Chamomile – Preparation 503
Now let us pass onto preparation 503. 503 is composed of chamomile that is placed into the intestine of a cow. Let us begin with the chamomile itself. The chamomile is Matricaria chamomilla. Matricaria means Mother or matter. This species has to be distinguished from others. It is a plant that is indigenous to Europe, in a southern climate. It is a warm plant. It has some very interesting features. First, it germinates when it is exposed to light – it requires light. Most seeds require darkness for germination. Many plants like to germinate in the dark first. This is a very light related plant. The seeds are extremely small. There are 20,000 seeds in 1 gram. There is an incredible differentiation, individualization that occurs in the formation of the seeds. The blossom is a yellow hemispheric structure that rests in a bowl of white delicate petals. If one picks the blossom with just a little stem and throws it in the air, it is almost as if one could be looking at some yellow-white insect with a green tail. Somewhat the same process could be undertaken with the single blossom of the yarrow. However, the yarrow is not as light and delicate as the chamomile. Yarrow contains colors a bit more of the cooler side of the spectrum. There is less yellow, there is a little more green in yarrow. Notable in the chamomile blossom is that it has a center that inverted. There is a gastrulation process, a gastrula form in the flower so that the center of the blossom has a hollow space. This hollowing out, this gastrulation of the blossom, which is a process that is actually true of most blossom formation, here is carried much further than usual. If this gastrulation as process begins to work chemically, it can produce a poison. Here what we have is a gastrulation process, an astralization that hollows out and continues this process into the stem hollowing out the stem as well. The process that hollows also works to produce oils, a decided metabolic sulphur process. Oil formation is very extensive in the blossom. It extends into the remainder of the plant. The oil is bluish and it is not poisonous. There is some good evidence that the oil from the blossom is bacteriostatic. However, in itself it is not a poison, thought it should not be consumed in concentrated form.
If we continue our descent into the plant, out of the airy, light filled domain, the region of the blossom into the stem and leaf we will discover oils there. What we can easily notice is that the stem is fairly tough, fibrous. It is semi-hollowed out. The leaf formation is almost absent. There are reticular-thin lateral structures from the stem that look more like the venous system of a leaf. Leaf structure has been eliminated and all that remains is the veins. The stem and leaf structure is almost vine like. Only the round blossom reminds one of the calcium process. We can consider as noted that the calcium process creates the hole in the blossom and the hollow stem. The calcium activity is also one of very active warmth, light metabolic process producing oil. This oil process of the blossom is carried down into the stem and leaf. The oil is given off. One of the characteristics of this plant is that its size is huge because the oily substances are dispersed into the environment. The aroma creates a huge airy plant. In this respect chamomile is one of the most aromatic plants we are considering. Its aroma pervades an area where it grows, making it an aromatic giant organism.
We now pass onto the root region of the plant. We find that its roots do not grow very deep. They tend to remain near the surface and crawl along just under the surface. The root concentrates trace elements as well as calcium. It is the calcium process that the plant carries, not substantially as in the root, but dynamically. The plant is largely an expression of the siliceous process in its outer form. Thus the calcium is active in its chemism. Calcium is present as substance in the root, but otherwise works dynamically in metabolic activity in its oil formation. The more compact blossom is not expressive in form of radiant activity, but the dispersion of oil is a radiant process. An airy-warmth light working is evident in contemplating this plant. While there is a siliceous form of the stem and leaf, a calcium form in the flower and substance concentration in the root – there is a radiant dispersion in the oils. The radiant process is reversed to hollow out the flower and stem – giving space within the plant for refined aromatic metabolism and mothering potential. This is a plant pointing us to mothering – mother substance and process – all of which is part of reproduction.
In our considerations of the yarrow, we spoke of a sulphury process very much a part of radiant form and activity as well as oil formation and dispersion. In the yarrow it is potassium that is important. ‘We contemplated how earth substance through potassium can be raised so that an incarnation can occur. We can think of the potassium in terms of an incarnation process. We can think of a fathering tendency – to bring about active incarnating. But in chamomile, we have to think of mothering, a Mother substance. This has to support actual reproduction. The conceptive process is, as it were, a spiritual incarnative process, while the reproductive process is one where incarnative-conceptive begins to take up physical matter. This means that re-creation in the physical takes place. Thus the matter-mother reproductory dynamic and substance of this plant is so essential. The chamomile bespeaks the reproductive dynamic of the calcium and sulphur. This is not the calcium formative process, but the calcium life-reproductive activity. The preparation from chamomile is to assist in the nutritional, but mainly the reproductive life process of earth – via plant to animal and man.
We will have to carry this line of thought further since we still have to place the chamomile into the intestine of the cow.
Now a few more comments might be made about chamomile. While yarrow, in a way, belongs to the field, to the meadow, to the pasture, the chamomile belongs to the field, but a bit more to the domain of cultivated land. In a way it likes to grow under foot. The yarrow is radiant, belongs to the animal, disperses into space, the chamomile does also, but is connected to the earth and the cultivation of the earth, man giving oil to the earth. This tendency to be related to man is carried further when we will next take up urtica. Urtica actually often grows in and within the garden, very close to all that is cultivated by man. In a way, urtica is a radiant substance, radiating out of the deeds of man, bringing the deeds of existence to evidence. We can say that yarrow comes from the domain of the animal to bring radiations from the astral-animal domain. The chamomile is a mothering ^ plant which assists the conception in incarnating. Urtica, which we will take up next lies close to man, bringing forth consciousness of heat and pain in man.
This line of consideration then follows relatedness to man. Some plants are more related, some less. The same is true of animals. The stag is less closely related and the cow more. The chamomile we place in the intestine of the cow that is closely connected to the human being. The stinging nettle we place in the earth, which man, treads under his foot.
Let us now go onto the cow. I believe that it would be worthwhile to review the animal nature in relationship to this preparation. The cow is a horned animal. As a horned animal it does not radiate into space. The cow takes up the radiant within the animal and casts it back into its inner space. In the case of the cow, we can say that the inner radiations, the kidney radiations, are reflected back into the region of the abdomen, particularly into the intestine.
The cow as an ungulate stands on its toes. We have noted how in standing on its toes it is raised into the field of levitation. However, the cow is also inclined to lie on the ground and give its abdomen over to the earth. Cosmos and earthly forces work into the belly of the cow. The strong inner kidney cosmic radiations are cast back into the intestinal abdominal region. There the forces of the earth, the electric magnetic gravitational forces work also with intensity as the cow gives itself over to the earth, ruminating and digesting. The cosmic process in the abdomen occurs within the force field systems of the earth.
As a ruminant, we have already noted that there is a tendency for the heart with its four chambers to fall into the digestive process. This means that there is a thrust of the heart into digestive metabolism. To appreciate this tendency, we might contrast this with what occurs in a canine-toothed animal – carnivorous animal. Here we see the heart that does not fall into the digestive system, the metabolic system. Rather the heart rises into the nerve-sense system of the mouth. In the carnivore, taking the lion as an extreme example, we can contemplate the force system that is given over to digestion in the cow rises into the mouth of the lion. In the mouth the lion salivates waiting to grasp and taste its prey. It is the tasting that is so important, not so much the digesting. The canine teeth are an expression of this process. We might consider the dynamic of the four-chambers of the cow’s digestive system as at work in the teeth and sense activity of the lion’s mouth. The lion lives on this sensation, not so much the taking of the life of another animal and in the transformation of substance. Here the digestive process is not so intense as the maceration process, the sensing process and the consuming. The canine teeth are an expression of this. In the case of the ruminant, the canine teeth shrink away. The forces of these teeth then assert themselves then in the unfolding of the digestive process and I would suggest particularly to the sense process that is connected with the destructive-tasting and the absorptive activity in the small intestine. The swing between the nerve-sense, consuming, carnivorous animal and the sensing of the herbivorous ruminant is a polarity between the head sense system and the abdominal sense system, the sense system that lives in the small intestine. (In man, we would associate this activity with the sense of well being.) It seems to me very important to look at this polarity because it is the small intestine that is of concern to us here in the cow when we look at the small intestine as a sheathe for the preparation.
Let us look at the small intestine. Let us start at the mouth and run down the entire intestinal canal. It is good to start in this fashion as we can then look at the tube or the enteron that runs from the mouth to the anus. We can consider a flow of activity that goes from the mouth to the esophagus to the stomach, to the duodenum, the small intestine, (the jejunum and the ileum) and then to the colon or large intestine and then to the anus or exit. It is not so easy on first sight to consider that the enteron is nothing but a tube that carries the outer world from one end of an animal to another. First what is important, as Dr. Steiner reveals elsewhere, is that as we look at the processes that run from mouth to anus we find forces working in opposition. These opposing forces are those that bring us (and animals) into movement. The digestive-eliminative processes work in one direction. Movement is a result of opposition to these processes. Digestion-excretion-secretion and elimination form the basis for our being able to move. Excretion also permits perception, but the actual movement process that is connected with the excretional activity lays the foundation for limb movement. The enteron is a tube with activities from one end of an animal to another. It lays the foundation for outer movement and for perception. The excretional processes in particular are important for perception. All perception is based on excretion. Movement is very much based on the actual processes that, in a way, move towards the excretion process. This relation between inner movement and outer movement, excretion and perception is very important for man.
If we consider the intestine in this light, the intestine as a significant carrier of the secretional-excretional processes, it is important that these secretional-excretional processes be furthered in the earth and be carried over to the plants so that when consumed this becomes an essential part of man’s life processes.
Let us again take a path from the front to the back of the cow or from above to below, as in the case of the human being. If we look at the mouth, we see that this is where maceration occurs. In away, minor digestion occurs here. The esophagus is a wonderful bridge that separates the mouth from the stomach. This permits substance to pass through the region of the rhythmic system, through the region of the heart and the lung. Then in the stomach system, particularly in the case of the cow we have the four ventricled organ. In the stomach it is not so much the mineral, but the carbohydrate and somewhat proteinaceous materials that have to be transformed. In the case of the cow, much of the substance is carbohydrate-cellulose, not so much protein. In the case of the carnivorous animal, it is protein digestion that is accentuated. The substances transformed in the stomach of this animal are rhythmitized in the four-chambered stomach. We can then pass onto the duodenum. It is in this region that the fatty substances are taken up. Fats are often taken up directly into the lacteals, little teats, and they are led over to the lymphatic system. Here in the duodenum, the broken down proteinaceous substance, the peptides, the polysaccharides, etc. are taken in. Finally we come to the small intestine. Here we have a fair amount of secretional processes occurring. In the case of man and it may be in the case of the animal there is a fair amount of gas formation. This puzzles many in research to find that man produces gases in the intestine. In the case of bloat, for certain, this occurs in the animal. The gas formation is not the result of swallowed gas, but is secreted into the intestine – perhaps even created de novo. This process in man and animal points to an activity in the small intestine usually not contemplated. This is a semi-breathing activity. Rudolf Steiner has pointed this out. He asks that we consider that the small intestine is a variant of the usual respiratory organ, the lung. This is not so difficult to think when we find that the lung is a transformed metamorphosed gland that grows out of the enteric intestinal canal system embryologically. The small intestine is a similar organ, which remains within the intestine itself. So now we can contemplate an intestinal breathing. Here a breathing process occurs. There is a breathing that is connected with gas formation as well as a kind of digestive-absorptive breathing. This is a breathing activity that goes on as a result, of digestive, fermenting processes in the small intestine. In the case of the animal, this fermentation activity, this digestive process is a very lively activity. There is much more life in the intestine of the cow than the human being. As we know in the case of the human being, the digestion is much more complete in the mouth, stomach and duodenum. The transformation and destruction of substance is much more complete. The result is that there is relatively little continued fermenting, digestive metabolic activity within the small intestine of man. In the case of the cow, the digestion process continues to transform cellulose. Here some of the processes that in man occur in the upper regions of digestion continue in the lower in the cow. An extensive vegetative process, life process that goes on in the intestine of the cow. This supports milk formation and reproductive processes in the cow. The cow is almost an archetype of the nourishing, conceptive, reproductive process, all in one. The nourishing, conceptive-reproductive process all occurs in the same region of the animal. We can see this in the small intestine, the uterus, and the udder. All three structures bespeak metabolic-nutritive-conceptive reproduction activities. In a way, very basic life processes are exhibited in this animal. It is just these processes that have to be carried over into the preparations, into the earth for the sake of the plant, which then furthers these processes in man and animal.
Thus we have arrived at a very interesting region of the cow, which is the small intestine. You note it as a respiratory organ. There is a metabolism going on. There is breathing in this metabolic activity. This is a tremendous stimulus to the production of substances necessary for conception and also substances necessary for nourishment. Now what is well to add to this is that the intestine is wrapped in peritoneum. The intestine is wrapped and surrounded by peritoneal lining, a thin sheet of tissue that is actually a part of the coelomic cavity. The peritoneum is an invagination of the abdominal lining that forms the coelom.
Within the coelom, we have the cosmic force systems concentrated. Here pure cosmic-etheric astral forces work (as in the hollowed chamomile blossom – the hollow stems.) The intestine is drawn into this heavenly force system (Coelom means heaven.) Thus the processes that occur in the intestine are penetrated through and through by these cosmic forces. The tendency for the kidney radiations to be thrown back into this region adds animal astral forces to the process. The kidney radiations are reflected into the activities of the small intestine. These are animal astral-ether activities that will support small animal life (bacteria) in the compost pile and the soil. In the cow, I gather it is just these forces that further the metabolic activity as it serves nutrition, conception, reproduction and growth – the growth of intestinal bacteria and individuation.
Thus we are dealing with a cosmic-respiratory metabolic organ when we use the intestine from the cow. We place the chamomile, a kind of astral physical substance, into the intestine where astral-etheric activities occur. We are seeking to further the calcium process or the material basis that has to serve conception, reproduction and nourishment even growth.
Once we have stuffed the intestine with the chamomile, it is buried for the winter season in the earth. Cosmic earthly forces have to penetrate the preparation we have buried in the earth. It is this cosmic earthly element that we want to bring to the earth and in turn to the plant. The cosmic earthly process is not one of incarnating, but of the conceptive-reproductive process. Here the calcium process that follows out the sulphury life of the chamomile has added to it the cosmic of the cow and the cosmic-earthly of our earth. (Individuation of seed formation is evident in chamomile.)
Now let us look at the preparations 502 and 503. We should look at these in order to carry over to the preparation with nettle 504. In the case of yarrow, we spoke of the sulphury, oily nature of the plant, the tendency for the sulphur to be in the root, but the plant to be able to concentrate the activity of the potassium. We called this preparation, particularly the potassium involved with it, an incarnator.
Now if we look at chamomile, we again have a sulphury, oily plant and we are concerned with the concentration of calcium. Researches by Ehrenfried Pfeiffer suggest that in the actually preparation itself, both the potassium and manganese, or supporters of plant activity are decreased. A more animal element, the reproductive, nutrient side of life processes is accentuated. Thus we are dealing with two plants that are used as preparations. Both have a lively, oily process. Both produce oil. Both produce fibrous stem and leaf structures. Both concentrate earth substances potassium and calcium. The yarrow preparation, however, serves more the incarnative process, which belongs to conception. The chamomile preparation serves more the reproductive and nourishment process. These are activities that we want to bring to the earth. They are important for the earth itself. Incarnation, conception, nourishment is a very essential aspect of the life process of the earth. This is all part of the individuality, the earth individuality that we want to have brought forth.
In continuation of this line of thought, it is important to point out again, because of the researches of Ehrenfried Pfeiffer, that the bacterial content of the chamomile preparation is increased manyfold. We are not only trying to stimulate the life of ants, the life of worms, but also the life of a bacteria within the soil. The ant, the worm and the bacteria are part of the living organism of the farm. They supplement the live stock as astral physical beings which are a part of the life of this farm individuality.
This lays a basis for our further consideration, which is next to take up the preparation 504. This is the preparation of stinging nettle.