A homoeopathic drug proving of the venom of the eastern green mamba (Dendroaspis angusticeps) analysing symptomatology in relation to the doctrine of signatures and toxicological data
Provings are an essential element in the development of the homoeopathic medicine knowledge base and scope of practice. There are many South African indigenous plants and animals that can play a role in homoeopathy but need to be proved first. Several indigenous snake venoms have already been proved as homoeopathic remedies, so the proving of Dendroaspis angusticeps venom expands this particular knowledge base. Aim The aim of this study was to determine the effect of a homoeopathic dose of the venom of the Dendroaspis angusticeps on healthy individuals in order to elicit and document the resulting mental and physical symptomotology, so that it may be prescribed to those that require it based on the Law of Similars. The other aims of this study were to compare the proving symptoms of Dendroaspis angusticeps 30CH to the toxicology of Eastern Green Mamba venom and to analyze the remedy picture in relation to the doctrine of signatures. The thirtieth centesimal potency of the remedy was hypothesised to produce clearly observable signs and symptoms in provers (healthy volunteers). The symptoms obtained from the proving were also compared to the doctrine of signature analysis of Dendroaspis angusticeps to help clarify the nature of this snake and to expand the remedy picture of the substance and facilitate our understanding of the remedy in light of the toxicology of the venom and the doctrine of signatures. vii Methodology The homoeopathic proving of Dendroaspis angusticeps 30CH was carried out as a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled trial. The proving population consisted of 30 provers. Twenty four of the provers were in the experimental group and they received the potentised snake venom. Six provers were in the control group and they received the placebo. As this was a double blind, placebo-controlled trial, neither the individuals taking part in the study nor the researcher had any knowledge of who received placebo or the active remedy. Provers were also unaware of the substance being proven or the potency in which it was prepared. Results Provers recorded their symptoms in a journal over a period of 5 weeks and were monitored regularly by the researcher. At the completion of the proving period, the researcher collected all the recorded data and each journal was assessed by the researcher to determine the suitability of the recorded symptoms. The symptoms were then translated into the language of the materia medica and the repertory and a remedy picture was formulated. Thereafter a comparison was made to the nature of the snake by means of the doctrine of signatures and the toxicology of the venom as an attempt to broaden the repertoire of our knowledge of the action of the remedy. Provers experienced a wide range of symptoms particularly on the mental and emotional spheres including feelings of powerful assertion and confidence; cheerful and excited energy; spiritual and prayerful feelings; seductive, sensual and extravagant mannerisms; desire to dance and heightened energy; clairvoyant natures and desires to be in nature as well as pronounced irritability, anger and sadness. Other symptoms included desire to be alone and withdrawn feelings; quarrelsome natures; desire to kill; deceitful ways; intolerance to injustice; poor concentration; thoughts of the past; confusion and antagonism of the will and anxious thoughts. Delusions, fears and thoughts of death also manifested in provers. There was a marked polarity of symptoms as: Anger, rage, irritability vs calmness / spirituality; Sadness / depression vs cheerfulness / joy; Poor concentration / forgetful vs mental power / mental clarity; Alone / withdrawn vs desire to be touched, caressed; and Prostration, exhaustion vs energetic. On the physical sphere there were marked symptoms produced in the head area with a wide range of headaches. Eye symptoms were also vast in the inflammation, heaviness and ptosis of the eyes. Throat symptoms manifested as pharyngitis and sore throat. Toxicological symptoms included vertigo, ptosis, pain in different areas, inflammation, vomiting, blurred vision, slurred speech, difficulty breathing and difficult swallowing. Back pain and lower back pain were also key symptoms. Sleep difficulties and sleepiness were experienced by provers. Dream symptoms were the most prevalent in this proving. Dreams were repetitive in provers in the dreams of changing places and being in many places and unfamiliar places. There were marked dreams of sexuality, death, spirituality, friendships, colours, snakes, weddings, fighting and killings and past recollections. Conclusion Dendroaspis angusticeps 30CH thus did produce clearly observable signs and symptoms in healthy volunteers as hypothesised. The correlation of the proving symptoms to the toxicology of the venom and the doctrine of signatures also illustrated the themes of this remedy and aided in development of the remedy picture for this new addition to the knowledge base of indigenous South African substances and their homoeopathic application.