Homeopathic provings – a fundamental pillar of homeopathic science

Homeopathic provings are a fundamental pillar of homeopathic science. They are the primary source of knowledge of the curative scope of homoeopathic remedies, and a large part of homeopathic practice is based upon data derived from provings.

In a homeopathic proving – also referred to in the modern literature as a homeopathic pathogenetic trial (HPT) – a homeopathically prepared substance is administered to healthy volunteers with the specific aim of eliciting disease symptoms. The symptoms elicited represent the disease-causing capacity of the test substance, and therefore also its curative capacity when applied homeopathically to diseased individuals (based upon similitude). Through proving, an unknown medicine is provided with a ‘picture’ which represents the changes in mental, emotional and physical functioning induced by the medicine, and is subsequently able to be meaningfully used in homeopathic practice. Provings therefore represent the experimental base of clinical homeopathy, and every homeopathic prescription should, ideally, be based upon the comparison of the individual patient’s presenting symptoms to symptomatology elicited in formal provings of homeopathic medicines.

With the passage of time, the original proving methodology described by Hahnemann in The Organon of the Medical Art (1843) has been progressively modified in line with modern scientific norms (e.g. introduction of randomisation and blinding), and there has been increasing pressure to align modern proving methodology to international clinical research frameworks. Notwithstanding an emerging consensus on the optimal methodology for proving, many new provings use different and varying protocols and methodologies.

LMHI-ECH Homeopathic Drug Provings Guidelines

The LMHI-ECH Homeopathic Drug Proving Guidelines (2014) are the result of a collaborative process between the Liga Medicorum Homoeopathica Internationalis (LMHI) and the European Committee for Homeopathy (ECH) that took place between July 2013 and May 2014. The Guidelines were formally adopted at the 69th Congress of the LMHI in Paris, France in 2014.

The Guidelines have, as their departure point, the objective of providing a framework for conducting scientifically accountable provings that are in alignment with international ethical guidelines and principles of good clinical research practice, and that remain true to homeopathic theory and the purposes and outcomes of the original proving experiment. The Guidelines are available in English, French and Spanish. Portuguese and Russian translations will become available soon.

Websites providing information on provings

The following websites provide the results of modern provings of a range of medicinal substances: