Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Homeopathy's Green Revolution: Adapting to Jan Scholten's Plant System

Large Sensitive Plant, Robert Thornton, Botanist (1768-1837)
Botanical metaphors appear so ubiquitously in Chinese [historical medical] writing that we are apt to take such remarks for granted. Yet in them we may discover one answer to [the] query about the relationship between various viscera and the parts that each governs [in human beings]. And that answer is: it is just like in plants. Governing viscera and governed parts, the vital inner core and the expressive surface - all these are related in the same way that roots and stem are related to the leaves and blossoms. When the spleen ceases to nourish, the flesh becomes soft and the tongue wilts; when the kidneys cease to nourish, the bones become desiccated...according to the Nanjing, the source of vital breath serves as the body's stem and roots. When the roots are severed, the branches and leaves wither.
Shigehisa Kuriyama
The Expressiveness of the Body: and the Divergence of Greek and Chinese Medicine, 2002

The basic quality of a plant is sensitivity. It is a living organism rooted to the soil, unable to move. To survive, it needs to be sensitive to changes in the external environment and also capable to adapting to these changes, for it cannot move away. These features are also descriptive of those needing a plant remedy. They are of a sensitive nature, affected by many things and adjusting /adapting to these.
Rajan Sankaran
The Substance of Homeopathy,1993

This last year has been The Year of the Plant for me in a few ways. I learned, for instance, of Agrohomeopathy and met the author of Farm and Garden who is published by Narayana. Very interesting to prescribe for plants and soil as one does for any living breathing organism, like humans and animals. See here on Kaviraj's book
See here for me applying rx to soil at the start of gardening season (I'm the one succussing rx in Evian bottle)

What also got me going Green in my practice was a beautiful book called The Tree: A Natural History of What Trees Are, How they Live, and Why they Matter, by Colin Tudge. It profoundly affected me as it coincided with a case of Pinus contorta that I had while reading the book. It was like "By George I Think I've Got It!" at Last! on the Plant Kingdom....this case more than any other, but wait, there were more compounding and groovy things happening too. Another book I read for the Pinus contorta case continued to help me go deep into the Plants in a way that was so much more beyond where I was at in the previous year. The book: Arbor Medica - Volumn I (there is a second volumn). It is by Steven Olsen, living in the US. There are some extremely lovely cases of trees of our continent, including 6 of the remedy of my lovely patient of the Conifer Order, a Lodgepole Pine.

In actuality I had a Tree before this: a Rhus glabra case that Louis Klein helped me come to the remedy of an older man that came to me for his life-long psoriasis (okay, Lou got the remedy completely as I was completely at a loss - asked for advice on the case when in Klein's HMC course). A gentle soul but as a human resonating with the Common Eastern Sumac he was just so different than the Lodgepole or Shore Pine (Pinus contorta) of the Pacific Coast. When I compared these two cases I was able to see the DD on small and large trees, and even all the Plant rxs I had up to this point - and really on all MM, Kingdoms, etc. that I had floating in my brain from the last four or five years.

What exactly did it for me was the comparison I was able to make in my mind based on these two trees - comparing as I did the trees that are the ones at the edge of the Woods to the trees that make up the actual Forest....and ones that are inland as compared to being on the shores of oceans. I think anyone seeing me making these comparisons would have seen a light bulb go on over my head. See here on these indispensible and outstanding books:
(Also here is info that matches my first tree patient so well:
(Note - hope to share this first and possibly the second Tree case in future - see end of this Blog cause I do have another Plant case I am aiming to share, so don't hold your breath;-)
(And here is the Info with Exerpts from the lovely Tudge Tree book:

In fact this last year saw many of my patients turn into Plant remedies. Admittedly, I did really (overly and likely inaccurately at times) prescribe a lot of Minerals. But the patients that started to come out of the woodwork, ha ha, were, perhaps, picking up on the vib that I was sending out - maybe just confidence that I was going to now get them?! In actuality, it was random, my prescribing of Plants. Hit and Miss: when it was a Hit is was totally fascinating as these patients were really different in nature, as it were, then previous people I was seeing....However, it was still easier to prescribe accurately and consistently for actual plants and soil than for people that needed Plant remedies (okay, I did email Kaviraj somewhat to get the rxs organic farmers were needing out there this last couple of growing seasons - incidentally, that is who is mostly doing Agrohomeopathy in North America. Cool, eh? Note- see here on International usage:

Oh, I should let you know that with the Colin Tudge book, The Tree - once you read its' Preface and if you get your hands on a book entitled What a Plant Knows: A Field Guide to the Senses, by Daniel Chamovit,  you will almost certainly be convinced of the sensitivity of the Plant world. And this is way beyond just thinking that they are just sensitive (Hello. A Given for us homeopaths thanks to Sankaran!). You will see their drive to survive as substances equal to members of the Animal Kingdom and their ability to structure and control things and those around themselves just as a top notch Mineral general or workaholic (homeopathic Mineral people that is). Plants are coming from a place that has kept their whole race alive - adapting to fit the environment they are so integral to and that we actually could not live without. Tudge, I feel correctly, argues that it is due to the wood of trees that human culture has evolved. Just think architectural wonders of the world - arches and such in cathedrals for instance - oh, and also think, paper! (without of which you would not be reading this - cause at some point the printed word needed paper to evolve to this, the internet and paperless communication - of which I, for one, am not a total fan....a true book lover;-)

Aside - brings to mind the children's book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - a real tearjerker but does actually sum up the plight of our Tree brother and sisters on the planet - captures the cases that one sees at Seminars of Plant Kingdom patients...get a box of Kleenex (made from trees) at the ready if you plan on reading/seeing this:

While little old me has been getting into Plants, Jan Scholten has been quietly lauching his new Plant System. His Greening, I am sure, has happened over time as well, but with truly profound effects - his insights are not only going to change all my unsolved past cases, present cases and future cases but, will help so many more homeopaths the world over - which adds up to thousands upon thousands of patients. His time has certainly come (again). In actual fact, I believe, it's our time that has come. We will be able to recognize the smallest of the small plant remedies (& that includes trees & big vines, shrubs, etc.) patients that never would have a hope of us getting their remedy without this System. This System has revolutionized homeopathy - Yes, this is our Green Revolution!

Just a few weekends ago saw North America's turn to get information on this New Plant System by Jan Scholten - West Coasters were the first to get it as he bypassed Toronto and the Eastern Seaboard by landing in Vancouver, Canada. Louis Klein, our continents host and peer/friend of Jan Scholten, had him present to what I heard to be a great 3 days.

Our three days in Toronto were also totally amazing - hard to describe in words really. Despite the bits of news I had on his new Plant System work and even preliminary information (seminar notes from friends there and a goodie bag from Lou, a book preview and handy charts emailed to us) I was totally blown away with the real thing once Jan got to us...and got to us all he did: deeply and beautifully.

And although he gave us a grand overview of the System there was, for me, many other experiences that made for the most lovely Homeopathic seminar that I have EVER attended, bar none!

Naturally, we got video cases and, of course, there was camaraderie in the usual ways but this seminar was really mind blowing and way beyond just the intellectual growth and development that can happen with all the great homeopaths that we have teaching us....What we get is always based on years of experience and insight...and insight is certainly what I see with Jan Scholten. This seminar played out differenctly than others, which I always have immensely enjoyed. So, why was this one so different? Admittedly, I got to socialize with Jan and lots of senior practitioners as I have not had the opportunity to before and was touched to have the time and interest of Jan himself and others, like talk to about homeopathy and fun topics (that related to homeopathy as all things ultimately do;-) Yes, it was very special for me.

Moving out to the Macro Level: For instance, on the same weekend as we were learning from Scholten, Sankaran was on the other side of the Continent in sunny California. One year ago I was at what was called the Sankaran Wednesday Summit in Toronto which was exceptionally great too. For me, however, the main difference is that Scholten makes a scheme that is broad but also universal - like a Law of Nature - that others, in my opinion, do not do in the same overarching way. Don't get me wrong, I do like Rajan Sankaran a whole lot and attend him, read his works with exuberance, etc....just as I love Massimo Mangialavori and others that contribute to my knowledge and help me in my growth and development as a homeopath and, as well, as a human being.

However, I feel the other methods, Sensation Method, for example, are amazing tools to work with, BUT, the difference between a Method and a System is that one leans more towards being a technique while with the latter you have the capability to use a variety of methods in case taking and then apply the System to find from your case analysis the remedy. Now, I have not done this totally as of yet (small rx to be dosed by patient still - so not able to confirm results). At this point this is mere speculation on my part and theoretical thoughts I have going on in my head....but, it is the basis as to why I felt so excited at this last seminar with Jan Scholten. As others may have experienced in the room, I realized that we were in the presence of something that was going to shift things for all of us BIG TIME. Those of you that use Sensation Method or Source Prescribing please do let me know what you think and what you felt with the possibilities of Scholten's work/his Plant System - or how you use his Element Theory in relation to your work).*

* - To mention quickly here re - Sensation Method - from my experience of trying it and reading cases - you actually can get the data that can be used with Scholten in that you get the problem for the person - in life at the time of them coming to you/presenting symptom picture unless you completely bypass all discussion of the CC and just get them in a state that only presents the Sensation Level right from the get go.

One thing I can say is that Sankaran's exemplary Volumes of An Insight into Plants must always be honored as they were what tuned the homeopathic community into the vib of the Plant Kingdom. When in my 20's - like 2 lifetimes ago - after reading the book The Secret Life of Plants I had the experience of meeting the author - in fact I recall spending Christmas with him as his daughter was a dear friend of mine. I always wondered what use the information from the book would be in my was very intriquing to say the least, but even as a Philosophy major in my university days it somehow wasn't even anything I could make fit into the esoteric interests I had! The late Christopher Bird, one co-author, was a truly fascinating man - a true character is one thing I can say of the man. He came to mind when I met the Agrohomeopath, Kaviraj, as they actually have a resemblance physically but also, I believe, their spunk and drive are similar - kindred souls.

Christopher Bird was a dowser and, I think, that if he had known of homeopathy he would have found resonance with his daughter now has. I recall years back noticing that Sankaran's first volume of his Plants books opens with a quote from The Secret Life of Plants - he certainly found a use for the information he read! Also, of note is that Jan Scholten was asked to do the Foreward for the book as well - he saw the potential of making Plant families fit the Periodic Table by way of crossing with Miasms (Columns) so as to be able to classify the information on Plant remedies and to, therefore, be able to systematically get to an individual Plant remedy. This may very well have been the impetus for his new Plant System. This is what happens when you get the synergy of two great minds/spirits playing off each other even if they are working independently of each other.

Anyways, to get back to the task at hand.Yup, it was outstanding homeopathy for us and it was great that Lou Klein brought Scholten to explain directly to us on what he has been up to. Two years ago I recall that he spoke of his upcoming book, the forever elusive book - but now, it is going to materialize, this Plant book. I am holding him to it - 2013, and early in 2013 is what I heard him say!

As I mentioned I had glimmers of what was going to be presented: firstly the Narayana publishing team was at Jan Scholten's Utrecht seminar last Spring and told me " be prepared for mental gymnastics". And then there was somehting that is a little bit more difficult to say how it directly prepared me for Scholten's Plant stuff. But, here goes. While I was getting ready after the "Narayana warning" I was reading all sorts of botany stuff that was about Plant Orders, Species, Families, etc.

And then, lo and behold, I get wind of another Plant System that not only was available in prelimary form (like Scholten's at this point, granted, for seminar attendees)...and it too will be likewise be published in 2013 (this other one by Narayana Publishers).

Waaa...what is this? What are you talking about? I ask my friend/mentor Pat Deacon, a well seasoned homeopath, total gold standard kind of homeopath, who tells me one day last June when we are chatting on the phone - about another Plant System!
Yakir, Table of Plants

It was almost surreal...but not enough that I did not get myself my own copy of the plasticized chart of one Michal Yakir's Table of Plants and her booklet - now available from Narayana (while translation from the Hebrew of the whole book ensues). Obviously the Universe is manifesting all good things we need as a homeopathic community...sweet.

Sidestepping Scholten for a quickie:
1) Here is the Michal Yakir info:
2) Why check her stuff out?
a) Her work is in and of itself very beautiful, really great stuff in fact!
b) Already have found rxs for patients, four legged ones - 2 dogs - and will be applying to a biped, a woman in her 40's in the next few days.
c) Superimposed with Scholten's Periodic Table and Sankaran's Scheme and it works! So, here we see an example of what we should be seeing in homeopathy: that "all roads lead to rome" and/or "great minds think alike". So, with my last case, I will do again what I did for the dogs - work with the PT but as well, since now have my seminar notes will use Plant System. Note- Sankaran's Schema worked with one dog but not the daughter of the original case/dog. With the second, younger dog, only could get to a small remedy that, upon first inspection, seemed not to fit: Fago (Buckwheat) does fit & since have learned from the patient's owner that it is the only grain that she can tolerate - this very emaciated dog with not only parasites (actually has been been unable to eat nearly everything for several weeks....but a Theme of Assimilation (or even more directly from Yakir: "The Hero: Struggle for Separation" Theme of Column 3 of her 6 Columns...which are about Human Evolution or Individuation. Again the cool comes into play and you just gotta get this Table!

For keeners, read this on Indigo -- how it would be placed in the Yakir System - you can skip this if you want to get back to Scholten.

On Indigo: Last Spring Pat Deacon told me that Yakir was more than sound, that it was actually astounding. I recall at the time I had just gotten to the remedy Indigo for a patient - was by way of Source Prescribing and using Complete Dynamics software (she is doing very well on the remedy and hope to write up the case for the homeopathic world soon). Anyways, while on the phone with Pat she pulled out her Table and read out what was said on the rx's Plant Order (that be bigger than a Family...which is the Fabaceae Family, which is under the Order Fabales which are under Rosids, which - mental gymnastics or what? are under the large umbrella of a Clade which contain 70,000 Species, which are more than a quarter of all Angioperms...which are...are....flowering plants! See, wasn't that simple? (so, it did pay off to read things on botany last Spring:-) Anyways, the patient that needs a Plant rx from the Fabales is in the 2nd of the 9 Rows that Yakir has going down the left side of her Table. These are Developmental Stages based on Erik Erikson's Model of Human Development - having been a Social Worker one lifetime ago I could immediately relate to the psychological reference. The 2nd Stage is "Beginning of Life or the Oral Stage, Basic security and trust....and they are also in the 5th Column of 6 columns that are on her Table. The 5th being about "me and the Other". The details on this being "Masculine quality, Father - child relationships. Split! Laws and limitations. Religions and fanaticism, rigity and hierarchy, criticism" etc. It is Miasmatically Syco-syphyillic and in the Elements of Earth/Water bordering with Earth/Fire. Oh and with the patient I have of all the intersects of the Table this one is the only one that fits - once I had my own Table I went thru carefully to see if other possibilities worked; they didn't. Now isn't that so very awesome?

Now for the Hahnemann style of writing - here is a Footnote within this Aside on Indigo: See here for a chart of Erikson/note- he has 8 Stages although Yakir has 9, as her 1st Stage is "Before Birth" - which we all know homeopathically is a very real Stage.

Lastly on Yakir -- Jan is aware of her just as Lou Klein is - she references Klein in her work and he sat with her when he was in Israel and looked over her work as he told me in our little social chit I am in with our teachers/writers making small talk....

Okay, okay, jumping back to the Scholten Seminar.

Speaking of jumps and of Lou: Louis Klein said to grp that this Plant System is a Quantum Leap for Homeopathy - indeed Jan Scholten's insight is brilliant in its' all encompassing way. You can get the tiniest of the tiny rxs that you just would not get without his work....granted you may have to climb some cliff or wade thru some swamp to get to the substance and then you will still have to do a Trituration of it for your patient - more on this later, as that is certainly what is happening these days.

Jan himself said of classification systems is that they need to reflect the Laws of Nature or that we see in the natural world - so, with something like his Elements Theory it was based on the actual Periodic Table which reflects the actual Mineral Kingdom. We definitely see how this works beautifully in our daily practice. Myself, I was fortunate enough to get a foundation in homeopathy that incorporated Scholten right off the bat and I had put it to use immediately. Scholten pointed out that Hahnemann in effect classified his rxs/cases with the introduction of his Miasmatic "theory". Makes sense to do that Mr. Samuel H. After all it's just human nature to group things...a sorting of sorts. We all do it even if we are not making whole Systems like the groundbreaking homeopaths who are making Quantum Leaps or making strides at any rate. I do it with my case files, my remedies and even the spices in my kitchen cupboards - none of that alphabetical ordering for me!
For those ready to "wander down the garden path", here from Jan's own Website is further info on his thoughts on Classification:

Jan Scholten's Plant System is based on the classification system called the APG Classification III - this currently is used by botanists. Some places, I presume classify by older systems (in the lovely The Tree book you get a taste of the places where pressed leaves and shoots are housed in collections kept in drawers and such...and the impression I have is that some of these institutions of learning or botany are likely the ones using the older but still useful Cronquist Classification. As a note Yakir uses the Cronquist System as does Sankaran - which is fine and dandy but the advantage of Scholten's choice is that the DNA of plants is reflected so, therefore, the evolution of the Plant Kingdom is as well. Hence, this mirrors the Development or Themes seen in the Plant Families that are covered in his system. (Related to Sankaran and Botany Classification, here is a little piece that may be of interest to some of you:

Doctrine of Signatures as it were is lovely and myths/human resonance with Plants is awesome too...who doesn't love it when all of this comes into play in their cases? (My Indigo case will illustrate this well). But the clincher is when the DNA is covered by way of the evolutionary issues (the human developmental issues) that the patient is stuck in. Now, that was in the category of "mental gymnastics"!

Warming up to an explanation - from what I can from my understanding from cases that we saw cause those are what really helped and all the charts we had (which, we heard, will be in THE book).

Jan said that we will see lots of prescriptions from the Plants in the Campanulidae and Lamidae Class of Plant...with a huge number of species of plants...but we should be relieved as in total there are "....250,000 or 300,000 species..."...according to Jan, practically his opening remarks - not to scare us or anything; was I nervous about botany and classification - nah! What a Clade again...oops....will have to open up a book to explain.  No, he didn't "promise us a rose garden" - sorry but there are just so many plant puns - no, he did not say it would be simple. And really these ended up being his last words at the close of the Seminar as well. Jan emphasized within his first words that "... to make it more simple I reduced the Genera - there are just 15, this can be managed.".Emphasis aside, I recall saying to myself upon hearing all this, "This Plant System better work with these sheer numbers".

(Here is great piece on Genera that I think will help you feel you can manage:
This is the site recommended by Scholten - continuously updated so you too can be up to date on all things Angiosperm:

So far, I have not gotten into how to apply the APG Classification homeopathically - so let me jump in with this.

The first case of the first day was a girl that got a Lanthanide. It was a warm up but maybe to also make the point to think with the Periodic Table still. But this is qualified with this: you do this only to a degree as you can just go straight to what are like the Rows and Columns in Element Theory BUT with new, here we go.

This Plant System has 7 Series instead of the Periodic Table's 8 - the Gold and Lanthanides are combined. So, Hydrogen corresponds to the Division in the Plant Kingdom called Phyla - that are the Algae, of which we have no remedies as of yet. Carbon Series are the Mosses, called Bryophytae thru to the Uranim Series being the Fungi....we will likely mostly see our "true" Plant prescriptions mostly in the Carbon, Silica Series along with Iron, silver and Gold (Lanthanides). There is this fun thing we got to doing as a group where we were using the numbers assigned to the Phyla, Orders, Families and a thing called Phases and Sub-Phases - but I get a head of myself (now frothing at the mouth with excitement remembering the initial ah-ha moment with this whole aspect of the System).

Okay, we have established that the Series of the Periodic Table are more or less used - woo hoo. Next, we come to the Stages we have all come to know and love. We drop 18 - the end stage literally. Jan says he has not seen anything corresponding to the Noble Gases in the Plant Kingdom...maybe plants are just so vital and alive in themselves as substances and, therefore, as people that are resonating with Plants, I guess, when they die they can be in a bad shape with their pathologies but they don't exit in the same way as the remedy states of Stage 18. More to ponder - mind you, Jan said he will be open to Plants that are matched to these remedies, the Noble Gases...hey, maybe it will be one of us who finds one in the future? Imagine.

This work is a work in progress but since he is going for it - publishing that is - it seems it is a safe bet to get the book as it will save you immense amounts of time. Here, for now, is more to show you how you can incorporate Jan into your life. I have already started putting my seminar notes and handouts to use - especially on my backlog of new cases from the last few weeks....the last 2 women patients seem so Plant-like it seems they came to me knowing that I was going to attend this Seminar.

So, back to work here: The next thing is the Phases - here is a new word....which are reflective of the Plant Orders. There are 7 of 'em, these wonderful Phases. The 7 Phases have a quality of the Stages of the Carbon and the Silica Series - which, if you look at your Periodic Table Chart have only 7 Stages. This was super hard for me to grasp: Do we not get so darn used to looking at 18 Stages? Over and over and over again I kept forgetting we can crunch together the Carbon/Silica Series and take out the Noble Gases of those 2 Rows.

I did not get this on my own even once - luckily I was sitting next to my Master Clinician Course buddy (HMC that Louis Klein taught). Lynn is a super smart woman...and patient to boot! So, when I leaned over to whisper the same questions to her each and every time we were supposed to be indepently working on a case she patiently reminded me that just because someone was in the Silver Series or a Lanthanide it didn't mean we couldn't place them in a Phase or if we thought of them as a Stage 12 or 13, etc. it did not mean they could not be placed into a Phase....

I would like to say in my defense that she was an exception to the rule. Throughout, Jan was reminding the whole group of this - even to the very last. Day 3 in the last hour of the Seminar....granted I was getting foggy and so, was regressing to a single cell organism, an ameoba maybe...but, hey without those how could we have evolved to such complex beings. So it was a good thing I was willing to ask simple questions (was this not an contribution to the group's learning?).

So, there are Sub-Phases too. Cause without more to add it would be pointless, as you could only get to the Orders of the Plants and never to the Families. Oh, it is also the same 7 Phases' Themes that are used to determine the Sub-Phase...lost yet? Don't worry, be happy cause there is more.

There are the 17 Stages - but, shit (oops) I forgot that they are based on the Periodic Table at this point (and remember next you are going to learn that all of this gets to be expressed in numbers - which, believe it or not, makes for a simplification of all of this. Oh baby, you are so going to love it - Homeopathy by Numbers!).

Yep, my notes confirm this - the Element theory Stages are brought back into it at the very end. Not for the fun of it (even though it is all fun and games at times), but for something...scanning notes it is: nailing it down to one plant of a Plant Family. Therefore, you gotta match a Stage (i.e. - 9 or 16, for instance) to the Series you decided the patient is in (Silica, Gold, etc). The Stages of the Periodic Table have equivilants to the 7 Phases...why? Hum, let's see.....Well, suffice it to say, it makes sense - you gotta get the book, but for the purposes of making this enticing I'll leave you with this: you will get to find a small little Plant (or big one) that you could not normally get to and ever prescribe. This can not be emphasized enough as it is utterly Revolutionary - for homeopathy to be matched to the real world...what a homeopathic classification system should do and can now do!!

Back to the numbers I mentioned earlier: What are they about? Well firstly, a remedy can be this for example: know, Amaryllis. This is right out of the handout that we were given, but paraphrased. We can get to this number/rx as a prescription if we use the Plant System. Here's how. Brace yourselves: the first number of the rx, Amaryllis, represents the Phylum (here that is Angiospermae - just plain old flowering plant group- of the Clade that the plant belongs. The second number, here it is a 3, is the Class and it is from the Silica series which are the Lilianae. Then next we have the 3rd number which is also a 3 and this is the Subclass - the Lilidae. The 4th number is the Phase (remember the 7!) and here it is the number 5 of Phase 5. The 5th number is the Sub-Phase and it is the number 6 (it repersents how the person feels of their Phase - yikes, never warned you on this/more later). Last number, yeah! It is the Stage or Genus of the plant/rx - here it is 12 (Cancer Miasm - so easy as that's straight out of the Stages of the Periodic Table).

The last number really gets you to the single rx/plant of the, of the Solanaceae the Stage 10 or the Sycotic plant is Stramonium...Stage 13 is Hyos which makes it of the Mycotic Miasm. Belladonna is Stage 1 or 12 (Acute or Cancer - with Sankaran placing it in Acute)...of the Solanaceae, etc.
Aside: Let's get Massimo Mangialavori in on the discussion, another of my fav great homeopaths. I wonder if Jan has read the cases in Solancaceae: Nightmare between Light and Dark ? I read it cover to cover just this past summer. Each case is permanently fixed in my brain. The Magdragora man, "Vincenzo" exemplifies clearly the links this plant root holds in the myths and traditions from Medieval times. "Giovanna" the Solanum nigrum case is really destructive and as Mangialavori says it is about self-destruction. His DD's for each rx are such excellent work. Should mention - cover your ears Jan - that on page 203 of the book, Massimo adamantly states, "I deeply, strongly disagree with collecting homeopathic families by just considering botanical family." Interestingly, he also argues against what could be Sankaran's basis of practice/method - this is on p. 129 of the book...must admit here that his Praxis books are still on my list to read, next summer...I think I need to check them out so as to get further clarification on what he is saying in relation to Scholten and Sankaran, others....

Back to the Seminar: Will start to wrap it up by way of giving you a little more on the Phases. This way you can get more of a sense of them and not just be left with only numbers - which are a tool for symbolizing aspects of the botany classification as matched to Human Development. So, here we go.....A la Scholten, Phases represent the problem in the case or the patient's life - this is HUGE gotta get this as it is the bedrock or maybe more apt to say the soil in which the System grows: the Problem for the patient - why they are stuck in their life. Like the emphasis of the Chief Complaint from Sankaran. Somehow this was super easy for me - unlike the squishing of the 18 Stages into the 7 Phases.

The 7 Phases are about the evolution of a group essentially. The theme is about wanting to belong and belonging or not. If not it can be about rejection but can be where you are on edge or cusp of belonging or not even to get into the group to belong in the first place. So, the problem revolves around whether the patient is excluded from a group or not. The group can be family or co-workers, etc., helping to determine the Series to place the patient - think Periodic Table - like Ferrum or Carbon, etc. The System moves thru Phase 1 from the outsider, not belonging (not even made it to belonging in the first place) to Phase 7 where you are rejected...with parasitic plants in this category. So, like the Stages it is about coming into being and then giving it up - birth and death or The Life Cycle.

Eureka moment happening right now: hey, maybe the reason we do not have a Stage 18 (or Phase 8) is that Plants are always becoming the soil they come back to life in?! I can not take credit for this thought, as likely Jan said something to this effect (or not? hum, I wonder if I am a genius? or not!).

To help bring this all home, I think one case is in order, not Order, ha ha....botany nerd jokes now. So, we got about 7 or 8 a day but there was one that is interesting in that it also brings into play a concept that is important to the homeopathic community. Concept: we need to be doing remedy Provings. There will always be one person out there that could do with the one remedy that you may bring into our Materia Medica. But, naturally, once a remedy exists countless people will benefit once the information is made available to us.

So, on the second day of the conference we see a case of a woman in her 50's - here from my notes is the info on the case. She has a history of rheumatoid arthritis and then has a diagnosis of Lupus. She likes plants, fresh flowers in her house all the time, has had a great childhood when growing up in Morocco. She is later married off to a man from Morocco by her parents and she moves to the Netherlands. She was feeling forced into this marriage and his rougher country background and her more educated city ways were what was the basis for her initially not being happy.

As well, she was unable to speak the language at the start/with move and she was doing all the cooking and having sex that was not to her liking - she once was in hospital for her arthritis and he had not even visited her. It was after their second child that a lot of her health problems started - she has thyroid issues and feeling that her chest is too rigid - "as if wooden piece that is too hard" was in her chest...she has menopausal complaints, flushes, and bleeding gums with teeth falling out along wiht other concerns/problems.

At the time of her visit she was divorced...after 10 to 12 years in the relationship and she allocates her health issues to the bad marriage. She feels she stayed in the marriage longer than she should have due to her children - with them she did not show them her pain. She did not complain as she "....wanted to laugh and not lament".

At the time, of doing a Trituration Proving with a group of homeopaths on the Island of Lamu off the Coast of Kenya in 2011 Jan remembered this patient that he had not a good remedy for. At the seminar we were able to get the book of the 16 Provings that were done over a 7 day period in March 2011. Our local homeopathic supplier, Riverdale, was there with a wack of them and having bought it on the spot I devoured it immediately and would recommend it for a few reasons. Mainly, yes, for the remedies but just as equally for insight on how doing a series of Trituration Provings with others can feel and elicit deep insights/remedy information based in what Jan calls the 3 Phases of Provings.

These he says can occur and when you go through the 3 Phases what you end up is a well rounded picture of a remedy. Jan calls the Phases, Expression, Problem and Solution, which enables us to get more than what we often have in our MM. Often he has found that we have only the first Phase info, the Expression Phase. Paraphrasing here: "It gives most often only superficial expression of the remedy. For Provers that never get past this Phase then you get a continuation of the remedy Proving and get stuck in it with dreams and symptoms afterwards for some time...from a few days or more..."...and, as we have all heard and dreaded hearing about, maybe one can get grafted on symptoms that stay with you. Hence, why I have not done a Proving so far. Definitely not a good thing and not helpful for task at hand (Proving a remedy).

(Just now I was reading the Introduction by Nancy Herrick to her most beautiful book Animal Mind, Human Voices: Provings of Eight New Animal Remedies (1998). Here she speaks of the residual effects of doing Provings and how the remedy state can stay with Provers well after the closing of a Proving. These 3 Phases would be helpful to her and ensure that her Provers can get past the Expression (and Problem) Phase so as to have closure with the experience of the Solution Phase - discussed in Lamu Provings on page 10.)
Roots of the Black Mangrove.
The remedy Ceriops tagal, Yellow Mangrove, was what came to Jan's mind for this patient. This Mangrove is labelled "the princess and frog" remedy and is a DD with Natrum, Oxygen, Muriaticum, and Iodatum. "It had a picture of a young woman that is married by her family, her father to an unknown man and has to go and live with a strange family." This from the Proving write up in the book. It is one of 4 Mangrove trees that are in the book/on the Island and like Rhizophoraceae, Mangrove, there are similar Themes. An example is that with this remedy "Family lost, from being married, death of family members, accidents." "Innocent girls, living very protected, playful, singing, swinging." As well there is "Protection[:]...alone, threatened, trapped in a strange hostile family, environment or traditions overruling emotions, leading to violence and wounds, pain and sadness." Just now upon re-reading the write up of Black Mangrove, Bruguiera gymnorrhiza, I see that these Mangrove rxs are on a spectrum of violence/destructive - with this one being on the extreme end of the spectrum. The Yellow Mangrove in this case has less of the violence, but, nonetheless has it, but has the isolation based on similar reasons/themes (i.e. - Patriarchical traditions, etc). Fascinating.

With this woman, it is brillant work and especially wonderful how Jan happened to do a Proving -  quite a distance from home at that...and he had the case open and then could help the patient with a similar problem. Although he saw that she was not a girl and the situation had passed - divorced already - she was still needing to clear her life of the effects of being married "was not a Contitutional remedy" said Jan, but, one, however, that was needed.

What I got from this case like no other is that Jan shows his dedication to bringing forth remedies and prescribes in very creative ways. It is what separates our great homeopaths from the others. It's a tradition that started with Samuel Hahnemann and one that is a good one for us to support and follow in the footsteps of. I think the situation of the patient is one that was very marked - to have been isolated in a foreign land, trapped and very sick and, yet, not able to escape. It could only be helped with this remedy. This patient, like Mangroves, must adapt to growing in a harsh environment - these trees, the only ones of their kind, have adapted to survive in salt water (Natrum).

In this case, after the remedy, the patient had a period of time with more flushes - "...then her mood went up and she was more cheerful - she had a feeling to handle the whole world. Her arthritis took about 6 months to heal. Shortly after taking the remedy, she had this dream: She was flying with her sister on a motorbike. A man jumps on her; he has something poisonous; she dies and then she comes alive and starts a new life. The man was her ex-husband, he does not die. 'I had the feeling he was always after me'." (another few doses are needed to tie up the state/case).

Info on the book is here - with an Expert on Ceiba pentandra known in English as the silk or Java Cotton Tree. One thing you get from a cursory read of this Proving is that a lot of information can be received during the process of bringing a substance to a C3 potency. On second thought, I believe, it is due to the brilliant mind of the Master Prover, Scholten, that enables the nature of the substances to come out in their full homeopathic glory:

In coming to a close on my experience on the Seminar - I would summarize that with this Plant System, once you hear it and see it (cases like the above) it all becomes clear and makes perfect sense. Albeit I needed all 3 days to get over the mental gymnastics I was doing right to the end. However, since it it is based on the living breathing Plant Kingdom that we as humans are so connected to it is simply getting in touch with nature and using our god or goddess given rational faculty of classifying everything - remember we do this all the time (who has their spices lined up alphabetically? With me, it is at the very least divided up by sweet and savory and also along the lines of recipes I use them in...but, having said this I will be putting my remedies in alphabetical order soon as there are now too many to remember by patients that I have seen).

I feel that Jan Scholten is so advanced and has advanced our world - he totally rocked it (yes, Quantum Leaps will do that)....but at the same time, he has brought us back to the beginning. The soil and seeds of our existence: the basis of our practice is Mother Earth - we all exist on the planet together. As homeopaths we need to be firmly rooted, so to speak, in the Plants that so many of us resonate with...sensitivity is about that - feeling and sensing. As Plants sense with their own version of sight, of smell, and of touch we too resonate with vibrational energy that is very much in tune to the subtle energies of Plants. The time for Plants has come - they are just so awesome and lovely, really hard to find the words to describe...and, I believe, it may be the homeopathic community that enables the world in general to come to know plants more deeply as substances and entities in themselves that may finally be fully valued & not only for what they provide for us humans.

Just over a year ago in this Blog I said I was going to write on my healing journey and, yes, my latest remedy - only the 3rd in the last 8 years - is one that came out as a state that I was in at the Seminar - really extraordinary, Bestest Seminar Ever! Didn't I say?!

But, truly it is painful as some of you may know personally to see why your own depth and intensity exists around certain issues - which makes for some difficult soul searching but it does help us to be good homeopaths at the same time....oh, what we do for the cause! I think, however, I will spend time on some inner reflection and stay in the place that has come out from being at this last Seminar: to stay in a place of Quiet and Stillness and hold sacred my own healing work and journey.*

*Sorry, but just one last aside, promise! The book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can't Stop Talking is something to read in relation to oneself, patients and the Plant Kingdom:

So, just as my patients are still healing even though I may already have found their remedy (or not) - it really is an ongoing evolutionary journey we are all experiencing and it continues even after death - we make the soil for the next generation of souls that manifest - they literally grown in the soil we leave for them, hopefully a nutrient rich soil. I knew this theoretically but somehow this all hit home for me this last Seminar, by being in the presence of Jan Scholten.

I wonder if coming to the Plant Kingdom by way of the Periodic Table has enabled Jan to be even more open than he already was. I am sure all along he as been highly perceptive, sensitive, and open - as we know he was able to see the subtle energies and ways of Minerals and other remedies he has all along presented to us (Lanthanides!). This time, nonetheless, I noticed a change in feel from when he was last in Toronto - I recall I liked him before and recall some beautiful Plants cases like a Case of Oak last time, but having been in his presence again has me wondering is it me or is it him that has changed. Yes, my perception of him is really just that, but putting that aside, I do feel justified in my sense that he has been softened just a little bit more by living, breathing and sitting with the energy of the Plant Kingdom.

The Green Revolution for us homeopaths has a whole new meaning when we think about changing our ways for the sake of Mother Earth. If we prescribe more Plants we can help save the planet one patient at at time. Think about it: when in the non-compensated state Plant people will be sensitive without being victim to their own wounds and traumas, and, so can share their lovely and vibrant Plant energy so as to help Mineral and Animal remedies soften up and be more at peace with their issues and themselves.

So, go forth and have fun applying this amazing System. Let me know if you can figure out the Stages and Phases all at once or have to be reminded of crunching up the Stages into only 7 not 18 Phases! Best of luck and remember what Jan Scholten said to me the other day at a lovely social gathering: If you have a good case publish them just "because a good case is a good case" no matter if you are a beginner or experienced practitioner. It's an obligation so we can get to know the wondrous Plants we all can be prescribing.

Beautiful, beautiful Plants.
"I died a mineral, and became a plant, I died a plant and rose an animal. I died an animal and was a man. Why should I fear. When was I less by dying."
Jala-uddin Rumi (1207-1273)

Yup, Bestest Seminar Ever!


  1. Nice post..I have gone through your blog. The information you have given are really informative.Thanks for sharing the post.

    Homeopathy Clinic in Mohali

    1. Thank you for positive feedback S.T. Do sign up to Follow or let me know if you wanna be on a mailing list I have for sending out link to new wishes to you in your Homeopathic endeavors:-)