A double blind placebo controlled homoeopathic proving of Malus domestica 30CH, with a subsequent comparative analysis according to the doctrine of signatures
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The purpose of this research study was to determine any therapeutic significance of Malus domestica (domestic apple) in the potentised, homoeopathic form and to contribute this information to the body of the homoeopathic materia medica. It was further hypothesised that some proving symptoms experienced by the provers during the research study would show a resemblance to unique characteristics of the plant in terms of its natural appearance and cultural references. This involved a detailed doctrine of signatures analysis of Malus domestica based on an extensive literature review. Combining a proving research study with comparative analysis to the doctrine of signatures helped to clarify and verify the remedy’s potential therapeutic value. Methodology This homoeopathic proving was carried out in the form of a double blind placebo controlled study of Malus domestica 30CH with a total of 30 provers. The prover sample was randomly divided into two groups: 24 provers (80%) into the verum group and the remaining six provers (20%) into the placebo group. The provers were unaware of either the proving substance or the potency used. Participants were required to record their mental, emotional and physical status’ one week prior to administration of the proving powders as a form of control for comparison of symptoms post administration of the proving remedy. Thorough physical examinations and case histories of each prover were taken prior to and after the proving period. Provers ingested one powder three times a day for three days and recorded their symptoms daily in a journal. The duration of the proving period spanned five weeks. During this period researchers were in constant contact with all participants. Once the proving period was complete, all journals were gathered and the information therein translated into materia medica and repertory format so as to develop the remedy picture of Malus domestica 30CH. A comparison between the symptomatology produced in the provers and the doctrine of signatures was then performed. Results A wide range of symptoms were documented by the provers. The results revealed an affinity to the mental plane – the most striking being the theme of being disconnected and separated from others in the environment as well as within one’s self. Marked polarities were depicted as follows: Anger/irritability vs. calmness/tranquility; Depression/sadness vs. cheerfulness; Confusion vs. concentration/clarity of mind; Connection vs. disconnection. Physically, symptoms concerning the extremities were numerous, with provers describing symptoms of their limbs being disconnected/separated as well. Head symptoms were also numerous as provers described a wide range of headaches, as well as headaches that were associated with eye symptoms. Abdominal symptoms manifesting as cramping associated with diarrhoea and, in some cases, constipation were documented. Dizziness associated with the sensation of the head floating was common as well. Numerous themes arising from dreams were recorded by provers, with a clear affinity to family members as well as dreams of social gatherings and banquets. Provers dreamt of family members placed in precarious situations wherein the lives of their loved ones were at risk, whilst the emotion of guilt was expressed in certain dreams regarding parties and banquets. The comparison between the homoeopathic drug proving of Malus domestica 30CH and the doctrine of signatures brought many similarities to light, with most of these similarities relating to the mind, extremities and head. Conclusion As hypothesised Malus domestica 30CH produced clearly observable symptoms in healthy provers. On comparison, the proving remedy and the doctrine of signatures brought many parallels to light – the majority of which related to the mind, extremities and head. To gain a complete remedy picture of Malus domestica it is imperative that further research into the symptomatology of different homoeopathic potencies be conducted.