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Homoeopathic drugs for books? health!

NOW, HOMOEOPATHIC drugs will act as preventive and curative to a new kind of patients?books and manuscripts. National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) scientists? team has found that certain homeopathic drugs can be used to prevent fungal infestations in books and manuscripts. The same drugs can be used to cure fungus to grow in books and manuscripts.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 00:00 IST

NOW, HOMOEOPATHIC drugs will act as preventive and curative to a new kind of patients—books and manuscripts. National Research Laboratory for Conservation of Cultural Property (NRLC) scientists’ team has found that certain homeopathic drugs can be used to prevent fungal infestations in books and manuscripts. The same drugs can be used to cure fungus to grow in books and manuscripts.

The team has been working on the idea of using homeopathic drugs in this way since 1995 and has just recently concluded its research with success. In scientific jargon Dr Shashi Dhawan, head of the Bio-deterioration Division of NRLC said: “These drugs were tested ‘in vitro’, ‘in situ’ and on books.

“Among all the tested drugs Sulphur iodatum 1 M, Petrolium 30, Arsenicum 30, and Rumex 200 were found effective for about two years if keeping the materials in dust and dirt free environment,” said Dhawan.

Dr Dhawan worked with Dr KL Garg of the department on the project and the results have already international papers have been published on the findings and applications. And what’s the advantage of using homeopathic drugs on books? In short she said: “They are environment friendly and non-hazardous to human beings.”

“We have been using chemicals to prevent infestations of fungus on books and manuscripts. And they are effective. But the chemicals are bad for environment. Moreover, when someone handles—flips through or read these treated books and manuscripts then the chemicals may go on person’s hand and may go to persons tongue as it is a common habit to wet fingers with tongue to turn pages,” explained Dhawan.

The conservation scientist got the idea from a premise that homoeopathic drugs are used in treating human and plant fungal infections and may be they work on books too.

Dr Shashi Dhawan is an eminent cultural property conservation scientist who says: “Cultural property in the form of paper manuscripts is subjected to attack by fungus in tropical and sub tropical countries because of humid and warm climate. Use of chemical biocides may cause adverse effect on the material, environment and the person who comes in contact with those books.”

The team tested a number of homeopathic drugs like Tellurium, Psoriunum, Arsenicum, Rumex, Graphitis, Bacillinum, Petrolium, Tuberculinum, Sulphur iodatum, Merzerium, and Anitin crude of different potencies against some of the frequent occurring fungi like Aspergillus niger, Chaetomium globosum and Emericella nidulans on paper material. And it found four of these to be very effective.

The effect of these drugs on the physico-chemical properties of paper like tear, tensile strength, folding and change of colour have also been studies by the scientist of Paper Division, Dr DG Suryawanshi and has found no adverse effect on paper even after artificial ageing.

First Published: May 09, 2006 00:00 IST