MUMBAI: Six months after the British Medical Association rubbished homeopathy as witchcraft with no scientific basis, IIT scientists have said the sweet white pills work on the principle of nanotechnology.
Homeopathic pills containing naturally occurring metals such as gold, copper and iron retain their potency even when diluted to a nanometre or one-billionth of a metre, states the IIT-Bombay research published in the latest issue of 'Homeopathy', a peer-reviewed journal from reputed medical publishing firm Elsevier.
IIT-B's chemical engineering department bought homeopathic pills from neighbourhood shops, prepared highly diluted solutions and checked these under powerful electron microscopes to find nanoparticles of the original metal.
''Certain highly diluted homeopathic remedies made from metals still contain measurable amounts of the starting material, even at extreme dilutions of 1 part in 10 raised to 400 parts (200C),'' said Dr Jayesh Bellare from the scientific team.
His student, Prashant Chikramane, presented the homeopathy paper titled, 'Extreme homeopathic dilutions retain starting materials: A nanoparticulate perspective', as part of his doctoral thesis.
"Homeopathy has been a conundrum for modern medicine. Its practitioners maintained that homeopathic pills got more potent on dilution, but they could never explain the mechanism scientifically enough for the modern scientists,'' said Bellare.