After having had three well-followed cases of Doryphora, all doing satisfactorily, it has been gratifying on two counts: being able to rely on the inference that common elements exist amongst different members of the same family and that a case will indeed relate to known dynamics of the source in its natural environment.
In the Coleoptera family, the members have a hard protective outer layer and a vulnerable inner body, reflecting their duality, with emphasis on dark and light with the firefly. Taken with the theme of metamorphosis – for maturation as well as for the species as a whole within its ecosystem, we have the guideline for a beetle family prescription.
For now, we will focus on Doryphora decemlineata, the Colorado potato beetle, but you can refer to my more complete inferential map for the beetle family in my article in Homeopathic Links (Winter 2010, Vol. 23: 1-5) which I used for this case.
I shall share a Doryphora case that includes what may well be a central dynamic for this bug in particular, some commonalities in all the cases, and how that compares to the beetles in general.
A 27 year-old female engineer came to me with the beginning of psoriasis, one quarter-sized patch (2.5 cm) on her shin, which flakes off leaving a purple-red under-lesion. Better with the sun. She has a history of asthma brought on by allergies or anxiety and she feels wheezy with a tight chest, closed throat, worse after running or spin class. She also gets a stuffy nose, sore throat, and puffy eyes. She is triggered by cats, dust, and pollen, and is worse in the fall. In her preteens, she had chronic bronchitis and pneumonia, accompanied by alopecia.
Six years previously she use to have strange anxiety attacks, feeling engulfed in high pitched sounds, staring faces, and claws attacking her, pulling and paralyzing her. She was terrified, with her nerves on alert.
She dreams of kids, or herself, jumping and then being able to fly or float.
In elementary school she was sensitive to other’s anxiety and her middle school had “bad thug-like kids and man-girls”. She was quiet and kept a low profile, but eventually got into standard teenager drama.
There she gave a lot to the arts, showcasing her creative side. It also allowed her to escape the bullying and fighting.
In university she drank too much, almost failed, lived on rice, shrimp and beer and she developed alopecia. She felt an imbalance between the arts and science, the latter being too abstract and boring. She was doing everything she liked, nothing she hated, but now she’s stuck in her job. She had to switch off her artistic thinking to go into what her artist parents considered to be more stable.
If she does what her friends want instead of what she wants, she then feels guilty. Since starting to make money she’s taking care of her struggling family more, but trying to say “no”, realizing that being able to say no is part of growing up. When she was 8 and her parents separated, her mother started asking for money, as well as her friends, and she feels she’s letting them down. She thinks she must be attracted to unstable people, being stable herself, and she says “I’m the person giving advice and then telling them to smarten up or grow up.” Right now her job is less challenging so she can do her artistic things on the side and have the balance for career, money and fun. One of her bosses is an addict and the other ‘insane’. She uses the words ‘crazy’ and ‘insane’ often when describing the people around her.
She alternates from weekend indulgences to doing cleanses. She gets dizzy and cold if she doesn’t eat, almost fainting when she was a vegetarian; she tends toward being anemic. She gets headaches with pressure changes and tension. The winter, without sunshine, is hard on her energy. She tends to get cold sores with dust, smoke and stress.
Her hormones are stable on the pill, otherwise long and heavy with intense cramps and PMS.
She’s afraid of snakes and tornados and situations where she doesn't know anyone. She feels a dismissive vibe and shuts down, but can be vibrant if she is engaged and enjoying herself. She dreams of having no control.
She will commit to a goal and follow through, but she’s learned to drop things when they become boring. With boys, she had a 3 year relationship, and then had short term relationships with fellows who were “players”; she hasn’t been hesitant to drop them and say “next!” She cannot stand her roommate, who is lazy and messy.
This case still needs to ripen, but I feel there’s been significant overall change with the remedy so far, with the improvement of different symptoms happening along the way. The first visit approximately one year ago. After 3 follow-ups the psoriasis was gone, but then it returned 6 months later, so she came back for a couple more consultations. With repetition of the remedy, again the psoriasis steadily went away and is almost gone.
With her relationship to chaotic, aggressive, insane, dark and demanding energies she found all around her, challenging her to change, her psoriasis returned. These are adjectives we could use to describe the Solanaceae family. Along with seeing many common beetle family characteristics in this case, she also had to maintain order and stability amidst the chaos of the Solanaceae.
The same dynamic holds true for the Colorado potato beetle in its environment, as it needs to maintain a resistance to the toxicity of the Solanaceae for its nourishment and survival. In the firefly we also see a connection to drug addicts, but more with an enabling dynamic, reflecting the conflict between dark and light in the patient. In a Doryphora case, although still having the dark-light struggle, the patient will be more of a survivor of poisonous attacks, needing to resist toxicity. “Delirium from sepsis” is perhaps an interesting known rubric, which is also figuratively appropriate in Doryphora.
The same dynamic presented in my other two Doryphora cases in a very similar way. It is the challenge of changing a toxic influence into a balance of dark and light forces and ultimately being able to deal with chaos-producing energy to their advantage and to their purpose.
Other common aspects in all 3 cases were hypersensitivity to allergens and energies, shortness of breath and anxiety, the latter also arising from the hypersensitivity to toxicity. In our main case, one small but auspicious result was that she stopped getting hangovers. In one of the other cases, the patient would drink without limit to the point of near alcohol poisoning, and then wanted to do a cleanse that would end up too much for her as well. In the third case, the patient had a fear of her allergens and dark energies, searching for what could bring order and protection. She connected to dead relatives who were struggling to rise out of their dark side. She herself felt vulnerable rising out of her dark side, but caution gave way to courage and she could take a stand, as in the main case. All 3 patients have: sensitivity to energies; duty verses self; staring and threatening faces (perhaps the hydrophobic side of the remedy); stability verses chaos; and loss of independence or highly independent to compensate for an unstable environment. But the most characteristic aspect in all three was summarized by the third case, mentioned above, when she said “I wish I hadn’t been pulled by all the craziness in my life.”
The common beetle characteristics in all 3 cases were the general improvement with sun and warmth, worse in the dark and cold, herpes blisters, a tubercular dissatisfaction, industriousness, empathy, flying and escape, the need to mature or go through a metamorphosis, and the dualities: dark - light, hard protection – soft vulnerability, intellectualism and creativity. Also, going through the dark to come into the light and into balance through a successful metamorphosis, which in turn allows an evolution to take place in their environment, which is how beetles have survived for millennia.
Our main Doryphora patient was facilitated through an interesting process. Almost immediately she was saying “no” to family handouts with not much trouble. The “garbage” from her family and roommate that had invaded her space was purged, along with her own external and internal cleanse, during which she threw up. She decided that she wants to get a boyfriend more naturally and not get crazy and addictive about it, saying, “Now if someone annoys me or its not clicking, I’m done. Purging, delete, you’re done.” But now they’re all after her, although she feels a bit like a leper with her small psoriasis patch remaining. She’s not being the middleman anymore with gossip.
By the third follow-up her cold sores and pressure headaches had improved. The more level-headed she became the more chaotic people were becoming, coming to her for advice. But as she stopped giving advice to one, the rest seemed to stop coming. She said, “I tell them they’re being crazy and need to talk to someone else, instead of being drained.” She became more aware of how much money she was throwing away and is now budgeting. By the fourth follow-up she decided what she didn't want in her job, to get her “Professional engineer” designation and open up possibilities of what’s good for her. Prior to these decisions, she felt some tension and trouble focusing, as she has in the past, but she has more conviction. She’s more aware of non-committal boys, and that she is perhaps non-committal herself.
The above follow-ups were near monthly, she then came back after 7 months, saying that her psoriasis was gone for 6 of those months. It returned after some chaos. She discovered that her roommate was bipolar and he’d come off his medication. But she handled it well, took a stand, got his mother involved and made a move.
She started a relationship, but her boyfriend was becoming too addicted to drugs, being influenced by his boss, a worse addict. Her father was also an addict. She gave her boyfriend an ultimatum and he stopped doing drugs and quit his job. It was interesting that the feeling he gave her was the same as his boss gave him: instability. It was foreign to her to work things out, but she conceded. He challenged her on not opening up and talking instead of just bailing out. She tried to see a therapist, but she shut down with him because she thought he was useless. She was also still susceptible to some mood swings as she stopped using the pill for a month.
At the same time her mother and sister became more demanding and in the picture. All this was going on at once, and her psoriasis came back. She felt there was no control, as reflected in her recurring dream of a car with the “peddle to the metal” driving by itself around various crash scenes. She also had a “forgot to study” dream, but conquered it by looking at a book and then knowing all the answers.
Finally, after a couple more doses, she’s happy in her new place, which has a sunroom for guests, giving her the space she needs. Her boyfriend is looking for a job but is not burdening her with it. She’s thinking more of a more desirable area to work in with her new accreditation. And she’s noticing how crazy and perfectionistic her boss is, realising she used to be that way; she is more aware of the duality in herself. She feels she has become more relaxed since the remedy and less sensitive about things, including with her boyfriend. She can sense when the issues are his and not hers, and not feel rejected. She can be a woman with him, in comparison to other relationships when she felt she took on the masculine role, dictating things with no emotion. Her psoriasis has again improved and has nearly disappeared. She has no allergies, cold sores, or asthma related symptoms. She is still nervous at times but is more aware and acknowledging of it.
I feel that this woman will see more improvement as she goes along. I hope these cases give us a window of understanding into Doryphora and by association, her 350,000 cousins.
Marty Begin lives and practices in Toronto, Canada.
Photos: Wikimedia Commons
Colorado potato beetle; Public domain
Solanum tuberos flowers; Bjoertvedt
Keywords: Solanaceae, Colorado potato beetle, light, dark, metamorphoses, chaos, duality
Remedies: Doryphora decemlineata