Cabbage Tree

Ti Kouka, Cordyline Australis

common name: Cabbage Tree

Notes from proving

I first saw the tree in New Zealand, yes it does grow in the UK but here I had seen it as a large yucca. In fact it is a monocotyledon, it is the king of the monocots. Evolved as far as it could without the physical structures that establish trees as as they are. The Xylem and Phloem is not bundled, which is what give the tree both its ability to draw fluids (sap) up to such great heights and also gives it strength (bending in the wind). There is also no bark, although it has developed its own outer surface, but it doesn’t repair as well as bark. So when it is cut it is permanently damaged.

I could see what it would be like to be this tree, it hangs out with trees and for the most part seems to be on the edge of forests rather than inside in the thick of it, and of course NZ has some pretty big boys when it comes to trees.

Cabbage tree is just not the same species as all those trees though, in a forest it blends in but as soon as you see it you know its different and more like the other monocots that are around.

It is a tree favored by the Maori, they use many parts of it but particularly like the inside of its stem – which leaves it ruined. There is only one forest of cabbage trees left in New Zealand and that is where this remedy was taken from. It was wonderful to see a whole mass of these tussle hair trees bobbing around in the wind and there are several parallels with the plight of the Maori.

You can imagine a bunch of young Maori’s out for a hunt with their hair flowing free and a certain strength about them but for the most part you see many Maori on the edge of society, excluded, a race apart. They keep their marae (village house) apart, you have to be invited to come in and this invitation is where you are confronted by the haka. In many ways the Maori are integrated into NZ culture and many have good jobs but there is still a lack of understanding from the whites for the very culture of Maori.

A very big divide exist in the present debate on who owns the foreshore as the Europeans (pakaha) refer to a written down contract (the Treaty of Waitangi) and the Maori had no previous experience of anything in a written form. They came from an oral tradition. Here they were deceived even in the writing as the contract given to Queen Victoria in English is different to the one given to the Maori written in their new written language, devised phonetically by a white man. However when you look at their language it is very efficient and a word means what it is meant to mean in the context it is used in, in a different context it will mean something different. Not a language suited to legalese! Again here issues of inequality but not on grounds of lack of worth.

The feelings of inequality suggested the remedy might resemble LYCOPODIUM, with its issues around authority but here the issues are not about authority, although since power goes with authority, authority may be involved in the issue. The issues seem more about coming from a different race or tribe and in some way that makes you not able to integrate. And, if one species is more successful than the other in some aspects,  the other yearns to be part of that success and will try and fit in but somehow never does, a second class citizen as in LAC CANINUM.

In many areas of its development this plant is better adapted than the majority of the trees in the same environment. After a forest fire the cabbage tree finds it easier to repopulate and re-establish, it has several ways of regenerating, from its rhizomes in its roots as well as from seed. It is also more able to survive in wet marsh land. It has many talents and uses in its own right.

In making the remedy at Simillium in Wellington NZ there were strong symptoms generated at potency 13 and 26. At 13 I felt a strong griping around my heart, a closing in of my chest and again at 26.  The sensation was so strong that Michael Dong, overseeing the preparation of the remedy, noticed my reaction.  Also on the way home I had a sudden sensation of two huge boots pressing on my chest, like two big doors being closed shut. I was so struck by this that I immediately prescribed it for someone coming off steroid inhalers and it finished the job off, where the other treatments had left the person struggling.

It has taken me time to understand this issues around glass and breaking glass that cropped up so many times with the provers. The plant has no xylem and phloem and so its strength is from its own fibres in its trunk and this can splinter in the wind and then all is lost, the pith inside is a Maori delicacy but if harvested the tree is no more, it cannot survive. It would have to regenerate from the rhizomes in its root system.

The tree has dancing leaves in the wind but can also appear so calm against the blue sky. Several provers experienced times of calm, usually after some major upheaval or challenge or incident. The person seems to live in life with a boundary around them stopping them feeling what they want to feel, or achieving what they want to achieve or able to progress to the next stage in their life. My sense is that there are times and opportunities when it’s possible to break through this “glass wall” and then swim in a state of calm. The first prescription of cabbage tree with the steroids would be an example, also the prover that had challenges when she stepped into an alternative clinic and found that it couldn’t work, when she let go she was so calm and found a whole new level of experience elsewhere.

The prover that fell through a glass door did this with a person of different race. We, the proving supervisors got hung up on the broken glass and it took a long while to realise it is the drawing through that is important. People didn’t actually get hurt from the glass they were forced through into a better space.

There is a sense of breaking boundaries into a better space and then a joyful calm. At the opposite pole there is this anger and angst around things not being right,. things not being good enough and a sense of hopelessness and despair that they will never be heard, never achieve, never loose the weight, never be equal. Their inner resource is limited and fragile. Many of the provers found a sense of being hurried, rushing around and nothing changing, fruitless endeavor. They love to dance and show off but even then they can be criticized.

Materia Medica

Ti Kouka Cordyline Australis common name Cabbage Tree Torquay Palm
source of remedy – reserve in Wanuiomatu near Barrings Head on coast road, North Island NZ

torn apart

FEARLESS when excluded
FEAR of penetration
DEL alone
DEL will not survive alone.

VULNERABLE at the beginning of things
PEACE CALMNESS when not holding onto things (life, jobs, relationships)
CALMESS under pressure
squeezing out or slipping into another existence, not totally engaging in this world. what you do when you leave your body (trance or death) getting out of the pain of this existence – WEEPY
AMBITION – see it as silly – not affected by sudden failure – old adversary had stroke, realised how much I had suffered
feel isolated torn from things – no connection with the past when meeting old friend
never coming to the end of admin
not actually getting on with new projects – sort of procrastination or lethargy about tasks to be done
feelings of inequality – race – position – parent child, man women
felt criticized at every turn
MASQUERADESas something they are not
BREAK through in relationship after confrontation
Confident, robust, forthright
agitation anger at slight cause – want to tear things apart
anger surging
rushed – sense urgency – not enough time – hurried
suicidal despair – feel I could tear away and die

shutting child out
totally alone and suicidal
on the edge of opting out
fall and break arms and legs
want to go in sea but dressed inappropriately
SADNESS in an empty room, seeing tree branches cut down
not enough money to pay for plants, don’t trust women selling plants end up have just enough money
moving house at short notice with no help
events about to happen
man turns into monster and I am only one who can turn him into something gentle
Dreams of dead people – having children with dead husband – asking dead mother what it is like – dead mother outside open window
I was at a party and my wife was telling everybody I was no good at dancing, I couldn’t stand it and smashed a glass plate on the floor, it shattered and exploded out across the dance floor and I walked out, I had always been a good dancer but not in the way my wife wanted, she wanted something more formal. I left the party and left her and felt amazing free at last. Partly it was the sense of injustice in her argument but also it was excluding me from something, the relief was I never wanted to be part of that anyway.

wake 4-5 am woke hungry, ate then slept
wake early and cannot get back sleep – mind active
cannot get to sleep

++ open air
++ open space
– pushing, firm pressure, penetrating, dull, stamping, shattering, shooting

HEADACHE morning
PRESSING pain in Temples

earache L

whistling, surging,swishing L ear

sneezing 8pm
dripping L nostril
odor of cabbages
nasal polyps
bridge of nose feels pinched

wake lips sore
metallic taste

pulsation side neck

Pain L side

aching between scapula
pain 4 am
pulsating pain R spine morning
pain in spots

aware heart beat
PAIN sharp and dull, as of blunt instrument pushing in
PAIN Sudden crushing shattering R side chest, L side chest
breathing DIFFICULT
rattling breathing
bruised feeling
Cough on waking raise phlegm
tight cough
wake at night tightness – like being squeezed with two hands
SAI lungs torn apart

sensation lump in stomach

FOOD++ choc ++ sweat food
desire for fat and feel ill after
appetite increased – especially at night on waking

liver feels swollen
infant colic
pain just above liver
pain 4 pm

diarrhea on rising

stress incontinence


Shooting pain R nipple
Pain L breast morning
stimulates breast milk
help in IVF
vaginal discharge

R foot numb
R thigh
pain in top of right thigh as of thumb being pushed into thigh
PAIN upper R arm, upper L arm, sharp, dull
numbness in fingers (3rd)
repair broken bones
cuts fingers
del arm doesn’t belong to me

body odor
cuts and cracks

Homeopathy doesn’t stand still and this information on Cabbage Tree has now been used by other homeopaths including Frans Vermeulen and Alicia Lee. Alicia has created a mind map which can be accessed here –  CABBAGE TREE

4 thoughts on “Cabbage Tree

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