A HOMŒOPATHIC PROVING OF

PTERIDIUM AQUILINUM

BRACKEN

MARIE GEARY

Bracken — A Homoeopathic Proving
Contents
Preface 3
Acknowledgements 4
Why I chose Bracken 5
Distribution and Biological Information 6
Life Cycle of Bracken 10
Toxicology 11
Mythology and Herbal Uses 14
Control of Bracken 17
Events leading up to and during the proving 18
The Proving Begins 19
Provers Table 20
Collation
Mind 21
Physical Symptoms 36
Sleep & Generals 48
Dreams 52
Placebo 59
Results of Collation 60
On Reflection 62
Bibliography 64
Copy of Instructions to Provers 65
Copy of Instructions to Supervisors 69

Preface

The following quotation comes from Professor J A Taylor and R T Smith, Brackenologists:-

Sir David Attenborough’s 1993 publication, which probes the ‘private life’ of plants, is his attempt to identify the intimate reality of how plants behave in relation to each other, the animals, the environment and, last but by no means least, people. Plants preceded us by a large span of evolutionary time but the historical, modern and future survival of people and plants (and also animals) is inevitably related in more reciprocal terms than has long been realised. The book contains some remarkable exposure on how plants live, reproduce and respond to competitors. The book’s introduction begins: ‘Plants can see.
They can count and communicate with each other. They are able to react to the slightest touch and estimate time with extraordinary precision’. Bracken claimed just one short paragraph in the book and just one minute in the TV series which took three years to make. In search of the spectacular, most corners of the earth were visited. A little more than four years of this millennium are at present available, at the time of writing, for similar media exposure of more familiar, yet sometimes quite sinister plants which have infiltrated human experience. Such a plant is bracken, one of arguably the six oldest plants of this planet, and surreptitiously waiting to take over more one-time productive territory. The prospect is challenging to contemplate but, with a little help from the imagination of John Wyndham (1985), implies an air of finality
— bracken (the triffid) incumbent on the planet?

Acknowledgements

All the provers. The Supervisors:
Jude Sked Vicki Cooper Steve Evans Arleen Fleming Rhian Davies-Powell Fliss Owen Jules Prior

Anuschka Marsman, Vet. Liz Ford, Herbalist.
Ann Young, knowledgeable friend. Professor J. R. Taylor, Brackenologist.
R.T. Smith, Brackenologist.

Linda Gwillim, Clinical Supervisor, for pointing me in the right direction. Bill Rumble, Principal of Welsh School of Homoeopathy.
Helios Pharmacy.

Eric Geary, for general help and support.

Why I Chose Bracken

I’ve always liked bracken, not for its reputation as a thug of a plant, but because of its beauty, something all ferns have in common. I love its fresh greenness in spring, and the hairy coiled crosiers or fiddleheads, and unlike most people, I like its verdant smell as I walk through it in spring. In autumn and winter the dead fronds take on a beautiful rust colour which brightens up the drab winter landscape.

Much as I like bracken, it is also a loathed plant. It resists all but the most fierce pesticides, animals do not normally eat it — it makes them sick, its spores are carcinogenic if inhaled and people are advised to refrain from walking through bracken patches when it is sporing. It is not all bad, bracken provides cover for many animals, badgers, hedgehogs, rabbits, foxes, and even the dead fronds lying in tangled masses provide cover for their movement in winter. Runs can easily be found through the fallen fronds over what would otherwise be open country.

In order to produce a weed-free patch of ground to grow vegetables, we covered an area with black plastic for about six months. This kills all weeds without destroying the soil structure. When I removed the plastic last year, everything was dead EXCEPT the Bracken. There was still life, new crosiers, vastly extended, had grown in a tangled mass from the underground foodstores in the rhizome and had continued growth in a snake-like way, horizontally and in the dark. The tenacity of the plant amazed me and it was at that point that the idea leapt to me, ‘here is a plant to prove’. I checked to see which other ferns were in the Materia Medica and found only Male Fern, Dryopteris, Felix Mas and the major polycrest Lycopodium which is not a true fern but a club moss. Lycopodium was originally a large successful plant which during evolution shrank into a small insignificant plant. Bracken is a plant which has found its strength in the world of man and agricultural practice. It was held in check for millions of years during the time when the whole world was covered in dense forests. With deforestation it is having its day in the bright sunlight and invading cleared areas with alarming speed.

Pteridium Aquilinum
Common Bracken

Distribution and Biological Information

Bracken has a world-wide distribution throughout the tropical and temperate zones. It is absent only in the arctic regions and tropical Central America.
Within the regions it inhabits, it is only absent in wetlands, chalky areas, and at high altitude. It belongs to the Phylum Pteridophyta which includes 10000 species of fern, but Pteridium itself has few subspecies, which is rare in the plant world. This phylum was prominent during the Devonian and Carboniferous periods (contemporary with the Dinosaurs) and at that time many grew as tree- like plants. Nowadays, the majority of ferns are low growing, less than 1 metre high. Bracken is one of the tallest ferns. During the Devonian/Carboniferous ages, the climate was wetter and warmer than now. There was not the competition from Conifers and Angiosperms (flowering plants). Most ferns today survive in shady forests except for Bracken which enjoys open areas of full sunlight. As forests were cleared, Bracken, originally a feeble forest dweller but became a vigorous grower in full light, advanced. Until about 30 years ago, heavy grazing by mixed farm animals, and regular cutting, kept Bracken at bay. But as the patterns of world food production and supply changed, small farmers, and particularly upland farmers, reduced grazing stock or even abandoned land previously grazed, and Bracken advanced. Bracken is now believed to cover at least 6% of rural Britain and the overall area is increasing by about 1% per year.

Bracken is very common on the lower parts of upland moors but rapidly fades out at 1500 feet (450 metres) above sea level. It is highly sensitive to frost and its fronds are easily destroyed by severe frosts and winds at this altitude.

Plants which dominated the earth before ferns were : algae, mosses, liverworts, horsetails and club mosses. Pteridophytes were the first true land plants, with a well developed vascular system within the plant to support the large fronds.
Supporting vascular tissue contains woody tissue through which water can be transferred from the roots to all parts of the plant. Anchoring Bracken plants into the soil are horizontal underground rhizomes situated at various depths (2 inches to 2 feet) growing at the tips and branching freely, sending up new fronds at frequent intervals. The rhizomes grow most vigorously in soft sands and light soils (derived from siliceous rocks) since penetration is easier in these soils. In really favourable conditions, i.e. light soil, full sun, Bracken can grow so densely that all other plants are eliminated, firstly by the dense shade of the tightly packed fronds, and then by the thick layer of litter created each autumn when the fronds die. The plant overwinters as the underground rhizomes, packed with food reserves to give it a start in growth the following May.

Where Bracken is restricted, e.g. in heavier or wetter soils, it is often associated with Bramble (Rubus Fructeosus) as well as Honeysuckle (Lonicera Periclymenum). It is very difficult for any other species to become established amongst the tangled mass of these 3 plants. The grass associated with Bracken is Woody Soft Grass (Holcus Mollis). This can establish itself because it vegetates in April before the bracken Fronds are fully grown (late May / early June). Bluebells are also able to grow in Bracken dominated areas because they too, along with wood anemone, wood sage, wood violets, tormentil and barren strawberry, are early starters and flower before Bracken takes over.

It is also enfeebled when it is trampled or when the soil is compacted and it is for these reasons that good heavy grazing helps to control it even though most animals, including even rabbits, avoid eating it.

Another factor which causes considerable growth problems is air pollution. Since Bracken survives winter entirely buried underground, it is not subjected to air pollution when the pollution is most effective.

Bracken is the main plant to recolonise heathland quickly after fires. Without fire, it has a problem invading undisturbed heathland covered with well established heathers and ling. It is present but widely spread and growth is sparse but the underground rhizomes are there, ready. When a fire occurs, everything is burnt, the shallow rooted heathers must regenerate from seed, but the Bracken can immediately begin growing, pushing up bright green croziers through the blackened earth. It is quite an amazing sight to see the almost immediate take-over. Once the Bracken is established, the ling and heather have great difficulty in finding a toehold.

OUT IN THE SUNSHINE, BRACKEN GROWS DENSELY. THE RHIZOME SENDS UP MANY MORE FRONDS/UNIT AREA THAN THOSE IN SHADED AREAS.

BRACKEN FROM THIS AREA WAS USED TO MAKE THE REMEDY ALONG WITH BRACKEN FROM THE HEDGEROW

ONCE AN AREA BECOMES PARTLY SHADED, THE NUMBER OF BRACKEN FRONDS DECREASES DRAMATICALLY

AS THE TREE GROWTH INCREASES AND THE BRACKEN RECEIVES A DECREASING AMOUNT OF LIGHT, THE FRONDS REACH OUT BY GROWING OBLIQUELY TOWARDS LIGHT

The Life Cycle of Pteridium Aquilinum

Bracken’s invasiveness results from its vegetative growth from the growing tips of the underground rhizomes but it also shows two other methods of reproduction.

The life cycle of Bracken is typical of that in ferns generally. They exhibit what is known as ALTERNATION OF GENERATIONS — the sporophyte generation alternating with the gametophyte generation. The familiar frond plant is known as the SPOROPHYTE generation and produces asexual spores on the underside of the frond in discrete little structures called SORI (singular, sorus). Each sorus bears many sporangia in which the spores are formed.

These spores need dry windy conditions for their dispersal. They are carcinogenic and can cause lung cancer. Bracken does not spore every year, the last time there was any significant sporing was nine years ago. Other ferns spore every year. These spores do not develop directly into another fern plant, instead, they develop into a small (3mm across) heart shaped, photosynthetically independent structure called the prothallus or GAMETOPHYTE generation. A spore will only germinate to produce a prothallus if it finds damp conditions.

On the underside of the tiny prothallus, male and female organs are formed in which male and female gametes are produced. The reasons that the spore must find damp conditions are twofold, one is that the prothallus has no protection against desiccation and the other is that the male gamete is motile and must swim to find and fertilise the female gamete. This male organ is known as the antheridium in which many spermatozoids are formed. The female organ is called the archegonium and this puts out chemicals to attract the male sperms. The sporophyte is well adapted to life on land whilst the gametophyte is much less so as it is totally dependent on moisture.
There is also a genetic difference between the generations. The sporophyte is known as diploid (2n) — it has double the number of genes of the haploid (n) gametophyte generation. After fertilisation, a single cell is produced which is known as the zygote (2n) will then develop into a new 2n sporophyte plant.

A type of cell division called meiosis, or reduction division, occurs on the fronds of the sporophyte to give rise to the haploid spores. Reduction division means halving of genetic material. In any organism where cells (gametes) unite, reduction or halving of genetic material must occur prior to fertilisation, otherwise doubling of genetic material would occur EACH TIME a union occurred. Evolution would have stopped without reduction division. In animals, flowering plants and conifers, the only haploid stage is the gametes. So ferns along with liverworts and mosses are the only organisms which display this clear-cut alternation of generations in which sexual and asexual reproduction are carried out by separate, distinct, independent plants.

Toxicology

Most plants have developed strategies which prevent them being totally eaten by animals. Take trees for example, they stay rooted in the same spot for perhaps centuries, and every summer practically every leaf has some animal feeding on it but overall, less than 7% of leaf is consumed. But Bracken is an exceptionally well self- protected plant.

The poisonous substances found in Bracken are:-

(a) CYANOGENIC GLYCOSIDE (cyanide releasing) or PRUNASIN (present in very small quantities). When the plant is bruised this substance enables the plant to release small quantities of hydrogen cyanide (also found in cherry laurel and in bitter almond) or prussic acid — a very poisonous substance (smells like bitter almonds). This substance produces nerve degeneration in humans.

The presence of prunasin appears to be a deterrent to grazing but bracken shows a phenomenon known as biochemical polymorphism, i.e. some populations of bracken produce prunasin and some do not. When prunasin is not present, the bracken is grazed heavily and animals can become addicted to it. Despite the fact that prunasin levels are apparently too low to harm grazing animals, sudden death has been known to occur in animals fed on young fronds.

Cyanide is a respiratory enzyme inhibitor — all reactions occur in the body as a result of enzyme activity so a substance which inhibits or blocks the respiratory pathways prevents respiration. Respiration provides energy so severe poisoning quickly causes death. That is why cyanide is included in fumigation mixtures.

(b) THIAMINASE. Bracken contains Thiaminase, an enzyme which destoys thiamine or Vitamin B1. Herbivores produce Vitamin B1 in the lower gut but non-ruminants (e.g. horses , pigs) are much more susceptible to the action of thiaminase than ruminants, so quickly become thiamine deficient if they eat bracken.

Neurological signs of Vit B1 deficiency are:- ataxia, tremors, convulsions, brachycardia, pupillary dilation and sluggish pupil reflexes, coma and spasticity. Many of these neurological problems have been produced experimentally in animals by administering heavy doses of thiaminase and are very rarely seen in grazing animals.

(c) PTAQUILOSIDE — a carcinogen. In alkaline conditions, as in the intestines, this substance is converted into an intermediate compound which either reacts with water to form the inactive Pterosin B, or, combines with DNA to give rise to changes in chromosomes. These changes can lead to the formation of tumours. Two other carcinogens have been isolated, quercetin and skikimate. Ptaquiloside appears to be associated with both acute haemorrhagic fever and enzootic haematuria in cattle, and “bright blindness” (retinal degeneration) in sheep.

Work is in progress identifying carcinogens in Bracken and some of the toxins remain after the plant has died.

Animals only eat Bracken when they are exceptionally hungry.

POISONING BY BRACKEN

In some countries Bracken has been consumed by humans and this has lead to tumours of the digestive system. In Japan and in Brazil where consumption of Bracken by humans has been known to occur, there is an increase in oesophageal and stomach cancers. In these areas people were known to consume the “fiddleheads” which have a particularly high concentration of carcinogens. There is also concern that cows fed on bracken can pass on the active material in milk, thus exposing humans to its harmful effects.

At present there is no information on the toxic effect of ptaquiloside on humans.

Epidemiological studies in Costa Rica showed a significant correlation between the prevalence of enzootic haematuria in cattle and human oesophageal and stomach cancers, whilst a survey in North Wales demonstrated a significantly increased risk of stomach cancer in people who had spent their childhoods in Bracken infested areas.
There has been speculation that the spores contaminate water supplies or are inhaled and get trapped by mucus and cause cancer when eventually swallowed.

Different animals respond to Bracken poisoning in different ways:-
(a) Horses

They get “Bracken Staggers”. This appears 1-2 months after starting to consume the plant. There is staggering, obviously, but other symptoms are muscle twitching, arrhythmia, loss of appetite, loss of condition. Convulsions and eventually death can occur. They are also prone to thiamine deficiency if they consume Bracken.

(b) Pigs

Loss of appetite, vomiting, heavy breathing and sudden death.

(c) Cattle and Sheep

They are affected only after eating considerable quantities but they do not develop thiamine deficiency because they manufacture Vitamin B1 in their rumen.

They can develop haemorrhagic bracken poisoning — bladder tumours and digestive tumours — the indicator being blood in the urine and faeces, along with a bloody discharge from the nose, eyes and mouth. Bovine enzootic haematuria (enzootic means a disease confined to animals in a certain area — corresponds to ‘endemic’ in man) is induced by ingesting Bracken. It is characterised by

persistent haematuria (blood in faeces or the urine), anaemia and fever, and is usually fatal.
The lesions are most common in the bladder but may occur in the ureter or renal pelvis. There is persistent inflammation and recurrent haemorrhage. Localised proliferation of epithelial tissue can occur resulting in tumour formation and metastasis. These small tumours (peasize) are blood filled and rupture to produce the haematuria. This condition in cattle occurs in all continents but in each is restricted to particular areas. It is believed that this condition arises from a low level of bracken feeding over a prolonged period whilst a high level of bracken in the diet induces bone marrow depression.

Sheep can also be affected by a form of permanent blindness in which eyes remain bright and clear (Bright Blindness), but only if they have consumed very large quantities. Brights disease is a progressive degeneration of the retina. The sheep adopt an alert, headhigh attitude. Pupils are circular (both eyes are always affected) and the condition is usually recognised when the sufferer regularly becomes inadvertently separated from the flock. Brights disease had been absent in Wales but in 1978 the disease was reported for the first time. This may have resulted from a severe drought and the sheep who normally grazed around the Bracken were forced to eat it, and then because they appear to have become addicted, they probably continued to eat it in the following year.

Sheep with Brights disease also have low blood platelet and white cell counts.

Strong carcinogenic activity from Bracken has been identified in many animals from quails, farm animals, rodents etc, and much of the evidence has been discovered as a result of laboratory work, feeding the isolated Bracken carcinogens in toxic doses to the various animals.

The target organ varies from species to species but tumours have been produced in:-
(a) stomach
(b) small intestine
(c) caecum
(d) colon
(e) lung
(f) bladder
(g) reticulo-endothelial system — phagocytes
(h) spleen
(i) bone marrow
(j) mammary glands

Mythology, and Herbal Uses

The lower portion of the stem, when cut obliquely at the base, shows a pattern which, according to Linnaeus the father of binomial nomenclature (giving all organisms a generic name and a specific name), represents a spread eagle and hence he gave the specific name Aquilina. The generic name Pteridium (previously Pteris) is derived from Pteron (feather) from the feathery appearance of the fronds. The English name fern is a contraction of the Anglo-Saxon fepern, a feather. In Scotland the plant is said to be an impression of the Devil’s Foot and yet witches detested this fern because it’s cut stem bears the Greek letter X which is the initial of Christos. In Ireland, it is called the Fern of God because if the fern is cut at 3 points, point 1 will reveal ‘G’, point 2 will reveal ‘O’, and point 3 a ‘D’.

The crozier or fiddlehead has the appearance of a eagle’s clenched claw.

The minute spores are reputed to confer invisibility on their possessor if they are gathered on St. John’s Eve at the moment of his birth. In Henry V, Shakespeare writes, “We have receipt of the fern seed — we are invisible”.

Bracken was also said to confer perpetual youth. Medicinal Uses
Culpepper says:

An infusion of root, boiled with mead and honey, will kill long and broad worms. It also abates hardness of the spleen.
Leaves eaten purge the belly and expel choleric and waterish humours that trouble the stomach.
Bruised roots boiled in oil provide an ointment to heal wounds or ‘pricks’ in the flesh. A powder from the roots causes foul ulcers to heal speedily.

Burning ferns drives off serpents, gnats and other beasties which in fenny country molest people in their beds at night.

Fern root thrown into wine stops it souring.

If one ‘smokes’ the legs with bracken smoke, one can get rid of sciatica or ‘thigh aches’.

Carcinogenicity

Cooking does not destroy the carcinogenicity — in fact, it makes it more toxic. Administration of fresh, dry or aqueous or alcoholic extracts to various animals (cows, mice, hamsters, toads, quails), gives rise to soft tissue malignancies, leukemias and osteosarcomas. Spores are also carcinogenic and people are advised not to walk through bracken when it spores. There is high incidence of gastric cancers in N. Wales in people associated with exposure to Bracken in childhood.

In Costa Rica there is also a statistical relationship — those living in highland areas covered in Bracken have a far higher incidence of cancers than those living in the Bracken free lowlands.
It has also been shown that carcinogenicity can be transmitted in milk from animals fed on Bracken. In the past, Bracken has been used for winter feed and bedding for animals and it was widely used by humans as a bedding and as a roofing material.

The carcinogens do however break down in composting and since Bracken concentrates potassium in its tissues, Bracken compost is very very rich.

Uses as a Food

After the last section it is hard to believe there are any.

The rhizomes contain lots of starch but it is so astringent that no one would want to eat it, but apparently the people of Palma and Gomera, two Canary Islands, do just that. They make a flour from the roots and mix it with barley flour, the mix actually has a name — goflo — but its use is a sign of extreme poverty.

Native peoples in New Zealand, Australia, and the Society Islands are also said to eat the rhizomes.

The young fronds, croziers or fiddleheads, have been eaten by the Japanese in more impoverished times.

Also, in Siberia and Norway, the croziers have been used in beer making along with the more usual malt.

Other Uses

Bracken has been used in the preparation of chamois leather and ‘kid’.

Because the ash is so alkaline it has been used in glassmaking in Britain and elsewhere.

The ash also contains enough potash for it to be used in soap-making.

It is also a valuable fertiliser and trials are taking place to discover if this could be its value as a ‘crop’. Its fertilising properties are particularly valuable for potatoes and sugar beet. Ash from green Bracken is more valuable than that from dead Bracken. In June, the stems contains up to 20% potash but this decreases to 5% in August. 50 tons of dried Bracken provides 1 ton of potash.

The Welsh have the following sayings:-
Newyn dan y grug……………………………………Famine under heather;
Arian dan y lithin……………………………………..Silver under gorse;
Aur dan y rhedyn……………………………………..Gold under bracken;
Thus showing the way vegetation indicates soil profitability. Bracken is associated

with better soils, better drained, superior texture and structure, and more fertile.

Miscellaneous Facts

Bracken is apparently difficult to transplant. If a section of rhizome is dug up and planted somewhere else, it does not thrive.

In Venezuela and in Brazil, Bracken is used in magic rituals to cleanse the soul.

Bracken is one of the Bailey Flower Essences and its property is:- where the intuitive sensitivity was blocked in childhood, resulting in a fear of the intuitive side of one’s nature

Bracken and the Environment

It is an important environment for tick survival. The ticks then invade sheep and other animals. They carry a Spirochaete Borellia burgolorferia. This organism causes Lymes disease which is a multi-system , immune mediated, inflammatory disorder and it can infect humans.

Bracken is also the breeding ground for Fritillary butterflies. The larvae/pupae survive in Bracken. The imago obviously then feeds from flowery plants.

Bracken also provides cover for the movement of many larger animals — reptiles amphibians, mammals and birds.

Control of Bracken

Bracken has become a major pest. It spreads rapidly into valuable pasture where it quickly becomes dominant, driving out diversity of other plant species. Chemical control is difficult and expensive and environmentally undesirable (and, some say, ineffective) because it covers large areas and resists all but the most potent herbicides. Trampling by large animals, horses and cattle, is quite effective, provided they do not eat it.

Ploughing helps but is impractical on steep hillsides. It is weakened by regular cutting but again, this is difficult over large hilly areas. It has no significant enemies, few insects feed on it or lay their eggs on it. It has no known viral diseases and fungi do not attack its roots, a tenacious survivor if ever there was one.

Biodynamic methods have been attempted by R T Smith alongside studies of Professor Taylor in the early 1970s. Biodynamic approaches to weed and pest control are concerned with suppressing the activity of the target species and correcting environmental imbalance which led to its outbreak in the first place. This method leads to undermining the vitality of the pest. There was marginal success with bracken
— because of course the environmental problem which gave rise to its outbreak was deforestation. Hence many people feel that the best way to control bracken now is reforestation.

Events Leading up to and During the Proving

Preparation of the Remedy

I wanted to include Bracken spores in the remedy preparation and knew that ferns generally spored in late summer, so I waited. The Male Fern, Hart’s Tongue and Polypody ferns in the area were all sporing, but not the Bracken. So I rang Professor Taylor, a Brackenologist in Aberystwyth, and he informed me that Bracken only spores about once in every ten years, that its success in invading new area results from vegetative growth. It is not known what factors induce Bracken to spore so sporadically. There does not seem to be any climatic correlation to its sporing patterns. He also informed me that all the toxins present in the spores were found in the rest of the plant. I collected fronds, stalk and root from two locations, one from a sunny dense patch on a hillside close to woodland, the second from a hedgerow adjacent to the spot where I made my decision to prove Bracken — probably from the same rootstock. I macerated all the parts together and placed them in the alcohol provided by Helios Pharmacy.

At Helios Pharmacy

Helios Pharmacy in Tunbridge Wells was very helpful in the preparation of the remedy. They sent me a bottle of alcohol months in advance so that if spores appeared I could collect the fronds. I sent them the macerated Bracken, in alcohol, in September, and they prepared the remedies for me.

I received the prepared pillules in three potencies, 6C, 12C and 30C, with one bottle of saclac. The bottles were labelled only with a provers number so that the proving would be blind. In March after the proving had ended, Helios sent me a letter informing me which prover number corresponded to which potency.

Provers and Supervisors

I had decided that I would limit the number of provers to eight. It seemed to me that as I was working on my own, this would be a reasonable number to manage and support. I also wanted to have only one prover for each supervisor. Originally I had a list of eight provers and eight supervisors but ended up with seven of each. My aim was to have each prover and supervisor living close to each other, so that it was easy for the supervisor to do their job and so that each prover felt well supported.

Each supervisor was contacted and I learned that quite a number of provers and supervisors were suffering from ‘flu which has reached epidemic proportions after Christmas. The proving start date was 7 January 2000 when five of the seven were sufficiently healthy to begin, and two provers began late, 001 and 002. I had already set phone times when I could contact supervisors to find out what was happening and I adhered to these times as best as I could.

The Proving Begins

The first weekend turned out to be traumatic. One prover was having an extreme reaction and developing violent tendencies which seriously alarmed both the prover and the supervisor. The supervisor rang me at 9 p.m. on Saturday evening suggesting that we pack our bags and sit with this prover through the night because the feelings were so overwhelming. I agreed and was preparing to leave home when the supervisor rang again to say that the prover had calmed down after a hot bath and was going to bed. There had been a definite of panic and pandemonium around this prover. Many people had been contacted and “the alarm bells were ringing”. The remedy was being described as “evil”. I found this really shocking and felt that it was a kind of test of my stability. I decided I had to be firm and contain the shock waves and not to panic. I reassured myself with thoughts about other remedies that displayed violence — Stram, Hyos, Lyss, Bell, Nux V, Nat Sulph, Aur, Hep, Verat, Camph, Anac, Plat and many more. Someone, somewhere, sometime, must have proved them and weathered the storm, so I decided that was what had to be carried through.

As it happened, everything calmed down and all other provers displayed their various symptoms without the extremes suffered by that prover. But I am most grateful to that particular prover without whom we would not have known the extremes of this remedy, and it could well show in time that it is in those very extremes that the remedy will prove to be most useful.

Prover Information

Prover Number
Sex
Age Number of Pillules
Potency
Antidote (if any)

01
F
42
5
30C
Sepia

02
F
49
6
Placebo
Phos, Aurum

03
F
45
6
30C

04
M
45
3
6C
Anacardium

05
F
47
5
12C

06
F
54
2
6C
Thuya

07
F
32
4
12C
Hydrogen

The Proving Collation

Sense of Detachment

Detached feeling, spacey. 01 30c 01 13 00

Took a walk on the beach, had a huge desire to hide when cars were coming. I successfully hid from them and was pleased with myself.
03 30c 01 18 15

Disinclined to make small talk, chat, I let others do it, I usually prattle with grandchildren — but not today, I’ve been quiet.
03 30c 03 XX

Incredibly calm feeling — a sense of detachment, mentally, from everything, although interacting.
05 12c 02 XX

I have had a feeling of being present but not participatory — a case of lights on but no one is at home.
04 6c 00 All day

I feel solitary, and I don’t want company.
04 6c 01 All day

Difficult to concentrate when a friend is telling me of her problems. Began to drift, dream. Thought, “what a moaner, she is so self obsessed”, (usually sympathetic to her).
03 30c 07 XX

Went out to dinner with friends, in my heart I didn’t want to be there. It was an effort, felt I was going to cry.
03 30c 10 XX

Felt more relaxed in town than I usually would although the town was busy. 07 12c 01 14 XX

No inclination to chat. 03 30c 02 XX

More myself but finding company difficult after a short time. 03 30c 08 XX

Two friends were arguing and I felt for the person who was most emotional in the argument. Despite feeling for her, I also felt detached and didn’t want to aid her. 07 12c 04 22 00

I feel I have somehow distanced myself from feelings so that I can’t be touched, so that I don’t have to react.
05 12c 16 XX

Partner was grumpy but I knew it would not affect me tonight. 03 30c 01 20 15

Felt happy to be alone not looking for company. 03 30c 07 XX

I’m finding it harder and harder to keep track of trivia. I feel spacey and distant a lot of the time.
05 12c 16 XX

Feeling spacey and detached. 01 30c 05 XX

Started feeling claustrophobic with my daughter this evening — there were too many people here. She wanted me to babysit and I felt emotionally blackmailed but said I needed to get home. I usually would have given in.
05 12c 05 XX

Irritability, violence

Irritable this afternoon, but I worked last night so I am tired. 01 30c 04 XX

Irritable, pre-menstrual, PMT much more marked — extremely short tempered. 01 30c 06 XX

Irritable — I’m still irritable. 01 30c 07 XX
Irritability reported by supervisor of 01. I’m very moody, up and down.
03 30c 10 XX

I had this feeling of “why am I here, why am I wasting my time doing this?” 04 6c 01 10.30

Feeling tension building in the solar plexus, comes in waves. By 4.50 felt very tense and felt I could be violent both physically and verbally. The feeling was, wanting to hurt someone through cruel, barbed, sarcastic comments. No one in particular.
Anyone who crossed me. Feeling prickly inside. 04 6c 01 16.00

Watching the film “the Piano” — had no impact on me emotionally, except I enjoyed the music and quite enjoyed the woman’s fingers being chopped off. I felt I would have cut off more.
04 6c 01 XX

There was an axe in the room to chop wood and I could have used this for physical violence.
04 6c 01 XX

I feel really impatient.
04 6c 01 XX

The overwhelming feelings are: barbed and prickly on the inside — irritable and impatient with others — a fish-hook sharpness — the cutting edge with a barb at the end.
04 6c 01 XX

I feel like a thistle or a similar plant.
04 6c 01 XX

I attacked my dog almost strangling it. My dog growled and snapped at me and I literally found myself on the floor with my hands closed around its throat. Its eyes were bulging and its tongue hanging out. I don’t know what stopped me killing it. 04 6c 01 20.15

I feel this pent up sense of violent frustration, building again like an enormous tidal wave of negative emotion which breaks like a wave on the seashore during a storm; just like a storm, they pass, but the waves still build.
04 6c 01 16.45

The desire to be violent, verbally/physically, remained during the drive home. 04 6c 01 18.30

I feel irritable and I find that loud noises aggravate me — doesn’t matter whether it is speech or music.
04 6c 02 XX

Very irritable — told children I’m on the point of going mad. 01 30c 07 XX

Supervisor of 01 felt that 01 was contradicting her a lot and showing irritable reactions to what she was saying.

Also supervisor of 01 noted that 01 was angry with the comment she received for her homework and said she would not normally react in this way.

Concentration Problems

I really had to concentrate on my driving — I kept swerving out of lanes etc. 01 30c 05 XX

The supervisor of 01 reported that on another occasion when she was in the car with 01, her driving was very erratic — normally it is fine.

All day I have found it difficult to concentrate on the tasks in hand. My thinking has been woolly, as if my head was stuffed with cotton wool.
04 6c 00 XX

Difficult to focus on one thing, tendency to go off at a tangent.
04 6c 00 XX

The overall feeling was of lethargy but it is mental rather than physical or energy based.
04 6c 00 XX

Mind lethargy returned and I feel totally apathetic.
04 6C 01 XX

I couldn’t focus on anything that was being said on any level, what’s more, I didn’t really care.
04 6c 01 XX

My thinking is woolly and fuzzy.
04 6c 02 XX

All my thinking is negative, I have great difficulty focusing on positive thoughts.
04 6c 02 XX

Having trouble remembering appointments. Difficult to focus, dithering, prevaricating. Difficulty with mental agility.
04 6c 03 XX

Mind still fuzzy, not as agile but it is easing off.
04 6c 04 XX

Cut finger on tin when taking rubbish out, feel like I’m stoned. 05 12c 01 18.30

If I try to concentrate, I get this heaviness over my eyebrows and an odd sensation on the inner corners / bridge of the nose.
05 12c 05 XX

On Sunday I knocked my little finger on my left hand playing basketball. It’s now swollen and very painful.
05 12c 28 XX

On Saturday, I cut my middle finger on left hand. 05 12c 29 XX

I feel slightly uncoordinated lately. 05 12c 22 XX

Hurt my little finger, right hand, today. 05 12c 22 XX

I feel pretty uncoordinated and can’t concentrate properly, I feel spacey and very very tired most of the time.
05 12c 30 XX

I felt vagueness and fuzziness on waking. 07 12c 01 07.30

Throughout the day, I realised I was making spelling errors — spelling things phonetically.
07 12c 02 XX

Awoke feeling vague and mentally and physically tense. 07 12c 07 XX

Feeling vague and tired, short attention span. 07 12c 07 XX

Feeling a bit hazy, think it was from an unsettled night. 07 12c 14 XX

Talkativeness

I just went on and on and on ad nauseum. Strange! Sick inside and talked ad nauseum.
04 6c 01 XX

Supervisor of 01 reported that 01 talked and talked and talked during a social meeting they had.
01 30c 07 XX

Apathy

I feel completely apathetic, I heard every word but I didn’t care.
04 6c 01 XX

The mind lethargy returned and I feel totally apathetic.
04 6c 01 XX

After a walk in the fresh air, the feelings of apathy and discontent returned. 04 6c 01 15.30

Been very apathetic this last week. 05 12c 30 XX

Restlessness

Feel quite restless, not myself at all. 03 30c 03 XX

I was very tired today, I don’t know what I felt except I couldn’t sit still, I felt compelled to keep doing things.
03 30c 04 XX

Absorbed in trivialities, mind is restless, generally feel anxious about life, such thoughts make me feel ungrounded, unorganised and restless.
07 12c 08 XX

Did not sleep well, restless and dreaming. 01 30c 01 XX

I feel restless, I want something but I don’t know what. 03 30c 00 20.30

Still restless, feel a little dissatisfied. 03 30c 00 21.45

Clarity, including Assertiveness

Started my triplets on a homoeopathy plan, been meaning to do it for ages, but suddenly its clear that’s what I should do.
01 30c 11 XX

Seem to be able to make decisions, decided to cut down my hours at work, it seems the right thing to do.
01 30c 13 XX

My mind is bright and clear. 03 30c 01 XX

I wasn’t looking forward to seeing her but actually I was calm and relaxed, unhurried and not worried that I would forget things. I felt clear about things.
03 30c 05 XX

My mind is bright, motivated and energetic. 03 30c 08 XX

Feeling of being able to say things that maybe I would not usually say but calmly and without anxiety or anger.
05 12c 03 XX

I feel I have made a few decisions and I am not waiting to see what he is going to do. 05 12c 16 XX

I have suddenly realised that I don’t express myself vocally enough, that I don’t give voice to my thoughts and desires. I hold it all in.
05 12c 18 XX

I’m feeling freer to express myself physically, i.e. clothes, hair, etc., but I still find it difficult vocally, maybe it will come.
05 12c 21 XX

Felt slightly more focused about things that needed to be done. 07 12c 01 10.30

I was very focused on what I was doing, even though I had lots of other things to do. Usually I find it hard to focus, if other things are outstanding. Here this wasn’t the case, I felt very involved in what I was doing.
07 12c 01 20.00

Felt really good and positive at work. 07 12c 03 XX

Awoke feeling really good, alert and calm. 07 12c 05 XX

Felt much clearer, more energetic, more confident and more relaxed. 07 12c 14 XX

Generally fine but becoming more and more clear about things I need to change in my life.
07 12c 16 XX

Throughout the proving, I came to realise that I had to have a break from him. I became clearly aware of his possessiveness and jealousy.
07 12c 24 XX

Depression, Feeling Low and Weeping

I feel very miserable this morning, fed up, and that I am a failure. 01 30c 03 XX

Today I’m dull, not lively. 03 30c 02 12.00

Felt and looked lined and haggard and old. 03 30c 03 XX

Had a weep today talking to my mum about problems. 03 30c 03 XX

Found daughter had not gone to college and burst into tears, couldn’t stop and when I tried to speak, my voice almost completely faded.
03 30c 04 XX

Feeling discouraged, I feel I could go back to bed and not face anything. 03 30c 04 XX

As soon as I got to work, I burst into tears and could not stop, I had to go home. Is this the remedy or is it my situation?
03 30c 05 XX

Dull, feeling heavy, tired. 03 30c 05 XX

I have noticed that I am not cheerful, I am sullen and moody, not my usual happy-go- lucky self.
04 6c 02 XX

All my thinking is negative, I have great difficulty focusing on positive thoughts.
04 6c 02 XX

I feel very sad a lot of the time, that is , confused, because I should be feeling pleased and happy now that he has gone.
05 12c 07 XX

Started crying, singing along to John Lennon’s ‘Imagine’, reminded me of the good times with him.
05 12c 08 XX

A sudden, high emotional feeling, overwhelmed, felt I would cry. 07 12c 02 XX

Felt powerless, depressed like the onset of ‘flu, totally exhausted. Felt that the emotions were in my head. 07 12c 11 XX

Happiness, Contentment and Calmness

Felt very happy and calm during the morning. 01 30c 02 XX

Felt nice and content. 01 30c 02 XX

I feel mood wise, great. 01 30c 13 XX

I feel great.
01 30c 15 XX

I feel a bit trippy, I’d like to go to bed. 03 30c 00 10.30

I feel cheerful suddenly (10 minutes after taking third pillule). 03 30c 00 19.45

I feel quite serene (after taking sixth pillule). 03 30c 01 22.15

Felt cheerful first thing, (but it wore off by 10 a.m.) 03 30c 02 XX

Brighter , less quiet, quite chirpy. 03 30c 06 XX

Woke happy and content. 03 30c 07 XX

Mind bright and motivated and energetic. 03 30c 13 XX

Feel very calm, stoned almost. 05 12c 01 18.00

Still feeling calm.
05 12c 02 XX

No anxiety about anything, even things I should be worried about. 05 12c 03 XX

Felt reasonably calm and cheerful all day, much brighter. 05 12c 05 XX

Felt relaxed and happy all day.

05 12c 10 XX

Feeling generally happy and light, more in the moment. 05 12c 12 XX

Very relaxed, nothing whatsoever can stress me out. Even tempered, feel good in myself.
06 6c 05 XX

Still relaxed.
06 6c 06 XX

Continuing to feel relaxed.
06 6c 07 XX

Felt I had to run while crossing the street and felt very free and liberated. 07 12c 02 17.45

Felt totally at peace and it seemed the world felt very peaceful also. 07 12c 03 XX

Mind racing along with feeling calm. 07 12c 12 XX

Feelings of Power, Confidence, vv Powerlessness

She was adamant, forceful. (Supervisor’s report). 01 30c 00 XX

She was overbearing. (Supervisor’s report). 01 30c 00 XX

Had a conversation with partner about sexual matters — normally find this difficult to do.
01 30c 00 22.00

I now have the ability to say things calmly, without anger, that I would not normally say.
05 12c 03 XX

I think I would have usually given in, even though I was tired and didn’t want to stay, but I said I needed to get home.
05 12c 04 XX

I had this sensation of powerlessness. 07 12c 09 XX

Confusion, Mixed Feelings, Indecision

My husband is leaving me today, and I don’t know what I feel or how to react. 05 12c 04 XX

I have to keep reminding myself of all the reasons that I don’t want him back. 05 12c 08 XX

My husband is coming to see me today but I don’t feel much about it — a little concerned maybe. When he arrived I was shaking, I had to pin my hands down to stop them shaking.
05 12c 16 XX

Constant chaos of thoughts about my husband. 05 12c 19 XX

Great confusion as to what I want, how should I react, how do I want to react? 05 12c 19 XX

Great desire for strong male, but know I’m drawn to weedy men. 05 12c 19 XX

I feel so many opposites, independent and strong, yet weak and needy. 05 12c 19 XX

Anxiety including Claustrophobia

Woke up with a start early in the morning and thought I heard a child calling me — got up to see but he was fast asleep (the child was 12 years old and hadn’t done that for years).
05 12c 04 XX

Feeling claustrophobic with other people including the family. 05 12c 04 XX

While in company felt uneasy that an argument would start. 07 12c 04 XX

Began feeling bad as I thought about father’s arthritis problem, and it seemed as if I was feeling his pain.
07 12c 05 XX

Feeling anxious and overwhelmed about the amount of things I have to do. 07 12c 07 XX

Suddenly I experienced a flashback to when I went caving and felt claustrophobic, I recalled feeling really panicky.
07 12c 07 XX

Also I felt as if I was taking out of nervousness and panic. 07 12c 07 XX

Feel quite intense about life. 07 12c 09 XX

Heard noises and thought about the unknown, felt unnerved and paranoid. 07 12c 14 XX

Feeling like PMT, ungrounded, mind not still. 07 12c 17 XX

Fastidiousness

Had to stay active today even though I was dead tired. Everything must be in its right place. Everything must be just right. Clean and tidy.
03 30c 02 XX

Felt compelled to keep doing things. 03 30c 03 XX

Sensations

Drugrush feeling, like a wave. 01 30c 01 14.00

Sensation of feeling clear and sharp. 01 30c 03 XX

Shoulders very hot to touch — too hot to touch, but cold extremities. 01 30c 00 22.00

Sensation seeing an image of the remedy out of the corner of my eye. 03 30c 05 XX

Spikes growing out of me — like hedgehog prickles.
04 6c 03 XX

Feelings of waves of violent frustration, like waves breaking on the seashore breaking but building again.
04 6c 01 19.45

Feeling barbed and cutting on physical and mental levels. 04 6c 01 15.30

Head

Frontal headache between eyes and above eyebrows, slight. 01 30c 04 XX
05 XX

Ache like a band over the eyes with tiredness. 01 30c 05 XX

Headache — moves from hairline to just over left eye. 03 30c 00 10.00

Slight headache high on left of forehead, dull ache. 03 30c 01 0730

Headache — high over left eye, throbbing > sleep. 03 30c 05 XX

Headache across hairline pressure, < moving, bending forward, thinking about it, and listening to others. Throbbing and dull. Gets worse during the day.
03 30c 08 XX

Headache < bottom of neck, across whole forehead, left side. Dull throbbing. 03 30c 09 XX

Forehead with ache hot to touch. 04 6c 01 17.10

Headache ear to ear, over head, moving to front across forehead. Dull ache. 05 12c 06 XX

Headache across forehead, dull ache 1 p.m. 05 12c 08 XX

Pain above left eyebrow — bruise sensation. 06 6c 01 07.00

Headache moves from back left to front right, < walking and travelling on bus. 07 12c 02 16.00

Tingling left side of head. 07 12c 02 22.00

Vertigo

Weak and giddy.
03 30c 01 13.30

Light headed, worse bending down. 06 6c 01 15.30

Light headed, < a little alcohol. 06 6c 07 XX Eyes and Vision Vision very clear, colours very bright and vibrant, very alive. 01 30c 00 12.00 03 XX 07 XX Eyes pink-rimmed. 01 30c 01 09.10 Eyes feel gritty and watery. 03 30c 03 XX Eyes burning, stinging and smarting as if smoke in them. 03 30c 04 XX Difficulty raising lids, as if weighted down. 03 30c 05 XX Vision worse, especially in dim light. 04 6c 01 16.00 Strange heavy feeling over eyebrows. 05 12c 00 all day Sensation, when shutting eyes — strange pressing feeling on insides of eye socket, along the nose bridge. > opening the eyes, < shutting the eyes.

05 12c 01 17.00

Heaviness in eyebrows. 05 12c 03 XX

Heaviness in eyebrows and sensation on the inside of the eye, < concentration. 05 12c 04 XX

Sensitive to light.
05 12c 05 XX
08 XX

Face

Extra hairs on face, and white hairs in eyebrows. 01 30c 06 XX

Looking haggard, lined and aged. 03 30c 02 XX

Itchiness on face, feels like a hedgehog, spine side up. 04 6c 00 18.30

Neuralgic pain, left cheek bone and left neck up to ear. 06 6c 01 17.30

Clenched jaw, pain moves to neck then to head. 07 12c 02 XX

Nose

Runny nose with phlegmy chest. 01 30c 07 XX

Sense of smell heightened.
3 30c 00 all day

Blocked nose, runny inside, crusty outside — left sided. 03 30c 02 XX

Left nostril runny, crusty at edge. 03 30c 02 XX

Nose feels thicker and wider at bridge on waking. 03 30c 02 XX

Pale green discharge — copious. 03 30c 04 XX

Acute sense of smell, sense of smell heightened.
4 6c 02 XX

Sensitive to bad smells, e.g. cigarette smoke — causes nausea.
04 6c 02 XX

Ears

High pitched whistling sound, left ear, with nausea. 04 6c 00 00.30

Dull ache in ears.
05 12c 05 XX

Shooting pain in left ear.
06 6c 01 regularly

Popping in right ear.
07 12c 02 22.00

Burning sensation (like cigarette) on end of ear. 07 12c 04 XX

Sensation something coming out of ear. 07 12c 05 XX

Mouth

Yawning a lot.
03 30c 00 02.00

Tongue feels stuck to roof of mouth, with thirst. 03 30c 00 06.00

Tongue coated yellow/orange, dotted towards back. 03 30c 01 09.10

Mouth stale tasting.
03 30c 01 09.10

Burning lips.
03 30c 02 XX

Tingling lips (stinging), < 9a.m. — 10a.m. 03 30c 09 XX

Numbness of lips with tingling. 04 6c 00 08.00

Toothache, left sided, lower jaw, < chewing.
06 6c 00 all day

Throat

Sore throat and cough. 01 30c 04 XX

Throat swelling on eating pine nuts followed by violent vomiting. 01 30c 10 XX

Right sided sore throat going up into ear. 03 30c 01 18.50

Sore throat, < swallowing and yawning. 03 30c 02 XX Dry rough throat, worse in evening 8-9.30, and empty swallowing, >> cold drinks and
> eating.
03 30c 03 XX

Voice hoarse, < 6-7p.m. 03 30c 03 XX

Sore throat, dry like sandpaper, pain passing to both ears, < swallowing, moving tongue and yawning.
03 30c 04 XX

Croaky voice.
03 30c 04 XX

Voice fades completely, < weeping. 03 30c 04 XX Lump in throat, not removed by swallowing. 04 6c 00 04.00 Burning at back of throat, > for hot or cold drink and eating tangerines. 05 12c 11 XX

Very sore burning throat. 05 12c 13 XX

Throat burning and rough. 05 12c 14 XX

Throat burning, very sore. 05 12c 15 XX

Sore throat, slight.
06 6c 01 08.00

Burning sensation, like a burning needle on the right side. 07 12c 04 XX

Stomach

Nausea with faintness, in waves. 01 30c 05 XX
11 XX

Violent vomiting, brought on by pine nuts, with violent abdominal pain, bloated and gripey. Shivering and unwell for 6 hours.
01 30c 10 XX

Nausea with thirst,

Nausea on walking, eating but returns quickly. 04 6c 00 20.00

Nausea, starting in solar plexus and rising to back of throat, no desire to vomit.
> eating.
05 12c 12 XX

Nausea, like seasickness, with runny nose. 07 12c 02 XX

Nausea with dizziness when smoking cigarette. 07 12c 04 XX

Chest and Respiratory

Feeling of a weight on the chest. 01 30c 00 17.30

Tight chest.
01 30c 01 all day Phlegmy chest with runny nose.

Chest wheezing.
01 30c 08 XX

Chest crackly and wheezy. 01 30c 10 XX

Cough, < night, expectoration bubbly and yellow/green. 03 30c 01 09.10

Cough, < 7-8a.m.
03 30c 02 XX

Cough with dribbling urination. 03 30c 02 XX

Cough, < 1-2a.m., >sipping cold water, dribbling urine. 03 30c 04 XX

Shortness of breath.
04 6c 00 all day

Cough in morning, loose.
04 6c 03 XX

Tight, hot feeling in chest.
06 6c 01 all day.

Pain, sore and bruised feeling, lower half of right breast, and bottom half of right shoulder-blade, < bending forward.
06 6c 04 XX

Burning, tight feeling in chest.
06 6c 04 XX

Abdomen

Very flatulent.

01 30c 06 XX
07 XX
10 XX

Tension building in solar plexus, in waves. 04 6c 01 15.00

Feeling of nausea starting in solar plexus, rising to the back of the throat. 05 12c 12 XX

Pain just below waist, left hand side.
06 6c 03 XX
06 XX

Cramps in abdomen.
06 6c 04 XX

Rectum

Gripey feeling in bowels when need to go, and have to go immediately.

01 30c 04 XX
05 XX
06 XX

Stool small and knotty — desire to go but feeling unfinished. 05 12c 17 XX

Urinary

Profuse urination at night, frequent visits (six times), each time large volume. 01 30c 02 XX

Loss of urine on coughing. 03 30c 03 XX

Profuse urination.
03 30c 03 XX

Sensation of wetting oneself when not doing so. 03 30c 05 XX

Skin

Prickliness all over body, < on back. 04 6c 00 01.00

Prickliness on skin between shoulder blades and kidneys to left of spinal column.
04 6c 03 XX

Skin feels as if hedgehog spikes sticking out.
04 6c 03 XX

Night sweats, scalp and nape of neck.
04 6c 04 XX

Dry skin on hands.
05 12c 08 XX

Female

Pain in left Fallopian tube. 01 30c 01 12.00
02 23.00

Alternation of pains, left and right ovaries. 01 30c 03 XX

Irritability pre-menstrually. 01 30c 04 XX

Early menses (23 days). 01 30c 09 XX

Menses lighter than usual, dull ache behind pelvic bone. 03 30c 05 XX

Shorter and lighter menses, less than 3 days. 03 30c 07 XX

Bleeding stops and starts again, heavy second time with ache in lower back. Stopped suddenly same day.
03 30c 07 XX

Unable to sleep after sex. 03 30c 09 XX

Sexual desire manifested as vaginal ache. 05 12c 09 XX

Extremities and Back

Neck and Shoulders

Prickly feeling on skin, between shoulder blades, left of spine.
04 6c 03 XX

Shoulder pain, < moving arms backward. 07 12c 02 XX Intense, sharp, needle-like pain at base of neck — shooting sideways at top of shoulder, > when upright or moving. 03 30c 06 XX

Ache, left scapula down to left lumbar region. 05 12c 01 07.30

Bruised feeling across shoulder blades and back, < leaning against cushion. 06 6c 04 XX Arms Numbness in hands. 01 30c 01 12.00 Pain, left upper arm (breast and back), very severe. 01 30c 01 12.00 Right forearm tender to touch, like a pulled muscle. 03 30c 02 XX Pain in right wrist, tender to touch, like a pulled muscle. 03 30c 04 XX Arms feel heavy on waking. 03 30c 04 XX Left arm feels heavy on waking. 03 30c 05 XX Tic in upper right arm, outside, stopping and starting — lasts one minute, stops one minute. 03 30c 06 XX Swelling, both hands, between first two knuckles, worse on the right, itchy. 03 30c 07 XX Joint pain, left hand, joint next to fingertip, second finger, worse bending. 04 6c 01 01.00 Very cold fingers, bright yellow, and numb to the knuckle, worse left hand. 05 12c 29 XX Glands on left arm — dull pain. 06 6c 01 17.30 Pain in wrist. 07 12c 03 XX Burning pain in wrist. 07 12c 04 XX Legs Sciatica down back of both legs with difficulty bending. 01 30c 07 XX Aching inside right knee. 03 30c 01 09.10 Sciatic pain right leg. 04 6c 02 XX Cramp pains in calves at night in bed, > for movement.

04 6c 03 XX
04 XX

Tremors left leg.
07 12c 02 XX

Empty feeling in legs. 07 12c 07 XX

Spine

Shivers up and down spine. 07 12c 02 XX

Skin

Prickliness all over body but worse on the back. 04 6c 00 01.00

Prickliness on shoulder blades between shoulderblades and kidneys to left of spine.

04 6c 03 XX

Skin feels as if hedgehog spikes sticking out.
04 6c 03 XX

Dry skin on hands.
05 12c 08 XX

Appetite

Forgetting to eat.
03 30c 00 14.10

Indifference to food.

03 30c 01 09.10
01 20.15

Appetite poor.
03 30c 06 XX

Thirst

Very thirsty wanting water.
01 sup 01 all day — very unusual

Nausea after drinking. 03 30c 00 14.10

Parched, tongue sticking to roof of mouth. 03 30c 00 18.00

Thirst for hot drinks.
06 6c 01 all day

Very thirsty in mouth and body, felt dehydrated. 07 12c 07 XX

Sleep

Slept badly, lots of dreams, woke with a start about ten times. 01 30c 02 XX

Got up to urinate six times during night — copious each time. 01 30c 02 XX

Woke feeling frightened, unsure whether what I was seeing/doing was reality. 01 30c 02 XX

Tired on waking, but slept well. 01 30c 05 XX

Good sleep.
03 30c 00 all night

Sleep disturbed by coughing.
3 30c 01 all night

Restless sleep.
03 30c 02 XX
03 XX
5 XX
6 XX
7 XX

Alert on waking and cheerful. 03 30c 02 XX

Broken sleep, waking at 3.30 a.m. and 6.00 a.m. 03 30c 02 XX
03 XX

On waking, difficulty opening eyes. 03 30c 03 XX

On waking, arms feel heavy. 03 30c 04 XX

On waking, giddiness and nausea. 03 30c 04 XX

Jerking awake with violence after restless night. 03 30c 05 XX

Waking feeling heavy and tired. 03 30c 05 XX

Waking feeling nauseous, < moving, > eating . 03 30c 06 XX

Waking with extreme thirst, parched, > for rising from bed. 03 30c 07 XX

Turning in sleep, waking feeling nauseous. 03 30c 10 XX

Waking with extreme dryness, especially back of throat, > sipping water. Also nausea and faintness
03 30c 11 XX

Tired on waking.
04 6c 01 07.00

Slept on, woke at 10.30 a.m. 05 12c 01 XX

Woke with a start, thinking child was calling (not real). 05 12c 04 XX

Sleep broken many times. 05 12c 12 XX

Poor sleep, waking with a start a few times in the night. 05 12c 15 XX

Tense and vague on waking. 07 12c 06 XX

Generals

Cold fingers, white.
01 30c 07 XX

Very chilly — need thermal vest in bed. 01 30c 07 XX

Chilliness.
03 30c 03 XX

Night sweats on scalp and nape of neck.
4 6c 03 XX

Lacking energy.
05 12c 06 XX

Better outside and for exertion. 05 12c 06 XX

Hot flush, quite gentle. 05 12c 12 XX

Decided to stop smoking, due to nausea. 05 12c 13 XX

Plenty of energy even though sleep is poor. 05 12c 20 XX

Hot flush, < alcohol. 05 12c 21 XX

Feeling uncoordinated. 05 12c 21 XX

Feeling very very tired, spacey feeling. 05 12c 29 XX

Flushes of heat day and night, cold feeling after flush, < hot drink or food.
06 6c 00 all day, all night.

Energy good.
06 6c 00 all day

Very tired, cold hands and feet, worse on left side. 06 6c 01 16.00

Low energy.
06 6c 01 all day

Hot flushes with weakness.
06 6c 01 all day

Hot flushes, very weakening, need to sit down.
06 6c 02 XX

Low energy and stamina, weak legs.
06 6c 02 XX

Feeling very cold in between hot flushes.
06 6c 02 XX

Hot flushes, many at night, long lasting, hot with perspiration.
06 6c 03 XX

Very cold.
07 12c 01 11.20

Dreams

Travelling

It was my usual busy dream. I was in the car with my family — not driving, which is unusual. I was desperate to get out of the car and “sort” something in the boot. I was hysterical and said if he didn’t stop, I would jump out of the window. It was very extreme.
01 30c 10 XX

I was driving a car whilst out with a group of sophisticated young people. As I drove, the square high buildings on my right turned blood red, as I drove by. We were driving to some protest, a feeling of urgency.
03 30c 08 XX

I can remember walking across a field and hearing the sound of a vehicle — it must be a farmer — but its too far for me to get out of sight — I don’t like to be seen by the farmer in the field. Anyway its not the farmer — its someone else I know but I can’t remember now. He/she gives me a lift and I end up in a strange town but its one I know from somewhere. In the dream its my own town but not in real life. Its night time and I have to get home.
05 12c 04 XX

Dreamt I was abroad — couldn’t get to where I wanted to go — could see where I wanted to go but couldn’t get to it, could never find the entrance. Felt frustrated.
06 6c 03 XX

A friend gave me a spin on the front of her bike. I was in a great hurry to get somewhere, another friend was walking along the road and wished me “happy birthday”. I had a strange feeling when I saw her because I felt as though I had told her I would be elsewhere that day — it felt that I had lied to her. We were travelling very quickly down a hill and when my friend came off the bike, she said she had to rush to the hairdresser’s and asked me to park her bike. As she left I had this strong feeling that I didn’t trust her and as I parked her bike by the wall, I saw this vibrant purple coloured rose and was totally in awe of it, next to it was a spider on a web.
07 12c 00 XX

I dreamt I was trying to climb across a double ditch — in between there was water and I was really trying to get to the other side. I eventually caught on to apiece of tree and pulled myself across. Then I decided to go into my neighbour’s house as I knew they would be away so I could go there and be alone. When I went into the house I looked through the window and I could see my neighbour’s house in the distance.
07 12c 03 XX

I dreamt that a friend of my sister asked if he could borrow her new car. We followed behind. A short time later, we noticed the car coming towards us with no driver in it. 07 12c 04 XX

I dreamt I was in the USA with my friend and I was going on a bus to where my friend worked. Suddenly when I saw my friend’s company I realised it was cut out of limestone or granite.
07 12c 09 XX

Inexplicable Beginnings and Endings

I was in the countryside — a very remote area — and was talking to some friends. On hearing a noise, I turned round and saw a train travelling at top speed right in my direction. My thoughts were, how can it possibly happen that a train could be powering along my path in the middle of nowhere without a train track. My feelings were that this must be timely because the odds of such a thing happening must be very great.
07 12c 00 XX

I was in a room and I could see a stream meandering and I was wondering where it was coming from, and as I looked it seemed to have no source.
07 12c 05 XX

Saw a new moon and realised it was time for new projects. In the dream I knew it wasn’t a new moon.
07 12c 16 XX

Discord in Relationships

My proving supervisor came in with some other students and I just let fly at her — really shouting at her.
03 30c 04 XX

A very futuristic dream. I was being pursued in an elevator in a posh hotel on holiday. I was holding down a man from work and feeling murderous, squeezing his testicles and choking him.
03 30c 04 XX

My friends were irritated by me, I was apologetic. 03 30c 06 XX

A wonderful technicolour dream — complex — in the end, in a temple, an old man was taking me to see the monks on an island. We are nearly there, but then an alarm went off. In my dream I shouted “no!” and I knew I had lost my chance.
03 30c 10 XX

Some semi-precious stones were laid out in a ring in a precise way by a woman who was putting them on display. She spent a lot of time and energy doing this, then someone came along and kicked them over.
07 12c 12 XX

I was at work and one of the staff, a friend, came over and asked if I had noticed that she had taken the drug ecstasy. I told her that it looked obvious by her facial expressions. I told her that the boss and customers would easily notice. The end of the dream was confused but I do remember this feeling of lies and deceit.
07 12c 15 XX

A friend told me that he thought he had fleas and said that I was the only person along with his best friend who knew this. He asked us both not to tell anyone. Shortly after this I met someone in the street who told me he knew about the friend who had fleas and I could not understand how his best friend could betray him.
07 12c 15 XX

Revulsion

I dreamt last night about snakes. As a child I used to have recurrent nightmares about snakes and I was terrified. These snakes made me feel “ugh” but I was rationalising within the dream. I wasn’t frightened of them — I felt disgusted. The dream also involved me taking Bryonia.
01 30c 04 XX

I went into a lavatory cubicle and stretched to close a window and brushed against the toilet bowl. It was covered in red orange vomit. From the knees down I was covered in it. I cleaned it off with damp tissue and then wanted to wash my hands. The cloakroom attendant had a lovely display of blue soaps and washing things but they were only for display. Then some kind person gave me a bar of soap. The delay meant I lost my bus. I was in a strange place and I didn’t know what to do.
06 6c 09 XX

Sexy

I dreamt about someone I set up a bookshop with about thirteen years ago. It wasn’t a sexual dream but it was physical. It gives me a “warm” feeling when I think of it “lovely”.
03 30c 05 XX

I was somewhere with a lot of people and my ex-partner came wandering in, but he didn’t have any trousers on, but then I noticed that he had a huge erection and was trying to cover it up by carrying things. Other women noticed and started looking. I was thinking to myself that that was what I had been ignoring for ages, i.e. I could have had this if I had wanted it. Then the person I was with, male, asked what everyone was looking at. I told him and said “but that doesn’t interest me” and he went off outside to have sex. But it was muddy and prickly and there were lots of people.
05 12c 07 XX

My husband and I were in bed together having intercourse but we were not supposed to be there as my husband was now in another relationship.
06 6c 09 XX

Rules

I was by the seafront and a young girl was telling me that she worked in a pub and she said “can you believe that there are so many rules where I work, and believe it or not, but Rule 15 says that you can’t wear red shoes”. She seemed really aggrieved by this plus she was wearing red shoes.
007 12c 03 XX

I was in the pub with some friends and we managed to get some after-hours drinks. Suddenly the police arrived and we were taken to the police station for questioning. I was walking in front of my friend thinking that we were going to be questioned together. The policeman opened a door into a room I was in and then the door closed. I was shocked by this as I felt tricked and isolated from my friends. He took my fingerprints and I got worried that I would get a criminal record and not be able to work again. I felt like fleeing the country.
007 12c 05 XX

I was having a homoeopathic consultation and then my brother walked into the room and asked me to make him a cup of tea. I asked the homoeopath if this was OK and she said ‘fine’. Later, again, I asked her if she really did mind my brother disturbing us, and she looked at me as if to say that I should stop double checking on things. I told her that her staring made me feel paranoid. I did have a feeling about the space being invaded so casually.
07 12c 05 XX

It seemed as though I was watching a film about an interview about an incestuous relationship between a brother and a sister. The brother made a statement saying that people should not judge so harshly how and who people love, if there is free will involved from both parties.
07 12c 06 XX

Ghosts and Visions

My dreams were about shapes. One was odd and I woke with a start. It was like an open lift going down and suddenly something jumped out at the top as it was going down. It seemed like an energy, a spirit.
01 30c 03 XX

Vision of red/pink worms, more thin larvae type with black on uppermost points, not the garden worm, more microscopic.
05 12c 01 XX

Dreamt of ghost voices calling in our home — worse on Friday nights. Frightened at first but not left frightened because ghosts were only looking for help.
06 6c 03 XX

There were sets of eyes looking at me and one of them was a pair of cat’s eyes. 07 12c 05 XX

Money

While at work I collected some food that was going to be thrown out, to give to some animals so as not to waste it. Suddenly, the staff started offering me shampoo and left-over drinks. I realised that people at work thought I was poor. I realised they thought the food was for me.
07 12c 05 XX

Somebody offered me some LSD. I became a little panicky because of the idea of being out of control. I really didn’t want to take it because I felt physically and emotionally exhausted. There was also a money issue so I checked my purse to see if I could afford it and I had this fear that I would end up poverty stricken.
007 12c09 XX

There was a raffle happening and the prizes for this raffle were really valuable (i.e. second and third prizes). Then first prize was announced and it was a pig. Suddenly I began to wonder why, all of a sudden, did people think pigs were so valuable and precious.
007 12c 12 XX

Dreamt that I’d left my purse somewhere in a crowded room. I went on a desperate search to find it and had this terrible fear of not finding it and worrying about what I would do if all my money was lost.
007 12c 23 XX

Miscellaneous

Lots of shapes, rather gothic. Oblong blocks of ice were falling off a car roof (it was sliding). Usually I dream about myself and people.
01 30c 03 XX

Dreamt a lot about the family but especially my dad (dead 15 years). I woke up thinking that I was forgetting something very very important that he had told me. 03 30c 08 XX

Dreamt about my dad. His face was young. I woke knowing that I had had a beautiful dream.
03 30c 12 XX

About my dad again — he was ill but I am happy to be dreaming about him — usually I don’t.
03 30c 13 XX

Kept seeing someone cycling along a suburban cycleway. I was trying to work out who it was, but could never see properly. He had a lot of thick dark hair over the front of his face but I never caught the face properly. It stayed with me all day.
05 12c 17 XX

Dreamt my cat had kittens. 05 12c 30 XX

I was running through a field of daisies and up ahead were extremely bright thistles. 07 12c 00 XX

A young girl came out of a university dressed very brightly and dashed across the street to tell me something. Then she said she had to go and did everything in reverse. She crossed over the road facing backwards and spoke to her friend with her back turned.
07 12c 00 XX

I dreamt that I got out of bed to see if I had any physical symptoms showing. I noticed I had a rash on my nose — the shape looked like an ancient symbol and I thought that this rash must be very creative. Then I saw that my arms were covered in red stripes and wondered if the proving was zebra.
07 12c 01 XX

I dreamt that some Japanese people asked me to do an ad for TV and I was really impressed and happy, but only for the fame of the proposition.
07 12c 03 XX

I dreamt about fame, can’t remember the details. 07 12c 05 XX

I came across a group of people who were all singing a song in a foreign language, (i.e. a language they were all unfamiliar with), and it sounded really harmonious. 07 12c 11 XX

People were stealing unusual plants, birds and bees from ditches. I said “hello” as I walked past these people and the woman threatened me. She told me she was the sister of a friend of mine and I wondered where she had been hiding.
07 12c 11 XX

Dreamt that I met other people who were doing the proving. One of the provers showed me her journal, and all of her symptoms were shown in an animated form. One symptom I saw was of a woman crossing a stream and I thought “I’ve had that dream”. Then she told me that the one thing that stood out in her proving was this definite feeling of being cold at 9 a.m.
07 12c 14 XX

These are a dream and a vision by a SUPERVISOR which bring out two strong aspects of Bracken.
Vision: I had this feeling of weird creatures with long flamingo legs but with half- animal half-human bodies. The animal was winged. The legs were white and the body was pink. They were running up and down the stairs outside our room. I’m usually comfortable with the dark but had to sleep holding my husband’s hand.
Supervisor 01 07 XX

Dream: My friend and I had been to a homoeopathy class in the middle of a city. We were coming out of the building and the top floor of the building next to ours exploded into flames. I remember saying, “its all right, its only that building”. Then the building we had been in rapidly caught fire and all the buildings around started to catch fire. I remember shouting “run!”. We ran as fast as we could looking for somewhere to get out of danger. WE found public toilets that were under ground. I knew the fire was going to ravish everything above and we would be safe under ground. Inside the toilets were very calm ‘women nurses’ dressed in light blue uniforms — the seemed to be almost counselling us. One was talking to my friend who suddenly shouted “I need to go to the toilet — no! no!, I can’t go!” She was really agitated. I also remember looking at a dripping, leaking pipe — looking for a gap to perhaps see what was happening outside. People around us were getting upset. I had forgotten or mislaid my homoeopathic first aid box. I was asking lots of people if they had their remedies. Someone gave me a box but the remedies looked as if they were in long pens. They looked more like herbal preparations but I was relieved that I had them. Then I noticed all the names were slightly different and not what I thought they would be.
Supervisor 01 10 XX

Placebo

02 recorded the following symptoms:

Positive Feelings

Feeling very positive, sense of well-being and fun, euphoric, confident, strong, invincible, feeling very efficient, getting things done, ebullient.

Negative feelings

Unsympathetic, impatient but feeling good oneself, disagreeing strongly, less confident, isolated, sadness, heavy, desire to avoid heavy people, indifference, irritability in the evening, moody, changeable, detached, non-emotional, panic on waking.

Eyes

Everything felt sharp and well-defined.

Nose

Blocked on waking.

Throat

Sore on left, worse swallowing.

Stool

Stool forked and knotty, sore anus, flatulent. For three days stool was knotty and orange brown and for two days stool immediately on waking.

Sex

Initiated sex and switched off completely in the middle after hard touch. Gave no explanation. Lack of interest in sex (twice).

Back

Stiffness on getting up, worse in morning.

Appetite

Good, but desire for beer and milky drinks (unusual).

Sleep

Restless, or like the dead.

Results of Collation

I set up collation pages for each part of the body before receiving the provers’ note books. At the end of collation, I noticed that three pages were without symptoms. These were:

(a) HEART

(b) FEARS (there were anxieties with claustrophobia but not fears were recorded).

(c) MALE (but is this lack of male provers?)

So is this a heartless, fearless remedy that does not like being closed in?

The strongest mental/emotional symptoms were:

DEPRESSION — All provers experienced this. It was not serious or deep, more like misery, gloominess, joylessness.

DETACHMENT — Five out of six provers experienced this.

IRRITABILITY — Three out of six provers became irritable, linked with the detachment. One prover experienced EXTREMELY VIOLENT feelings (the only male prover).

CONCENTRATION DIFFICULTIES — Five out of six had this problem. APATHY — Only two experienced this feeling.
LOQUACITY — Shown by two provers.

CLARIFICATION — Four provers felt there were strong issues here. This was highlighted at the end-of-proving meeting. Some felt they had improved eyesight as well as ‘seeing things more clearly’ with regard to issues and decisions. Provers 01, 05 and 07 said that they felt more clearly what had to be done in their lives and were more decisive about their actions. They had not realised this as a symptom during the proving but were very aware of it with hindsight.

The positive feeling s during the proving range from cheerfulness, happy, bright, to calm, relaxed, content and peaceful.

On the physical side, Bracken might well prove to be a useful remedy for:

(1) Nausea, but in time it may well prove to be useful for gut cancer as shown by its toxicology.

(2) Dim Vision

(3) Very painful sore throats (possibly throat and oesophageal cancer?)

(4) Coughing and Wheezing

(5) Altered menstrual cycles

(6) Sciatica, cramps, pains in wrists , shoulders.

(7) Hot flushing, night sweats. (Menopause?)

(8) Restless sleep, waking a start or feeling unrefreshed.

(9) Chilliness.

(10) Low energy.

(11) Ovulation pain.

I look to the flower essence from the Bailey range in order to GUESS at the aetiology of bracken pathology in an individual. He says that the essence is needed by a person ‘where the intuitive sensitivity was blocked in childhood, resulting in a fear of the intuitive side of one’s nature’. I feel this fits in with bracken’s history — those millions of years of struggle, never getting enough space and light, and then when it finally does get its needs met, it is ruthlessly protective of itself — from being eaten, burnt, cut down etc. It does not waste much time or energy on reproducing, it puts its energy into territorial gain and wiping out the opposition. Bracken is not a sensual remedy. So, I guess there will be a history of dominance or abuse resulting in a sense of separation from others and a selfishness and callousness which can become extremely irritable, even violent, if not murderous. However, I feel that there are many more subtle expressions of detachment than violence in the remedy. Most provers seemed to become more assertive and able to protect themselves in difficult circumstances.

On Reflection

I have not done this remedy justice by having only six provers. I am sure that by taking a wider spectrum of people with more varied constitutions (particularly more men), far more symptoms would have been revealed. The only male prover had the most extreme symptoms and only received the 6c potency as had the prover 06 (female) who reported mainly positive and mild changes.

I am mystified why the remedy ran down so quickly in so many provers. Prover 05 was still writing symptoms at 30 days but had not written much in the previous week. Most provers had finished within 3 weeks.

I am now so full of admiration for all those “old timers”, Hahneman, Kent, Clarke, Phatak etc. who somehow, over the years, so diligently and conscientiously compiled the vast array of curative knowledge we have available to us. A proving does not create a remedy — it is only one step on the road. Only cured cases will really reveal the true power of the remedy.

I am also amazed how many erudite people have spent their entire lives studying Bracken, that they are known as Brackenologists, there are international Bracken Conferences, great tomes are written all over the world on Bracken, and yet, it still increases the percentage of land upon which it encroaches each year.

In fact, I find it a bit like Homo Sapiens — the only animal which exists everywhere on the planet, which destroys diversity, with only one species in the genus, and appears indomitable. So when it comes to treating ‘like with like’, maybe everyone will need a dose of homoeopathic Bracken. But this is just a pipedream.

Carrying out this project has been a most rewarding experience. It has almost consumed my thoughts for the past year and given me endless interest and pleasure, even the low spots have enlightened me. I would not have missed it for the world. Provers deserve medals but all I can offer is my heartfelt thanks to them and to their supervisors.

I have supposedly finished my project, but as time passes, I can’t dissociate myself from Bracken — I still keep thinking about its central theme and finally (I think) this is what I believe:-

There will be big issues around being overwhelmed and being overwhelming. The rage is overwhelming, the person is overwhelmed with rage, nausea is an overwhelming feeling, cancer is a disease which “takes over”. Things come in waves, waves of nausea, waves of rage. Waves are overwhelming.

Also, Bracken, with its aversion to diversity seems like a cancer on the “skin” of the planet and the best method of control is reforestation which is a holistic method of healing the ailing planet, bringing with it diversity, undisturbed soil, more oxygen, less carbon dioxide.

So Bracken is not just a thing, it is a ‘keynote’ in the diagnosis of the ailing planet. It is an OK plant on an OK planet. Indicator species are used in biology to ascertain the health of an environment, e.g. fresh water — certain species such as mayfly larvae will only survive in clean, well oxygenated , unpolluted water and other species are reduced in number, e.g. bloodworms. On the other hand, in polluted waters, low in oxygen, blood worms are prolific but mayfly larvae will be absent.

A healthy planet, where there is harmony, has natural cycles in balance (i.e. the nitrogen, carbon, oxygen, mineral cycles), it has a thick coating of forest, tropical, deciduous, coniferous, and a complete skin of varied photosynthetic plankton in the sea. Man has removed vast areas of forest world-wide (in Europe, most of the deciduous forests went into building ships, each ship taking about 600 oaks). This, coupled with industrialisation and agricultural practice, has strained the natural cycles upon which all life depends.

So, Bracken is an indicator species that things are not OK when it is growing rampantly. The world’s “immune” system is strained. Cancer breaks out in an individual when the immune system is weakened. In a healthy person, cancer cells regularly being formed but the T-cells in the immune system normally remove them as they arise. Cancer as a disease takes over only when the immune system is impaired.

The essence of Bracken might heal the disease that the material Bracken causes and the planet will begin its recovery when Bracken is checked by reforestation.

Bibliography

The Dynamics and Methodologies of Homoeopathic Provings. Jeremy Sherr (1994) Organon of Medicine, 6th Edition. Hahnemann (1994)
Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy. J.T. Kent (1995) A Modern Herbal Mrs M. Grieve (1994)
Bracken Conference at Leeds University. J.A.Taylor & R.T. Smith (1986) Poisonous Plants and Fungi, an Illustrated Guide. MAFF. (1996)
I also had access to some veterinarian toxicology but cannot get the names of the books or authors.

Britain’s Green Mantle. Tansley (1949) Biology. Wessell & Hopson (1995) Understanding Biology. Toole & Toole (1993)
Biology Principles and Processes Roberts, Reiss & Monger (1995) Advanced Biology Simpkins & Williams (1996)
Larousse Dictionary of Science and Technology. (1995) Dictionary of Science. Hutchinson (1996)
Concise Dictionary of Science. OUP (1994)

Instructions to Provers

Dear Prover,

Thank you very much for taking part in this proving. I’m sure you will find you will benefit from this exercise in many ways.

1. Before the Proving:

You will by now have received a note book in which you should record your experiences during the complete proving period.

Your supervisor will contact you before you begin the proving to take your case, answer any questions and to schedule a start date and a daily contact time.

2. Beginning the Proving:

Record your symptoms daily in your note book prior to taking the remedy. This will help you get into the habit of observing and recording your symptoms, as well as bringing you into contact with your normal state.

3. Taking the Remedy:

Begin taking the remedy on the day agreed by you and your supervisor. Record the time that you take each dose. Time keeping is an important element of the proving.

The remedy should be taken on an empty stomach and with a clean mouth. Neither food nor drink should be taken for half an hour before and after taking the remedy. The remedy should not be taken for more than 3 doses a day for 2 days (6 tablets maximum).

In the event that you experience symptoms or those around you observe any proving symptoms do not take any further doses of the remedy.

Proving Symptoms are:

(a) any new symptoms, i.e. symptoms you have never experienced before, or,
(b) any change or intensification of any existing symptom, or
(c) any strong return of an old symptom, i.e. a symptom you have not experienced for more than 1 year.

If in doubt phone your supervisor. Be on the safe side and do not take further doses. Experience has shown again and again that the proving symptoms usually begin very subtly, often before the prover recognises that the remedy has begun to act.

4. Lifestyle during the Proving:

Avoid all antidoting factors such as coffee, camphor and mints. If you normally use these substances, please stop taking them two weeks before , and for the duration of, the proving. Protect the tablets you are proving as you would any other remedy, including keeping them away from strong smelling substances.

A successful proving depends on you recognising and respecting the need for moderation in the following areas: work, alcohol, exercise and diet. Try to remain within your usual framework and to maintain your usual habits.

Avoid taking medication of any sort, especially antibiotics. vitamin or mineral supplements, herbal or homoeopathic remedies.

In the case of a medical or dental emergency, common sense should of course prevail. contact your doctor, dentist or local hospital as necessary. Please contact your supervisor or proving co-ordinator as soon as possible.

5. Confidentiality:

It is important for the quality and credibility of the proving that you discuss your symptoms only with your supervisor. Keep the details of your symptoms to yourself and do not discuss them with other provers.

Your privacy in all matters related to the proving will be fully respected.

6. Contact with your Supervisor:

Please phone your supervisor before you begin the proving and on a daily basis thereafter until you, your supervisor, and the proving co-ordinator agree that it is no longer necessary to maintain such close contact. As the proving progresses regular contact continues to be important but may be less frequent (2 or 3 times per week, then weekly).

If you have any doubts or questions about the proving, contact your supervisor.

7. Recording of Symptoms:

As far as possible try to classify each of your symptoms by making a notation,
in red, according to the following key in brackets next to each entry:

(RS) — Recent symptom, i.e. a symptom you are suffering from now, or have been suffering from in the last year.
(NS) — New symptom.
(OS) — Old Symptom. State when symptom occurred previously.
(AS) — Alteration in a present or old symptom. (e.g. used to be left side, now on right side).
(US) — An unusual symptom for you.

When you commence the proving record carefully, in your note book, any symptoms that arise, whether they are old or new, and the time they occurred. This should be done as vigilantly and as frequently as possible so that the record is made when the details are fresh in your memory. Make a note even if nothing happens.

Please start each day on a new page with the date noted at the top of each page. Also note which day of the proving it is. The day you took the first dose is day zero.

Please write neatly to facilitate the extraction process which is the next stage of the proving. Try to keep the notebook with you at all times.

Please be as precise as possible. Record in an accurate, detailed but brief manner your symptoms in your own language.

Information about location, sensation, modality, time and intensity is particularly important:

Location: Try to be accurate with your anatomical descriptions. Simple clear diagrams may help here. Be attentive to which side of the body is affected.
Sensation: Burning, dull, lancinating, shooting, stitching, etc.
Modality: Greater or less from weather, food, smells, dark, lying standing, light, people, etc. Try different things to see if they affect the symptom and record any changes.
Time: Note the time of onset of symptoms, and when they cease or alter. Is it generally before or after a particular time of day , and is this unusual for you? Intensity: Briefly describe the sensation and the effect of the symptom on you.

On a daily basis you should run through the following check list to ensure you have observed and recorded all your symptoms:

Mind Extremities
Head Urinary Organs
Eyes Genitalia
Ears Sex
Nose Temperature
Back Sleep
Respiratory System Dreams
Digestive System Generalities Skin

Please give full descriptions of dreams, and in particular note the general feeling or impression each dream left you with.

You may also wish to note the phase of the moon if you have symptoms which are affected by it.

Mental and emotional symptoms are important and sometimes difficult to describe — Please take special care in recording details of these.

Reports from friends and relatives can be very enlightening. Please include details of these if possible.

At the end of the proving please make a general summary. State how the proving affected you in general. Indicate how the experience affected your health.
Would you do another proving?

Please remember that detailed observation and concise, legible recording are crucial to the proving.

I am most grateful to you for participating in the proving and I hope you find it useful. At some point when the proving has been completed, we will all meet to discuss the experience.

Marie Geary

Notes on Supervision of Proving

Dear Supervisor,

Thank you for agreeing to take part in this proving. I appreciate very much your commitment of time and effort to what I hope will be another really useful remedy.

Below are some guidelines which I hope you will find helpful. A copy of instructions for provers is also attached, please read these carefully before passing them on.

If you find any of the guidelines or instructions unclear, or if you have any other concerns, please contact me on 01994-484580.

Notes for Supervisors

1 The proving will begin on 7th January 2000 and provers will start to take the remedy as near as possible to that date.
Please let me know the actual start date and time as soon as possible thereafter.

2. The prover’s case needs to be taken 1-2 weeks before the proving begins. This is essential so that symptoms from before and after the proving can be compared.
A ‘base line case’ may be taken if you wish. It is sufficient to cover the main outline and symptomatology rather than conducting a full first interview. The prover should be in relatively ‘good health’ and not be undergoing any current homoeopathic treatment.

3. The prover needs to start making notes of how they are feeling for a week or so before the start of proving, as practice.

4. The prover should take 3 of the tablets per day for 2 days. A few extra tablets have been included to cover the unlikely event of no symptoms developing during this time. The prover should stop taking the remedy once symptoms have started to occur. Most provers feel something after taking the first 3 tablets but are uncertain about it. Taking 3 more tablets after this is fine. Close supervision is important at this point as the prover may be uncertain as to whether anything has or has not happened. The prover ‘becomes the proving’ and therefore cannot actually perceive the changes occurring.
Once the prover has stopped taking the remedy they SHOULD NOT resume taking it under any circumstances.

5. Communication should be daily and can be by telephone. However, this can reduce the quality of the information and so it is advisable to have occasional face- to-face contact if possible. It is a good idea to agree on contact times and a schedule at the onset of the proving.
The supervisor should review all that the prover has written down each day, investigating each symptom with regard to location, sensation, modality, time and concomitants. In order to give a well rounded understanding, the meaning of each symptom should be explained, not only in terms of its appearance but also, where possible, the sensation that led to the function.
For example, “anxious, from a feeling that he had not achieved enough during the day.” If a person prays at the tail of their horse, it should be explained: why; and, if they are praying to God or to the horse!

i.e. Clarify — what do you mean? Verify — Are you sure?
Expound or enlarge — what did it feel like?

Mental states and dreams should be carefully reviewed.

Use the attached check list in reviewing the prover’s story and investigating the details.

6. It is particularly important that each symptom is designated one of the following categories:

(a) New symptom (NS) — never before experienced;
(b) Old symptom (OS) — occurred more than a year ago;
(c) Altered symptom (AS) — a normal symptom changed during proving.
e.g. usual headache on right temple moves to left temple;
(d) Recent symptom (RS) — experienced within the last year;
(e) Cured symptom (CS) — old or recent symptom no longer present.

Please make the abbreviations in RED.

As the symptoms abate, the frequency of contact can be reduced to every 2, then 3, then 7 days. When no symptoms have occurred for 3-4 weeks, the proving has finished.

7. As a supervisor you have been provided with a note book in which you are requested to enter all information you gather from the prover. (Provers have note books to record their own findings.)
Please start a NEW PAGE each day.
Please try to record the symptoms in THE PROVER’S OWN WORDS. Please record separately (at the back of the note book), any symptoms you experience whilst supervising as these may be reflections from the proving.

Check List

Use the following on a daily basis to ensure that you have included all the symptoms:

Mind Head Eyes Ears Nose Throat
Respiratory System
Digestive System — including appetite, thirst and stool Urinary system
Genitalia Sex
Skin Back
Extremities Sleep Dreams
Temperature and perspiration Generalities.

8. At some point when the proving has been completed, we will all meet to discuss the experience.

Thank you, I am most grateful!!

Marie Geary.

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