April 2014

Sensitive, soft, and vulnerable: a case of Nymphaea odorata

by Martin Jakob

Man 30 years old. Depression, pain in the genital area, fatigue, constant nausea, dizziness, changing pains in different parts of the body.

The pain and the depression started in 2008; they were associated with a burn-out syndrome and an inability to work. From then and until 2011, he was repeatedly admitted to a psychiatric clinic. The dizziness is as if being on a boat; it is constantly present and it feels like he is staggering and insecure when standing. He has pain in his penis, testicles, and groins; it is an oppressive and piercing pain, worse when he stands. He often has strong tension in his neck and a lump in his throat and abdomen. He is so exhausted that he could sleep all the time; if he pushes himself to work despite his tiredness, it gets worse. If several people are talking at the same time, he must try hard to focus in order to keep up. His stool has a slimy transparent layer on the surface. If he drinks beer, his skin becomes greenish-yellow. He feels desperate because he never feels well and he is not making any progress with the psychologist.

It started with the fact that he heard voices; someone said something very important to him every day and did not stop. He was completely confused and did not understand anything anymore. There was something in his life that he did not realize until he found out that he was sexually abused as a child. In later childhood, he had terrible dreams: he was pursued by a black man or he was confined to a bed. He also had a feeling as though he was wearing a mask, with a strange dragging feeling on his skin. He smelled odours that did not exist.

He grew up as an only child; he has always felt alone and always wanted to have siblings. Later, in school, he was never liked. He was a loner who never got along with his classmates and was always the scapegoat. At times, he felt very distraught. He had problems concentrating and found it difficult to learn and to manage his time. He felt terrible at elementary school.

His father was a stranger to him, only a father on paper; only his mother’s husband. His parents had separate rooms. It was only later in life that he found out that his “father” was not his biological father, although everyone else knew it. He felt loved by his mother.   

To me, he seems very sensitive, soft, vulnerable, and very young by nature. 

Intolerances: alcohol, beer 

Aversions: seafood, squid

Desires: sweets, cake


Hydrogen series: hears voices; confusion; disorientation; understood nothing; vertigo, dizziness

Carbon Series: alone as a child, his father was only a father on paper, never speaking with him; feeling unprotected as a child

Nymphaeales: strange feelings that he could not name (= unable to act, only experience)

Nymphaeaceae: lost in the world and sexually abused, tortured; pain in the genitals, groin

Nymphaea odorata: felt more like stage 12 than stage 6, pursued by a black stranger; felt like violence

Prescription: Nymphaea odorata

Follow ups
He has no more pain in his genitals, and the dizziness, nausea, and fatigue are gone. For a few days after the remedy, he again smells odours that were not there, and hears a whispering voice in his head. There were things from the past that he recognised but did not know what they actually were: the darkness below, the smell, the sounds that went back a long way. These are memories of the events that happened in his early childhood. "I was still very young when I experienced this abuse and did not have the consciousness to understand it. It is important to experience that again to understand it." In the past, these feelings of pain, nausea, dizziness were like an avalanche. The worst part was that he could not control it at all; he could do nothing, he could only wait for it to pass. With this remedy, he experienced how the past resolved itself. As a little child, he could not understand the experience and the feelings, now he knows that everything he felt was true. Before this remedy, he perceived himself as a child; now, he experiences himself as an adult. Now, he is sure that nothing will happen to him anymore.

The central conflict of the Nymphaeaceae is the conflict between just being and experiencing (Hydrogen series) and of not being able to act or to do something (Carbon Series). This shows the beauty of the plant system: we are better able to understand the theme, the problems, or as in this case, the severe trauma, by applying the series from the periodic system, and are thus able to prescribe more precisely and heal more deeply. The remedies of the Nymphaeaceae family are useful for major trauma, especially when it comes to terrible experiences that involve a split of mind and body. It is thus experienced physically, but one’s consciousness has no way to process the experience.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Nymphaea odorata; Mathew Townsend; Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

Categories: Cases
Keywords: depression, fatigue, nausea, dizziness, changeable pains, insecurity, childlike, learning difficulties, sexual abuse
Remedies: Nymphaea odorata


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