Combinations within homeopathic remedies
Looking at combination remedies and witnessing their use in clinics it is striking that many remedies are already combinations of individual elements. In an attempt to understand how characteristics of individual remedies can make up an overall combined remedy picture lets look at milks.
Elemental components of Milks
Everything in the universe is made up of combinations of basic chemical elements. Remedies such as the milks can be broken down into their constituent parts for example Lac Defloratum contains sodium chloride (natrum – salt), phosphorus and calcium all of which are remedies in their own right. Luc De Schepper looked at these elements and the characteristics of their placement on the periodic table.
PERIODS – the horizontal column in the periodic table.
Elements in periods have the same number of electron configurations; the number of electrons in this configuration, which equals the elements atomic number, increases from left to right with each period. The electron configuration is the placement and arrangement of electrons in the atom; the lighter the metals appear on the left, the heavier metals in the centre and the non metals on the right.
- Natrum, phosphorus & chlorine – period 3 – moving beyond the family to the outside world; conscious of appearance or image; vulnerability to danger; irresolution, feeling stuck; loneliness, feeling unloved.
- Calcarea – period 4 – limited sense of responsibility; the world is a battlefield; criticised and critical; hard and stubborn, a fighting spirit grows restless; the need for company evolves into the need for solitude.
GROUPS – also known as a family in the vertical column in the periodic table.
Elements in a group have similar configurations of the valence shell electrons, which gives them similar properties. The valence shell is the outermost shell of an atom consisting of valence electrons. Valence electrons participate in forming chemical bonds with other atoms.
- Natrum – group 1 – longing for symbiotic relationship yet growing estranged and averse to loved ones; spontaneous and impulsive; moving from right to left in periods; stuck at the beginning.
- Calcarea – group 2 – protection and co-dependence; struggle between dependence and growing up.
- Phosphorus – vulnerability; desire for company; restlessness; the decline on every plane.
- Chlorine – restless; preoccupied; burned out; indifferent.
In addition to standing alone as remedies, some individual elements are combined in homeopathy such as Calc-phos, which accounts for around 60% of the average human skeleton. Calc-phos displays restless, discontented and anxious tendencies and indicates a marked slowness in the children which need the remedy. This slowness to develop resounds in the milks being slow to leave the group and the conflict of dependence and independence. Natrum, being an element that is not able to stand alone shows a great indication of the need to be bonded which runs through the milks picture. Salt, a constituent of milk shows the very emotional elements of the milk remedies. There is a marked, almost symmetrical, duality between the feelings they have and not wanting to express them, which makes them appear hardened. Looking at natrum phopsphoricum the closed nature comes through again, but there are great fears and tension which characterise nat-p along with a desire to break away into freedom which also comes through in the milks. Interestingly nat-p is worse for milk while calc, phos and calc-phos all show strong aversion to it. Chlorine shows a concern about not being able to cope in that if alone they will not be able to make a supporting living, reflecting milks tendency to struggle between wanting to break away and fear associated with doing exactly that.
From these characteristics a picture of childhood and the dichotomies which run alongside growing from childhood into adolescence and wanting to be part of the group but needing to break away can be seen. Very characteristic actions associated to weaning come through strongly in the broken down elements of milk. These echo the combined characteristics to the milk kingdom of issues around nurturing, the struggle for survival, conflict between wild and domestic natures, territoriality, expressiveness, competitiveness, survival, domination and subordination.
Luc De Schepper (2003) Homeopathy and the periodic table volume 1