A comparative study with of the NMR spectra of Sulphur 12CH prepared using Hahnemannian method and sonication
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Aim The aim of this study was to compare the nuclear magnetic resonance spectra of Sulphur 12c samples produced by the traditional Hahnemannian method with Sulphur 12c samples produced using sonication as an alternative method of agitation. Sonication, while not widely employed as an agitating technique in the homoeopathic potentisation process, is a highly effective agitation process which produces effects on liquids that closely resemble the effect of traditional Hahnemannian hand succussion (Bhattacharyya et al. 2008). Thus, this study sought to reveal whether or not homoeopathic remedies produced by sonication bore a close enough physicochemical resemblance to traditional hand succussed remedies to be considered as a viable equivalent. Methodology Five sample groups were manufactured for analysis, all by means of serial dilution at the centesimal ratio (1:100) to the 12c potency, and with agitation between dilution levels where applicable. Three of the sample groups were experimental, namely the Sulphur 12c Hahnemannian, Sulphur 12c sonicated and Sulphur 12c both (succussion and sonication). The Sulphur 12c Hahnemannian samples were produced by hand according to the German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia (Benyunes 2005), which includes an agitation phase of 10 hand succussions. Sonicated samples were produced according to the Hahnemannian method as far as possible, however the agitation phase consisted of 30 seconds of sonication in a sonication bath at 40Hz in accordance with related studies (Sukul, Sinhabau, and Sukul 1999: 58-59; Sukul et al. 2001a: 187). Sulphur 12c both (succussion and sonication) samples underwent ten hand succussions and 30 seconds of sonication at 40Hz between dilution levels. Two of the sample groups were controls, namely Sulphur 12c unagitated and Lactose 12c unagitated, neither of which underwent agitation between dilution phases but were otherwise produced according to the German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia specification (Benyunes 2005). All samples were raised to the 12c potency level in 87% alcohol from a 3CH triturate. The Lactose 12c unagitated control was derived from a 3CH triturate of lactose, while the other samples were all derived from a 3CH triturate of Sulphur. The sample groups were sent for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy at the Department of Chemistry at Stellenbosch University. The NMR device used was the Varian UnityInova 600 NMR Spectrometer ®, with a Deuterated DMSO insert added as an instrument frequency lock. Samples were drawn and analysed by Dr D.J. Brand. One sample was drawn from each sample group. The chemical shift and relative integration values for the OH, H2O, CH2, and CH3 peaks of the NMR spectra were captured and tabulated using Microsoft Excel© 2013. The statistical analysis was performed with the aid of SPSS Version 22. The chemical shift and relative integration values for the H2O, OH, CH2 and CH3 peaks were used in the statistical analysis. The Kruskal-Wallis method was performed for the five sample groups to ascertain whether or not a statistically significant difference existed between the five sample groups. Comparisons between individual paired groups were conducted by means of the non-parametric Mann-Whitney test. The significance interval was set at α = Results The chemical shift values of the CH2 peaks of the samples showed a clear similarity between the samples produced by Hahnemannian hand succussion, sonication and both (succussion and sonication) as well as a clear difference between these three samples and the two controls. The relative integration values, however, showed no clear trends in support of or detracting from the hypotheses. Conclusion In terms of the CH2 peak chemical shift values it can be concluded that distinct similarities exist between 12c potency level of Sulphur produced by Hahnemannian hand succussion and sonication, and that the two methods of agitation produce similar structural properties in samples of the 12c potency level. Furthermore in terms of the chemical shift values, succussion and sonication develop remedies that are distinct from unagitated remedies of equivalent potency level. Thus, these findings support the use of sonication as a potentially viable alternative to hand succussion as a method of agitation in the potentisation process. Further studies need to be conducted however, with the inclusion of a greater variety of potency levels in order to possibly reveal more trends in terms of the relative integration values as these values were inconclusive in this study.