Towards an integrated methodology : C4, Sherr and Dream provings of Protea cynaroides
Homoeopathic provings form the experimental base of clinical homoeopathy. Provings are conducted through the administration of homoeopathically prepared medicine to healthy volunteers in order to elicit disease symptoms. The symptoms are collated to formulate the materia medica of the substance. AIM The aim of this study was to compare the most commonly employed proving methodologies, the C4 trituration, the Sherr and the Dream proving methodology, by application in order to ascertain the validity of the claims made in terms of the efficiency of the method to elicit reproducible symptoms. This study sought to follow the existing methodologies exactly as set out by the original developers with the aim of developing an integrated methodology. The order in which the three groups were assigned followed a logical sequence that ensured that the maximum efficiency would be obtained, and that the blinding process would not be compromised. The claims were investigated based on the hypotheses proving symptoms are reproducible when applying identical proving methodologies in consecutive years, that different methodologies yield different numbers, types and quality symptoms, that differences exist between the symptoms yielded by the placebo and the verum groups within the same methodology, and that an integrated methodology could be developed based on the study of the relative efficiency of the respective methodologies. METHOD During the course of the research, 70 provers were recruited to test the unknown substance through application of the three methodologies Page iii mentioned above. Each of the three groups comprised of 10 verum provers per year, thus totalling 20 verum provers per group. The second group had an additional 10 provers, comprised of five placebo provers for 2008 and 2009 respectively. RESULTS The rubrics produced in each group were statistically analysed. The results reflected a reasonable level of reproducibility, proving the first hypothesis, but highlighted the fact that different provers would result in different symptoms due to their individual susceptibility and sensitivity to the proving substance. This effectively proved the hypothesis that the proving effect was reproducible in consecutive years through the application of the same methodology. The result of the data collection was the formulation of 1 373 rubrics utilised for analysis purposes, resulting in 881 verified rubrics, that comprise the repertory for Protea cynaroides. From the data, it was evident that the C4 trituration and the Sherr proving methodologies yield the most rubrics. Not only do they yield a large number of rubrics, but they also yield a much larger number of rubrics than produced by the placebo portion of the Sherr proving methodology. In the Dream proving methodology group there is much less rubrics present at each rubric level than yielded by the C4 trituration and the Sherr proving methodologies. Strong chapter affinities were observable when applying the C4 and Sherr proving methodologies. The C4 methodology seem to favour the chapters dealing with the senses, evident in the Ear, Eye, Hearing, Mouth, Nose, Skin and Vision chapters where the C4 rubrics were more prevalent than the Sherr rubrics. The Sherr methodology was evident in the remainder of the chapters, indicating the wide applicability of this methodology. This proved the hypothesis that some proving methodologies are more effective than others. Page | iv The hypothesis of difference between the placebo and verum groups within the Sherr proving methodology was proven as it was evident in the number of rubrics produced by each section. The verum portion elicited 63 percent of the total rubrics compared to the placebo portion which only elicited 28 percent. Placebo provers thus elicit fewer symptoms during the proving process than verum provers, demonstrating that homoeopathic drug provings are not a placebo response, but that the administration of the medicine results in the development of clearly observable symptoms in the participants. As originally assumed, the proving did produce clearly observable symptoms in healthy provers. The symptoms gathered through the application of the methodologies were also comprehensive enough to develop a complete materia medica and repertory for Protea cynaroides. CONCLUSION From the data presented in the study, one can thus conclude that in order to elicit symptoms representing all 38 chapters present in the Protea cynaroides proving, the C4 trituration proving and the Sherr proving methodologies would have to be combined. Although Group two is able to elicit the majority of symptoms, it would be even more effective when it is combined with the C4 proving methodology, hence leading to the development of an integrated methodology combining these methods, proving the final hypothesis. The suggested integrated methodology thus comprises of firstly conducting a C4 trituration proving using at least 10 predominantly experienced C4 provers. This proving would serve to highlight the major themes. These themes can then be confirmed through secondly conducting a proving according to the Sherr methodology, in a group comprising of at least 17 provers, including a 10 percent placebo in the group. Repeated oral doses would be administered to the participants in this. At the conclusion of the second Page | v proving stage, all the data would be collated and formatted into a materia medica and repertory. It would, however, be important to prove the integrated methodology‘s usefulness through practical application, leading to the recommendation that the methodology be tested.