February 2015

Feeling used and taken for granted: a case of Pontederia cordata - 633.46.011

by Pieter Kuiper

Since I have been studying homeopathy, I have been intrigued by the amount of possible available remedies. The history of homeopathy started with Hahnemann who only had a few dozens of remedies in the beginning. During my practice years, from about 1980 onwards, the amount of available remedies increased steadily, and I was always conscious of the fact that everything in the world around us could be used as a remedy. Related to that notion, when we take the concept of  the ‘Similimum’ in consideration, I wondered: how can we ever be sure about our choice of a remedy when there are thousands of remedies or more...?

That dilemma started already when I tried to memorize all the remedies in the beginning of my homeopathic study. Therefore, I always have a lot of compassion for beginning homeopathic students.

Since then, however, we have had the fantastic discoveries of Rajan Sankaran and especially of Jan Scholten, who offered us basic structures of order in remedy pictures by way of the Periodic system and in a similar way of the Plant kingdom. These discoveries of a natural order in life, reflected in the Mineral and Plant kingdoms, enable us to come as close as possible to the problem of the patient. Compared to the past decades, we now have a possibility of choice for a remedy from a certain kingdom, and within that kingdom, we can come nearer to what series, stage, phase or subphase a patient might 'fit'.

My experience has taught me that, although a remedy might not be an ideal choice, when a remedy comes relatively close to the problem of the patient, the patient will benefit more clearly than usual. This is a less narrow definition of a similimum, because, whom of us can say that one chose the Similimum or the Remedy, like in the old days, taking into account, again, that we have thousands of remedies available...


The patient is a sixty-six-year old woman with panic attacks, nausea, and sleeplessness. She comes due to panic attacks during the night, when the calming effect of the glasses of wine she has taken in the evening has worn off. She lost her husband about ten years ago. She has four children, between forty-three and twenty-four years old; the eldest being a son and the others being daughters. Three of them are married and the youngest is living on her own.

She panics about her financial situation, whether she will be able to manage, because her house is being renovated inside. She fears that the renovation will not succeed. She also worries about her health and is afraid of developing Alzheimer’s disease. She is very much the mother of her family; she has always been very dedicated to her children and now, to her grandchildren. She feels rather burnt out: everything is 'consumed' in her, she has no energy, and so much is going on in her head, especially the fears. She sleeps poorly, waking frequently, and she stays in bed until late in the morning. She dreams of spiders.

During former consultations, she regularly talked about all kind of situations with her children and in-laws. They all seem to take her dedication for granted. They ask her for baby-sitting in a way of being very nice to her and they invite her for a coffee, but then she knows they need her for something else. She feels used or even abused by them but she cannot say ‘no’. She is afraid of conflicts because then she thinks she might lose her contact with them. She also lent money to one of her daughters, who never paid it back. This daughter even asked to use her new bicycle but has still not returned it.

Her relationship with her late husband was more or less a similar story. She had the feeling that his choices were realized and not hers. Despite that, she was the stable center of the family, which was exactly the same in her family of origin. She was the one who would take the real responsibilities in serious situations.

She used to work as a nurse; she always worked hard and she still looks rather strong and fit. She is very conscious of that, looking fit. Inside, however, she felt used by her family and also at her work.

She has been in my practice for more than twenty years. In the past, one of the remedy she reacted very well to was Sanguinaria nitricum.

Prescription: Pontederia cordata 200C

Her fears and nausea disappeared and her sleep improved. She also mentioned that her digestion and stool have improved: in the past, she had problems digesting bread and fatty food. Her dreams of spiders are gone.


Carbon series: having little money, body is burnt-out.

Silicon series: serving husband and children, family issues.

Phase 4: family is very important, she is the axis of the family.

Subphase 6: giving too much; abused

Stage 11:  maintaining the stability of the whole family as a guardian.

My idea is that the Commelinales – 633.46 are 'common' for family-oriented people (633) who are very caring, positioning themselves as strong persons in the family (phase 4) and whose care and efforts are taken for granted, so that they have the feeling of being abused (subphase 6).

Fitting the patient to certain series, phase, subphase or stage is, in a way, a refinement or 'calibration', which is exactly the same as what we consider as the idea of the ‘Similimum’. Sometimes, we are helped by the physical symptoms, which are known of plants or minerals, but frequently we do not know them, and then, it becomes rewarding to prescribe according to the Plant theory.

Photo: Shutterstock
Used and abused; Shaun Norton

Categories: Cases
Keywords: panic attacks, nausea, sleeplessness, taken for granted, responsible, burn-out
Remedies: Pontederia cordata


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