SHERR, Jeremy – The Homeopathic Proving of Phytolacca
Phytolacca is a very imperfectly proved remedy, and it is only possible to present fragments of it. The mental symptoms have not been brought out, but the remedy has some striking features. Phytolacca ought to be called ‘vegetable Mercury’ because it is so full of symptoms analogous to Mercury” (Kent). Phytolacca is known as ‘vegetable Mercury’ because as Kent says, “it is so full of symptoms analogous to Mercury”. Kent suggested that Phytolacca be proved again, so that is what Dr. Sherr did.
Although it was a small proving with nearly all the symptoms coming from one prover, the picture is very distinct and well worth reading for its clinical usefulness. From the proving symptoms, there is no doubt that it is a very syphilitic remedy. Cloaked in a deep dark depression, this remedy is full of dark and evil, mafia and violence, death and suicidal tendencies, and, above all, a deep forsaken feeling. Dr. Sherr suffered much of these as the supervisor of this proving, and went through three months of helpless gloom and depression made worse by the fact that his wife left to go to Honduras on a homeopathy project, hence the poem he wrote, Phytolacca Blues.
Delusion divided, which is exactly how he felt at the time. For Phytolacca really is a divided remedy; and opposing the dark side are light, laughter and play. And as you will see from this proving, there is a buzzing, zig-zag, lightning-like motion alternating between these two sides. The meditative proving adds another fascinating facet to this proving and is reminiscent of Platina with a twist.
This remedy also allowed Dr. Sherr to understand one of the enigmas of syphilis. While most syphilitic remedies are metallic, the repertory mentions only two black type remedies which are plants. The secret is that both are prepared from roots. His poem, Rootson, explains the connection.
With this new proving, the author hopes this wonderful remedy receives the place it deserves in the homeopathic materia medica.