Background: Independent replications of preclinical investigations
of homeopathic potencies are rare. However,
they are a necessary tool to determine the relevant
factors modulating the effects of homeopathic potencies
in preclinical systems. Objective: The goal of the present
study was to reproduce a trial published in 1997. An Italian
group of researchers investigated the effect of Arsenicum
album 45x on the growth of wheat which had
been previously poisoned with a material dose of Arsenicum
album. The homeopathic treatment was associated
with increased wheat shoot growth significantly
different from the control group (+24%, p < 0.001). Materials
and Methods: Wheat poisoned with a sublethal
dose of Arsenicum album was cultivated in either Arsenicum
album 45x, water 45x, or unpotentized water.
After 7 days, shoot length was measured. Reproducibility
was assessed in eight independent experiments. Results:
Arsenicum album 45x significantly inhibited wheat shoot
growth (-3%) compared to treatment with unpotentized
water and water 45x (p = 0.011 and p = 0.037). Within the
experimental series performed in this reproduction trial,
the effects of Arsenicum album 45x proofed to be reproducible.
The wheat seed species used did not seem to
have a significant impact on the experimental outcome.
Conclusion: The result of this replication trial is a reversal
of the original study, since Arsenicum album 45x inhibited
wheat shoot growth instead of enhancing it. Nevertheless,
high homeopathic potencies may induce statistically
significant effects in biological systems. However,
the magnitude and direction of these effects seem to depend
on yet unknown parameters.
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