Variation in Fourier transform infrared spectra of some homeopathic potencies and their diluent media

J Altern Complement Med. 2005 Oct;11(5):807-12. doi: 10.1089/acm.2005.11.807.


Objective: The aim of this study was to determine whether potentized homeopathic drugs and their diluent media differ from each other with respect to their Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectra.

Design: FTIR spectra of Nux vomica 30C, Lycopodium 30C, Santonin 30C, Cina 30C, Cina 206C, Cina 1006C, and their diluent media 90% ethanol and Ethanol 30C were obtained in the wave number range of 2000-1000 cm1 at 20 degrees C. Potassium bromide powder soaked with the potencies, pressed into pellets, and air dried were used to measure the spectra. Because water structures in homeopathic potencies are thought to carry specific information on drug molecules and because O-H bending vibrational band (v2) exclusively belongs to water, the study was restricted to the bands in that wave number region. Alcohol has no absorption in the O-H bending region.

Results: The potencies were found to differ from each other and their diluent media in the number of v2 bands, their wave number (cm1), shape, and half-width (cm1) of the bands.

Conclusions: The number and other characteristics of the v2 band represent the number of hydrogen-bonded water species and their hydrogen-bonding strength, respectively. The potencies and their diluent media therefore differ from each other in the number of hydrogen-bonded water species and their hydrogen-bonding strength. The observation that KBr pellets soaked with a potentized drug retains its specific spectral absorption properties simply confirms that medicated sucrose globules, used in homeopathic dispensing, are capable of retaining the therapeutic properties of the drug.

MeSH terms

  • Evidence-Based Medicine
  • Homeopathy*
  • Plant Extracts / analysis*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry*
  • Spectroscopy, Fourier Transform Infrared*
  • Water / chemistry


  • Plant Extracts
  • Water