Author: Jan Scholten
Introduction to the Plant Theory
The Plant theory was published two years ago and has been quite fruitful. But many homeopaths do not know the Plant theory very well and hesitate using it. They think or fear that the Plant theory is too complicated and difficult. This introduction will show that the application is much less difficult than imagined. But one needs to step over a border, which takes energy and courage. One needs to go into a new field, which is brings nervousness and excitement. It is like learning to bicycle: one needs practice before it is going smoothly. The plant theory makes homeopathy more easy. This will not be the case in the beginning, but after a while homeopathy becomes more easy even when using a lot more remedies. This is similar to the Element theory. The range of remedies available is increased vastly. But at the same time it becomes more easy to handle.
The Plant theory gives a description of the effects of Plants on living creatures, both physically and emotionally. The description is based on a classification of the Plant kingdom. This classification is based on the botanical Apg3 classification with some modifications. The Plant theory is a classification of the Plant kingdom, similar to the Element theory as a classification of the Mineral kingdom.
In the research it turned out that the themes of the Element theory were just as applicable to the Plant kingdom. The Series and Stages were very present in the Materia medica and in the cases. An extra factor that needed to be introduced is the Phases. Basically the Phases are similar to the Stages. The difference is that there are only 8 Phases in contrast to the 18 Stages. One can say that the Phases are the Stages of the Carbon series and Silicon series, were there are only 8 Columns.
Phases in relation to Stages
Table 2: Phases in relation to Stages
The basic theme of the Phases is the desire to belong to a group, a system that gives reassurance.
In the development of the Plant theory a Remedy code was a developed. The Remedy
They want to belong to the family of origin, or to the family they have founded, to their group of code is a short description of which Series, Phases and Stage are present in a remedy. It
friends, to a community, to a culture, a religion, a humanity, a worlds and so on. The Phases
is a kind of compact Materia medica. Homeopaths who got used to the Plant theory ask for the Remedy code when hearing of a remedy. It gives them a direct idea of what a remedy
express how one feels belonging. Phase 4 is the goal, really belonging to a group, without
means, what it can do.
The remedy code is a list of numbers. But there is nothing mathematical about them, there is no calculation needed whatsoever. It is jus a code, like the atomic number of the elemTenabtsleo3f :thPehaPsersioindirceltatbiolen. tOonbelcoanngicnogmtopargeroituwpith the Element theory. For instance, there one could describe Magnesium as Mineral kingdom, Series 3, Column 2. A code could be 1-3.2, which describes the position of Magnesium in the Periodic table.
in the1 case of OthuetsPidlearn, tnkeiwncgodmomer,. sTtrhaenngetrh,earleonaere 3 numbers for Series, 2 for Phases and 1
There are 7 numbers in the Remedy code. The first number is for the kingdom, which is 3
for the Stage.
2 Half belonging, adapting.
An example clarifies the classification and the use of the remedy code. In table 2 is the
3 Conditional, pleasing.
Remedy code for Belladonna, Atropa belladonna. The first number, 3, shows it is a plant, it belongs to the Plant kingdom. The second number, 6, shows Belladonna to be in the
phylum of the Angiospermae, the flowering plants. This is the case in almost all cases of
5 Conditional, pushed.
the plant kingdom. So the second digit is in general not to be worried about. The third digit,
6 Half belonging, used, abused.
6, indicates the Lanthanides, which is connected to the Class of Asteranae. Asteranae
7 Outsider, alone, rejected.
Clade Kingdom Series Series Series Phase Subphase Stage
This means that of the six Series of the Asteranae, the Silver series is the most prominent.
And that is the case in the Subclass of the Lamiidae where there is a creative quality. This
have all the series in them till the Lanthanides. The fourth digit, 5, indicates the Silver series.
Remedy code example
lysis is done by making the classification on 4 levels. They lead to 7 numbers or codes, as presented in h and the table on Remedy code.
3 Plants Kingdom Plants
￼￼6 Gold series Phylum Angiospermae
6 Gold series Class Asteranae
￼Class Series Series
5 Silver series Subclass Lamiidae
7 Phase 7 Order
￼Order Phase Phases
1 Subphase 1 Family Daturoideae
Genus Stage Stage
Way of being
means that Solanales, although they are trying to be autonomous, feel they should have a
place in the culture, Silver series.
AftGeoratlhe three digits foAr sthpierastieonries, we get two digits for the Phases, the first for the Phase
and the second for the Subphase. So digit 5, a 7, indicates Phase 7. In Lamiidae this is the
order Solanales. Digit six, a 1, indicates Subphase 1, which leads to the Family
Deep Own action
Daturoideae. The Phase 7 indicates a feeling of being outcast, rejected, not accepted and
Medium Others action
even persecuted and violated. In the Daturoideae is added Phase 1, which brings the theAmcteionof being an outsHidaenrd.liTnghe seventh nSumpebrfiecriails 6, indicating Stage 6. This means that Belladonna handles the situation by being, tough and firm, trying to prove that he can stand all the dangers of being excluded, persecuted and violated.
t level is the kingdom. The kingdom is mostly seen from an overall point of view. It is less based on
ms as such, but more on the overall being and behaviour of the patient. Inn most cases it can be
To apply the the Plant theory one has to determine the seven elements as expressed in
ned with confidence, after some practice. But there are always cases left where it is not that obvious,
the remedy code: the Plant kingdom, the three Series, the two Phases and the Stage.
e one can see more kingdoms. This can be an indication that the patient has personalities from more
e kingdom. First one has to ascertain that the Plant kingdom is indicated. This differentiation is left for
other articles, as it is quite well described.
To find the elements of the problem, one has to extract three elements out of the problem of the patient: area, position and action.
For explanation about the Element theory with the Series and Stages I refer to “Homeopathy and the Elements” and Introduction to the Element theory”.
le below gives the clues that can be used.
In the Plant kingdom one finds often several Series present in the problem. The highest
Series gives the level of development. It is presented by the third digit of the Remedy
In the Plant theory the classification is described with Series, Phase and Stages. Each Genus is
code. For instance when the highest level is that of art, this gives Sliver series, Series 5. In
confusing, especially in the beginning. The Series are often easily determined as being the goals
The level where the main problem is, gives the fourth digit. If that if also the Silver series
of the case. But the Phase, Sub-phase and Stage can be more confusing as they all 3 describe an
this leads to the Remedy code 3-655.__.__, which id the Subclass of Malvidae.
evolution, a development. (Table 7, 8)
The Stages have more the aspect of action. They can be differentiated with the question how one
The second aspect is to determine how the patient stands in the problem. The position of
handles, what the patient does in the problem situation. Of course there is a kind of feeling lying
the patient in the problem is of an essential nature and it indicates the Phases. Is the patient central and sure in the group, like in Phase 4, or is he half belonging like in Phase 3 or 5. Is the patient an outside like in Phase 1 or 7, or is he accepted on conditions, like in Phase 3 or 5. Or is he hanging half in and half out, like in Phase 2 and 6.
One can determine the position of the patient in relation to many situations and persons.
The Phase is often more how the situation is. It is a deeper kind of experience than the Sub-phase.
Very prominent is the position in the relationship to their father and mother.
The Sub-phase is more superficial. It is often how the patient feels about it. This feeling often
find the Phases in the relationship to husband or wife, children, friends, colleagues, work
arises from what others have done to them. Patients often speak more about the Sub-phase than
problems, culture, profession, religion, projects and so on. The two Phases are presented in digit five and six of the Remedy code. Digit five is the Phase and digit six is the
the Phase, as it bothers them more.
Subphase. Phase and Subphase are very similar and often not easily differentiated. Table
The Phase is more what they do to others. It is more obvious for them, more without question and
3 gives clues for the differentiation, together with that of the Stage.
that is the reason they get into situations that are according to the Phase.
Differentiation Phase, Subphase, Stage
Phase: How it is; Obvious, deep; What oneself does
Sub-phase: How it feels, Half deep, What is done to them
Stage: Action; What one does, handles; Superficial
Differentiation between Phases
It is sometimes difficult to differentiate the phase from each other. Phase and Subphase have similarities. This is reflected in how the patient feels his position towards to area and how he acts on it.
The Stages represent the cycle of everything in life: things start, come to full development
In those situations it can be convenient to have some clues for differentiation. For instance Phase
and end. Every beginning will have an end. Every goal can be attained, but later has to vanish. One can apply the cycle of life to everything that happens: life in general, a project,
and Phase feel both like an outcast, but Phase 6 feels tolerated, whereas Phase 7 is not tolerated a company, a dinner, writing a book, a consultation, a discussion, cooking a dinner, any more. These clues are presented in reading a book, going to the theater and so on. Everything has a beginning, a fruition and an ending. How far the patient is in this development leads to
In the application of the Plant theory it is important to find out what the problem is. This can often be found by looking at the cause of the trouble. Sometimes one needs to take the whole character of the person as the disease. Sometimes the problem is just a part of life. Many times the problem is the whole of the patient and can be seen in his life story. The life story with history of the youth and the purpose in life is essential for a deep prescription.
One can use the Plant theory also partly. It is not needed to use the full range of possibilities.
For instance on e can use the the Families and their themes to come to a prescription. Thus one can do a search in the repertory or the Materia medica and limit the search tom only one or two Families. One step more is to use the stages to differentiate the Remedies in there family.
Another possibility is to differentiate the level of the problem and thus differentiate between Families, Subclasses and Classes of plants. For example an artist is having a problem in his art. Then the third digit should be 5, giving as possibilities Malvidae 3-655.__.__ or Laminae 3-665.__.__. Or a spiritual person has a problem in his spiritual development. Then the third digit should be 6, leading to Campanulidae 3-666.__.__. Another example is of a spiritual person has a problem in his relationships. Then the third digit should be and third 3, leading to Caryophyllidae 3-663.__.__.
The second aspect is to determine how far one is in realizing the goal, or how far one is in losing the goal. This is like the cycle of everything in life: things start, come to full development and end. Every beginning will have an end. Every goal can be attained, but later has to vanish.
The Phases are, as described above, the eight columns of the Carbon series and Silicon series. They represent the position of the patient in respect to the problem and the persons involved in the problem. A good concept is that of belonging. Does the patient belong to the group or not? Is he an outsider or insider? Is he central or at the edge of there group? Is he fully accepted or partially?
Group Goal Idea
The Phases are similar to the Stages in the sense that they also represent the cycle of life. They represent the same development from start to end. But there are only 8 Phases in contrast to the 18 Stages.
The basic theme of the Phases is the desire to belong to a group, a system that gives reassurance. They want to belong to the family of origin, or to the family they have founded, to their group of friends, to a community, to a culture, a religion, a humanity, a worlds and so on. The Phases express how one feels belonging. Phase 4 is the goal, really belonging to a group, without
question and unconditionally. (Table 3)
1 Outsider, newcomer, stranger, alone
2 Half belonging, adapting.
3 Conditional, pleasing.
5 Conditional, pushed.
6 Half belonging, used, abused.
7 Outsider, alone, rejected.
Phase 1 is the start of something, an attempt to belong to a group. They have the feeling they don’t belong to the group yet. Group can mean a family, a group of friends, a village or a tribe, or a culture, a city and so on, depending on the situation. It feels as if they just have met someone or some group and want to make a connection. There is not yet the feeling of really belonging to the group. There is a strong fear of not becoming accepted by the group or person. This fear is easily projected into things they see. A small remark or action can easily be interpreted as a rejection. This can then lead to a withdrawal and the giving up of trying to become part of the group.
Sudden, acute, unexpected, unpredictable. Unstable, extreme, mania.
Impulsive decisions, mania.
Impulsive thoughts, erratic thinking. Impulsive emotions, changeable moods. Childish, naive, silly, foolish.
Outsider, stranger, newcomer, new. Single.
Phase 2 is the situation where they have been accepted as part of a group but it is quite fragile. They still have the feeling that they have to earn their position. Their place in the group is not straightforward. They have the feeling of having a minor position in the group, which can make them shy and subordinate. They follow the rules of the group in order to get accepted. They have a strong fear that they will not get accepted anymore and will be rejected by the group. Due to this they have the tendency to do too much for the group. The balance between giving and receiving is easily distorted.
Support, supporting, supported Unsure, yielding.
Aggression, irritation, < belittled.
Phase 3 has a position in the group that is more secure and better worked out than in Phase 2. But that place is not fully in balance. They feel unsure about their position, often not knowing what to do and how to handle it. They often don’t know if they have to do what the group wants or what they want themselves. Being part of the group causes confusion over where the group starts and where they end. The boundary between them and the group is not settled yet. When they follow their own will they can often feel guilty and ashamed, especially when they think their motives are in conflict with those of the group. On the other hand, they often do what the group expects from them. But then they can feel that they overrule their own wishes. It can happen that they are confused about what the group is really expecting from them. The general theme is that of confusion, an often unclear state where things get mixed up.
Pleasing, adapting, soft, pliable. Conditional love.
Invisible, not seen, not heard. Guilt.
Phase 4 feels settled in the group. Their position is fixed and stable. They often have a central position in the group and can also be the leader. This expresses itself as a kind of calmness, stability, slowness and quietness. They can be very expressive and loud but more often they are quietly taking their position. They don’t have to prove themselves. Things are obvious.
Accepted, unconditional love.
Rigid, static, stiff, stones, cracking. Obvious, just, complete, total, perfect. Grounded, stable, balanced, harmony. Shock.
Phase 5 feel settled in the group. Their place is secure but they feel that there must be more than just the system. They want to expand the possibilities and make the relationships in the system more rewarding. For them the system should not only survive but also bring benefits to its members. Members of the group should grow, receive respect and love, so that they can enjoy the group. They often have a strong driving force that tries to make everyone in the group feel happy and feel like a member of the group. They want everyone to grow and develop.
Sometimes they experience the group as limiting. That can lead to an expansion of their actions to outside of the group. They have the feeling that the group is okay but is not everything. There is more than just their system. There is more in the world to enjoy. Actions outside, in the world, are not seen as contradictory to those of the group but beneficial for the group.
Conditional love, half.
Saviour, protective. Communicative.
Enthusiastic, passionate, extreme. Winner, competitive.
Phase 6 feels they are settled in the group. They have their position and have a right to it. But there is also a fear that they might have to leave. This can be the case when there is an imbalance between taking and receiving. They can easily have the feeling that the system asks too much from them, that they have to give too much. They can have the feeling that the group costs them more than it gives to them. They can feel used or even abused. This can make them also very angry, resulting in fights and quarrels with other members of the group.
It can also happen that they take too much from the group. They feel that they have given much in the past and now it is their turn to receive. They can become quite lazy, doing nothing, becoming apathetic. This is exaggerated when they have the feeling that maybe the system will collapse, or that they have to leave. It seems pointless to them to put a lot of energy into a system that will fail anyhow.
Half out, unappreciated.
Used, abused, eaten.
Giving taking imbalance.
Unfair, unjust, corruption, compromise. Bitter, embittered.
Bored, lazy, passive.
Phase 7 has the feeling that their position in the group is not obvious any more. There is even the question if they have a real position anyhow. They can have the feeling that they can be rejected at any moment, or that they are already rejected and have become an outcast from the group.
It can be that the situation that they have to get as much out of the system as they can before it’s really over. They feel they have put so much into the system, into the group and that they have rights to those things, at least partly. They can have real fights about what belongs to them and what belongs to the group. It is like the end- stage of a marriage where the partners are fighting about the possessions.
They feel their situation, their life as limiting, like a prison. They want to break out, to be free. They desire to leave, to flee. Drugs are another way to flee.
Outsider, outcast; rejected, unwanted, fired. Individualistic, asocial, hard, cold.
Cheat, lie, betrayal, illegal.
Destruction, war, bomb, kill.
Angiosperm Phylogeny Group; An update of the Angiosperm Phylogeny Group classification for the orders and families of flowering plants: APG III; Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society 161, 2: 105–121; 2009.
Scholten Jan; Homeopathy and the Elements; Utrecht; 1996.
Scholten Jan; Secret lanthanides; Utrecht; 2005.
Scholten Jan; Wonderful Plants; Utrecht; 2013.
630.00 Lilianae (Monocots)
320.00 Bryophyta Mosses
320.00 Marchantiophyta Liverworts 310.00 Anthocerophyta Hornworts