This study investigated the effectiveness of homoeopathic dilutions of abscisic acid
(ABA), molybdenum and allopurinol on inhibiting or promoting the germination of
barley seeds (Hordeum vulgare cv. Stirling, ex Caledon, Western Cape, South
Africa, 1998 harvest). Recent research involving ABA and seed germination has
shown mixed results, with Bruni (2001), finding there to be statistically significant
biological effects, but Couchman (2001) not.
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of homoeopathic
dilutions of ABA, molybdenum and allopurinol (two substances which have an effect
on ABA metabolism), especially those above the 10-23 level (Avogadro’s dilution
limit), on germination, in light of recent findings.
Abscisic acid, a plant hormone and molybdenum, a trace element, both play an
essential role in inducing dormancy of the seed. Allopurinol, a therapeutic drug, has
also been shown to affect ABA metabolism and therefore seed germination. The
study used all three substances individually and in combination, in homoeopathic
dilutions ranging from 4CH to 200CH potency.
There were 7 treatments with 5 potencies per treatment (4CH, 9CH, 15CH, 30CH
and 200CH). Each potency level for each treatment had a control, which meant
there were 5 controls per treatment.
The seeds (distally cut) were placed in 9cm Petri dishes (20 seeds in each), with 5
repetitions, 100 seeds per dilution level with one control of 20 seeds. There were
thus 600 (120 x 5) seeds per treatment and 4200 seeds in total (600 x 7 treatments).
Seeds were germinated in the dark at a constant temperature. Counts were done
every 24 hours for 3 days and the data recorded. The criterion for germination was
The data was analysed statistically using Univariate Analysis of Variance
(STATISTICA version 6). The results showed statistically significant interaction
between treatments and potencies and a One-Way Anova was then used to analyse
each treatment to determine the effectiveness of each potency. Statistically
significant differences were noted between potencies for each treatment.
From the results it was clear that the most effective treatment for stimulating
germination was the treatment utilizing homoeopathic dilutions of allopurinol.
The most effective treatment for inhibiting germination was the treatment utilizing
ABA in homoeopathic dilutions.
The 30CH (10-60) showed a statistically significant effect on the stimulation of
germination across almost all treatments, whereas the 15CH (10-30) showed a
statistically significant effect in inhibiting germination in most treatments.
It is evident from the results of this study that all the treatments produced distinct
biological effects, whether it be stimulating germination or inhibiting germination in