Clinical Cases

The Life Cycle of A Salmon: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha

Homeopath Jeremy Sherr presents a case of infertility which led to the use of potentized Salmon.

Note: We have highlighted in the case the themes, symptoms and language that appear in the proving of Oncorhynchus Tshawytscha.

40 year old woman. (Seems depressed, sagging facial expression and heaviness in movement and voice.)

I have been trying to get pregnant for six years.  I will soon do the in vitro fertilization treatment for the third time in 1 ½ yrs.  The last time it did a number on me.  It took its toll.  I had an ectopic pregnancy and then had an emergency caesarian section to remove the tube and pregnancy.  It was traumatic; I was bleeding intensely and almost died. I had to convalesce for two months.  I took the year off from my job.

The first cycle was the year before.  1 year before that I had a laparoscopy to clear the tube.

I am very depressed.  I quit my job to start the cycle, I can’t think about work.  I don’t know who I am anymore because of all this.

I exercise a lot, aerobics.  I gain weight when I do a cycle and feel sluggish.  I have always exercised.

I had an abortion at age 19.

I have a contradiction about work.  I want to do something different.  My job was stressful, but lucrative. I worked from home, but I always earned money. I am going backwards.

I moved 1 ½ years ago to the country with river and trees.  Neither of us likes the house. There is not enough going on there, too dead.  Like my life, not a lot going on.

My parents divorced when I was 6 yrs old.  It was traumatic, but I have a good relationship with my father.  I have trouble with my mother, but I admire her.

I am turning 40, a milestone; I thought I’d have my family by now.  Family is a primary thing.

I am used to being alone, I like that.  I don’t want to work in an office.  I work so hard, at home and I could have a family there and could be there. My husband is used to me taking care of everything.  I am comfortable with that role, I am organized, a planner, communicator. I run the finances and social calendar.

My family is untraditional, eccentric, marriage, divorce, unloved. My husband’s family is extra-traditional.  I came from a broken marriage and no focus on family.  I was attracted to the traditional values of my husband’s family.

I can be very creative and I want to do that in my work but I haven’t discovered it.  I have never loved my work.  I’ve only worked in a business world.  I didn’t want to be poor.  I want comfort and not to worry about money.  I was concerned about which job paid more.  I feel secure if I have money.

I take things personally, get defensive.  I am insecure about myself.  I did not manifest a pregnancy. Everything else I can make happen and it affects the way I am.  I always have a little lack of confidence in myself.  I liked to be around and work with powerful creatures, dynamic people.  But I also have trouble with authority.  I can’t stand up for myself.

I was always a goal-oriented person, determined, stick with it.  I went to school for ten years at night for my degree.  But I have no clear picture of my goals because the one that I want, the pregnancy, I can’t make happen.  I have been going after it so long, I’m tired.

(Any fears?)  Of the dark, I don’t like to go from the bedroom to the bathroom down the dark hall.  Poverty, afraid of being fat, of dying.  Of dying and not having reproduced and given back. I used to be afraid of insects. I am afraid of being a passenger in a speeding car.  I won’t go on a rollercoaster rides, they are dangerous.

(Anger?)  I get very defensive. I overdo trying to stand up for myself.  I can’t be wrong or admit it.  I am a perfectionist.  I like everything just so, neat and tidy.  I have to have things in order.  A plan, a goal.  Order is very important. I get snappy, edgy, and impatient, if things are not done right, quickly or the way I’d do them.

(Depression?)  I don’t care about anything, order or neatness.  I can’t get motivated, nothing makes me happy. I eat. I feel lonely, alone with my feelings.  Everything is an effort. I cry, usually alone.  I hate to ask for consolation from anybody.  I take it if someone offers it.  I am so used to taking care of everything myself.

I always had a lot of responsibility from a young age. My mom was not around.  I always was taking care of myself.  I always did the laundry, cooking, by myself.  I lived alone for 10 years and used to take care of myself.  I didn’t think I would get married.  I never wanted to because I never wanted to break up a family like my parents did.  I trusted my husband, that was important as I was afraid I would marry a guy who would leave.

Head:  Hairs on my chin, stiff, dark, after IVF and the ectopic pregnancy.

Head pain: Headache over eyes and temples in spring and fall.

Hearing:  Lessening.  I used to be a rock and roll fan, going to loud concerts. Every few months have faint ringing in one or the other ear for a minute or so.

Teeth:  Lot of cavities.

Lips:  Cold sores, herpes.  Sometimes aggravated by chocolate and stress.

Lungs:  Bronchitis twice in ten years.

Digestion:  If I don’t exercise, I get constipation.

Food desires:  Fat, butter specifically; salt; hot spicy. I love chocolate, but avoid it because of the cold sores.

Food aversions: Red meat, both thinking of it and eating it.  After one of these cycles, I craved red meat. Averse organ meat, liver, ham, pork.  I am vegetarian. Also sour foods.

Thirst:  Not much.

Female: Endless yeast infection after antibiotics. May have had chlamydia about 19 years ago. My right tube is remaining, but with scar tissue and adhesions although not as bad as the left tube was. The ectopic pregnancy in left tube burst the tube and adhered to the bowel, scar tissue with adhesions.

Menses: Regular, dull cramps on first day.  Premenstrual symptoms a week before.  At times I am a complete basket case, maniac, psycho; other times weepy and craving.

Sexual energy:  Good, but it could be better. I wish I had more intercourse, more often.

Back:  I was in a car accident. My L3 and L4 disks are deteriorating so I can never do high impact aerobics again, which I used to do it a lot.

Extremities:  Feet are cold.

Weather/temperature: < heat, intolerable with humidity.  I prefer fall to winter, spring to summer.

Skin:  Very sensitive skin. Lots of moles, flat and dark.

Rx: Oncorhynchus tshawytscha 200c 2 doses, 4 hours apart

At the time of this patient’s appointment, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (Chinook or Pacific salmon) had been proven but had not yet been published.  For this reason we could not find the remedy by repertorization.  However, as we were well- acquainted with the proving, we were very clear about the main themes of Oncorhynchus. We have therefore highlighted in the case the themes, symptoms and language that appear in the proving.

The principal theme in the case is procreation. “Family is the primary thing,” “my biggest fear is of dying and not having reproduced.”  This desire is a prominent one in the proving of Oncorhynchus, “deep longing to be pregnant and have children, I dream about children all the time,” “very intense fear of not being able to have children,” “thought, ‘How can I last this long without a baby?'”  The theme of procreation correlates with the inner nature of the salmon, since its mission in life is to swim upriver to its birthplace and breed the next generation. From clinical experience we have found Oncorhynchus to be one of the main remedies for infertility, when the symptoms fit.

Having had difficulty becoming pregnant, the patient resorted to extreme measures to conceive, requiring much effort and resolve.  Just as salmon exhibit great determination and experience inordinate hardship traveling upstream, the patient repeatedly endured uncomfortable medical procedures and painful surgery in her ambition for a pregnancy.  One prover of Oncorhynchus dreamt she “was frantically going around trying to get pregnant.”  The patient’s fruitless efforts are reflected in the provers’ dreams of unsuccessful efforts, repeated attempts to catch a flight or reach a destination, “not being able to get to where I wanted to be,” “frustrated.”

Order is a characteristic of Oncorhynchus as well as of the patient.  Provers were unable to work in disordered places and needed to tidy up and throw out old objects.  Sometimes suffering depression, the patient liked to be alone, which was a wish of many provers, “desire to hibernate-remove myself from work,” “desire to be alone and silent,” “sense of depression and withdrawal.”

About the author

Jeremy Sherr

Jeremy Sherr

Jeremy Sherr was born in South Africa and grew up in Israel. He has taught in most of the British schools of homeopathy and began the Dynamis School in 1986. Jeremy has also taught in Spain, Italy, Germany, Bulgaria, China, Russia, India, Japan, South Africa, and Australia. He maintains busy practices in London, Tel Aviv, and New York. He was awarded a fellowship from the Society of Homoeopaths in 1991 and a Ph.D. from Medicina Alternativa. He was also awarded an honorary PhD from Pioneer University and an associate Professor at University Candegabe for Homoeopathy, Argentina. He is the author of numerous homeopathy textbooks and journal articles and has proved 32 new homeopathic remedies. His latest book is Dynamic Materia Medica: Syphilis, a Study of the Syphilitic Miasm through Remedies. He is currently working on a book on the Noble gases. Recently, he released The Dynamic Case Taker, a new software program for homeopaths to assist in everything from casetaking to perceiving what is to be cured in a case, analysis, synthesis and case management. He is also the Author of Q-Rep, the repertory of Mental Qualities.

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  • Does anyone have any contemporary information for this remedy? I have a case where the patient is always moving on, escaping, striving to find ‘home’ and this remedy repertorises but the themes are not quite right. I wonder if there is any experience out there subsequent to Jeremy’s classic case that will help me understand salmon.