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.”
The goal of this book is to create a systematic overview of the Plant kingdom, the main families and the main remedies in those families.
For systematic overview, a classification is needed. Grouping of all the genera and species in families, orders, classes and phyla is done in taxonomy. But the final classification has to fit with the homeopathic information and it has to fit with logical considerations.
The classification of botany has to coincide with the classification of the Element theory as will be explained in the chapter “Method”.
A good classification is built on the essence of its members. This means that the classification has to reveal the essence and that the essences have to reveal the classification. A good classification makes differentiation straightforward, based on essential features.
It is important to take into account the whole Plant kingdom so that all plants are presented in the classification.
The classification has to have a certain logic in it. In more common language, it has to make sense. The classes should not be artificial and they have to be coherent.
The classification has to make it possible to predict remedy pictures from their position in the classification.
The classification has to make the differential diagnosis possible between any two members and any two plants in a straightforward way.
The method of research used in this book is gathering information from many sources and then sifting and extracting the essence out of that information. The sifting is done by means of confirmation, classification and logic.
The main source of information is the Materia Medica, which does not need further explanation for homeopaths. Without the development of 2 centuries of homeopathy, this book would not have been possible. Many other sources are used also to come to the results in this book: phytotherapy, herbal medicine, aromatherapy, flower essences and the names of plants. Many new provings are used as information. A very important source is the cases. Cured cases are the confirmation of the Materia Medica. Without them the whole project, the whole theory and classification would remain a fantasy.
Classification is essential in the development of every science, as I have discussed in Homeopathy and Classification. The Element theory is a good example of this.
One can make all kinds of different classifications but the best classification is a representation of an underlying structure, based on the essential quality of its members. The Periodic table is a good example, as it is based on the atomic number, or more accurately, the number of protons in the nucleus of the atom. This leads to the situation that new information is always a confirmation of the classification. When a classification is not yet optimal, new information can lead to contradiction and the classification may need to be adapted. This principle can be used as an axiom, that the best classification is always based on the essence of its members.
Classification of plants
The science of classification of plants is called taxonomy. Recently, since the use of DNA information, the name cladistics has also been used. Cladistics means the science of clades, which is another name for groups.
Many classifications have been proposed in the last century. The most recent one is the Apg classification, which is accepted by most botanists as the best. The latest version of this classification is the Apg3 classification. This is the one used in this book.
The Element theory, as presented in Homeopathy and the Elements, figures strongly in this book. Although developed at first as a theory for the Mineral kingdom it gradually became clear that the Element theory has a much wider scope than just the Mineral kingdom. It is universal and emerges as the same regulating principle in the Plant and Animal kingdoms as well. This is due to the fact that the theory is more abstract and thus transcends the Mineral kingdom. The themes of the Series and Stages of the element theory cover the whole field of experience of life.
It is assumed that classifications are consistent. This means that the best botanical classification must also be the best homeopathic classification of plants. This idea is linked to that of essence as the base of good classifications. The essence of substances will express consistently in any field. Stated differently, similar plants, plants from the same family or group, will have similar anatomical features, similar chemistry, similar DNA, similar physical effects on living creatures and induce similar psychological states in living creatures. The essence of substances will express itself in a consistent way in different fields of experience. It can be expressed as an axiom that all good classifications have to coincide. This also means that the homeopathic information can lead to a revision of the Apg classification in some aspects.
With all the information, a process is started to create the Materia Medica. The remedy pictures are created on the information and then applied to cases. Successful cases are used to refine and correct the Materia medica, to sift the information in it and get rid of the incorrect information. The refined Materia medica is then applied anew on cases.
The Materia medica is also used to extract information of classes. The classifications used are the Apg3 and the Element theory to come to a consistent, logical and predictive classification. This classification is then used to refine the Materia medica, to extract the essential aspects and sift out the incorrect information.
These processes are circular. It is like an organic growth process. Pictures are expanding with new information and then contracted again to correct them and to extract the essential information. The picture below is an expression of this process.
0.1.4. Foreword by Lou Klein
Hahnemann, trained as a medical translator, researcher and chemist, was at the forefront of science as it was known in his time. In the beginning of homeopathy’s introduction, he led a fervor of pioneering activity and introduced many substances as homeopathic remedies. These were carefully identified and classified as best they could be by the standards of the time, as Hahnemann was a stickler for careful methodologies. Many of his students and followers, such as Hering and Kent, went on to prolifically introduce remedies and clinical concepts in order to advance homeopathy.
But as an allopathic “scientific method” took over medicine at the beginning of the 20th century, homeopathy’s growth and momentum lagged. Relative to the time that passed and the developments in science and medicine, minimal evolution and progress in the homeopathic profession was made. There were many reasons for this, notwithstanding the attack on homeopathy from without by allopaths claiming their territory and from within homeopathy where a anachronistic conservative even dogmatically religious ethic took over. Few new homeopathic remedies or techniques were introduced into homeopathy and old systems of classification were relied upon to define and relate what small number of remedies had already been introduced and used.
In the 1970s, there was a renaissance of homeopathy and somewhat of an incremental advancement. Still, no one took on the arduous task of attempting to define homeopathy in the context of the advancement that had been made in science particularly when it came to systematic classification in the periodical table of elements and biological taxonomy.
Then along came Jan Scholten. Trained as a chemist, scientist and medical doctor (with also a fine appreciation of art and a keen understanding of patients) Jan Scholten has, in a few short years, done a remarkable job of bringing homeopathy in line with the advances of taxonomy and modern understanding. This new book, Wonderful Plants, is a testimony to his zealous efforts to bring homeopathy into the 21st century.
In this astounding book, there is a corrected and comprehensive scientific classification of homeopathic plant remedies into modern Apg botanical classifications. As well, Jan Scholten has introduced over 100 new plant remedies himself and also has expounded on new provings from other homeopaths and groups. These remedies fill the gaping holes in our homeopathic Materia medica considering that certain plentiful and important plant families are not represented by even one homeopathic remedy from that particular family.
But more importantly, I know that Jan Scholten has a fervent desire to cure and help sick people by applying these new remedies. This is really what motivates this book. As a result, there is a system in this book that is richly complex and dense, which will help us to apply both these newly discovered, as well as our long-standing, plant homeopathic remedies accurately.
I know that Jan’s previous books with its methodology of selecting mineral elemental homeopathic remedies have served my patients very well. In this new book because of the complexity of a biological living plant and the patient needing a plant remedy, the matrix that was utilized in the original books on elements has some new twists and turns. The systematic approach for selecting plant remedies found in this book builds on the foundational Scholten periodic table schema and adds new components.
And like the learning curve of utilizing all his newly introduced periodic table elements, this book presents a similar challenge to the homeopath. But can you imagine the joy of clearing many cases that did not respond to our limited number of plant remedies as well as having a more precise and systematic way of finding those and new plant remedies? This makes the journey through this book worth it. It represents another evolutionary leap forward for the homeopathic profession.
0.1.5 Foreword Pieter Kuiper
Jan Scholten has distinguished himself repeatedly before, but most distinctive has been his clarification of the Periodic System of Elements for practical use in homeopathy, including the so precious Lanthanides.
What he has presented with his previous ‘Homeopathy and the Elements’ is in fact unveiling specific Laws in Nature behind the Periodic System. These Laws reveal a kind of structure of Nature in the form of the 7 Series and the 18 Stages as a universal principle. The Series and Stages represent the true intrinsic character of the building blocks of Nature with all their existing combinations, described in terms of our era.
This ‘Work’ has already inspired many homeopaths all over the world and lead to many a cure.
And now, in ‘Wonderful Plants’, we are shown that these Laws of Nature behind the organization of the Mineral Kingdom are just the same principles behind the magic world of the Plant Kingdom. This even applies within all its specific Phyla, Orders and Families. We see the same 7 Series appear with similar traits and characteristics. The Stages also come back as the so called Phases and Subphases within the Series, but they distinguish every plant within its own Plant family as well.
Hence, these Laws and principles, which are to be found on a large scale in the Kingdoms and on a smaller scale in Classes and even Plant families, appear to be like a ‘fractal’, a concept well known in physics.
Like in the Periodic System, this may imply that we could predict what character or idea a specific Plant family, unknown in homeopathy, might represent. And though the Plant kingdom is far more complex than the Mineral kingdom, all those different pictures of the great variety of Plant Phyla, Classes, Orders and Families are now embedded in a clear taxonomic system.
As a friend and colleague I know Jan since 1986. He was the first participant to arrive when I organised the seminar for George Vithoulkas on Alonissos.
Since then he not only developed as an eminent homeopath but he also became an expert in botany and taxonomy.
Before, during or after the seminars he presented all over the world, he visited dozens of botanical gardens where he made thousands of pictures of plants. But apart from making and organizing these pictures he incessantly proved many a plant himself with the direct aim to understand the nature of the enormous variety within the Plant kingdom. We can read about these pictures in his newly published ‘Sense Provings’.
It is impressive to see how many years have been necessary to establish all the clarifications from the intuitive notions Jan already had about the Plant kingdom from the beginning. I remember he explained more than 15 years ago how the Series from the Mineral kingdom could also be applied to discriminate the organisation of the Plant kingdom. And even at that time the Stages were used to distinguish the different plants within their family.
In his practice he kept on applying all these ideas intuitively and methodically through the years. More and more difficult cases were solved or even cured by completely unknown remedies.
Just read some of those hundreds of cases which witness and illustrate the clear and methodical approach of how to prescribe remedies from the Plant kingdom.
After reading the book myself, including all the cases, I noticed he also honours Hahnemann in the sense that in almost every case the mental-emotional picture of the problem of the patient chiefly determined the selection of the remedy (§ 211 Organon).
To present us the complete pictures of specific plants, families and orders in such a logic and detailed taxonomic system, fitting the problems of our time, is therefore truly a ‘Work’.
A more complete and living Materia Medica of the Plant kingdom has never been created before and it could well be The Book of the future of homeopathy.
I consider it as a great honour to introduce ‘Wonderful Plants’ to the homeopathic world of today.
0.1.3. Word of thanks
I want to thank the homeopathic community who has given me all the knowledge on which I could build further.
Many thanks go to my colleagues at the Homeopatisch Artsencentrum Utrecht for their support, reviewing the text, testing my ideas in practice and providing cases: Rea de Gans, Maria Klompé, Anton Kramer, Alex Leupen, Sonja Obbink, Mary van der Steur and Gerard Wiringa.
I like to thank the homeopaths of my study group for their support, much valued ideas and participation in dream provings: Corine Bode, Arnold Deckers, Leo van Gelder, Pieter Kuiper, Frans Maan, Marguerite Pelt, Rob Peters, Enna Stallinga, Riek Taekema, Anne Wirtz and Maarten Wouters.
I thank all the homeopaths that have contributed to my development, especially Boericke, Boeninghausen, Farrington, Alphons Geukens, Bill Gray, Samuel Hahnemann, Hering, Kent, Louis Klein, Jost Künzli, Masi Elisalde, Massimo Mangialavori, Roger Morrison, Rajan Sankaran, Jonathan Shore, George Vithoulkas and Arij Vrijlandt.
I thank Robert Müntz for preparing many new plants for me (www.remedia.at). He had confidence in my project and could see its significance. This book has become much more valuable through his contribution.
I want to thank my patients who told their stories, trusted to take my prescriptions and allowed me to publish their stories. Without them this book would not exist.
For providing cases of their patients I thank Jacco van Beek, Ina ter Beek, Kate Cross, Martin Jakob, Lou Klein, Anton Kramer, Pieter Kuiper, Frans Kusse, Markus Kuntosch, Monika Lang, Alex Leupen, Gio Meijer, Maja Miedema, Resie Moonen, Sonja Obbink, Marguerite Pelt, Cynthia Shepard, Enna Stallinga, John Summerville, Abhay Tawalkar, Anne Wirtz and Ulrich Welte.
I thank Kate Cross for her support in all the provings and Jürgen Dentzinger for supporting her in the organisation of them.
I thank the participants in the Lamu provings: Heike Aden-Schöppach, Máirín Begley, Kate Cross, Hannah Cuppen, Maria Davits, Jürgen Dentzinger, Martin Jakob, Isabel Klein, Anton Kramer, Monika Lang, Patricia Leroux, Robert Müntz, Franziska Prosser, Hans Reijnen, Mieke Reijen, Margret Tönnis and Ans Verbeek.
I thank the participants in the Kenton provings: Kate Cross, Maria Davits, Leo van Gelder, Marin Jakob, Isabel Klein, Anton Kramer, Pieter Kuiper, Monika Lang, Robert Müntz, Sonja Obbink, Franziska Prosser, Franz Swoboda Gabriele Swoboda-Doenz and Margret Tönnis.
I wish to thank the many participants of my seminars for their contribution in picture provings. I wish to thank many homeopaths, especially of my study group and others for their participation in dream and meditation provings. I thank Matilde Flores, Melanie Grimes and Sally WIlliams for their psoving contributions.
For proof reading the text I want to thank Louis Klein, Maria Klompé, Anton Kramer, Pieter Kuiper, Sonja Obbink.
For checking the text on English I thank Roger Savage, John Summerville, Carolyn Burdet, Deborah Collins and Sally Williams.
I thank my friends Lou Klein and Pieter Kuiper for writing their foreword.
I thank Frans Maan to pointing me to the Apg classification. He published the first attempt to a classification of the Plant kingdom.
I want to thank the persons of the Botanical garden of Utrecht and Leiden for helping to identify plants and increasing my botanical and taxonomical knowledge, especially Hans Persoon and Paul Maas.
I want to thank my family for the backgrounds they offered me to develop myself and to become capable of the discoveries and development I have made.
Silent thanks go to all the musicians who have inspired me: Ali Farka Touré, Ry Cooder, Enya, Kitaro, Bach, Ravel, Simba Wanyika, Yousou N’dour, Ravi Shankar, Keith Jarret and Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd.
Special thanks go to Nature, the elements and especially Water. Baths have induced a lot of inspiration.
A special position has my wife Maria Davits. I thank her from my whole heart for all the love and support she has given me in writing this book. She has given me much help and advice and has accepted me being busy so much with this work. I want to thank her especially for her permission to use her painting for the cover of this book.
The basic layout of the book is the presentation of all Classes, Orders, Families and species in the sequence that is presented in the Chapter on Result, the systematic logical sequence following the classification.
Of each remedy, the Materia medica will be presented first, then cases and provings when present.
Much information in this book is presented in a very condensed way, especially the Materia medica and cases. This is done out of consideration for space, since the subject is vast. I preferred to have it complete in one book as the subject is one whole. Information that is superfluous or repetitive is left out as much as possible. This may imply that one has to read carefully to avoid skipping over essential information. An important example is the line “Groups” which presents the groups a remedy belongs to.
The names used for the plants will be as presented in the Plant list: http: //www.theplantlist.org. This is a list of all species of vascular plants with synonyms. It is organised by mostly the same organisations and people that work together in the Apg classification.
Here one can find the main groupings: Family, Stage, Phase, Subphase and Series. This is the essential description. It makes the deduction of the picture possible to a great extent.
Names are also given as synonyms and in English, German, French, Dutch and many other languages.
Use: the use of plants is described, when available.
Culture: cultural associations are presented.
Here one can find considerations about the taxonomy of the clade or species. It gives information about the Order or Family, why they are placed, combined or split as they are and in what sense there is a divergence from the Apg3 classification.
This is a very important part. It describes the essence and main considerations about the Order, Family or Species. It is a kind of short description how to recognise the state of the Family or Species.
This is an enumeration of mind symptoms.
This is an enumeration of general symptoms:
Weather: describes reactions to weather conditions and heat and cold.
Sweat: describes the sweat peculiarities.
Time: describes the time modalities, that of the cycle of the day, moon and year.
Desire, Aversion and Food describe the reaction to all kinds of food and drugs.
Sleep: describes peculiarities of the sleep.
Physical: describes the modalities of motion, position and many other circumstances.
Under body are presented symptoms according to a schema, a head to toe schema. It is a bit different from common schemas. Lung, heart and chest symptoms are presented before the rectum symptoms, instead of afterwards as they often are.
Nervous: presents symptoms of the nervous system.
Lungs: presents symptoms of the lungs and respiratory system.
Heart: presents symptoms of the heart and circulatory system.
Urinary: presents symptoms of the urinary system, kidney, ureter, bladder, urethra.
The purpose of the cases is to illustrate the Materia medica and the classification. The analyses show how the classification can help to find the remedy. Cases are used as an illustration, not as a proof.
Cases don’t show how case taking is done. The symptoms are presented in a logical order, not in the order the information was gathered. They are often a concentration of many consultations.
Cases are mostly presented in the words of the patient. Observations are presented sometimes but usually they are replaced by words of the patient.
Many cases are presented in a short way, often only showing the essence of the remedy and or classification. Short abstracts of cases from the literature are given to show the essence of the remedies. Some cases will be shown in full, especially cases that have not been published before, show the classification clearly or are from unknown remedies and have a deep effect.
Analysis and follow up are left out when they don’t give more information.
Most cases will be of adults, as adults can express their feelings and state in much more detail and precision than children.
In many cases small changes have been made for privacy reasons, for instance in age, gender, profession, siblings. The changes are made such that they don’t affect the basic themes.
Provings of remedies are published in separate books. In “Lamu provings” and “Kenton provings” the trituration provings during the seminars with the same name are presented. In “Sense provings” the sense provings are presented in addition to trituration, bath, dream and picture provings. “Sense provings” is an accompanying book to the Wonderful Plants, showing the development of the ideas. They are also presented to show the process of development of this book.
Review: Carolyn Burdet
Publisher: Stichting Alonnissos
3512 NK Utrecht
Printer: Ten Brink
© 2013, J. C. Scholten, Utrecht.
All rights reserved. No parts of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted or translated into any language in any form or by any means without written permission of the author and publisher.