A doctrine of signatures-based evaluation of the results of a triple blind proving of Strychnos henningsii 30CH
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The proving study of Strychnos henningsii 30CH was primarily conducted to extract as many symptoms as possible from healthy provers to create a Homoeopathic picture of the drug. This would allow practitioners in clinical practise to prescribe Strychnos henningsii 30CH based on the Law of Similars. The second part of this study was to assess the symptoms produced, and thereafter determine the relationship to the natural history of the Strychnos henningsii plant as it relates to the Doctrine of Signatures. Methodology The Homoeopathic drug proving of Strychnos henningsii 30CH took the form of a mixed-method triple-blind, placebo-controlled study. The proving population consisted of a minimum of 32 subjects who met all the inclusion criteria. The proving was conducted by 4 M.Tech.Hom students, under the supervision of the principal researcher. The 32 provers were randomly divided into four equal groups of eight provers, with each group supervised by one of four M.Tech.Hom student researchers. Nine powders each of the respective test substance (verum or placebo) was randomly assigned by an independent clinician to 32 prover numbers (16 verum and 16 placebo). Randomisation was conducted by an independent clinician who was unaware of the proving substance. The physical and behavioural symptoms that were noted by the provers were extracted from their prover journals, case-histories and post-proving group discussions. This was then written up into Materia Medica and Repertory format and graded accordingly. Once this proving data was captured it allowed for the application of the Doctrine of Signatures. During this analysis, similarities were compared between the behaviour of the patient and the behaviour of the substance in nature, which indicated the therapeutic action of the plant. The main characteristics used to link the Strychnos henningsii plant in its natural state to the Homoeopathic remedy developed was the plants habitat, kingdom, toxicity, structure, Anthroposophy and Vibrational therapy. By applying the Anthroposophical and vibrational therapy view, it allowed the researcher to establish a more holistic approach. Results A broad spectrum of symptoms was obtained which resulted in the formation of 876 rubrics. The areas that Strychnos henningsii had a profound affinity for were the mind which yielded 170 rubrics, head (76 rubrics), extremities (82 rubrics), dreams (91 rubrics) and the generals (80 rubrics). These rubrics were used in the evaluation of the Doctrine of Signatures. The sensation of heat, dryness and burning appeared to be an integral part of the manifestation of symptoms in this proving study which correlated to the habitat of the plant in its natural environment. Many mind themes were noted, but in particular emotional sensitivity was one of the major themes. Sensitivity is the Plant Kingdom’s key sensation in general. The remedy was prepared using the bark of the plant which contained high levels of the alkaloid strychnine. This reflected in the provers symptoms (itching, skin eruptions, cramps, stiffness, tingling). The structure, colour, mode and speed of growth were all factors which yielded satisfactory comparative results. Chakras, Colour Therapy and Anthroposophy allowed the researcher to apply a more dynamic scientific methodology. This tied in well with the Doctrine of Signatures and essentially provided a broader understanding of the remedy. Conclusion The hypotheses of this study were largely validated by the symptoms produced and analysis conducted, after applying the scientific methodology. The Doctrine of Signatures evaluation helped to reveal the intrinsic nature of Strychnos henningsii, further highlighting the underlying themes in the remedy and explained certain symptoms in more detail and finally distinguished between the behaviour of the patient and the substance in nature aiding us with a better understanding for clinical practise. It is important to note that recommendations have been made for future provings.