Symptom Traditional use Proving symptoms
Wounds and Abscesses Bark poultice: Suppurating
Wounds and Abscesses Bark ash: Disinfecting Open wounds
Crushed leaves: Applied to open wounds to speed the healing process
Painful infection under the nail of his little finger, suppurating when pressure was applied.
Toothache Bark is also used as a toothache remedy
Toothache on the bottom right hand side of mouth
Myalgia Bark: sooth sore muscles and feet Sore, stiff muscles
Bark poultice: > the pain of rheuma and treat rheuma and other illnesses associated with painful joints Muscle tightness
Stiff r. calf > stretching, > movement
Headache Used in the treatment of headaches Many of them complained that they had not experienced
headaches of this intensity and severity before.
Head pain is dull but constant
Headache with stiffness of the neck
Nausea Purifying emetic, inducing nausea and vomiting Nausea deep seated but that it was not enough to vomit
Sour or bitter taste in mouth < morning on waking and then subsided as the day progressed
As if something was clogging the throat
Abdominal Pain Infusion: assist a pregnant woman through the pains of childbirth
Lower abdominal pain Cramping and twisting
Pulsating radiating pain that lasted for about 5 minutes at a time (as in labour)
GIT complaints To treat the discomfort of gastro-intestinal complaints Bloating and flatulence/Stool loose and explosive
Nervous Complaints Anxiety, depression, hysteria and mental disturbances Irritability Anxiety over up-coming events
Anxiety and nervousness was causeless
Extreme mood swings from an up-beat, happy mood to a depressed, morose irritability
Influenza None noted Exhaustion, malaise and general flu-like symptoms
Sinus irritation, sneezing and sore throats
Earache Boiling the and preparing a poultice and infusion None elicited
Once flowering is complete; clusters of long, slender black pods appear. These pods are segmented between each seed. The pods split open to reveal red “lucky bean” seeds which are collected
by the local community to be made into trinkets and necklaces to be sold as lucky charms (Roberts, 1997:70). The leaves are trifoliate and are large with a tapering apex. They have hooked
prickles/thorns on them. The leaves appear after the spring flowers are over. The bark is smooth and dark gray to gray-brown and is not very corky. Randomly scattered over the trunk and branches
are short hooked prickles (Mbambezeli & Notten, 2002).
Not just a decorative shade tree; it is thought to have both medicinal and magical properties by many people. These trees were planted as living fences around homesteads, waterholes and kraals.
These trees were regarded as royal trees and Zulu chiefs were honoured by having a tree planted on their graves. These trees are much respected in African folklore and it was believed that by taking a truncheon from a tree growing near the deceased person’s home and planting it on his grave, it would protect him in the afterlife (Mbambezeli & Notten 2002; Roberts, 1997:70). In traditional cultures, plant products are used in combination with psychological treatments. This allows for a flexible, holistic approach to the treatment of a patient in much the same way as a homoeopathic treatment would. The psychological component of traditional healthcare often takes the form of magical, spiritual, ritual or symbolic practices that unless they are seen from a contextual viewpoint,
are very difficult to understand (van Wyk & Wink, 2004:7). The leaves, bark, wood, roots and seeds are all widely used although it would seem that the bark has the most prolific applications.
The wood is used for making canoes, rafts and floats for fishing-nets as it is light and cork-like when dry. It is also tarred and used as shingles for roofing (Mbambezeli & Notten 2002).
The bark is traditionally soaked in water by a tribal chief who then bathes in this water which he believes will help earn him the respect of the community. Bark soaked in water to which has been added the root of a Cussonia species is believed to act as a purifying emetic (Mbambezeli & Notten 2002; Hutchings, 1996:145). Strips of bark are cut from all four sides of the tree and are wrapped around a bunch of wild herbs. The package is then infused in boiling water. The tea is given to women in labour to ease the pains of childbirth (Roberts, 1997:70; Hutchings, 1996:145). The bark applied as a poultice is used to treat sores, wounds, abscesses and arthritis (Mbambezeli & Notten 2002) and open wounds are disinfected and treated with the ash of burnt bark which acts as an anti-bacterial (Roberts, 1997:70). The bark is also used as a toothache remedy. Roberts (1997:70) recounts seeing gardeners peel strips of Erythrina lysistemon bark from the branches of the tree, remove the thorns and wrap the strips around the handles of spades and forks.
It was believed that this would give them strength and would soothe sore hands. It was believed that crushed leaves from the tree would clear maggots from
a maggot-infested wound. The crushed leaves were also applied to sores and suppurating wounds to speed up healing. Some people thought that crushed leaves placed in shoes would relieve sore and tired feet and would help heal cracked heels (Hutchings, 1996:145). The Zulu and Tswana people make a strong tea by boiling a cupful of leaves incups of water for half an hour. The warm liquid is then used to relieve earache, a drop is placed into the ear and the rest
is used as a poultice - a cloth is soaked in the liquid, wrung out and then placed behind the ear (Roberts, 1997:70). The roots are boiled in the same way and are used as a lotion or poultice to help relieve bruises and sprains. It also relieves tired, sore feet (Roberts, 1997:70; Mbambezeli & Notten 2002).
From its uses in traditional medicine it can be suggested that Erythrina lysistemon has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects. It has applications in gastrointestinal complaints, headaches, nervous complaints such as anxiety and mental disturbances, pain control, rheumatism and painful joints. It is used as an anti-sorcery medicine and is a powerful emetic. It is used as a trance inducer (Hutching, 1996:145). From this vast array of traditional applications it was hypothesized that Erythrina lysistemon in 30CH potency would have as many beneficial applications for the modern homoeopath.
Mind: Abrupt, rough
Activity - desires it/restless
Anger (from conversation/violent)
Answering (abruptly/aversion to answer)
Anxiety (during anger during/from anticipation/in bed with tossing about/about business/about future/about money matters)/Fear of failure in examinations
Aversion to children
Capricious with irritability
Cheerful (# sadness/# weeping)
Company - aversion to/desire for
Concentration difficult (can’t fix attention)
Confident/want of self-confidence
Confusion (can’t concentrate the mind on attempting/after sleep)
Delusions - “As if drugged”/”As if something foreign in the body/is forsaken/body and mind are separated/can shake off tension (physical body)
Contended with everything
“As if taken drugs”
Dullness (with sleepiness/unable to think long/thinking slowly)
Excited when anticipating events
Exertion physical - >/desires it
Irresolute, indecision (with laziness)
Irritable (in daytime/causeless/towards children/”As if menses would appear”/reading)
Lazy (with sleepiness)
Mental exertion - impossible/aversed to
Mistakes - speaking/reversing words
Music is agreeable
Mind - > occupation/desires it
Mind prostrated (and sleepy)
Reading < mental symptoms
Too occupied with religion
Sadness - aversion to company, desire for solitude
Senses dull, blunted
Thoughts wandering (at work)
Objects - room whirls/seem to turn in a circle/walking
“As if turning” - everything were turning in a circle
Head: Constriction in forehead over the eyes
“As if cotton wool” below vertex
Eruptions on forehead
Itching on forehead:
“As if intoxicated”
Pain [l./r./evening in bed/+ in eye/+ in (nape of) neck/constant, continued/in eyes (> dark room/< light/< noise/< motion)/> rubbing/before going to sleep/pain in small spot ext. all directions/> tea/wandering/> warm
application/ext. (back/cervical region/temples)/forehead (l./r./morning on waking/closed eyes forcibly/pulsating/> rubbing/ext. eyes)/occiput/temples (l./r./needles like)/dull pain (occiput/temples)/lancinating/pressing vertex inward like a weight (in vertex)/pulsating in forehead/sharp/pulsating < noise/pulsating > rest/sharp/< noise
Eye: Agglutinated on waking
Desires to close the eyes/closes the eyes involuntary/must close eyes
Dry [(margins) of lids]/”As if dry”
Lids - red/heavy in morning/inflamed (margins)/itching (margins/> rubbing)/aversion to open them (fears it will aggravate the headache)/unable to open during headache/difficult to keep the eyes open
Heaviness (“As if could not be held open”)
Pain [< pressure/burning - itching/with lachrymation/(raw) in lids/sore (in eyeball/lids as if denuded)]
Photophobia with watering
Desires to rub
Sleepy feeling of eyes
“As if tited”
Wipe - inclination to
Nose: Catarrh (postnasal)
Discharge (morning/blood-streaked/clear/crusts, scabs, inside - bloody/from posterior nares)
Itching - nostrils/wings
Obstructed (on waking)/”As if obstructed”
Pain - with headache (root)/ext. root of nose
Sneezing (without coryza/tickling in nose)
Face: (Glowing) red
Eruptions - pimples on forehead
Itching (cheeks/burning from dryness/chin/> scratching amel)
Mouth: Taste - bitter on root of tongue/bitterish-sour/sour
Teeth: Desires to clench teeth together constant
Pain in lower teeth
“As if a lump” (swallowing)
Pain (l./r./morning/> warm drinks/after smoking/(after) swallowing (l.)/(when) rawness (smoking)/sore
Scratching (> cold water/> coughing)
Stomach: Appetite - diminished/increased (morning)
Nausea - during cough/in throat/after eating fats/> icecream/> sleep
Pain - increasing gradually and ceasing/cramping/ulcerative/sinking
Thirst (drinking frequently/for large quantities/for water)/thirstless
Pain (morning/after midnight - 2h /“As if diarrhea would come on”/during stool/passing/< pressure/(after) stool/during diarrheic stool/during urging for stool/after urination/ext. across abdomen/in hypochondria/twinging/
Rectum: Diarrhoea [after midnight (2h)/sudden]
Pain during stool
Urging before stool
Stool: Forcible, sudden, gushing/frequent/shooting out/spluttering/watery
Female organs: Leukorrhea white
Larynx and trachea: Irritation in trachea from coughing
Tickling in throat-pit
Respiration: Difficult > yawning ameliorates
Cough: Itching in throat
From tickling in throat-pit
Chest: Itching > scratching
Pain - in heart-region/cutting during respiration/stitching in heart
Itching (> scratching)
Pain - dorsal region (ext. scapulae)/in between scapulae ext. down spine/in lumbar region (bending/cold/> warm applications)/aching
Stiff [morning (on waking)/in cervical region
Extremities: Contraction of muscles and tendons (morning on waking/foot)
Dryness [(elbow) Joints]
Eruptions [dry/elevations/itching/scales/on joints (itching)/upper limbs (dry/elevations/itching/scales)/itchy and scaly/on elbow (itching/scales/olecranon)]
Inflammations (under fingers nails)
Itching [> scratching/joints (elbow/elbow -olecranon)]
Numbness in right arm and right foot
Pain [morning (on waking)/l. upper arm/in foot (morning - on waking/> exercise)/aching (morning - on waking)]
Stiffness [morning (in bed)/morning on waking/after sleep/> stretching/calf/foot (in morning - on waking)]
Desires to stretch foot
Tension [morning (foot)]
Sleep: Bad/comatose(confused on waking/disturbed/dozing in daytime/falls asleep in daytime/falling asleep (difficult/late)/interrupted
Changes position frequently/restless (before midnight)
Sleepy [in daytime/morning/forenoon/noon/afternoon (at work)/evening/and dull/opening eyes difficult/overpowering]
Sleepless [evening (after going to bed)/before midnight/from irritability]
Unrefreshing (more tired in morning than in the evening)
Waking [after midnight/difficult in morning/too early (and falling asleep late)/from formication in extremities/sudden after midnight/with desire to urinate]
Yawning [daytime (incessantly)/constant/frequent/during sleepiness]
Dreams: Frightful/desires attention from husband/strange/unremembered
Chill: [In morning (with chilliness)/at night (after midnight)]
Fever: at night [after midnight (with chilliness)]
With chilliness (# with heat not perceptible to touch)
Skin: “As if something were alive under skin”
Eruption [pimples (whitish)/red/with itching/> rubbing]
Generals: > activity/desires activity
“As if dry”
Physical exertion (>/desires it)
Food and drink: Desires: apples/chocolates/coffee/cold drink, cold water/fruit/fried onions/salt/water; > tea; Aversion to: fat;
Formication in external parts
Heaviness - externally/of muscles
“As if influenza is there”
Pain in muscles
Quivering + weakness
Sick feeling vague
Desire to stretch
Tension - externally/internally/in muscles
Weakness (morning on waking/evening)
Mind symptoms made up a large percentage of this proving. The researcher placed the symptoms into categories or themes so that the complete picture of the remedy could be better extrapolated. Irritability and frustration
Most provers experienced bouts of irritability and described it as being short-tempered. It would seem that small incidents would spark off the irritability and the individual would become snappy and intolerant.
Prover describes the irritability as a type of tension in his body which he wanted to “shake off”. The irritability was causeless in many instances with provers waking up feeling annoyed and frustrated (14F 02:07:15).
There was also an element of impatience within this sense of irritability and provers commented that other people made them annoyed or irritable when they did not do as they were expected to. This sense of frustration and irritability occurred early in the proving and continued throughout.
There was a nervous anxiousness amongst the provers. Most expressed anxiety about upcoming events such as job interviews or having to meet new people.
The researcher feels that this could be related to a performance anxiety, where concern is felt as to how the person is to be perceived. Most provers recorded this anxiety as a negative experience but prover recorded it as an anticipatory anxiety stating that it was “a sensation of excitability or anticipation of something”. Delusions This was not a very well documented theme but the idea that arose out of the symptoms was the delusion of not being loved anymore by a significant person. One prover thought her partner was being unfaithful to her. Mood There were many contradictions within this theme. Many provers commented on the fact that their moods would change from one extreme to the other. They would be happy and up-beat one moment, the next they would be emotional and angry. Most of the provers were happy and cheerful at first but then would go on to become angry or emotional, crying easily.
There is a duality evident in this theme. Some provers express the desire for company and don‟t want to be alone while others state that they are irritated by company and desire to be left alone.
Exercise and regular activity seemed to be an ameliorating factor. Provers commented on their sense of well being after an exercise session or they would be looking forward to the opportunity to engage on some form of activity. The prospect of doing work was also seen in a positive light and most provers seemed energised and motivated. Energy Most provers experienced tiredness in some form. There was extreme tiredness as well as a sense of lethargy and laziness. Some express tiredness even after a good night’s rest. Their energy levels dip very low and most of them say that they want to fall sleep. Some provers commented that they felt tired and unrefreshed on waking. Others felt exhausted and fatigued in the afternoon.
There was a large lack of concentration amongst the provers with some describing it as a sense of being “spaced-out”. They were unable to focus on tasks at hand and many make mistakes while speaking or writing.
This was particularly experienced by prover 32.
This was not a large theme. Some provers felt a boost of confidence but one prover (Prover 26) felt a lack of confidence which he attributed to the remedy.
Relationships were strained in this proving with a lot of tension and insecurities being expressed by the provers. One prover in particular seemed to have a very stormy time in her relationship and she feels that this was due to the remedy as she is not normally prone to emotional outbreaks and disputes with her partner (prover 32).
A prover begs for forgiveness from God (prover 29) while another feels she should do more for Him (prover 14) and questions her faith.
Vertigo was experienced as dizziness and a light headedness. Aggravating factors seemed to be walking and working. The episodes of vertigo were not very prolonged.
Headaches seemed to be a very common symptom in this study. The headaches seemed to be very severe, described as “terrible”, “heavy”, “never had a headache so bad”; ”like a ton of bricks on head”. Some individuals describe the pain as stabbing and unbearable. The headaches appeared to be experienced in the frontal, occiput and temporal regions of the head. Many of the headaches were accompanied by sore or stiff necks and many provers mentioned some sort of eye involvement. Some battled to keep their eyes open while others had painful eyes. One prover felt the pain radiate into the left eye and two provers felt sensations over their right eye.
It was not ascertained what the aetiology of the headaches were, but one prover developed a headache after taking a walk on the beach. The intensity of the headaches seemed to vary from very severe, almost debilitating,
to a dull heavy headache. The headaches seem to be relieved by rubbing or massaging the head and neck as well as by warm applications such as a warm shower. They seem to be aggravated by loud noises and by moving the head. As well as these headaches, provers also experienced the sensation as if they were becoming ill with influenza. They describe aching bodies and dull headaches as well as sore throats and stuffy noses.
There were symptoms experienced which were very typical to those of allergies or conjunctivitis. Eyes were described as being itchy and scratchy and sensitive to the light. Some provers had dry eyes while others experienced excessive lachrymation. Eyes were swollen shut on waking and were sore and puffy. Eyelids were dry and excoriated.
The provers experience a lot of sneezing. This usually happened in the morning on waking but was not limited to this time. Discharges were clear and runny with one prover experiencing flecks of blood in the mucus after blowing the nose. There were several records of post-nasal drips and congested sinuses. 5.3.6 Face There was itching of the face and forehead. Itchiness seems to run throughout this study and the face was no exception.
Provers describe the itch as a burning, dry sensation - as if in the wind. One prover felt a tingling on her right cheek as if her face were about to go into a spasm.
Prover 21 felt as if he had a toothache and proverwas aware that he clenched his teeth. Others experienced a sour taste in their mouth. 5.3.8 Throat Throats were sore and raw with some provers describing it as if the onset of a cold. Prover 10 had swollen glands and a sensation of a lump in her throat that made swallowing difficult. The dry raw sensation was worse at night and on waking but seemed to get better as the day progressed.
Provers experienced stomach cramps and spasms. This was accompanied by loose stools. The pains were sometimes relieved by passing stool. Some provers experienced an increased appetite with several commenting on a ravenous hunger that could not be satisfied. Others were not hungry at all, with a marked decrease in appetite. Thirst was generally increased. Cravings were for sweets such as chocolates and also for salty foods.
Some provers experienced nausea that was worse for eating fatty foods but prover 13 felt relief after eating ice.
There were incidences of flatulence and bloating and provercomplained of lower abdominal pain that was worse for pressure and worse after urinating. The pain was described as pulsating and radiating.
Frequent stools occurred with prover 21 reporting a “spluttering, spraying stool”.
Proverexperienced pain in her lower abdomen after urinating.
Female Genitalia/ Sex
Prover 13 reported a white discharge and prover 17 commented that her period had been without much cramping or bloating. Only these two provers elaborated on this section. The researcher suggests that this may be due to embarrassment or awkwardness about discussing sexuality or menstrual events. This awkwardness may also explain why no provers commented in the male genitalia/ sex section.
Proverexperienced shortness of breath that was relieved by yawning.
There were many cough symptoms experienced but only prover 18 elaborated. She experienced lots of coughing and lots of phlegm on her chest.
Some provers felt stabbing pains in their chest areas. Some described it as a stabbing or tightness around the heart. One prover described it as a sharp stitch like pain that was worse for breathing in.
Lower back pain was experienced by a few provers. Prover 13 said her backache was worse for bending forward and relieved by warm compresses. She felt that it was aggravated by the cold. Prover had a deep muscle ache between her shoulder blades but the researcher feels that not much emphasis should be placed on this as environmental factor may have had a role in the causation of this pain.
There were numerous symptoms produced in both upper and lower extremities. Most prominent were itchy elbows experienced by prover 18. Along with the itchiness was dry flaky skin. The itch > scratching.
Other provers experienced pains and numbness in their arms. Tightness of lower limbs (feet) was a common symptom. Muscles were described as feeling tight and two provers experienced tightness in the right calf that was better for stretching. Prover 26 developed an infection under the nail of her little finger. There was a discharge from under the nail which was evident on pressure being applied to the area.
Generally, a restless quality of sleep was experienced. Provers talk of having “a bad night” and many of them mention being restless and unsettled. Some mention an inability to fall asleep while others seem to have slept well. Many provers woke often during the night, some causeless, others to empty bladder. Most woke up in the early hours of the morning with 2am being common time. Many woke up tired and exhausted and this could also account for the high levels of irritability and sleepiness experienced during the day.
There were a few dreams recorded although no common themes could be extrapolated by the researcher.
A formication was felt over the skin in various parts of the body. This was described as an itchy, tingling, crawling sensation. The sensation moved about the body randomly and was better for rubbing but was not relieved by scratching and one prover actually scratched till they bled. Fine white pimples were also noted on the inner leg and knee of one prover and on the forehead of others.
Prover 24 said he felt as if he had a high fever but he was very cold at the same time. The researcher attributes this to the common theme among provers that they are developing a cold. 5.3.23 Generals The general feeling of tiredness and lethargy felt by provers could also contribute to this common theme of feeling as if one were about to get flu. Provers experienced body aches, sore throats and headaches. There was a decrease or increase in appetite with cravings for chocolate and prover 18 desired fried onions even though she normally did not enjoy onions. Dry skin was also a common experience.
Related studies of Erythrina lysistemon
Toxicology Gryn (2007) dealt with the toxicological aspects of Erythrina lysistemon and the similarities to the homoeopathic proving. The toxicological data needs to be incorporated into the materia medica of Erythrina lysistemon.
5.4.2 Doctrine of Signatures
Thiel (2007) looked at the Doctrine of Signatures as it applied to Erythrina lysistemon and compared this to the results obtained from the homoeopathic proving of the substance. This data needs to be incorporated into the materia medica of Erythrina lysistemon.
5.4.3 Family group analysis
De Beer (2007) compared the family group analysis of Erythrina lysistemon using Sankaran’s Vital Sensation scheme. This data will also be added to the materia medica of Erythrina lysistemon.
The researcher did not attempt to make assumptions regarding the differential remedies.
A repertorization of the proving using 8 rubrics: Ars., Rhus-t. and Hep. were the toprated remedies.
A second repertorization limited only to plant remedies of the Leguminosae family, produced Physostigma, Baptisia tinctoria and Cytisus laburnum as the toprated remedies. The researcher did not attempt to hypothesize the reason for these findings as it was not in the scope of this study to do so.
A number of provers experienced symptoms that might be related to Influenza such as headaches, general tiredness and myalgia. Many provers also experienced symptoms associated with rheumatic complaints such as muscle weakness and tightness of the body. Other clinical conditions to consider are Allergies, especially rhinitis, sinusitis and hay fever. This would also include skin eruptions and dermatitis. Also to be considered gastro-intestinal complaints, migraine/ headaches, neuralgia, autonomic disease, general Sepsis. and inflammation, febrile illnesses and malaria.
Comparison of the homoeopathic proving of Erythrina lysistemon and its traditional use
The bark of the Erythrina lysistemon tree was used in this proving. When comparing the symptoms obtained from the homoeopathic proving of Erythrina lysistemon 30CH and the existing indications for its traditional uses, similarities between them were revealed.
The bark has many traditional uses and some of these uses can be seen echoed in the symptom indications of the homoeopathic proving. The bark was used as a purifying emetic, inducing nausea and vomiting (Hutchings, 1996:145). There was clear evidence of nausea in the proving, although no mention was made of actual vomiting. One prover stated that the nausea was deep seated but that it was not enough to vomit. Provers commented on having a sour or bitter taste in their mouth. The nausea was often felt to a larger degree in the morning on waking and then subsided as the day progressed, although there were some individuals that experienced nausea throughout the day, feeling horrible and nauseas in the evening as well. The nausea was described by some as if something was clogging the throat. Prover 13 said that everything made her nauseas.
In the proving there were many references made to lower abdominal pain. This pain was described as cramping and twisting. Proversaid she experienced a pulsating radiating pain that lasted for about minutes at a time. Proverexperienced pains in her lower abdomen after urinating and these pains < pressure over the area and were relieved by relaxing the abdominal muscles. There were also references made about incidences of lower back pain. Many of these symptoms correlate to the symptoms that some women experience during pregnancy and especially during labour. Traditionally the bark was used, along with other herbs, to make an infusion that would assist a pregnant woman through the pains of childbirth (Roberts, 1997:70).
Accompanying the pain and cramping in the lower abdomen, symptoms were described where provers felt bloated and experienced flatulence. Stools were loose and explosive with many references to diarrhea.
These symptoms described in the proving can also be considered in the case of gastro-intestinal complaints. Erythrina lysistemon has traditionally been used to treat the discomfort of gastro-intestinal complaints (Hutchings, 1996:145). It has anti-bacterial properties and this could be the reason for its efficiency at treating these complaints. 5.7.3 Wounds and Abscesses Suppurating wounds and abscesses were treated using the bark as a poultice. Open wounds were disinfected using bark ash and crushed leaves of the plant were applied to open wounds to speed the healing process (Hutchings, 1996:145). Prover 26 developed a painful infection under the nail of his little finger, which suppurated when pressure was applied.
The bark is also used as a toothache remedy (Roberts, 1997:70). There were only provers that experienced tooth related symptoms. Prover 21 said he felt as if he had a toothache on the bottom right hand side of his mouth. Proverwas aware that he was clenching his teeth. The researcher suggests that had the proving been continued for a further time span, more toothache symptoms may have been revealed.
The bark is said to soothe sore muscles and feet, and when used as a poultice is helps relieve the pain of rheumatism (Mbambezeli & Notten 2002). The crushed leaves of Erythrina lysistemon are placed in shoes to relieve tired and sore feet and the roots are boiled and used as a lotion or poultice on bruises and sprains as well as tired, bruised feet (Roberts, 1997:70; Mbambezeli & Notten 2002). The plant is used traditionally to treat rheuma and other illnesses associated with painful joints. In this study most provers felt some type of body ache at some time during the course of the proving. The most common complaint was that of sore, stiff muscles. Muscle tightness was experienced and provers 13 and 14 both commented on a stiff right calf > stretching.
Generally the stiffness > movement and as a whole; this remedy seems to be > by activity (physical or mental).
Erythrina lysistemon is used in the treatment of headaches (Hutching, 1996:145). Headache symptoms were of the more pronounced and intense symptoms experienced by the individuals involved in this study. Many of them complained that they had not experienced headaches of this intensity and severity before. Others expressed the head pain as being dull but constant. Headache + stiffness of the neck. The plant used to relieve the pain of sore and stiff muscles.
Hutching (1996:145) also notes that the plant is used to treat nervous complaints such as anxiety, depression, hysteria and mental disturbances. From the results of this proving it was noted that Erythrina lysistemon in potentised form will be an excellent remedy for nervous complaints as well. The researcher identified various themes within the mind section of the proving symptomology. Irritability was experienced by many of the provers. Anxiety was also a theme identified by the researcher with provers experiencing anxiety over up-coming events or because they had to meet people. Others said their anxiety and nervousness was causeless and they could not explain why they were experiencing either. Many provers experienced extreme mood swings from an up-beat, happy mood to a depressed, morose irritability. The general comments were confusion as to why they were experiencing these shifts in mood as many had no reason for this to occur. Only prover 32 experienced a hysterical episode.
From the results of the proving the researcher feels that Erythrina lysistemon as a homoeopathic remedy, would be useful in the treatment of Influenza and other febrile conditions such as malaria and “yuppie flu”. Provers experience exhaustion, malaise and general flu-like symptoms. They complain of sinus irritation, sneezing and sore throats. From this the researcher feels that allergy type complaints would also be relieved by the use of this remedy. Provers experienced severe itching all over the body with some experiencing dry flaky skin as well. Some provers also suffered with puffy, red, irritated itchy eyes and sneezing was a common symptom. Traditional use of the plant does not include allergy or flu treatments. 5.7.8 Cardiac Cardiac pains were experienced by a number of provers. The pain was expressed as tightness around the heart. Some said it was a sharp pain. The researcher feels that this remedy would be beneficial in the treatment of cardiac conditions such as angina but this would need to be verified through extensive clinical use of the remedy. The plant is not used traditionally to treat cardiac conditions.
Earache is treated traditionally by boiling the roots of the plant and preparing a poultice and infusion. Drops are placed in the ear and the poultice is placed behind the ear in order to alleviate the pain associated with acute earache. No symptoms were recorded in this study that related to earache. It is suggested that once further investigation has been carried out of Erythrina lysistemon at other potencies, that these traditional uses are also further explored.
Phytologie: Bark mainly used and sometimes the leaves and roots. Use of the bark is to treat sores, wounds, abscesses and arthritis (Van Wyk et al., 2000). Also used for toothache by the Vhavenda people (Hutchings et al., 1996). To treat sores, wounds and swellings, the bark is applied as a poultice. Crushed leaves are reported to clear wounds caused by maggots and they are also used as eardrops to relieve earache. Active ingredients are a large number of tetracyclic isoquinoline alkaloids (erysovine and erythraline
(Van Wyk et al., 2000). Erythrina alkaloids are known to be highly toxic (Bruneton, 1995) but the traditional uses suggest antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.