, for the first time, the droplet evaporation method (DEM) as a tool to distinguish low potencies prepared from different substances on a qualitative and quantitative basis. Low potencies (≤6x) contain measurable quantities of the starting substance and so give the possibility to study the changes this very substance undergoes in the course of successive potentization steps.
Materials and Methods: The experimentation consisted of: (i) screening of 1x–6x potencies deriving from 19 different substances of mineral, vegetal, and animal origin; (ii) experiments aiming at the differentiation of homeopathic preparations at the same potency level prepared from 4 pre-chosen substances (Echinacea, Baptisia, Luffa, and Spongia) in the potency range 2x–6x; and (iii) 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. Images from main and control experiments (ii and iii; in total 2331 images) were evaluated by measuring their grey level distribution and texture.
Results: Potencies of mineral origin showed the greatest form variety, whereas potencies of vegetal origin in the potency range 2x–4x created fractal patterns, probably in the course of diffusion-limited aggregation. The differentiation of homeopathic preparations at the same potency level prepared from 4 pre-chosen substances (Echinacea, Baptisia, Luffa, and Spongia) was possible in the potency range 2x–4x, whereas patterns from higher potencies could no longer be differentiated and resembled the pattern of pure solute. The control experiments showed reasonable experimental model stability.
Conclusions: DEM seems to represent a promising tool for further studies on homeopathic preparations in the low potency range: for instance, comparison of potencies versus dilutions, or qualitative studies on complex homeopathic preparations regarding the influences of single compounds on the DEM patterns.
Keywords: Evaporation patterns, homeopathy, low potencies