This book has come a long way. As far back as 1996 I gave my same first seminar on one of the plant families, the Asteraceae.
The reason it took so long has several reasons. The first is that the Plant kingdom is a complex matter, much more complex than the Mineral kingdom.
A second reason is that the relationships in the Plant kingdom are less sure than in the Mineral kingdom. Fortunately this has changed in the last decades with the classification of the Apg group.
A third reason is that only a few plants are very well known in homeopathy, some are known a little but the vast majority are unknown in homeopathy.
Discovering the general pattern behind the Plant kingdom was quite a challenge. I was searching for the general pattern, the understanding that gives a blueprint for the whole Kingdom. I have had recurrent thoughts of publishing what I had discovered already but felt that it would be like the book “Homeopathy and Minerals” for the Mineral kingdom. It would have given ideas but would lack the general understanding. I have the feeling that the pattern explained in this book gives a good understanding of the Plant kingdom. It makes differentiation and analysis possible to a large extent.
I gave the book the title Wonderful Plants. This expresses my feeling about plants. They are wonderful; wonderful to see and experience and wonderful in their gifts to humanity. In the old days plants were often seen as the true healers and have been the forefront of the healing methods. The healing effects of plants are truly wonderful.
This book has been a long process. It is a process of contracting and expanding, generalising and specialising, gathering and throwing away, sifting out what is important and discarding the rubbish. It is to be compared with a shamanistic, alchemistic process. It is like the expression: Creation is something one has to undergo, to be subordinate to.
This book and the theory in it is a work in progress. There are still many small families that are unknown in homeopathy and thus are placed in the classification with uncertainty. The Stages of many species have not been given firm ground when there are no good cases. Additions and corrections will be needed over time. But in my opinion the Plant theory is quite well grounded by now and good prescriptions are made with it that otherwise would be impossible. The Plant theory feels good as it is; it is simple in its principles and gives good results. It will widen the range of remedies tremendously.
Where does this book stand? Compared with the old Materia Medica it has made huge steps forward. Many more remedies are represented and the essence of remedies can be deduced form the classification. On the other hand when compared with the ideal Materia Medica is is still far from perfect. Many remedies are still not represented and there are errors in Stages and symptoms. But the Plant theory brings forth an understanding of remedies far deeper than before and makes prescriptions possible that were impossible in the past.
What is different about this book is that, although other current books discuss plant remedies in families and modern classifications, here we set them out in their classification grouping, rather than alphabetically as in a Materia Medica. This way we can see the themes running through the various levels of the different orders. This gives us an overview similar to what we get from viewing the remedies in the periodic table of the elements according to their series and stage.
This has been a major task of compilation following extensive experience in the clinic and the input of many people. But it is only a beginning. More information will be added as we discover it, and details will be refined as they become clear. And you, the reader, can help in this task by sending in your experiences too!
John Summerville wrote: “I think this is a magnificent book: its scope and depth of research and thought are extraordinary. It provides a wonderful blueprint for others to build on in the future.”