December 2015

Disconnected from the world: a case of Nuphar luteum

by Catherine Božo?ová

Nine-year-old girl, very beautiful, fine, and timid. Her skin is very pale, her eyes clear, and her hair dark. She speaks with a deep voice and keeps her mouth constantly open. When she thinks, she unconsciously pulls faces. Before answering questions, she thinks for a long time and even stops between each sentence to think.

She has a strange way of walking, in slow motion and only on her toes.

Homeopath (H): What brings you here?

Patient (P): “I’ve got eczema. It really bothers me. Sometimes, it stings but what bothers me is that it itches. So, I scratch myself and after that it’s even worse.”

H: When do you feel good?

Comment: she thinks for a while, pulling faces, and keeping her mouth open.

P: “When we’re all together, the whole family. Sometimes, Dad is not home, he’s at work. It’s not as good when he’s not home. The best is when we’re all together."

H: Tell me what you don’t like.

P: “I don’t like maths. Some exercises are too difficult, divisions for example. I don’t like going to bed. I would prefer to continue playing, stay outside, stay with my parents. I’m scared of the dark. I’m also scared of the cupboard. I’m scared of wolves, those who can talk. I’m scared they’ll eat me. They look like people with hair.  
“When I’m not alone, I’m not afraid. Otherwise, I’m afraid and not only before going to sleep. I’m also scared at night. I’ve got nightmares; I dream of nasty people who hurt children and I dream of wolves. I’ve got a nightmare that always comes back: a woman is stabbing me with a knife. I’m scared of her and I want to run away but she locks me up in a house and I can’t get out.”

Comment: she pulls faces and blinks many times between sentences.

Mother (M): “She takes ages to fall asleep; everyone in the house is asleep except her. Already as a baby, she wasn’t calm. When I came home from the hospital, she didn’t stop crying. Then, when she was older, she did something strange: she would go for an afternoon nap and wouldn’t wake up until the next morning. She started having nightmares when she was three or four. Having nightmares every night has gone on for a long time.
“She started kindergarten at the age of three and a half. Every day when I left, she cried, and she cried for a long time.”

P: “I screamed a lot, I didn’t want them to go. I thought they might not come back, even if I knew they would come back. I wanted to be with them, play with them, and I couldn’t. I’m still sad when I go to school, I always want Mum to take me up to the classroom.”

Comment: she still pulls faces and blinks.

H: How do you perceive your daughter?

M: “It feels as if she’s not really here. She often seems disconnected from the world; she watches more than she participates. She isn’t very sociable. She’s very messy.”

P: “When I come home from school, I throw my things on the floor and I change my clothes to go outside.”

M: “She loves being cuddled; she has a great need for cuddles. She loves all that is beautiful. She loves to draw and paint but without limits. She doesn’t like to conform to rules.”

H: Would you like drawing something for me?

P: “Oh, yes”.

M: “She’d love playing an instrument but she doesn’t want to sit the entrance exam. She is afraid and shy. It’s quite extreme, she can’t even buy herself an ice cream! She has a block when it comes to communication. The other kids don’t accept her well.”

P: “I’ve got a girlfriend, that’s enough.”

H: What do you like about your girlfriend?

P: “She is like me, we understand each other.”

H: Do you have other fears?

P: “I’m scared someone will kidnap me. I’m afraid my parents might die.”

H: What do you like doing?

P: “What I like most is to play in the garden with my little brother. When it’s sunny, I go out. I go walking with Mum and Dad. I like reading.”

Comment: she tells me the story of her favorite book; it’s about a dog. Her way of telling the story is very organized and logical, in contrast to the way she talks about herself, pausing and thinking in between each sentence.  

M: “She is very feminine and sensitive.
“You have to tell her things three or four times before she takes notice. She’s disconnected. Physically, she’s here but she doesn’t register what’s happening around her. I’ve got to shout, then she notices and reacts.
“Everything takes ages with her. In the morning, for example, she puts one sock on and then starts looking through the window, dreaming. It’s as if time stops. She stays there, mouth open. Sometimes, it’s impossible to get on with her because she’s incapable of sticking to what she’s doing.
For her school work, she has to do it herself. So, here she is, staring into space, mouth open, taking three or four hours to get through her work. It’s like that every day so she hasn’t got any time for something else.”

P: “I start looking at something and I can’t take my eyes away from it. I feel disconnected from the world. I think the most about Bella, she was my dog and she died.”

M: “She’s been dead for almost two years. She spent all her time with her, in her basket.”

P: “My favorite animal is a dog.”

H: How is her sense of orientation?

M: “She mixes left from right, which gives her problems with writing.”

P: “Sometimes, I wonder if I’m not in another world.”

M: “She asks me: ‘Mum, are we in the real world? What we live, is it real? Am I really here? And you, are you here? Is it true that you’re here and I can see you or are you in another world?’”


This young girl gives me the strong impression that she needs a remedy belonging to the Plant kingdom. She makes me think of the first series’ themes, but I doubt she will need Hydrogenium or Helium or even an acid. In the Plant kingdom, however, we can find remedies with similar themes.  

It is as if she was not yet incarnated. She walks on her toes, she is disconnected, in her own world, moving in slow motion, mixes sides, and pulls faces unconsciously. She is here but not truly here.

Already as a child, she was not really in the world; she would take afternoon naps and not wake up until the next morning.

We can sense in her a great need of unity, of fusion. She rejects constraints and rules.

All these themes surely belong to the first series. 

Nevertheless, we also find themes from the second series: her need for physical contact, for cuddles; typical fears of childhood: darkness, solitude, wolves; skin problems; loves to play.

These themes direct us, in Jan Scholten’s system, to the Nymphaeidae – 621.00. According to Scholten, the main theme of the Nymphaeidae is “not knowing whether they are real”, which is exactly what she often asks to her mother: “Mum, are we in the real world? What we live, is it real? Am I really here? And you, are you here? Is it true that you’re here and I can see you or are you in another world?”

Which phase and which subphase?
I only observe themes belonging to phase 1: she is not part of the group yet and does not feel she belongs there.
According to Scholten, the issue of 621.11 is action: they watch passively, they are not present.  

Which stage?
In this case, I do not immediately see clues for the stage. Luckily, there are few remedies in the Nymphaeaceae family and I find one which seems to fit well: Nuphar luteum – 621 11.06, which has a love of animal and ailments from the death of a beloved animal.

I think this remedy corresponds well to this case, even though I have only read about it in relation to themes of sexuality, which do not appear here.

Prescription: Nuphar luteum 1M, one granule, every day for three days.

Before leaving, the girl gives me her drawing.                                                                                                                           

I cannot help but see the picture of a water lily, particularly the big pink central flower (even though the flower of the water lily has a different shape). It is unusual for a girl her age to draw flowers with such long stems. The dark green line reminds me, in a symbolic way, of the border between above and below.

Yellow water lilies grow in stagnant waters and have no fixed roots. Their rhizome can reach between fifty cm to two meters deep.

This drawing comforted me in the choice of the remedy and I bid farewell to my young patient with good hope for a change.


Six weeks later: my young patient bristles with energy; she is full of life. She is completely metamorphosed.

H: What has changed?

P: “My dreams; often I don’t dream or I forget that I have dreamt. Sometimes I have beautiful dreams: it’s summer, I feel it’s going to happen, maybe this summer it will happen.”

H: What about the nightmares?

P: “Little by little, they’ve completely disappeared. I think it’s good they’ve gone.”

H: Has something else changed?

P: “I feel better. I go outside more than before. I do my homework much faster. One day I tried because I wanted to go out sooner, and I’ve managed to do them quicker. Maths are easier now. I’m starting to like it.”

M: “Since the remedy, she only needs between ten and thirty minutes to do her homework. Then she runs outside. She’s outside the whole afternoon. It’s another life!”

Comment: what a striking difference compare to the daily three to four hours needed to do her homework!

P: “In the evening, I’m not afraid anymore to be on my own. I’ve sorted my two wardrobes. I’m not afraid anymore when the light is switched off. It’s easier to fall asleep and I sleep much earlier.”

Comment: I notice that she has stopped pulling faces.

H: What about the eczema?

P: “I scratch much less. It’s nearly gone, I don’t think about it anymore.”

M: “It’s quite small now and looks a bit better. There’s just a little bit left.”

H: What about feeling disconnected?

P: “It might still be the same.”

M: “Now, she is present. When she is outside, climbing in the trees, for example, she has to be present, she hasn’t got a choice. I don’t even remember the last time I saw with her mouth open staring into space. She hasn’t been walking on her toes either for quite a long time.”

H: What about feeling shy?

P: “Not too much, I think. Two weeks ago, I went to Music school to sit the entrance exam, and I was really scared.”

M: “Yes, but before she didn’t even want to go. So, this time, she has done it, even if she was scared.”

H: What about communicating? You said she wasn’t even able to buy herself an ice cream.

P: “I bought myself one. I know the ice cream man, so it was easy.”

M: “It’s a true miracle. Her bedroom is not a mess anymore. It’s a lot easier to communicate with her now. Life is much easier for her. For me too, life is easier. I’m so happy she’s not suffering anymore. I’m happy to see her playing outside; jumping, running… it’s fantastic! She is also eating much better; she has got a good appetite. Now, we can see her full of joy. She isn’t cut off from the world anymore. Before, it was as if she was half asleep all the time. Now, she is full of life, really here. I’m so happy.”

Comment: we can see a clear amelioration at all levels. The difference is great, even if the girl is not aware of all the changes that have taken place. She is happy with the treatment and so is her mother. We can also see more clearly the themes of stage 6: prove something to oneself, dare to do something dangerous.

Prescription: repeat the remedy as needed.

Five months later: the mother tells me: “Miracles do not happen only in fairy tales. I’m so grateful. It’s a new life.”

The little princess woke up, not from the legendary prince’s kiss but from a flower’s kiss – the kiss of Nuphar luteum!

Photo: Shutterstock
Girl scared in her bed; Jenn Huls


Categories: Cases
Keywords: eczema, toe-walking, timidity, lack of incarnation, grimaces, nightmares, dissociation, love of animals
Remedies: Nuphar luteum


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