August 30th 2012

Dr Stephan Baumgartner, HRI Scientific Advisory Committee member, has published the results of his international collaboration, working on a possible solution to the problem of reproducibility when testing homeopathic medicines. Ultra-dilute homeopathic medicines have been shown to exert various effects on various living cells and organisms in vitro, but the problem researchers are currently facing is that when an experiment is repeated multiple times (especially by teams in different laboratories across the world) the results are not always consistent.

Baumgartner and colleagues have investigated the potential for a plant-based technique involving the use of cress seedlings to be used to measure the effects of homeopathic preparations. This method is already an established technique in agricultual/horticultural research e.g. being used to assess the effects of fertilisers. In this study, when the effects of homeopathic medicine, Stannum metallicum 30x was compared with the effect of water,Stannum metallicum 30x was shown to have a significant characteristic effect on the cress seedlings. Crucially, when the same experiments were carried out by two different laboratories (in The Netherlands and Denmark), the results were highly consistent, suggesting that this experimental method has potential for development as a reliable way of testing homeopathic preparations.

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