Structuralism and the Plant Kingdom

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Frodsham (Chester), Cheshire, United Kingdom
Interests: Philosophy, Homeopathy, Ayurveda, Buddhism, Psychosynthesis, Hypnotherapy and R.E.B.T.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Relationship between Sankaran's Sensation and the Doshas

   Ericales::Ericaceae : Chimaphila umbellata (Wintergreen)

Cultural ecology: An evergreen herb found in the United States and Northern Europe. American Indians realised that it has an affinity for the urinary sphere and hardened or atrophied glands.

A. L. Blackwood: Its diuretic action relieves inflammation of the urinary tract and also removes oedema. It is also a digestive tonic. It is indicated in haematuria, ischuria, dysuria and gonorrhoea when there is urging to urinate, burning and scalding and straining following urination.

J.H Clarke: It has been used with success in cases of : inflammation of liver with ascites; abdominal and renal dropsies; enlarged mesenteric glands; The symptom : "Sensation of swelling in perineum on sitting, as if a ball was pressing against it," shows its appropriateness in prostatic disorders.

T. F. Allen: The patient is stupid and sleepy. Very nervous, cannot bear anything at all; hot, irritable, restless; thinks diseased state of the blood irritates the skin, as before the eruption of erysipelas, scarlet fever, or measles; itches terribly.

Urinary ...
  • Melancholy. Alcoholism. Stupid and sleepy
  • Urethral discharge, gonorrhoeal, chronic.
  • Bladder, fullness, inflammation, catarrh.
  • Urging to urinate - frequent.
  • Urine - sediment - mucous, gelatinous, red.
Cancer ...   
  • Chest, Mammae: induration; nodules, sensitive.
  • Cancer: Bladder. Kidney. Prostate.
  • Skin, ulcers, cancerous.
Oedema ...   
  • Generals, dropsy, from intermittant fever.
  • Abdomen, dropsy, ascites.
Sensations: Bladder: Pressing. Prostrate: As if sitting on a ball.
Therapeutics: Alcohol related (Oedma). Bladder. Kidneys
Miasm: Cancer or Sycosis (Go. Sx.).

Herbal action: Diuretic, alterative, and astringent.

The Herbal action of Chimaphila, especially the diurectic effect, can be used to help understand how the Homeopathic proving symptoms listed above can be used to understand the inner workings of the remedy - that is, its effects on the three doshas of Ayurveda.

This is because the astringent and diuretic effects are directly addressed by the plants Bitterness and Astringency. In Ayurveda, astringency is caused by a combination of the Air and Earth elements so the effect is drying and cooling. Bitterness is a combination of Air and Ether and its effect is drying, cooling and penetrating.

Ayurveda:  Frawley: Mainly bitter (ether + air => cool, light, dry); PK-V+

The symptoms show aggravation of Pitta and Kapha doshas. Interpretation of  the state of the three doshas in these rubrics (see figure also) shows how the remedy works at different stages of disease.

 Kapha aggravation (water element) results in catarrh, oedema and ascites when sticky, fluid kapha molecules leak out of their normal channels. Those with long standing kapa aggravation devlop thick  mucous deposits in various places, which eventually begin to become inseperable from the tissues and begin to harden or even form tumours and cause pressing sensations.

The cooling, light and penetrating properties of bitter herbs like chimaphila are vata characterisitcs which help break up heavy kapha deposits. Bitter herbs, because they are light and sharp can also pacify cutting and stabbing sensations.

 Pitta aggravation (fire element) causes inflammation and burning sensations.    Excess heat is cooled by bitter and astringent substances and excess stickiness and oiliness is dried up.

In conclusion the correspondence between the bitter properties of the herb (light, drying and penetrating) and the symptoms is clearly demonstrated.   These properties address the disordered state of the doshas and tissues. It is also clear that sensations such as cutting, burning, pressure, etc are closely related to the characteristics of the aggravated doshas accumulated effect on the channels (srotas) and tissue layers (dhatus).

An understanding of the herbal action and state of the three doshas allows us to pack much more information into any remedy description. The established Homeopathic Shorthand of "Miasm", "Stage", and "Sensation" can be extended to include Herbal and Ayurvedic properties.