By Alize Timmerman, Hahnemann Institute of the Netherlands
Triturated remedies offer a different way of working with Homeopathy, using the resonance of the remedy and the initiated empathy of the therapist to approach the healing process of a patient on a deeper level. As in the trituration process a remedy reveals itself layer after layer, one can use the properties of these specific layers to address the needs of a patient in the successive periods of his or her lifetime. The levels of the remedy correspond with the development of the human person.
Focussing on the female part of humanity, triturated homeopathic remedies follow in the way they interact with female patients a pattern similar and parallel to the development of women from girl to mature woman. So the story of a remedy (e.g. Sepia, Lac.hum.feminin, Lac.hum.masculin, Lac lupinum, Lac felinum) and the way it heals follows the line of development observed in a specific person.
In a female lifetime we see first the awareness of the feminine self, followed by the awareness of propagation, the responsibilities of being partner and mother. In a general sense, women experience an inequality in social position as compared with man, but, in the third part of one s life, they can achieve the realisation of the archetypical feminine force and orientation on the female strengths.
Thus the young girl, mostly oriented on male virtues, constitutes one pole in a spectrum. This orientation is also represented by the C1 to C3 triturations (the physical level) of a remedy.
A woman in her forties and older, represents the other pole: with orientation on female strengths and the spiritual level (C4 & C5 triturations).
This development is illustrated in this article with an exemplary remedy, Sepia, offering at different phases in a female life, different effects in the healing process.
C4 trituration, Female development, Witold Ehrler, Sepia
Introduction of the trituration principle
Homeopathic trituration is a concept postulated by the German pharmacist Witold Ehrler in his book: Pearls of Pharmacognosis. The word Pharmacognosis refers to a divine knowledge of remedies. Working with C4 triturations and the proving of several substances has been done among others by Jürgen Becker in Germany and myself at the Hahnemann Institute of the Netherlands.
Ehrler and Becker discovered that in the process of making a new homeopathic remedy by grinding the initial substance in a mortar with a neutral substance, the person grinding the remedy experienced “symptoms” of the remedy. These symptoms show to be rather consistent for a large number of people taking part on a grinding session, although a certain variance in symptoms was noticeable among the “provers”. Furthermore, each successive step of diluting the remedy, showed a specific set of symptoms, thus creating a hierarchy of symptoms ranging from a mundane, physical level via more spiritual levels toward more esoterically levels.
Starting point being the C0 level, diluting the initial substance of the remedy a hundredfold and meticulously grinding for at least one hour so the initial substance is thoroughly mixed with the neutral diluting material (i.e. milk sugar), one reaches the C1 level. Repeating this process brings us to the C2 level and so forth. This process of diluting and grinding Hahnemann named “trituration”. In the Hahnemannian Homeopathy one usually proceeds to the C1 or the C3 level. Basically, till about 1980 most remedies were triturated to C3 level and thereafter potentized. Ehrler was the first to explore levels beyond C3. Central in the trituration hierarchy as postulated by Ehrler is the C4 level, the hierarchy culminating in the C8 level. In the next paragraph we will explore the different levels more in detail.
Hahnemann himself stated in the Organon (§ 9): “In the healthy human state, the spirit-like life force that enlivens the material organism as dynamis, governs without restriction and keeps all parts of the organism in admirable, harmonious, vital operation, as regards both feelings and functions, so that our indwelling, rational spirit can freely avail itself of this living, healthy instrument for the higher purposes of our existence”.
Thus Ehrler discovered that while preparing a remedy by diluting and grinding it with a neutral substance, the intrinsic knowledge how a remedy will work on human people discloses itself to the prover. The prover takes part on a sharing of knowledge on a level transgressing the pure physical world, coming to know the essence of a remedy: Pharmacognosis.
Key notions here are resonance and the expression of a remedy on the different levels of being. Trituration discloses the essence of a remedy step by step.
Each trituration step is in resonance with on the one hand the person preparing the remedy and on the other hand with all people in a state similar to the remedy at that specific trituration level. So, when working with triturated remedies, the therapist experiences a journey through the layers of the remedy. The therapist working with triturations will enter in a resonant empathy, with the full force of the remedy revealed toward him or her and enabling the therapist to become also in resonance with the patient treated. When triturations are duly used, the therapist will be the “knowing witness” in the healing process of the patient, connecting the archetypical force of the remedy with the actual need of the patient, truly making Hahnemann s proposition “similium similia curentur” happen.
Theory of the Trituration Hierarchy
Trituration is a step by step process, each successive step with its own specific
level of influence and resonance and therefore its specific point of action in a person.
A very concise listing of the eight levels takes us from the physical level (C1) via the spiritual level (C4) and the archetypical levels (C5, C6) to the collective levels for all humankind and transcendental levels (C7, C8).
C0 Material, substance, tincture
C1 Biological / Physiological level, Functions
C2 Sensations, Feelings, Emotions
C3 Mental, Delusions, Religion, Mythical, contrast Good àß Bad
C4 Acceptance, To be Buddha, Spiritual, Without judgment, Destiny, Synchronicity
C5 Individual Archetype, Dreams, Miasma, Soul
C6 Collective Archetype, Vitality and vital sensation, Energy, The source
C7 Development of worlds, cultures
C8 Transformation of opposites
C0: represents the raw material, the substance as such, things as they manifest themselves in nature, a tincture.
C1: here we look inside the organism, into the biological, physiological level of being. The vital force, the energy of the substance is revealed. The C1 level also relates to the hydro-carbonate nature of beings on earth.
C2: reveals feelings, emotions and sensations. As such it relates to a different level than the pure physical level of C1.
C3: At the C3 level we exceed the biological organism. We enter the realms beyond ourselves, connections between entities, religion. And we enter the level of judgment, weighting one set of values against the other. We start thinking in polarities.
C4: This is the central level, representing the spiritual life beyond seeing, feeling. The “begeisterung” , inspiration, the freedom of choice, the path toward destination.
Synchronicity here means the simultaneousness of events without conscious intervention. The therapist may experience the situation as a similar one encountered earlier enabling one to see the path of helping in the healing process of the patient. Here we can refer to “divine” healing by Buddha, Krishnamurti.
C5: refers to the individual unconsciousness, archetype, dreams. Dreams can, however, be important also in all lower levels. The driving force of our unconsciousness relates to a major part of our vitality, our Soul. Miasmas as the major force on the background, related to the (family) karma. The therapist may use a C5 remedy when somebody repeatedly comes in a certain situation for which a logical explanation fails.
C6: does not differ greatly from C5, but reflects more the collective aspects of the Archetype, flows working on mankind or the collective soul of mankind.
C7 and C8: those levels basically go beyond the level of the understanding of individual persons.
C7: represents the relevance of the substance on a global level
C8: the creation of “oneness” the transformation of opposites, the creating of comprehensive concepts.
When we come to a schematic representation of the eight levels, we see a picture like this (adapted from Ehrler):
The C4 level constitutes the core level, the essence. The lower levels connect with the physical world, our mind, our conscience. The upper levels with the individual and collective archetypes, our cultures, culminating in the divine level where opposites may shift positions; the upper levels reflect the world outside ourselves.
Working with triturated remedies brings the therapist to questions like: “what is or should be the orientation of my approach of this patient.”
As a result, the therapist faces different sets of confrontations, but with the resonance of the remedy as part of both the development of empathy by the therapist and the interpretation of the expression of symptoms in the patient one comes to the proper similium for the stimulation of the healing process in the patient.
Another way of connecting our insights on C4 remedies with another approach in Homeopathy is to relate the trituration levels with the 4 major realms on earth. Here we touch on the classification of Sankaran:
C0 + C1 Inorganic, Mineral, Metal
Generally speaking, in the last two decades, we, as homoeopaths, came to understand that minerals and metals work more on the biological / physiological level, plant remedies more on the level of feelings, sensations, animal remedies relate to propagation, future, the mental level, while human material (like lac humanum or nosodes) often work very well on the spiritual level. Here we find the similarity with the C4 hierarchy: C1 working on functional pathology (muscles, bones etc.), C2 on emotional pathology, C3 on delusions and feelings, and C4 on spiritual problems. The relationships between these sets of approaches will be elaborated more in detail in another article.
To illustrate the theory and to truly understand the great healing power of working with triturated remedies, we will explore how Sepia works as a remedy for women in different phases of their life cycle.
Female development and triturated remedies
Female development can be described as a sequence of successive stages in a life time. Although other labels and intermediate stations are possible, for our purpose the following sequence will be followed:
• Young adult
Passing through the menopause, we see in the female development a transcendence into Archetypical wisdom.
As a girl, after the early years of orientation on the mother, a female tends to orientate herself toward the male powers. In our society the male virtues are highly valued: power (physical, political, economical) and protection offered. The female looks for a strong mate to father her offspring, thus offering them the best chances in their lives.
In her role as a mother she is more dependant on masculine support than not, although in that phase of live the balance of power shifts and a new equilibrium of equal power develops in most relationships.
Then, more or less following the big hormonal changes that go with the menopause, the female becomes independent from the male powers. The children have left the house and the avenue toward wisdom and fulfillment is wide open.
Hence the role of a female in a family shifts from utterly dependant on the “male world” with in-equality of male and female positions, toward a settlement in the female archetypical force in the role of mother and wise woman. The relationship between the trituration levels and female development is illustrated below.
In the C4 level we experience the transformation from the masculine orientation toward the pure feminine orientation in the development of a woman from girl to mature person.
How can we use all this knowledge in our practise? As an example we will explore the effects of Sepia as a triturated remedy.
Trituration of Sepia
Sepia is a well known remedy in treatment of female disorders.
Essence of Sepia is “Loss of honour for being female; loss of honour for an impossible love”. When Sepia is triturated, we notice a development of the symptoms which parallels the female development.
We list the relevant materia medica symptoms as follows:
C1: Physiological problems
• Dryness, fissures
• Open fontanel s
C2: Problems on the emotional / feelings plane
• Orientation toward the inside: wants to be loved by the male power
• Pre Menstrual Syndrome; weeping, excitable
• Pain, hurt, female sphere
• > some rest alone
• Feeling of being alone; underlying irritability
• Depressed, insecure
• Black cloud
C3: Mental problems
• Alone in darkness; feeling of emptiness
• Mental problems
• “How can I be a good woman, socially accepted”
• Disagreement underneath
• Hindered in ones own development
• Has to behave as a woman / mother
• Strong criticism toward other women
• Fear of ending like mother or grandmother (who lacked their own individuality, were not independent enough)
• Perspective toward solutions
• Womanhood à individual
C4: Spiritual problems
• good as a woman
• of fulfillment
• of imperfection while becoming a woman
• of individuality
• the power of womanhood; feeling supported by other women
Finding inside the power of your own way, solutions
C5: Archetypical level
• We as woman are all connected, but within ones own womanhood
• Collective womanhood
• Access to all womanly things
• Being from the inside
Potentized remedies made from C5 gives the power to solve the problems expressed in C2-C4. C4 and C5 show the path toward healing.
C6, C7 and C8 are not used in therapy as their impact exceeds our present knowledge.
In C1 and C2 we recognize the girl, the adolescent, struggling to establish herself in the world. C3 constitute the transformation phase, escaping the role of dependence. In C4 a mature female presents herself, while in C5 the female is able to distance one self from her previous position and advance to wisdom.
In Homeopathic therapy we mostly use the C1, C2 and C3 level because most symptoms presented to us relate to the physical or mental world.
My personal view on triturated Sepia
A view on development of girls
After birth, our bond with our mother who gave us life is very strong. This very tight bond lasts from girlhood to early womanhood. Some years after our birth we start to develop the bond with our father, with the masculine world. At that point in life, we discover that the masculine world is strong and powerful. This we discover first in the family where we grow up, later also in the outside world, in our society.
To our shock we find that the feminine is not almighty, a reversal of values takes shape. The masculine is mighty; the female gives, the male takes. Our basic feelings are not in concordance with the realities of our world, we feel that the female power is taken from us. As a young girl we sometimes feel the degrading and humiliation of our mother, the feminine. Our loyalty toward our initial set of values creates mixed feelings. On the one hand we instinctively know that the male is dependant on the female, for nurture, nutrition, and for propagation. On the other hand we want affirmation within the social order, the social order were masculine power prevails.
As a result a conflict is born. Social dependence of the woman in relation to her man, her husband, introduces the notion that love on an equal basis is impossible, cannot develop. Truly free love, without strings attached is impossible. But equally true is the inner feeling that a free and caring love is possible. How can that be achieved, how can I reach this goal knowing that, despite the prevailing social order, the man is dependant on the woman? How can I overcome this antagonism, this inner conflict? That is the Sepia in me.
Sepia and its obscuration (creating a cloud).
It looks like man and woman together created this collective lie, in order to evade the truth and a free form of love. Both play their part on the social stage, reinforcing the lie that the feminine principle is dependant on the masculine; that the masculine principle is positioned high above the feminine. Hence truly free love is hidden, for truly free love does not recognize the lie and the dependency of female on male. This I call the obscuration of Sepia, the process of loosing sight on the proper proportions of things.
This process of obscuration and denying of deeper truths causes depression in the woman, and hatred and a sense of inferiority in the man.
As human beings we strive for equilibrium, balance in our lives.
To achieve this balance, we try to feel and experience love without per se wanting total equality or equivalence, and accepting love as it presents itself. In accepting love as it presents itself, we accept the imbalance between the feminine and the masculine.
Sepia learns to create the transformation: the independence of the woman and the dependence of the man, resulting in true love without guilt or blame. The woman arises free, independent, unrestrained, without misusing this position. And in a certain way a reciprocal process takes place in the man, becoming more restrained, more dependant, maybe less free. The process of Sepia in a man brings acceptance of this new situation, creating a positive experience.
A compilation of symptoms and situations from over 30 cases
• Feelings of indignation about the parents in young girls and boys. They have sharp observations: why the denial of the proper virtues, why the reversal of obvious dependence and independence, why the contempt for motherhood and housekeeping when compared with the outside, masculine oriented world.
• Feelings of hatred, caused by the reversal of genetically imbedded values. Boys who feel hatred for the father who wields power directed to the mother of the boy. Girls who are forced when the first menses occurs to accept de dependant, feminine role, and so experience at the age of 13, 14 the fact that the power in society lies with the masculine.
• Feelings of hatred in young women, because they were denied their education and in stead of taking a study are forced into early marriage and acceptance of the dependant, feminine role.
• Young children lacking love and security. Because their mother couldn t give love to a child depending on her. And, consequently, creating distance between herself and her child. Essentially the conflict of the mother projected on the child.
• Mothers who got pregnant over and over again, while they had the wish to express themselves socially and explore their vocational capabilities. They are forced in the dependant mother role and so lived an obscured live getting more and more depressed.
In all these cases I treated patients with a remedy potentized from the Sepia C4 level (C4/12, C4/40, C4/220, C4/1300). With these remedies we have created the possibility to reach out on a broader scale and with deeper impact as compared with “normal” Sepia remedies potentized from a tincture. Thus C4 remedies show us a new way to enforce the Hahnemannian Homeopathy on curing and healing.
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EHRLER, W. : Perlen der Pharmacognosie. Held Verlag Freiburg. 2002.
HAHNEMANN, S. : Organon of the Medical Art. 6th translated edition, Birdcage Books, Redmond, 1996 (Original text 1842)
SANKARAN, R. : The Sensation in Homoeopathy. Homoeopathic Medical Publishers Mumbai, 2004.