Provings

Language
English
Type
Hardback
Publisher
Homoeopathic Medical Publishers
Author(s) Rajan Sankaran
Out of stock
Delivery time 1-3 days
€27.50
Proving have been and still are the bedrock of the science and practice of Homoeopathy, ever since the first proving of Cinchona by Hahnemann in 1796. After his proving of nearly a hundred remedies there was a lull for many decades and not many new complete provings were added during this time.

However, in the last decade, more so in the last five years, the scenario has changed remarkably; there has been a radical increase in the number of provings, worldwide. Among the first to initiate the new set of provings was Dr. Jurgen Becker from Freiburg, Germany. He certainly brought Homoeopathy out of the closet, and changed our perception of each remedial substance from being a mere dry collection of data into a living, colourful, throbbing spirit. He devised a new and revolutionary method of provings, that involved making an entire group of persons take a dose of the remedy, a few days before or even during the seminar, and then discussing the effects of the dose during the seminar. These provings were very productive in terms of mental symptoms especially dream. These provings thus gave an idea of the inner processes of the substance. Such a method was received enthusiastically by some but criticized by others, especially the official ones and they dismissed this as a mere figment of imagination. It is possible that there is some truth in the latter presumption.

Later, Jeremy Sherr started his proving of 'Scorpion' in England in a detailed Hahnemannian way; however in subsequent provings, he went on to adopt a method midway between traditional Hahnemannian and neo-provings of Jurgen Becker. Dr. Rajans method is also like one followed by Jeremy Sherr midway between Hahnemannian and Becker.

The book contains eleven such provings. In all these provings on the author knew the name of the remedy being proved, except in case of Ocimum Sanctum where even he did not know the name of the remedy being proved. Out of these eleven provings, two provings, i.e. Coca-cola and Lac-humanum are seminar provings.

In presenting the provings, Dr. Sankaran has deliberately left out any summary or conclusions. Although at the end of each proving, he did discuss and connecting proving data to the substance itself, he says, these to be his own ideas and does not wish that the readers get fixated to my views of the proving the reason is that while sometimes the links are clear and revealing, it is always possible that one may try to force such a link and take poetic licence with the proving data. He says 'the danger of whole proving matter being presented by a person nearing coloured glasses is similar to the danger of case-taking with prejudice. The need to be objective and faithful is of paramount importance, I have therefore tried, as far as possible to be puritan with proving data; in fact most symptoms recorded here are verbatim as the provers have reported them.'

Dr. Sankaran has stuck to what the provers said, rather than his understanding of the remedy or any 'themes' that seemed to emerge during the proving.
More Information
ISBN819008108X
AuthorRajan Sankaran
TypeHardback
LanguageEnglish
Publication Date1998
Pages247
PublisherHomoeopathic Medical Publishers
Review

This article is reprinted from The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Nick Churchill

Rajan Sankaran has published a volume of eleven provings conducted by him in recent years. As might be expected, they are of a very high standard and represent a unique addition to the materia medica. He also provides an introduction which surveys the history of provings to the present, and is itself an essential contribution to the on-going discussion about the methodology of provings.

These provings are a joy to read. They are presented in a completely 'hands-off', unprejudiced way and contain just the raw proving data. This is grouped under brief headings, which Sankaran stresses is not to indicate supposed 'themes' in the proving, but merely to make reading less cumbersome. Unlike with nearly all other provings, there is no prior discussion of the nature or significance of the substance being proved, so neither the gross nature of the substance nor possible considerations of the doctrine of signatures are allowed to intrude on the inner dynamic qualities of the remedy standing out in a pure form. The only element of interpretation present is the repertorisations, the rationale for which is also discussed in the introduction.

The provings are of: Coca cola, Crotalus cascavella, Dendroaspis polylepsis (black mamba), Lac caprinum, Lac defloratum, Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Niccolum, Ocimum sanctum (basil), Polystyrenum (polystyrene) and Strontium carbonicum. Some of these substances have never been proved before, such as Coca cola and Polystyrenum, some were proved in the last century (eg Crotalus cascavella, Niccolum) and some are contemporaneous versions of substances which have recently been proved elsewhere (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum).

Most of these are full provings based on the Hahnemannian methodology tempered by a modern understanding of the dynamics of provings and group phenomena (as elaborated at different times by Sankaran, Becker and Sherr). One or two are seminar provings. The quality of these is much higher than one might expect (most notably Lac humanum, an 'extended' seminar proving).

By contrast, one remedy, Lac defloratum, was the subject of a dream proving. This is the most disappointing part of the book. On reading it I was reminded of the fact that you cannot truly understand the mental state of a remedy from dreams alone. The dream world of a remedy relates to the conscious state to a greater or lesser degree, without wholly overlapping with it. The degree of displacement between the two is impossible to judge unless both kinds of symptoms are recorded.

Elsewhere there is, not surprisingly, a strong slant towards Mind symptoms, with the result that the best of these provings provide astonishingly complete mental pictures. Several of them (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Polystyrenum) are so comprehensive and complete unto themselves that they rank with the very best in the proving literature to date. Lac humanum is particularly impressive. While all good provings may be said to shed light on the human condition as well as to provide information about a remedy, this one does so to a breathtaking extent, no doubt because of the fact that it is breast milk.

However, I would say that these provings do suffer slightly from the fact that fewer characteristic physical symptoms were gathered. As a result, the full range of dynamic possibilities of these remedies may not have been completely brought out.

Such criticisms aside, this book is undoubtedly of great importance to homeopathy and I would urge everyone to read and learn from it.

The Homeopath, No.73

Review

This article is reprinted from The Homoeopath with permission from Nick Churchill of The Society of Homoeopaths.

Reviewed by Nick Churchill

Rajan Sankaran has published a volume of eleven provings conducted by him in recent years. As might be expected, they are of a very high standard and represent a unique addition to the materia medica. He also provides an introduction which surveys the history of provings to the present, and is itself an essential contribution to the on-going discussion about the methodology of provings.

These provings are a joy to read. They are presented in a completely 'hands-off', unprejudiced way and contain just the raw proving data. This is grouped under brief headings, which Sankaran stresses is not to indicate supposed 'themes' in the proving, but merely to make reading less cumbersome. Unlike with nearly all other provings, there is no prior discussion of the nature or significance of the substance being proved, so neither the gross nature of the substance nor possible considerations of the doctrine of signatures are allowed to intrude on the inner dynamic qualities of the remedy standing out in a pure form. The only element of interpretation present is the repertorisations, the rationale for which is also discussed in the introduction.

The provings are of: Coca cola, Crotalus cascavella, Dendroaspis polylepsis (black mamba), Lac caprinum, Lac defloratum, Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Niccolum, Ocimum sanctum (basil), Polystyrenum (polystyrene) and Strontium carbonicum. Some of these substances have never been proved before, such as Coca cola and Polystyrenum, some were proved in the last century (eg Crotalus cascavella, Niccolum) and some are contemporaneous versions of substances which have recently been proved elsewhere (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum).

Most of these are full provings based on the Hahnemannian methodology tempered by a modern understanding of the dynamics of provings and group phenomena (as elaborated at different times by Sankaran, Becker and Sherr). One or two are seminar provings. The quality of these is much higher than one might expect (most notably Lac humanum, an 'extended' seminar proving).

By contrast, one remedy, Lac defloratum, was the subject of a dream proving. This is the most disappointing part of the book. On reading it I was reminded of the fact that you cannot truly understand the mental state of a remedy from dreams alone. The dream world of a remedy relates to the conscious state to a greater or lesser degree, without wholly overlapping with it. The degree of displacement between the two is impossible to judge unless both kinds of symptoms are recorded.

Elsewhere there is, not surprisingly, a strong slant towards Mind symptoms, with the result that the best of these provings provide astonishingly complete mental pictures. Several of them (eg Lac humanum, Lac leoninum, Polystyrenum) are so comprehensive and complete unto themselves that they rank with the very best in the proving literature to date. Lac humanum is particularly impressive. While all good provings may be said to shed light on the human condition as well as to provide information about a remedy, this one does so to a breathtaking extent, no doubt because of the fact that it is breast milk.

However, I would say that these provings do suffer slightly from the fact that fewer characteristic physical symptoms were gathered. As a result, the full range of dynamic possibilities of these remedies may not have been completely brought out.

Such criticisms aside, this book is undoubtedly of great importance to homeopathy and I would urge everyone to read and learn from it.

The Homeopath, No.73