an appetising look at Drosera, Sarracenia and Nepenthe
These are all carnivorous plants that capture their prey in various ways.
Drosera is the sundew that has sticky hairs with glands at the end that take on the appearance of drops of dew. It is these sticky hairs which trap the prey and the glandular hairs turn towards the prey in a very slow but visible manner. It can take anything up to 14 hours for this to happen – so SLOWNESS is characteristic, coupled with issues of INABILITY.
On the physical plane this is seen as an inability to raise mucous which is deep in the respiratory tract.
Drosera has an affinity to many types of cough including whooping cough. The cough is very deep, choking, hoarse, harassing, spasmodic. The cough effects the voice which becomes hoarse and cracked. There is a sensation as if something is stuck in the throat and swallowing becomes difficult.
On an emotional level this ‘inability’ is all about being trapped. Thus anxiety about the future develops along with a feeling of being persecuted or pursued. They want to go home and not be trapped where they are. Being trapped creates a mixture of impatience and indifference; a mixture of restlessness, rage and sadness and sluggishness; courageous and yet cowardly. Being trapped is the ultimate in bad news to them so there is ‘ailments from bad news’. Feelings of suspicion evolve.
Drosera also has an affinity to the alimentary tract – they cannot eat pork or sour foods and fatty foods make them nauseous. Many foods taste bitter, especially bread. Blood and bile is easily vomited. There are shooting pains and a clawing sensation in the pit of the stomach, it feels as if it has been beaten. Stools are often bloody and mucous like.
Sarracenia is the purple pitcher plant. This is a more than adequate description. Pitcher like traps with heart shaped hoods develop at the end of stalks. The traps are passive and made up of leaves folded around themselves. The traps contain nectar and fine hairs which trap the prey – the idea being that once inside the prey falls to the bottom of the pitcher and is unable to get out again. Unwitting suicide due to the temptation of nectar that overrides common sense and survival.
Thus capriciousness and cheerfulness preside but this soon develops into a state of fearfulness, restlessness, sadness and weeping. They try to hang on to the minutiae of life and become conscientious about trifles. Apathy alternates with mental activity, as is often the case in states of being trapped – the need to escape vies with an acceptance of fate. This alternation is represented as a sensation of being split – the head feels as if it has been knocked and split into two and general pains feels as if they are zig zagging. Sleep is difficult and spoilt by frightful dreams. A state of envy matures into feelings of disgrace and the delusion of having committed a crime – that of their own downfall.
The heart becomes heavy, irregular and congested. Congestion is felt throughout – the eyes feel swollen; lungs feel as if suffocating; the uterus feels swollen; the rectum feels swollen and inflamed.
Sarracenia also has an affinity to variola, herpes, psoriasis and small pox. Pains are felt in the bones. Some senses are paralysed – that of hearing and smell.
They are hungry all the time, even after having just eaten. A curious symptom is to feel really sleepy when eating, can even fall asleep during a meal. It is difficult to keep food in the stomach though and there is copious vomiting – one reason why they feel hungry all the time. The stomach feels distended and torn and morning diarrhoea develops.
Nepenthe is similar to Sarracenia in as much as it also has a passive pitfall trap and the shape resembles the pitcher.
Nepenthe also has alternating states. It has an affinity to hyperthyroidism on the one side that is characterised by irritation, impatience, trembling, jangling nerves and physical tension, fatigue and exhaustion on the other.
Unlike Sarracenia though this remedy has a feeling of optimism.
Nepenthe has an affinity to diabetes insipidus, herpes, torticollis (torticollis is all about muscles, spasms, reflexes and links again with the feelings of being trapped), menstrual disorders and infertility (due to congestion again), duodenal ulcers, narcolepsy (escape through sleep), digestive migraines and cancer of the stomach.
There is a sense of a lump in the heart that is also linked to the digestion. The whole body feels as if swollen.
The mouth feels as if made of parchment. The teeth are usually in poor condition giving rise to a taste of iron in the mouth. Another strange taste is that of pimentoes. The mouth is dry and burning. There is a particular aversion to tobacco.
There are hunger pangs but thirst is greater. There is a lot of gastric dyspepsia and like the other remedies the stomach feels bruised. There is also a sense of a hard swelling in the stomach. This causes a need to gasp and gasping is common amongst the carnivorous plant remedies – it has to do with being caught and escaping – inhalation and expelling. Stools can be difficult to expel.
But there is no exile for these carnivorous remedies. They are all about being devoured without rescue and the optimism found in Nepenthe is hope without promise.