19th Century Homeopathic Materia Medica Texts Predict Source Materials Whose Physiology Influences Thyroid Activity
05 February 2020 (online)
Background: The homeopathic materia medica contains hundreds of thousands of observations collected over the course of centuries. It includes both clinical observations of potentized medicines and also observations of the actions of potentized medicines on healthy subjects (provings). This study was undertaken to determine the degree to which observations within the materia medica could be correlated with the physiological mechanisms for thyroid inhibiting substances in their undiluted state.
Method: Four of the most specific symptoms for iodine deficiency were selected to describe the hypothyroid state. Symptom representation for the four selected symptoms within the homeopathic materia medica was compared for two halogen inhibitors, for three substances which influence thyroid hormone target tissues, for six substances known or suspected to increase thyroid stimulating hormone or decrease thyroid hormone levels, and for eleven substances not known to inhibit thyroid activity. To avoid knowledge bias, only those compilations of materia medica whose publication dates preceded the discoveries of crucial aspects of thyroid physiology were used as source materials for investigation.
Result: Homeopathic medicines derived from 11 substances with mechanisms for inhibition of thyroid activity were more likely to exhibit selected symptoms than the medicines derived from the 11 substances without known physiological mechanisms for thyroid inhibition. The difference between groups was analyzed via the Mann-Whitney non-parametric U test and was statistically significant to p < 0.01. After observations obtained from provings alone were removed from analysis, the difference between groups of clinical symptoms remained significant to p < 0.01. Only the two halogen inhibitors of iodine (bromine and fluoric acid) and one influencer of thyroid hormone target tissue (calcium carbonate) were significantly goitrogenic.
Conclusion: With respect to thyroid inhibition, there is a significant correlation between observations recorded within the homeopathic materia medica and the purported physiological mechanisms for the corresponding undiluted substances.
Keywords: Thyroid, hypothyroidism, homeopathy, materia medica