A comparison between the traditional use of Strychnos henningsii and the homoeopathic indications of Strychnos henningsii 30CH
The purpose of this study was to investigate the homoeopathic indications of the bark of the Strychnos henningsii tree, through a homoeopathic proving, and to subsequently compare these results to the documented traditional use of the crude substance. Methodology The study design took the form of a triple-blind placebo-controlled trial consisting of 32 participants who met defined inclusion criterion. These participants were randomly divided into four groups, each consisting of eight provers and supervised by one of four M. Tech Homoeopathy students. Fifty percent received placebo and fifty percent received verum. Neither the researcher nor the provers were aware of the nature of the proving substance as well as who received the placebo and who received the verum until the study was completed. The proving substance was administered in the 30CH potency, according to an ECH (European Committee of Homoeopathy) methodology. All provers were subjected to pre – and post -proving consultations in which case histories and physical examinations were performed. A pre-proving workshop was held for all provers and supervisors. Symptom collection was done by using information obtained from prover journals which was then collated, edited and translated into repertory language. By identifying broad areas of traditional use of Strychnos henningsii and relating these to rubrics derived from the proving of Strychnos henningsii 30 CH, a comparison was performed in order to evaluate the overlap between the homoeopathic indications and traditional use of the proving substance. Results After critical evaluation, it was found that whilst overlaps exist in the treatment of liver disease, nausea, dysmenorrhea, rheumatism, chest pain, malaria and dizziness, no overlap was found in the use of the homoeopathic remedy in snakebites. In addition the proving revealed symptoms that were not indicated in traditional use such as headaches, asthma, influenza, sinusitis and hayfever, as well as infections of the eye, ear, nose and throat. Conclusion Thus, upon comparison of the traditional uses of Strychnos henningsii to the symptoms produced in the proving of Strychnos henningsii 30CH, revealed that similarities pertaining mainly to the gastro-intestinal system, female gynaecological tract and rheumatic complaints exist. However, the proving elicited many new symptoms that are purely homoeopathic, these included head, mind, sleep, dream, nose, ear, chest and respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, it is hoped that further provings of this substance at different potencies would contribute further to the materia medica of the substance.