A homoeopathic drug proving of Hemachatus haemachatus, with a subsequent comparison of the proving symptoms with that of other snake remedies used in homeopathy
De la Rouviaere, Lize
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The aim of this study was to elicit and document the effects, in the form of signs and symptoms produced in relatively healthy volunteers, of the venom of Hemachatus haemachatus, prepared in accordance with the methods set out in the homoeopathic pharmacopoeia. These signs and symptoms form the indications for the prescription of the remedy, according to the homoeopathic Law of Similars. A further aim of this study was a comparative analysis of symptoms produced by Hemachatus haemachatus 30ch with existing remedies derived from snake venom used in homeopathy, with the aim of highlighting the similarities and differences between them. The homoeopathic drug proving of Hemachatus haemachatus 30ch took the form of a double-blind, placebo controlled trial. The proving population consisted of 30 healthy subjects who met with the necessary inclusion criteria (Appendix B). Eighty percent (24 subjects) served as the experimental group, receiving the active verum in a randomised manner, while twenty percent (6 subjects) formed the placebo group, receiving non-medicated placebo powders in a randomised manner. Provers were unaware of either the nature or potency of the substance. Verum and placebo were indistinguishable from each other, and neither researcher nor volunteers knew who received verum and who received placebo. Intra-individual control was achieved through a pre-proving observation period of a week’s duration, during which provers recorded the signs and symptoms of their normal state. This symptom picture served as a baseline for comparison with symptoms noted after administration of the remedy. Verum and placebo were dispensed in the form of six powders to be taken sublingually three times a day for a period of two days, or until the onset of symptoms. Data was primarily collected in the form of a diary or journal kept by each prover in which they recorded symptoms on a daily basis. Provers were closely monitored by the researchers during this period. Data collected by the researchers during daily telephonic contacts, as well as during the pre-proving consultation, was also considered. Information obtained from the journals was then assessed by the researchers for suitability for inclusion in the materia medica of Hemachatus haemachatus. The data did not require statistical analysis. In a concurrent study of similar methodology, Cahill (2008) conducted a comparison of the symptom complex produced in the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus, with other homeopathic remedies which scored highest on repertorisation. Symptoms from both studies were collated and included in the materia medica and repertory of Hemachatus haemachatus. The investigation supported the hypothesis that Hemachatus haemachatus would produce clear and observable signs and symptoms in healthy proving volunteers. During the course of this study provers experienced a wide range of mental, emotional and physical symptoms. The highest number of symptoms was produced on the mental and emotional level. Provers experienced elation, joy, increased confidence, enthusiasm and energy. On the other hand, there was lack of confidence, vulnerability, anxiety, decreased motivation, decreased concentration, lethargy, depression and indifference. There were sudden changes in mood and provers experienced marked irritability. On the physical level, many provers experienced headaches, irritation of the eyes, symptoms resembling allergic rhinitis, sore throats, nausea, heartburn, abdominal pain and flatulence, menstrual disturbances, lumbar pain, rheumatic joint pains, and skin eruptions. There were disturbances in normal sleep patterns, subjective perceptions of increased body temperature with hot flushes, and generalised tiredness and lethargy. Symptoms obtained from the proving of Hemachatus haemachatus were analysed as part of a comparative study with other remedies derived from snake venom: Lachesis muta, Naja tripudians, Elaps corallinus, Naja mossambica and Bitis arietans arietans. This comparison highlighted both the similarities and differences between these remedies and Hemachatus haemachatus.