Actions are easier if they come from inside.
Why silk, exactly?
My dream of China
Already as a child I felt a great urge to travel to China. I didn’t know why, but I dreamt strange things about a life in China. These dreams were very vivid and surprising. It couldn’t have been films on TV, since we didn’t own one at that time.
At the age of ten I started to actively seek contact with Chinese art. I went to every exhibition that had something at all to do with this theme. I bought books in the antiquary with pictures of Chinese paintings, in which I would immerse myself for hours at a time. I tried to replicate the Chinese painting style by copying the pictures on my own.
At about 14 I got a silk blanket for a present. I didn’t exactly like the colour, but it just felt awesome. No itching and scratching on the skin, simply soft and warm. With that, my passion for China had become more concrete – it was silk. Painting on silk first became my hobby and later, for some years, my job. But even this was not enough to stop my longing for China.
Small accidents in life often have great consequences.
My homeopathic contact to silk began after a small accident in which I twisted my right ankle and almost tore the tendons. Acute treatment on site was with Arnica 10M, which lowered pain levels to an almost acceptable level. Further homeopathic treatment followed with Bell-p and Ruta in different potencies, which in similar cases had always led to an improvement quite quickly. But this time the pain, the swelling and the elevated movement of the ankle persisted and after two weeks I still couldn’t walk normally, which totally contradicted my previous experiences with homeopathic treatment.
Move on and keep the goal in sight
For this reason I started looking for a better remedy. My thoughts went toward silk quickly, because it has attributes (see below “attributes”) that have much in common with our own tissues such as skin, tendons and ligaments. Since I like experimenting and using a radionic instrument, I created the homeopathic remedy silk in the potency 10M and took it.
The positive results of this self-experiment
The effect of this treatment was surprisingly fast and powerful. In one day, all the pain and swelling were gone. After a week I had already regained the full stability and movement of the ankle. This accident was five years ago and I haven’t had another similar accident since, although this was common practice for me some two or three times per year, though not as drastic as that time.
In addition to the convincing effect of this remedy in acute treatment, I have noticed many other positive effects of the remedy on psychic and physical health that I will discuss below. They acted as the basis for my further work with this remedy and therefore also are the basis for the homeopathic remedy image, which is in the making right now.
My personal encounter with silk
After this positive experience, my curiosity for this remedy was really sparked, especially because silk wasn’t available as a real homeopathic remedy at that time. Upon a suggestion from alternative practitioner Renate Siefert, who along with Frans Vermeulen, furthered my homeopathic development, I conducted a trituration of an untreated silk cocoon with amateurs and interested homeopaths. This very personal encounter with silk gave me much valuable information that is very important for the further development of the remedy silk cocoon and its use in homeopathic praxis. See “summary of the trituration protocols”)
The history of silk
There are many different legends about the discovery of silk. One of the best known is probably this one: At about 2640 BC Si-Ling, the wife of Chinese emperor Huang-Ti went on a walk in the imperial gardens and a silk cocoon fell in her tea cup. When she took it out again, she didn’t have a cocoon in her hand anymore, but shiny threads. The young empress was so excited by this that she collected 1000 cocoons and wove a cloak for her emperor out of them. To her honour, the thread was called si, from which most modern names derive (Eng: silk , Ger: Seide , Swe: silke , Jap: seri , Lat: sericum)
For emperors and kings
The production of silk is a very complicated process and therefore this valuable material was only available to the emperors and their wives. Only in the year 1200 BC, was this privilege expanded to nobles and rich merchants. Around 300 BC the Japanese were granted the knowledge of silk production. Later on, silk found its way to the royal houses of Europe too. But because of the long and dangerous journey on the Silk Road, silk was extremely rare and expensive and so means for production in Europe were sought.
Secret and industrial espionage
The production of silk was one of the best-kept secrets in the world. Because of the death penalty, it took about 2500 years until the secret of silk-making became known outside the borders of China. The first step was teaching the nobles of the Japanese imperial court. In Europe, the secret was divulged several centuries later. Two Nestorian monks, sent by emperor Justinian of Rome, supposedly succeeded in smuggling seeds of the Mulberry tree and Bombyx eggs concealed in their walking sticks around 555 AD. This could be one of the first cases of industrial espionage and was the beginning of the expansion of silk production in the rest of Asia, to Europe and finally to America.
The production of silk
The silkworm moth most used for silk production is the Mulberry moth Bombyx Mori. This moth was cultivated for thousands of years and is now no longer able to live in freedom. Other moths produce silk too, but not in the same quality and quantity as the Bombyx Mori.
The cultivation of silkworms is very delicate. Exact climatic circumstances, precise feeding and good hygiene are of the essence, since these circumstances determine the quality of the resulting silk and the silkworms are very prone to bacterial infections. The female moth lays about 500 eggs and dies after that. The eggs are oval, flat and measure between 1 and 1.5 mm in length. The fertilized eggs endure the winter and the worms hatch the next spring. In modern silk production, several methods are used to procure more than one harvest per year.
After hatching, every silkworm eats about 25 grams of mulberry leaves in its growth span of about 30 days and exhibits an increase in weight by 8000 times. At that point they cease to grow and start to construct their cocoon. In the process, every single silkworm produces one thread of about 400 to 900 meters which equals 1-2 grams of raw silk. After finishing the cocoon, the worm becomes a pupa and stays in this stadium for about 8-12 days, effectively protected from outer influences by the silk cocoon. After this time, the metamorphosis to moth is complete. The moth then utters a secretion that dissolves the cocoon at one place so that it can hatch. This destroys the long silk thread and the short pieces left from this kind of cocoon can only be used to fabricate lesser silk.
For this reason, the pupa are killed by means of heating or cooking, to keep them from hatching and thereby destroying the silk thread. By cooking, the silk glue is also dissolved, so that the thread can be unraveled and sent to the next stages of production, like spinning and weaving. For spinning, several threads with the extraordinary length of several hundred meters (cotton only 15-56 millimeters) are put together according to the desired thickness.
Build and attributes of silk
Silk is the secretion from the silk worm’s salivary gland, out of which it makes its cocoon. It is liquid during secretion and hardens upon contact with air.
One single silk thread is made up of the surrounding Sericin and the inside consists of two strings of Fibroin, also called silk filament. The silk filament Fibroin makes up about 70-80 % of the silk fiber. Fibroin is a sulfur-free, high-polymeric protein, so in effect; it’s a natural polyamide fiber. The repeat patterns of amino acids give silk glow, softness and elasticity.
Sericin makes up the remaining 20-30 % of the fiber. Sericin, also called silk glue, keeps the cocoon together, meaning that it glues the threads to each other and thereby renders the cocoon stable and durable.
Other components of silk are carbohydrates with about 1.2-1.6%, 0.7% of organic ingredients and 0.2% natural colours.
The real mission of the silk thread is to guard growth. To be able to fulfill this mission, silk is equipped with important and unique attributes. It is soft, protects from too much heat and too much cold, it takes up humidity and then releases it again, it’s very tear-proof and can be damaged by very few substances, which makes it extremely durable. With these and other special qualities, silk is the foremost of natural fibers.