Remedies as Centering Tools

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By: Dr. Willem Daems

Reprinted courtesy Weleda Nachrichten

"In the beginning God created heaven and earth” (1.Moses 1,1) ... and with that the universe was polarized once and for all. Celestial light and warmth inflames, disperses and dissolves, earthly coldness hardens, densifies and makes sclerotic.

In their extremes each of these polaric forces would be equally deadly, however we are placed in the center between the two. "Heaven and earth make the human being," says Paracelsus, meaning that we might be free to destroy ourselves by burning or freezing, but we are able to keep to the middle. The Greek story of Daedalus personifies this ability. He and his son Icarus were imprisoned on an island. They built wings out of beeswax in order to escape. Daedalus cautioned, "Don't fly too close to the sun, else your wings will melt, but don't fly too close to the earth either, for the cold mists will drag you down. Keep to the middle."

This middle is the "golden mean" described by the Roman poet Horace (first century BC). "Golden" because the macrocosmic sun represents gold as well as the microscopic human heart.

In his work "Ethics," written for his son Mikomachos, Aristotle (fourth century BC) says that the basis of human virtue is moderation; keeping the balance between too much and too little. This is needed not only for practical daily life and society as a whole (politics, education, economics) but also for maintaining health. The old saying 'he seems to have lost his center' shows we once were aware that our health and wellbeing depended on this balance.

A basic tenet of anthroposophical diagnosis is the concept of a physiological threefoldness.

The head pole is the repository of the nerve-sense system with its sclerotizing tendencies. Its polar opposite is the metabolic system centered in the abdomen, with its dissolving (inflammatory) processes. Both systems are necessary for healthy organic development. If one functioned without the other they would become dangerous if not deadly. Their healing balance is located in the middle, in the mediating rhythmic system of circulation and breathing. This rhythmic system is the actual therapist, continually recreating health while being constantly besieged by the one or other pole. Healing lies in the center!

If the innate healing ability is not strong enough, we are compelled to seek a remedy. Medicines are instruments of the middle, a means of reinstating health. Literally, 'medicine' means a thing that aims toward the middle.

The healing substances used in anthroposophical medicine are truly made to the measure of the human being, for they heal where the balance has been lost.

An important part of the repertory developed by physicians according to indications given by Rudolf Steiner, are the so-called "type" or constitutional remedies, often consisting of three substances which address the three systems described above. Two polaric substances are pharmaceutically combined with a third and thus raised to a higher level of activity. One example is Weleda Cardiodoron which combines homeopathically potentized Primula, Onopordon (Scotch thistle) and Hyoscyamus.

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