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The Use of Temperaments in the Healing Process

Dr. Kenneth Silvestri discusses the use of temperaments in finding the simillimum.  He references four temperament types as, feeling, thinking, intuitive and sensate.  

Originally published in Homoeopathic Links, The International Journal of Classical Homoeopathy, September, 2015, revised 2022)


Certain cases, if not all, necessitate a stereoscopic perspective. This perspective requires seeing simultaneous part- to – whole connections and variations to determining the desired results, all of which are geared to optimize the immune system.

This article describes a systemic approach to homeopathic case taking that includes the use of the Genogram and Temperaments to assess the needed remedy through a process of joining with the subject’s narrative, not as a passive “unprejudiced observer”.

KEYWORDS: Temperaments, Genogram, Participant, Observer, Arsenicum album, Aurum metallicum, Bryonia alba, Ignatia amara, Natrum muriaticum, Natrum sulphuricum, Nitricum acidum, Phosphoricum acidum, Phosphorus, Staphysagria, Remedy differentiation


He was simply “not constituted as Roosevelt” to expound upon his thoughts and vent his feelings with the members of the press. It was, Taft came to realize, a matter of temperament.

Doris Kearns Goodwin

It is never a simple matter to find the simillimum. With homeopathy’s unique individualistic based framework, the consequence of moving the vital force in the correct direction is awesome and worthy. I am an advocate about the importance of using a Systemic approach within homeopathic case taking, one that makes use of the ecological framework that fulfils homeopathic ideals.

Although I respect other rigorous means to successful homeopathic healing, there is the danger of creating limiting finite models if homeopathy’s holistic foundation is not recognised [1]. With that in mind, I would like to describe a specific process that has helped those with whom I have worked.

Being a systemic psychotherapist trained in anthropology as well as a classical homeopathy is obviously a natural context for me to work from, however the process that I will share can easily be adapted by anyone practicing classical homeopathy.

Certain cases, if not all, necessitate a stereoscopic perspective. This perspective requires seeing simultaneous part-to-whole connections and variations to determining the desired results, all of which are geared to optimise the immune system.

In my case, I initially start with ascertaining the context that differentiates a patient’s temperament. A powerful tool that sets the stage for matching appropriate remedies to ones’ presenting profile, is the Genogram format developed by Monica McGoldrick [2].

The Genogram is a trans-generational psychological family tree that allows for a narrative that describes how the world is viewed and thus helps to determine a temperament. ( for the Genogram symbols.) I have found that recognising how one interacts with and views their environment will elicit remedy pictures in a way that is more specific to how they construct and maintain health [3].

By way of a starting point, let me describe how I view the importance of working with temperament in the homeopathic process. Unlike most homeopathic case taking methods, which may use temperament aspects in differentiating a needed remedy at the end of case taking, I use temperament as the initial guiding primary factor in this determination.

In doing this I use what anthropologists describe as being a “participant observer”. This is the process of joining with the subject’s narrative, not as passive “unprejudiced observer”, which I believe misses much of life’s contexts of those coming to us for assistance, but one that empathically guides and facilitates the expression of the persona and sub-conscious aspects that make up the total individual.

The process then becomes one of: (1) creating a narrative dialogue (within the Genogram format): (2) ascertaining temperament: (3) determining the core delusion: (4) gathering relevant information i.e. miasmatic, sensation, unique symptoms, modalities, etc.

Most psychologists agree that there are four basic temperament styles, based on Carl Jung’s studies and popularised in the Myers and Briggs assessment: Feeling (Phlegmatic), Thinking (Nervo), Intuitive (Sanquine) and Sensate (Choleric). Understanding the significance of these temperaments starts for me at a great art deco diner where I grew up in Paterson, New Jersey.

The cook makes wonderful soup but his long ponytail would inevitably drop a hair into the pot.

The first patron enters on a cold, blustery day looking for a delicious hot bowl of soup. He places his order and when it arrives, he sees the hair, starts yelling, and doesn’t stay to enjoy the soup. This is the extreme side of the Angry Sensate trait.

The next fellow comes in, sees a hair in the soup and calmly calls the waitress over. He whispers to her to bring another bowl and relishes the moment. In this case he demonstrates the Sanguine Intuitive trait.

The third person comes in sees the hair, begins to silently weep and doesn’t say anything. This customer pays and leaves, obviously the Nervous Thinking persona, full of anxiety.

A fourth person enters the diner and orders soup. He sees the hair and what do you think he does? He, like Popeye the sailor man, takes the hair out and enjoys the soup. This represents the laid back Feeling type.

Each of us has components of all four temperaments, but we tend to be characterized by one or more, and each temperament is further differentiated by an extrovert/outward and introvert/inward part [4].

While the above metaphors for temperament types makes ascertaining them simplistic, how is this recognition possible given the complex individuals we regularly encounter? The Feeling temperament for instance can be rigid, dogmatic, preoccupied and full of hidden fears, especially if they are in an inward mode.

This type makes sense if they are subjective and somewhat shy, but if they are an outward Feeling type, they can manifest being externally emotional, judgmental, and more egocentric. A Thinking person when in an inward state can be speculative and a theorist while its outward style would be factual, precise, rational and dry.

Now, while the first two temperaments are very rational and can be judgmental, the remaining two are more irrational yet at the same time very perceptional. The Intuitive trait in its outward manifestation, can be impressionable, instinctive and full of hunches while its opposing side could be jealous, and have negative projections.

The Sensate/Angry outward type is more of a realist, down to earth yet fearful, angry and helpless; its inward side can have a tendency to misjudge, not complete tasks and can be narcissistic. Together all these traits can help ascertain strengths as well as allow for ways to help with a dysfunction or an injurious symptom [5,6].

In both homeopathy and psychotherapy, you look for the most unique, striking symptom or problem. Carl Jung taught us that a person will present one of the temperaments in a certain habitual, conscious manner. He called this the “persona”, but it is with one’s “shadow” the inner opposite part of their temperament or their subconscious makeup where many answers for helping create a healthy balance in one’s life may be found.

Someone, for instance, who usually has an outward temperamental trait, when presenting a problem or grievance will, in most cases, gravitate to their opposite inward trait, or vice versa (if someone’s characteristic persona is more inward and subdued then will express themselves in a outward extroverted manner). This is where we can assess someone’s descriptions of symptoms, through the presenting narrative of their pain, and the consequent barriers to health.

The temperamental styles also contain resources and strengths for dealing with conflict and communication. They offer choices to deal with everyday contexts. A tool for assessing these choices can come from dreams and archetypical symbols, which give further meaning to how one’s temperament will manifest itself. All of this can relate to the goal of every homeopathic remedy or psychological intervention, which is to balance the immune system for a healthy journey of life.

The information found in sensation, location and modalities of reported problems are the context where resolutions are found and corrected. It also allows for sensitivity to gender, class, race, cultural and ethnicity issues.

The great homeopath Baron Von Boenninghausen had these insights early on when homeopathy was in its infancy. He understood the connections and energy of the remedies as they related to symptoms and their sensations by observing the characteristics and behaviors of our species.

He avoided the danger of succumbing to cultural and language constraints that separate us from nature and viewed his patients in their totality. His framework prevented an inevitable dichotomy that most of the time misguided and over-simplified any movement toward self-development, like one focusing on a finger pointing to the moon rather than the illumination that is the moon.

Likewise, Carl Jung saw that our conscious awareness was part and parcel of our subconscious experiences and connected to humankind through collective shared stories based on one’s actions and temperament. This is what frames the canvas of the whole evolving self in a substantiated and inter-connected manner [7, 8, 9].

In the footnote to § 96 of Samuel Hahnemann’s “Organon of The Medical Art” (2002), he states that for instance “the high pitch of the expression about (the patients) sufferings become, in itself, a significant symptom in the remaining set of symptoms”.

Hahnemann knew that tuning into content alone contributes to disharmony and leads to a chase through the homeopathic repertory without the needed context to match a remedy. When enacting change within a larger holistic or communicational frame that reflects one’s temperament, the vital force can be freed to help articulate feelings and give rise to the striking, unique and peculiar symptoms.

Hahnemann in § 7 points this out in that the essential nature (Inbegriff) of the “symptoms is the outward reflected image of the inner Wesen (essence) of the disease, that is, of the suffering of the life force”.

In homeopathy as well as systemic psychotherapy, it is taught that the totality of symptoms is critical. Boenninghausen, mentioned above, writes about the importance of understanding who, what, why, with what, modes, when.

He also emphasizes the need to understand causation and how imbalance in one’s make-up or temperament opens the door to gathering information. A patient’s temperament, family legacy and life cycle narration play a large part in this determination.

Reactions from assessing someone’s temperament can lead to exploring essential patterns that define extraordinary, unusual and outstanding symptoms. It also allows the observer to participate and better understand a patient’s over-lapping states. Since we all possess attributes of all four temperaments, it is not unusual to present with more than one i.e. Thinking-Sensate, Intuitive-Feeling etc. and thus have further clues to use for resolving symptoms.

The point is, we all view and construct the world differently. This is why homeopathic remedies will work better when they are congruent with the make-up of the specific individual and psychotherapy is successful when there is a match with how someone perceives and articulates their worldview.

A very introverted Intuitive persona may be out of sorts and communicate from an extroverted Angry Sensate temperament. The everyday outward analytic Thinking person having a bad day can easily revert to an inwardly shy Feeling position. It is this shadow area that gives further information for change and where one’s pain resides.

This is the grist for the perceiving psychotherapist to help differentiate from past negative experiences. For the probing homeopath, it is seeing how remedies all have personalities from the many “provings” and will work optimally when similar with the symptoms and temperaments of those needing a remedy [10,11,12,13,14,15].

Communication that resembles a win-win volley is a way of synchronizing and producing a biological connection that allows our species to entrain our brain rhythms. Anthropologist Paul Byers demonstrated how “good vibrations” occur when we are truly communicating.

This includes the importance of visual, auditory, tactile and olfactory sensations. It makes sense that homeopaths create an environment that elicits a profound individual narrative [16].

The Genogram is a tangible and visual means to map large amounts of information in a concise manner and framework. Briefly, one can see the complexity of the family context and its’ connections to past and current emotional issues.

It allows a clear introduction and means to explore the patient’s life patterns. It provides a sense of history and psychological attributes relevant for counseling and homeopathic assessments. The Genogram portrays the on-going evolutionary journey and interconnections to larger contexts of education, employment, race, culture, ethnicity, class, religion, health and many other structures and issues.

Here are some basic questions for instance that can apply to someone presenting with a Thinking temperament (used in the case study below) after recording the family contextual background from her Genogram.

Initial inductive question: 1. What is it you think you are not getting in your life or that brings you pain? 2. Imagine viewing your problem with a camera lens, after a few minutes widen the lens and describe your situation from a wider perspective? 3. Think about moments when you felt that you were not being heard or having your point understood. 4. What were the circumstances of this interaction?

Leaving words aside, go back to that moment and think about what was happening non-verbally?

  • What was your posture and how were others thinking about you?
  • How might this situation have been more conducive to getting your message heard?
  • Conversely, think about a situation when you were not nervous while having a conversation. How was this experience different than the previous one?
  • Write a short poem or narrative that continues the phrase; when I think about myself I_______. How does this describe your desires and wishes in your life?
  • What are your thoughts when you are communicating in an optimal way?
  • Are there any other factors that are simultaneously happening with your mind and body when you are communicating, even if you think they are not directly related?

As humans we have an inherent nature that moves toward collaboration. Our brain is like a hologram with many potentials and interconnections. Jung demonstrated how our temperaments and ego provide our conscious mind with content, yet the shadow (our compensatory sub-conscious mind) provides subliminal experiences that hint toward needed collaboration and healing.

Being out of “sync” is an indication of imbalance. The simultaneous awareness of these connections, the “Ah ha” experience, is the spontaneous response that may not follow the rules of the rational mind but will provide solace and direction toward health [17].

My framework, although not entirely new to many homeopaths, has a unique unfolding process, further described in the case below. It is based on respecting the importance of communication; being systemic/holistic (which entails seeing part to whole connections in the narrative); understanding temperament and all the consequent implications that evolve from this perspective on life; and lastly, to adjust through homeopathy and psychotherapy to create a balanced and healthy life.


Jennifer, age 43, presented with extreme anxiety (“as if I will just stop functioning”) and IBS symptoms with diarrhea. Her initial narrative was recorded in 2011 and was framed within the Genogram format and exhibited a Nervous/Thinking temperament with much speculation and anxious projections.

She had previously been to a homeopath who prescribed Phosphorus, with limited success. She originally started describing her issues with a sense of disbelief and denial that this was happening to her. Her feeling was that she was trapped in this situation (Delusion of “trapped on a distant island”.)

She constantly felt like she was being choked by her anxiety and hence had a feeling of always having to vomit. This can easily be construed to be a Phosphorus state since she also said how fearful she was of being alone and dying. However, when she began to reminisce about her parents, her demeanor changed and she remembered instances that made her feel worse whenever she complained about things or spoke out about how she thought about situations.

Her answer to the question “what was not in her life” was “structure in order to not be fearful of functioning”. Jennifer described her grievance as “a thought of dysfunction”. I am “better with a strict routine”. She stated that she thought: “I can reason my way out but don’t seem to have the time to do it”.

She was preoccupied with sustaining her well-being and fighting the feeling of being sick all the time. She was striving for a perfect solution that inevitably created an almost paranoiac state.

Her husband of eight years is a cook and has a poor work history, which causes her concern for the future. She has two young children, a son who is five and a daughter who is three. Her described posture when thinking of her problems is “being restless and choking to almost throwing up”.

However, she now qualifies that what she would like to see in her life, is “to think of herself as having confidence and being able to handle things in a creative way”. Her short poem (about when she reflects upon herself) was about how she will “fall apart”. Her narrative followed a pattern of thinking of herself as “fragile” and that “a goal should be to have a life planned and structured to get things done”.

Her dreams were vivid and all about the chaos of her workplace or how she would like to dance and be creative as she was as a child. She describes a history of dwelling on things, asthma, and always thinking “what if”. Jennifer remembers being intuitive and in touch with her emotions, but no longer posses this quality.

Her skin is burning and dry. She feels worse late at night when thinking of where she may have to go to the bathroom. Jennifer describes herself as always being chilly and her best time is when she has a strict routine. She can be compulsive and picky as well as being jealous of other women who don’t have to work.

There is a general theme that she has not performed well enough for her family, has low confidence and is looking for approval. This is usually framed by the thought that she will never be without fear. Her parents’ message to her was that she was not good enough to succeed.


As mentioned above, it is no easy task to find a needed remedy in chronic cases. Jennifer was initially seen by another homeopath and was taking Phosphorus for several years with little success. Within an interactive dialogue (revolving around her family of origin) it became apparent that the issue that maintained her anxiety was a feeling that she was not good enough. Her persona was one that mimicked a Phosphorus state, possibly her suppressed innate intuitive temperament; however her present temperament was one of an extraverted Thinker.

Subsequent questions that probed into her world-view brought a catharsis of descriptions that began to open the door to a better clarification of her problems and what maintained them. Arsenicum album and Phosporus are both indicated for someone with Thinking temperament traits, however Arsenicum album demonstrates a presenting extroverted thinker.

It can be seen that the Intuitive temperament covers patterns of both Phosphorus and Arsenicum album, but in this case Phosphorus would be more indicated if Jennifer was in an extroverted Intuitive state, impressionable and outwardly artistic which at this time was not the case.

Arsenicum album deals with fear as if one committed a crime, with restlessness and anxiety, while Phosphorus deals with anxiety as if one were to die from it. Phosphorus has much irritability while Arsenicum album can demonstrate impatience and jealousy.

It can be seen how Jennifer could describe her sense of reality in a way that would lead to a Phosphorus prescription and possibly even be seen to have Arsenicum traits by an experienced homeopath, yet the knowledge of how temperaments manifest themselves offers the interviewer an opportunity to better facilitate her story.

The immediate narrative then can be based on developmental life stages and inductions from the subconscious, which is a stored reservoir of all that has occurred in one’s life, indicating Arsenicum album, which in Jennifer’s case brought about striking improvement.

With on-going support through periodic psychotherapy sessions she was able to sustain the desired changes from her initial presenting symptoms. Rubrics that supported the prescription covered a pattern of anticipation, fears of impending doom, losing control, possessiveness, stomach anxiety, skin issues, cold air aggravating and amelioration from heat, being incurable and various Thinking temperament patterns.

Jennifer started on Arsenicum album in the LM1 potency, 6 succussions, diluting one teaspoon into 4 oz of distilled water, stirring and taking one teaspoon as a dose every three days for two weeks. Since she was very sensitive to medications and experienced aggravation, it was determined that she dilute a teaspoon into a second 4 oz cup of distilled water and take a teaspoon from this dilution.

This brought gradual improvement as she developed a pattern of taking the remedy in this way once a week and was able to eventually use it as needed after approximately eighteen months. She reported continuing improvement in all her symptoms and was able to maintain a less anxious lifestyle.

Her progress (and that of the remedy), was further augmented by doing soft yoga breathing five breaths per minute for five minutes a day, [18] and qigong exercises. In a recent visit in 2014 to deal with an acute eye infection, where she responded positively to a dose of Pulsatilla, she mentioned a reoccurrence of her IBS symptoms. It was suggested that she take the Arsenicum album in a LM3 potency (she had progressed from LM1 to LM2 previously) same as before and within a few weeks, her IBS and anxiety symptoms subsided.


Some of the main remedies that stand out regarding the different temperaments, all of which can be found and described in a Homeopathic Materia Medica are for the

Feeling temperament: Calcarea carbonica, Capsicum annuum, Dulcamara, Hepar sulpuricum, Mezereum, Natrum carbonicum, Pulsatilla and Sepia.

Those that predominately correspond to the Thinking temperament are: Arsenicum album, Chamomilla, Hyocyamus, Magnesium phosphoricum, Nux Moschata and Silicea.

Remedies related to the Intuitive temperament are: Aconitum napellus, Cactus grandiflorus, Ferrum phosphoricum, Platinum metallicum, Sanguinaria canadensis, and Sulphur.

The Sensate temperament responds to Bryonia alba, Chamomilla, Lachesis muta, and Nux vomica to mention a few.

Since most people will present with mixed temperament layers, a few main examples, all of which could contain other matching remedies would be:

Thinking/Sensate: Argentum nitricum, Chamomilla, Natrum muriaticum, and Nux vomica.

Intuitive/Sensate: Sulphur, Phosporus and Coffea cruda.

Feeling/Sensate: Aloe, Apis mellifica, Sepia, and Hydrastis canadensis.

Thinking/Feeling: Causticum, Hepar sulphuricum, Lycopodium clavatum and Pulsatilla.

Intuitive/Feeling: Calcarea carbonica, Graphites and Opium.

Sensate/Feeling: Causticum, Hepar sulphuricum, Natrum muriaticum, Natrum sulphuricum.

Thinking/Intuitive: Aconitum, Hyoscyamus, Ignatia amara, and Phosphorus

Feeling/Intuitive: Belladonna, Calcarea carbonica, Capsicum, Murex.

Sensate/Intuitive: Chamomilla, Coffea Ferrum metallicum, Hyoscyamus, Nux Vomica, Staphysagria, Sulphur.

Sensate/Thinking: Anacardium occidentale, Arsenicum album, Lycopodium, Natrum muriaticum, and Nux Vomica.

Feeling/Thinking: Natrum carbonicum, Natrum muriaticum, Carbo Vegetabilis and Calcarea carbonica

Intuitive/Thinking: Aconitum, Arnica montana, Hyocamus, Ignatia, Phosphorus, Platina, Tarentula cubensis, Veratrum album and Zincum metallicum.

All the above are clearly articulated in the “mind” section of the Materia Medicas and/or the many psychological compilation portraits of remedies that come out of homeopathic and psychology literature [19,20].

Selected homeopathic remedies that demonstrate relationship to different temperaments and the integration of homeopathy and Psychology [21].

Aurum metallicum (pure gold, a mineral remedy) can help people who are full of self-reproach and blame and may address depression that arises from this. People who need this remedy have very high standards for themselves, so they tend to feel failure and guilt keenly.

Their sadness is intense and can be suicidal, usually as a result of not achieving their high goals. Aurum is indicated when a sense of loneliness is prevalent and there is a tendency to be very quarrelsome. The temperament of people needing this remedy is generally Intuitive – showing strong duty bound and workaholic tendencies.

There is much self-reproach, despair and shame within their tale of woe. They feel worse from cold and boredom and usually feel better with music. This remedy can be called for when someone has difficulty expressing anger because of their depressive state, whereas people who need Staphysagria (see below) will still function and outwardly express their dissatisfaction.

Other Aurum remedies may be more suited to those with an Angry temperament, specific for certain differentiating symptoms such as when there is enormous anger when thinking of one’s ailments, or after mortification (Aurum muriaticum; chloride of gold).

Aurum muriaticum natronatum (double chloride of sodium and gold) would be indicated when there is extreme unrest and impatience and Aurum sulphuricum (sulphide of gold) when there is a strong sense of despair regarding recovery from one’s trauma.

Ignatia amara can help people who exhibit hysteria and a sense of being stuck in grief. In people needing Ignatia, bitter and longstanding disappointment manifests in deep brooding and despair. Their temperament falls into the Thinking/Nervous category.

A worsening with criticism and being alone support their grief pattern. There can be suspicion about what others think of them, and they are prone to contradict even though they crave attention. The sentimental yet quarrelsome nature of people needing Ignatia makes them vulnerable to taking affront.

When they have a grievance, they come across as being beside themselves as they hold on to their insult. They may have a sensation of a lump in the throat. The person needing Ignatia feels better with heat, cries easily and improves from eating unlike a Natrum muriaticum person, who is aggravated by heat, suppresses tears and is worse eating.

Nitricum acidum is indicated when the lack of forgiveness is characterised by anxious, complaining, irritable behaviour and strong resistance to resolving their “tale of woe.” People needing this remedy can be very abrupt, unforgiving and vindictive with aversion to any conflict, which produces strong resentment.

Negativity, peevishness and nastiness can be traits leading to this remedy. They are prone to hold on to their grievances with a grudging manner. They can be restless and dissatisfied with everything. Anxiety about health is a keynote as well as not admitting to any obvious improvement to their health.

There is a strong oversensitivity to what people may think about them, which supports their holding on to hurts and blaming others for taking the joy out of their life. Food cravings revolve around fats and salts, and they are chilly by nature and complain of splinter like pains.

They have a strong sensation of inner uneasiness or constriction throughout their body and are usually better when lying down. They are hard to pin down to any one temperament and can show qualities from all four major categories.

Natrum muriaticum may help those who are romantic, responsible, somewhat fastidious, introverted and prone to produce grievances based on their great sensitivity in relationships. They are often found in the Thinking and Feeling temperaments.

The grief and taking things very personally keeps their tale of woe very silent and suppressed. They are better for solitude, worse for consolation, yet with extreme dwelling on past offenses, reminiscent of visions of the biblical wife of Lot, who on looking back turned into a pillar of salt.

There is a clear vulnerability with fears of rejection and the effects of loss, separation, resentment and humiliation. There is a liking for salt, symbolic for the dried up tears of long term grief, and other characteristics of dryness. There is much exhaustion but usually amelioration with fasting when this remedy is indicated.

Phosphoricum acidum has an affinity to being needed when there is an overwhelming sense of disappointment and loss, especially of loved ones. They become negative and longing for acceptance. There is a flat indifference, doubt and weak apathetic quality to their grievance story, which differentiates them from the use of other remedies.

The need for this remedy is also indicated when there is a collapse and forgetful state. There is a yielding and slow disposition with a silent holding on to their grief. Major character traits are usually in the Feeling temperament but could easily move to the Thinking/Nervous side.

Staphysagria is warranted when there is difficulty expressing the grievance clearly. There is much anger and apathy about all things, yet also an underlying sense of being mild and sweet which can confuse their sense of expression. Constant dwelling on unpleasant thoughts with low self-confidence is evident.

Betrayal with indignation and an irritable temperament is a characteristic of this remedy. Horrible and sad stories affect those in need of this remedy and they can easily throw things as a substitute for verbally expressing their anger. There is an aversion to physical exertion, being touched and confrontation. They fall into the Intuitive/Sanguine temperament and can easily move into the Anger/Sensate state.

Bryonia alba is good for cases when there is strong irritability and a focus on wanting to stay home, longing for home, and keeping a daily routine. There is also a desire for things which when offered are refused. Bryonia exhibits many of the characteristics of the Sensate temperament such as anger with fright and an obsession to hold on to things.

There can also be a tendency to self medicate with alcohol and to avoid company. Any motion or movement both physically and emotionally produces discomfort, yet there is a strong sense of determination to resolve issues because of a fear for the future. Other issues that produce stress are over concern with the material world and a wanting things that may not be available. Headaches usually accompany complaints.

Natrum sulphuricum can be for those who are going through depression and may be having suicidal ideations and/or plans. There is much sadness that even music cannot ameliorate putting them in the Feeling temperament, however they can show traits from the Angry/Sensate state.

Tendency is to be reticent, melancholy with moments of mania. There is much suspiciousness and avoidance of crowds. In many cases there are mental problems associated with head injuries. They are sensitive to noise, which brings on exhaustion, yet industrious in a manner that is not impulsive but grounded and factual.

Phosphorus is characterised by open, bubbly, extroverted, affectionate and impressionable traits. They mainly fall into the Intuitive temperament especially with their clairvoyant powers, but they also have many Thinking/Nervous qualities of fear such as being alone, death, darkness and thunderstorms.

There is a tendency to be very open impressionable and easily distracted. Sometimes problems with boundaries can occur and tendencies to burn out quickly like the initial spark of a stick match which uses phosphorus for its ignition. Other traits are extreme thirst for cold drinks, excessive bleeding issues, tendency to be hypoglycemic and having burning pains.


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21Silvestri Kenneth. Remedies for Forgiveness. Homeopathy Today; February 2009, Alexandria, VA, USA

About the author

Kenneth Silvestri

About Dr. Kenneth Silvestri:
Dr. Kenneth Silvestri has been in private practice as a psychotherapist and Homeopath since 1980. He holds a doctoral degree from Columbia University in anthropology and psychology. In addition, he has been the recipient of national fellowships in the social sciences at the University of Chicago and the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Silvestri has participated in post-doctoral training at the Ackerman Institute for Family Therapy in New York City and the Multi-Cultural Family Institute in New Jersey. He is also a Certified Homeopath, having completed intensive certification programs with renowned homeopaths Dr. Luc De Schepper and David Little. He has published more than 100 professional articles and monographs, as well as several chapters for books on mental health/homeopathy and selected poems. Dr. Silvestri’s book entitled “Widening Your Lens: How to See Your Life Differently,” is available on Amazon. He has conducted numerous workshops on family therapy, alternative education, communication skills, forgiveness, and homeopathy and is an active black belt student of Aikido, a martial art dedicated to peace and harmony.
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1 Comment

  • I first learned about temperaments from reading the Swiss homeopath, Dr Rudolf Flury, 1903-1977. His understanding of temperaments were founded on his knowledge of Aristotle. He also developed a card repertory which included rubrics for temperaments. He showed that the person’s gaze and manner of walking gave a good clue to the temperament.

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