2011 October

Phalaenopsis gigantea: the Hahnemannian proving of Elephant ear orchid

by Sally Williams

Description and Source:

The most widely grown orchids in the world are the species and hybrids of Phalaenopsis. Phalaenopsis gigantea or “Elephant Ear Orchid” is native to Borneo and was first described in 1909. Named for its gigantic leaves that easily exceed 60 centimeters, it is the largest of the Phalaenopsis species. The massive leaves are pendent, leathery, broadly rounded, pale silver green and shiny on both surfaces, resembling “elephant ears”. An epiphyte; it can be found growing in the tops of trees with the massive roots wrapped around branches for support. In Borneo, the humidity is high and rainfall is plentiful, although there is a drier season usually towards the middle part of the winter. Generally, the plants grow with steeply tilted leaves to shed water in order to prevent crown rot from occurring. The flowering season is heaviest in the summer; the plant can bloom from 4-6 months at a time. A typical Phalaenopsis gigantea flower has a natural spread of about five centimeters. The flowers tend to have a cream or yellow background with varying degrees of green around the column. The flowers have full, round petals that are about equal in size, are usually overlapping and have raised red-brown spots or blotches that can be felt with the fingers. Mature plants are capable of producing hundreds of flowers on branching stalks reaching 40 centimeters.


The decision to prove Phalaenopsis gigantea arose from the theory that orchids who mimic animals or have animal names may address learning disabilities, even autism. The two successful cases I have seen of this remedy were for a child on the Autistic spectrum who was obsessed with elephants and an adult whose inabilities to communicate and learn well led him to become depressed and withdraw from family and friends.

The central idea of Phalaenopsis gigantea is confusion with a lack of comprehension and difficulty in concentration, learning, retaining information, writing, and speaking. The proving participants were enrolled in a homeopathic college. During the proving each one temporarily had trouble learning and retaining information as if they had learning disabilities. There was also difficulty with memory, a fogginess of mind and a dullness of senses, “not able to listen and remember almost as though I cannot hear”. A patient given Phal-gig with success described it as “a feeling of being underwater”.

Taking tests was difficult and many of them failed an exam, but were able to take the test again and pass when the proving was over. Yet one prover with a history of ADD did very well during the proving and many of his concentration difficulties were subsequently curatively resolved.

In addition, there was frustration over the inability to communicate -- a feeling of being trapped by it with a desire to, but inability to escape. These trapped feelings and scenarios came out in many of the dreams of provers. The primary source of these feelings is a sense that they can’t communicate effectively and are misunderstood. There was irritability over misunderstandings, provoking arguments with co-workers, friends and spouse. The more intense the inability to communicate became the more the provers tended to withdraw. Ultimately, they felt lost and directionless, feeling as if they did not belong.


Mental and Emotional Themes:

- Confusion/difficult concentration
- Frustration/Anger/Irritability
- Difficulty Learning, Writing, and Spelling
- Difficult communication
- Memory/forgetfulness
- Anxiety/Depression/Alienation/Suicide
- The Number Three
- Trapped/Escape/Resourceful
- Dogs/Animals
- Leaves/Trees/Mountains


- Alcohol tolerance
- High/Low Energy
- Blurred vision
- Congestion and burning of eyes, nose and sinuses
- Bitter/metallic taste
- Heartburn and reflux
- Lack of libido
- Heavy extremities/clumsy
- Sleepy/sleeplessness

To read the entire proving please visit Luminos Homeopathic Courses at www.homeopathycourses.com

This remedy is available at Remedia pharmacy www.remedia.at

Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Phalaenopsis gigantea; Wolfgang Apel
Inertia underwater; Jason de Caires Taylor



Categories: Provings
Keywords: confusion, frustration, learning difficulties, anxiety, depression, heartburn, eyes problems
Remedies: Phalaenopsis gigantea


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Posts: 2
Elephant themes
Reply #2 on : Fri November 14, 2014, 01:10:54
Very interesting! It reminds me of elephant milk, problems with memory and confusion.

Posts: 2
Reply #1 on : Tue May 01, 2012, 19:33:35
Hi, very interesting... Would you give us more info on your phalae-g. child case? Thanks for sharing.