Clinical Cases Homeopathy Papers Materia Medica

The Evolution of Plants: A Brief Synopsis and Illustrative Case Example

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A discussion of various themes associated with plant evolution, a concept similar to periodic table. A case example is used to illustrate.

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This idea of the Evolution of Plants is very similar to the Periodic Table in the Mineral Kingdom. These ideas are from the work of Michal Yakir. She is a Botanist and a homoeopath from Israel. I had an opportunity to learn from her about the evolution of plants and its application in Homoeopathy. Each mineral suggests a developmental point in an individual’s life. Similarly, these human issues reflect in the evolutionary stage of development of an individual, even in the Plant Kingdom. The Plant Kingdom can be organized in a hierarchical order, which is called the Evolutionary Tree.

The flowering plants are divided into 2 classes- the Monocotyledons and the Dicotyledons. The Dicotyledons comprises of 6 subclasses. Many of the remedies used in Homoeopathy belong to one of these 6 sub-classes

In some ways there is semblance with the Periodic Table and its rows in a broad way.

In brief:

image002Subclass 1 is called the Magnolids, where patients are just entering into being and being unified with their surroundings. These are like souls coming to earth for the first time. These individuals are usually airy, lost in space and time, they are “not here”. One might say that this subclass is reminiscent of the Periodic Table Row 1, The Hydrogen Line.

image003Subclass 2 is called the Hammemelids. This stage is where the patient is in a state of being unsure where they want to be, “here or there”. We see that they are often pondering how much they are in the sky versus the ground, they do not have balance. When too much in the air they feel free, floating and light and wish to be more grounded. When they are too grounded, they feel heavy and they desire to be light and free.

image004Subclass 3, the Caryophylids, resembles the right side of the Lithium Line in the Periodic Table. These individuals aggressively want to be “here”, and separate from the infinity, they want to be grounded and on earth. They share the same sensation like Nitrogen and Oxygen, i.e., contraction vs. expansion. They fight against the feminine element or the womb which to them is now redundant and constricting.

image005Subclass 4 is Dillenids- the stage of nutrition. It is like the Natrum line where mother and child relationship is important.

 

image006Subclass 5 is the stage of the relationship with the father and relationship with others. Within this subclass, there are families like Euphorbiaceae, Anacardiaceae, and Rutaceae families. It is very similar to the Calcarea Line, where the child is just learning to go out in the world. By evolution, individuals have become separate in this subclass; religion also develops here. Like in the Calcarea line there are issues of right and wrong, good and bad. This is the beginning of development of the Superego. The individual starts socializing and becomes conscious of himself being separate from others. There are rules and guidelines one must follow. This is where development of cognition begins. The individual is developing in their work, profession and career.

image007Lastly, Subclass 6 is similar to the Aurum Line of the Periodic Table. This is the stage of the relationship with the group. This is the time where individuals classify themselves as “me and the group”. This is the leadership series, the king series.

The Evolutionary Tree is representative of an individual from child to adult and from unity to community. In stages one to four, individuals are connected with the mother, and begin the development of emotions. From stage five one would start developing intellect, their head divides (right/wrong, good/bad), work and professional life is here. In each stage, there are ways of coping with a particular sensation.

Let us look at each individual subclass in more detail.

Subclass One

In this subclass, patients are just entering into being and being unified with their surroundings. These are like souls coming to earth for the first time. These individuals are usually airy, lost in space and time, they are “not there”.

Common Themes

  • Before separation
  • Before I / pre-ego
  • Ego is weak, dependent
  • Difficulty coping
  • Chaos, confusion, loss of one’s way
  • No borders
  • Cannot separate
  • Spiritual haughtiness
  • Sympathetic

Plant Families in Subclass One:

  • MAGNOLIANE
  • PAPAVARACEAE
  • PIPERACEAE
  • BERBIDACEAE
  • RANUNCULACEAE
  • MENISPERMACEAE
  • NYMPHEALES

Differential Diagnosis

  • Hydrogen Line

 

Subclass Two

This stage is where the patient is in a state of being unsure where they want to be, “here or there”.

Common Themes:

  • HERE OR THERE
  • First separation
  • The ‘I’ emerges from infinity
  • Don’t know how much to ground or float
  • Little more skin
  • Chaos
  • Want to be in the world, but they overdo
  • Heavy, grounded vs. free, light, fly, float
  • Colors, flying, floating
  • Balance (struggle of balance)

Plant Families in Subclass 2:

  • HAMMAMELIDAE – includes Urticales, Hammamedales, Juglandales, Myricales,

Fagales

  • ARACEAE  (monocotyledons)

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Snails
  • Cocoon animals (like Butterfly)

 

Subclass Three

The individuals falling into this subclass resemble the right side of the Lithium Line in the Periodic Table. These individuals aggressively want to be “here”, separate from the infinity, they want to be grounded and on earth.

Common Themes:

  • Struggle for separation
  • Separate or be assimilated
  • First masculine impulse to act
  • Fighting mother energy
  • Aversion to mother/child
  • Above or below
  • Heart
  • Tight, caught, shrinking, want to expand
  • Dragon swallowing (mother who was nurturing can be destructive if I do not separate)

Plant Families in Subclass Three:

  • CACTACEAE – Ex. Anhalonium

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Oxygen
  • Nitrogen

 

Subclass Four

Subclass 4 is the stage of nutrition, and the close mother-child relation. It resembles the Natrum Line. Here, most of the plants have to do with nutrition and all food products, supplying nurturing care in the basic necessities of life.

Common Themes:

  • NURTURING, MOTHER AND CHILD RELATIONSHIP
  • To be nurtured yet be separated
  • Issues relating to mother or motherhood
  • Ability to give, care, nurtured, and protect or its absence
  • Being secure in the family
  • Protective or un-protective mother
  • To have or not to have
  • Releasing and accumulating
  • Nourishment and digestive system
  • Last stage of feminine principle

Plant Families in Subclass Four:

  • MALVALES – For Ex. Chocolate
  • THEALES (tea family)
  • CARNIVOROUS PLANTS
  • CUCURBITALES (VIOLALES)
  • PRIMULALES
  • ERICACEAE
  • CRUCIFERAE
  • GRAMINALES (monocotyledons)

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Natrum line
  • Lac humanum
  • Lac maternum

 

Subclass Five

Subclass 5 is the stage of the relationship with the father and relationship with others. Within this subclass the individual is developing in their work, profession and career.

Common Themes:

  • THE I And the OTHER
  • Development of superego
  • Father-child relationship
  • Rules, hierarchy, borders, limits, stiffness
  • Masculine element
  • Shape
  • Border
  • Do this and don’t do that
  • Split
  • Laws and limitations
  • Religion and fanaticism
  • Rigidity and hierarchy
  • Criticism
  • Resentment, sourness
  • Work and responsibility
  • Commitment

Plant Families in Subclass Five:

  • ROSACEAE
  • LEGUMINOSAE
  • VILACEAE
  • GERANIALES
  • PASSIFLORACEAE
  • EUPHORBIACEAE
  • ANACARDACIEA
  • RUTACEA
  • UMBELLIFERAE

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Calcarea line

 

Subclass Six

This is the stage of the relationship with the group. This is the time where individuals classify themselves as “me and the group”. This is the leadership series, the king series.

Common Themes:

  • I and the GROUP
  • Strong individual ‘I’
  • Egotism
  • Rationalism
  • Emotional suppression
  • Weakness of feminine quality- hormonal and fertility issues
  • Relationship with the world, enjoyment, sexuality, status
  • Against the world: survive or die
  • War
  • Penetration
  • Allergies and injuries
  • Leader
  • Feeling separated
  • Feeling group is invading my space, and I resist
  • Themes of war, injury, wound, blood, fight

Plant Families in Subclass Six:

  • LABIATAE
  • SOLANACEAE
  • LOGANACIEAE
  • SCROPHULARIACEAE
  • RUBIACEA
  • COMPOSITAE
  • LILIACEA (monocotyledons)

Differential Diagnosis:

  • Aurum line

Illustrative Case Example

Case of Migraine and Prolapsed Disc

This is a case of a young woman who came to see me on 5th January 2009.  This patient was referred to me by a colleague from Israel. Her chief complaints were:

  • Fears
  • Migraine headaches
  • Prolapse of the vertebral disc

D: So what is the problem?

P: I have fear problems. I am fearful of many things. Physically, I also have migraines. This has been happening for the last 7-8 years.  Recently I have them more often. Before I used to have 2-3 episodes, then it stopped for a few years. Then 2 years ago, in the winter I had a few more. I had 10 in a month during the winter. I thought maybe I can take care of it with you.

For sure my migraine starts when I feel stressed, or I am not happy about something, like a fight with my boyfriend. I take really hard then the headache starts. If I don’t take care of myself I just get a huge migraine. Last time it was 3 days long. I used pain killers even though I don’t like it. I recognize it is in winter time, which is a season I really don’t like. Two years ago I used to work in a restaurant. I am a cook. I was constantly working in stress mode. People are hungry and I have to deliver. At work, I had many episodes of migraine. I used to wake up with it. When I have it, it is the worst pain ever I can imagine.

D: Tell more.

P: I will tell about another physical thing. For a month and a half maybe, I have had pain in my lower back. I was diagnosed with disc prolapse. It is very painful. It didn’t happen suddenly, I felt the pain one day and it just became worse and worse. One morning I couldn’t bend to put my underwear and I realized it was very bad.

I am not well. I moved in with my boyfriend to a new house, a new place, so I couldn’t avoid the things I shouldn’t do like lifting heavy boxes and moving things around.

Another thing is the emotional connection. I am not in real stress but I am really connected to my emotions now. I quit smoking 8 months ago and I feel really brave because I did it after maybe 12-13 years of smoking. Since then I feel more connected to myself, more reliable, more awake, more sharp. But now, my body can fall apart.

D: You are doing very well, just keep speaking.

P: So these are two big physical things, my migraine and low back. It takes a big part of my life now. I feel a bit crippled because I couldn’t do things I used to. I am a cook I need to work with body, now I have pain and that stops me from doing things.

This is a door to another thing I wanted to speak with you about. I try to be precise because I don’t know how to describe it. It is about focus. Last night I had to think about what I am going to say today, I have problem with focus. It is about being, it’s about my motivation, to move myself, to get going. Now I have to make my own stuff, I cook and I want to send my stuff out to others. I have a little plan and I can really get excited and talk about it with my friends. I write to myself the goals. I have to have money first, and get going with it, but reality shows me I just cannot do it.

I have really problems with motivation. That is the connection with the focus. I decide something that I do tomorrow and the day after, or this week, and I tend to forget about it or find more important stuff to do. I connect it to my difficulty to wake up in the morning.  I have to take my boyfriend every morning to the railway station, I have to get up at 8am, so I have this excuse which is good for me, otherwise I would stay in bed and punish myself. I judge myself, and I criticize myself.

I have difficulty with motivation and from plan to action. The last thing is me being more tired than normal. So now I try to take care of it with nutrition. I even thought a few times that I was pregnant because I was really tired, for no reason.

I sleep a lot, at least 8-9 hours, and I can easily sleep more. In the middle of the day I am more alive, more awake. Maybe it is the winter time I don’t know.  It gets to a point sometimes, this winter I didn’t have it yet, but something really radical, it is like being depressed. It is not a depression of days, or more. Maybe even half a day, I feel so bad that it can be from nothing. In the middle of the day, I want to hide from the world. I prefer to shut down myself, not to feel, just to sleep, or disappear. I know this from myself, my past, I would have this depression for month or maybe 2 months, 10 years ago. So now I really try hard not to go there. I give a lot of energy to myself not to go there. It is like a circle that takes me down, I criticize myself, I feel worse, so it is better not to go there. I keep myself balanced, balanced…that’s another thing. It is important for me to be precise what I talk about. I feel very connected to myself in the past year. On one had I am very connected to myself, I know myself now, I am not a child anymore. Maybe I have had difficult experiences, but I don’t get too panicked about it. On the other hand I feel completely not balanced, completely shaky, not in control. I can be really emotional about it. I get this feeling before my period. I feel not stable and I am easily moved by things. When I feel stable, I am more centered. My boyfriend can do or say something that I can be angry about it or emotional about it. So when I am centered I can see it and look at it, understand where it came from. So he cannot walk through me because I know what is right, because I feel more centered, more balanced. And the opposite is when I feel not so balanced, the smallest thing can happen, can take me, can shake me, body is like a leaf. I want to find my balance.

Sometimes an image that comes to me is the tree pose in yoga. You are standing like a tree, so you need to be really balanced, you need to feel your leg grounded, your leg inside, like a tree, only then you can go up. Me not being balanced, the migraines, back pain, I quit smoking, my partner – everything is connected to everything. I need a remedy for it. If I have to imagine it, it is as a support. I don’t imagine something would just change, or to remember myself, to give me support.

D: So what support do you need?

P: Well in my balance, in my focus. I want to be more centered.

D: What is the problem in being un-balanced?

P: It is hard. It leads me to dark places that I don’t feel good, I feel really bad, have headaches like migraine. I don’t know what to do sometimes, I don’t know what will happen sometimes.

D: What do you mean by dark places?

P: The moment where I feel that my life is dark, I don’t remember the light. I don’t remember there is a light. I don’t really work, I don’t have money, I cannot support myself, these are the facts. I look at my beautiful boyfriend that I love usually, we are moving on, to making a family…but when I feel so dark, I just look at him and I feel that I don’t know if he is the right guy, I don’t know if he feels the same way about me. All my friends have children already. I have this fear that everyone will die and I will stay alone. All these demons are awake.  At 21, I had a very bad depression, I had a trip to India after my army training. I came back not really good, I didn’t want to talk with anyone, didn’t want to see friends, I just wanted to stay at home and sleep.

D: What is the feeling there?

P: I just wanted to vanish, to just disappear.

D: What was the feeling?

P: Emptiness. The feeling there was the worst because then I thought it might stay this way. Like I changed.

D: So you didn’t want to talk to anyone? What was the problem?

P: I didn’t want anyone to see me in this condition.

D: What was the feeling, you didn’t want to talk to anyone, stay home and sleep…what was the main experience in that depression? What was the problem, what brought you to that state…what did you feel?

P: The feeling was fear. The fear was that I would stay that way. Sad, depressed, inside myself. Don’t like myself.  I don’t like myself when I am like this. I hated myself.

D: What do you mean by hated yourself?

P: I looked in the mirror and I couldn’t see my beauty. I don’t mean beauty outside. I like myself generally.

D: What exactly was the depression? What is depression to you?

P: Not feeling good enough.

D: What is good enough? Not to be good enough?

P: Not in control. Some kind of emotion. I don’t feel connected maybe. I would sit with a group of people, and I didn’t feel connect to them, didn’t understand what I was doing with them. I was a good girl, never smoking drugs, I found myself with people who would do all of this. I was pure but I used to sit there and smoke with them. I sat with people different from me

D: What did you feel then? What is to be depressed? Not feeling connected, criticize self, pure, drugs, what do you mean? What is the experience of depression?

P: Feeling sad, fear, stressed about something and not being able to think differently.

D: Internally how did you feel in your sadness and fear? This is emotion.

P: I felt like pain in my heart, I was not good enough and not perfect. Really weak.

D: Go into this weak feeling.

P: That I have no abilities. That I forget my abilities even if I have it.

D: What is weak, you say I have no abilities? What is the experience there?

P: Weak is that I know what I can do that will make me feel good but I cannot do it. I am really crippled. I cannot do it, even something as simple as make nice breakfast. I even want to feel this way. Like this demon is telling me, no you cannot do it…you have to stay in bed now.

D: What is this demon?

P: It is like this commercial in Israel. The good and the bad demon, the good says wake up and fix breakfast, go see the sea, go to the sun, go out, put something nice on and go out. It has this voice. The other says, no you cannot do it, you will stay. Unfortunately he always wins.

D: What is this crippled, cannot have abilities, can’t even make breakfast, angel telling you to go out…stay with this, let us understand this…what is it?

P: I don’t know. It is something that I heard, and I connect to it…but now I cannot even try. I am afraid to fail.

D: What is to fail?

P: To do something and not succeed.

D: What is that?

P: It is the same thing of being afraid of failure. As the same thing of being afraid of success. Now if I try to do something, to sell my stuff, I am afraid so much of failure. Sometimes I don’t even do anything. I just drop it if I am not perfect. I decide not to do anything because it is not perfect. Maybe it is the same thing with my being. I have a hard time in doing and I have to fight myself. Like I was in the desert by myself, I decided to produce a book and publish the book. I used to do it in the past, many years ago, now we have to show it in festivals, workshops and spiritual things, I decided to produce this thing.

D: Produce?

P: I liked to do it but I am not going to write about it. We were a commune living in the place in a desert. I am going to organize everything and take it to printing, and make sure the production of this thing happens. It was a beautiful thing to do. I just went with it…I never did it before. Then I found it really difficult. I needed to write some stories myself and I needed to come to people and tell them to give it to me in a week.

D: How are these people?

P: More balanced.

D: Tell about how you had a hard time doing it? Fighting with myself? What is your inner experience?

P: It doesn’t come naturally. It doesn’t flow, I have to work hard to do something.

D: Forget your thinking, things don’t flow or come naturally…how is it for you…when you say it is hard for me? What is hard for me?

P: When I do this (Hand Gesture – patient makes a hand into a tight fist). I have to get all my powers that I have, and that I forget that I have. I tend to forget the action or thing I have to do.

D: What is this (HG)?

P: Fighting.

D: How does it fight? What did you do? Do that gesture, I have to use all my power…just describe…what is this?

P: The picture that I have now is someone who is without conscious and you take him and you put him in water.

D: So what is your experience which you have to use all your powers…what is your experience? Like someone unconscious? What you mean?

P: When someone cannot do anything by themselves, they are really heavy, I fight my abilities. I feel weak. There is a big gap between what I want to do and how I feel, and what I need to do. I just want to stay at home.

D: Go into the experience of weakness….experience it, and see how you feel. What is the experience?

P: Alone. Nobody will understand me. Not talented. Not able. I fight my abilities. Not beautiful. My soul is sick. I feel sick. Darkness. When I breathe I feel that I am living, I feel alive. When I am like this, I don’t even breathe, I feel just apart of myself.  Like I feel I know myself is 100%, so I feel 20%, I forget about the 80%. I forget I have friends who love me, I forget that I am beautiful, I forget these things. I feel just part of myself.

D: Go into that experience, we want to understand that part.

P: I have a lot of parts. I have a sexy part, a funny part, a sad part, frightened part, part that is afraid. When I feel bad, this 20%.

D: What is weak, explain to me, what is the experience? When this 20% is you, how do you feel?

P: Weak in my abilities. I feel physical weakness. I shrink. I don’t like myself. My mind starts to attack me. Being crippled.

D: What is the experience when you are crippled? What is crippled? We have to see how you are feeling your depression?

P: In the morning, I wake up and I feel too tired. I am tired. Physical weakness is there. Really, lots of physical weakness. I feel so tired. I want to stay in bed.

D: What is tiredness in the body?

P: I have difficulty opening my eyes. For example I sit in bed, I really want to get up. I shower every morning to just wake up. So I can sit up in bed. My first pose to getting myself up. I feel like just collapsing. I just cannot do anything. I have given up, I don’t care. I feel lots of weakness.

D: Until you take shower, how do you feel?

P: I feel like, you know a butterfly before it opens? Cocoon.Closed.Asleep. Like closed like (HG – patient crosses arms across chest). I wish it was easier (HG – patient is making a tight fist). It is hard and I fight with it.

D: What you are fighting with? What is the fight against?

P: I want to do something and I need to do something when I fight. I don’t want to stay in bed, but I want to wake up. I feel something will stop me. Some demon.

D: Describe him.

P: It is me. These are mind stories. Part of me doesn’t want to. I feel alone. Something stupid. I criticize myself. I feel alone. I feel helpless. I don’t feel myself in the world.

D: Describe this feeling alone.

P: It feels like something stupid, like my grandfather and mom will die and I will be left alone. I am afraid to get crazy. I don’t know how to manage myself in the world, I don’t know how to support myself. I don’t think this way, I don’t know how I feel.

D: Tell about “I don’t know how to manage myself in the world”?

P: If my mom and grandfather will die, who I am connected to? I will maybe forget to connect. I am afraid to get crazy. I feel I am damaged in a way. That I have this wound.. I am afraid I will stay this way. This is apart of me, but it is difficult for me to live with it. I am damaged in a way.

D: What you mean damaged?

P: If I think about what I see and what I feel, everyone will die and I get connected to my fear. I do big sighing, I will panic and I won’t be able to get out of it. Like people in a closed institution.

D: Why you don’t want this closed institution?

P: I am not free and not living in the moment.

D: What is the experience of living in a closed institution?

P: I would rather die. I would feel crazy and I would miss the real life.

D: What is real life?

P: Where I don’t have to fight in a place like this. I feel afraid that I became this way.

D: How will you feel when you are there in a closed institution, what is the experience of being there?

P: Like someone who needs to be taken care of.

D: The opposite is not free, how does it feel if you weren’t there, how does it feel? You don’t want to be there, why?

About the author

Mahesh Gandhi

Dr. Mahesh Gandhi, M.D. (Psych) is a psychiatrist by profession and a homoeopath by choice. He has a flourishing practice and teaches internationally. He is globally popular for his psychiatric cases treated successfully with Homoeopathy. He has been closely associated with Dr. Rajan Sankaran for more than 15 years. Many of Dr. Gandhi’s cases have been published in Insight to Plants. He is now in the process of writing a book on homoeopathy about some of his experiences, especially in the field of psychiatry.

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