A comparison of the results of a triple-blind homoeopathic drug proving of Strychnos henningsii 30CH with the toxicology of the crude substance
The homoeopathic drug proving of Strychnos henningsii 30CH took the form of a mixed-method triple-blind, placebo-controlled study. The purpose of the study was to compare the results of the triple-blind homoeopathic drug proving with the toxicology of the crude substance. Methodology Thirty-two provers were selected and randomly divided into four equal groups of 8 provers, with each group supervised by one of four M.Tech.Hom student researchers. Fifty percent of the subjects (16 or the 32) received placebo in a random manner. Provers recorded their state in journals for one week prior to commencing the verum/ placebo powders. Data was extracted from journals and combined with case histories, physical examinations to compile the proving profile. The data derived from journals and case histories were edited and collated and thereafter reformatted and classified according to standard materia medica and repertory conventions. This constituted the homoeopathic remedy picture which was then compared to the toxicity of the major chemical constituents of Strychnos henningsii by qualitative methods. Results Provers produced symptoms on the mental, physical and emotional levels. There was a distinct similarity between the toxicology of Strychnos henningsii in its iii crude form, and a majority of the symptomatology obtained during the proving. The comparison of Strychnos henningsii proving symptoms and that of the crude substance was demonstrated by the proving symptoms showing similarity with the chemical constituents of the bark. The bark contained alkaloids which demonstrated similar symptoms in poisonings as described by the provers. The alkaloids found in the Strychnos henningsii bark were strychnine, diaboline, holstiine, strychnochromine and guianensine. Conclusions This homeopathic proving of Strychnos henningsii allowed for successful comparison between the alkaloids contained in the bark and the proving symptomatology. Notwithstanding the successful comparison and noted levels of overlap, it was observed that prior knowledge of homeopathy was beneficial to the provers. Furthermore, the researcher argues that the triple blind method employed is effective, but may hinder the researcher during analysis and that it is important that toxicological information about any substance should be obtained before a proving commences.