Medicinal Chemistry Research

, Volume 19, Issue 7, pp 643–651 | Cite as

Identification of medicinally active ingredients in ultradiluted Digitalis purpurea: FTIR and Raman spectroscopic studies

  • Anup SharmaEmail author
  • Awalendra K. Thakur
  • Bulbul Purkait
Original Research


A systematic study of the effect of the commercially available, ultradiluted drug, Digitalis purpurea (extract of Foxglove leaves) with aqueous ethanol was conducted to monitor changes in its chemical structure/functional group arrangements using vibrational (Fourier Transform Infrared and Raman) spectroscopy. These changes suggest a significant effect of ultradilution (<micro volumes) in the spectrum profile of Digitalis bands in the fingerprint region. The study shows that the process of serial dilution assists in changing the chemical environment in the backbone matrix of the medicinally active ingredient of Digitalis purpurea. In particular, increase in dilution of Digitalis purpurea causes a change in its vibrational mode profile that matches well with the vibrational bands of digoxin. The technique seems to be useful in the detection and identification of compounds/chemical groups present at levels lower than microvolume in drugs used in alternative/complementary medicine.


Vibrational spectroscopy Absorption Ultra dilution Microvolume Natural medicine Digitalis 



The authors gratefully acknowledge support of Prof. Koel Chaudhury, Prof. M. K. Panigrahi, Prof. A. Basak, and Prof. B. K. Mathur.


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Copyright information

© Birkhäuser Boston 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anup Sharma
    • 1
    Email author
  • Awalendra K. Thakur
    • 2
  • Bulbul Purkait
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Medical Science & Technology (SMST) & B.C.R.T. HospitalIndian Institute of Technology (I. I. T.)KharagpurIndia
  2. 2.Department of Physics & MeteorologyIndian Institute of Technology (I. I. T.)KharagpurIndia
  3. 3.Department of BiochemistryMidnapur Medical College & HospitalMidnapurIndia

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