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Rapid green synthesis of silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate by a homeopathic mother tincture Phytolacca Decandra

Bhattacharyya SS, Das J, Das S, Samadder A, Das D, De A, Paul S, Khuda-Bukhsh AR. Rapid green synthesis of silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate by a homeopathic mother tincture Phytolacca Decandra. Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Xue Bao 2012, 10(5):546–554.

OBJECTIVE: To examine if a homeopathic mother tincture (Phytolacca Decandra) is capable of precipitating silver nanoparticles from silver nitrate (AgNO(3)) and to characterize the biosynthesized nanoparticles for evaluating their biological activities.


A total of 100 mg of AgNO(3) was added to 20mL of Milli-Q water and stirred vigorously. Then 5mL of the homeopathic mother tincture of Phytolacca Decandra (ethanolic root extract of Phytolacca decandra) was added and stirred continuously. Reduction took place rapidly at 300K and completed in 10 min as shown by stable light greenish-yellow color of the solution which gave colloid of silver nanoparticles. The colloid solution was then centrifuged at 5000×g to separate the nanoparticles for further use. The nanoparticles were characterized by spectroscopic analysis, particle size analysis and zeta potential measurements, and morphology was analyzed by atomic force microscopy. The drug-DNA interaction was determined by circular dichroism spectrophotometry and melting temperature profiles by using calf thymus DNA as the target. The biological activities were determined using a cancer cell line A549 in vitro and using bacteria Escherichia coli and fungus Saccharomyces cerevisiae as test models.


Phytolacca Decandra precipitated silver nanoparticles in ambient conditions. Thenanoparticles had 91 nm particle size, with polydispersity index of 0.119 and zeta potential of -15.6 mV. The silver nanoparticles showed anticancer and antibacterial properties, but no clear antifungal properties.


This could be a novel environment-friendly method to biosynthesize silvernanoparticles using a cost-effective, nontoxic manner. The homeopathic mother tincture may utilize this property of nano-precipitation in curing diseases or disease symptoms.