A comparison of symptoms derived from a C4 trituration and the materia medica of an existing, well-proven homoeopathic remedy
C4 trituration provings are a somewhat controversial method of uncovering the therapeutic value of homoeopathic remedies. The key advantage of this method over traditional proving methods is that a substance can be proved in a matter of hours, rather than weeks or months. However there is a lack of research to show whether the results of the two methods are comparable. AIM The aim of this study is to establish whether symptoms elicited in a C4 trituration proving are comparable to symptoms produced in traditional provings of the same substance. If a similarity can be demonstrated – even on a single substance – it may encourage further studies to determine the extent to which C4 provings can be used in association with, or instead of, traditional provings as a means of developing homoeopathic remedies. METHOD Ten triturators were recruited from an existing group of experienced triturators to prove an unknown substance. Data were harvested from debriefing sessions and from notes kept by triturators during the sessions, and these were transcribed and converted to rubrics. An unprejudiced repertorisation was undertaken in an (unsuccessful) attempt to identify the substance before unblinding. After the substance was revealed to be Borax, the rubrics from the C4 proving were statistically compared to rubrics associated with Borax in Radar 9.0, the electronic version of the repertory Synthesis: Repertorium Homoeopathicum Syntheticum (2004), which reflects traditional provings of this substance. The statistical comparison of rubrics was performed in SPSS; a Pearson Chi-Square test was applied to establish statistical significance; and a Cramer's V test was used to determine the strength of that association. RESULT The comparison failed to find a significant correlation between the rubrics from the C4 proving of Borax and traditional provings of the same substance. At a chapter level, there were significant associations between symptoms relating to Hearing and Kidneys but, for reasons discussed at length in the report, these results must be treated with circumspection. CONCLUSION While C4 provings are faster than the traditional method, as refined by Sherr, in view of the above findings it cannot be recommended that C4 provings be considered as a means of developing homoeopathic remedies instead of traditional provings, because C4 provings would not produce a complete symptom picture. RECOMMENDATIONS Recommendations arising from the study include that the exercise should be repeated with a different substance and group of provers, preferably with confidential debriefing of participants (as opposed to group debriefing, which is the norm for C4 provings), to verify these findings.