Every homeopath knows Jan Scholten, the eminent Dutch homeopath, turned homeopathy upside down with his brilliant development of the periodic table. His theory of the minerals and elements allowed both new insights into remedies in current usage and the ability to predict the profile and themes of any element or salt, even those that have never been used or contemplated before. My experience of this has revolutionised my practice in the 20 years I have been using it.

So you can imagine my excitement when Jan brought out his latest book, Wonderful Plants, a monster tome of some 900 pages (does this man ever go on holiday??), covering virtually every major plant family. Each family and plant species is classified using the periodic table as its basis. It’s like a homeopathic library system. The classification for each plant consists of 3 groups of numbers. If you’re coming to this for the first time then it can be a bit of a brain twister until you get used to it. It took me 4 years until it felt ‘in my bones’.

Let’s take a well know remedy like Aconite as an example. This has the classification number 642.13.01:

The first set of numbers is 642. This is like the territory in which the patient is operating or the core themes (ego, relationships, work, art, power etc). This leads us to the sub class Ranunculidae.

The first 6 represents the theoretical potential of the patient and is derived from the series of the periodic table, 6 being the 6th series or Lanthanides (independent and reflective).

The second number, 4 represents the desire of the patient, where he would like to be. In this case the 4 is derived from the 4th series or Iron series (work, family as a working unit).

The 3rd number, 2, is not what the patient desires but where they actually find themselves. And in this case it is the 2nd series, Carbon (childish, development of the ego)

After the first dot there are 2 more numbers and these are the phase and sub phase. They represent the place in the group. This can be the family group or work group. There are 7 phases that range from 1= alone though 4= being sure and at the centre of the group to 7= being excluded from the group.  In the case of aconite, the Phase 1 shows they feel alone, they haven’t really entered the group properly and the sub phase 3, shows they are uncertain.

After the 2nd dot is the stage (exactly the same as stages in the periodic table from 1-17), representing the position of development in the life cycle. In the case of Aconite, stage 1 represents panic and impulsiveness, possibly immaturity.

So you can see that the potential to find the intricate detailed themes of each plant is possible. I think the beauty of this approach is 2-fold. First it allows a subtle energetic appreciation of well known remedies that places them in context of their plant family. There are many plant remedies in the material medica but most have very small pictures or just a few keynotes. Jan’s plant theory brings out the fuller personality of each plant remedy. And second, it enables us, as with the periodic table, to predict the themes and uses of virtually any plant in existence.

I have found using this system is like opening an Aladdin’s cave of treasures. It allows us to treat ‘difficult’ patients where the case seemed complex and the correct remedy elusive.

At first the system and numbers can seem overwhelming. But I have found it is so worthwhile persevering as the results can be magical.

If this has whetted your appetite, Pinnacle Seminars are organising my day workshop on the Plant Theory on Friday 24th February in South East London. You just need to be comfortable with the periodic table as a minimum requirement. We will take baby steps with case examples and the ability to bring your own cases for analysis. My aim is for you to go away from this day at least inspired to learn more! Contact: clare@pinnacleseminars.co.uk for more info.


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