Drug Provings Homeopathy Papers

Some Proving Symptoms of Salix Fragilis / Crack Willow

I wanted to go round and punch a certain person in the face.

I could not let go of thinking about a certain situation and getting angry and wanting to tell someone what I thought. I felt very frustrated that I could not do that. Going to those concerts usually puts me into a very calm meditative state.”

06P 03 XX.XX NS

Anger and irritability, why isn’t life going the way I want it?

Helplessness and out of control.” 07P 16 XX.XX NS

Complete Repertory:

Sorrow and sadness: Self-absorbed, wrapped in own thoughts, pleased in own sorrow. Lamenting past events. Sadness with thoughts of death.

Weeping: easy, better after weeping, after rage or admonition. Cry for feeling forsaken.

Rage: irritability and rage for own mistakes, thinking of those gone, easy, unprovoked, violent if things are not done their way

Indifference: family, their loved ones, duties or business matters.

Comfort: it makes them better and/or they want it.


Aversion: husband/wife

Ailments from



Unresponded love

Death of beloved

Death of a child



Business (aversion or disdain for busines


“My concentration on my work was not very good.

I was reading paragraphs and not remembering what I had read. 06P 14 XX.XX NS
“Unenthused having to write diary – making spelling mistakes that wouldn’t normally”.
02P 07 XX.XX NS

“Forgot to make a phone-call that I always make.

Forgetful, forgot where I put my keys, my glasses”. 02P 04 XX.XX NS

“Painting the ceiling in the attic, came downstairs to get something and forgot to go back to the painting”.  03P 05 XX.XX NS

Complete Repertory:

Difficult concentration. Studying, Cannot fix attention.

Forgetful. Mistakes when writing.

Weak memory: for things to do and things read

Salix Fragilis present symptoms when driving, spatial disorientation: absentmindedness when driving, difficult to concentrate when driving, get lost on well-known roads.   (“Drove to work in the evening, missed very obvious turnoff that I know well and ended up miles out of my way.” 02P 34 XX.XX NS).


As mentioned before, Salix Fragilis, presents marked tropism in this regard:

Wanting sexual desire.

Aversion to coition.

Burning vagina during and after coition.

Aversion to husband/wife.

Clinical observations of tendency to abortion in published cases.

“It emerges he’s often sore after intercourse.

I think he should sort it out as I don’t usually get the symptoms.

I feel angry but helpless – I don’t know what to do about it.
I want affection but I don’t want to be touched anywhere very erogenous (still sore)”.  03P 19 XX.XX NS

Interestingly, they also present the delusion of being pregnant and dream of talking with children, or rescuing sick children, or playing with them.

Remember how these willows reproduce: their fragile branches snap and break off, travel down the river and readily root in riverbanks downstream. These fragile and cracking qualities may resonate at reproductive level, the tendency to abortion and self-antagonism, this contradictory will.
Dreams and Delusions

Groups of Symptoms

1) Associated to substance nature:

Delusion of fragility

Delusion of being buried, flooded

Dreams of water: sees water in dreams, or green water; floats in water

Dreams of boats, of making boats, travelling by boat

Dreams of travelling, on water, journeys with difficulties. Sailing to the promise land (E)

Delusion of swirls

2) Associated to anxiety of consciousness

Dreams and delusion of punishment

Delusion of being criticized

of being beaten.

of conspiracy against them, being betrayed.

of being followed.

of being trapped.

that someone is behind and looks over shoulder .

Delusion of going mad or of people thinking they’ll go mad.

Sensation of others observing their confusion.

Delusion of poverty.

Sensation of seeing ghosts, specters, spirits.

Dreams of being before the court .

Delusion of looking old.

(Bark gets thicker and creases in old trees).

Dreams of slaughterhouses or being trapped in one.

Dreams of death, own death.

3) Associated to Splitting and Self-Antagonism

Delusion of two wills.

Delusion of being Split in two: one is real, the other is not.

Two lines of thought influence them at the same time.

Split between head and body.

Split between mind and body.

Sensation of being Split in two parts.

Confusion over their identity.

Dreams of being fragmented.

4) Associated to want of confidence

Delusion they always fail, do it all wrong.

That they are a failure.

Feeling unhappy when looking in the mirror.

To sum up, these themes, in dreams and delusions, could reflect their individuality:

1) Referred to the substance nature,

2) to the sensation of duality and splitting that can manifest as antagonism,

3) their want of confidence,

4) and the numerous symptoms associated to punishment (that individualize their anxiety of consciousness).

General Symptoms:

Dryness in: face; lips (cracking and bleeding), mouth; tongue and vagina.

Delusion that their brain is dry and compressed.

Thirsty of small quantities. Metallic taste.

Left lateralization. Intolerance of woolen clothes.

Hot flushes at night. Hot flushes alternate with chills.

Easily gets drunk (easily intoxicated).

Love seaside: better on the seashore.

(Remember where this willow grows: on the edge, between land and water).

Worse: of wine, bear and coffee.

Wants: butter, chocolate, flour, lemon, oranges, and tobacco.

Other symptoms: want and better of dancing, jealous and clairvoyant.

Clinical Tropisms:

Arthritis and arthralgia (bark contains salicin). (AAS)

Back and cervical region: stiffness. Muscle ache. Headaches.

Headaches before and after menses.

Vertigo, going up the stairs with a tendency to fall back.

Sinusitis / Rhinitis.

Dysmenorrhea. Short and light menses.

Clinical observations: abortion. Tendency to abortion. Abortion late into pregnancy. Dead fetus.

Etymology and Symbolism

Some etymology experts propose an alternative to the Greek root in willow, which is: helike (from the Greek Ἑλίκη).

Helike, in ancient Greece, was a willow-nymph.

Helike and her sister Ega nursed Zeus in his infancy in Crete.

In appreciation, they were turned into the constellation Ursa Major.

Helike was the early name of this constellation, visible all year round in the northern hemisphere.

Homer mentions this constellation in The Odyssey, book V, when Odysseus tries to use it as guide to find his way back to Ithaca, his home, and fails[6].

Remember that Salix Fragilis lose their way in well-known roads and is exclusive of feeling like a bear in chains. (Delusion, bear in chain)

“I had the image of a dark shadowy form on closing my eyes – it looked like a black bear. I felt sad thinking of the bear chained – having lost its nature and power”.     01P 01 XX.XX NS.

The literal sensation of provers is richer and might express how Salix Fragilis feel exactly: sad, chained, powerless, discontented of their nature.

Salix Fragilis, dreams with doors, symptom that Penelope Stirling highlights as “key note” in the proving.  The door, as we can read in A Dictionary of Symbols (Cirlot, 1992) symbolizes the hole that allows to pass, and therefore is the opposite of the wall.

This dream again correlates with one of the meanings of crack (willow): opening.

We mentioned that the symbolism of the words breaking and cracking resonate in the substance ascended in men.  Breaking and cracking have the same etymology, the Indo-European root *ker we find in words for snapping sounds and the names of the beings that produce these sounds. (2)

The Celt culture regarded willows as sacred.

They used them in funerals.

This culture used a 21 tree horoscope, and believed that those born under the protection of a tree acquired the same characteristics the trees had.

It is interesting to see the symbolic resonance in this aspect, the dates associated to the willow tree are from March 1 to 10, and September 3 to 12.

Those born on these dates, says the Druid horoscope: are affected by everything because they are fragile inside.  But they soon recover. They are also associated with an artistic flare, low self-esteem, the need of love, melancholy and depression.(3)

Comparative Materia Medica

Complementary and Related Remedies According to Penelope Stirling:

(Stirling, 1999) (7)

Acute Cases:  Ignatia, Staphysagria, Nux-vomica.

Chronic Cases: Sepia, Phosphorus, Pulsatilla, Ignatia.

Differential Diagnosis, this is my personal contribution, also could be Anacardium and Thuja.

Ignatia and Salix Fragilis: they share 1320 rubrics in the complete repertory.

Common Symptoms: alternate states, mental and emotional, changing humor

Discontented, sad, self-absorbed, dwell on the past, dwell on sadness.

Want of confidence. Irresolute, indecisive. If we study punishment, correlated to their anxiety of consciousness, Ignatia and Salix Fragilis share these delusions: that they will go crazy, that they will be criticized or persecuted, that they are pregnant, both perceive ghosts and fear thieves. They also present ailments for loss of loved ones, for unresponded love, outrage, mortification, and reproach.

Both can manifest want of sex desire and painful coition.

How they differ:

Ignatia can present symptoms related to their perception of their disease and religious themes.  Both themes are not present in Salix Fragilis. Remember Ignatia fears disease or has the sensation of being sick or having a fatal disease, feeling desperate to recover and in the religious sphere: anxious about salvation, with excessive religious scruples. Ignatia is hypersensitive and paradoxical. Finds it difficult to express their suffering.

About the author

Marisa Laguna

Marisa Laguna

Dr. Marisa Laguna was born in 1964, in Argentina. She studied medicine at the University of Buenos Aires (UBA), graduating as a doctor of medicine in 1989. She subsequently graduated from the Homeopathic School "Tomas Pablo Paschero" (Argentina) and begain her homeopathic practice in 2008. She is Professor of materia medica and coordinator of provings. Dr. Laguna is part of the editorial committee of the Journal Acta Homeopática Argentinensia (EMHA).

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