Homeopathy Papers

Evolution and Sensation in the Plant Kingdom

Nov  Annette Sneevliet e

Annette Sneevliet discusses the classification Michal Yakir has used, dealing with the dicotyledons, plants with two seed lobes, to which 95% of the plants known to us in homeopathy belong.

We all pass through various stages in our lives, from unborn child, infant, child, adult, elderly person to our death. The Buddhists call it “The circle of life”. While passing through all those stages and having to deal with various issues, each of us has a specific state of mind that accompanies us our whole life. We are born with it and die with it. This state of mind has to do with where we get stuck.  When we look at our lives, we’ll see that both in our childhood and adult lives there are always specific themes we constantly stumble on.

Every time there is the same blockade, in a different form, yet every time the same uncertanties, or the same sensitivity for something, or the same things that make us angry. It is the central theme in our life. You could say that these recurring issues are our “programme”. The discovery Rajan Sankaran made, is that this programme corresponds to and is a manifestation of the world of a “substance” that we live….a specific plant, animal, mineral, nosode, sarcode or imponderable. In short, of something else of life here on earth.


You will find the manifestation of that profound programme everywhere. In the symptoms, modalities, emotional life, mind, vital issues, sensations and energy. It will manifest itself everywhere. If we succeed in finding exactly the right programme of a person that matches with exactly the right homoeopathic remedy, then we will be able to see profound healing with our patients. Those are the wonder cases in which someone’s symptoms and vital matters truly heal.

A way to find precisely the right homoeopathic remedy is the ‘evolutionary point’. At which point in “the circle of life” has someone got stuck? Which evolutionary point of mankind goes together with the vital issues and problems of this person?   Each programme has an evolutionary point. This is best seen in the mineral kingdom. That is where Jan Scholten has initiated this perception with his pioneering work on the periodic table system. The system is the blueprint of our existence on earth.

When we require a mineral for our patient, the main theme will always be a DEFICIENCY. Somewhere something is missing and there is a need for something.   Subsequently, the art is to discover where exactly we can find this deficiency, this lack, this need. Which row from the periodic system? And which stage in that row?

In short:

Period 1:

We haven’t been incarnated in the matter yet and we still experience life in full connection with the all, Hydrogenium.

Period 2:

Conception occurs, Lithium.

We grow in the womb in complete dependency, Beryllium, Boron, Carbon.

We are born and have to pass the narrow birth canal, Nitrogenium.

We take our first breath, Oxygenium.

The umbilical cord is cut, Fluoricum.

Period 3:

We’re going to discover our own identity, form our personality, make our own choices and are, at the same time, still very dependent on the love and care of our mothers and fathers, or we try to break free from them.

Period 4:

We go to school, learn to take care of ourselves, earn a living, work, create a home, start a family. We learn right from wrong, learn to perform. The superego is prominent.

Period 5:

We learn new things, are creative, discover, share, teach and coach other people. We want to shine, bring the world something beautiful.

Period 6:

Eventually we are going to take the profound responsibility for ourselves and the world.

Period 7:

Then we mature and die.

This is the process we all pass through in our lives. In an anamnesis it is the art to see where our patient got stuck, what his state of mind is. In doing so, we do not consider the current state of life, but the inner state of mind. An artist doesn’t, by definition, need a homoeopathic remedy from the silver series, the most profound state of mind can also be a medicine from the lithium series.

Thanks to the work of Yakir we now can make a classification in stages of development in the plant kingdom similar to the one in the mineral kingdom.


The classification Yakir has used, deals with the dicotyledons, plants with two seed lobes, to which 95% of the plants known to us in homoeopathy belong. In addition she has also made a classification for the monocotyledons, plants with one seed lobe. These I won’t discuss in this article.

Whereas the periodic system is a generally established unit in chemistry, there are many different classifications used to classify plants. Yakir uses the system of Cronquist, which starts from the plant’s appearance, its phenomenology. The classification in subclasses runs from externally little developed plants to more complex plants.

For me it is a logical step to use the plant’s phenomenology, because in homoeopathy, we use the study of the phenomenon that takes place before our eyes. Yakir has discovered that the classification of little developed plants to more complex ones goes hand in hand with where the sensitivity is of the plants concerned. So we don’t look at the structure problems that correspond with the point of evolution, but we look at the sensitivity problems belonging to that point of evolution.

Jan Scholten also does pioneering work in mapping the plant kingdom. He uses the APG system, which classifies plants through their DNA-code. His classification considers the capability of the various plant families, thus, a more mineral approach of the plants, based on the periodic system. Both classifications of plants are complementary and increase our knowledge of the plant kingdom.

Personally, I find it easier to find the similimum in the plant kingdom through the Yakir system. With Yakir the classification is not about the capability of the plant concerned, but where its sensitivity and reactivity lies. As we who use  sensation homoeopathy recognize plants by looking at their sensitivity and reactivity, the system of Yakir links up perfectly to these perceptions and is therefore easily applicable.

The classification of plants according to Yakir starts from the following scheme.


We see that the various plant families are classified in subclasses 1 up to 6, the vertical columns.  In addition, the various plant families in the subclass concerned are subdivided in the various stages of development according to Erikson. The plants in subclass 1 have the sensitivity of an unborn infant without limitations and skin of its own.  You could compare it to the unformed state of Hydrogenium, but here it’s not a problem of structure, it’s a problem of sensitivity related to the fact that these people don’t have a form of their own yet, they are not yet separated from the all, from the complete connection.

Yakir links the words pre separation, pre ego, to this subclass 1. An expression people use when they need a plant from this subclass is: I don’t have a skin, I absorb everything, I can’t keep anything out.

Besides the classification in subclasses (the vertical columns) we see that Yakir further divides the plants in the subclass into Erikson’s psychosocial stages of development. So this is a slightly different classification than the stages in the mineral kingdom. In fact, with the plants we have a two-dimensional evolutionary point. On the one hand, the subclass that indicates where the sensitivity issues lie and on the other hand in which context or life stage dynamics this sensitivity issue occurs. Because of this, every plant family has its own dynamics in that subclass. When we, for example, look at subclass 1, we see that the Magnoliaceae are in the subclass of pre separation and experience this also as pre-birth.

When we further consider what we know about the Magnoliaceae, then we understand why they are lost in this world, feel like aliens, confused, are on the wrong track, don’t understand life on earth. They have the sensitivity of an unborn child without skin, without any tool to take its place in this life. Then we also understand the sensation of this plant family.


Patients in need of a remedy from the plant kingdom will “talk” much more with their hands than patients who need a mineral medicine. When we take our patients to sensation level, we hear this two-dimensional language. One side of the language and an opposite.

Consider the Magnoliaceae, with the confusion and collapse versus withdrawal and the creation of a world of their own. When talking on that level, the magnoliaceae will support this “language” with their hands. And seen from the evolutionary point we understand why even the gestures of the magnoliaceae are so undifferentiated and vague, when you realise that the gestures represent the direct “language” of the substance. They are not yet developed enough to “speak” clearly, as evolution wise, they are unborn and not yet on earth.

That doesn’t “talk” so easily.

Here is a real-life example in which the Yakir system has helped me to find my way.  A man consults me because of enormous fistulas around his anus. He has had multiple surgeries on these fistulas and after every operation the situation even deteriorated. More abscesses and fistulas developed. Even a stoma was applied to calm down the whole area, with no result. He wears a nappy to collect the pus and liquid. I see a sensitive and somewhat confused man who moves his hands a lot. No clear sensation, therefore I cannot find a non-human specific word with a gesture.

He is a successful entrepreneur who has become a millionaire through his business. I cannot find a structure problem with him that would argue in favour of a mineral. And there is no survival of the fittest, that would refer to the animal kingdom. Everything about him is about sensitivity and reactivity. Therefore I look for a homoeopathic remedy for him in the plant kingdom.

Every time I ask him to tell me more about himself, he says: “You should ask my wife”. He is unable to clearly tell something about himself. The only thing he is clear about is that he can’t stand other people crying: “Then I don’t have a skin, I absorb everything”. Given this statement I search for a plant from subclass 1, which is known for abscesses and fistulas. After searching in reference works, I read all homoeopathic remedies in Boericke to see which will match. And I end up at Myristica sebifera.

Boericke says the following:


This remedy is made from Brazilian wood and is known as the surgical knife. Right at the end my patient tells me that he has had an enormous abscess due to a splinter in his finger in South America. How relevant.

Myristica belongs to the family of the Magnoliaceae, therefore also the confused and somewhat vague way of expressing himself suits this man. After the homoeopathic remedy almost every fistula heals within a few weeks. All except one which has an open connection to his intestine. This is surgically closed under an “umbrella” of Myristica, without complications. Sometime later, his stoma is also closed. Our patient is feeling very well and hasn’t had any problems for years. Without the system of Yakir I wouldn’t have found this remedy.

When we consider the Piperaceae which are classified in subclass 1 in the oral phase, then we see another world completely. Patients in need of this group of plants have the sensitivity of an unborn, unformed, non-separated infant that needs immediate gratification. The oral gratification of a non-separated infant. When we look at the sensation of this plant family through the eyes of the evolutionary point, we also have a better understanding of this sensation.


The remedies that belong to this group are the peppers, mustard. They are constantly looking for stimulation of their senses, everything one can experience with the five senses. They want to be stimulated and want immediate gratification of their senses. They want some action, want to experience everything. It is the experience of an unborn infant that wants to stimulate its senses. Here also we’ll see undifferentiated gestures. Imagine this as a baby making undirected gestures when expressing its joy. You can imagine that these patients consult you with problems of addiction. When you talk with them, they also look very young and innocent, without a fully developed ego.

This sensation resembles the ‘looking for excitement’ from the family of the Labiateae. However, this family is found in subclass 6, the adults. Their excitement is about more adult issues, such as sexuality. These patients have an especially well developed self-consciousness and ego.

When we continue in Erikson’s stages of development, we see the Ranunculaceae in the adolescence phase. All plants from this family will also tell you: I don’t have a skin, I absorb everything, I can’t separate myself. Every little thing affects me. Because they have a slightly more mature ego and are unprotected at the same time, they can be affected by every little thing, be hurt by trifling matters. When you bring them to level 5, where gestures meet the sensation words, then you hear the following:


It is the dynamics between feeling everything intensely and being easily hurt versus not feeling a thing. It’s an enormous emotional event versus being very calm. A two-dimensional language that, being in subclass 1, is again accompanied by vague, undifferentiated, yet many gestures.

When we proceed to the next stage of development, we reach the Papaveraceae in subclass 1.  This is the sensitivity stage of an unborn infant without skin that endures intense pain. The only possibility such a baby has to deal with the pain is to go to sleep, to disappear energetically. When we see the sensation of this plant family, being the moment in which the words mentioned below meet the gestures, we can fully understand it from the evolutionary point of the Papavers.


In practice we see a patient who has lived an intense experience and, as reaction to cope with the situation, doesn’t feel anything anymore and falls asleep like a baby. I once did a consultation on a six year old girl who had high fever and laryngitis for days. The syndrome began after the parents told the child they were getting divorced. They argued a lot at home. That caused this syndrome to develop.

Typical during the consultation was that the girl felt no pain in her throat, while normally with an abscess in the throat intense pain must have been felt. The second typical thing was that during the consultation she rested her head on the table and fell deeply asleep, always snoring.  It’s a reaction that can be explained given the evolutionary point of this family.


The evolutionary point of this plant family helps us to place the sensation and symptoms in a deeper understanding. The Papavers are at the bottom of subclass 1, and they are slowly proceeding towards the end, death. Therefore, their world consists of hell, death, intensity. Look at how their only survival strategy in intense situations is to fall asleep, to leave energetically, like a baby.

So we see that all plants in this subclass have the same sensitivity base of no skin, no ego, no individual space, but they deal with it differently, have a different perception because of the different stages they belong to. We will see the same thing in the other subclasses.

Subclass 2 is the evolutionary point of someone with the sensitivity of being here on earth or not. You could compare it to row 2 up to carbon in the mineral kingdom. That is, not the structure problems, but the sensitivity problems of someone who isn’t fully on earth. The plant family that belongs here, is the family of the Hamamelideae. The family that includes, for example, Cannabis indica. Their experience is: am I here yet or am I still in the unformed all? I am in the limiting form of matter and that feels confined and small. And I really belong in the cosmos, where everything is open, clearer, lighter, more beautiful and universal.

Again, in this case you see the two-dimensional “language”: a sensation and an opposite. Therefore, the sensation of this family, the level on which these plants themselves “talk”, is as follows:


Because this plant family has developed a bit further already, we see very clear, consistent gestures of the plant itself in the “language” mentioned below. They literally show you with their hands the limiting, too small a space in which they feel themselves. They describe this as compressed, dragged down, depressed, dark, grey, but at the same time as safe, a warm little hole.

HG: They describe a little hole with their hands, they press their hands together to depict compressed or dragged down. The opposite is free, open, expanding, light, colour, sometimes to the experience of the freedom of flying as a bird.

HG: Now they spread their arms as if they were going to fly.

Now we understand the evolutionary point of this family. We see how they depict the limitation of the matter against the complete freedom, openness and ecstasy of being one. People who have smoked cannabis can perhaps imagine this state even better. The materia medica of Cannabis indica is well described in our literature, but there are more remedies in this subclass that we don’t prescribe due to lack of provings. What about Ulmus, Ficus religiosa, Myrica, Juglans regia, Quercus, Betula and many more. And if they occur in our literature at all, we only know their physical symptoms. Now we know which vital issues our patients in need of these plants will present.


Here is a real-life case from my practice of a woman with a rash on her ankles, which itches and burns intensely. I see an insecure, gentle, accommodating woman with little ego. She leaves a vague and undifferentiated impression. She tells the following about herself:

“I feel insecure, it’s difficult for me to claim my place in the world. At the slightest provocation I withdraw in my little hole (Hand Gesture – HG), where it is safe.”

I ask her what she experiences in that little hole.

“There I do feel safe, but it’s ‘small’ HG;

I feel ‘depressed’ HG; ‘compressed’ HG.” (She pushes her hands together.)

I ask her about the opposite.

“Open”, HG; “free” HG (she spreads her arms wide open).

Here I hear and see the “language” of the Hamamelideae. At the same time I see all qualities of subclass 2. She is here and she is not here, she is vague, she has trouble concentrating and truly being “here”. It is as if she has not yet really arrived in this world. The first medicine I give her is Cannabis Indica.

On this she feels better, stronger, more in herself and less vulnerable, but her physical symptoms, the burning itch and rash, are unchanged. When the physical symptoms don’t improve in the same way, I know that I am possibly close, that I have prescribed a simillimeae, but not the simillimum.

When we look at the other homoeopathic remedies from subclass 2, we see Urtica urens in this group’s initial phase, close to Cannabis indica. A remedy known for its burning, itching rash. After Urtica urens 200K my patient not only recovers psychologically, but the rash and itch on her ankles also disappears. She tells me she hasn’t felt this good in her life before. She feels confident and doesn’t need to withdraw in her little hole in stress situations.

Without the scheme of Yakir and the sensation method I would not have thought of this remedy. And for the first time, I have an image of how patients who need Urtica urens will present themselves to me, where their vital issues lie, what their themes are in this life, where their evolutionary point is.

We can compare subclass 3 in the plant kingdom with the evolutionary point of Nitrogenium in the mineral kingdom. It is the time you have to pass a narrow tube, are stuck, to be able to really adopt your own personality, your own identity after that. The family of the Cactaceae are found here in the Yakir system. Patients in need of these plants will tell you they have trouble adopting their own identity. They fight against the mother energy, struggle for separation.

They want their own boundaries. Or, they are still being assimilated by something and absolutely want to have their individuality and so they fight against it. Their sensitivity and reactivity lies on this level. When you bring these people on the sensation level, that is the language where the plant itself “talks”, then they constantly talk about oppression, constriction, being crushed, held small, shrunken and with these words they use their hands, hand gesture, to illustrate it. And the opposite is free, open and expanding.

In the sensation method it can sometimes be difficult to separate this plant family from the Hamamelideae. This sensation could also be confused with the Euphorbiaceae. The “language” of the plants themselves, together with the gestures, is very similar. But the evolutionary point is different. With the Hamamelideae “free” and “open” HG means back to the undifferentiated, universal, unformed freedom. With the Euphorbiaceae we will hear the issues from subclass 5, such as work, issues on morality, right and wrong, feeling of guilt etc. We will get back to this later.

With the Cactaceae the “open” and “free” HG is the state where you finally are allowed to live your own identity and able to express your own being here on earth. It’s going from oppression into the freedom of one’s own differentiated existence. Therefore the personalities of these people differ. They are not vague, like the Hamamelideae. Rather, they want to make their own decisions, fight against the oppression, don’t want to be stuck in something someone else imposes on them. But they haven’t yet developed so far that superego issues like morality and guilt prevail.


Time and again, I am impressed by the beauty and clarity of the classification Yakir has made. It is about how the sensation, that is the moment in which the plant itself “talks”, the plant itself takes its place in the evolution scheme and expresses itself very clearly.

Again we here see that subclass 3 has good “linguistic skills”. The sensation is clear and the gestures in this plant family are clear and distinct. But where, with the sensation method of many plant families, we only understood their sensation, we are now able to grasp every word of our patients concerning their life and sensitivities.

Therefore, cactuses will speak of their trouble being themselves, how they fight for their own identity, how hard it is for them to stand up for themselves. Now we can use all this as an extra confirmation in our differential diagnosis.


I see a 50 year old, calm, composed, clear woman who expresses herself very precisely. She says that she hasn’t felt well ever since the birth of her children. She often has a severe headache, she is tired and her left breast still troubles her. Immediately after birth she has had a severe mastitis and ever since her breast has never been free of pain. The children have limited her life. She says literally: “I have given up my own identity and my own life since the coming of my children.”

She describes her headache:

“Stuck” HG (hands move towards each other); “pressure from all sides, crushed, constriction” HG; “shrunken” HG.

And she describes the opposite as:

“Open” HG (hands open, away from each other);  “expansion” HG; “becoming bigger” HG.

She also talks about her life:

“This feels the same; my personality is ‘stuck.’(HG) Since the children, I can’t live my own life and I feel ‘tied down’ HG.

I decide to give her a medicine from the cactus family, given the clear “Language” of the remedy itself. And now I also understand that her feeling of not being able to live her own identity, not being able to do her own thing, is part of the evolutionary point of this plant family.

The first medicine I give her is Opuntia, in various potencies with a partial improvement. The headache and fatigue improve, but don’t disappear. The pain in her mamma also remains. I prescribe other remedies from the cactus family, without clear improvement.

Although she is content with the treatment, I know that a real simillimum can be of more significance to her. The plant family seems clear. The evolutionary point is also right: she is stuck and wants to break free, to lead her own life. Therefore, I study all homoeopathic remedies from subclass 3. And there I see Phytolacca!!

Again I ask her about the symptoms of her breast inflammation and at that time every symptom was Phytolacca. Even the feeling in her breast now is Phytolacca: induration mamma. After Phytolacca all symptoms disappear. She hardly has any headaches anymore, the fatigue is gone and the breast complaints that existed more than 20 years, disappear. She has become much more confident and puts herself first more often.

Again, we only know the effect of Phytolacca from physical symptoms. From the evolutionary point of this plant we also understand the vital issues of our patient and will be able to prescribe faster and more effectively. In addition, we also learn to understand the “language” of the plant itself. All plants from subclass 3 will show us the sensation of being “stuck” and wanting to break free, like in Nitrogenium in the mineral kingdom.



Dr. Annette Sneevliet is lecturing on the topic ‘Evolution and Sensation in the Plant Kingdom’ on 10th and 11th December, 2016. This session is originally a part of the Psychiatry series by Dr. Mahesh Gandhi at the other song. Dr. Sneevliet is of the opinion that every level of our case is an expression of the personal evolution of the patient and personal evolution mapping gives a very useful clinical understanding about each symptom, emotion, delusion, and sensation in the case. This mapping helps keep us from getting lost in the maze of symptoms, and keeps us on solid ground. The Personal Evolution Model brings sensation level, materia medica and generals together and it helps analyze the case to make the prescription more exact and complete. Dr. Sneevliet will illustrate this using various cured cases from different kingdoms to explain this whole process of sensation case-taking in the light of Personal Evolution Mapping.

‘the other song’ Academy and Clinic:

Launched on July 1, 2011, the other song – International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy, is a pioneering institute that offers the best possible homoeopathic treatment to patients, and teaches the latest advancement in the field of Homoeopathy to doctors. Spearheaded by Dr. Rajan Sankaran and ably supported by his colleagues, it is the converging point of some of the best minds in the field of Homoeopathy that our able to personally make invaluable contributions towards the cognitive enrichment of doctors and overall well-being of patients. The other song, besides being a world-class center of Homoeopathy, is also a platform for in-depth study and research in the application of Homoeopathy to a wide spectrum of diseases, testing skills and acumen of seasoned practitioners. It is inclusive in the use of alternative toolkit at the disposal of new-age therapists, i.e. yoga, meditation, diet, physiotherapy and focused counseling in order to facilitate and hasten total recovery of patients. It is also a forum where therapists from the domain of Homoeopathy converge to share their experience and widen the field of enquiry, research and advanced education.

About the author

Annette Sneevliet

Dr. Annette Sneevliet, a senior homoeopath and a well-known teacher from the Netherlands, graduated in 1986 as a doctor. During her medical training she developed a keen interest in homoeopathy. She studied Homoeopathy for 3 years in Belgium in the centre run by Alfons Geukens and in 1990, started her homoeopathic practice. Annette has studied extensively under Massimo Mangliavori and later on adopted the Sensation Method after attending several seminars in India with Dr. Rajan Sankaran and his colleagues. Recently Annette became interested in the ‘Personal Evolution Model’ of Dr. Mahesh Gandhi. She is a very popular lecturer and has given courses in the Netherlands, Germany, England, Scotland, Czech Republic, Slovakia and New Zealand.

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