Trituration has been part of Homeopathic Pharmacy since Hahnemann’s original discoveries of potentising remedies. The acts of trituration and of serial dilution and succussion served to develop the medicinal powers of substances. In the sixth edition of the Organon, footnote 270f, Hahnemann states:
In this much higher ratio of the dilution medium to the medicine, many succussions of the vial filled to two thirds with the wine spirit can bring about a far greater development of power……………. my new method engenders a medicine of the highest development of power and the gentlest action which, if well chosen, curatively touches all sick points.[i]
It has also long been known that trituration and the handling of remedies can often result in proving like symptoms appearing. The most famous example of this phenomenon is an unintentional proving by Constantine Hering. When on expedition in the jungles of Surinam, Hering obtained a specimen of Lachesis Mutus[ii]. When handling the venom of the snake, Hering was sent into a delirious mania which furnished many of the key symptoms of Lachesis.
Due to the delayed publication of the 6th edition of the Organon, much of the significance of triturating substances was not widely known in the Homeopathic community until the modern trituration movement. This movement began in Germany in 1993. It was initiated by Witold Erhler.
Erhler was a young man dating a student of Homeopathic Pharmacy. Fascinated by the idea that substances could have definitive mental emotional pictures, he set out to perform a trituration of Calcarea carbonica. Fortunately for all of us, he was using a particular edition of the Homoopathisches Artzneibuch from the 1970’s which specified 4 rounds of trituration, rather than the traditional three[iii].
While completing this trituration, Erhler began experiencing mental and emotional states vastly different from his normal ones. He actually feared he was going insane. When he began the fourth round of trituration, he found that all his previous symptoms melted away into a new state of insight which explained all of his previous behaviors and feelings, and offered a solution to the problems they represented.
Fascinated by this, Erhler began performing more triturations and exploring the information he experienced while doing them. This procedure gradually caught on with many other homeopaths, such as Jurgen Becker and Alize Timmermann, and has since spread to many other centres of Homeopathy throughout the world.
Over time and over many repetitions, a pattern in the data collected began to emerge. Data from the first round of trituration, or C1 in Erhler’s terminology, contained a predominance of physical symptomatology. The data collected from C2, or the second round of trituration contained a more emotional picture. The data collected from C3 gave a more mental view of the remedy, and the data from C4 showed a more distanced view, in which the problems of C1-3 were solved via some great insight into oneself. Things seemed far less pressing and dualistic in C4, and the provers often experienced a great sense of peace and enlightenment during these sessions, along with a penetrating insight into the faults and delusions which led them into the state they experienced in C1-3.
Several differences between the information gathered in Triturations, and that gathered in Hahnemannian provings have gradually emerged.
- The information appears to be more succinct and structured. The mental emotional picture of triturated remedies appears very clearly and in a well organized fashion when compared with Hahnemannian provings
- Physical symptoms tend to be less prominent. Physical symptomatology, while often present, seems to be less highlighted than in Hahnemannian provings.
- Triturations performed up to the C4 level often contain a synthesis, a solution to the problems affecting the being at the C1-3 levels.
The information from triturations often compliments the information from provings, making it more succinct and clear. An excellent example of this is the Trituration of Calendula[iv] by Schriebman and Hogeland. The mental proving of Calendula was very scanty until this triturtion was performed. Now we have a rich and detailed mental picture of this common remedy.
Not only confirmations, but entire provings have been done using the trituration methodology. The most famous of these provings are those contained in Jonathan Shore’s amazing and foundational book “Birds – Homeopathic Remedies from the Avian Realm”. The remedy pictures within that book were largely collected through a series of triturations, and have been clinically confirmed and expanded since publication.
While not identical to Hahnemannian provings, triturations are valuable sources of information and are becoming an increasingly accepted proving methodology. In my view, a trituration should be part of every Hahnemannian proving, for the sake of completeness.
The Trituration of Corallium rubrum:
In light of the above information on the trituration movement, I have decided to undertake a series of triturations with my ongoing table of animals project[v]. Each major group of animals will have at least one trituration done, both to expand the material medica, and for the benefit of experiencing the state of each of the animal groups when writing about them. Several entirely new groups of remedies, such as the brachiopods, and a number of others will be presented that have never before been described as a group within homeopathy, such as crustaceans, sponges[vi], trilobites and amphibians.
I have tried to focus on animal remedies with some physical symptoms, but with a poorly developed mental pictures. One of the remedies chosen was Corallium rubrum, a Cnidarian coral.
Corallium rubrum Trituration: Unification of the Self
This trituration was made from a sample of Corallium rubrum purchased from a small online jewelry store in Spain. It was performed by myself alone. The notes were taken directly during the trituration itself.
In these three initial triturations a clear picture emerges of a very weak self. I was buffeted by sensory impressions I couldn’t tolerate. Light was too intense, sounds too powerful etc. These impressions were too strong for me to deal with, and result is feeling overwhelmed and the integrity of myself being destroyed. This is described as a feeling of being jittery, quivery, fizzling, dissolving (DDX actinides) and falling to bits. My response to this was to withdraw, specifically to withdraw into a small cave-like enclosure, in which I felt safe and secure. This cave is described as safe, secure dark and quiet. A place where I can finally relax.
Performed November 19th 2014:
- I feel strange. I’m quivery inside and weak
- A very dizzy feeling
- I feel weak, shy, incapable, passive
- I feel a lot of activity in my digestive organs
- I’m very uncertain. I feel quite afraid of my surroundings
- I’m afraid. I don’t really know why, but I am afraid right now!
Performed November 22nd 2014:
- I feel uneasy with my surroundings. Perception is intense.
- Light seems intense
- I feel a flushing of heat on my cheeks
- I feel jittery and quivery inside
- I feel a sensation of heat inside my chest and on my skin
- It is this internal jitteriness that makes me anxious. I’m afraid. I’m afraid of everything
- I feel like I have to keep my guard up to guard myself against whatever is making me jittery. It is a very rigid feeling
- I feel weak and vulnerable- but vulnerable to what?
- The external world
- I feel like withdrawing
- I feel hot all over- heat flushes on my skin
- Intense nervousness
- The heat is starting to lessen and release
Performed November 23rd 2014:
- The fear is more intense now. I’m afraid of my surroundings
- I feel a quivery weak sensation inside…. Which is surrounded by a shell
- I feel very weak inside- but I hide myself in a shell to avoid this weak feeling
- I hide myself in this shell and feel that I am less exposed
- I feel vulnerable. Life is intense! I want to withdraw into myself – into my own little cave to escape it. Sensation is just too intense
- I feel very mentally withdrawn and hesitant
- Perception of movement, noise. It all seems louder to me. I cringe backward and withdraw from it. I just want quiet and peace
- Quiet is the lack of sensory stimulation. It feels dark, quiet and peaceful. I can relax there
- I just feel like the world is too intense right now to connect or engage with. I don’t feel strong enough to stand it all
- The world will overwhelm me!
- My body feels soft and vulnerable
- I’m not able to deal with life. It is too much input
- My self can’t deal with it all and stay intact!
- I will fizzle and dissolve!
- I will fall into bits!
- I’m not able to deal with life. It is too much input
This level of the trituration describes the sense of jitteriness in greater detail. The forces holding the individual components of myself together are not as strong as they need to be to withstand the full force of sensory impressions. A metaphor of evaporation is used to describe the impact of sensation. It is as if sensation imparts an energy to components of the self, and the self is not bound together strongly enough to maintain its wholeness. This remedy strengthened the forces holding me together, allowing me to withstand sensation. Sensation is still too intense, and I still felt a need to withdraw from it, but this is not due to the dissolution of self. Instead it is due to the perceived intensity of the stimulus.
Performed November 24th 2014:
- There is a sudden feeling of heaviness around my head
- Life is intense- I feel a sensation that is very strange
- I feel odd, out of sorts
- Then suddenly, the intensity diminishes- first on my right
- The sensation on my right is still intense, but I feel like I can deal with it now
- Now the left side is following- sensation isn’t so disturbing there
- Sensory input is still very intense, but I feel like it no longer grates upon me. It’s just a lot!
- I don’t feel threatened by it- the anxiety is lowering!
- I feel good. I no longer feel jittery inside!
- It is as if the external world no longer threatens me, and causes my insides to react with fear.
- To jitter
- I still feel like I want to back off from loud noise, but it is not affecting me deeply. It’s just too loud!
- That jitteriness was like static, or like a flickering. It was like my insides were moving relative to one another.
- They shouldn’t be doing that!
- If it gets worse it will be like evaporation. The particles making me up will move so fast they will break away from the whole structure- Its like whatever is holding me together isn’t all that strong
- I feel really good right now!
[i] Hahnemann, S. O’Reilly, W. B. (trans) The Organon of the Medical Art (6th ed). 1996. Birdcage. Palo Alto, CA, USA. Pp 240-1.
[ii] Clarke, J. A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. 1902. Homeopathic Publishing Co. London. Accessed Via ReferenceWorks. Lachesis entry
[iii] Hogeland, A & Schriebman, J. The Trituration Handbook: Into the Heart of Homeopathy. 2008. Homeopathy West. P 9.