Oplopanax horridus derived from 2 Greek words: hoplon = weapon and panakos = panacea.
The First Nation in BC used Devil's claws as teas or poultices or in steaming to treat Tb., in the proving there is a hint of the possible Tubercular miasm with the sensations of being trapped, the need
for space and being better in open air. Further provers experienced a dry ticking cough that was intermittent and there was blood in the sputum (hints towards Tb.).
Skin symptoms a red rash - the First Nation used Devil's club for measles - and a vesicular eruption that resembled Herpes zoster eruptions.
The spines of Devil's club break easily and in bed themselves causing infection: local heat, inflammation, pain, and redness, eventually a pimple is formed with a green/whitish head that eventually
erupts. The provers did not experience such symptoms but while preparing the plant material got stung by the plant 3x and observed the symptoms reported. The infection is supposed to be caused by Staphylococcus sp. If this plant is capable in causing such infection by definition -Like cures like- it might be able to cure Staphylococcus sp. infections.
Botanical Features: Deciduous shrub, 1-6 m high, heavily armed with yellowish, needle-like, brittle spines up to 2 cm long.
Native range: Western North America. Habitat: Moist woods, near streams; most abundant in old growth conifer forests.
Leaves spirally arranged, simple, maple-shaped palmately lobed with 5-13 lobes, 20-40 cm across.
Flowers small, whitish, in dense, upright, conical-shaped, terminal clusters to 18 cm long.
Fruit a shiny, flattened, bright red, berry-like drupe in upright, terminal clusters, inedible.
Entire plant has been described as having a ‘primordial’ appearance.
‘Devil’s club is probably the most important spiritual and medicinal plant to most indigenous peoples who live within its range. Different parts of this plant are used by over 38 linguistic
groups for over 34 categories of physical ailment, as well as many spiritual applications. . . . Phytochemical research has revealed that this plant has antifungal, antiviral, antibacterial and
anti-mycobacterial properties, and these are undoubtedly related to its widespread use in traditional medicine.
‘. . . Among all of the traditional medicinal uses of devil’s club, its most widespread is for the treatment of external and internal infections, including tuberculosis. The efficacy of many of the treatments
is undoubtedly related to devil’s club’s significant antibacterial, anti-mycobacterial being active against bacteria in the genus Mycobacterium, antifungal and antiviral properties. Devil’s club is also
commonly used by many cultural groups to treat arthritis, rheumatism, respiratory ailments and as an emetic and purgative. It is also used as an aid in childbirth, post-partum, for internal haemorrhaging,
as an analgesic, to treat stomachand digestive tract ailments, broken bones, fever, dandruff, lice, headaches and as a treatment for cancer. Several parts of the shrub, including inner bark, inner bark ash, whole stems, roots, berries and leaves, are used in a variety of ways to effect these treatments. However, the most common type of preparation is as an infusion or decoction of the stem inner bark.
‘. . . Western herbalists report that the roots of devil’s club and to a lesser extent the inner stem bark are a strong respiratory stimulant and expectorant and recommend their use for rheumatoid arthritis
and other autoimmune conditions, as well as to treat eczema, sores and a number of internal and external infections.
Devil’s club is also commonly recommended for the treatment of type II adult onset diabetes, a use of devil’s club that is also extensive in indigenous communities. . . . Since devil’s club is still widely
and increasingly, used as a treatment for late onset type II diabetes and is listed in a recent review of anti-diabetic plants, additional research and more rigorous clinical trials are required to validate and
characterise or to disprove hypoglycaemic properties in devil’s club.’ [Lantz 2004]
‘In addition to ethnographic accounts of medicinal uses, there are also numerous sources that describe spiritual applications of devil’s club. These include purification and cleansing; protection against supernatural entities, epidemics and evil influences; acquisition of luck; to combat witchcraft; as ceremonial and protective face paint; and in rituals by shamans and others to attain supernatural powers.
‘Two of the most widespread spiritual uses are bathing with a devil’s club inner bark solution for personal protection and purification, and its use, particularly the spiny or de-spined aerial stems, as an amulet for protection against a variety of external influences. External and internal cleansing involving the use of devil’s club was, and is, of paramount importance to many of the cultural groups
throughout devil’s club’s range. The inner stem bark of devil’s club has also often been used in solution to wash down fishing boats, fishnets and to purify a house after an illness or death, and, as charcoal, to prepare protective face paint for ceremonial dancers. John Thomas explained that amongst the Ditidaht, and many other neighbouring groups, devil’s club is considered sacred and “along
with red ochre paint is considered to be a link between the ordinary, or profane world, and the supernatural, or spirit world.” ’ [Lantz 2004]
Proving Lucy De Pieri [Canada], 9 provers [8 females, 1 male; 2 placebo], C 30; 2007.
Mind: Positiveness. A total of 7 out of 9 provers experienced an increased sense of confidence, calmness, of being able to easily work throw situations that in the past would cause anxiety and irritability. Provers also reported an increased feeling of wellbeing, and being able to relax easily and relax others.
Delusions: Body is weightless; being a fish, having fish eyes; lost in the wood; belonging to the opposite sex; stabbed in the back; carrying a heavy weight; being in a different world.
Wanting to give up responsibilities [2 provers].
Will-power strong or sensation of having two wills [2 provers].
Dreams: Danger, being unprotected, being vulnerable; danger to others; flood, large areas of water.
Vertigo: & redness eyes, involuntary closing of eyes, > cold application; & hunger; & sensation of heat in nape of neck, > cold washing.
In room, > open air; & nausea, < indoors/in car;
Head: Ache above eyebrows, < heat/smell of food/walking; > cold, dry applications/lying down/pressure/+ desire to pull hair from back of head.
Dull pain occiput, ext. forehead, > alcohol/sleep;
Nose: Congestion nose on waking [3 provers].
Throat: “As if empty”.
Sensitive, < cold air/cold drinks/dryness/smoke/swallowing/touch;
Stomach: Bursting pain stomach < walking, > lying down.
Rectum: Constipation, stool remains long in rectum without urging.
Bladder: “As if distended”.
Limbs: Pain knees, stitching on first movement, < cold, > lying down, covering.
Generals: Desires: asparagus/cold beer/white bread/butter/coffee [2 provers]/garlic/honey/raw mushrooms/prawns/salami/sweets [3 provers];
Sexual desire increased in menopausal and post-menopausal women [3 provers]; orgasm reached easier.
Brain as if loose, < motion.
Dust in eyes.
Hot steam out of ears.
Lips “As if chapped, dry” [while not].
Tongue underneath numb, “As if burned”
Hips and thighs unbending as if steel rods.
Coldness in bones.
[Lucy De Pieri]
‘Dullness was a common sensation that the provers experienced, so it is not surprising that there was a need for stimulants. Provers had craving for beer and coffee even if they didn’t usually drink coffee, or had aversion for coffee prior to the proving. Depleted, drained together with vertigo or being light-headed was often experienced before breakfast or a meal. Note the language of water by using the term “drained”. The sensations were resolved with eating. Other sensations were pinching, pulsating, cramping, like a pin prick, sore, stinging, dryness or dust in eyes, brain loose and moving back and forth, bitterness, tingling, as if burned, numbness, something stuck, rawness, tickling and chilly.’
Negativ: Oplopanax horridus needs protection/a theme during the proving.
1. Deep sense of calmness (no need for company, some want to be alone at peace), 2. Dullness or depression (less vitality/crave company).
Effort, struggle and limitations were experienced/once a “head of steam was built up” it was possible to proceed. Another aspect is that the task continued despite the effort, the struggle and the limitations, hence it was a double task and mastered.
I have to make an effort to concentrate. Want to be free with no responsibilities.
Concentrating brings me back to what I need to do for the day and my inner state is fighting with the idea of having to do chores things. I want to let my mind go to another world and let it stay here for a while and leave everyone else out.
OVERwhelmed at the thought of laundry, homework, journaling, ANYTHING. Just very lethargic Feeling I am going against the flow. Hard, tiresome, looked at the long road ahead, but you have to make it all the way. Have to take a deep breath and keep going. Weighty, carry a burden.
Dullness was a common sensation and a need for stimulants (craving beer/coffee).
Depleted, drained (note the language of water) together with vertigo or being lightheaded was often experienced before breakfast or a meal and > eating.
Difficult concentration/slowness and difficulties in decision making and a deep sense of calmness evolving into a sense of dullness/ennui/depression. Probably one of the most popular symptoms experienced was the deep sense of confidence and the “can do” attitude that came with it.
Physical symptoms: nausea/loss of appetite/stomach problems/weight gain/constipation/vertigo and lightheadedness/sudden flashes of heat that resembled the typical menopausal hot flashes.
Strong affinity for mucus membranes with a number of symptoms + dryness and with swelling, with pain in the extremities and in the kidneys.
Other sensations: pinching, pulsating, cramping, like a pin prick, sore, stinging, dryness or dust in eyes, brain loose and moving back and forth, bitterness, tingling, „As if burned“, numbness, something stuck, rawness, tickling, chilly.
>: cool water/cold dry applications/movement/out of doors/lying down/pressure/eating/stretching/warmth;
<: cold/dry air/smell of food/open air/heat;
Desires: coffee/garlic/prawns/asparagus/white bread/salami/sweet/crackers/mushrooms;
Potentially cured symptoms:
Nose stopped running during hay fever
My allergies don't bother me anymore
My allergies are pretty much gone although everything is blossoming outside. Especially the
Japanese plum tree in front of my window always made me sneeze and made my eyes itchy
On my way home I wasn't bothered by any trees or flying pollen
Hay fever symptoms really much better
I had a touch of itchy eyes when I woke up but nothing like I normally have at this time of
year. Now my eyes don’t itch anymore
Had runny and stuffy nose before start of proving, it disappeared after taking remedy
Oplopanax horridus grows in moist but well drained soils. It is often found along streams in British Columbia, where it's huge leaves shade the water. The salmon, an icon in BC, spawns in such shady areas before dying. A study from the University of British Columbia with the use of radioactive traces placed on the salmon was able to find nutrients from the decomposing salmons in the local vegetation. As bears eat salmon and Devil’s club berries, such traces of the radioactive salmon were
found inland. This interesting finding was also experienced in the proving.
One of the prover talked about water, as seeing water in front of her, to the extent that she is looking with fish eyes! She was in the water. Note the provers at this stage did not know the substance. The theme of water and fish was so strong that during the extraction meeting some of the provers were convinced that the substance of either salmon or a stingy jellyfish!
The theme of water and fish was also found in dreams, where there is also the struggle of the salmon as it swim up stream. However, the water was not always benevolent, dreams of heavy flooding were also experienced.
Thinking about that green water a lot. It’s like green phosphoressence and I see it in front of my eyes/in my head a lot since taking the remedy. It’s s fun, happy to see that.
Felt like I have fish eyes.
Dreamt last night about a flood of a river. Lots of lots of water and swift and deep moving river. Lots of green around (trees, etc) despite gray skies. Reminded of the sense of the fish fighting on the line and greenish water.
The theme of water, swelling and dryness was also experienced in the body. As well as increased in thirst and an increase of urination despite being thirst-less
I tripped on a stair that petered out from a full stair to no stair, although it was marked
yellow. Because I had my hands all full I couldn’t stop the fall with my hands and fell on my L side. My right ankle is totally sprained and swell to double its size.
I’ve definitely noticed an increase in thirst today, having put back at least 7 glasses of water between 17 h. and 22 h. (in 5 hours)
Once the Oplopanax horridus is burned it produces a black ash that mixed with bear fat was used by First Nation warriors for war markings. War marking has the function of scaring the enemy away by making the warrior more fearsome and perhaps giving more the warrior more confidence.
The theme of violence and of protection is clearly seen in several dreams.
The concept of protection is not limited to individuals but it extends to the protection First Nation traditions,
of people's health, of plants and the whole planet and is experienced in very vivid dreams.
Repertory: [Lucy De Pieri]
Mind: Desires acceptance
Anxious when something is expected of him/Fear to become obese/of insanity
desires to remain in bed - morning
cheerful - evening
< Conversation/< company/aversion to company, desires solitude/desires company/enjoys company
Delusions - being alone/body looks ugly/body = weightless/standing on bubbles/concentration difficult bubbles/ energy moving into opening heart/with swoosh lung/having fish eyes/fish fighting on the line or hook thrashing about/fish fighting in green water/being a fish/is forsaken/is loast in the wood/hard to pull myself down to earth/belonging to the opposite sex/stabbed in the back/water in front of my eyes/carry a heavy weight/being in a different world
Disappointed with sadness
Feeling of easy
Just wants to enjoy life
Spontaneous feeling of harmony
Hhatred of persons who offended him
„As if heavy“
Injustice is unsupporteble
Irratable (during pain)
Makes mistakes writing (wrong words/wrong letters)/typing
Easier to meet responsibilities (wants to give up responsibilities)
Thoughts go rapid
Tranquility - „As if drinking chamomile tea“/after energetic day/morning on waking/not bother by little problems/settled, centered and grounded
> Weeping (from music)
„As if had 2 wills“
Strong will power
+ red, discolored eye > cold application/+ hunger/+ closing the eye involuntarily (> cold application)
During chill upwards from back
„As if heat in neck“ (> cold application)
< Motion of head
With nausea - in afternoon/in evening (> open air/< indoors/< in car
In a room > open air/afternoon
Vertigo: during chill from back upwards
Head: Energy increased from mouth to crown chakra
Heat flashes r./“As if internal heat“ and cool to touch
Heavy, dull, pain
„A if brain loose“ (< motion)
+ involuntarily closing the eye/+ by pain in eyeball, „As if muscles stretched“ (> cold application/> pressure/in bones/dull (< after eating/< heat)/< exertion/> eating/ext. l. ear/ext. forehead/above eyebrows (> cold dry applications/> pressure/> lying down/< heat/< walking/< smell of food/desires to pull hair from back of head/ext. eyebrows/above eyebrows/in forehead in morning/dull in occiput (ext. forehead > sleep/> alcohol)/intermittent pulsating (afternoon/night)/> rest/< wine
Eyes: Agglutinated in afternoon,
Red > cold application
Dry in morning
Heavy (afternoon/+ nausea, concentration difficult)
Heat flashes r.
Itching + sneezing, nose discharges
Lacrhamtion (with sneezing)
Pain - burning > pressure/“As from dust“/in r. eyebrow
„As if tired“
Ears: Heat flashes/“As if hot steam is coming out“
Pain ext. head
Nose: Congested sinuses
Catarrh - followed by complaints of Frontal sinuses/postnasal
Congested nose upon waking
Discharges clear - upon waking upon/sneezing on afternoon/crusts, scabs, inside, bloody, r., morning/dripping at noon/green in morning/yellow clear/yellow green > evening/posterior nares dripping
Dry - + burning pain/inside
Pain - burning/stinging
Sneezing - morning/+ itchy eyes, nose discharges
Face: „As if lips chapped“ (upper lip morning)
Red (> cold washing)
„As if lips are dry) but are not/Lips dry licks them frequently
Eruption - blotchy, red (chin/cheeks)/on cheeks < heat/on chin (< heat)/vesicles on lower lip
Flashes of heat in r. cheek
Pain - r. jaw > motion
Rough skin l.
Tingling „As if are chapped“
Mouth: Tongue white [„As if burned“ (underneath)/“As if burned“]
Numb tongue/swollen, cannot whistle
Odor - putrid
Taste - bitter in morning
Ulcers - canker sore, small, corner of lips
Teeth: front teeth numb/sensitive tender, brushing (< r.)
Throat: „As if something alive“ drawing moisture for its own devices
Dry - after midnight/on waking/< swallowing
„As if empty“
Disposition to hawk (clearing mucus in throat and mouth)
crusts, green, adherent, streaked with blood
Pain - „As if raw“ < swallowing (> food/in center/ext. head/ext. sinuses)/“As from swollen glands“
Sensitive -< cold air/< dryness/< smoke/< cold drinks/< swallowing/< touch
Swelling - of esophagus gland > eating/> warm drinks/swelling painless
Tickling + tendency to hawk
External throat: itching
Neck: „As if hot internally“ and cool to touch
Pain . sore (> movement)/sore ext. l. shoulder
Stiff - difficult to move at first, then moves/painful (r./internal heat increase/ext. to pelvic region/sore r.)
Stomach: „As if something alive“
Appetite - diminished (thirst increased)/increased (+ „As if stomach full/for starchy foods)
Distended with restless sleep (> lying l. side)
Heartburn + distension, disturbed sleep
Heavy < breakfast
Pain, bursting pain < walking/> lying down
Burning in evening
Nausea in forenoon/with vomiting
Oppression + oppression of chest
< Solid food
> Vomiting/vomiting until stomach is empty (> walking)/
Abdomen: Pain - during digestion (> stretching/> lying down)/in intestines (+ pain in lumbar region)
Distended with weakness/at noon
Pain cramping + fullness of bladder,
Rectum: Diarrhea with weakness
Constipation - = incomplete, unsatisfactory, stools/stool remains long in the rectum with no urging
Stool: Pieces small (throughout the day)/hard
Kidneys: Pain - sore r. in morning/l. sore
Bladder: „As if distended“/“As if full“ with thirstlessness
Urination frequent with thirstlessness
Female genitalia: leukorrhea (afternoon/evening)
Sexual desire - with headache/increased in menopausal woman/increased in post menopausal woma like ovulation
orgasm reached, easier
returns - after the regular menstrual cycle has ceased
Respiration: Impeded, obstructed - from oppression of chest
Cough: Breathing deficient
Dry - morning/< afternoon/on waking/tickling from low down trachea
From dryness in trachea
Tickling - air impurities/< dry air/< exertion/< smoke
Expectoration: copious/hawked up mucus, green, streaked with blood/yellow/morning (clear/gray/greenish)/sticky/tenacious (gray in morning)/clear in daytime/thin in daytime
Chest: Catarrh - abundant, from chest/< milk
Congested with mucous of lungs
Oppressed - + by oppressed stomach/with difficult respiration
Back: complaints of (between/r.) scapulae
„As if internal heat“ and cool to touch
Injuries in cervical region
Pain - morning/aching/biting/burning > movement/dorsal region (stitching pain „As from needles“/under r. scapula walking/aching/dull/ext. stomach/“As if steel rod“ in hips ext. thighs/intermittent/in lumbar region [hips (sore above/> heat/> lying down)/sore ext. to hip]
In sacrum (biting/burning deep seated)/sore, < walking downhill/sore > rest/painful stiffness [in sacral region (> movement)]
Spasms in sacrum region < standing from sitting
Stiff - dorsal region morning (ext. sacral region r.)
Extremities: Hands and toes cold with vertigo
Spasmodic contracted muscles and tendons in feet
Cramping - in arch of l. foot (at night/> stretching)/in l. thigh (ext. l. hip)
In third finger red spot itchy/scratchy
Eruptions - vesicles on base of thumb
Ganglion on r. back of hand
Inflamed in hip joint
R foot numb [with paraesthesia (> walking)]
Lame - ankle after sprain/l. foot after sprain (< pressure/> stretching/< touch)
Solid nodule on foot/wrist (< pressure)
Ankles swollen after sprain
Pain - in feet - arch spasmodic at night/aching/r. sore/in hips [ext to thighs (unrelenting/“As frim steel rod“/r. sore (> heat/> lying)/knees (evening/< cold/> covering/> lying down/lying on painful side/stitching < first movement)/in legs [sore ext. pelvic bone/“As after a long walk“/l./l. sciatic (> stretching/like electrical shock)/pinching under l. buttocks]/pulsating in knee joint/sore
[r. (shoulder)/intermittent/foot cannot hurry]/in thighs l. cramping
Paraesthesia in l. leg, after sitting crossed-legged
„As if pulsating“/„As if pinching“ under l. armpit
Sprain in foot heals very slowly
Sensitive to pressure
Stiff [l. leg (sudden 16 h. > rubbing)/r. shoulder]
Swollen second fingers in distal joints < pressure
Throbbing medial in . knew > walking
Swollen feet painful > lifting
Sleep: deep unrefreshing
Desires to sleep in afternoon,
Heavy in afternoon
Falling asleep difficult
Light - much tossing around
Position changed frequently
Refreshing (in post menopausal women/despite short sleep)
Short in afternoon
Sleepy - morning/and restless/during pain
Stupor - drowsy
Tired despite good sleep
Waking - difficult/too late/“As having slept one's fill“
Unrefreshing, prolonged sleep/indisposed to rising
Yawning in forenoon
Dreams: <(<(<( viele )>)>)>
Chill: lasting all day/internal „As if coldness in the bones“/desires warmth, but cannot get warm
Internal heat (+ stiff neck and head pain)
desires to be covered, wants to hold cold pillow on head and face
Skin: „As if lips are chapped“
Red r./after scratching
„As if dry“ [skin (< after washing)/lips]/rough
Ganglia on r. back of hand
Eruption - blisters of lower lip/red blotches/painful boil, watery discharge with pressure/red rash with itching/rash irritated by cold water/after washing/burning rash/rash < heat/scaly red
Sensitive to touch with red swelling
Rough below nose
Tingling „As if lips are chapped“
Generals: desires open air, > wind
Boiling sensation in blood,
Cold feeling in bones
Energy drawn away from me/excess of energy (+ heat/morning)/good
Exertion physical <: desires sleep desires in afternoon
Faint - in closed (> open air)/+ nausea (morning/with heavy eyes with difficult concentration)/with (intermittent) vertigo
Food and drinks: Desires: asparagus/cold beer/white bread/butter/coffee/crackers/honey/garlic (at night)/raw mushroom/prawns/salami/sweets/sweet soda drink;
„As if heavy“ > breakfast
„As if hot“ internally
Laboratory test: low blood glucose
Pain - achy body/all over body
Desires physical activities in open air
Tired from dreaming
Vibrations „As if fluttering“ - with anxiety/> food
Weak in morning (+ nausea)/afternoon/evening/“As if forced down“ = ceiling of vitality
Weary - sudden/before lunch desires to ly down/in morning > breakfast
Weather - > rainy weather/< cold weather/< hot weather
Vergleich: Siehe: Apiales
Wirkung: Antimycobacterial (Staphylococcus aureus/Bacillus subtilis/Pseudomonas aeruginosa/Escherichia coli/Mycobacterium tuberculosis and avium)/antifungal activity (Candida albicans), anti-microbial effects on upper and lower respiratory tract
Allerlei: N. America
Phytologie: Inner back of the stems used arthritis/ulcers/diabetes/digestive track
Rheumatism and stomach trouble.
Roots and stems were used as a cleansing emetic/purgative. In steam baths for rheuma/stomach trouble.
Colds and rheuma
Tb. (of the bone)/menses (after childbirth).
Breastfeeding problems/to stop the flow of milk
Berries were rubbed on the scalp against lice and dandruff/makes hair shiny
Upper respiratory problems
Boils and infections (as a poultice for swollen glands, boils, and other infections).
Protection from spirits in form of a face paint
Tea made from the inner bark is drunk by many people today for diabetes.