Schistocerca americana

Schistocerca americana or Desert Locust

Proving Summary

The complete proving is published as a monograph.   Further information about this homeopathic medicine can also be found in The Desert World: A Homeopathic Exploration.  Contact the AMCH Bookstore for more information. 

Choosing the Remedy

Schistocera americana was chosen as a remedy to examine the healing qualities of an aspect of the insect family never previously explored. Locust is well known for its effect on man, including its destructive power. Schistocera americana in particular represents an example of a desert medicine and represents a further opportunity to explore the power of desert remedies. Core Sensation The core sensation for this proving was related to the sensation of metamorphosis or transformation between two states. The first state was described as being in a hole or cave and patiently waiting for some kind of signal. This state was solitary. In this state there is a feeling of timelessness and spatial distortion.

Strange desire to sit still and listen; as if I am listening for something; sometimes I get feelings with these episodes or vibrations; it is a moment of peace; I tune everything out and wait for something-I don’t know what; almost like I am expecting someone or something to say something to me; it is a space time moment of nothingness(1-30)

Much change; it is as though nothing is ever the same in my life and I wonder how people live day to day in the same thing; I actually like that I am able to move quickly and I hate it whenever I get stuck(3)

Spiraled down into this deep hole today; went into a hold deep in the dearth; did not want to come out of it today; the sun came up and I realized that this is the yellow that I have been attracted to-the sun; hard time coming out of the hole today; the hole is a really transformative place; I undergo some kind of metamorphosis when I am in the hole; it is like a deep cellular change; it brings me to the brink of death and back again; when on the upswing I am ready to take flight towards the sun(3)

The second state was described as a frenzy. One prover described it as “Tuberculinum on crack”. This state was very social and involved seeking a mate and various group activities. Images of flying became involved. Sexuality became very prominent with dreams of indiscriminate group sex and sex between children.

Feeling of frenzy will not leave me alone; frenzy about eating, sex, irritability, craziness in this phase; like swarming feeling; I cannot stand the way people drive-it is like this swarm of cars; feeding frenzy; like Tuberculinum on crack(3)

Very strange dream that was sexual and disturbing; came across this house while driving; looking for a place to rent; glass wall; can see the inside of it; hundreds of people naked standing in rows; some were engaging in sexual activities but they were acting like animals; all mixed; very disgusting; some were crawling like snakes on the walls; snake like people with bright kinds of colors that were crawling around the edges of the wall; very vivid dream; Walking through looking to rent a place; as we were going I can see the inside of the house because of the glass wall; all these people who are lined up; some are standing; all naked; waiting in these rows; ton crammed into this area; 150 people; I could tell they were snakes the ones that were running the show; these people were all around the corner of the roof; purple, red, yellow, gold; very bright and colorful; what was disturbing was that they were all animals; no trace of humanity; these people seem disturbed; lost the human aspect of their reality; only left with their carnal desires; no boundaries of age or sexual orientation(4)

This frenzy leads to the feeling of the destruction or the end of the world. There is a quality of great destructivenss. 

One dream that was very significant: Sensation was profound; it was that I had gone into a doctors office to get checked up; I thought I might be poisoned; standard inoculations; in inoculating me I become paralyzed completely; I can feel this so strongly; still completely paralyzed; as I sink back into my dream I see my grand daughter who pulls out scalpel and needles; implements of destruction; I was going to be destroyed; I try to move and throw myself over to get someone’s attention; feeling of entire body paralysis and inability to speak(11)

Dream: trying to repurchase the . . . everything was water damage and falling apart(12)

Another mobile home dream; end of the world sort of thing; trying to direct and motivate people to get moving; hunting and fishing camps; something going to happen; devastating; running out of time; shopping in a thrift store; a frail old woman was working and she and I were left; everyone else had evacuated; trying on clothes in case of flooding; she was not interested in leaving; huge snake coming, like out of a horror movie; and she would not budge-this woman; other people were trying to leave in an old mobile home; these people could not get out(11)

The transformation or metamorphosis sensation was accompanied by a sensation of buzzing and humming. Provers were exquisitely sensitive to noise, particularly white noise. The desert locust is well known to exist in two very different forms: the solitary phase and the gregarious phase. The process of transformation was well described in the following dream: 

Several people, about 20 and we were at some sort of seminar or tour group; we were dropped off at this site where it was just a plan slab from eons ago like a Greek ruin; there was a building beside us; I went into the building and I could see that it was going to collapse because there was water dripping in-it was full of water; I ran back out of the building; there was this sense that this was more than the building going to collapse; this was perhaps the start of the end of the world as we knew it; I told everyone to stick together and stay away from the building; The woman or tour guide wanted us to all rub our breasts and wanted to show us how to channel sexual energy; we all were doing that and I remember thinking this end of the world as we know it feeling might be a little bit more important; I remember thinking how clueless people are; So then the building started collapsing and it was a dimension change; the building was going down and we aware of being pulled in that direction; I told everyone to stick together and hold on to each other so as not to be sucked in; everyone’s face/body was changing contorted and changing back and forth as if we were transmuting into something else; lots of people were afraid and screaming and I was afraid as well but then I got that we were just supposed to go with it and let it happen; I screamed at everyone to go with the energy and started smiling; it was way cool; could feel the energy moving through my body and it twisting and changing and it was amazing; when it was over this man started screaming at me as if I had caused the whole thing saying his daughter/family were stuck in the rubble and would be dead; I told him it was not my fault and I was sorry for his lows and that we may be the only people left on the entire earth and perhaps he should feel lucky he was alive; then we walked over to the building-nothing left but rubble; there was nothing as far as the eye could see-no people, just could see far and wide; an eerie sense of what if we are the only people left in the world; pissed off-I am not populating the earth again; I signed up for this job? Felt like a time warp of some sort that we went through; it was really quiet except for a humming/buzzing noise(3)

Extreme sensitivity to noise; worse night; about to go out of my mind with the noise thing; shrill buzzing, humming noise like cicadas or crickets; white noise makes me berserk(3)

Hearing is acute; high pitched buzzing tinnitus(3)

Sensation of body vibrating all over when going to sleep(7)

Sensitive to noise; sounds not voices are louder than usual; it is the background noise that is a problem; have trouble noticing their direction; have to wear ear plugs; noises are loud and startling; I am hearing things before my dogs(8)

Several provers described the movement back and forth between these states as manic depressive.

Core Motion

The central motion for the proving was described as waving and flowing. This was variously described as waving between dimensions of time and space or of flowing in a current. It was also associated with flight.

It feels in my life that I just bounce or flow around things; over and under hills and waves and mountains and through things; I seem to go right through things sometimes; if I hug someone I go right through them; different dimensions become the same(3)

Movement/Flowing; sense of moving through things, through people; flowing; riding the wind; wanting to drive fast; wanting to fly(3)

Faintness right after taking the remedy; a waverly feeling; woozy(7)

Dream: Sparkling, clear water sort of like it was swirling and dancing in the current; this Time being in the current I was bathed in wisdom like a wise old man at peace flowing in his current; sometimes my friends would flow in his own current; I stayed completely at peace in my current as I flowed through the corridor of life(2)

Insect Themes

Schistocera americana can be compared to other insect remedies. Insect themes present in this remedy include primitive survival issues, tubercular miasmatic traits, frenzied activity and busyness, The primitive surivial themes centered around food and sex. 

Desert Themes

Schistocera americana is commonly known as the Desert Locust. Although it has a wide distribution in the United States, it has a strong affinity for the desert climate. Prominent desert themes were see throughout the proving. These included: 

  • Water
  • Swelling
  • Dryness and constriction and contraction
  • Isolation and aloneness
  • Waiting patiently
  • Frenzied activity
  • Violence; attack and defense
  • Drug like themes; distortions in time and space
  • Falling, downward motion
  • Metamorphosis/Transformation
  • Birth/Death
  • Codependency and merging
  • Mistakes in communication

The sensation of birth through some kind of transformation or metamorphosis was particularly prominent. Several provers also noticed significant improvement in chronic codependency traits with this remedy.

Animal Themes

There was a strong focus on survival during the proving. In addition there was a distinct animal consciousness. Many provers described themselves as feeling like an animal. 

Feeling of being a snake; searching for prey; ready to snap at anything in my way; feeling of not being respected in my current relationship(1)

I feel I am in the beginning go of the declining decay phase; I feel like an animal no longer able to be the top dog in the pack, so its my time to slowly step aside and let the stronger more powerful ones be on the top(2)

My car window was cracked open all day; when I got in my care there was a grasshopper sitting on my dash boar; at first I was grossed out and scared; but then I just let him look out the window while I drove; when I got in my car later he was sitting on my back seat; I got to my destination and got in my car later again and he was gone; I’m convinced he is dead in my car and I am terrified to find a dead insect there(6)

Dreams of animals, particularly insects were also prominent. Thoughts of death and presentiment of death was noted. The feeling that would could be attacked by others at any time was also seen. 

Miasm

Miasmatic classification is difficult to do based on a single proving. However, there are fairly strong suggestions of the Tubercular Miasm with a desire to travel, a desire for change, ennui, fear of things remaining the same or getting stuck, the need to break free, frenzied activity, weight loss and emaciation, feeling of suffocation and narrow tight places, desire for open air, and restlessness. The feeling of being trapped and wanting to escape was particularly prominent. This manifested in several provers in the idea of needing to rise to the surface in order to breathe. These ideas are characterized further in the proving themes.

General Characteristics

Left sided symptoms predominated in this remedy. The remedy tended to be chilly and was associated with hot flushes in several patients. Several provers noted cures in the feeling of chronic chilliness. There was some tendency to a forenoon time aggravation.

Other general characteristics included a tendency towards injuries(falls), weight loss, heaviness, swelling and lassitude. The tendency to falling was associated with faintness and weakness, particularly of the lower limbs. The weight loss was sudden and associated with fluid loss. Several provers described up to 15 pounds of weight loss within 5 days of taking the remedy. 

In addition to the falling seen in several provers, one prover described the opposite-an improvement in her feeling of being connected to the ground. This was described as follows: 

I feel more grounded; I feel more connected to the ground; usually I walk more on the balls of my feet but now I walk with m whole foot(2)

Pains tended to be constricting, contracting, squeezing and cramping. Several provers described this cramping and squeezing as if all the water was being wrung out, leaving them feeling desiccated. 

The biggest thing was the sensation of contraction and cramping in the stomach; felt like everything was being squeezed and cramped (HG of cramping); as if you had dried up; like you squeezed something that had water in it and dries up; that also extended to my tongue as well(4)

Dryness was a prominent characteristic of the skin and mucous membranes. This was associated with the external skin and mucous membranes. Cracking of the nails and finger tips were noted. One prover had a cure of chronic dry skin with a sensation of the hair and skin feeling softer. 

Electrical, buzzing and humming sensations were noted throughout the body. A food craving for meat and especially raw meat was noted in several provers.

Emotional and Mental Characteristics

Emotions were typically felt in the stomach with this remedy. Most commonly this was an empty or hollow sensation that had to be filled, accompanied by feelings of loneliness, and anxiety. One prover described a cure of a chronic feeling of emptiness and aloneness in the stomach.

Watchfulness was prominent in several provers as noted above. This was accompanied by an increased awareness of time and space. It was a torporous and slow state. Confusion was associated with it, including confusion of identity. An issue with boundaries was noted and several provers noted healing of codependency traits. 

The aggressivity of this remedy was particularly marked by irritability and anger. This was accompanied by a profound sensitivity to noise, particularly white noise which aggravated the irritability. Music would somewhat ameliorate this. Sensitivity to light was also noted but not as profound as the sensitivity to noise. 

Mistakes in using words were noted in several provers, a characteristic of desert medicines. 

The frenzy of this remedy manifested in irritability, restlessness, hurry, impatience, impetuousness, impulsivity, confrontational, violence, desire to attack others, panic and panic attacks, threatening behavior, shrieking, hatred, mania and insanity. Sexuality was prominent even to the point of nymphomania. In this state provers described a feeling of being invincible.

Two provers noted improvements in their relationship with their significant other after this remedy. They found that their relationship was deeper and they felt more connected. Other prover describe an improved connection to people in general.

Physical Characteristics

Physical areas most targeted by this remedy included the jaw, mouth and stomach. 

Head symptoms included congestion, and a sensation of constriction like a band or hoop. Headaches could be severe and of migrainous nature. The head pain was most prominently pressing as if in an armored helmet. The pains were typically sudden and violent. There was also a sensation of water in the head. 

Twitching of the eyelids was noted. There was a tired sensation in the eyes and dryness. A scratching sensation was noted with the need to rub. Vision was blurry. 

Profound noise sensitivity and acuity was noted. There was a stopped sensation in the ears. Tinnitus was heard mostly of a buzzing, humming or popping character. 

Nasal obstruction was most prominent accompanied by sneezing. Dryness was also strong and the nose was chapped. Discharge when present tended to be viscid or bloody. 

The face was characterized by problems with the jaw. This mostly related to pain. Dryness of the face and chapped lips was also marked. Acne was noted. Swelling of the face and tension of the skin was also noted. 

Several provers noted cancre sores of the mouth. Dryness was prevalent; The remedy seems to effect the salivary gland with ranula symptoms. Inflammation of the gums was also prominent. 

Dryness of the throat with throat pain was noted. Several provers described mucous in the throat. Swelling of the cervical glands accompanied. 

Decrease in appetite was prominent accompanied by weight loss. There was a general feeling of constriction and contraction in the stomach with crampy abdominal pains. The pain was better bending double and better heat. Emptiness sensation was noted by several provers. Nausea and vomiting was common. An interesting symptom of heat in the stomach that ascended was noted. There was much intestinal activity with grumbling noises in the abdomen. Several of the provers described the abdominal pain as if someone was hitting them as hard as they could in the stomach, like a blow. The stomach was quite sensitive to touch. Strong thirst accompanied. 

One prover had a cure of a chronic feeling of emptiness in the stomach(2). They described it as feling full for the first time in their life whereas it had always previously felt empty.

Another prover had a cure of chronic gastritis and food intolerance: 

Lower gastric symptoms improved on this remedy; I can eat almost anything now, whereas before it would cause tremendous bloating and gas; I used to get severe gastritis and a lot of distress usually; my stomach got worse initially during the proving; worst of the worst of attacks; severe distress; cramping and burning; after the second week I could eat anything; was eating macrobiotic before and now I can eat anything; after 2 ½ weeks I could eat anything I wanted; now I only get occasional twinges(11)

Rectal symptoms were characterized mostly by diarrhea. This tended to be sudden and caused accidents. 

Sexual desire was quite high. Cramping pains in the uterus accompanying menses were noted. Again, the symptom of pain in the uterus as if being punched was noted. Several provers described amelioration in symptoms of menstrual cramps during the proving. 

Breathing was described by several provers as difficult. The cough typically was dry and deep. Chest heaviness accompanied. Angina like symptoms were noted. 

The back was not much effected but stiffness was the most prominent. This was in both the neck and low back. There was a feeling of tension of the spine. 

Coldness of the extremities was noted. Skin was quite dry with cracking of the nails and skin. There was much cramping, particularly of the lower limbs. Electrical current sensations were noted. Ataxia and a propensity to fall were noted. The limbs were described as heavy. Pains were most prominent in the toes and to a lesser extent in the fingers and shoulders. The pains again were often crampy and also stitching. Swelling was noted in the hands and fingers. 

Sleep was restless and difficult. Falling asleep was particularly a problem. 

The skin was dry and rough. A sensation of tension was noted.

Preparation of the Remedy

A video was made of the preparation of the remedy. The theory is that people who prepare the remedy also briefly participate in the energy of the remedy. Although we did not include this information in the selection of proving themes and rubrics, it is interesting to note that several themes were reflected in the making of the remedy. These included the following:

  • Split; balance between two poles; couples
  • Hurry, fast
  • Flighty
  • Live dangerously; that is what makes life fun
  • Intimidation
  • Lost
  • Insect
  • Sensation of squeezing
  • Perfect; Confidence
  • Death
  • Rising

Comparisons

Schistocera americana can be compared to other insect and desert remedies. In addition, this remedy can be compared to Tuberculinum and Medorrhinum.

 

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