February 2015

Life is hard: a case of Raphanus sativus - 655.66.16

by Deborah Collins

Mrs. C. is an eighty-two-year-old woman who lives on her own, managing a small farm. She is small and somewhat hunched. One can read the hardship on her wrinkled face. She has “workers hands”, obviously used to hard work.

Complaint: digestive problems

“I have wind in my belly. It comes up, not down. I am burping all the time. I’ve been to plenty of healers, but nothing helps. I don’t digest properly, maybe because I eat too fast. The gas in my belly gets stuck, and then it is really painful. If I can burp it is better. My digestion is worse in the afternoons but mostly in the evenings; it prevents me from sleeping. I can’t eat salads, especially in the evenings. Basically, I eat everything, fatty things too. Onions are fine.

“All my life I’ve worked hard. It was not like it is these days. I had five children in six years – and no washing machine like nowadays, everything by hand. I had haemorrhoids after the children. I’ve always worked a lot of the farm, even when I was a young girl. I am used to managing things by myself on the farm now, the chickens, the vegetable garden, the rabbits. I can drive a tractor. My husband died twenty years ago. My daughters come from time to time, they live in the city, but they don’t help, I do it all alone. They hardly call me up.

“I lost my oldest son to liver cancer. He got sick after a vaccination, he got encephalitis and epilepsy. I looked after him all the time.  When he died, I stopped sleeping and had to take medication. The next year my husband died, then, the next year my brother died. My mother died of stomach cancer. My life has always been hard – if I had known beforehand I wouldn’t have started on it. Everything goes through my head all the time, all my past, all those troubles. I think ‘I should just go now, I’ve had enough.’ I don’t have many moments of joy – my only pleasure is my car, the fact that I can go where I please.

“All my life I’ve worked hard, had lots of troubles. My parents had a miserable life, they were poor. They had us children late; we were raised during the war. We were given tickets to go and get chocolate – my father had to walk all the way to the next town just to pick up the card, twelve kilometres; he became ill during the war. My brother and I worked hard on the farm, looking after the animals. My mother did not want us to leave the farm, she needed us to work.  I knitted, made my own clothes, there was no money. There was no joy, nothing to look forward to but hard work. I had to walk five km each way to go to school. The kids hit me and the teachers didn’t say anything. Life is hard."

Medical history/ physicals

Thyroidectomy after death of son, before death of husband; “I didn’t realise I was sick.”
False teeth since having children.
Heart: tachycardia, arrhythmia
Menopause: arthritis in knees “sore, blocked; I could not walk.” Takes plant remedy since that time to ameliorate pain in knees and back.
Allergy: < by dampness; nose running; high fevers: 41 ? Celsius, was put on Oxygen; coughs
Pneumonia at nine years old; “The doctor thought I would die.”
Varicoses, haemorrhoids
No diarrhoea
Poor circulation, cold feet, cold legs, sleeps with socks on
Seldom headaches
Food: aversion radish. “I never grow it, never eat it. I don’t like it.”


Here, the aspect of feeling "used and abused", an Oxygen or phase 6 quality, is at the forefront. There is in fact a double 6 quality - both phase and subphase point to 6, as her whole story is about how hard her life has been and how little help she has had. Even in her old age, she feels that she receives little support from her children. The stage 16 quality is also evident: retreating, with the feeling that everything has been taken away and lost. There is nothing good to look forward to and only death would be a release. The Silver series aspect, though, was harder to observe, as her whole being was occupied with hard work and grudges, and she did not seem to aspire to the arts or other creative ideals. The case was thus resolved by knowing the theme of the Brassicales: "Life is hard". Still, it was interesting to ask her more of her inner life, once she was improved, and this led to an insight into this family. "I have always felt that I was too good to be doing what I am doing, just staying at home on the farm. I would have liked to be out in the world, exploring, seeing new things. That is why my car is so important to me - it gives me freedom. I've always seen myself as a hidden princess, born into the wrong family, and stuck on a farm." Here, we finally find the Silver series aspect, the princess, though the phase and subphase 6 plus the stage 16 mean that this remains hidden to the outside world.

“Life is hard”: Brassicales; hard work, no joy, no money, just hard work with no pleasures
Digestive complaints with distension: Brassicales
“Stuck, no movement”: Brassicales; knees stuck, flatulence stuck
Stuck in the past, stuck in old grievances: Brassicales
Aversion radish: Raphanus; stuck flatulence

Prescription: Raphanus sativus 30C, once per week, three doses

When we said goodbye, I said: “I’ll see you in six weeks time.” To which she answered: “If I’m still alive.”!!!


Six weeks later: “Much less wind than before. Less pain in my belly. I don’t need to burp as often. I digest things straight away. I’m coughing less, the allergy seems better.

“The bank has made a mistake with my account – they say that I have been to the supermarket twice the same day, for exactly the same amount, at almost the same time. What a rip-off! There’s nothing I can do about it and yet, I already don’t have much money.

Prescription: Raphanus sativus 200C, once per two weeks, three times

This time, I said: “I’ll see you again in three months.” “Maybe,” she replied.

Three months later: this time, Mrs. C. is smiling, a broad smile with no bitterness.

“My knees are better, no pain at all. They used to hurt when I walked. My back is better, too. I couldn’t do anything with it since the menopause. I’ve stopped taking the herbal remedy that I’ve taken since the menopause, I don’t need it anymore. I’m not blocked anymore. My digestion is better. I only have a bit of pain in the lower abdomen once in a while, but no more swelling, no more burping, only if I eat too much salad or fresh bread in the evening. I’ve lost six kilos, I feel better."

So, now we’re saying goodbye: “I’ll see you again in the three months,” I told her expectantly. “Good, I’m looking forward to seeing you again.” We both parted smiling.

Brassicaceae: 655.66

They hold onto old pains, of being neglected, used, and humiliated; they cannot let them go. They feel that what has been done to them is unfair. The old grudges impede the flow of their lives. Angry, embittered, hard, hatred, cynical. Disappointment. Feeling unloved. A situation where there has been not much fun, no pleasure: long winters in the north. Poor digestion of emotions, poor digestion of food. General: feeling blocked, obstructed, not flowing. Delusion: is dead, has unrecognised disease. Pursued by enemies, in a graveyard, by ghosts. Desire to leave the situation, go elsewhere. Trapped, want to escape.[1]

Digestive problems. Face wrinkled. Thyroid problems. Heart problems. Cataract. 

Raphanus: stage 16
Trapped flatulence
“Life is hard.”
“My mother would not let us go away, she needed us to work for her.”
“My knees and my back are blocked.”
“I could not sleep because of thinking of all the bad things in the past.”
“I might not be alive in six weeks time.”


[1] Scholten J.: Wonderful Plants, p.501. Stichting Alonnissos, 2013

Photo: Shutterstock
Worker's hands; Andrea Izzotti
Bunch of red radishes; kzww

Categories: Cases
Keywords: indigestion, flatulence, aversion radishes, hard work, miserable life
Remedies: Mezereum, Raphanus sativus


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