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Development of a Test System for Homeopathic Preparations using Mercury-Stressed Duckweed (Lemna gibba L.)
05 February 2018 (online)
Objective: A bioassay with arsenic-stressed duckweed (Lemna gibba L.) had revealed effects of potentized Arsenicum album. Our research question is whether this bioassay can be modified by using mercury for stressing the duckweed plants and by applying potentized mercury for treatment. In addition, by interchanging and combining the two stressors and the two potentized substances in the test system, we aim at developing a test system for the simile principle as well as at testing the basic principle of homeopathic combination remedies.
Methods: The experimental setting of Jäger et al 2010 had to be built up at a new location and adopted for the usage of mercury as a stressor for duckweed. Different soluble mercury compounds were screened to identify the most suitable stress factor (stable upon dissolution, low standard deviation, broad effect range, stable ED50 values). In addition, a growth chamber with homogeneous lighting and temperature condition as well as minimal air movement to prevent evaporation differences of the nutrient solution had to be designed and built.
Results: The highly standardized conditions, which were reached by a special constructed growth chamber allowed achieving very small coefficients of variance (0.64%). In three systematic negative control experiments, no significant effects were observed (p = 0.580) that confirmed the appropriate applicability of mercury(II)chloride for stressing duckweeds and indicated a stable test system.
Conclusion and Outlook: A test system that had revealed significant effects of homeopathic remedies on arsenic-stressed duckweed was built up at a second location with mercury-stressed duckweed. As next step, several mercury compounds (e.g., Mercurius corrosivus and Mercurius bijodatus) will be applied as potentized remedies at higher (24–30×) and lower (6–12×) potentization levels. By interchanging and combining the stressors and the remedies, the impact of homeopathic remedies will be investigated.
Keywords: Mercury-stressed plant bioassay, basic research, Arsenicum album, homeopathy