An evaluation of the homoeopathic drug proving of Gymnura natalensis in light of a doctrine of signatures analysis and a comparison between the proving symptomatology and venom toxicology
The aim of this study was to determine the effect of Gymnura natalensis 30CH on healthy volunteers, and to record the signs and symptoms produced, so that it may be prescribed to those requiring it according to the Law of Similars. The other aims of this study were to compare the proving symptoms of Gymnura natalensis 30CH to the toxicology of stingray venom and to analyze the remedy picture in terms of the Doctrine of Signatures. It was hypothesised that the thirtieth centesimal potency of the remedy would produce clearly observable signs and symptoms in healthy volunteers (provers). It was further hypothesised that the above signs and symptoms would show a correlation to the toxicology of stingray venom and to the Doctrine of Signatures. The homoeopathic proving of Gymnura natalensis took the form a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial. The selected proving potency was the thirtieth centesimal potency. A total population of 30 suitable and consenting volunteers participated in this trial. Twenty percent of this population was randomly administered a placebo-control substance. The collection of data from the provers took the form of a journal which was kept by each prover in which their proving signs and symptoms were recorded over a period of five weeks after the administration of the remedy or placebo. On completion of the proving, each journal was assessed by the researcher to determine the suitability of the recorded symptoms for inclusion in the materia medica of Gymnura natalensis. These symptoms were then translated into the language of the materia medica and repertory and a remedy picture was then formulated. Data from case histories, physical examinations (Appendix D) and group discussions were also taken into account during the analysis of the proving the symptoms. A concurrent proving study of Gymnura natalensis, conducted by Naidoo (2008), focused on comparing the symptoms of this remedy to those of other existing remedies that were derived from the sea. A variety of mental, emotional and physical symptoms were extracted from the proving study of Gymnura natalensis. The main mental and emotional symptoms of the remedy included anxiety, irritability, depression, a feeling of disconnection, spaciness of the mind and dreams of events and incidents of the past. The characteristic physical symptoms obtained from the proving included headaches, a reduction of pre-menstrual symptoms, heart palpitations, skin eruptions on the back, low energy levels, tiredness and sleep abnormalities. Symptoms that showed a correlation to the toxicological symptoms of stingray envenomation included frequent urination, muscular cramps, heart palpitations, laboured breathing, fever and copious night sweats. The symptoms that characterised the remedy in terms of the Doctrine of Signatures included anxiety, instinctive behaviour, the desire to be alone, feelings of disconnection, detachment and isolation and skin eruptions on the back. The investigation confirmed the hypothesis that Gymnura natalensis would produce clearly observable sings and symptoms in healthy volunteers. The correlation of the proving symptoms to the toxicology of stingray venom and the Doctrine of Signatures provided a clarification of the remedy picture to assist in the understanding and prescription of this remedy.