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Promising plant model for research into homeopathy

In a recent study, a team of Swiss, Dutch and Danish researchers evaluated the potential of a seedling-biocrystallisation method. They investigated the effects of a treatment with either Stannum metallicum 30x or water 30x on growing cress seedlings (Lepidium sativum L.) using the biocrystallisation method.

A major challenge in basic research into homeopathy is to develop bioassays that yield consistent results. During recent years various studies have been reported that successfully used healthy plants (e.g., wheat, peas, duckweed) as test organisms.

Stannum metallicum 30x (or D30) is an ultramolecular preparation. It contains tin from the starting material in a nominal dilution of 10^−30 (8.4 × 10^−30 M). This preparation was compared to water 30x (or D30), that is, water that has undergone 30 analogous steps of dilution and agitation.These ultra-molecular dilutions are the main cause of scientific scepticism surrounding homeopathy because they are diluted beyond the point at which theoretically any molecule of the starting substance is present.

In a series of 15 independent experiments, evaluation of the resulting biocrystallograms with computerized texture analysis yielded highly significant differences between the two groups, i.e. there were some specific biological effects of Stannum metallicum 30x on the germinating cress seedlings, compared to water 30x as control.

Experiments were performed independently in two laboratories in Denmark and in the Netherlands and were fully randomized and coded (blinded).

The biocrystallisation method seems to be a promising complementary outcome measure for plant bioassays investigating effects of homeopathic preparations.

Baumgartner S, Doesburg P, Scherr C, Andersen J.-O.(2012) Development of a Biocrystallisation Assay for Examining Effects of Homeopathic Preparations Using Cress Seedlings. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Article ID 125945, doi:10.1155/2012/125945 [PubMed]

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