A Biostatistical Insight into the As2O3 High Dilution Effects on the Rate and Variability of Wheat Seedling GrowthBrizzi M. · Lazzarato L. · Nani D. · Borghini F. · Peruzzi M. · Betti L.
aDepartment of Statistical Sciences, Bologna University, bDepartment of Agro-Environmental Science and Technology, Bologna University, cItalian Anthroposophical Medical Group, Milan, dDepartment of Biomedical Sciences, Chieti-Pescara University, Italy
Background: Most criticism of homeopathy concerns the lack of scientific bases and theoretical models. Fundamental research could make important contributions to our understanding of the mechanisms of action of homeopathic treatments. Plant-based bioassays are suitable for basic research - lacking the placebo effect and ensuring large data samples for structured statistical analyses. Objective: The aim of this 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. Material and Methods: 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.