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The Bryophyllum Plant

The Bryophyllum plant (Kalanchoe daigremontiana and its near relatives) is a native of Madagascar where it enjoys tropical heat and moisture. The succulent leaves are thick and almost leathery, with animal-like tattoos or insignias in purple on the light undersides. But what is most striking is the strong vitality and reproductive force in the leaves, which generate new plants in mid-air from rows along the leaf margins. They develop little roots and fall off all around the mother to grow into new plants – hence the common name “Mother of Thousands”. While Bryophyllum does eventually flower and make seeds, they have reduced germination and are clearly a secondary method of reproduction.

Bryophyllum in medicine

How does all this relate to its use as a medicine?

The human being exists in a “force field” balanced between upbuilding (anabolic) vitality and conscious awareness based on destructive (catabolic) breakdown processes. In order to be awake during the day we use our self-conscious awareness and thinking to understand and digest sensory phenomena, as well as for active movement and to pursue our purposes. We then have to sleep at night to regenerate (anabolically) and be ready for the next day’s round. Bryophyllum strongly accentuates the upbuilding energy and imitates an illness process: overemphasis on vitality at the expense of consciousness. This can express as hyperactivity or hypersensitivity. In such cases taking Bryophyllum as a remedy can release the patient from the compulsive “grip” of illness and allow their true self to again be calmly present. It is often especially useful for sensitive, emotional natures and children.

Bryophyllum Avena Liquid is a remedy that combines Bryophyllum with valerian and oats to help with sleeplessness and tension.