This article represents a summary of a Homeopathic Proving done in 2010 at the American Medical College of Homeopathy. A full and comprehensive report is available through the American Medical College of Homeopathy; 1951 W. Camelback, Suite 300, Phoenix, AZ 85015; info@AMCofH.org; 602-347-7950
A proving of Helix tosta was performed in Phoenix Arizona at the American Medical College of Homeopathy, in the spring of 2010. The proving was conducted by the American Medical College of Homeopathy Department of Research. This was a full Hahnemannian proving.
This proving was approved by the American Medical College of Homeopathy Institutional Review Board.
The proving consisted of fifteen subjects who began taking Helix tosta 30C on January 22, 2010. Provers were from 22-65 years of age and in good health. There were three male provers and twelve female provers. Generally those patients who were on allopathic medication or who had significant health problems were excluded from the proving.
This proving was double blinded. All the provers, proving supervisors, and proving coordinator were unaware of the remedy being proven. The homeopathic medicine was selected because of its medicinal properties, symbolic significance and lack of usage within the homeopathic community, despite being listed as a homeopathic medicine.
The proving was placebo controlled. Three of the provers received placebo and were only identified at the end of the exit group proving. The homeopathic medicine was obtained from Helios Pharmacy. As with previous provings, we found that those individuals who took the placebo generally had the same symptoms as those who took the actual homeopathic medicine. This is in keeping with findings of others conducting provings from around the world.
Each prover was assigned a proving supervisor who interviewed them prior to the onset of the proving to obtain a baseline case. Each prover then attended an introductory meeting with their fellow provers prior to the start of the proving, to go over basic policies and procedures and to obtain informed consent. Each prover had regular contact with their proving supervisor throughout the proving. The proving supervisors reported directly to the proving director.
Each prover took a single dosage of 30C of the assigned homeopathic medicine at bedtime. If they exhibited any symptoms in the next 24 hours they received no further homeopathic medicine. If they had no symptoms, then they repeated the homeopathic medicine 24 hours later. Each prover received a maximum of seven doses of the 30C potency. A dosage consisted of 10-12 pellets of the chosen homeopathic medicine.
Participants journaled the symptoms until the symptoms resolved or up to six months after the initiation of the proving. Additionally the supervisors kept a separate journal from the daily interaction with their provers. Informed consent was obtained from each participant.
Symptoms were reviewed in an exit group meeting one month later, which was videotaped. Journals (both of the provers and supervisors) were reviewed separately. Any participants who had residual symptoms or improvement following the one-month interval were followed subsequently until the symptoms resolved or were permanently cured (up to six months).
The remedy is available from the Helios Pharmacy (www.helios.co.uk). The name given to the remedy is Helix tosta (Helx). The remedy is described in the literature as being triturated. It has never been previously proven despite being listed as a homeopathic medicine.
The American Medical College of Homeopathy is a state licensed and accredited institution in Phoenix, Arizona. Its department of research conducts provings annually and has conducted 14 separate provings over the last 13 years. Each of these provings has been published separately in book form as well as published through all of the homeopathic software companies. Extracts of all of the proving discussions can be found on our web site at www.amcofh.org/Research/Provings.html. In addition, AMCH recently published a summary of its desert proving research in a work entitled The Desert World: A Homeopathic Exploration.
Helix tosta (Roman Snail) is an old remedy that was previously studied, although poorly. The remedy has never been previously proven.
Helix tosta refers to toasted snail. The species that is eaten is Helix pomatia. It is most commonly known as the Roman Snail, Edible Snail or Burgundy Snail. It is the snail that is classically used in the making of Escargot. The name was identified by Linnaeus in 1758. It is called Roman Snail because it is thought to have been introduced by the Romans to England as a food source.
Helix pomatia is a large (the largest snail in Europe), edible, air breathing, land snail (terrestrial, pulmonate, gastropod, mollusc). It is frequently farmed and called by the French name Escargot, when it is used in cooking. The snail is quite large and easily seen. They are most often seen in the early mornings when it is damp.
Its shell is spherical with a conical spire. It is very strong with thin axial lines. The aperture is round and the lip thin. The umbilicus is narrow and covered by the edge of the columella in a way that leaves only a slitlike opening visible. In some cases the umbilicus is completely covered. In old shells the periostracum is often worn away giving the surface a whitish color. Shell size is 32-50 mm wide and 30-50 mm high. The color is light yellowish brown to whitish grey, often with 3 faint mauve or dark violet bands. The shell is big enough for the snail to retract the whole body into it. It usually has 4-5 whorls which coil clockwise as the snail grows. The axis of the shell is called the columella, attached to this is a muscle which runs through to foot to the tentacles. The snail builds his shell by secretion of calcium carbonate from the mantle. A thin layer, called the periostracum, covers the outside of the shell. In adult snails this is often weathered and flaking off. Because Roman snails often crawl on walls and trees, accidents happen and they fall off. That is why you often see shells with rough patches on it. The snail is able to repair the shell very quickly.
Slime or mucus has different functions for a snail and can be thin or thick. It is an organic hydrogel which can absorb a great quantity of water, almost 250 % of its own weight. On the body there are glands which run from the mouth to the backend. Slime helps prevent water loss, is used in locomotion by enabling it to crawl over rough surfaces or slick ones (glass). It is also used as a deterrent against enemies, although the slime itself doesn’t contain any bitter tasting chemicals.
The snail reaches adulthood in 3-4 four years. The life span is up to 10 years.
Distribution and Habitat
Helix tosta is native to the limestone areas of Central and Southeastern Europe. It has spread out to other areas gradually over time, mainly by human hands. This includes Austria, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, England, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Netherlands, Russia, Scandinavia, and Spain.It has been introduced to the United States (Michigan). In some areas (mainly France), over-collecting has greatly reduced the numbers and in some countries of Europe, the species has been put on the endangered list. It is illegal to collect the species in England.
Helix pomatia is found in copses, thickets, parks, gardens and vineyards. The snail prefers a chalky substrate in warm low lying country. Snails need damp, not wet, environments. Although snails need moisture, wet or waterlogged soil must be drained to make it suitable for them. Similarly, rainwater must run off promptly. Snails breathe air and may drown in overly wet surroundings. A soil moisture content of 80% of capacity is favorable. In the hours of darkness, air humidity over 80% will promote good snail activity and growth. Snails like hiding places, especially during the warm daytime.
Aestivation and Hibernation
The animal aestivates (becomes dormant in times of heat) and during this period it creates a calcareous epiphragm in order to seal the opening of its shell. During the winter, they hibernate in small holes.
There are two sets of muscle fibers, each performs a different task. When moving forward one set contracts pulling the snail from the front and pushing it off toward the back. At the same time the second set pulls the outer surface of the sole forward. They have the ability to forage as far as 150 to 300 feet (50 to 100 meters) and still find their way back. Ninety-nine percent of snail activity, including feeding, occurs in the cool, dark nighttime, with peak activity taking place 2 to 3 hours after darkness begins. The cooler temperature stimulates activity, and the nighttime dew helps the snail move easily. They hide in sheltered places during most of the day.