April 2022

Healing transgenerational patterns: two cases of Staphysagria

by Meeta Nihlani

"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people." Thich Nhat Hanh

The science of epigenetics is rapidly proving that we carry the past within us. Transgenerational patterns are a very important factor that affects the ‘Child Within’. Homeopathic remedies enables us to break these patterns so that we can live healthier, happier, more fulfilled lives. In a moment of insight, a new life course can be set in motion. Our work brings about trans-generational healing, which helps us to understand and clear many of the common blocks to a healthy life physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

The following two cases taught me how we can identify and disrupt these transgenerational patterns. The first case is of a mother suffering from depression and hypothyroidism, who – very unusual in India – had extramarital affairs and multiple abortions. The second case is that of her autistic child with a tendency to masturbate. It turned out that both cases shared a strikingly similar energetic signature.

Case 1

November 2014, M. came in a state of depression, confusion, and suicidal thoughts. She has filed for divorce. She has an eight-year-old child (case 2). She has two boyfriends. She has become pregnant and aborted four times. Because of this, she has lot of guilt and confusion. She is not able to decide whether she should stay with her husband or with either of her boyfriends. She feels trapped in this situation. She has attacks of panic, with guilt and anorexia. During these attacks, she experiences shivering and feels her sugar level is dropping. She has to take sugar during these attacks. She feels that her husband never gave her an opportunity to grow. He always thought first about his own career. She had to leave her job because he wanted to relocate to a remote place for his job. She said she collapsed at the idea of handling her son alone without her husband. How can he be so selfish and ask her to abandon her career and leave her on her own without any support? 

She says that doing things on your own gives you an identity, as you take responsibility. I asked her what she is looking for in her boyfriends.
M: “He should be a good husband. He should understand that your wife wants to grow. A wife should have an independent identity. She should be involved in her work. If she does not work, she is insulted when she asks for spending money.”

This is the point where it became clear that the patient needed a Plant remedy. Although she speaks about identity (3rd series of the Periodic table), what is most important is her sensitivity. She is insulted when she is denied money. (Thus, she is clear within herself that she does have an identity).

M. is working in a government job. The problem she faces there is they will give the dates for the work to be done and she is compelled to follow orders. She feels as if she is blackmailed. She has to work according to them.

She has dreams of talking to her cousins. “My mother does not want me to talk to them. I am blackmailed by my mother; she said she will not stay with me if I talk to them.”

In waking life, she also feels blackmailed by her husband: “You are free to go with your boyfriend but then you will have to leave the child with me forever.”

M: “How can I leave my son? But If I take him with me, how can I do things alone?”

Her experience of blackmail appears in more than one area: it is becoming global. I asked her to say more about being blackmailed.

M: “I don't like imposing their decision on me because then I am not able to take decisions.”

I asked about her childhood. She replied that there was no harmony between her parents. Her mother was not allowed to go out of the home. Her father used to hit her mother. She was terrorized by the domestic violence. She used to isolate herself, always scared that her parents might separate. Will she have to stay alone? She felt helpless.

She always felt sorry for her mother. Her mother was totally benumbed, with no connection to the world. Now, she feels guilty that she cannot do enough for her mother. She tries to keep her happy. She takes her mother out for spiritual discourses daily but has deep resentment towards her. She feels she is always controlled by her mother. She tells her: “Don’t tell me to turn right when I feel guided to turn left.”

M. is addicted to alcohol and cigarettes. She is obsessed with the way she looks and visits a beauty parlor frequently. She loves dancing; she feels like a bird. She feels she exists and she can do something: “Ladies can do something. They are free to travel and go out of house.”

She loves a movie in which the girl was dumped on her wedding day by her fiancée because she was not educated and confident. This girl then decides to go on her honeymoon alone, as they had booked their honeymoon in advance to Paris. During her travels, she meets people and gains confidence. She makes so many friends who love her for who she is. The patient says that while one should not be dumped, life does not end if it happens. The male ego should be challenged; “One should not dump anyone by blaming them.”

She cannot watch Animal Planet as the violence is intolerable; when the tiger eats the deer.

After her marriage, she suffered from typhoid with jaundice. Her main complaint was urinary infection. She says the infection was so intense that she thought she would die. She felt intense urging, burning, and shivering. During the fever, she was so angry with her in-laws that she threw things. She did not like the restrictions a newlywed bride has to face in the Indian joint family system.

M. dreams she is in a muddy lake, unable to come out. She has dreams of running, trying to reach somewhere. Or that she sees a big car; someone is going away from her. A common feeling in her dreams is helplessness, similar to her waking experience.

I observe throughout that she has difficulty expressing herself.


Here, we see a weak, fragile personality who is confused and unable to decide. Her sensitivity to being controlled can be seen in all areas of her life.

For this case, I studied Mahesh Gandhi’s notes on Plants, based on Michal Yakir’s insights. This method helps us to map the “inner age” of the patient. In Yakir’s table, the columns are botanical subclasses. The subclasses represent stages of evolution of plants as they move from primitive to more sophisticated ones.

The corresponding evolutionary process in humans is movement from an initial state of primordial oneness and lack of separation towards differentiation, formation of boundaries, and separation.

In this process, one has to pass initially through the feminine principle and then through the masculine principle before the final emergence of a separate, mature, individuated “I”. In the transformative journey represented by the columns, evolving from one column to the other, the human spirit aspires to obtain awareness, uniqueness, and selfhood, so that it can return to the source, this time as a conscious and evolved soul, as an awakened witness to creation’s essential wonder. Within each subclass, there are many orders and each order can have many families of plants.

The second axis – the rows – is comprised of the plant orders. The theme of the orders, when arranged in evolutionary sequence, reveals another aspect of human development: “The stages of development from birth to old age”. It is based on the understanding of the same by Eric Erikson and Rolf Moss. The nine rows following the stages of human maturation are: before life, the beginning of life, infancy, early childhood, school age, adolescence, young adulthood, late adulthood, and old age.

Together, the columns and rows form a comprehensive table of Plant remedies, upon which the psychological and developmental stages of human beings may be mapped. At every stage of human development, there are certain qualities and possibilities of dysfunction or fixations that manifest as distinctive themes.

In M.’s case, the remedy belonged to Subclass 1.

In the beginning is the sensation of oneness, a state of unity and of wholeness. It is the beginning of the journey to individuality. The ego, which has a sense of separateness, is not really formed but wishes to take its own shape. With the beginning of separation, the ego is just coming into being. Remedies in this subclass correspond with an experience of being not grounded in this reality. In a way, they are not yet “here”.

Problems that arise at this stage involve experiences of chaos, confusion, disorder, and questions about one’s existence; whether one exists or not. The individual feels weak, dependent, is impressionable, easily influenced and ruled by the world but cannot respond.

The plant family Ranunculaceae belongs to the 4th, 5th and 6th rows, corresponding to early childhood, school age, and adolescence.

Here, we see issues of identity integration or confusion. Also, issues related to body image and self-image arise. This may be expressed as rebelliousness, an experience of “hindered”. There may be no sense of duty and a refusal to recognize social roles.

Given the position of the Ranunculaceae on the axes of the table, we can expect to see many issues of control: the experience of being controlled, rigidly trying to control, or absence of control over sexual energy. The Ranunculaceae are irritated easily, sensitive, and anxious. People who resonate with these remedies seek an ideal world and security. They are naive at work. They may be confused and may lose their own way. They may suffer from addictions, tire easily, and get stuck at life transitions.

It is always advisable to complement a contemporary approach with a “tried and true” conventional approach. In this way a synergy is created using traditional homeopathic tools, such as the Materia Medica, repertory, and provings.

The Anchor in this case is confusion. It is like a pillar, something that is sure, definite, rock solid, and gives a deep foothold.

The first rubric selected was:

Mind; confusion of mind; identity, as to his; depersonalization: anh carc falco-p halo herin irid lsd nelu psil-s staph thuj.

The other rubric, which is the crux of the case, was:

Mind; suppression of natural inclinations and desires; write with right hand, must: staph  

This is her exact conflict with her mother:  she says to her mother: “Don’t ask me to go right when I want to go left.”

Other rubrics included:

Mind; desires; full of; refused when offered; throws them away: cham KREOS SEC staph 

This can be seen in her behavior with her boyfriends. She steps back when they propose.

Mind; abuse agg., ailments from; give up relationship, does not: bar-c staph

Mind; alcoholism, dipsomania; withdrawal, to help; sweet alcoholic drinks, for:

mag-c staph

Mind; anger; constriction and swelling in throat-pit, with, swallowing agg.:


Mind; blood or a knife, cannot look at; wounds, cannot look at: NUX-V staph  

Mind; grief; love disappointment, from: AUR ign nat-m ph-ac staph 

Mind; anxiety; suicidal disposition, with: arg-n AUR bell buni-o carc caust chin clem DROS HEP MERC nat-s NUX-Vplat PULS RHUS-T staph thuj  

Mind; anorexia nervosa: staph  

Mind; anger; throws things away: STAPH 

Prescription: Staphysagria 1M


December 5, 2014: the shivering is reduced. She has no urge to smoke or drink alcohol.

She is anxious and confused, and has negative thoughts about everybody, which she refers to as thoughts of a devil. She wants to run away and escape to another world, which would be a kind of a shock treatment to everybody who tries to control her.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1dose

January 25 2015: the shivering is reduced and some stability of thoughts appeared.

She still feels she doesn’t exist. She can never take a decision which will be in her favor, lest she hurt somebody.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1dose

March 25, 2015: her thyroid hormone levels are normal. She can now take decisions without the fear of anybody being hurt. For the first time, she feels, she exists.

Plan: Sac lac

June 15, 2015: she has an acute episode of gastrointestinal upset, along with a renewed craving for alcohol and cigarettes. This was triggered by some conflict at her work place.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10 M, 1dose

July 20, 2015: her gastric upsets have resolved. Her craving for alcohol has reduced but she still wants to smoke.

Plan: Sac lac

August 17, 2015: M. is now a confident woman. She is taken seriously in her office. She can express her opinions better. She has gained confidence. She said that she has kept her relationship issues aside for some time. She wants to do something so that she can gain respect.

Plan: Sac lac

October 10, 2015: she complains of fever and sore throat. This was triggered by a discussion with her husband, in which she gave voice to her desire for a divorce.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1 dose

November 11, 2015: she says she is out from the shadows of the past. She feels in control of her life, she is not a puppet anymore. She has transformed into a confident woman living a fulfilled life. She has a good relationship and is working. She is more creative and does her presentations with clarity of expression.

Case 2

December 2014: Y., the autistic son of M., is ten years old. He has been diagnosed with autism, hyperactivity, attention deficit, and developmental delays in speech. He is hyperactive, and displayed no interest in his surroundings till the age of five. He responded to music, but not to words.

He could not defend himself and wound up being bullied. Yet, Y. was himself destructive, with sudden anger; he could not wait for his turn. He would hit his classmates, followed by quick repentance. He was expelled from a school because of this trait. He cannot accept to be told “no”.

Y. is obstinate. He gets lost in his own world. He laughs and talks to himself about cartoons. He has a tendency to masturbate and handles his genitals frequently. He has to kiss on the lips in order to show affection. He has difficulty expressing emotion.

He watches romantic movies. In his favorite, the hero is a famous Bollywood actor, of whom Y. is a great fan; “I want to be famous, too.” In a song Y. sings, the actor and heroine get very intimate.

He is addicted to chocolates and games. The only way to get him stable is with a video game.

I observe that Y. makes no eye contact. He is hyperactive. He could be controlled only by his mother. He could not bear to see her sad; he panicked. He hugged her and asked “Why are you sad? Are you angry with me?”

He could only be made to sit when reprimanded. He was so restless that he could not sit for a minute. He threatened the staff, saying that this is his office. He touched and played with every appliance available. He could not be constrained.

M. had difficulty getting pregnant. Her infertility work-up was unremarkable but her husband’s sperm count was low and the quality was not good. She was told that she would not have a healthy child.

The pregnancy came as a shock. She felt that the child will not be healthy; why should she bring such a child into this world? She had typhoid and she lost weight during the pregnancy.


I took the following rubrics:
Mind; autism, mutinism: AGRA aspart bar-c bos-s brachy-s bufo cact kali-br LYC staph tarent thuj tub

Mind ; anger; children, in: abrot ACON ANAC ANT-T arn bac bell BRY calc CAPS carb-v carc CHAM cic cina cupr dros hep hoch ip kali-c kali-s kreos LYC med op PHOS plac plut-n sanic scorp sil staph stram syph TER TUB tub-k  

Mind; remorse, repentance; weeping, with: cygn-c-b lach latex staph thul-c

Mind; anarchist: abrot absin ARG-N CAUST eur-p kali-c MERC sep staph thuj  

Mind; contradiction; intolerant of; rules, of, in children: CAPS caust chin dysp erb fl-ac gado-n hep lyc MED nux-v phos PLB sam-s staph sulph TARENT tub  

Mind; authority, refusal to accept some ones: CAPS carc CAUST chin cina dysp erb erb-c erb-p erb-s excr-can fl-ac gado-n hep kali-c lac-d lac-drom lac-eq lach lyc MED neod-n nux-v phos PLB pras-f pras-o prom sac-alb sam-m sam-s staph sulph syph TARENT thuj tub ytte ytte-o   

Mind; anger; temper tantrums: acon aml-n anac ANT-T astac AUR aur-m-n BAR-C bar-s bell bor bufo calc calcul-b canth carc carn-g caust cere-s cham chel cic cich cina cocc coli cupr cupr-acet dpt elaps gado-n germ glon heli hep holm-m hyos lac-drom lach lant-c LON-P luna lyc lyss mag-c mag-m melal-l mez morg mosch nat-c NAT-M NUX-V olnd PETR PHOS plat plut-n prot psor puls sac-alb sanic scorp SENEG sep ser-ang sil STANN STAPH stram STRONT-C sulph syc-co syph tarent tell TER terb-o THUJ thul THYR TUB 

Mind; ambition; ambitious; fame, for: alum aur-s blatta con graph LACH NUX-V staph

Mind; company; aversion to; solitude, desire for; masturbation, to practice: BUFO dios STAPH thuj ust 

These rubrics pointed beautifully and precisely towards Staphysagria as the simillimum for the child, mirroring the mother’s early stage of ego development at the time of her pregnancy with Y.

Prescription: Staphysagria 200, 1 dose

January 2, 2015: it had a calming effect for one day.

Prescription: Staphysagria  1M, 1 dose

January 15, 2015: it helped him to calm down for a week. His caretaker was happy that he was now listening and was less aggressive. He started expressing his love, and was less restless. He is beginning to make friends but still cannot concentrate on anything.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1 dose

April 20, 2015: Y. is calm and composed as compared to previous visits, but still cannot concentrate on anything.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1 dose

June 5, 2015: the child seemed grounded. He could draw to express himself. He had made friends in school and refrained from hitting them. He has developed some patience when he has to wait for his turn. He could establish an eye contact, and responded to my questions. He even wished me a good morning.

Plan: Sac lac

August 18, 2015: Y. comes in to clinic with acute tonsillitis. He was crying and demanding a mobile phone to play games. He tried to take the camera and misbehaved with his mother when refused.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1 dose

August 19, 2015: the infection was better but pain was still there.

Prescription: Staphysagria 10M, 1 dose repeated

October 5, 2015: Y. shook hands with me, making good eye contact. He has started taking interest in the surroundings. He is enjoying school, is able to concentrate, and is coping better. His obsession with romantic movies has gone down. He can express his love without kissing. His mother said that he now asks some intelligent questions. He expresses his anxiety about his parents’ separation, and asks: “Where he would end up staying?” He asks his mother how his friends have so much strength. He likes to go places and enjoys watching the surroundings.

Plan: Sac lac

November 15, 2015:

Y is now much taller and he looks grown up. He could sit in the room and talk about friends and school. He asks how do you use the camera?

He leaves the consulting room and sits outside while his Mom was being counseled. In the past he would yell and throw tantrums.

Plan: Sac lac

December 23, 2015: he seems calmer, grounded. Initially, his energy was like a storm. Now, he can sit in the consulting room waiting for his turn. He communicates with me. His addiction to games has diminished, although still present. He is still under observation.

The Genius in both the mother and child’s case is the inability to express emotions, which leads to excess energy in the sexual sphere. 

Going back one generation more, I learned that the grandmother had been in an abusive relationship and chose to bear her suffering in silence. Her case could be analyzed with the following rubrics:

Mind; abuse agg., ailments from; give up relationship, does not: bar-c staph  

The grandmother always tells her daughter to cut off all her extra marital relationships, as she is disgraced because of them.

Mind; delusions, imaginations; disgraced; she is: kali-s mag-s nat-s nux-v plat rob staph sulph.

Thus, it is possible that the grandmother also could be in a Staphysagria state.

The beauty of these cases is they presented different aspects of the same remedy. Y. presented a typical Staphysagria state with aggression, inability to express himself, and an exaggerated and precocious sexuality.

The mother’s case, however, could only be worked out by understanding the different stages of ego formation. With this background of individuation, we can see the same energetic pattern across three generations. It’s a pattern where a weak, naïve, and confused ego attracts abuse in a relationship. This leads to disharmony, which can become transgenerational, and is best cleared with a homeopathic remedy. These cases left me wondering: can we help more children with autism by taking into account the transgenerational patterns that may be still untreated?

Photos: Shutterstock
Adult and child hands; paulaphoto
Blue Delphinium; Elena 11
Little boy playing video games; Camilla$$



Categories: Cases
Keywords: depression, blackmail, domestic violence, urinary inflammation, control issues, lack of confidence, autism, hyperactivity


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