Date posted: May 29, 2012

Opinion, Assessment, Evaluation, Outcomes and Conclusions of IIT-B Experiments on Homoeopathy

Dr Sreevals G Menon & K C Chandran Nambiar 

Posted by K C Chandran Nambiar on December 22, 2010 at 3:10am in Homeopathic-Research

I, for one, personally fear this euphoria among homeopaths hearing this report from ITT-B regarding their finding will be misinterpreted. Due to the hype, without full understanding of the experiments and report findings, everyone will not investigate and know the potential outcomes.

[Primarily, its wrong and absurd to address the feeling a euphoria, but is indeed an enthusiasm of the scientific mind in every qualified Homoeopath awaiting the development of science and technology to bridge the gap of ‘incontinuity’ or the so called ‘unconventional link’ as to the material content of the mother drug is concerned in ultra-dilutions as challenged by pure science in the past and intensified in the past decade. Here one has to know that a qualified Homoeopath has groomed himself through gathering immense fundamentals from serious learning of chemistry, physics and other pure-science streams in his pre-medical days and hence a thirst for evidence is justifiable.]


I would request all homeopaths to read that report carefully, and try to filter out the exact factual findings of the team and separate them from their ‘hypothesis’ and media hype.

[There was no evident ‘hypothesis’ in the work, and every bit of it was stated based on factual evidence, even stating the method, tools and detail technology which includes state of the art equipments used for the study like electron microscopy (TEM), electron diffraction, and atomic spectroscopy.

It was quite unlucky for Homoeopathy that media did not hype the matter, though reported well by Times of India. The most of the rest of the reporting was done through regular Homoeopathic forum, websites and blogs. The regional dailies in Kerala had not reported the study which was quite surprising]

Report says that in a study done as part of project work of a ‘chemical engineering’ ‘student’ for his doctorate theses, they ‘bought some samples of medicated globules of homeopathic potencies of some ‘metal elements’ from neighboring shops’, and prepared ‘high dilutions from these globules’. When examined under high resolution electron microscope, they could detect ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles of metallic elements floating on the top 1% of the solution’.

They also found that all potencies from 6c to 200c they examined contain nanoparticles of same quantity and shape.

This is the real story of the ‘research’. Everything else is mere hypothesis and media hype.

[Even apex tech institutions like MIT of US try to prove the efficacy and evidence of anything concerned through random sampling and testing. The methodology is selected based on the philosophic structure and detail introspection into the ambiguity of the claim. In case of Homoeopathy, in the past few decades the scientific community has intensely listed it among the most disputed, but well globally accepted scientific continuum’s, the others being Kaluza-Klien (KK) theory by Theodor Kaluza, String theory by Leonard Susskind and Yoichiro Nambu etc inviting attention from researchers to attempt to resolve the dispute and gain attention. The effort is quite understandable and justifiable and a qualified Homoeopath should feel happy for the attempt than ditch it as a mere hypothesis and media hype.]

What ‘universal truth’ regarding homeopathy you think has been proved and ‘accepted by the world’ by this finding”?


Did they in any way prove that these ‘nanoparticles floatining on top layers of dilutions’ are the real active principles of potentized homeopathic drugs. And if so, how?

Did they explain our theory of ‘similia similibus curentur’ on the basis of prsence of these ‘nanoparticles’?

[Here I am glad that the author at least did not expect the theory of chronic diseases, vital force and the theory of Miasms to be proven with this subtle discovery of nano-particles in homoeopathic dilution.

One cannot expect anything beyond form the study apart from a simple observation convincing medicinal content beyond actual scientific expectation as of date, when it comes to ultra dilutions.

The theory of potentization, to be disproven by our skeptics, it needs to be prior proven related to them, which was never the case. There was no claim by anyone from the team that they have resolved/unfolded the philosophic fabric of Homoeopathy or having invented the active principles. They threw light on the finding and exposed it and claimed that, contrary to the arithmetic derivations of past against Homoeopathy, there are nanogram quantities of the starting material still present in these ‘high potency’ remedies in the form of nanoparticles. Fair and decent enough!

Also reading between his lines, I could sense a panic arising from a feeling that disputes of medicinal content in Homoeopathic dilutions might screech to a halt with the IIT-B finding, displacing endless and meaningless facebook/blog debates, crossfire and never ending discussions on Homoeopathic uncertainity, thus breeding constant attention on the web in Homoeopathic forums amidst qualified Homoeopaths !!]

Could they detect any nanoparticles of ‘parent drugs’ in any complex drugs of vegetable or animal origin, other than potencies of ‘elemental metals’ such as gold, copper and iron?

Can you imagine why the IIT team conducted their experiments using only potencies of ‘elemental metals’?

[Its appreciated when one learns to attain two-wheeler balance on a bicycle than on a Kawasaki Ninja. The discovery was just a beginning and efforts taken and done on simple, less complex platforms than an attempt on complexities, which can very well be taken up ahead.]

Doctors, we have to apply a lot of logical thinking before declaring that “the universal truth has to accepted by the world some day or the other. iit-b showed the way”.

[Interesting !, the author here finds him one among the doctors with the by his call !! Pity the pathetic state in Kerala where politics and political permeation by unqualified lay practitioners permit them to attain such delusions of grandeur having not visited a classroom of a medical school !

About the mention on the universal truth, as far as I know no doctor has had an expectation in that direction and if anyone has had so, I don’t think it was shared on common fronts, so that his/her idea could urge propositions and resolutions in common professional forums. Weird imagination!]

Remember, ‘metallic elements’ are triturated before subjecting to the subsequent process of serial dilutions and succussions. During this violent ‘rubbing’ of triturating, some metal ions may be converted into ‘nanoparticles’. If the higher potencies were not prepared exactly as prescribed, some of these nanoparticles may remain in traces in ‘higher’ potencies. The IIT team actually may have detected these remnants of nanoparticles ‘floating’ in upper layers of solutions. This finding by no way proves that these nanopartcles are the real active principles of homeopathic high potency drugs. The presence of traces of nanoparticles in high potency solutions only shows that the samples they ‘bought from neighboring shops’ were not perfectly potentized.

[This simply exposes the attitude of the author! One may see soft light through his window panel one morning as he rises from bed and presume it is dawn and a great day ahead for him and the other may assume that it’s an eclipse and a doomsday ahead. God help them !]

Only ‘elemental’ drugs and simple minerals can be converted into nanoparticles by process of trituration. Hence, nanoparticles of complex molecules of complex drugs can never be detected. Nobody can prepare nanoparticles of complex molecules such as atropine or strychnine by homeopathic potentization process. I think the IIT team was very clever to conduct their experiments with ‘metallic elements’ only.

[Think I answered this earlier]

Do you subscribe to their reported observation that only “top layer” is therapeutically effective, since it is only there the nano particles are ‘floating”?

What will happen if we remove not only ‘top layers’, but whole upper half from a bottle of potentized medicines? Do you think the remaining part will not be effective therapeutically?

[the absence of  the definite comment in the report that there were no nano-particles existent in the rest of the medicine/solution, and the observation confined to the top layer put together, would give an optimistic reader an insight or a simple feeling that the technology used could observe or read contents confined to the top layer ]

I think there is something fishy in this report, to harm homeopathy intentionally or not.

[Gosh…wicked IIT-B team !!!, lets lead them to hell !, pseudo-scientists Huh ! J L]

If the ‘nano particles’ are only in ‘traces’, and they ‘float’ on top layers of liquid, it is obvious that these nano particles are not the real active principles of potentized drugs. In order to explain our everyday experience that every single drop of drug is powerful, the whole drug should be uniformly saturated with this nanoparticles, and if that were the case, we cannot say it is in trace amounts. Kindly think over.

[Let’s hope the best in further studies, dear author, a weird swing of optimism at last, at least now he has a direction to dream and hope how they should come up with, cheers to that J ]

Why can’t we examine this issue from another angle? The report says that the samples for study were products of some Indian manufacturers, purchased from ‘neighboring shops’. What if the samples were not actually potentized to the level labeled on them, so as to get rid of traces of drug particles? Do you think it is correct on the part of such a reputed research house to purchase samples from open market for conducting such a sensitive experiment? They should have first devised some way to ensure the quality and potency of samples.

[Random sampling, dude…hit the books/wiki J on research methodology and preach less on areas u aren’t too sure about yourself or just feel free to mention that you aren’t too sure why they did so. Am sure u aren’t used to it J ]

Let me quote from the report: “Further they have shown that despite large differences in the degree of dilution from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles(shape and size) of the starting material an…d their absolute concentrations (in pg/ml).”

What does this observation show? If “from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles (shape and size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations”, it leads to some serious doubts whether the samples used were really genuine. If dilutions were prepared in prescribed manner, 6c and 200c will never contain ‘same’ quantity and concentrations of starting material. This observation lacks logic.

I had a good detail look down his entire work and decide to give up here…repetitions after repetitions and am sure I would end up in a nervous breakdown trying to answer all…it’s a series of well connected one-sided thinking and a scripted tirade, bathed in pessimism, grossly shadowed with dejection, contempt, fear and frustration, which can be well compared to an autocratic ruler fearing an uprising as a sequel from a local incident!

A detail understanding of the author and his state of mind being an unqualified homoeopathic practitioner and one fighting the qualified docs for the solemn rights in favor of the army of the young and old unqualified Homoeopathic lot across Kerala state,

I can see nothing less than an intense desire to grab attention from qualified Homoeopaths across the Web, daring to enter every dispute and get the limelight on himself, and attempt to convince himself and his followers about his credibility to enter and sustain on platforms at par with qualified Homoeopaths on quantum’s of dispute and crossfire…high thinking indeed…but fatuous when it comes to outcome……a brilliant man !! hats off to u .]

Signing off here……Dr Sreevals G Menon, Mass Media Officer, IHMA

Over all, there are many gray areas in this study, which should be seriously considered by homeopaths.

Some doctors saying that they are happy “to get the inference that there is some material present” in homeopathic potencies shows our anxiety to hear that ‘there is something’ in homeopathy. ARE WE NOT CONFIDENT ON THAT?

Doctors, do you think this detection of some ‘traces’ of nanoparticles of ‘metal elements’ floating on ‘top layers’ of the dilution in any way help homeopathy in providing a scientific explanation for ‘simila similibus curentur’, or mechanism of homeopathic therapeutics?

The hype regarding the IIT-B study has grown to such a state that thousands of email attachments are being forwarded between homeopaths all over the world on this report.

This over enthusiasm shows the gravity of ‘scientific deprivation’ homeopathic profession is presently subjected to. This hype shows their ‘thirst’ to hear some ‘good’ news from scientific world to get themselves convinced that ‘at least there is something’ in homeopathic medicines.

The present hype has grown to such a stage that some homeopaths even declare that the IIT study has ‘proved’ that homeopathy is nanotechnology!

IIT team only said that they could detect ‘traces’ of ‘nano particles’ of naturally occurring ‘metal minerals’ in the samples they tested. “nano particles’ and nano technology is not the same. “Nano’ only refers to a range of measurement in the study of ultraminute forms of matter. Nanotechnology is a modern technology dealing with matter at nano range of measurement, and manipulating them to prepare various nano devices.

No IIT scientist said nothing about ‘nanotechnology’ in homeopathy. They only said that they could detect traces of nanoparticles of ‘elements’ in homeopathic drugs. Why we utterly fail to note the difference and apply some logical thinking before being part of this hype?

We should not forget that the reported IIT study was only a project work of IIT chemical engineering student, as part of his doctorate thesis.

See the report. “IIT-B’s chemical engineering department bought commonly available homoeopathic pills from neighborhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.”

Is this the way a sample is to be collected for a serious research study on such a sensitive subject?

They purchased ‘homeopathic pills’ and prepared ‘high dilutions’. Is this the way homeopathic potencies are prepared?

What about controls? They should have used control solutions of ‘unmedicated pills’ in same dilution and the outcome compared.

We all know, ‘trace’ particles of ‘metal elements’ will be present in any sample of water we obtain from nature. They should have ensured that there is no ‘traces’ of ‘metal elements’ in control dilutions, before publishing this report.

Instead of ‘naturally occuring’ minerals, that may be present in any natural diluents, they should have conducted the study using potencies of complex drugs such as nux vomica, which contain complex molecules such as brucine, strychnine etc, and try to detect ‘traces’ nanoparticles of those molecules in high dilutions.

“Traces’ of ‘elements’ cannot mimic the medicinal properties of complex molecules.

Were there any homeopathic expert present in the team to oversee this study? Nobody asked about it.

This study only proves either the samples they collected were not properly potentized, the study was not well planned, or the outcome is not logically interpreted. Such half-cooked ‘researches’ and well planned hypes over them will only do harm to homeopathy.

The problem is that “times of india” or any media reporting this study or creating this hype never said that “this is just the beginning of their studies”. See the head line: “IIT-B team shows how homeopathy works”. Is this not mere empty hype? Did they actually show how homeopathy works? They only purchased some “medicated pills” of homeopathic potencies of “naturally occuring metal elements” and prepared highly diluted solutions, and detected ‘traces’ of nanoparticles of of elements ‘floating in the 1% top layer’ of liquid they tested. Did this provide any clue regarding “how homeopathy works”? I consider this as mere hype intended to defame and injure homeopathy. If we accept that homeopathy potencies act by ‘traces of nanoparticles’ remaining in them even after dilution, the whole laborious process of homeopathic potentization become a meaningless waste. Can we subscribe to this injurious interpretation?

Why should “we have to first prove them there is some medicinal particles present”? So far we were saying that potentized homeopathic medicines do not contain any original drug molecules! Why should we change our stand?

How can we say that the ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles’ detected to be floating on the ‘top layer’ is the real medicinal substance in our potentized drugs? If that inference were correct, ‘traces’ would not be present ‘everywhere’. But we use every particle of our drugs with expected therapeutic results. Obviously, our drugs contain not ‘traces’ but ‘saturated’ with real ‘medicinal factors’, whatever it may be.

Something present in every particle of our drugs cannot be called “traces”.

Only because IIT-B has “the elite group of academia in our country and whole world” do not ensure the correctness of everything they say about homeopathy. Please note, no homeopathic expert is part of this team. Moreover, this work was only… a project work of students as part of their doctoral theses. This is not a seriously planned and executed research of “the elite group of academia”. Instead of merely relying upon the ‘eliteness’ of the organization, let us use our logical thinking to examine the correctness of their methods and interpretation.

Do you expect that “the elite group of academia in our country and whole world” would one day come forward to help homeopathy? They only want to ‘disprove’ homeopathy. The present hype created around this reported study also is part of that ‘ulterior’ ploy. Enemies of homeopathy can utilize this study to ‘prove’ that what ever homeopaths were saying about homeopathic potentization was ultimately wrong. If the active principles of homeopathic drugs are ‘remnants’ of basic drugs existing in ‘traces’, the whole process of potentization become meaningless. Does anybody think that such an interpretation would help homeopathy?

Really, this is an untruthful mis-representation of facts. May be, done by media to create a hype and news value. The title “IIT-B team shows how homeopathy works” has nothing to do with the real content of the work done by the team. The experiment was not really planned to find out “how homeopathy works”. The experiment was only to find out whether there remained any traces of starting materials in high potencies. From the selection of samples itself, their method was totally disagreeable to us. Any how, they could detect some ‘traces’ of ‘metal minerals’ in the samples they used. Only that much. From that simple observation it is not at all right to declare that they have “‘showed how homeopathy works”, and homeopathy is ‘nano technology’! Only because they could detect some ‘traces’ of elements, that does not necessarily mean that the active principles of homeopathic drugs are those ‘traces of element particles’. Could they explain how these ‘nanoparticles’ interfere in the pathological bio molecular processes on the basis of ‘similia similibus curentur’?. Without that being done, how the media declare that they have ‘shown how homeopathy works? In my opinion, responsible homeopaths should try to get a reasonable reply to this question from media or researchers. They should be made to understand they would be answerable while mis-representing their real findings and creating unnecessary hype, which is injurious to homeopathy.

Only because somebody could detect the presence of some ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles’ of original ‘metal elements’ floating on the surface of a ‘particular sample’ of homeopathic drug purchased from market, is it prudent to declare that these ‘traces’ are the active principles of homeopathic drugs, and that they have ‘shown the way homeopathy works’?

This is a very hasty and unwise conclusion. One has to take into consideration a lot of other variables and factors before making such a tall claims.

What if that particular ‘sample’ was not properly potentized as per strict homeopathic guidelines? What if those drugs were not really ‘high’ potencies, as the labels indicated? What if those ‘traces’ of ‘elemental particles’ came from the water they used for making ‘dilutions’ from ‘medicated pills’ they purchased from ‘shop’?

There are a lot of such possibilities.

But our homeopaths succumb to the media hype even without fully reading the lines of the available reports carefully, applying a pinch of logical reasoning. It shows the ‘scientific starvation’ homeopaths are long subjected to.

If they had read the report carefully, they would have realized that ‘project study’ only proves that the ‘researchers’ could ‘detect’ some ‘traces’ of ‘nanoparticles of metal elements’ floating on the ’1% top layer’ of the solution of homeopathic ‘sugar pills’ they ‘bought from neighboring shops’.

Does it provide anything to support their claim that they have ‘shown how homeopathy works? Or to substantiate the enthusiasm of homeopaths to declare that somebody has proved ‘homeopathy is nanotechnology’? Will they understand, only by using a word ‘nano’ does not make anything ‘nanotechnology’?

This is a very pathetic situation. The IIT students who conducted this study and created this empty hype may be laughing in private seeing this vulnerability of homeopaths.

Really, i feel like crying for homeopathy and homeopaths!

We need nobody’s help to “prove that homeopathy works!. Thousands of homeopaths the world over are ‘proving’ it daily through millions of cures, for more than last two centuries. We need no ‘certificate of scientist’ to ‘prove’ that ‘homeopathy is not placebo’.


“The confirmed presence of nanoparticles challenges current thinking about the role of dilutions in homeopathic medicines. They have found that the concentrations reach a plateau at the 6c potency and beyond. Further they have shown that despite large differences in the degree of dilution from 6c to 200c, there were no major differences in the nature of the particles (shape and size) of the starting material and their absolute concentrations (in pg/ml).”

How would those homeopaths, showing so much enthusiasm over this reported study, respond to this statement?

This statement shows how the study can be utilized by opponents of homeopathy to ‘disprove’ the whole theory of homeopathic potentization.

If the real active principles of homeopathic medicines are the ‘traces’ of nanoparticles’ of ‘starting material’, remaining even after dilutions, and from 6c to 200 no major differences in the ‘nature of particles’, does it not ‘show’ that our whole concepts regarding ‘potentization’ were utter foolishness?

Do you think that this study really ‘strengthens’ homeopathy or ‘prove’ homeopathy’?

I really smell something fishy in this study, that will harm our system if we fail to recognize it.

Carefully read this part of media report: “The confirmed presence of nanoparticles challenges current thinking about the role of dilutions in homeopathic medicines”

How can such a finding that ‘challenges current thinking about role of dilutions in homeopathy’ be depicted as a ‘proof’ in favor of homeopathy?

Really, it is going to be used as the greatest ‘evidence’ against homeopathy, by the skeptics in future.

Once this ‘nanoparticles’ theory is accepted by the profession, we will also have to accept the argument that any samples that is proved negative for the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ is ineffective. Obviously, we will have to yield to the argument that any cures we obtain from such homeopathic drugs that do not contain ‘nanoparticles’ are mere placebo effect.

What will we say when finally the government makes a legislation banning all homeopathic potencies that do not contain ‘nanoparticles’ of parent drugs?

Hope the profession would realize the gravity of the situation.

Can’t You Now See The Dangerous Traps Lying Hidden In The Hype Over Iit Study?
Once the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ is accepted as the criteria for effectiveness of homeopathic potencies, the same IIT scientists can develop a sophisticated device to test the presence of ‘nanoparticles’ in any given sample of homeopath…ic drug. Government can easily make some legislation making it mandatory to subject every homeopathic drugs to this test before getting certified.


I would also like to invite your attention to another aspect of “nanoparticle” theory. There exist a lot of apprehensions over the topic of ‘nanotoxicity’.

Let me quote from Wikipedia on NANOTOXICOLOGY:

“Nanomaterials, even when made of inert elements like gold, become highly active at nanometer dimensions. Nanotoxicological studies are intended to determine whether and to what extent these properties may pose a threat to the environment and to human beings. For instance, Diesel nanoparticles have been found to damage the cardiovascular system in a mouse model.

Calls for tighter regulation of nanotechnology have arisen alongside a growing debate related to the human health and safety risks associated with nanotechnology.

The smaller a particle is, the greater its surface area to volume ratio and the higher its chemical reactivity and biological activity. The greater chemical reactivity of nanomaterials results in increased production of reactive oxygen species (ROS), including free radicals. ROS production has been found in a diverse range of nanomaterials including carbon fullerenes, carbon nanotubes and nanoparticle metal oxides. ROS and free radical production is one of the primary mechanisms of nanoparticle toxicity; it may result in oxidative stress, inflammation, and consequent damage to proteins, membranes and DNA.

The extremely small size of nanomaterials also means that they much more readily gain entry into the human body than larger sized particles. How these nanoparticles behave inside the body is still a major question that needs to be resolved. The behavior of nanoparticles is a function of their size, shape and surface reactivity with the surrounding tissue. In principle, a large number of particles could overload the body’s phagocytes, cells that ingest and destroy foreign matter, thereby triggering stress reactions that lead to inflammation and weaken the body’s defense against other pathogens. In addition to questions about what happens if non-degradable or slowly degradable nanoparticles accumulate in bodily organs, another concern is their potential interaction or interference with biological processes inside the body. Because of their large surface area, nanoparticles will, on exposure to tissue and fluids, immediately adsorb onto their surface some of the macromolecules they encounter. This may, for instance, affect the regulatory mechanisms of enzymes and other proteins.

Nanomaterials are able to cross biological membranes and access cells, tissues and organs that larger-sized particles normally cannot. Nanomaterials can gain access to the blood stream via inhalation or ingestion. At least some nanomaterials can penetrate the skin; even larger microparticles may penetrate skin when it is flexed. Broken skin is an ineffective particle barrier, suggesting that acne, eczema, shaving wounds or severe sunburn may accelerate skin uptake of nanomaterials. Then, once in the blood stream, nanomaterials can be transported around the body and be taken up by organs and tissues, including the brain, heart, liver, kidneys, spleen, bone marrow and nervous system. Nanomaterials have proved toxic to human tissue and cell cultures, resulting in increased oxidative stress, inflammatory cytokine production and cell death. Unlike larger particles, nanomaterials may be taken up by cell mitochondria[18] and the cell nucleus. Studies demonstrate the potential for nanomaterials to cause DNA mutation and induce major structural damage to mitochondria, even resulting in cell death.Size is therefore a key factor in determining the potential toxicity of a particle. However it is not the only important factor.”

I have quoted the above passage so extensively, to invite attention to the long term implications of the hype being created over the findings of IIT team.

If we accept ‘nanoparticles’ as the active principles of potentized homeopathic medicines, ongoing nanotoxicology studies can be made applicable to homeopathic medicines also.

If the present apprehensions in the scientific world regarding nanotoxicity finally turns out into a strict legislational processes globally, and homeopathic medicines are included in the group of ‘nanoparticle’ materials, homeopathy will have a very tough time to come.

I have quoted the above passage so extensively, to invite attention to the long term implications of the hype being created over the findings of IIT team.

If we accept ‘nanoparticles’ as the active principles of potentized homeopathic medicines, ongoing nanotoxicology studies can be made applicable to homeopathic medicines also.

If the present apprehensions in the scientific world regarding nanotoxicity finally turns out into a strict legislational processes globally, and homeopathic medicines are included in the group of ‘nanoparticle’ materials, homeopathy will have a very tough time to come.

I strongly believe the IIT study, findings and media hype over it should not to be taken as part of innocent scientific research to promote homeopathy.


I warn homeopaths against falling prey to the hype over the reported IIT findings. It proves nothing positive in homeopathy. Ultimately it only provides some new weapons to those who want to ‘disprove’ the whole theory of homeopathic potentization. BEWARE.


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