The Essence of Remedies

Anthroposophy highlighted to me the importance of knowing the true essence (personality) of a remedy, be it plant, mineral or animal. I try to understand the real ‘I am’ of each remedy, in order to know when to use it.  Take the example of Viscum Album (mistletoe), a beautiful remedy for cancer that is spreading. This is a plant that grows on diseased trees; its roots embed into the tree’s branches and it feeds from its host. It is basically cancer in plant form. At the same time however, the sugars it creates start to heal the diseased host; a beautiful example of symbiosis. With its behaviour this plant is shouting at us the disease process it can help to cure in humans.

I keep a cutting of Viscum Album in a jar up high on a shelf in my consulting room and it is remarkable how often a cancer patient will point at it and ask what it is. As a step further, the effects of this particular remedy will depend on the tree that it grew on. Mistletoe that has grown on an apple tree will be most effective in a case of a spreading cancer where there is heartbreak strongly in the picture. This is because the apple tree belongs to Rosacaea, which always has problems with love and dignity. On the other hand, if the mistletoe grew on a poplar tree, the affinity will be more for cancers originating in the sexual organs (ovarian, testicular).

Homeopaths will know this concept as the Doctrine of Signatures, but I want to underline just how powerful this knowledge of remedies and their ‘essence’ is to me. It helps me to easily remember vast amounts of Materia Medica, and I will only ever prescribe a remedy when I understand the true essence of it. To help you in your work, I advise building a deep understanding of the remedies you use and why you might use them (beyond just finding them written in the repertory). It will bring you greater results and very happy patients, which in turn will spark your own joy.

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