Clinical Cases

Cactus grandiflorus Case

Written by Carla Marcelis

The author presents a case of Cactus grandiflorus using the MICH method.

Date: May 5, 2009 Session: 1

Pseudonym: CC

Birthdate: 14 February 1967 Age: 42 B#: 3 Female

Chief Complaint

Lack of energy after childbirth, headaches and asthma. Headaches: periodically


CC gave birth at age 40 to her third child and has been breastfeeding for 2 ½ years. She is fatigued, struggles to keep her weight up and desires to cut back the breastfeeding. She wants to eat better, but has inability to make the effort: “You know you can do it but too nervous to try.” Avoiding the sense of satisfaction, the sense of feeling good about myself. Excitement, giggles, feeling of butterflies, if I let it go, it is just going to … makes me want to move, laugh and jump”. Has sugar cravings and eating sugar makes her sleepy. Imagines the worst at night (imagines that her headache is meningitis.) Dream: parent’s bedroom is full of shit and she has to clean it up. Headache: swelling of the head and numbness down the left arm, pulling across the chest into the neck, worse upon waking. They have been diagnosed as atopic migraines. Asthma and allergies since about five years (when her older boys became adolescents)

Sensations (MICH Method)

Local – General

Asthma: you cannot breathe. As if the lungs are closed, small and shriveled up. I feel a band around my heart and it pinches… constricting, but not suffocating, like a strong hand that is constricting. I have too little space.

General – Global

I hold back. I’m resisting being pushed. Tight, knot. Noise, crowds around me: tightness. Tight around me, no space, squished down, arms squeezed around me.

As in a ball that is too small for me;

As if in a womb that is too tight;

I just want to get out: all that fight;

It deflates, makes me smaller;

The more it happens, the harder it is to fill back up again.

As if a ball that is too small for me, as if in the womb that is too tight. I deflate, makes me smaller. As if my mother is holding me in while I want to be born and get on with my life.


Need or desire to expand. Something holds me back in again and brings me down. Like a balloon that inflates and deflates. Holding back so that it doesn’t inflate too much. It can’t go beyond a certain size: might pop or float away.


Holding back: I hold myself back from who I can be.


  • Generalities; Noise; agg. (387)
  • Mind; EXCITEMENT, excitable (461)
  • Respiration; TIGHTNESS of chest, with (141)
  • Generalities; NUMBESS, left (136)
  • Generalities; PERIODICAL (312)

Kingdom differentiation and family.

Plant language: sensations and their opposites are her core experience. Sensations of tightness, inflation and deflation.

Possible Families, Remedy differentiation:

Cactaceae: sensations of tightness, constriction, alternation of contracting and expanding.

Anacardiaceae: caught, stiff, tight pressing. However: needs to move and > motion

Euphorbiaceae: tied and untied, bound and unbound with desire to break free.

Possible miasm:

Malaria: Stuck and intermittently attacked with sense of denial: if you don’t think of it, it doesn’t already exist and you don’t need to deal with it. Keeping blinders on: not looking at things as they are. Feels unfortunate, lamenting (mother) and periodicity of complaints.

Possible remedies:

  • Cactus: fits the core and the rubrics.
  • Aconite: acute distress, vexed, raw nerves. Morbidly sensitive, with emotional outbursts and reaction of numbness. Does not have sensation of being held back.
  • Rhus tox. As all anacardiaceae, in Rhus-t we see the sensation of feeling caught locally, tight and pressing. It is as if caught from outside and desire is to move. The deflation/expansion is not seen in Rhus-t.

We don’t see the Aconite or Rhus-t core in this case.

Conclusion :

Cactus grandiflorus 200K

8, 2009
better this summer. Able to relax, less worrying, when

feeling tightness,
clutching, breathe into it, and feel expansion. Have been moody, prickly:
speaking up for myself. Feel as if volcano inside, pushing up, exerting
pressure, as if a strap is tightening it in, a tight black band.

Conclusion: improving.
Sensation still present:

àRepeat Cactus grandiflorus 200K
21, 2009Breathing
problems decreased (<cleaning the house), but now getting frontal
HA (sinus.) Some trouble sleeping.

Dull, tight, squeezing,
pushing down. As if my skull is too small for my head. I get paranoid
when I have things out of whack, thinking what it could be. My world
has shrunk, glass lid, stopping point, a rim, a strap that is not adjustable:
there is space inside but it stays where it is, keeps things from going
out of control: a black ring, a safety net, if not: water bursting all
over the place, it holds everything together.

à<Cactus MKNovember
30, 2009Breathing
and tightness occasionally appear. No asthma and no headaches.

àCactus MK: split dose in water
when tightness: she reports that she does this about once per two weeks
and has immediate improvement of Sx.February
3, 2010Much
better than last year. Breathing mostly good. Feelings of not being
able to keep up, lack energy, as if a mountain on my path.

àCactus XMKMay
19, 2010Fatigued
and ongoing sinus infection. Breathing good. Had a situation where I
felt completely powerless, as if I had no mind of my own. A door was
closed, a wall stopped me from moving forward.

à Cactus XMK Within a week, sinus
cleared up. No further breathing problems.

of case

Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy

About the author

Carla Marcelis

Carla Marcelis has been in practice for more than 20 years. The majority of people who come to consult with her have chronic and often serious diseases and she uses the full spectrum of homeopathic approaches together with nutrition and life-style adaptation to support this population. , Carla is also a teacher and Director of the Montreal Institute of Classical Homeopathy (MICH) and is the coordinator of the work by the non-profit HTSF-Canada (Homeopathes Thérapeutes Sans Frontières - homeopaths without borders) in Honduras. She has trained numerous community leaders and primary care workers in Honduras in homeopathy. The knowledge that homeopathy can do so much for people’s health while costing so little, makes it an important medicine for developing countries such as Honduras.


  • Patient words like: squeezed, squished, deflated/inflated, getting out, shrivel up, squashing, etc is a strong indication of the Cactaceae family. Nice case.

  • Very nice article.Carla plz plz plzzzzzz…. write a descriptive article on KINGDOMS,n how we differentiate that Pt.’s vital force needs this or that kingdom remedy?and would you plz suggest me some books on this topic?

    thank you
    best wishes

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