A group analysis evaluation of the selected psychoactive plant remedies in terms of known materia medica
There are now several thousand remedies available to a homoeopath and this number is continually increasing with the increase in homoeopathic research and provings. This growing wealth of data does, however, make choosing a homoeopathic remedy difficult and some homoeopaths argue that the essence of homoeopathic remedies are being lost in this excess of data. In an attempt to more accurately see a remedy’s ‘picture’ and gain deeper insight into remedies, Scholten (1993), Sankaran (2005a) and Mangialavori (2010) developed different methods which can now be collectively referred to as “group analysis”. The aim of group analysis is to find symptoms, sensations and pathological tendencies that are common to all remedies within a group. This study involved applying Sankaran’s group analysis approach to the psychoactive plant drug remedies with the rationale of filtering and organizing the mass of data we now have available on this group. This will enable both students and professionals of homoeopathy to develop a deeper understanding, and hence greater utilization, of the psychoactive plant drug remedies. The following five homoeopathic remedies were chosen for this study on the grounds that they have all been extensively proved through both homoeopathic provings and cured clinical cases and there is a vast amount of literature available on these remedies in materia medica and repertories: • Anhalonium lewinii (Cactaceae family) • Cannabis indica (Hamamalidae family) • Coffea cruda (Rubiaceae family) • Nux moschata (Magnolianae family) • Opium (Papaveraceae family) A computer repertory search was conducted using RadarOpus (Archibel, 2014) to extract all rubrics containing the selected remedies. Parameters were set to retain only rubrics that have less than 50 remedies and at least two of the selected psychoactive plant remedies in them. This was to ensure that only well-defined, characteristic remedies were looked at. The rubrics were visually analyzed, compared and contrasted to determine the common sensations within them and mental, general and particular symptoms were analyzed in terms of Sankaran’s model of Vital Sensation (2005a). The vital sensation of the psychoactive plant drug remedies was found to be that of horror, fear or fright. All the remedies belonging to this group experience the sensation of horror either through their perception of pain or through dreams, visions, hallucinations or anxiety. This sensation pervades all these remedies which are constantly trying to escape this sensation by either increasing or decreasing their activity and sensitivity. The active reaction to the sensation of horror is to increase activity. This is expressed through increased sensitivity; mental clarity; sensations of contraction, fullness, heaviness, heat or moisture; delirium, hallucinations and instability. The passive reaction to the sensation of horror is to decrease activity. This is expressed through insensitivity; lack of mental clarity; sensations of expansion, emptiness, lightness, cold or dryness; sleep, stupor and unconsciousness. The compensation, or coping mechanism that psychoactive plant drug remedies develop, is a transcendence of their condition: they transcend, or escape, their condition by no longer feeling or doing anything, by becoming numb and insensitive. The researcher suggests that although the remedies of the psychoactive plant drug group can be classified according to different miasms, the over-riding miasm of this group is the sycotic miasm with its fundamental sense of having a ‘fixed weakness’ within themselves. The researcher also proposes that the psychoactive plant remedies have an affinity for the central nervous system and for ailments caused by strong emotions such as joy, anger, excitement, fear or fright. These remedies tend to produce pathologies of the central nervous system and sleep including increased reflexes, involuntary motions, trembling, jerking; weakness, atrophy, slowness, paralysis; unconsciousness; catalepsy; Autism Spectrum Disorders; hypersensitivity; insensitivity or absence of sensitivity; pain; formication; mental confusion, poor comprehension, nonsensical speech; memory disorders; delirium, hallucinations, schizophrenia; mood disorders; behavioural disorders; anxiety; insomnia, narcolepsy and nightmares. The researcher found group analysis to be a powerful methodology that, if employed correctly, can aid homoeopaths to learn and understand remedies in their ‘totality’.