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Female Patient

Presenting Symptoms

Sciatica during pregnancy (28 weeks)

-         can’t deal with it

-         can’t roll over in bed

-         left hip extending to ankle

-         pain        – grabs – can’t move and can’t handle not moving

- must stop whatever she is doing

– must move into a less painful position

– pain catches you

- < having an argument with husband

Issues       - money as husband is very money oriented

- feels like she wants to run away

- always been a bit of a runner

Freedom    - always been a big issue

- go wandering on her own all the time

– wanted to go travelling

– been engaged three times before being married

– being her own boss

– do what she wants to do when she wants to do it

– doesn’t want to feel trapped

– has moved house a lot

– now she feels stuck

Has a short fuse – she counts to 3 instead of 10 when waiting for the children to do something.

Wants things done now or she smacks them.

Stuck with position (work), with family.

Feels she has more to do than her job.

Has her own car – has her freedom.

Pregnancy is a way of escaping from her job, but at the end of a pregnancy she goes stir-crazy because she cannot move, cannot do what she wants.

Husband is not very affectionate, so if she withdraws it there is none in the relationship.

Husband runs her down – she always gives in to him, always the peacemaker.

Inability to decide what she wants to do.

Feels she must do something really important with this life.

Feels she is running out of time, that the world is running out of time.

Feels she is wasting this life – has always achieved things before.

Something important is raising peoples’ consciousness, more tolerance, giving with your heart, leading by example, showing people a better way of living, making changes in someone else’s life.

She had a goal since childhood to be the first female prime minister, but she feels politics is full of lies and deceptions. ‘

She actually ran for public office once, put her heart and soul into it, but realised that in politics you have to compromise.

When she is angry, she slams doors, breaks into tears, gets really heated, rants and raves.

She expresses herself better when angry.

She is able to achieve her goals when angry, gets really focussed – “I’ll show them” attitude.

Pain - grabs really tight

-         feels like it will break

-         grasping, as if someone grabbed your arm really tight

-         spasmodic


Sensation (physical) is one of being grabbed, as if a hand had grabbed her.

Sensation (non-physical) is one of being stuck in her life, of being less than she could be (smaller).

Her reactions to this sensation are to feel caught (passive) and to want to get free (active), to keep moving , to be bigger than she is.

This leads us to the Cactaceae (cactus) family.

Miasm is represented by the desire to run, the need for freedom, the feeling of being trapped, the desire to travel, the desire to go wandering, and most importantly the feeling that she is running out of time.

This leads us to the Tubercular miasm.

The remedy that lies at the connecting point between the Cactaceae family and the Tubercular miasm is Cereus Bonplandii.

One of the key mental characteristics of Cer-b is the desire to be useful.

Quotes taken from a case by Dr. S. King:

“...doing big important political work.”

“ I want to make a contribution to something bigger than myself.”

“It is easier to devote myself to a group, to be a visionary, to do what is needed. Big and important things, useful things, relating to a community outside myself. “

Prescription = Cer-b 200, 10 drops once only.

Reaction: No noticeable aggravation. Almost completely pain free. Whole life has turned around. Feeling much better in herself. Much more positive attitude to life. Doesn’t feel trapped anymore. Work has turned around – several people suddenly joined her group which has made it easier and more financially viable. She has been considering studying natural therapies for awhile now, but could not decide which one. She wants to study homoeopathy, as she cannot believe how easy and effective it is.

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Replies to This Discussion

Dear David. We really appreciate that you have been sharing these sensation method cases with the community. What other remedies did you consider when sorting out this case? Did you think about rhus tox of anacardacea family? 

Hi Debby,

Yes I definitely considered them, (as well as the bird group ). In fact I was probably leaning that way quite heavily for alot of the consultation. The difference between Cactaceae and Anacardiaceae is the way in which they describe the stuck sensation. Anacardiaceae is tight, stiff, immobile, it is like have a door jammed open by a doorstop. Cactaceae feels clutched like a hand has grabbed them, held and squeezed. The gestures she made to describe the sensation were my primary way of understanding it. I usually ask patients to show me if they can, rather than just rely on the words.  Once I saw that she was squeezing and holding her own arm to represent the feeling, I got that it was not quite the paralyzed feeling of Anacardiaceae but the held tight and trapped feeling of Cactaceae. It was easier then to look at the bigger picture and see the feeling of having a small life, the feeling of constriction and the desire to expand. I often find the main complaint will help clarify any confusion I might have about exactly what the sensation is.

The reason I didn't go far with the Bird group idea is that there was little sense of competition, no real sense of 'me versus them'. She kept coming back to the sensation of it, rather than the struggle against something stronger than her. Flight is often a basic sensation in a Bird case, but of course you can probably guess that the Tubercular miasm can be easily confused with it. Once I understood the sensation then it was easier to sort out the miasm (as a conscious reaction to the problem).  There was considerable Bird group language there though, it is just that the Kingdom language was not really present. The main problem was 'I have this feeling, this sensation, and I react to that', rather than 'I am fighting against something more powerful than me to survive'. So what seemed to be Bird had to be something else - in this case part of the Sensation and part of the Miasm.

This helps clarify your thinking. And again, I must thank you so much for sharing this knowledge and your insights. Many more people may learn and help more people.

Dear David, dear members

I found for Cereus Bonplandii the following information in J. H Clarkes: Encyclopedia/ vol.: 1 pg.: 449:


Desire to engage in work; to have all time employed; to be engaged in something useful. -- Desire to be dissolved. --- Disposition to curse and swear. -- Time seems to pass slowly.  -- Spiritual delusions; thinks she has committed the unpardonable sin.

Neck and back:

Pain on 1 side of neck; and along clavicle; at night. -- Pain in upper portion of spine and medulla, running upwards and expanding to surface of brain, < stooping or bending head forwrd. -- Pains runing along back down to arms.  Vertebral spines tender to touch.  -- Pain in r. scapula.

Could you elaborate how you found similitude in above symptoms to the disease symptoms presented as your case?

do you have further reliable material on this quite intriquing remedy?

Hi Hans,

I primarily used the Sensation method as described in the first post to arrive at this remedy choice. My main focus was the physical sensation of the main complaint, which I confirmed by having the patient show me with me gestures. The sensation of being grabbed and held, of being squeezed, is well known in Cactus but is considered a characteristic of all the Cactus group by Sensation prescribers. I only used materia medica to help justify the prescription after I felt satisfied I understood the central theme of the case (and so the group and miasm). My source material when doing this is generally the Insight into Plants series by Dr. Sankaran and possibly references from the work of Frans Vermelen and Jan Scholten.

Other sources provide the following support for the prescription:

(Clinical case by Dr. Kipnis)

Likes to work, thrives on working hard, gives 110%

Has worked in politics for many years

Feeling impatience and rage close to the surface

Takes very little to set her off, short-tempered, explodes, starts yelling

In the past if she was feeling down would run for a long distance to feel better, but now cannot do this because of her child

Needs to do something that is socially conscious, meaningful, useful 'more than just a cog in the wheel'

Ran for political office (he gives 2 cases both of which had the theme of politics and working for the greater good)


A case presented in Links homoeopathic magazine in 1997 also showed the following themes:

I should help humanity

Feelings of being independent, aversion to the restrictions of marriage

Totally engrossed in work

Being useful to others, to humanity


The physical symptoms of spasm were found in the chest in the proving, but I was happy to generalise that in this case. The tendency for symptoms to start in the neck or back and travel down the arms or legs is direct proving symptom. In the mental symptoms the extreme irritibility, wild anger, and the desire to curse were covered.

One of the main strengths of Sensation is to be able to find our way to considering medicines with small and incomplete provings. By combining all those various sources I felt confident in the choice and the patient's reaction was of course very pleasing. This was my first experience with this remedy and it helped to solidify my understanding of the state of Cer-b.

This is very interesting.

Let me use Sankaran’s method as he thought it from 90' and early 2000'. 

In those years he proclaimed that the central delusion is the core of all health problems.  By removing the central delusion from the patient by means of a homeopathic remedy, not only the acute disease expression = symptoms are cured, but the entire individual freed, and not prone to suffer again from this central delusion, as it is removed.

If a remedy is not addressing the central delusion of the person, then it merely supresses. 

Let us have a look at this case:

This central feeling  is: feeling trapped, which she expresses in many ways, and it is a delusion!. she could leave the husband, she could move on,--- so, if she would realize this, and move, she would not have a backache anymore.

But is this really the central delusion of this case?  Often what the patient expresses directly does not tell the central delusion, because if the patient would know the central delusion, then the patient would have realized its unreal character a long time ago and would not suffer the consequences now.  It is the skill of the experienced practitioner to see beyond the mere symptoms and discover the central delusion.

So we have to ask ourselves, what keeps this delusion of being trapped up, what is behind?

And here it is: She feels that others put wires around her, invisible wires, which she cannot break. “Encaged in wires,”– this is the central delusion.

And this brings us to the similimum, the truly curative remedy:

Del.: encaged in wires: Cimicifuga!

Reading Cimicifuga reveals it as the true similimum. Other remedies may only temporarily help, but ultimately supress.

What is your thinking on that?

Cer-b cured the case. The patient remained symptom-free for many years after I saw her, which I know because she brought her children to see me.  I cannot really theorize as to what might have happened on Cimic since I never prescribed it for her.There was no suppression, the patient did not develop new symptoms or a more serious condition. She experienced profound relief not only of her physical complaint but of the other issues which had been preventing her from living comfortably in her life.This relief remained stable for a long time until she stopped coming to see me. I am happy with the idea that Cer-b was her simillimum at this time in her life.

Cimic belongs to the Ranunculaceae family (alongside Staph). There are some themes of that family that might fit her case - easily excited, excessive anger, feeling annoyed and insulted. In this family vexation often causes their complaints, emotions will often give rise to physical symptoms. I can see similarities here and the idea of this particular family is intriguing, and I will admit I did not really consider it.

However, the main complaint did not show the basic sensation (the sensation being a general not a mental or a delusion) of raw, exposed nerves without any insulation, the feeling of shocks with nothing to protect. This is the core of the Ranunculaceae family.  I always try to focus on the main complaint as the reliable manifestation of the disease, and move from there rather than trying to look primarily at the mental and emotional state (unless that is the centre of the pathology).

Cimic also belongs to the tubercular miasm which would probably increase its chances of helping this patient.  A very interesting idea I must say.  


It is also important to understand that the concept of Sensation is an expansion of the idea of Delusion, and that Delusion is considered to simply be one of the levels at which a disease may manifest itself. Delusion would be how the mental sphere experiences or expresses the Sensation, but it is not the deepest level at which disease would affect the person. Sensation is a general state that can be seen in body and mind.

Looking back at the literature that Dr. Sankaran published, I don't believe he ever said that delusion was the core of all health problems. What he did say was that disease was a disturbance of the vital force, which manifested itself through something he called the PNEI axis (Psychological, Neurological, Endocrinological, Immunological). He called this the 'Central Disturbance' (not delusion), and that disease would then further manifest in specific organ systems via this axis. Psychological sat at the top of that axis and was weighted accordingly when analyzing cases.

He does talk about health and disease in terms of 'posture' - that is the 'position' or 'adaption' the mind and body needs to adopt to survive a situation, either real or perceived. When it is only perceived it can be seen as a 'delusion' since the situation no longer exists. Although the mental characteristics may be quite peculiar and more easily matched to a remedy, this 'delusion' manifests on all levels ie. feeling you will be attacked by wild animals produces fear, starting, rapid heart beat, heightened alertness, insomnia, dilation of pupils etc.

Dr. Sankaran did for a long time focus on the mental state as the most peculiar aspect of a human being, this is true. However over the years that focus has broadened and much of his work and the work of his colleagues now includes all the generals as equally important.

Have another look -- its in the "spirit of homeopathy", and then further elaborated in the "elements of homeopathy". The idea was first published by Sehgal, whom he had as a teacher and of whom's books he coppied liberally in the "Spirit of homeopathy".

Dear David, dear members

Let us have a look at this case from a classical homeopaths view. If a remedy should be curative, it also has to have the capacity to address the miasm which is creating and maintaining this disease.  so, it's not only the superficial things like the back pain which has to be taken into consideration but also the person who has it, -- after all it's the person, not the disease what needs to be cured! (kent).

Bearing this in mind, we look at the case, and really, what holds this person back is primarily her feeling, that she is not good enough, this feeling of that she has sinned, and that she is guilty, -- and no matter how hard she tries, she has not succeeded to free herself-- and she feels the burden, heavy on her back--

Having sinned because of wrong thinking is Psora (acc. Kent et. al.)

So this is a primarily psoric case (tuberculosis is psora btw. all tubercular symptoms can be found in the list of psoric disease) and we need to find a remedy which has the back ache and also the specific mental state and comes from the group of anti psorics.

And here SEPIA is the very One remedy which has all the symptoms she experiences --

This wanting to run away from her own family, this feeling of never being good enough and of course, Sepia is short fused: shouts at husband, shouts at children, -- and feels terribly guilty shortly after.

So the true classical similimum for this case is SEPIA.

What do you think of that?

Interesting discussion 

Dear David, dear members

in classical homeopathy Hering's law plays an all important role, to judge if a remedy has acted curative, suppressive, or not at all and the patient overcame the disease on his / her own accord.

Hering's law outlines three directions the symptoms should take after a remedy was given:

They should subside:

1) in reverse order of their appearance

2) from inside to the outside

3) from top to bottom (also: mind to physicals)

The masters of the 19th, and early 20th, century hold the belief, that if the case does not progress along these lines (after giving a remedy / particularly in a chronic miasmatic situation) the therapist cannot claim to have cured, even if all symptoms went. What may look like a cure is in reality only a suppression, which may last for a long time.

How does that effect your view, that above case was cured by your remedy giving what you reported gives no indication of the case following Herings law after the remedy was administered?


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