by Deborah Collins
published in Spectrum of homeopathy 1/2010
Patricia Le Roux’s latest work invites us into the realm of butterflies in a clear and convincing manner, vastly enriching our scope of remedies for those ungrounded, restless types in our practices.
In her newest book, “Butterflies”, paediatrician Patricia Le Roux explores a whole new family of remedies. Inspired by cases from Jean Pierre Janssen from Holland and Chetna Shukla from India, Patricia and a team of colleagues have undertaken a series of provings of various butterflies and moths, in an attempt to understand more about this fascinating and elusive aspect of the insect realm and its application to homeopathy. In total, thirteen provings are presented and vivid descriptions are given of each of the butterflies’ characteristics. The illustrations, in colour, are beautiful and the lay-out is delicate and tasteful.
Specific themes have emerged during this process, which seem to be quite particular to the butterfly/moth realm. These small creatures are known for their ability to transform, to metamorphose from egg to larva (caterpillar), from larva to chrysalis, and finally, to adult butterfly. They live a very short life, flitting from one thing to the next, ethereal, and unsubstantial, before laying their eggs and then dying. Unsurprisingly, these various aspects have surfaced in the provings.
An important theme, which runs through all the butterfly remedies, is the feeling of ‘abandonment’ and ‘lack of guidance’. Important, too, is the ‘reduction in mental agility’, which often manifests itself by a lack of concentration; the agitation of the “butterfly mind”, its lack of concentration, and its tendency to flit from one thing to the next. Consequently, one of the main applications of this family of remedies is in the field of behavioural problems; a whole spectrum of complaints, from memory lapses to hyperactivity, often diagnosed as ADHD. The propensity to dress up in pretty clothes and to wear masks, particularly in children, is another sign which can point to the butterflies. On the physical level, allergies and skin complaints are often observed.
Dr. Le Roux has illustrated each butterfly with a case and has clearly shown the thought process involved in choosing a particular remedy. The cases themselves are striking, both by their likeness to the butterfly that has been prescribed and by the results of the treatment. As Patricia is quick to point out, however, this is only a preliminary study. More research and more clinical experience are needed to deepen and enlarge our knowledge of this numerous and diverse family.
The question is often asked “Why do we need more remedies at all? We already have more than 3,000 remedies and we do not even know them well. Does this search for new remedies not make homeopathy more difficult than it already is?” This book can, perhaps, give an answer to that question for it shows how in learning to recognize the different aspects of Nature, mirrored in our patients, we open ourselves to all the healing possibilities that she has to offer. By observing its inherent patterns, in this case the ‘butterfly mind’, we are gifted with yet another means to heal.