A homoeopathic drug proving of Yam ha-Melach of the 30th centesimal potency and a subsequent comparison of the symptomatology with existing indications of clinical therapeutic use
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Introduction Provings form a fundamental part of the philosophy and practice of homoeopathy and the foundation on which homoeopathic prescribing rests. The substance chosen for this study is Yam ha-Melach (Dead Sea water). This substance has been known for its healing properties since ancient times and thus seemed an apt addition to the homoeopathic Materia Medica. Purpose The primary purpose of this investigation was to investigate and determine the complete symptom picture of Yam ha-Melach , homeopathically prepared to the thirtieth centesimal potency, on the healthy individuals and record the mental, emotional and physical signs and symptoms produced, so that it may be prescribed to those suffering from similar signs and symptoms, according to the Laws of Similars, as required by homoeopathy. A further purpose of this investigation was to compare the symptom picture gained to the existing indications of clinical therapeutic use of this substance. This study was done in conjunction with Natasha Wallace, who compared the symptom picture gained from the proving of Yam ha-Melach 30CH to the symptom picture of its constituent minerals. Methodology To prepare the remedy, Yam ha-Melach was triturated at a ratio of 1:99 with Saccharum lactis powder to the 3rd centesimal potency. Liquid potencies were then manufactured from Yam ha-Melach 3CH to a potency of 30CH. The remedy was dispensed in the form of Saccharum lactis granules that have been triple impregnated at 1% volume/volume (according to Method 10 of the GHP) with Yam ha-Melach 30CH in 90% ethanol. The remedy was dispensed in the form of 6 single enveloped powders. 10 lactose granules impregnated with potentised Yam ha-Melach 30CH was added to each envelope. This was administered to the provers in the experimental group. The placebo was dispensed in the form of 6 single enveloped powders. 10 neutral lactose granules were added to each envelope. This was dispensed to the placebo group. The placebo and the active remedy were identical in appearance thus ensuring the double blind nature of the experiment with neither the provers nor the researchers able to differentiate the active remedy from the placebo. The research methodology of Jeremy Sherr is thorough and well researched as well as very user friendly thus for the purpose of this study the methodologies suggested by Sherr in his Dynamics and methodology of Homoeopathic Provings were used (1994). Twenty healthy individuals took part in this study. Participants were fully informed about the research (Appendix D) and had to meet all the inclusion criteria (Appendix B) before commencing the proving. 10% (2 provers) of the prover group received placebo and the remainder (18 provers) of the group received the verum. The homoeopathic proving of Yam ha-Melach 30CH took the form of a double blind placebo controlled study where neither the provers nor the researcher knew to whom the placebo or active remedy was given. The provers had no knowledge of the substance being proved or the potency in which it was administered. The potency utilized for this proving was the 30th centesimal potency or 30CH. Data collection was in the form of a journal kept by each prover. Provers observed themselves before, during and after administration of the remedy and recorded all their mental, emotional and physical signs and symptoms in the journal. On completion of the proving the information elucidated by the provers was correlated and assessed by the two researchers for suitability to be included in the Materia Medica of Yam ha-Melach 30CH. These symptoms were then translated into Materia Medica and repertory language. Information obtained from the case histories, physical examinations (Appendix F) and group discussions were also utilized. The information obtained from the proving of Yam ha-Melach 30CH was compared to the existing indications of clinical therapeutic use. This highlighted important themes in the remedy and explained symptoms. Symptoms and themes that emerged from the proving were related to the ailments, symptoms and signs being treated with Dead Sea water in an attempt to clarify and expand on the understanding of the remedy. Results Provers experienced a wide range of symptoms on the mental, emotional and physical planes. In the mental and emotional spheres, provers experienced intense irritability, anxiety and depression which was characterized by loneliness and hopelessness as well as much crying and thoughts of suicide. Mania was prevalent with spontaneity and rebellion against societal norms and religion, paranoia and discrimination. Physically, provers experienced much joint pain and stiffness as well as a variety of skin symptoms resembling psoriasis and vitiligo. Dehydration was a central theme as was detachment and symptoms involving the female system. Conclusions It was hypothesized that the proving of Yam ha-Melach 30CH would produce clearly observable signs and symptoms in healthy individuals. The results of the proving show no contradiction to this and thus the hypothesis verified. The musculoskeletal symptoms of Yam ha-Melach 30CH were comparable to those of rheumatoid and osteoarthritis and skin symptoms were comparable to those of psoriasis and vitiligo. These are the primary clinical therapeutic indications for Dead Sea products. This verifies the homoeopathic principle of the Law of Similars.