The study of the symptoms of the Plant Kingdom is a deep subject. The apsoric plants are suitable for acute crisis and intercurrent remedies during the disruption of the chronic treatment by strong exciting causes and crises. The antipsoric (miasmic) plants demonstrate chronic symptoms similar to their mineral complements, e.g. Lyc., and Sul.. Many of the plant remedies are well known for their role in cases where the organic pathology becomes the active layer and appears as a regional affection. The biochemical qualities of plants differ from the inorganic minerals in that the botanical world represents carbon-based organisms. This structure is founded on protoplasm (CHON) which reflects the cellular organization as witnessed in the human organism. This is why the plant remedies have special affinities with specific systems, regions, organs, and tissue. Many so-called constitutional homoeopaths have overlooked this essential aspect of the materia medica.
Certain plant remedies are well known for their specific actions on the mind (intellect, emotions), physiological systems (nervous, circulation, glandular, lymphatic), regions (head, throat, abdomen, rectum, left, right), vital organs (heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys), humours (bilious, phlegm, blood, atrabile), tissues (skin, mucus membranes, bones), and stages of life (children, adolescence, menopause, old age). This become more apparent as one studies the individual plant families. For example, the Compositae family (60 remedies) includes the traumatic group (Arn., Bell-p., Calen., Mill.), the bilious group (Cham, Card-m, Tarax), the spasmodic and anthelmintica group (Absin, Cina, Art-v), and the allergenic respiratory group (Ambo., Solid., Wye.) Such remedy relationships are an integral aspect of complete case management strategies.
Over the years I have noticed a number of conditions, signs and symptoms which are somewhat characteristic of the plant family. The following therapeutic hints are somewhat indicative of the plant remedies although each genus is modified by its own unique traits. The plant kingdom has a powerful effect on the emotional disposition causing never ending alternations of moods, feelings, sensations, disorders, and mistunements. The plants initially mistune the emotional disposition (Gemuet) in the same way that the minerals target the intellect (Geist), and the animal remedies the instinctual level (vital force). Through the disruption of the emotional disposition the individual loses control over the rational spirit leading to hysterical-like states.
Plants and Constitutions
The plant remedies of the materia medica reflect many clear constitutional pictures. Hahnemann stressed the importance of the emotional disposition and mind in case taking in the Organon (aph 5). We know from his casebooks that he occasionally noted the Hippocratic diathetic constitution and temperament of his clients as well. The first complete temperamental portrait may be found in Hahnemann’s lecture on Pulsatilla in the Materia Medica Pura, page 345.
“The homeopathic employment of this, as of all other medicines, is most suitable when not only the corporeal affections of the medicine correspond in similarity to the corporeal symptoms of the diseases, but also when the MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL ALTERATIONS peculiar to the drug encounter similar states in the disease to be cured, or at least in the TEMPERAMENT OF THE SUBJECT UNDER TREATMENT”.
“Hence the medicinal employment of Pulsatilla will be all the more efficacious when, in affections for which this plant is suitable in respect to the corporeal symptoms, there is at the same time IN THE PATIENT A TIMID LACHRYMOSE DISPOSITION, with a TENDENCY TO INWARD GRIEF AND SILENT PEEVISHNESS, or at all events a MILD AND YIELDING DISPOSITION, especially when THE PATIENT IN HIS NORMAL STATE OF HEALTH WAS GOOD TEMPERED AND MILD (OR EVEN FRIVOLOUS AND GOOD HUMOUREDLY WAGGISH) It is therefore ESPECIALLY ADAPTED FOR SLOW PHLEGMATIC TEMPERAMENTS; ON THE OTHER HAND IT IS BUT LITTLE SUITABLE FOR PERSONS WHO FORM THEIR RESOLUTIONS WITH RAPIDITY, AND ARE QUICK IN THEIR MOVEMENTS, even though they may appear to be good tempered.”
Hahnemann’s constitutional portrait includes the character of the individual in the time of health as well as disease. His temperamental picture includes the attributes of the natural constitution (timid lachrymose dispositions), the Hippocratic temperament (slow phlegmatic temperament), positive natural traits (good-tempered, mild, good humouredly waggish when healthy), and negative emotions (inward grief and peevishness). This remedy portrait includes congenital, positive and negative natural qualities of the person in the state of health and disease. This information is included within the totality of the signs and symptoms. The vegetable kingdom reflects many recognizable constitutional portraits like Bryonia, Cannabis Indica, Chamomilla, China, Cimicifuga, Coffea, Crocus, Carbo Vegetabilis, Cyclamen, Lilium Tigrinum, Lycopodium, Hyoscyamus, Ignatia, Nux Moschata, Nux vomica, Opium, Pulsatilla, Sabina, Staphysagria, Stramonium, Thuja, Veratrum Album, etc.
When a plant remedy suits the innate temperament, spiritual and emotional disposition, and the general symptoms, it will act very deeply on the whole constitution. A pure simile between a plant remedy and a human being results in very deep therapeutic actions. In some cases a medicine not known for its antimiasmic powers will cure a complex disease and chronic miasms. In other cases the plant remedy will need the assistance of chronic intercurrents and complementary remedies from the other kingdoms. There is no absolute line drawn between remedies that are psoric and those that are apsoric. The full therapeutic range of a constitutional remedy can only be found by observing its action on the individual to whom it is administered.
Plants and Miasms
Remedies such a Lycopodium and Thuja are well documented for their deep actions against inherited and acquired miasms. Other plant remedies are better known for their curative powers against virulent acute miasms and the primary state of the chronic miasms. Some of the plants do not act as deeply as the minerals and nosodes in chronic diseases but their use in overall case management is essential. For example, It is not always wise to begin treatment of a dangerous miasmic pathology with deep acting antipsoric plants, minerals, animal poisons, and nosodes.
The apsoric plant remedies come into action during mental or physical crisis. They are well known for acting on different conditions, constitutions, regions, organs and tissues thus suiting the symptoms of pathological crises. For example, when treating active TB miasm where the tubercles have already formed, deep-acting psoric plants, minerals, animal remedies and nosodes are counter indicated. The administration of deep acting remedies like Lycopodium, Iodum, Sulphur, and Tuberculinum can be dangerous at this time. It is best to begin with the apsoric plant remedies like Acal, All-s., Bals-p., Bry., Bapt., Dros., Mill., Puls., Sang., Still., etc., to ameliorate the hectic fever, reduce tubercles, and the danger of complications.
Once the organic pathology is slowly reduced, and the patient gains vitality, the deeper acting mineral remedies and nosodes can be used to complete the cure. Giving constitutional remedies at the wrong time may end the suffering of the patient by dispatching them to another world. Other types of pathological crises are similar. Cases with advanced degenerative pathology must be treated in layers. It is here that the specific regional targets of the plant remedies become highlighted. In general, the nutritional plants and herbs are the most gentle, the toxic herbs are more heroic, and the poisonous plants are violent. The ant miasmic plants may have very acute stages but they also reflect the more insidious long-term actions shared by the mineral remedies and nosodes.
The Plant Temperament
The plant temperament represents the struggle between rapidly changing emotions and mental control. The strong emotions of the plant remedies tend to overcome the intellect leading to confusion. Many plants express quick changes, deep feelings, sensations, and alternating moods. The plants are closely related the cycle of the day and night as well as the changing of the four seasons. Emotional fulfillment is very important to the plant temperament as they reflect the beauty of nature’s grasses, flowers and trees. Under continual stress the plants tend to progress toward the mineral and animal complements which express similar symptoms. The plants are prone to crises brought on by physical and emotional traumas that cause acute-like acerbations of the chronic miasms and pathology. The apsoric plant families reflect sudden onsets, rapidly changing stages, crises and complications while the psoric plants possess insidious onsets, steady movements toward pathology and chronic degenerative states and miasms.
Ailments from Mental and Physical Trauma
The plant temperament is very susceptible to ailments from emotions. Ailments from anger is found in the Ranunculaceae (Acon., Puls., Ran-b. Staph.), Papaveraceae (Chel., Op., Sang.), Menispermaceae (Cocc.), Solanaceae (Bell., Caps., Hyos., Stram.), Loganiaceae (Gels., Ign., Nux v., Spig.) and the bilious Compositae (Cham., Card-m., Tarax.), The over joyous states are clearly reflected in the Ranunculaceae, Solanaceae, Rubiaceae, Liliaceae, and Iridaceae (Croc.). Ailments that include fear, fright and shock suit Ranunculaceae, Papaveraceae, Solanaceae, Loganiaceae, Liliaceae, Euphorbiaceae (Manc.). Plants that often suffer complications of physical trauma and shock are reflected in the traumatic Compositae (Arn., Bell-p., Calen., Eur-p., Mill., Echi., etc.).
The plant temperament is disposed to nervous excitement and is < the slightest noise and disruption. The plants are dependent on their environment and oversensitive to the emotions of others. This nervous excitement exacts a great toll on their emotional disposition and moves them toward nervous breakdown. This tendency is seen throughout many of the plant families including the Umbelliferae (Asaf., Con., Cic-v., Sumb.), Rubiaceae, (Chin., Coff., Ip.), Loganiaceae (Gels., Ign., Nux-v., Spig., Stry.), Ranunculaceae (Acon., Cimic., Clem.., Hell., Hydra., Puls., Ran b., Staph.), Solanaceae (Bell., Caps., Dulc., Hyos.., Stram., Tab.) and in the Compositae (Cham., Cina) and Anacardiaceae (Anac., Rhus-t., Rhus-v.). The Gentianflorae Order is quite characteristic of nervous excitement as it contains both the Loganiaceae and Solanaceae families. The plant remedies tend to make gestures that reflect their emotional excitement, which take the form of chorea in serious cases.
Rapid Alternations and Mood Swings
The plant temperament is oversensitive to environmental changes and prone to rapid crisis. The alternating symptoms and rapid changes in plant temperament are seen in the Ranunculaceae, Umbelliferae, Liliaceae, Iridaceae, Loganiaceae, Rubiaceae, Solanaceae, Valerianaceaea and Myristicaceae (Nux-m). The plant temperament quickly alternates between cheerfulness and sadness and jesting with anger and quick repentance. They are playful, singing and dancing at one moment and the next melancholic or hysterical. In the rubric for hysteria with “fainting” there are 18 plants, 2 minerals and 2 animal sources. The plants are very “faint’ remedies when compared with the minerals. They are easily made faint by emotions and excitement so their thoughts can vanish in a moment. The alternation of mental and physical symptoms is also characteristic of the many plant families.
Fantasy and Disappointment
The plant temperament is prone to imaginations and fancy of an exalted nature. This is found in Anacardiaceae, Solanaceae, Cannabinaceae, Rubiaceae, Umbelliferae, Papaveraceae, Myristicaceae, Compositae, Loganiaceae, Ranunculaceae, etc. This symptom runs through most of the plant families alternating with opposite states. Many of the plant temperaments feel that this world is a bad dream and try to remove themselves from this reality by living in a world of fantasy. They often feel most at peace in nature surrounded by the good earth, plants and animals. The plant family is quite amorous, sexual, and fertile (Solanaceae, Rubiaceae, Loganiaceae, Ranunculaceae, Lycopodiacae, etc.). They seek to have ideal relationships that most often clash with reality. Ailments from unrequited love and grief are found among the leading remedies of the Solanaceae, Ranunculaceae, Loganiaceae, Cucurbitacae (Bry., Coloc.), Liliaceae (Ver-a., Ver-v.), etc.. Such remedies are very useful in the acute and crisis state and may need complementary mineral or animal remedies to complete the cure. Some plants react by having many sexual relationships while others withdraw sexually or escape into fantasy and masturbation. If the plant temperament can not find emotional happiness they withdraw into a world of fantasy.
Dream-like and Dreams
The plant temperaments often feel as if they are in a dream because they can not relate to what others consider reality. This is found in the Anacardiaceae, Solanaceae, Rubiaceae, Loganiaceae, Umbelliferae, Papaveraceae, Myristicaceae, Iridaceae, Ranunculaceae, Valerianaceaea, and Cannabinaceae (Cann-i, Cann-s). The plant remedies are prone to states where fantasy and reality are mixed in a creative and destructive ways. When emotional stress increases to the breaking point, the plant temperament enters delirium, hysteria, hypochondriasis and melancholia. The rubric, dreams from emotional causes, is led by plants such as Acon., Stram., Gels, Ign., Nux-v., Op., Cann-i., etc.. This rubric is based on 21 plants, 8 minerals and 3 animals. This is a sign of how deeply the emotional disposition and subconscious mind are affected in the plant remedies.
Duality and Separation
A deep sense of duality runs through the plant temperament as seen in Anacardiaceae, Loganiaceae, Iridaceae, Cannabinaceae, Myristicaceae, Papaveraceae, and Leguminosae (Bapt, Lath, Phys), This duality is shared with the animal poison remedies. The only mineral known for a strong sense of duality is Phosphorus. The plant remedies are prone to so many emotional changes that they no longer feel like one person. The sensation of feeling “scattered” is most famous in Baptisia, where it reaches fullest expression. The duality of the plant temperament runs in line with feeling as if in a dream and the withdrawal into fantasy. This duality affects their emotional disposition so they are never emotionally fulfilled nor feel complete. They are always looking for a soul mate or partner to make them whole. They are often dependent on others for fulfillment which makes them prone to emotional disappointments. The duality of the plant remedies leads to full breaks with reality in the form of hysteria which demonstrates that the subconscious emotions are gaining control over the rational mind.
Rage and Frustrated Love
It may come as a surprise that the rubric for rage includes 60 plants, 24 minerals, and 3 animals. These plants include the leading remedies of the Anacardiaceae, Ranunculaceae, Umbelliferae, Solanaceae, Loganiaceae, Papaveraceae, Liliaceae, Lycopodiacae, etc. The rage of the plant kingdom is often quick to rise and is often followed by repentance. It is an emotional explosion rather then the calculated revenge of the minerals or the competitive battle of the animals. This rage often alternates quickly with other emotions such as happiness and sadness. Their rage is a last emotional cry for help before they completely lose all mental control. They need their emotional feelings to be heard or they will compensate with mood swings, fantasy, hysteria, fainting, acting, hypochondriasis, melancholia and nervous breakdowns. The source of the problem is often frustrated love, disappointment, and confused sexual instincts. These compensations are a desperate cry for love and attention. A well-nourished plant is usually healthy.
Destructiveness and Emotional Sabotage
The destructiveness of the plants is usually an emotional cry for help. The plant temperament will make an emotional scene at the most difficult of times causing everyone present to stop what they are doing and take notice. This is a form of emotional sabotage that seems mindless but has a definite subconscious purpose. Destructiveness of the plants is clearly seen in the rubric for children, which has 9 plants (Anac., Bell., Cham., Cina., Hyos., Nux v., Staph., Stram., Verat.), 1 mineral (Hep), 4 animal remedies (Canth., Lach., Sepia., Tarent.) and 3 nosodes (Carc., Med., Tub). The hysterical fits of plants are destructive of clothes, objects, and they may throw things. When a plant remedy loses mental control they can strike, bit, kick, scratch, or kill in a fit of passion. Sudden attacks suits remedies like Belladonna, Hyoscyamus, Stramonium (Solanaceae) while more chronic states suit anti-miasmics like Lycopodium, Nux vomica, and Staphysagria.
The Stages of Life
The plant remedies flourish in an atmosphere of love and kindness. They are sensitive to the emotional and physical environment and suffer when overexposed physically and mentally. They are affected by the long-term effects of emotional and physical trauma and have a tendency toward crises. The emotional life of the plant remedies is very important, as they are dependent on their lover, home, mother, father and siblings for attention. If this domestic environment is dysfunctional they begin compensating for the lack of love by making emotional scenes and having hysterical-like emotional attacks. The cause of their problems is unrequited love by a fantasy or real lover.
When in the functional stage the plant temperament is cheerful, amorous, and sensitive but under acute stress they react with acute disorders, emotional crisis, and alternating mental and physical symptoms. The plant remedies feel things very deeply and they suffer when their emotions are ignored or repressed. The first stage of stress leads toward acute like hysteria, delirium, faintness, anxiety, fright, confusion and panic attacks. They are full of tears then suddenly react with laughter and other mood swings and have trouble maintaining mental control. Their delicate plant nervous system can not stand much strain without emotional and physical symptoms. The males tend to become more unruly and repress their emotional pain and sensitivity with angry outbursts that produce bilious, nervous and other concomitants.
article written by David Little