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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.”

The simple language of the proving is found in the patient’s frequent use of  the word “cycle,”  Oncorhynchus provers spoke of completing cycles, riding cycles, walking in circles, and dreaming of rings.  The Pacific salmon swims in a large circle during its ocean migration and ends its life cycle in the river where it was hatched.

Naturally, water is prominent in the Oncorhynchus proving, showing up in underwater sensations and dreams of oceans and floods.  Provers had images of “rivers of traffic,” “going with the river” and “rivers flowing in different directions.”  These images nicely correspond to the patient’s recent move to a house by a river.

Phone message left on answer machine 2 months later:

I am pregnant!  I had a big shift.  Shortly after taking the remedy, I had a dream.  I was sitting on the porch and saw the ghost of a child run onto the porch to me.  I felt in general a shift.  I moved forward into work and started the IVF cycle. Right before I had a job interview and accepted a new position.  A big break through for me.  I hadn’t worked in a long time before that because I was so depressed.

Rx:  Wait.  As the patient sounded so happy and well in her message, there was no need to prescribe. We didn’t hear any further from the patient for one year.

Follow-up: One year later.

I had a baby 4 months ago.  The baby takes a lot from you.  I produced a healthy child. I didn’t anticipate things lasting this long, like my weight.  I am not exercising. I can’t fit it in.  I was a major exerciser.

I had my first period a week ago.  A major hormone shift now.  I am losing hair now when I wash it.  I hate my appearance, I am not comfortable in my body.  Not attractive, sexy, or appealing.

I’ve had an ongoing respiratory infection. 3 weeks ago I was waking with a sinus infection and a sore throat like a lump that hurts to swallow. I’ve had repeat herpes on my lower lip and mouth.  I am depressed and tired and sick from it.

My feet pain me, the soles, walking on hardwood floors, worse when first step on them.  Feels dull as if beaten up on bottom of foot.  Goes away when I walk around.

I feel very overwhelmed with motherhood.  It is a big change, I have trouble adjusting to change, not walking, not earning.  Being alone all the time with the baby.  I am not productive, I am used to being productive.

I don’t know who I am, an identity crisis.  It is cyclical. When the baby was first born, there was elation.  Then September 11 came and he was 2 ½ weeks old.  Normally I would  have gone to help otherwise, but I couldn’t physically do that.  Then I was getting ready for the holidays and had projects.  But I don’t feel I am accomplishing something.

I am thinking about working from home, but I have trouble scheduling, how to make it happen, how to manifest things.

Being in the house with the baby for the past 3 weeks, we were stuck and are stuck all winter.  I need to do things for myself.  I am giving too much to everybody, overgiving.

I like order and schedules and there is none with the baby.  I want to move through this and get control.  I used to be in control and now he is controlling me.

Craving for chocolate, but I have to stay away because of the herpes.

No yeast infection now. Sexual energy OK. It was really good during pregnancy, now, less.  Two months ago it came back.  It has to do with how I feel about myself.  I don’t feel attractive, which is difficult.  Part of that is scheduling.

I did a lot of walking outside with the baby.  I used to do a lot of walking in pregnancy and hiking.   I definitely need to get in the car and go.  Get out of the house and move, for the motion.  I’m bumping into walls in here. Walking makes me feel good.

I ate lots of salmon when I was pregnant.

Rx: Repeat Oncor 200c, 1 dose

In hearing the patient’s story a year later, it is interesting to have another look at the main themes.  Having nourished herself on salmon, both in potency and in substance, the patient has achieved her mission of giving birth to a baby.  However, now she has relapsed to where she was in the first interview, not producing, desiring a creative job, and questioning her self identity.  This indicates that the Oncorhynchus theme of regeneration applies to self creation as well as childbearing.

Again the patient is struggling with unachieved ambitions.  It is “cyclical,” she says. Not being free to follow her schedule and maintain order and control in her life couples with feelings of frustration and depression.  She feels trapped, is not accomplishing, is not able to escape for her long walks and is not moving ahead.  She craves motion, wants to “get in the car and go,” but is “bumping into walls.”  These themes are prominent in the proving.  Several Oncorhynchus provers experienced a similar sense of being confined, “feeling trapped; longing to be free,” want to escape,” “feel I’m on a walking machine, walking but getting nowhere.”  Notably, walking was a regular activity for some provers,”went for long walks along the Thames.”

The patient’s physical symptoms, infected sinuses, lumpy sore throat and herpes sores, are common to those of the provers.  The feeling of being beaten up and her painful soles, are also found in the proving.

Follow-up 11 months later:

I took the remedy and felt a big shift.   I wasn’t depressed and things seemed easier with the baby.  I didn’t feel stuck.  Cold sores better, feet improved.  Not so upset about letting the baby make the schedule.   I lost weight and felt much better about my appearance.  I was still stuck in the house because it was winter, but I didn’t feel so overwhelmed.  After 5 or 6 months, I began to feel overwhelmed again and frustrated.  I was having hysterical crying during my periods because I couldn’t do what I wanted to do.   I took the remedy again and I have been fine until a few weeks ago.

Now I am trying to get pregnant again.  I didn’t get my period yet, but sometimes I have a 32 day cycle.  I feel exhausted, my hormones from nursing, menstruation, conceiving.  I am used to control and I feel I don’t have it.  I am caring for a year old child and breastfeeding all night.  I am thinking to stop, but it is hard emotionally for me to stop.  I take care of a lot, the bills, social life, food, meals, cleaning a large house.  I need to make money, the bottom line.  I don’t like debt. It is frustrating me, I have no time.

Rx:  Repeat Oncor  200c.  If no improvement, take Oncor 1M

The life cycle repeats.

General and Physical symptoms from the proving of Oncorhynchus tshawytscha that are related to the case:

Generalities, Beaten up, bruised                            Head pain temples, eyes

Generalities, Food, desire chocolate                     Face, pain sinuses

Generalities, Desire meat                                        Mouth, ulcers, lips

Generalities, Desire fish, salmon                            Throat, Lump

Throat, Pain, < swallow empty,

Stomach, Thirstless

Rectum, Constipation

Genitalia, Female, infertility

Extremities, feet, icy cold

Complete proving and substance information for Oncorhynchus tshawytscha can be found in Dynamic Provings, Volume 2 by Jeremy Sherr.

About the author

Jeremy Sherr

Jeremy Sherr was born in South Africa and grew up in Israel. He founded the Dynamis School for Advanced Homeopathic Studies in 1986. He maintains busy practices in London, Tel Aviv, and New York and Africa.
He is a member of the North American Society of Homeopaths and the Israeli Society for Classical Homoeopathy. Jeremy is an honorary professor at Yunan Medical College, Kunming, China and an Associate Professor at University Candegabe for Homoeopathy, Argentina.
Jeremy is the author of ten homoeopathic books and many published articles and research papers and has proved (a process of shamanic and academic research) and published 38 new homeopathic remedies. He authored the Dynamics and Methodology of Homoeopathic Provings and Dynamic Materia Medica: Syphilis., 'Helium' ‘Neon’ and ‘Argon.’
He is the author of the Repertory of Mental Qualities and of ‘Homoeopathy for Africa’, a free teaching course for African homoeopaths. He has published three extensive (over 40 hours) online video courses which he edited by himself, including the ‘The homeopathic Treatment of epidemics and of AIDS in Africa.’
During the last 11 years Jeremy has been living and working in Tanzania with his wife Camilla, also a homeopath, on their voluntary project ‘Homeopathy for Health in Africa’ treating AIDS patients for no charge and researching remedies for AIDS.


  • 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.

  • I notice the following rubrics are now listed under Oncorhynchus tshawytscha in Radar Opus (Adonis version), each appearance graded as “1”, each being the only remedy listed:
    FEMALE GENITALIA/SEX – MENSES – clotted – vaccination for Covid-19; after: (1) oncor-t.
    FEMALE GENITALIA/SEX – MENSES – irregular – vaccination for Covid-19; after: (1) oncor-t.
    FEMALE GENITALIA/SEX – MENSES – disordered – vaccination for Covid-19; after: (1) oncor-t.
    FEMALE GENITALIA/SEX – MENSES – irregular – long and variable intervals – vaccination for Covid-19; after: (1) oncor-t.

    It appears to be worth further consideration.

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