2010 May

Brachyglottis repens

by Martin van de Meer

A 76 year old woman comes for consultation due to cystitis. I treated her twenty years ago for two years, when she had complaints of sinusitis, trigeminal and brachial neuralgia, intestinal problems, and restlessness. She uses medication for her intestines, otherwise she gets diarrhea. Her hearing is poor. Her bladder complaints began when she was fourteen and have plagued her since then. Two years ago, she had cystitis seven times in a row, which was treated with antibiotics. After a referral to an urologist and a gynecologist, she was given hormone treatment, which helped her for ten months. The bladder complaint was accompanied by a menstruation-like pain in her groin. A spot had been seen on an X-ray of her kidney. She once had a terrible pain, with blood in her urine, but no bacteria were found. This last month, the bladder pain returned and antibiotics are not bringing any relief. “It is a sharp pain, as though knives are being stuck in. I have to clench my teeth when I urinate. The pain is worse at the end of the flow. The first days there is always a light fever, with tremendously increased urgency.”

She is a friendly and animated talker, she recalls memories as she talks, and she relates to me as an “old friend.”  She tells me, almost as a piece of news that her husband has passed away 14 years ago. There had been difficulties, she had discovered things, which created a gap between them that never healed. She does not want to talk about it; she feels hurt, betrayed, and disgusted.

For a year now, she has a new partner. It is going well, she is completely in love, and is happy in her body. She says enthusiastically: “It is such fun, we do nice things together, we have a great time, and we both enjoy good food.”  It is clear that at the moment joyfulness is the main focus of her life. At this time, her bladder complaints are the same.

She uses sleep medication (zopiclon). She has remained anxious after a fall, three years ago; for a while she did not dare to go in the street and now she has problems sleeping. “I have a vague feeling, the fear ‘what if I don’t wake up’, and then I lie awake for hours, tossing and turning.”


 “I always have nice dreams, things come through in my dreams; I am spiritually involved. For the last year, I have not dreamt at all, the angels are having a rest! I have a good connection with ‘upstairs’ “.

When she was living alone, she made a pilgrimage because she was feeling so down. Her favorite holy person was a fighter, very direct, no beating around the bush. A dream prompted her to make this pilgrimage; sitting on her knees, she heard a voice that said “you will make the journey of your dreams.” She felt in a hopeless situation at the time and that gave her a lot of strength.

Another dream: “I am standing in a city with apartment buildings, everything comes under water. The flats collapse but I am still standing.”

The bladder problems began just after the war, when she was 14. Her relationship with her mother was terrible: “really bad” she says, kicking the chair. “We never had any warmth. She was jealous of me. During the war we moved from Limburg, where it was friendly and cozy, to a very Calvinistic area, because my father was a preacher. We went from cheerfulness to strictness. My father has been held prisoner for a few years, but he has formed us in that time despite his absence. At the same time, I lost my mother as far as contact is concerned. I had to fight; I have always been a fighter, going my own way, doing it myself. The others found it alright. At home it was not nice at all, so I sought my solace elsewhere. At school I was naughty; I did what nobody else dared to do.”

“I always have the feeling that my father is close to me. He used to tell me that he was proud of me.” (She tells this in association with the theme ‘angels’).

She is spontaneous and naïve. She did not find it a problem to go along with the flow and enjoy the fun aspects of life.

She is a large, strong, vital woman, spontaneous, friendly, cheerful and animated. She comes across as a prima donna, radiating with joy as she tells of all the fun things she does and of the outings with her new partner. She spreads an aura of cheerfulness, is very expressive, and has the desire to be heard. When she talks of her father, she becomes peaceful, more grounded. She is clearly a person who loves to enjoy life, and she has an eye for detail. She has great expectations of homeopathy and happy that I remember her. She takes the initiative in the consultation but can also be steered. She likes to have the feeling of being in control, sturdy; holding on tightly, fearful and fun at the same time. A clairvoyant told her to see a homeopath.


She has had bladder complaint most of her life. It started in her youth, therein probably lays the clue to the complaint of the last two years. Today’s situation is not the problem, for today is full of fun, joyfulness, and togetherness. Hormone replacement therapy helped for a while but hormone imbalance does not seem to be a significant problem.

She says that she has always had to do a lot on her own, which could point to the Lanthanides. For her, however, it is more a case of looking for her own solutions or ways to enjoy herself; to escape from the strict, contact impoverished family atmosphere, in order to be able to go with the flow, to have pleasure in life (DD: Fabaceae, Nitrogen compounds. The experience of threats from entities and certain atmospheres: Cactaceae, Funghi).

Lanthanides are more indicated for the feeling of “having to do it alone”, as far as independence and responsibility are concerned, and not where one is inclined to “go with the flow”.

The themes of ‘connecting with the group’ (Labiaceae), ‘new culture’ (Magnoliales), ‘family bonds falling away’ (Malvales) belong to the changes in her youth, but they do not seem to be the most important or the most lasting themes. Conspicuous is the feeling that she has not been supported and that she has missed a nice atmosphere. The father’s absence, and in an emotional sense ,that of  her mother, could indicate a Muriaticum (care, protection), or a Roscacea (love). The father, however, continued to play an important role for her, even at a distance, at a time when her independence was not yet developed (Compositae, Carbon series). In her puberty and later in her marriage, there was a lot of anger, which she dealt with rationally. This combination could indicate one of the Malpigiales; usually in these cases, the nervous system has a great deal to do with the processing and suppression of anger. Her radiant cheerfulness and expressivity make it seem that she has not suppressed her emotions. Spirituality as compensation could indicate one of the Liliales, which also have the pelvic area as their centre of problems. The theme of being hurt and post traumatic stress could point to one of the Aspergales; these themes play a role in her life but are neither central to her experience nor do they have the necessary polar opposite. It is also not clear whether she developed emotional or physical complaints at that time, though it does highlight her sensitivity.

She benefits greatly from her visions and she has a lot of support from her father, who plays a hero’s role in her life. She has undergone Reiki sessions for many years, from which she also gains much support.

Themes: Recurrent infections, looking for support and appreciation: Asteraceae (Composites).

In the above differentiation the complaints themselves are secondary to the analysis as a whole. By using the themes, the causa, and sometimes the stages, the analysis can lead to prescriptions with spectacular results.

In this case the rubrics “Pain bladder” and “Inflammation bladder” have been used to search for a remedy which fits the total picture. Asteraceae in these rubrics are: Eupatorium purpurea, Brachiglottis, Solidago and Senecio. The rubric “Pain, bladder” contains Brachyglottis, which belongs to the Eupatoriaceae.

Confirmations of this are found in:

Recurring infections with fever: (Asteraceae, Scholten)

Father is important: (Eupatoriums, Scholten)

Bon vivant, enjoy life, desire to enjoy (Brachyglottis, van der Meer).

Eu-pater means ‘good father’, and the Eupatoriums fit this picture. The person or symbol of the good father is an important theme, someone who is experienced as an important, protective, formative person. The father theme can also be seen symbolically in terms of the area of one’s birth, with its norms and values. In her case the loss of the cozy atmosphere, the friendliness, and the sense of belonging were crucial at the time when her bladder complaints began; as an individual she was not self-sufficient enough to develop in a balanced way without this comfort around her.

In her life she has had many “blows”, which fit with the theme of the Asteraceae. After a traumatic fall, she remained anxious for three years, which is quite peculiar. Sensitivity to trauma is a theme of the Asteraceae.

We have observed, from other cases of Brachyglottis that it fits the picture of people who are bon vivant, who have a great enjoyment of life, and who do not follow the rules too closely. They love to mix in cheerful company and they are radiant. Urinary tract, and intestines complaints are present as well as allergies.

Clinging to visions, depending on the support of the supernatural and of Reiki therapy, can fit with the feeling of ‘not being independent’ in the big world: Asteraceae.

Prescription: Brachyglottis repens MK, one dose.

Follow-up after one month:

The first day, she experienced a terrible itch in her anus and rectum. After that she had diarrhea, which lasted for three weeks. Since then her bowels have been “fantastic”. Urination is good, it feels fine again.

Her mood was better right from the first days; she does not have the feeling that there is something wrong anymore. Behind her hilarity something had been hidden, which she had not mentioned in her previous consultations: a feeling of restlessness and panic, which has now disappeared.

The first day after the remedy, she became extremely tired, a lot has been turned upside down. The anxiety has ebbed away. She has thought a lot, especially about the war: “I am processing it; it seems to happen all by itself.”

She tells more about her father, the work camp that he was in, and the memories without becoming caught up emotionally. “I am quieter inside, it is a wonderful feeling. So much has happened; I don’t know who I used to be.” (The change is so great that she now has difficulties remembering the old situation and the feelings that went with it.) At night, she still wakes with anxiety in her chest, without thoughts or images, as though she is startled. This happens regularly. If she forgets her sleeping tablets, she lies awake for a long time. These last years, she often heard an alarm clock or a telephone, which she calls ‘entities’ or ‘passengers’; in her youth, she experienced them as angels. Since she has a new partner, she no longer has these experiences.  

Follow-up after three months:

She is very satisfied; no more bladder or bowel complaints. She has had an allergy attack, as in the past. The allergy has been there for 25 years: milk products, sugar, rich food (too much food or too rich in protein or fat), and red wine gave her problems. The whole left side of her body became red and swollen and burning: first it began to feel tight to her shoulder, her arm, and her ankle, then it began to tingle, she became warm and her lips became stiff.

After this episode, she improved and has now stopped the diet that she kept for her allergies. The only remaining aspect is a sore tongue: her tongue was indeed thick and sensitive. Her bowels are good, she does not take medication anymore. Twice she has noticed that she has sediment in her urine.

There is no more anxiety in the daytime but at night she still lies awake with anxiety in her chest.

The allergic symptom of the tongue disappeared completely after six months.


Given the fact that the bladder complaint, the allergy, the unnamed anxiety, the panic and the restlessness have disappeared, and that she has been able to process her past so effortlessly and quickly, it seems that Brachyglottis has brought about a huge improvement in her physical, emotional, and psychological health. Using the insights and the examples from the Plant Families presented by Jan Scholten, this dramatic reaction is certainly no exception. Knowledge of group characteristics and learning to think in “themes”, learning to define stages, as in the periodic table, offers great possibilities. In this way the many limitations in the documented experiences, cases and knowledge are no longer a limitation to prescribing. Insights into medicines and their possibilities for application are increased. Experience teaches us that for complaints or blockages, several remedies can work and give a reaction or achieve an improvement. The analysis is extremely crucial for the scope of medicines and for the final choice of the prescriber. Depending on the reaction of the medicine, one determines whether the remedy has worked sufficiently, or that as better remedy should be sought. I personally think that we should lay the norm with the “exceptionally good” reactions, as above, and use the experience gathered with these cases as a foundation for our knowledge of homeopathy and its possibilities.

More about the systematology of  the plant kingdom in homeopathy:

Plant seminars, Allonnissos (sold out)

Alex Leupen seminar notes

Wonderful Plants, Jan Scholten (not yet published)

Article Dynamis, seminar notes Allonissos, homeopathiemvdmeer.nl

Plant systems:

Characteristic, remarkable, and often occurring qualities of various remedies belonging to a botanical family are utilised as markers for the whole group in order to define themes and, where possible, the area of application. Well-known or characteristic symptoms can be extrapolated to the group as a whole. In the first instance, this takes place based on the known Materia Medica. The cases themselves give a good idea of the applicability of the knowledge, and provide a filling out of the picture.

Asteraceae (Composites)

Characteristics according to Jan Scholten

Insecurity; lack of self-confidence and autonomy

Threat; outside world, needs protection, childhood

Integration; of parts of the personality

Integrity-boundaries; protect boundaries, intrusions as doctors/other people, lack of immunity or desire for immunity/resistance

Personality; self-worth, need for a strong personality, individualisation

Ambition; has to do with self-worth


Aggression,anger; both are manifestations of personality

Fears; fights

Family of Eupatoriaceae:

Eup-aromatica: main application is nervous system; restlessness, exhaustion, hysteria, over-stimulation, herpes, broncials, lungs

Eup-perfoliatium: nervous system, metabolism, congestion lungs, mucous membranes, immune system

Eup-purpureum: metabloism, urogential tract, als complication: fluid retention (adrenals). Possibly stage 13

Eup-cannabium: diuretic, tonic, tumors, digestive tract, arthritis (stage 12)

Eup-fortunei: traditional Chinese medicine: stomach, spleen

Brachyglottis repens: allergies, digestive tract, urinary tract (stage 5, compare Rhus-rad stage 15), Puka-puka, New Zealand, traditional; external application for wounds

Toxicological: loss of energy in legs and lower back, weight loss, urine (?)

Father theme: bonds with the father, function as father, symbolically: norms and values. What is good; protective function and morality, goals, and means. (DD Liliaceae, Spiders, Gold series). Enjoyment, cost-profit (DD Fabaceae, Allium-sat, Quercus and possibly other Fagaceae)

Mind symptoms: Materia Medica (Allen): irritability, restless night, talking in sleep.





Keywords: father figure, cystitis, sinusitis, digestive problems, trigeminal and brachial neuralgia, restlesness
Remedies: Brachyglottis repanda {as Brachyglottis repens}


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Posts: 10
Botanical vs homeopathic
Reply #1 on : Sat April 13, 2013, 23:24:33
Dear Maarten,
Wonderful case. Well done homeopathically!
Botanically, however, you are trying to put a round peg in a square hole. There is no family Eupatoriaceae. Eupatorieae is a tribe in the family Asteraceae, most closely related to the tribe Senecioneae.
Despite remarks to the contrary, Brachyglottis repanda is part of the tribe Senecioneae and has not been reclassified in the Eupatorieae.
Also: Only E. perfoliatum, E. cannabinum and E. fortunei are in the genus Eupatorium. The other two are only Eupatoriums in the homeopathic nomenclature (often outdated, frequently wrong).
E. aromaticum is now Ageratina aromatica. E. purpureum is now Eutrochium purpureum.
Although in three different genera, the placement as to tribe hasn’t changed. They are all 5 still in Eupatorieae.
I believe it important to have the botanical facts right, even when they don’t completely coincide with homeopathic findings.
Kind regards,
Frans Vermeulen