27 April 2008

Natural History Museum’s searchable database of plants, fungi, lichen and algae used in homeopathy

London’s Natural History Museum has a database of the plants, fungi, lichens and algae that have been used to make homeopathic remedies, along with their currently botanically correct names.

“Homeopathic remedies have accumulated gradually over the past 200 years. During this time, the plants and fungi in the various Homeopathic Materiae Medicae have received a variety of epithets, although these are mostly Latin names. Often, the naming of these plant remedies has not followed any recognised botanical or medical code and, despite having some resemblance to the modern botanical system, nearly half of these names needed updating with respect to the current International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN; Greuter et al ., 2000; McNeill et al., 2006). In response to this problem, of outdated and often inaccurate nomenclature, a new checklist was prepared (Bharatan et al ., 2002; Bharatan and Humphries, 2002). This checklist together with the online searchable database can be updated in line with the revisions of the Botanical Code that take place every 6 years.”

12 March 2008

Joining the homeopathic dots. Rajan Sankaran, remedy families and vital reaction

In my last post I talked about my growing confidence in the clinical homeopathic data recorded in modern repertory books and databases. I have also written about how gaps in the data are being filled through extrapolation of well-tested homeopathic principles by the work of homeopaths such as Jan Scholten on mineral remedies.

Similar work is being undertaken by the very experienced Indian homeopath Rajan Sankaran on understanding the remedies from the plant kingdom.  Plants are the source of many homeopathic remedies but relatively few of them have been fully proved and clinically used.  Sankaran has used the MacRepertory database to look at the similarities and possible remedy pictures of plant remedies in his books ‘Insight into Plants Vols I, II, III’.

Here is Jan Scholten’s comment in his foreword of the books:

“In the beginning of February 2002 I attended the Mumbai seminar. It was a great inspiration.  As I was listening to the new approach of Rajan Sankaran in handling cases and finding remedies in the Plant Kingdom I got more and more excited.  Here were great new possibilities to look at and solve difficult and till now unsolved cases.

Sankaran developed the possibility to analyse which plant is indicated.  The first step is to find the botanical family that’s indicated.  This is done by comparing the basic sensation of the patient with that of the family.  The next step is to differentiate the members of the family by ‘miasms’. Sankaran developed 9 miasms, that signify a way how they feel about a problem, how it is handled.  An example by Sankaran can make the approach more clear.  A young woman feels lost in the world, as a plane in the sky, without direction. this feeling of being lost is common to the family of the Magnolianae; it’s an expression of the vital sensation of “strangeness” in that family.  The woman feels desperate and wants it to be solved immediately, she needs direction from other people.  The desire for help from others and to get it immediately as a relief is typical for the “typhoid” miasm.  The remedy in the typhoid miasm in the Magnolianae is Nux moschata and that remedy cured the patient.

The approach looks very much that of the group analysis in “Elements”, where series and stages are “crossed”.  Here Families and miasms are crossed.  The concept of miasms has to be taken “relative”. Miasm is used in many different ways in homoeopathy.  Sankaran uses it for a way of feeling and reacting to a basic sensation.

This approach is bringing homoeopathy again more into the second scientific stage, the stage of classification, categorisation and grouping.  It gives homeopathy the strength of predicton.  His approach makes it possible to extend the pictures of little known remedies, so that they become full and meaningful pictures.”

I have succesfully used the methods and thoughts in the books to justify my choice of plant remedy with excellent results.  21st century homeopathy is greatly enriched by the inspiration of Jan Scholten and Rajan Sankaran.

20 December 2007

Homeopathic dilutions and plant growth, there is an effect and no placebo.

Karger ‘Forschender Komplementarmedezin’ Research in Complementary Medicine’:  Vol 12 No 5 2005

This study replicates the findings of a previous study on the growth of wheat seedlings that have been stressed by exposure to arsenic trioxide.  The wheat seedlings were treated with various potentised ultradilutions of arsenic trioxide, various potentised ultradilutions of water or various dilutions of arsenic trioxide (non-potentised).  Significant increases in growth were indicated in the groups treated with arsenic trioxide to the potency 45x and with water 45x.  Plants are not subject to the placebo effect. 

It is interesting that effects were noticed at the 45X potency, this is not a potency commonly used to treat people.  The X scale of potency is less commonly used in the UK but may have been used in this experiment as it is much quicker to generate potency scale increases in the scale of 1:10 rather than 1:100 (the C potency scale).  It is really interesting that simliar results were found for H20 45X which causes me to wonder whether the substance is key or the potency. Update: or whether this is an entanglement effect.


Plant-based bioassays are suitable for basic research – lacking the placebo effect and ensuring large data samples for structured statistical analyses.

The aim of the study was to reproduce a previous experiment on the effects of arsenic trioxide (As2O3) high dilutions on wheat seedling growth in order to verify whether the same significant results could be obtained working in a different place and with a different experimental team. A further goal was to investigate high dilution effects on variability.

 A structured experiment was performed blind over 9 weeks, using wheat seeds previously stressed with a sublethal dose of As2O3. The seeds were then treated with either potentized As2O3 (5x, 15x, 25x, 35x, 45x), potentized water (equivalent potencies) or diluted As2O3 (10-5, 10-15, 10-25, 10-35, 10-45).

The working variable was the stem length, measured after 4, 5, 6 and 7 days.

Results: Some potencies (As2O3 45x and H2O 45x) induced a relevant increase in seedling growth and/or a variability decrease. Diluted As2O3 did not induce any significant results.

Conclusions: Confirmation of a significant stimulating effect on seedling growth and a significant decrease of variability was obtained with ultra-high dilutions at the 45x potency. The model of wheat germination and growth has been confirmed to be a good tool for basic research in homeopathy.”

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: