Gymnura natalensis (Gymno-n) = Stingray/= Rochen/= Butterfly Ray/= Diamond Ray
Vergleich: Urol-h. (= round stingray)
Siehe: Meeresgruppe +
A double-blind; placebo controlled trial.
During the course of this study provers experienced a wide range of symptoms on the mental, emotional and physical spheres.
There was a predominance of symptoms on the mental level and emotional spheres. Provers experienced varying degrees of anxiety, irritability, dissatisfaction and depression.
The depression was noted to be experienced with feelings of detachment, disconnection, isolation and a desire to be alone. Provers noted prostration of mind, both improvement
and decrease in their concentration levels and unstable moods. There was difficult concentration with inability to focus + a spaced out feeling.
On the physical level, many provers experienced headaches of varying types and intensity.
There was vertigo and dizziness.
Provers experienced breathing difficulties, palpitations and increased heart rate. Pain and cramping was seen in the back and extremities with sensations of heaviness and prickling.
Sleep was widely affected with insomnia, disturbed sleep and restlessness.
Provers also noted fluctuations of body temperature and heat flushes.
There was general tiredness, weakness and low energy levels which affected normal physical activity.
Symptoms obtained from the proving of Gymnura natalensis were analysed as part of a comparative study with other remedies derived from sea animals.
The group analysis aimed to highlight similarities and differences between this „family‟ of seemingly similar remedies.
A study of this nature serves to help differentiate and improve the understanding of the precise therapeutic indications of similar remedies.
The results indicate a strong similarity between the symptoms of Gymnura natalensis and certain remedies of the same natural family grouping of aquatic substances.
This was particularly evident in the themes of altered mental function e.g. spaciness of the mind, poor concentration and slow understanding, separation and a detached feeling;
individuality and a desire to be detached/disconnected; mental and physical weakness and an affinity for the female genital and hormonal systems.
The investigation supported the hypothesis that Gymnura natalensis would produce clearly observable signs and symptoms in healthy proving volunteers. Furthermore, the
subsequent group analysis and comparative study with
Ambra grisea (whale secretion)
Galeocerdo cuvier hepar (tiger shark liver)
Lac delphinium (milk of dolphin)
Murex purpurea (purple fish)
Sepia officinalis (cuttlefish)
highlighted the similarities and differences between these remedies and Gymnura natalensis.
Sociable animals with a reasonable learning capacity. They are generally non-aggressive but males tend to display aggression during the mating season/tends to be shy and depart rapidly if approached (Deacon et al., 1997). Most stingray attacks occur when the animal is threatened in its environment causing it to reflexively raise its tail above
its head and thrust a spine into the victim (Auerbach, 2006).
Normally solitary, Gymnura natalensis have been found in large shoals often comprising animals of one sex.
Single rays tend to be found on the seabed, whereas shoals are often found in the midwater region (Campagno, 1989: 110).
Normally solitary, Gymnura natalensis have been found in large shoals often comprising animals of one sex.
Single rays tend to be found on the seabed, whereas shoals are often found in the midwater region (Campagno, 1989: 110).
Movement Stingrays move by vertical undulations of the disc and are adapted to ripple and glide through the water with very little effort. Propulsion is mainly achieved by
lateral and horizontal movements of the tail or vertical movements of the pectoral fins. In the case of Gymnura natalensis, movements of certain parts of the well-developed
disc enable it to dive, climb, turn or stop, offering a great advantage when seeking prey. The flattened disc also enables it to glide for long distances without any active
movements (Deacon et al., 1997).
Venom and stinging apparatus
The venom apparatus of stingray. consists of the caudal appendage, a bilateral spine which is covered by an integumentary sheath and associated venom glands, and
the cuneiform area of the integument with which the sting is in contact when at rest (Halstead, 1970:29). The caudal appendage is cylindrical and showing tapering in
cross-section. The caudal fin is present as a cutaneous fold or is may be indistinct. The cuneiform are not usually well developed (Halstead, 1970:29).
The spine is attached to the tail of the stingray by dense connective tissue.
The spines have a serrated edge with two grooves on the underside which house the venom glands (Auerbach, 2006).
All stingray venoms are very similar.
They contain serotonin, 5-nucleotidase and phosphodiesterase.
The latter two enzymes are responsible for the necrosis and tissue breakdown seen in stingray envenomations (Auerbach, 2006).
The envenomations by a stingray usually occur when the animal is disturbed, it reflexively whips its tail upwards and thrusts a spine or spines into the victim, producing a
puncture wound or laceration.
The sheath covering the spine ruptures and the venom, along with mucus and fragments of the sheath and spine are released into the tissue surrounding the wound.
This results in intense pain, oedema and variable bleeding. The venom causes tissue damage by means of proteolytic enzymes and therefore heating the venom to a
temperature above 50º C diminishes some of its biologic effect (Auerbach, 2006).
Reported systemic effects of stingray envenomations include: diaphoresis, nausea, cardiac arrhythmia (flattened and biphasic T-waves), anxiety, headache, tremors,
skin rash, diarrhoea, generalized pallor, delirium, neuritis, limb paralysis, paresthesias, lymphangitis, abdominal pain, arthritis, fever, hypertension and hypotension, dyspnoea,
congestive heart failure and syncope.
Some of these effects can be due to allergy to the venom and psychological reactions to attack (Edmonds, 1995:72).
Penetration of the body cavities (chest, abdomen and groin) is a serious medical emergency (Edmonds, 1995:71).
Introduction of the ray's necrotising venom directly into the body cavity of a person has been known to cause insidious necrotizing effects on the heart and other internal organs,
and death is often inevitable.
Tissue necrosis and subsequent secondary bacterial infection that occurs as a result is extremely difficult to treat (Auerbach, 2006).
MIND: aversion to COMPANY
CONCENTRATION - active/difficult cannot fix attention
Want of self confidence
DETACHED – sensation of being
DOUBTFUL of imself
DULLNESS (“As if ntoxicated”)
FORSAKEN – sensation of isolation
IRRITABILITY (morning/easily/from trifles)
MISTAKES in writing
MOOD – alternating/changeable
RESTLESSNESS (in bed)
SPACED OUT feeling
SPEECH – low, soft voice
THOUGHTS – rush, flow of from causes
WEEPING from despair
VERTIGO: + pain in head/+ blurred vision
CLOSING eyes >
INTOXICATED, as if
TURNING; “As if head is turning round”
HEAD: EMPTY, hollow sensation
HEAVINESS (bending forward/in forehead/in temples)
LIGHTNESS; sensation of
PAIN <(<(<( viele )>)>)>
EYE: desires to close the eyes
CLOSING the eyes involuntary
FULLNESS, sensation of
OPENING the eyelids difficult hard to keep the eyes open
PAIN – r./”As from sand” (r./morning)/sore (r./morning on waking)/pulsating
WARMTH - sensation of
VISION: BLURRED + vertigo
FACE: DISCOLORATION red
THROAT: DRYNESS/sensation of a FOREIGN body
INFLAMMATION – painful/on waking
PAIN – swallowing/l. tonsil
TICKLING (in throat/at night)
STOMACH: APPETITE – diminished/easy satiety/increased
THIRST [extreme (on waking)/drinking (cold) water]
ABDOMEN: PAIN – sharp
RECTUM: “As if a ball in rectum”
STOOL: THIN after eating
BLADDER: PAIN burning during urination
URINATION – frequent
FEMALE ORGANS: LEUKORRHOEA (bloody/brown/cream like/thick)
MENSES – too short, two days
DIFFICULT (> deep breathing/DIFFICULT (at night/inspiration/lying/> yawning)
COUGH: in general/at night/> DAYTIME/DRY/TICKLING in throat
CHEST: CONSCIOUS of heart’s action
OPPRESSION – with difficult respiration
PALPITATION - with anxiety/of heart
BACK: ERUPTIONS (sand like/pimples/painful pustules/red)
HEAT in spine
PAIN [aching in dorsal region between scapulae/in cervical region ext. occiput/in lumbar region (r./cutting/dull /descending/rising from a seat/walking)/rising from sitting/
descends/between scapulae/ext. glutei muscles and thighs)/rising from sitting/walking/stitching in r. dorsal region/ext. down back]
EXTREMITIES: CRAMPS (in calf ext. heel/l. foot/leg/in calf > motion/> stretching/lower limbs)
HEAVINESS - in lower limbs/in shoulder
ITCHING – in lower limbs/burning/in gluteal region
PAIN [cramping in l. foot/cutting in (r.) calf/sore (upper arm/on motion]
TINGLING – hand/foot (lying in bed)
SLEEP: ANXIOUS/DEEP/DISTURBED (from anxiety/by dreams/by heat/by the slightest noise/by perspiration)
FALLING ASLEEP difficult (from a rush of thoughts)
INTERRUPTED (by urge for micturition/by restlessness)
NEED OF SLEEP great
SLEEPLESSNESS (from anxiety/from dreams/from from slight noise/from palpitation/from perspiration/from restlessness/with sleepiness/from activity of thoughts/
with urging to urinate/in spite of weariness)
WAKING - by dreams/easy
DREAMS: ACCIDENTS with a car/ACQUAINTANCES/AMOROUS/BOOKS/CONVERSATION/(impending) danger/dead pets/DOGS/DRIVING a car/past
EVENTS/of impending evil/FANTASTIC/old FRIENDS/FRIGHTFUL (waking him)/like the house of youth/LUCID/MANY/people not seen for years/PLEASANT/
RELATIONSHIPS/REPEATED/ROBBERS (detecting robbers)/SAD/SCHOOL/SEA/SEXUAL/STRANGE/SWIMMING/THREATS/UNREMEMBERED/VIVID/
WATER/TIME OF YOUTH
FEVER: # chills/HEAT
PROFUSE - at night (with sleeplessness)/during sleep
SKIN: HEAT without fever
Excess of energy
FOOD & DRINK:
Desires: cold drinks (water)/fish/salt;
<: cold food;
HEAT in flushes (with palpitation)
HEAT sensation of
LASSITUDE (must lie down)
SLEEP – after sleep – < in morning on waking
Feeling disconnected from everything or detached from others. These symptoms + feelings of worthlessness, loneliness and isolation.
Irritability and dissatisfaction
There were varying degrees of irritability accompanied by dissatisfaction. The irritability was described as low tolerance levels, getting easily annoyed, very moody and
snappy and increased in the morning.
There was oversensitivity and dissatisfaction that leads to irritation.
Prover 11M in particular expressed his dissatisfaction as a feeling of missing or wanting something and reflected on things from the past that he wished he could redo.
Spaced out feeling and difficult concentration
There was difficulty focusing + a feeling of being „spaced out‟. Provers also experienced prostration of the and body with tiredness and exhaustion. The spaced out feeling
was described as “like I’m in a dream”
“like I’m in a dwaal” or on drugs. These symptoms indicate that normal activity of the was affected to some extent and this was evident in Prover 04M who experienced
dyslexia-like symptoms. These were noted as the mixing up of letters and words when typing which was perceived as dyslexic by the prover.
There was increased concentration and productivity, mental energy levels a feeling of being very awake and alert.
Prover 18F described alertness and improved concentration (at night).
Provers noted ups and downs in their mood with a feeling of instability.
The mood changes were accompanied by irritability and being snappy with others. Prover 24F noted that her normal premenstrual “mood swings” had decreased whilst Prover 06F
experienced an improvement in overall mood in the mornings.
There were sensations of vertigo typically described as light-headedness and dizziness. The vertigo + feelings of tiredness and low energy.
losing balance and instability on the feet and a feeling as if almost drunk.
Prover 17M noticed vertigo while walking with blurred vision and a heavy sensation in the limbs which seemed > sitting and closing the eyes.
The majority of provers experienced headache of varying types at some point of the proving.
Most provers noted the onset of headaches in the afternoon.
Headaches occurred predominantly on the right side and seemed > when pressure was applied. The sensation of the pain experienced incl. throbbing, dull, pulsating, pressing, pounding.
The main area of involvement was the occipital region of the head:
radiating from the right occiput, travelling up towards the front of the occiput or sub-occipital headache
Frontal headaches were noted on the right side of the forehead. Temporal headaches involved both temples.
The sensations were emptiness/lightness and heaviness.
The emptiness was described as “feel light-headed almost drunk” and heaviness was experienced as pressure behind the eyes, and when leaning forward and as a heavy
EYE AND VISION
Provers experienced an extreme need to close the eyes or battled to keep the eyes open. This was accompanied by a burning, gritty feeling in the eyes .and tiredness and sleepiness.
One of the provers described this as, “difficult to keep my eyes open and look at things.”
The eyelids felt heavy with a desire to close them and a feeling of fullness and heaviness around the eyes.
Eye pain was experienced to some degree by certain provers. The pain was described as a “throbbing in the right eye with no redness or burning
and a soreness in the right eye.
There was a sharp sensation behind the right eye and a sensation of pressure behind both eyes in one prover which was accompanied by light-sensitivity.
The eyes felt gritty with burning and soreness as if a piece of grit was in the eye.
The throat was described as feeling dry and a dry cough was experienced. There was a sensation of something pokey lodged in the throat causing a tickling sensation.
Sore throat was experienced as prickling in the left tonsil worse on swallowing. A slight cough experienced due to a tickling sensation at the back of the throat < at night.
Appetite was reported as both increased or lost appetite with no desire to eat. Increased appetite was described as a strong appetite, that persisted the entire day.
A peculiar polarity was noted in Prover 03F who initially experienced a decrease in appetite with easy satiety at the beginning of the proving followed by an increased appetite
for sweet and salty foods later on.
There was a pronounced increase in thirst that occurred in many provers, typically thirst for cold water, with drinking large amounts and even waking up feeling extremely thirsty,
There was an increase in urinary frequency with an urge to urinate several times even though no liquid had been drunk to cause this.
Provers reported burning on urination with pain above the pubic bone and burning on starting to urinate.
Overall provers noted a marked reduction or improvement in usual premenstrual symptoms. This was reported as no usual warning signs such as breast tenderness noted prior to
onset of menstrual period
Prover 10F noted the absence of premenstrual ovulation pain that is usually experienced every month.
There was also a reduction in the duration of the menstrual period from 5 days to 2 days.
There was difficulty breathing (on inspiration).
Breathing was described as restricted with a sensation of a weight on the chest preventing breathing.
There was a feeling as though sufficient air could not get in and this was ameliorated by deep breaths and yawning.
There were heart palpitations + anxiety and anticipation. The palpitations were described as a sensation of acute awareness of the heart in the chest.
Provers also noted an increase in heart rate despite no strenuous activity.
Prover 19M experienced an unusual sensation/pain on the right side of the heart that felt like little nails or pins were being pressed onto the heart.
Back pain specifically experienced in the lower lumbar region, between the shoulder blades and in the middle of the back. The pain was described as aching, stitching and sudden,
sharp nerve-like. There was a tendency of pain to move downward i.e. from scapula to posterior superior iliac spine and from lower back down the right thigh.
Two provers developed a similar pimple-like eruption of the back. The peculiar sensation was as though the back was covered with sand.
This particular symptom lead to the creation of a new rubric.
Provers experienced pain of both the upper and lower limbs, cramping in the calf muscles and the left foot with increasing pain.
The pains were described as sharp and occurred predominantly on the right side of the body.
Sensations included prickling, tingling, stinging and heaviness which was experienced in both the right hand and right foot.
Many provers experienced some sort of sleep disturbance.
Prominence of sleeplessness and sleepiness that was experienced repeatedly by the provers. Sleepiness was described as “almost like being intoxicated” (16M 03:03:XX),
“strong desire to sleep”, and feeling consumed by the need to lie down and sleep. There was a general feeling of being very tired but unable to sleep.
Sleep interrupted by dreams and the need to urinate. There was restlessness with tossing and turning and active thoughts.
A polarity of initial sleeplessness followed by sleepiness experienced later on in the proving was noted.
Many provers described dreams as being both vivid and as unremembered.
There were a variety of themes that emerged from dreams. The most prominent of these were dreams of the past; of old acquaintances and friends.
There were dreams of swimming and of impending danger.
Prover 07F noticed raised body temperature.
Prover 13M reported fluctuating body temperatures of feeling hot and then cold.
Tiredness and low energy were prominent symptoms. The tiredness was described as extreme, overwhelming and experienced as a feeling of lethargy and exhaustion.
There were general sensations of heat seen in heat flushes experienced throughout the proving and the skin feeling hot to the touch.
Provers 03F and 14M experienced the extreme tiredness and low energy as well as increased energy.
There were food cravings for salty foods, for raw fish (sushi) and an increased desire for cold water
There was a general sensation of prickling in the throat resulting in cough and prickling pains with sore throat.
The prickling sensation was also experienced in the right foot and both hands by Prover 24F. A sensation of heaviness was noted around the eyes.
Provers also reported heaviness in the lower limbs, and in the shoulders.
The symptom experienced by provers on both the verum and placebo were of a mild nature. The researcher was not required to provide an antidote to any of the provers
for the duration of the proving. In the event that any signs +/o. symptoms attributed to the proving substance, (whether mental, emotional or physical in nature),
caused excessive discomfort for the prover, the following steps would have been implemented (Kerschbaumer, 2004):
A. ahomoeopathic similimum based on the totality of symptoms of both the preproving case history and the proving would be provided
B. If Method A. was ineffective, the provers “constitutional‟ ‟ homoeopathic remedy would have been administered.
If it were unknown, it would have been ascertained from the pre-proving case history.
C. If Method B. was ineffective, an “acute” homoeopathic remedy would have been prescribed according to the smaller presenting totality of the proving symptoms.
D. If Method C. failed, the commonly known methods of antidoting i.e. applying camphor, coffee, mints etc. would have been used.
ESSENCE OF THE REMEDY
A review of the major themes of the remedy illustrated a possible essence or state as one of „alternation‟. The alternation or oscillation of states is clearly evident in the
mental and physical spheres of Gymnura natalensis and is represented by symptoms produced by many provers. On the mental level, there was an alternation between
the present and going back to the past, which is clearly depicted in the dream state.
The alternation of mental function was evident in the symptoms of clarity of versus „spaciness‟. There was an oscillation between states of sleeplessness and sleepiness.
On the physical level, there was an alternation of states of tiredness and increased energy. The alternation is further confirmed by the fluctuation in body temperature
noted by Prover 03F and 13M. “My temperature regulation has changed – I seem to oscillate very easily – if it is a colder day I am dressed with fewer clothes than
normal and if it is slightly warmer I am dressed with more clothes. It is out of kilter. Feels like a backward mercury thermometer.”
“Fluctuating temperatures i.e. my entire body feels hot then cold.”
POSSIBLE CLINICAL CONDITIONS
It is of the researcher’s opinion, that Gymnura natalensis possibly has specific indications in the treatment of disorders of the female hormonal system.
This is evident from prover reports citing specific symptoms such as breast tenderness related to premenstrual syndrome and heat flushes.
This is yet to be verified through clinical trials and the use of the remedy in homoeopathic practice.
Additional conditions that could be indicated:
Lower back pain
SUMMARY OF THE CHARACTERISTIC SYMPTOMS
The evaluation of the proving symptoms of Gymnura natalensis yielded the following prominent themes.
The most prominent theme to emerge from this study was that of anxiety.
The central feeling of the anxiety of nervousness and not being in control.
This is then reflected as an increased sensitivity to the environment –a „pseudo-paranoia.‟ There is also an element of self-doubt and lack of self-confidence
experienced with the anxiety.
The second theme that can be considered important to this remedy is that of disorientation.
There is a central idea of disorientation of the with loss of control or composure.
This was seen in the inability to focus, relatively poor concentration or difficulty carrying out normal tasks.
It is reflected as a feeling of being „spaced out‟ similar to that of intoxication with drugs.
A feeling as if in a dream-like state.
Irritability and dissatisfaction
The central feeling is one of being dissatisfied - in a situation, with others or with events of the past.
There is a decrease in tolerance levels leading to instability of mood and irritability.
There may be associated frustration.
Depression and sadness
The central idea of depression is a perceived sense of „doom‟ or „gloom.‟ It is expressed as heavy sadness and may be significant enough to cause one to isolate
themselves despite there being some degree of loneliness.
The feeling may be expressed as „disconnected and detached.‟ There is despair and associated negativity.
Connection to the past
There is an element of „going back to the past‟. This theme was clearly portrayed as the central focus of the dreams.
It was depicted by way of going back to one’s childhood – a situation of being back at school or in the childhood house.
There was a tendency to dream of people, acquaintances and friends from the past with the resurfacing of sad events and past relationships with people.
Tiredness and weakness
A prominent theme of the remedy was prostration of the and body. There was a significant amount of tiredness and weakness experienced as exhaustion
and lethargy. This lassitude is characterised by a loss/lack of energy making physical activity difficult.
Evaluation of the randomised, double blind, placebo controlled trial. proving of Gymnura natalensis in light of a Doctrine of Signatures analysis and a comparison between the proving symptomatology and venom toxicology.
This study was conducted concurrently with another proving study of Gymnura natalensis by Vanishree Naidoo, using the same proving methodology used in this study.
While this study focussed on analysing the proving symptoms of Gymnura natalensis in light of the Doctrine of Signatures and the toxicological symptoms of stingray
envenomation, the research of Naidoo (2008) was directed at comparing the proving symptom picture of Gymnura natalensis to that of other homoeopathic remedies
derived from sea animals.
(Sind die drei eine Familie im Sinne of Will Taylor?)
Ocypus reagiert auf gleiche Weise und beißt/riecht faul./lebt von moderndes Holz)/Gymnu-n. [“The stingray swings its tail upward and forward in a reflex action, either producing
sword like lacerations or driving the spine into the limb or body of the victim” (Edmonds, 1995:71)];
The anatomical part of the animal that was required for the remedy manufacture included the poisonous spine located on the tail of the stingray. The spine was then carefully removed from the live animal by the marine biologist in such a way as to prevent any excessive haemorrhaging and discomfort to the animal.
Symptoms of Envenomation by a Stingray
Damage to a victim by the sting of a stingray can be caused either by the spine or from the venom of the spine, or both (Edmonds, 1995:71).
Pain experienced immediately and increases over 1 - 2 hours and eases after 6 - 10 hours but may persist for a few days. The pain may be constant, pulsating or lancinating.
The pain may be < secondary infection.
Bleeding may be profuse and may relieve the pain. A mucoid secretion may follow.
The area is swollen and pale, with a bluish rim.
The swelling or oedema present in the vicinity of the wound may persist due to lymphatic obstruction that is believed to be caused by inflammation and damage to the lymphatics
and supporting tissues (Halstead, 1970:62).
There is local necrosis of fat and muscle with ulceration and/or secondary infection commonly occurring.
Osteomyelitis in the underlying bone has been reported.
Symptoms that can persist for weeks after an injury include a dull ache and swelling over the area of the sting. (Edmonds, 1989:70)
Extension of pain to the area of lymphatic drainage
Paralysis in the affected limb and surrounding areas
Heart rate irregularities and cessation of heart activities are possible.
Difficulty in breathing
Pain on inspiration
Fever during the night with copious sweating
Fatalities may occur immediately or within 2 weeks if the spine penetrates the pericardial, peritoneal or pleural cavities. (Edmonds, 1989:70 - 71)
The venom glands of stingrays are not distinct and therefore, the extraction of the venom is difficult. A great portion of the venom’s toxicity is lost by freeze drying.
The above facts have hindered research into the effects of the venom of stingrays (Meier and White, 1995:137).
Stingray venom is primarily cardiotoxic and cytotoxic.
The venom is composed of the enzymes, 5-nucleotidase and phosphodiesterase and the neurotransmitter, serotonin. Serotonin causes smooth muscle contraction
which is primarily responsible for the symptom of pain (Layton, 2006).
The venom also contains a large water-soluble protein that is destroyed by heat. It is therefore suggested that a wound caused by a stingray sting be washed in hot water
(about 50° C) until the pain subsides (Tricas, et al. 1997:126).
The venom does not block neuromuscular transmission but is responsible for the cardiac and circulatory disturbances that may occur in the victim (Meier and White, 1995:137).
Large doses of the venom causes vasoconstriction in blood vessels (Halstead, 1970: 68). The venom affects the respiratory centers of the medulla in the brain
causing symptoms of respiratory depression. The cardiovascular changes due to the venom, may also contribute to the respiratory depression (Halstead, 1970:68).
Stingray venom occasionally causes convulsive seizures which may be due to a direct effect of the venom on the central nervous system. However, the mechanism of the how
the venom causes such seizures is unclear (Halstead, 1970:68).
The enzymatic components of the venom causes both cellular and tissue death (Layton, 2006).
The tissue necrosis found in the victim, in the area of the stingray injury, suggests that the venom possesses proteolytic properties (Halstead, 1970: 63).
The lethal dose for stingray venom has been calculated as 28mg dried crude venom per kilogram mice (Halstead, 1970:67).
“Toxicology is the study of the toxic properties of poisonous substances” (Swayne, 1998:217).
According to Riley (1996:4), one can use information from toxicological studies to infer the possible indications of a homoeopathic remedy. Coulter (1981:45-46) suggests
that during the provings of potentized poisonous substances, the toxicological symptoms appear in a milder form.
The toxicology of a venom along with the proving symptoms of a homoeopathic remedy prepared from that venom and the observations made from the clinical use of that
remedy will establish the remedy in homoeopathic medicine (Bonnet, 2000:112). The above mentioned factors will not only establish a homoeopathic remedy but will also
assist in the understanding and development of that remedy (Riley, 1997:225).
Sherr (1994:88) states that the addition of the toxicological symptoms of a substance to the proving symptoms of that substance will result in the formation of a complete,
well-rounded remedy picture. The toxicological symptomatology of a stingray envenomation is described in detail in section 2.2.7
of this study.
Characteristics of Stingrays
The ancestry of rays dates back to more than 150 million years ago (Tricas, et al. 1997:118). Ferguson and Cailliet (1990 :10) refer to stingrays as peaceful animals.
Edmonds (1995 :70 - 71) describes stingrays as gentle, delicate and non-aggressive animals. Smaller stingrays tend to be shy and will depart if rapidly approached (Tricas,
et al. 1997:131) yet large stingrays are often inquisitive but cautious (Tricas, et al. 1997:132).
In terms of defence flight is preferred rather than attack (Ferguson and Cailliet, 1990:34).
These creatures are highly instinctual and can be territorial and threaten intruders by quickly raising their tails like a scorpion in order to protect themselves (Tricas, et al. 1997:132).
Edmonds (1995:70 - 71) states that stingrays are capable of protecting themselves against intruders.
The venom apparatus is used more as a protective measure than a mechanism to incapacitate prey (Edmonds, 1995:59).
Rays have flat bodies that are often submerged in the sand or mud at the floor of the waters in which they are found. When submerged in the sand, they are hardly detectable (Edmonds, 1995:69).
The ray’s ability to avoid and ward off predators is vital to its survival. By lying concealed in the substrate at the bottom of the water, rays can make themselves undetectable to predators (Tricas, et al. 1997:126).
The movements of a stingray can be sudden and fast yet elegant as displayed by the gentle flapping of its wings (Edmonds, 1995:69). All rays ripple and glide with seemingly effortless grace. This powerful motion is made possible by the well developed disc and the tail (Tricas, et al. 1997:128).
Rays can be pelagic and swim tirelessly and actively in midwater, or they can lie on or bury themselves in the substrate at the bottom of the water and only swim off the bottom
to browse for food, reproduce or escape from predators (Tricas, et al. 1997:122).
The structure of the ray facilitates a wide range of movement capabilties for the animal enabling it to dive, climb, turn, bank or stop. Low-speed, finely controlled movements,
make rays incredibly maneuverable (Tricas, et al. 1997:129).
Rays lack the swim bladder and large oily liver that help other bony fishes to maintain neutral buoyancy so unless they swim, they will sink to the bottom (Tricas, et al. 1997:129).
Stingrays can either be sociable or loners (presumably only socializing to mate) (Tricas, et al. 1997:131).
Solitary members of this species are usually found on the shallow and deeper sandbanks however shoals may be seen swimming together in midwater (Cliff and Wilson, 1986:37).
The sensory capabilities used for sight and smell, and the detection of vibration, touch, electrical and magnetic impulses are well developed and assist the organism in finding and gathering food and detecting predators, prey and other members of the same species (Tricas, et al. 1997:127). It has also been noted that the skin of rays is markedly sensitive to touch (Tricas, et al. 1997:130).