Posted by: Chris Maloney | October 5, 2013

Are Homeopathics Full of Glass Particles?

A homeopathic remedy prepared from marsh tea. ...

A homeopathic remedy prepared from marsh tea. The “15C” dilution shown here contains no molecules of the original herb. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Short answer: Yes.

Longer answer:

Since the beginning of homeopathy, there has been an issue of how a very dilute substance could possibly affect anything.  I remember my Harvard chemistry professor taking time out of a lecture to explain that a 30 c homeopathic had fewer than Avogadro’s number of molecules and therefore much have nothing at all left.  He also likened the dilution of a homeopathic to the water in the Pacific ocean.

But, very recently, the study of homeopathics has changed.  Instead of empty bottles it turns out that homeopathics are full of glass particles.  These aren’t shards that might cut you, they aren’t even full molecules.  The glass particles are tiny, on a nanoparticle scale.  But they are everywhere in homeopathics.

The mechanism that differentiates homeopathics from diluted mixtures has always been the shaking.  Homeopaths call it succussion, but it is really extremely violent pounding of small glass vials against the palm or a book.  During the progressive pounding, evidently glass bits get torn off the sides of the bottle and continue to be transferred down through multiple dilutions.

So if the argument against homeopathy has been that there is nothing in there, that argument has been proven false.  What, if anything these little bits of glass do to the human body? We don’t have a handle on that yet from a nanoparticle arena.

Here’s a more scientific article thinking about how the nanoparticles might work: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1472-6882/12/191

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Responses

  1. I don’t get it. Do you agree with the author? I do question the value of homeopathics.

  2. I do as well. I don’t believe in homeopathy any more than I believe in wretches. And wrenches are not always valuable. But the most recent information we have gives a necessary link to what is in the homeopathic water. To quote the author: “The proposed model suggests that homeopathy is not only scientifically “plausible,” but also grounded in an extensive empirical research literature. Homeopathic remedies come into existence and exert their biological effects mainly as nanostructures.”

    I don’t know much about nanostructures, but I think we’re seeing an increased awareness that very little things can have a big effect. I’m not convinced that the nanostructure is medically active, only that it points to the difference between homeopathic water and regular water.


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