How a Homeopathic proving works.
“Provings are the pillars upon which homeopathic practice stands. Without accurate provings all prescribing indications are bound to be vague guesses at best, and pure fiction at worst. There is no other way to predict the effect of any given substance as a remedy with any degree of accuracy, and the use of signature, toxicology or fancy ideas cannot approximate the precise knowledge gained by a thorough proving.” 1
Substance is obtained.
Proving substance is sent to Helios or Ainsworths and made into remedy.
The only person at the pharmacy who knows what the remedy substance is will be the person who actually makes it, sometimes they don't know either.
Numbered remedy bottles are sent to master prover and allocated to each prover.
One will be placebo.
No-one will know which one is placebo, only pharmacist.
Supervisors and volunteers (provers) also don't know what substance is.
Gather together a number of people, minimum 10.
Appoint supervisors to each volunteer.
Ask provers to commence keeping a journal before the proving starts.
Supervisors interview each prover and ascertains certain characteristics. Food likes, weather preference, feelings, current situation, best time of day, previous illnesses, previous medical history, current medication, energy levels, hates, likes, dreams etc.
Supervisors continue to keep in contact with provers during the proving and phone them regularly to have them ‘feed-back’ how they are feeling.
Substance is posted to each prover.
They are given a time and a date to take first dose of substance.
Provers write in journals everything that happens to them over the proving weeks.
Supervisors are on call to help provers understand their feelings and ensure they are supported through-out the proving.
Most of the provers won't know the other provers, so they don't exchange ideas or compare notes. This is a solitary process of working with what feelings/symptoms are produced during the proving weeks.
Stage Four : “Entering the dragons den”.
Dreams are recorded, feelings noted, symptoms written down, weather conditions noted, family upsetments, arguements, emotions, etc.
After 3 weeks generally provers have reached a place of being 'inside' the feeling of the remedy. Now they don't know what is the remedy and what is 'self'.
More questioning happens. ‘Why me?', 'Why this?', 'Why now?'. This is a very self-reflective process and demands a lot of the provers. It might not be an enjoyable process and the supervisors are there to support the provers on their 'journey'.
The remedy begins to 'take shape'. Supervisors meet with master prover and discuss 'what is coming-up' for the provers and themselves.
Proving finishes, provers complete their journals, and post/give them to master prover or supervisor.
Stage Five Conclusion
Provers and supervisors are told what the remedy was/is.
Supervisors and master prover collate notes.
Provers journals are written onto computer and symptoms compared to the 'before' picture of the provers.
Editing, collating, symptom differentiating, discussion, symptoms weighting.
Proving is 'written-up' and published for peer debate.
Remedy is available at the pharmacy.
Symptoms are then converted into Repertory language.
This is the most time-consuming aspect of a proving as the words the provers used have to be converted into succinct, short key-words. Such as: 'Head, pain, worse from heat' and submitted to editors of the Repertory.
1. For further information please see : The Dynamics and Methodology of Homeopathic Provings, Jeremy Sherr, 1994, Dynamis Books, Malvern, UK
©Mary English DSH