Homeopathy 2014; 103(02): 113-126
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2013.12.004
Original Paper
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2014

Reproducibility of effects of homeopathically potentised gibberellic acid on the growth of Lemna gibba L. in a randomised and blinded bioassay

Vera Majewsky
1  Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Berne, Insel-Spital, Imhoof-Pavillon, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
3  Clinic for Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Königsweg 65 (Haus 27, Gebäude 19), 14163 Berlin, Germany
4  Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstrasse, Postfach, 3070 Frick, Switzerland
,
Claudia Scherr
1  Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Berne, Insel-Spital, Imhoof-Pavillon, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2  Hiscia Institute, Society for Cancer Research, Kirschweg 9, 4144 Arlesheim, Switzerland
,
Sebastian Patrick Arlt
3  Clinic for Animal Reproduction, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Freie Universität Berlin, Königsweg 65 (Haus 27, Gebäude 19), 14163 Berlin, Germany
,
Jonas Kiener
4  Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstrasse, Postfach, 3070 Frick, Switzerland
,
Kristina Frrokaj
4  Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstrasse, Postfach, 3070 Frick, Switzerland
,
Tobias Schindler
4  Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstrasse, Postfach, 3070 Frick, Switzerland
,
Peter Klocke
4  Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, Ackerstrasse, Postfach, 3070 Frick, Switzerland
5  Bovicare GmbH, Hermannswerder Haus 14, 14473 Potsdam, Germany
,
Stephan Baumgartner
1  Institute of Complementary Medicine, University of Berne, Insel-Spital, Imhoof-Pavillon, 3010 Bern, Switzerland
2  Hiscia Institute, Society for Cancer Research, Kirschweg 9, 4144 Arlesheim, Switzerland
6  Institute of Integrative Medicine, University of Witten-Herdecke, Gerhard-Kienle-Weg 4, 58313 Herdecke, Germany
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

Received07 August 2013
revised23 December 2013

accepted23 December 2013

Publication Date:
18 December 2017 (online)

Background: Reproducibility of basic research investigations in homeopathy is challenging. This study investigated if formerly observed effects of homeopathically potentised gibberellic acid (GA3) on growth of duckweed (Lemna gibba L.) were reproducible.

Methods: Duckweed was grown in potencies (14x–30x) of GA3 and one time succussed and unsuccussed water controls. Outcome parameter area-related growth rate was determined by a computerised image analysis system. Three series including five independent blinded and randomised potency experiments (PE) each were carried out. System stability was controlled by three series of five systematic negative control (SNC) experiments. Gibbosity (a specific growth state of L. gibba) was investigated as possibly essential factor for reactivity of L. gibba towards potentised GA3 in one series of potency and SNC experiments, respectively.

Results: Only in the third series with gibbous L. gibba L. we observed a significant effect (p = 0.009, F-test) of the homeopathic treatment. However, growth rate increased in contrast to the former study, and most biologically active potency levels differed. Variability in PE was lower than in SNC experiments. The stability of the experimental system was verified by the SNC experiments.

Conclusions: Gibbosity seems to be a necessary condition for reactivity of L. gibba to potentised GA3. Further still unknown conditions seem to govern effect direction and the pattern of active and inactive potency levels. When designing new reproducibility studies, the physiological state of the test organism must be considered. Variability might be an interesting parameter to investigate effects of homeopathic remedies in basic research.