What is this project about?
During the manufacturing process, homeopathic medicines are repeatedly succussed (shaken vigorously), introducing kinetic energy. This process is thought to be responsible for making the final product biologically active, despite being highly diluted. The question is, what changes does succussion cause in the solution and how does this enable the homeopathic medicines to work?
This project aims to observe potential physico-chemical differences between succussed solutions and unsuccussed solutions using particular types of highly sensitive coloured and fluorescent dyes (chromophoric probes). Investigations are being carried out using UV/VIS and fluorescence spectrometers to analyse changes in the spectra of the chromophoric probes as a function of succussion, nature of the substance diluted and specific environmental factors.
Results to date indicate that adding a drop of a liquid homeopathic medicine (or ‘potency’), induces greater ordering in solution and in particular enhance the exclusion zone known to exist adjacent to hydrophilic surfaces – a phenomenon not seen with unsuccussed liquids. These are exciting results and are generating a number of specific and fruitful lines of investigation.
Dr Steven Cartwright gained his PhD in molecular biology from Edinburgh University, going on to develop techniques in cryoenzymology at the universities of California and Oxford before training in Homeopathy. He is currently heading a laboratory based research project at the Cherwell Innovation Centre outside Oxford investigating the physio-chemical properties of homeopathic medicines using a class of sensitive ionic dyes as molecular probes of diluted and succussed solutions.