Placenta, the organ
The placenta is the organ positioned between mother and child during pregnancy. The placenta, present in all higher mammals, is the place where nutrients and oxygen from the blood of the mother are exchanged for waste products coming from the foetus. As there is no direct contact between the blood of the mother and the blood of the foetus, the placenta also functions as an effective barrier between mother and child, preventing many potentially damaging products from going from the mother to the child. Immediately after birth, the contractions of the womb drive the placenta out of the womb. Next to its function as exchange medium for nutrients and waste products and its function as blood/blood barrier, the placenta also produces hormones, amongst others oestrogen and progesterone.
Placenta, review of the remedy
Placenta has quite some time been known as a homeopathic remedy. It occurs in The Millennium Repertory1 and in Radar Computer Software2. The proving of Biggs and Gwillim3 gives us a great understanding of the remedy. Also Ehrler4, in 1994, gave significant information on the more ethereal side of Placenta.
Although already proven and accessible via the most used repertories, till now no trituration results were published. Homeopaths working together via the Hahnemann Institute of the Netherlands, have conducted provings by the trituration method since mid nineties of the previous century. Most of the triturations were on substances closely related to human propagation, pregnancy, birth and development after birth. These substances, e.g. Umbilical Cord (Jager & Timmerman5), Amniotic Fluid (Timmerman6,7), the Carbos and Lacs (Timmerman 8,9), Oxytocin (Timmerman10) all lead to triturated remedies important for the treatment of disorders and illnesses related to propagation and development. Details on the trituration method are extensively described in The Trituration Handbook by Hogeland & Schriebmann11.
The Placenta provings presented here have been conducted in New Zealand and in The Netherlands. Placenta material was taken immediately after birth and mixed with 90% alcohol as a preservative. At the trituration session this base substance was diluted (1:100) with milk sugar. Each successive trituration round the dilution was repeated.
Key themes of Placenta humanum:
- Desire to escape: from family, from the actual situation
- Need to connect with the roots, the source
- Disconnected from parents (especially father)
- Forsaken feeling; isolation and emptiness
- Lack of focus
- Memories of childhood coming back
- Unable to handle one’s own impulses
- Grief during pregnancy
- Building bridges, wanting to heal, to help and give
- Insufficient growth of the placenta during pregnancy
- Cancer of the bladder
Placenta humanum helps to handle anxieties deriving from a feeling of disconnection. It also helps returning to an environment of perceived safety and protection. Placenta, in itself a tool to obtain nutrition, helps to connect to life, to let go of the past, to create your own destiny. It gives you the will and the basic trust to face life and to gain control over your impulses. The “filth and dirt” of one’s family history can be left behind, opening the road to fulfilling one’s own life.
In recent articles (Timmerman5,6,7) information about other human development related remedies are extensively discussed.
Umbilical cord offers the possibility to connect and disconnect on a healthy basis. It enables you to be part of mankind as a whole.
Amniotic fluid gives stability. It helps us to discover true love and to overcome one’s fears and anxieties.
Lac humanum facilitates the growth from childhood into adulthood. The child within becomes incorporated in the adult personality, thus solving the opposition between child and parent.
Symptoms of Placenta listed according to five trituration levels
The symptoms marked “ns” are newly added symptoms
1C. Physical level
- Senses: Vision & Hearing: increased
- Feelings: as if needles, prickling, shivering, numbness, heaviness, coldness, itching
- ns Feeling swollen, expanded
- Head, Pressing pains> pressure
- Ears: Pressing pains> pressure (L)
- Nervous: adrenaline rushes
- Face, nerve pain: sudden
- Throat: lump
- Heart: rhythm: slow than fast
- Chest: breathing difficult; lack of oxygen, >fresh air
- Abdomen, cramps > leaning forward
- Skin: ulcers, boils, herpes (lower lip)
- Spine, weakness
- ns Hips (L), (restoring alignment)
- Ankle, weak (L)
- Pain: Knee (L), Shoulder (R), Breast (alternating L/R) cramps, Kidney (L)
- Diarrhea: stool as if breastfed.
- ns Awkwardness: drops things
- ns Dance: inability to dance
- ns Infections – umbilicus, ear, nose and throat
- Craving sugar, breast milk, tasteless food.
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea, > vomiting, eructation’s
- Menstruation: cyst on labia (L); spotting bleeding
- Cancer: bladder.
2C. Emotional level
- Absorbed; Preoccupied; Spaced out
- Drifting off in thoughts
- Apathy; Indifference
- Intolerant; Arrogant; Impatient
- Short tempered; Impulsive; Arrogant; Impatient
- ns Head-beating and hitting
- ns Violence, toward family and domestic animals
- Feels isolated, disconnected, misunderstood, powerless
- Forsaken, unloved < before menses,
- Aversion physical contact. Need for space
- Desire for company, looking for support, love and trust but not sociable. Wants to watch, to listen
- Hiding, wants to be home
- Moods: chancing: Weepy alternate laughing
- Regression to baby-talk wants breastfed
- Longing for childhood. Nostalgia childhood
- Fear of closed places, crowds, rats, failure
- Anxiety from anticipation, from hearing noises of conscience
- Anger because of the future, what to do in life
- Dreams: born babies
- Laughing when seeing babies
- Death: desires death when seeing a mess/chaos
3C. Mental level
- Confusion and irresolute about what to be doing on earth
- Confusion; disorganized; forgetful: lack of concentration.
- Reality seems unreal. Drifting thoughts.
- How to organize finances
- ns Guilty feeling about what not has been done; what has been done wrong
- ns Guilty feeling about failing to conciliate parents
- ns Resentful, Self-reproach
- Detached, disconnected
- Overwhelmed by responsibilities
- Lost sense of time and place. Delusion: everything comes too late.
- ns Sensation: focused on a mission.
- Desire for light.
- ns Delusion being pregnant, fat, swollen, in darkness, underwater
- Delusion: no breast milk left to feed baby
- Delusion: surrounded by spiders (fear of spiders)
- Fear of deformity of children
- Aversion dirt; desire to be clean
4C. Spiritual level
- ns Return to womb to be born again.
- ns Sensation deeply connected with others by touch, warmth and love.
- ns Building bridges to heal relationships, building on the circle of love
- ns Feeling loved, blessed, being enlightened, with family.
- ns Sensation being cheerful, young and relaxed.
- ns Sensation of connection with the earth.
- ns Finding the healing purpose on earth
- ns Answers about what to choose in the life-path.
5C Level (Collectiveness, Archetypical)
- ns Strong connection with the ancestors.
- ns Sensation of completeness, being independent.
- ns indigenous people of the land watching and coming to co
- ns Awareness of other beings beside people; trees are protecting us, surrounding us.
- ns Wants to do something for mankind
To illustrate the working of Placenta humanum, we present three cases. The first one is courtesy of Petie van Zantvoort (Hahnemann Institute of the Netherlands). The other two cases are by the authors and are very concisely presented, showing the essence of Placenta as a remedy.
Case of a boy (case presented by Petie van Zantvoort)
The boy, born in 1990, came into my practice in 2006 because of several attempted suicides. He did not want to be on this earth. He was treated with a number of remedies, with no lasting results. Thereafter he stayed away from the practise for three years.
Three years later, I saw him again. At the age of nineteen he still doesn’t know where he belongs and he is not happy about this. He is withdrawing into his parental house; he is postponing everything and is doing practically nothing. He tells me there is something wrong ‘deep inside’. His mother says it seems as if his brain is asleep. In short: his life is not taking off.
The pregnancy of this boy was a twin pregnancy, the other foetus died in the uterus. The now young man knows it was a girl; he claims he still has contact with her on a daily basis, and he wants to be with her. This was the reason for his attempted suicides. He calls the love between brother and sister more beautiful than the love between couples, because it is a love in which somebody does everything for the other one. Still more than ‘unconditional’, he calls it ‘superhuman’, and more ‘eternal’.
What I knew about Placenta at that time is that it is associated with a feeling to have lost something very essential, with a deep longing for what is lost. And that it can help to take initiatives outside the family, become more extravert and become a member of one’s own peer group.
Prescription: Placenta humanum MK
1st follow-up after a month
After Placenta MK he says that he went through all previous phases of unhappiness and desire for suicide again. But after some days he came in a better mood.
Prescription: Placenta humanum MK repeated
2nd follow-up after two months
After the second dose he is feeling more cheerful, and he begins to finish things. For a short time he had the feeling that the contact with ‘above’ (his sister), was lost, and that made him feel very empty. Happiness, so he says, is returning slowly. He is talking about meaningful and meaningless relationships. But he still wants to get rid of his physical form, because in his view it hinders him in everything. He states that because of his physical form he cannot become himself. Being formless gives one freedom, because then one can take any form.
He says he feels more and more like a girl inside, he would like to wear women’s clothes, but they don’t fit his body.
His mother tells me that he is more spontaneous. Emotions are coming out and he dares to go to a shop again.
Prescription: I give him Placenta MK once more.
3rd follow-up after 5 months
After the third dose he claims to be much happier, he is feeling more at home in this world. Now he is talking about real relationships with girlfriends. No new remedy given.
4th – 7th follow-ups
Between March 2010 and September 2011 he receives a few other remedies (Neon because he is in the transition from his inner world to entering relationships, Phosphorus when his childish fears return, Sulphur when he is in a kind of pubertal conflict about whether or not he wants to adapt to society). After that he finds a job, is socialising with his age group, is playing guitar, passed his driving test and travels around on his motorbike.
He travels to Vienna, because he feels his sister should be there, but of course she was not. He fell into a deep hole, a depression deeper than at the time of the attempted suicides. His head is all empty, no thoughts; he cannot feel any purpose at all. He thinks that in the uterus he already sensed confusion about being a boy or a girl. He states that because of the separation from his sister a split occurred between the male and the female. He still misses his sister; he is feeling lonely. He says: “what I need is something to fill that loneliness”.
Remedy 7th follow-up: I give him Placenta C 220/5 (Placenta humanum C220, triturated till the fifth level)
8th follow-up, early 2012
After taken the triturated Placenta C220/5 his loneliness disappears. He is much less occupied with ‘above’. He feels less and less without purpose. He now seriously tries to go to university (earlier he did not want to study because ‘he knew everything already’).
Although, as all adolescents have, he still has some problems. He is trying to find his identity in the group. But in general his identity problem has disappeared and now he is living the life of a normal young man aged 22.
This case, and especially the last given remedy Placenta C 220/5 illustrates not only the working of Placenta, but even more the difference between a non-triturated remedy and a triturated remedy. Although Placenta MK worked, the symptoms keep relapsing. The triturated remedy caused a break in the situation, bringing the young man straight on track and solving his identity problem.
Case of a man, born in 1941 (case presented by Alize Timmerman)
From early on he felt disconnected from his parents. He was beaten very often by his father. His reaction was to show the father that beating did not hurt him. He felt misunderstood by his father, he became ‘’unfeeling’’ to his father. He wanted to restore the connection with his father, but failed time and again. He always tried to defend his mother. Always tried to build a bridge between his father and mother. They never reached each other, quarrelled about money all the time. They too were totally disconnected. Later in his life he never wanted to see or wanted to hear from him. He always feels often disconnected from the closest people around him. At other times he feels very close to the same people, wants to appease the people he loves. He escaped home at the age of fourteen and wanting to find other, better parents. In life he has done pretty well, became a professor in science. He can be charming, but also rather rude.
The patient has been coming to the practice already more than ten years, when in 2004 a bladder cancer was diagnosed in hospital. The bladder cancer was removed by operation. Before and after the operation Arnica C30 was given to facilitate the recovery. In the period with the bladder cancer the patient was treated with Carcinosinum C12/5 and C40/5 with little or no effect. Sulphur LM1 was given to cure an infection under the molars and another time an infection in the foot. In both cases the Sulphur worked very well. Phosphoricum acidum LM2 and Ferrum phosphoricum LM1 were given a couple of times in the period between the bladder cancer and the start of the treatment with Placenta to help to strengthen his condition and to keep the HB values on level
In 2006, hereafter indicated as the first consultation, he comes for help for shortness of breath; worse when climbing. Also his anaemia problem still exists regardless of the Ferrum phosphoricum doses. His feeling of being disconnected with the world around him has deepened.
He tells me that he is looking for his old self. He wants to be good for others, even when he is physically not one hundred per cent. “What I have to do I will do. I am physical ok, but I walk slowly”. He loves to be with people, doing nice things. He loves to travel, but also reading, like travelling in the mind. He often visits people and gives them nice presents. He likes to earn money so he feels free to give presents whenever he wants. He easily reveals his thoughts to me.
“I love to build bridges, I love to stop the drama between people. In my work as a consultant, I was called the bridge builder. I make peace between groups of people; that is what I do best. It is very painful to me when I am not successful in building bridges”. He tells that he dreamed about being on a trip in the mountains and crossing the gap between two peaks via a bridge jumping into existence while he walks.
He wants to make people laugh, to take initiative, and to be creative with people. He wants to be spontaneous, wants to do crazy things.
He feels totally powerless, keeps on thinking, “Should I have done that or that, did I made mistakes?” He says, “Reviewing my life is painful for me when we go deeper, we touch at the core of my ego.”
He feels he has got cancer some years ago because he was not good at building bridges anymore. He could not reach his goals anymore or come in close connection with the people he loves.
He eats too much fat. Loves pancakes, dairy products and milk, heavy foods.
Aversion: vegetables. Desire: coffee, wine.
Remedy after 1st consultation: Placenta 1300/5 (C1300/5 meaning C1300 triturated to the 5th level), one dose per week. This prescription was based on four symptoms: anaemia, wanting to be friendly to everyone, building bridges and exhaustion.
1st follow-up after about 2 months
His condition has improved somewhat, but he feels still exhausted and not connected.
The remedy given at the 1st follow up was Placenta humanum C220/5
2nd Follow-up, 3 months after the 1st follow-up
At the consultation he says: “I am a lucky man, I will fight and survive. I know the luck will stick with me. I will not die. My time had not come.”
“Now again I am building bridges: organizing things in the technical world, making conditions right, looking at the market, organizing companies. It is nice when people start building bridges together. I am a positive thinker.”
He has made a positive turn towards his own healing process. His tiredness is gone. He has come to a kind of agreement with his own past.
After this 2nd follow-up he visited the practice regularly over four years in many follow-ups. The Remedies given after the 2nd follow-up and during the years to follow were Placenta humanum alternating in the descending potencies: C1300/5, C220/5 and C40/5. About each two months a dose of Placenta was given. Ferrum phosphoricum LM1 has been given as an alternate remedy (related to augmenting the HB level) twice during these four years. Now, after 7 years of treatment he still is quite healthy, in peace with his past, and, luckily, no tumours have been found anymore.
Analysis: Cancer of bladder often relates to carrying the unresolved ‘dirt/shit/problems’ of the family. In this case there is no direct link between the bladder cancer as such and Placenta humanum, but there is a link between the process of recovery after a bladder cancer treatment and Placenta. Furthermore the general feeling of being forsaken, and treated disrespectfully as a child (often beaten up by the father) strongly indicates Placenta.
Other Placenta themes present in this case are:
- Desire to escape from the family
- Building bridges, need for connection
- Wants to heal the world, wants to be good to the world
- Wants to help and give
The authors are thankful to Petie van Zantvoort for her sharing a beautiful Placenta humanum case with us.
1. Zantvoort, R. van: The Complete Millenium Repertory 5.1. In Reference Works Homeopathic Computer Program. S.Rafael, KHA+ 2007
2. Schroyens, F.: Radar computer software, version 10. Archibel, Assesse; Archibel 2009
3. Biggs, K. & L. Gwillim, 2000. Placenta humanum (Welsh). Free pdf download, http://www.merlijnboekhandel.nl/author/4233/Biggs_/_Gwillim/
4. Ehrler, W., 1994. Homöopatische Postille Nr.2/111 Institut für C4 Homöopathie, Freiburg
5. A. Timmerman & W. Jager, 2012. Umbilical Cord. Homeopathic Links, 25(4): 229-237
6. Timmerman, A., 2012. Amniotic Fluid, Water for the Fruit. Homeopathic Links, 25/2: 102-105
7. Timmerman, A., 2012. Nurture and Connection. Amniotic Fluid and Lac humanum. The Homeopath, Vol.30/4: 7-8
8. Timmerman, A., 2008. Carbos: The unseen Vital Force. Homeopathic Links 21(4): 174-182
9. Timmerman, A., 2012. Exiting Household; The relationship issues of Lac caninum and Lac leoninum. Spectrum of Homeopathy 2012/1: 102-109
10. Timmerman, A., Oxytocin. Spectrum of Homeopathy 2013/1 (in press)
11. Hogeland, A &Schriebmann, J., 2008. The Trituration Handbook. Homeopathy West (USA)
Jan van Nassaustraat 111
2596 BS, Den Haag, The Netherlands
Alize Timmerman started her career in biochemical research, working in hospitals in The Netherlands and Norway and at the University of Amsterdam. Later on she studied Naturopathic Medicine and Homoeopathy and started practicing in 1981 and lecturing in 1986. She is the founder (1988) and director of The Hahnemann Institute of The Netherlands. The Institute organizes in-service training for practicing homoeopaths. Alize lectures all over the world, combining her unique insights in Homoeopathy and Psychology with a special talent for didactics and presentation. The Hahnemann Institute of the Netherlands, inspired by Jürgen Becker, started provings and triturations in the nineties; in this way a vast amount of knowledge on both new remedies and the trituration principle has been acquired.
Angela Hair Concordia Health
87A Te Mata Road Havelock North, New Zealand
Angela Hair has worked as a homeopath in Havelock North (New Zealand) for 14 years. In her busy practice she worked with many families coping with the day to day challenges of sick children and emotional stresses. When treating children and adults with issues arising from pregnancy, birth, vaccination etc., Angela works with a modified version of the CEASE Program of Tinus Smits, individualized to the patient’s needs. Using sarcodes as part of the CEASE Program helps the treated child or adult to connect more fully with their body and with their family. (Smits, T. 2011. Autism; Beyond despair. Cease Theory. Emryss, The Netherlands)
Placenta humanum, Sarcodes, Disconnection from roots, Trituration