A homoeopathic drug proving of Acacia xanthophloea 30CH with a subsequent comparison to its use in African medical tradition
Aim The aim of this homoeopathic proving study was to determine and document the arising symptomatology of Acacia xanthophloea (Fever tree) in the potentised homoeopathic form, 30CH, and to provide this data for inclusion to the homoeopathic materia medica. The results of this proving study and comparative analysis to African traditional medicinal uses of this substance confirms the potential therapeutic value of the remedy. Methodology The homoeopathic drug proving of Acacia xanthophloea 30CH was conducted in the form of a double blinded placebo controlled study. The investigation consisted of a total of 30 provers divided equally between two researchers ((A. Gobind and G. Zondi). The sample was randomly divided into two groups in which 24 provers(80%) were assigned into the verum group and the remaining six provers (20%) were allocated to the placebo group. All provers were requested to record their daily symptoms on the physical, mental and emotional planes in their journals for one week prior to administration of the proving substance. This formed as a mode of control for the comparison of symptomatology for the pre-proving and post proving period. A thorough case history was taken and physical examination performed on each prover before the commencement of the proving and after the duration of the proving period. Each prover received a total of nine powders. Starting on day 8 of the study the provers consumed one powder three times a day for three days and documented their daily symptoms in a journal. The duration of the proving term was six weeks in total. During this interval the researcher maintained consistent contact with the provers. Upon completion of the proving period all journals were collected and the information contained within these journals was translated into the materia medica and repertory format. This facilitated the establishment of the remedy portrait of Acacia xanthophloea 30CH. A subsequent comparison between the symptomatology that materialised in the provers and the African traditional medicinal uses was duly conducted. Results An extensive range of symptoms was reported by the provers. The outstanding themes that emanated from this proving on the mental plane include anger, anxiety, aversion to company, cheerful, depression, irritability, mood swings, restlessness, tranquillity and stress. A broad range of headaches were described with some headaches being associated with the eye. There were many eye symptoms displayed by the provers which include itching, redness, burning sensation and pain. The stomach symptoms revealed marked increased thirst, changeable appetite, bloating, constipation and diarrhoea with watery stools.The female genitalia / sex indicated several symptoms ranging from painful menstruation, bleeding and copious blood flow.The greatest number of symptoms in a system was associated with extremities, producing the greatest number of rubrics in the repertory section. Dream themes depicted by the provers were especially visionary, about family and friends in addition to other themes. The correlation process between the homoeopathic drug proving of Acacia xanthophloea 30CH and the African traditional medicinal use of the substance brought several resemblances to light.There were clear similarities with the eye symptoms, gastrointestinal symptoms and headaches. Conclusion As hypothesised Acacia xanthophloea 30CH did produce distinctly observable signs and symptoms when administered to healthy provers. The symptoms that emerged during the proving provide evidence that an overlay exists between the remedy Acacia xanthphloea 30CH and the traditional use of the crude substance Acacia xanthophloea. The researcher proposes that further research should be conducted to determine the symptomatology of various homoeopathic potencies so that a complete image of the remedy Acacia xanthophloea 30CH can be established and the clinical applications can be broadened.