Viewed through proving: Camphor – a brief overview

One last post before leaving Camphor.

This proving of 345 symptoms does not go far enough in understanding the extent of Camphor’s potential use. Hahnemann stated in his introduction that (bold is mine):

“In its curative action camphor is just as puzzling and wonderful, for it removes the violent effects of very many, extremely different, vegetable medicines (and even those of the animal drug cantharides and of many mineral and metallic drugs), and hence it must have a sort of general pathological action, which, however, we are unable to indicate by any general expression; nor can we even attempt to do so for fear of straying into the domain of shadows, where knowledge and observation cease, whilst imagination deceives us into accepting dreams as truth; where we, in short, abandoned by the guiding of plain experience, grope about in the dark, and with every desire to penetrate into the inner essence of things, about which little minds so presumptuously dogmatize, we gain nothing by such hyperphysical speculations but noxious error and self-deception.”

Certain areas are prominent in this limited proving. The largest individual groupings of symptoms relate to Lower extremities (approximately 26 symptoms), characterized by aggravations especially on movement and walking, and including 5 symptoms in boldface.  The runner-up is Eyes and vision (approximately 24 symptoms), characterized by aggravations from open air, moving the eyeball and light.

However, if the general symptoms relating to fever, sleep, perspiration, skin and musculoskeletal issues are taken together, we come to a block of around 86 symptoms – almost a third of the entire proving. This may simply reflect the limitations of the proving itself, and generalities have a significant role in any proving. However, with Camphor’s ability to antidote so many substances, it is worthwhile giving the issue more consideration.

One more element I’d like to highlight before leaving this remedy is the way in which the camphor patient will feel more pain when paying limited or no attention to his body, such as when going to sleep. On increasing awareness and paying more attention, the pain will ease. We are more used to seeing the reverse – the more awareness, the more pain. However, symptom 251 presents the ability to cause pain by force of imagination, and thus reversing the previous modality. Perhaps this can all be seen as part of Camphor’s alternating nature (bold is mine).

  1. Transient headache, as if the brain were compressed from all sides, but only left in semi-consciousness when he pays no attention to his body; when, however, he becomes conscious of his pain and thinks of it, it immediately disappears (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Fz.]
  1. Most of the pains from camphor were, on the first day, only present in a state of half attention to himself – hence also when going to sleep, tearing in various parts of the body – and they went off, especially the headache, as soon as he became aware that he had pains and paid attention to them; on the other hand, he could, the following day, cause pains by force of imagination, or, rather, he felt them only when giving great attention to himself, hence he felt best when he did not think of himself. [Fz.]

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