A comparison of the relative effectiveness of high and ultra high dilutions of abscisic acid prepared by serial dilution and succession as opposed to dilutions prepared by serial dilution alone, on the synthesis of alpha-amylase in barley endosperm half-seeds
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of high and ultra-high dilutions (ranging from 10-8to 10-400)of Abscisic acid (ABA) on the synthesis of a-amylase in barley seed endosperm halves (Hordeum vulgare Stirling, ex Caledon, Western Cape, South Africa, 1999 harvest), in order to determine whether these dilutions are able to produce biological effects, as homoeopathic theory would maintain they are (Gaier,1991:445-447). A further aim of this study was to evaluate the role of succussion in the preparation of homoeopathic medicines. Central to the preparation of homoeopathic medicines is the principle of potentisation, which is a method of dilution that is unique to homoeopathy. It involves serial dilution with intervening mechanical agitation, called succussion, between each dilution level (Kayne, 1997:49). At each progressive stage of dilution the concentration of the solute diminishes, often beyond the point at which Avogadro's dilution limit of 6.022 X 1023 marl is exceeded, so that theoretically no solute molecules remain in the solution (Gaier, 1991:47-48). Homoeopathic theory maintains that remedies thus prepared do not lose their therapeutic power in the process of dilution, but that due to the intervening succussion, their efficacy is in fact enhanced. Hence succussion is considered to be the process that sets homoeopathic dilutions apart from simple dilutions, Kayne (1997:49) states that, 'This agitation is vitally important to the therapeutic efficacy of the remedy; dilution alone is not sufficient to produce the phenomenon'. In order to evaluate the role of succussion this study utilised five centesimal serial dilutions; the 4th, 9th, is'. so' and 200t \ which represent deconcentrations ranging from 10-8to 10-400, which dilution levels also span Avogadro's dilution limit. One series was prepared by diluting the ABA with intervening succussion and the other series was prepared by diluting the ABA without intervening succussion. The effects of these two methods on the production of a-amylase were then compared.