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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

A double-blind, randomized, homeopathic pathogenetic trial with healthy persons: comparing two high potencies.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: According to homeopathic theory, symptoms provoked by the homeopathic remedy in a pathogenetic trial (PT) make up the remedy picture serving as the basis for the homeopathic treatment. Little is known whether the symptoms produced by the remedy differ from symptoms produced by placebo. This is because both homeopathic remedy and placebo also produce so-called unspecific effects due to psychological reasons. We therefore explore the distinctiveness of homeopathic symptoms and placebo symptoms. DESIGN: A three-armed, randomized PT pilot study. SETTING: A blinded materia medica expert identifies symptoms with regard to their number and specificity. PARTICIPANTS: 21 healthy homeopathic practitioners note symptoms produced after remedy intake. INTERVENTIONS: Patients are randomly assigned to receive either (1) Calendula officinalis, (2) Ferrum muriaticum, or (3) placebo. After a seven-day baseline symptoms recording period, proving substances are taken until symptoms occur. In daily supervision phone calls, symptoms are verified by the supervisor. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE: Total number of symptoms produced and number of specific symptoms produced. OUTLOOK: The results showed that both remedies 'produced' significantly more symptoms than placebo. With regard to the specificity, the Calendula officinalis group displayed more remedy-specific symptoms than placebo. However, in the Ferrum muriaticum group more Calendula symptoms than placebo were also recorded.[1]


  1. A double-blind, randomized, homeopathic pathogenetic trial with healthy persons: comparing two high potencies. Möllinger, H., Schneider, R., Löffel, M., Walach, H. Forschende Komplementärmedizin und klassische Naturheilkunde = Research in complementary and natural classical medicine. (2004) [Pubmed]
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