Research: BAUMGARTNER and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 112


BAUMGARTNER and colleagues, Kollegiale Instanz für Komplementärmedizin, Universität Bern, Insel-Spital, Imhoof-Pavillon, Bern, Switzerland,, have demonstrated that homeopathic potencies of plant growth substances stimulate the growth of dwarf peas.


The efficacy of higher homeopathic potencies is controversial. Universally accepted specific detection assays for homeopathic dilutions do not exist. Therefore basic research has to develop a spectrum of standardized tools to investigate the mode of action and nature of homeopathic potencies. This study aimed to examine if the shoot growth reaction of dwarf can be regarded as evidence of the action of plant growth substances at homeopathic potencies.


Pea seed (Pisum sativum) was immersed for 24 hours in homeopathic potency or control solutions for soaking. Plants germinated and grew in a standard cultivation substrate under controlled environmental conditions. Shoot length was measured 14 days after planting.


A screening of homeopathic potencies (12x-30x) of four different plant growth substances revealed biological activity of certain potency levels of gibberellin and kinetin (p < 0.05). Growth stimulation through gibberellin 17x (which corresponds to a concentration of 5 x 10-18 moles per litre) was assessed in six independent replications; results confirmed those of the screening (p < 0.05).


The results back the hypothesis that homeopathic potencies of plant growth substances affect pea shoot growth. Dwarf peas might thus be an interesting model system for studying the action of homeopathic potencies, although further work is required to identify all boundary conditions modulating the reactivity of this system.


Baumgartner S, Thurneysen A, Heusser P. Growth stimulation of dwarf peas (Pisum sativum L.) through homeopathic potencies of plant growth substances. Forschende Komplementärmedizin und Klassische Naturheilkunde 11 (5): 281-292, Oct 2004.


Comment: Homeopathy has been much derided because clear laboratory results with high dilutions of substances have never been unequivocally demonstrated. Sadly, one of the giants in the world of Homeopathy, Dr Jacques Benveniste, passed away in October 2004 –

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