Objectives: Investigation of the conditions for reproducibility of dwarf pea shoot growth stimulation through homeopathic potencies of gibberellic acid.
Methods: 4 batches of pea seed (Pisum sativum L. cv. Früher Zwerg; harvests from 1997, 1998, 1999, and 2000) were tested regarding their reaction to gibberellic acid 17x and 18x (compared to unsuccussed and succussed water (1x) as controls) in 8 independent randomized and blinded experiments. Pea seed was immersed for 24h in watery solutions of homeopathic potencies or controls, and cultivated under controlled laboratory conditions. Pea shoot length was measured after 14 days. Two systematic negative control experiments assessed the stability of the experimental set-up.
Results: The systematic negative control experiments yielded no significant effects and confirmed the stability of the experimental set-up. 2 out of 4 seed batches reacted to the homeopathic treatment (p<0.05). Seed batch 1997 showed a reproducible reaction to gibberellic acid 17x (shoot length stimulation of +11.2%, p=0.007), and seed batch 1998 showed a significant varying response (increase/decrease). Seed batch 1997 differed from the other 3 batches by an increased glucose and fructose content, and reduced 1000kernel weight. Meta-analysis with data of earlier experiments is in accordance with the results of the present experimental series.
Conclusions: We identified 'seed quality' as a possible trigger factor for successful reproducibility in homeopathic basic research. Premature harvesting as a possible key factor for responsiveness of dwarf peas to homeopathic potencies of gibberellic acid is our current working hypothesis to be tested in future experiments.