Red Campion

Red Campion (Silene dioica)

Proving date: 2017
Proving completed by:  Misha Norland, Mani Norland & The School of Homeopathy
Common name :
Red Campion

Read full proving: Red Campion (Silene dioica)

About Red Campion

Habit: attractive medium to tall perennial plant with a downy stem.
Leaves: opposite pairs, with hairs on the leaf.
Flowers: pink-red in colour with five petals that are fused at their base forming a tube that is surrounded by a purple-brown calyx. Red campion is dioecious, a botanical term, meaning the male and female flowers grow on separate plants, hence the species name dioica. The flowers of red campion are important for various pollinating insects including bees, butterflies and hover flies.
Where: native. Look for this species in lightly shaded areas in woodland, along hedgerows, fields, ditches and roadside verges. This species is an ancient woodland indicator, so may give a clue to the history of a wood.
When: a perennial or biennial, it flowers from May to September.
Medicinal: traditional medicines used red campion seeds to treat snakebites.
Folklore and art: a noticeable flower the red campion has been mentioned in various poems, for example ‘Summer Woods’ by the poet Mary Howitt.
Red campion’s genus name Silene probably derives from the Greek word sialon, which means saliva in reference to the gummy exudate occurring on the stems. It may also derive from Silenus, teacher, faithful companion, and foster father of Dionysus (Greek god of wine) who was covered with foam, referencing the gummy exudate commonly found on stems.

Misha Norland: “I had wanted to prove Red Campion for years because it evokes pure happiness, flowering all through the spring and summer, and then again in September. Being a flower of woodland verges and hedgerows, it graces walks into favourite habitats. It had been colonising our woodland gardens at Yondercott, thriving in shady borders. Unlike related carnations, with their aroma, the campion is, you could say, a poor man’s pink, a brave coloniser of poorer soils, that will grow amazingly tall (up to one and a half meters) given a spade-full of manure. And then I learnt that the entire family Caryophyllaceae are a family without a single proving! Therefore we decided to amend that! I crammed a bottle full of leaves and flowers (both male and female, all growth above ground) in May 2017 and filled up to the brim with absolute alcohol. From this tincture the proving was done.”

One of the proving supervisors shared this childhood memory of the plant: “One of my main memories as a young teenager, (about 13) was of hanging, probably wilfully, far out of the family car just so that I could run my hands over the top of an entire roadside hedgerow of Red Campions. Probably demanding my dad to drive closer and closer, just so I could touch them! I remember I did this for what seemed ages, so he ‘got it’. Maybe he didn’t, maybe he was pissed off and like most safety conscious fathers, worried I’d fall, but all I remember is this blissful moment of connecting to this great coloured flower. We were driving along quiet, scented Norfolk country lanes, on another of our long blissful Summer Holidays spent wandering the countryside. I remember feeling enchanted by the bright reddy crimson colour, intoxicated by their legginess at a time when being a young girl at the edge of youth and freedom a mere wild flower was beckoning me to ‘run wild and be free.’ The image has always stayed with me. These were Red Campions, and even in the edgy red aridness of an Australian desert, that memory is a bookend to youth, female vitality and energy.”

Key themes from the proving

Mental Themes

Water / watery / runny / waves
Flowing water (and other types of liquid) featured strongly in the proving and this appears to be a central theme of the remedy. Dreams of water were frequent, often flowing through cylindrical pipes and channels. It seemed to feature in a sinister way, posing a threat. There is fear of falling in, drowning, getting stuck, flooding and being unable to breathe. In the waking life of provers there was also an unusual disinterest in going into water with other family members during the holidays.

Power / Energy / Telepathy/ Supernatural
The themes of telepathy and communication were expressed both in dreams and in the imagination. The provers who experienced power, energy and telepathy felt they could communicate directly through thought whether it was with another person or an animal. “I feel 'plugged in' to some sort of universal energy; feel energetic and aware of the energy of those around me. Want to reach out and talk and be involved; strong sense of unity… I was running through a show routine in my head whilst out riding and at the exact moment I trotted in my head, my horse started to trot in real life.”

Fearful / uneasy / disturbing / bullied / unsafe
The theme of insecurity and a feeling of being unsafe was prominent throughout the diaries of provers. There were concerns about the safety of children, the threat of drowning and various structures that appear to be precariously built or at risk of falling and causing damage. For example, there are dreams about precarious houses and a sense of things being unstable. In addition to structural and physical insecurity, there was a concomitant emotional expression of this. There was a sense of feeling ‘like a stranger in a strange land’ and of being on the periphery of the group - being disconnected and not belonging. An ominous feeling of danger on the horizon with dreams and fears of being unsafe, feeling insecure.

Alone / detached / unwanted / isolated
Even though surrounded by others, there was a palpable sense of loneliness, or of wanting to be alone. This isolation was also expressed in dreams – “I felt like an observer; I wasn't part of this 'world' but was being allowed to sit in on it and watch it for a while. The feeling was 100% I'm not part of this but it wasn't a negative feeling. I just didn't belong there.” Feelings of being a stranger in their own life; “At times, I had a very vacant sort of feeling, like my body was there but my brain was just empty and not functioning… There were times of feeling paranoid around others like they didn’t like me or I had upset them and I needed to be away from them and as a result, feeling isolated or excluded.”

Unsafe houses / houses
Safety in the house was also a pronounced theme. There were dreams of houses with structural issues, suffering from neglect or of intruders. Interestingly, there were dreams of bright light and cylindrical shapes or the dreams contained aspects within them that reflected this shape – like a pipe or channel. Dirt and mess were also central to many of the houses featured in provers’ dreams. There was a desire to clean the houses and put them in order, both in the dreams and in reality. “I had a dream of a wooden house / hut with steep wooden stairs without a banister and the whole thing was wobbly.”

White / light
One prover had several dreams featuring white light pouring through the windows of their house. They described these dreams as taking place at home or in other houses. “I go into our house and its very bright - there's light pouring in the windows and everything is white in terms of decor.”

Sensitivity to sound, rhythm, noise & light
The sensitivity to noise and light was experienced in a bothering and annoying way and also appeared in dreams. Some provers had the delusion they could hear noises whilst others had visual disturbances. “‘Light from the window is bothering me, feels too bright… I also experienced quite a lot of symptoms related to my auditory senses, such as external noises seeming to come together to form a rhythm, usual external sounds (such as my car) not sounding quite right and auditory hallucinations when listening to music, hearing extra lines that have never been heard before.”

Anger / irritable / annoyed / bad tempered
A great sense of being angry and annoyed came through in this proving. This was mainly brought on by others and different situations but with a couple of the provers they were making themselves feel this way from their own mind set. “Finding that I have no filter and am really just saying whatever I want. This has included swearing more and saying exactly what I think.”

Still / quiet / calm / relaxed
Even though there was a lot of restlessness and hurriedness with this remedy, the polarity was also expressed as a feeling of calmness and relaxation. This was felt through the daily tasks of cleaning, driving and working but carried out in a calm, relaxed frame of mind and body. “Another very relaxed morning. There is no sense of rush; I move through tasks one by one and leave the house with no stress.”

Lack of energy / tired / no focus / not bothered
Provers were tired, groggy, aimless, lacking in energy and found it hard to focus. There was a mental ‘woolliness’ and lack of concentration. When in this state, the provers did not seem that bothered by it. This was contrasted by a compulsion to clean and tidy. Words were muddled and spelling became unusually difficult. There was also a distortion in the sense of time and an inability to make decisions.

Busy / hurried / industrious / restless / mind chatter
There was a pronounced sense of hurry, urgency and restlessness amongst the provers; many of whom were constantly busy for mindless activities and tasks. “I was busy pottering around constantly (cooking, cleaning tidying etc.) but there was a complete aversion to anything that required any thought whatsoever, I just didn’t want to have to think at all.” Provers found it hard to sleep and woke with a busy mind, feeling unrested.

Happy / high / hugging / connected
Provers experienced the feeling of being on a “high”, engaging more with others and lifting personal boundaries by touching, feeling and engaging physically; enjoying others’ company. “I experienced feeling very welcomed by people and getting closer with some that had previously been acquaintances. I received several invites to do things and was more welcomed into the fold in a social group that I am part of.”

Physical Themes

Sharp / stabbing / stinging / pinching / throbbing
All the provers (except one) had sharp stabbing pains and sensations – this was the most prominent physical expression in the proving. This was experienced mainly in the extremities and the left-hand side of the body was more affected than the right. Pains were often worse with movement. “Thought of a nail being hammered into my foot (like a crucifixion), then had the image of an insect being pinned to a board in the way collectors do.”

Zig-zag / dizzy / fuzzy / fizzy
Many of the provers experienced sensations of being fizzy, dizzy, giddy and swimmy. There were migraines that interfered with vision. “A real interference with vision, eyes appeared to be working in a zig zag type motion.” The dizzy, fizzy spells appeared to come on quickly but then only lasted for a matter of seconds. “Short spell of dizziness… Another spell of being dizzy. They don't last long and feel like losing their balance only for a moment.”

Nausea / hunger / restrictive / constipation
Some of the provers had a feeling of nausea which two experienced in the mornings, just like morning sickness. The nausea was accompanied by a feeling of hunger. “Waking up with a strong feeling of nausea, like in pregnancy.” Gurgling stomachs and bowel movements were also mentioned. “Very achy stomach with noises, gurgling and movement.”

Fullness / swelling / pressure / heat/ inflammation / redness
A feeling of fullness, pressure, inflammation and redness was evident across many of the physical symptoms. Several provers expressed a feeling of pressure in the stomach, abdomen and other body parts. “Still feeling full; wearing tights and the pressure of the waistband around my tummy is uncomfortable… Felt a sensation of increased pressure in my head.”

Almost all of the provers experienced aching down the body from the ears to toe joints. This seemed to be more on the right-hand side of the body. “A painful aching in my hips, felt very deep inside (bone pain?) right side worse than left.”

Dryness / itching / crusty
Half of the provers experienced dryness mainly on the skin and eyes. For some, this dryness then cracked and became crusty causing the desire to itch and scratch. “My eyes feel unusually dry this morning; there is lots of gritty, sandy stuff on the eyelashes.”

Read full proving: Red Campion (Silene dioica)

Water / watery / runny / waves
Power / Energy / Telepathy
Fearful / uneasy / disturbing
Alone / detached / unwanted
Unsafe houses / houses
White / light
Sensitivity to sound, rhythm
Sensitivity to light
Anger / irritable / annoyed
Still / quiet / calm / relaxed
Lack of energy / tired / no focus
Busy / hurried / industrious
Happy / high / hugging
Sharp / stabbing / stinging
Pinching / throbbing
Zig-zag / dizzy / fuzzy / fizzy

Group issues – again I experienced both polarities with this one. There were times of feeling paranoid around others like they didn’t like me or I had upset them and I needed to be away from them as a result, feeling isolated or excluded. On the opposite end of the spectrum I experienced feeling very welcomed by people and getting closer with some that had previously been acquaintances.

Common name: Red campion
Scientific name: Silene dioica
Family: Caryophyllaceae