Vergleich: Siehe: Asparagales
The most widely-grown orchids in the world are from the genus Phalaenopsis, including hybrids.
This particular species is native to forests up to 400m in parts of Indonesia and Malaysia including Borneo, Sabah, and Sarawak, and first described in 1909.
As an epiphyte it can be found growing in the tops of trees with the massive roots wrapped around branches for support.
In Malesia, the humidity is high and rainfall plentiful, although there is a drier season (usually towards the middle part of the winter). The plant requires an intact root system to maintain
leaf hydration, and responds poorly to root disturbance.
Named for its gigantic leaves -the leaf span can easily exceed 2 feet (60 cm) - it is the largest of the Phalaenopsis species.
The 5 to 6 massive leaves are pendent, leathery, broadly rounded, pale silver-green and shiny on both surfaces, bearing some resemblance to elephant names and Meanings
Generally, the plants grow with steeply-tilted leaves so as to shed water, in order to prevent crown rot.
The orchid flowers the most in the summer, although the plant can bloom from four to six months at a time.
A typical Phalaenopsis gigantea flower has a natural spread of about 2" (5 cm). The flowers tend to have a cream or yellow background with varying degrees of green around the column.
They have full, round, waxy petals that are roughly equal in size, usually overlap and have raised red-brown spots or blotches that you can feel with your fingers. After a relatively long maturing
period of 8 to 12 years, as short as 4 years in optimum conditions, plants are capable of producing hundreds of flowers on branching stalks that reach 16" (40 cm) in length, rising from a very
short monopodial stem.
Blooms within a single growth season open simultaneously and have a sweet, citrus scent. [Pfahl, Wikipedia]
See the Full Hahnemannian Proving in Section 4.
The distinguishing feature of this Orchid is the problem with concentration, memory, and the ability to communicate clearly and express oneself. There is a high expectation about their abilities,
thoughts, and ideas, but a difficulty in expressing them. There is stammering, slurring of words, and a strong sense of general confusion when attempting either to concentrate or to speak.
This Elephant Ear Orchid was proved in a full Hahnemannian way with Sally Williams as the master prover. Ever since then, and for a number of years now, colleagues and I have been successfully prescribing it.
One cured case was that of an overweight child on the autism spectrum who was obsessed with elephants.
In one of her many cases of this remedy, Sally gave the remedy with excellent results to an adult whose inability to learn, and most importantly to communicate, led him to become depressed and
to withdraw, frustrated, from family and friends.
With these central aspects of confusion and poor communication, Phalaenopsis gigantean has already been confirmed as an important remedy for ADD, ADHD, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
In the broadest terms, there are difficulties with concentrating and with learning, problems in retaining information, writing, and speaking. Frequent expressions used by provers (and now patients)
include: “I’m very, very confused,” “My confusion continues,” “I have a lack of concentration; I have a lack of focus.”
With respect to this issue one prover remarks: “I was not able to listen and remember - almost like I cannot hear... My concentration is lacking; I have a dopey feeling all the time.
”Another prover records: “Letters on the computer screen made no sense at all; I had to read [them] over and over.” A patient given Phalaenopsis with success described this state as a feeling of
being underwater. Also, there is a sensation that the mind is racing but that “my brain is sleepy.”
The patient can feel sleepy much of the time, especially when concentrating or in school. These will be patients who have great difficulty in reading and will avoid reading books, instead watching television, videos, or movies. Most of the participants of the proving were enrolled in a homeopathic college. During the proving they temporarily had trouble absorbing and retaining information,
as if they had learning disabilities.
They suffered from weak memory, a fogginess of mind, and a dullness of the senses overall. During the proving, taking tests was overwhelmingly challenging. As well, in all areas of writing there
were misspellings and mistakes along with confounding letters.
One prover said, “I’m confused on what I should write,” and another said, “I could not think straight to articulate proper words.”
Conversely, in a confirmation of this theme, one prover with a history of ADD did very well during the proving (a curative response!) and many of his concentration difficulties were resolved.
The frustration over the inability to communicate creates social embarrassment. There is a feeling of being trapped by what they perceive as an overpowering disability - a disability that must be hidden; this is experienced as both a desire and an inability to escape.
The natural tendency of the patient who needs this Orchid remedy is to blend into their environment and to be secretive. (It is one of the only Orchid provings so far that have brought out a concept of “secretive” and used the word “secret.”) Even while they attempt to keep the extent of their problem secret, precisely because of their memory and expression issues they are forced out of “hiding.”
This trapped feeling, and comparable scenarios, came out in many dreams of the provers. The primary source of these feelings, as is now clear from clinical experience, is a sense for the Phalaenopsis gigantean individual that they are misunderstood. In this remedy picture my colleagues and I have found irritability over misunderstandings and a consequent tendency to provoke arguments with
co-workers, with friends and spouse. Whilst stuck in an attention-deficit state, patients experience (as did the provers) anger and resentment towards those around them.
They can accuse family members of causing their problems, or of not helping them properly as a child. They can feel that others are laughing at them, gossiping and talking about them, and this aggravates
Moreover, with their victimized attitude they then go on to incite this same feeling in others. In addition, such an outlook inflames the feeling of being abused and wrongly accused. Eventually, as the inability to communicate increases so does the frustration, culminating inevitably in an attempt to escape the situation – mainly through withdrawal.
Ultimately, since their self-esteem is based disproportionately on what others think of them, they come to feel lost, with no direction, and with a feeling as if they do not belong.
The proving also engendered dreams exemplifying a major theme within the Orchid group – that of sexuality and sensuality as a means of disarming a situation.
In this specific Orchid what emerges as notable and thus particularizing is an associated strong need to escape:
04, 31: I dreamt I am on the street at night in New York City. A guy comes along, he was suggestive and threatening. I can show him by being funny and flirty, and go across the street to a gallery.
A safer looking man is there, he hires me to be a model. I don’t know what this means but I am willing to go along, it turns out to be fun. Still, it is all just a means of me finding a way to get out of this.
I escaped to an elevator. I watch as it carries us (others – strangers in the elevator) up and up. When I see the number 47th floor, I think no, that’s going up too high and I want to go down. The elevator opens and oddly, here I am out on the street level again, safe. I feel I was rescued using my own resourcefulness. In the dream, with respect to the elevator ascending in an “out of control” fashion,
there are two escape options: escape through a narrow place, such as a tunnel or via an elevator, or escape through sexuality. In other words, the prover has the feeling that only through sexuality or through their own resourcefulness can they escape danger and conflict.
In the case of Phalaenopsis gigantea, for the most part, the patient feels hopelessly stuck and trapped with no way of escape except through a very narrow challenging place.
This resonates strongly with the feeling of the Malaria miasm (see Malaria Compound in Miasms and Nosodes, Volume 1). Confirming this, other aspects are shared between this remedy picture and the Malaria miasm: family feuding, the feeling of needing help and money from family members; the feelings of frustration, anger, and irritability with other family members.
This feeling is that others will not help them, even to the point that “loved ones are dead” to them and that they cannot trust anyone. They get very angry and frustrated with their spouse or with family members – their “own resourcefulness” becomes the only option remaining.
Many remedies in the Malaria miasm have problems communicating. Some of the main remedies for stammering, like Niobium, are in this miasm.
One Phalaenopsis patient said: “I feel incapable to communicate. That is probably the hardest thing. That is probably the biggest thing.
I feel ignored. I get blamed for the miscommunication.” This leads to resentfulness – but this is a resentment without strong bitterness and without the completely closed-off aspect we might see in other Malarial remedies, such as China officinalis. (A differentiation may still be required because China also has the tendency to confound words and numbers which is part of Phalaenopsis and, perhaps,
part of the miasm as a whole.)
There is also an element of alienation evident in the Malaria miasm (as well as in the Syphilitic miasm). In this remedy, this alienation is particularly felt in regards to their mother (and family) as previously discussed. The Phalenopsis patient has high expectations of their mother and subsequent feeling of resentment, even self-pity, believing they do not get enough care, support, and attention from their mother. They may test the limits of their parents, requiring care and money. Yet, they never feel they are getting the right support from their family, especially their mother and as such, from a young age feel distant and hostile.
The memories, hostility, or slights stay with them for a long time, into adulthood. At a young age, they may start overeating to deal with their emotions and, in spite of difficulty with concentration and focus problems, can become good cooks. But these feelings can also come about because someone else is hostile towards them or as a result of an uncommunicative or very negative mother or family environment. As an adult, they may partner with someone who is argumentative and, while feeling it necessary to keep it light and harmonious, will nevertheless fall into irritability and anger.
They never feel quite part of their family. I also think of this remedy for children born to a young teenage single parent.
The child may have learning disabilities and social problems, and may feel stuck with a desire to escape.
In a related manner, the remedy is for someone growing up in a violent household or in a social environment where adults show immature behaviors.
Like most Orchids, there can be periods characterized by a carefree attitude, a lack of concern about being late, for example (which then provokes others). There is also a sensation that time is going too fast, “so fast.”
Again, like other Orchids, there is difficulty in falling asleep and when asleep there are many complex and varied dreams.
As mentioned above, the theme of being trapped and narrowly escaping is prominent. There were other dreams similar to other Orchids, including dreams of partying, of big parties, and playing. Likewise, the Phalaenopsis proving was no exception to the general Orchid theme of stairs, and of going up and down stairs. In this proving it was more to do with “down-stairs” and was related to the theme of food. But the food has a price – it is heavy and requires a lot of work:
I help carry heavy bags of fruit and vegetables downstairs. Then I feel the weight is lighter and find the bag of vegetables is almost empty. I keep on going downstairs and a man brings a thick stack of vegetables saying that it is what I had dropped. I go to a place. A lady is cooking and says if today is an important day for me she can share some food with me. I said no, my birthday is in October, so
I walk away. Another group of people is getting dinner ready so I tell my husband, and we both go to join them for dinner.
As with the Vanilla proving there was a theme of purchasing beautiful clothing:
There is a clothing sale in a beautiful home with many beautiful women with lots of money to spend. The clothes are beautiful and displayed on exquisite hangers. Ech item costs $15.00. I chose many items, hats, shoes, dresses. Several women comment by murmuring that I have a lot of things. I react by questioning myself whether that is true but I conclude that I like everything and I will buy them all.
In this prover’s dream a particularizing aspect emerges and we see, again, the Phalaenopsis patient’s sensitivity to what others think of, and say about them – along with the feeling that others are judging them.
Staying with the dreams, there were also many concerning dogs - which implies to me that someone needing this remedy could well be a dog-lover. Some of these dreams involved dogs doing silly things - the idea of frivolity being a strong aspect of the remedy.
One such dream involved being “trapped in a house with weird people and lots of dogs.” With respect to more threatening (animal or non-human) energy, there were dreams of a spider crawling on the back and also of aliens sucking people up into their spaceships.
As with the proving of Vanilla planifolia there were dreams of both bugs and of blue colors.
There were also dreams of being pregnant, and in this remedy we do see hormonal problems similar to those evident in other Orchids. Primary to this particular Orchid, however, remain those dreams related to being lost or that others are lost.
Similarly, there is a frustrating and embarrassing aspect related to the dreams of being confused and not knowing what direction to go in.
There was strong sexuality and eroticism, both in the dreams and in general. One prover said she had a “homoerotic dream with two girlfriends of mine on holiday.”
The mental dysfunction that is such a strong aspect of the remedy can be reflected on a physical level.
We can see a sensation of dizziness, as well as clumsiness. There can be heaviness in the lower limbs. Combining both the theme of food and of difficulty in “processing” what the environment offers, there can be severe digestive problems that result in liquid diarrhea and bloating.
The most widely grown orchids in the world are the species and hybrids of Phalaenopsis. Phalaenopsis gigantea or “Elephant Ear Orchid” is native to Borneo and was first described in 1909. Named for
its gigantic leaves that easily exceed 60 centimeters, it is the largest of the Phalaenopsis species. The massive leaves are pendent, leathery, broadly rounded, pale silver green and shiny on both surfaces,
resembling “elephant ears”. An epiphyte; it can be found growing in the tops of trees with the massive roots wrapped around branches for support. In Borneo, the humidity is high and rainfall is plentiful,
although there is a drier season usually towards the middle part of the winter. Generally, the plants grow with steeply tilted leaves to shed water in order to prevent crown rot from occurring.
The flowering season is heaviest in the summer; the plant can bloom from 4-6 months at a time. A typical Phalaenopsis gigantea flower has a natural spread of about five centimeters. The flowers tend to
have a cream or yellow background with varying degrees of green around the column.
The flowers have full, round petals that are about equal in size, are usually overlapping and have raised red-brown spots or blotches that can be felt with the fingers. Mature plants are capable of producing
hundreds of flowers on branching stalks reaching 40 centimeters.
The decision to prove Phalaenopsis gigantea arose from the theory that orchids who mimic animals or have animal names may address learning disabilities, even autism. The two successful cases I have
seen of this remedy were for a child on the Autistic spectrum who was obsessed with elephants and an adult whose inabilities to communicate and learn well led him to become depressed and withdraw
from family and friends.
The central idea of Phalaenopsis gigantea is confusion with a lack of comprehension and difficulty in concentration, learning, retaining information, writing, and speaking. The proving participants were
enrolled in a homeopathic college. During the proving each one temporarily had trouble learning and retaining information as if they had learning disabilities. There was also difficulty with memory,
fogginess of mind and a dullness of senses, “not able to listen and remember almost as though I cannot hear”. A patient given Phal-gig with success described it as “a feeling of being underwater”.
Taking tests was difficult and many of them failed an exam, but were able to take the test again and pass when the proving was over. Yet one prover with a history of ADD did very well during the
proving and many of his concentration difficulties were subsequently curatively resolved.
In addition, there was frustration over the inability to communicate -- a feeling of being trapped by it with a desire to, but inability to escape. These trapped feelings and scenarios came out in many of the
dreams of provers. The primary source of these feelings is a sense that they can’t communicate effectively and are misunderstood. There was irritability over misunderstandings, provoking arguments with
co-workers, friends and spouse. The more intense the inability to communicate became the more the provers tended to withdraw. Ultimately, they felt lost and directionless, feeling as if they did not belong.
Mental and Emotional Themes:
- Confusion/difficult concentration
- Difficulty Learning, Writing, and Spelling
- Difficult communication
- The Number Three
- Alcohol tolerance
- High/Low Energy
- Blurred vision
- Congestion and burning of eyes, nose and sinuses
- Bitter/metallic taste
- Heartburn and reflux
- Lack of libido
- Heavy extremities/clumsy