Picus viridis

Green woodpecker


Homeopathic proving results

Proving supervisor: Olga Fatula

winter 2006

Translation from Russian: Leonid Anikeev.

List of provings



Once by a chance we purchased some new potencies made of birds. We had some information about this family of remedies from books, seminars and talks with our Indian colleagues. However, information about separate remedies of this class was missing. To fill the gap somehow we concentrated for some time on provings of the bird remedies. Picus viridis was chosen at random. An opportunity turned up when the sufficient number of homeopathic students volunteered.

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

The order of Piciformes includes about 350 species combined into six families, the most populous being Picidae – woodpeckers. These are medium sized birds, with bright plumage.

In Europe, the most abundant species is the green woodpecker (Picus viridis). It is the largest species of all woodpeckers in this part of the world. Its length reaches 30cm (12in). The plumage is green, and it wears s a peculiar “red hat” on its head.

The steering feathers of woodpeckers are very sharp, firm and strong to serve as a tail support for the body when they nestle up to a tree. Their flight is heavy and noisy; it flies in a peculiar manner; the flight path resembles a sequence of deep waves.

Any woodpecker is a born wood inhabitant. They live on trees and they are perfect in climbing vertical trunks and branches and can climb head over heels. Picus viridis prefers more civilized areas; therefore, one can hardly meet a green woodpecker in a deep forest.

The woodpecker’s beak is firm and strong; it serves to drive out ants and other insects from inside the wood. These are the main source of food. The woodpecker licks them off with its long tongue. The beak is also the tool for making holes in the of birch rind (the woodpeckers like their spring sap), and for hollowing out the nest.

Woodpecker’s job resembles that of a proper jackhammer. Therefore, the structure of the woodpecker’s skull rules out a chance of a brain concussion. Special modifications of the bones and the muscles of the skull ensure the sufficient shock absorption. Another shock softener is the structure of the tongue. It is sticky, sharp-tipped, and very long. The green woodpecker is capable of protruding it for 10cm (4in). The tongue can “crawl” into any sophisticated hole made by wood beetles and larvae. In order to fit such a device into the mouth the tendon base of the tongue is placed beyond the throat; it coils around the skull.

In the nesting season, the bird hollows out a deep cave in a tree where the female lays up to seven elongated glossy white eggs. The cave is of an absolutely accurate shape with an oval, round, or a square entrance. This hard work is usually finished within two weeks.

While punching the dry wood the bird taps out special serenades to its “girlfriend”. Every woodpecker strikes in its own rhythm and the tree vibrates in response, in a unique frequency range. By varying intervals between strikes, the duration of its drum-roll and other “orchestration” of such “music” the woodpecker informs others of its intentions. An expert can say for sure whether the male pecks in its own territory or aspires for others’, calling a female or inviting her to show the site chosen for the nest.

A woodpecker is an ultimate loner. Therefore, it behaves rather unfriendly with the female. The way of paying attention to a female is bellicose; aggressive gestures prevail. The couple can hardly tolerate each other; if one comes to the nest the other one leaves at once. As soon as the chicks are raised up, the couple departs. Each one lives in its own territory and expels anyone from it including its own young.

Woodpeckers are wandering not migrating birds. They fly different distances back and forth, irrespective of the direction and the season, alone. However, other birds like tomtits often follow a woodpecker in flocks. They cannot punch holes themselves; however, the larvae ants and bugs left out and down after the woodpecker’s visit is a perfect food for them.

Woodpeckers’ natural enemies are the hawks. Human beings are seldom angry about woodpeckers; however, apiarists sometimes are eager to revenge some of them for spoiling beehives. The Russian winter is the worst enemy for woodpeckers because the insects are hidden under the snow.

The provers and the remedy

The drug was made from a feather of a green woodpecker, potency 30K, M.Goyens pharmacy, Belgium.

It was a fully blind proving conducted with a group of students at a homeopathic school. Eight provers participated, placebo controlled. The participants took one doze of Picus viridis each in 30K potency, once, in the same evening approximately at 11.00 p.m. before going to bed. The duration of the observation was five weeks.

At the end of the five weeks’ term, we summoned a final meeting of the provers and thereafter the diaries and the records of individual interviews were processed. As the outcome of the compilation and the analysis, we have discovered the following key themes and symptoms.


Familiar / Unfamiliar. – People: Friends / Strangers

DREAMS. “Nothing but get-togethers”.

DREAM. “I am with my friend and my grandson. I should feed them”.

DREAM. “My American friends teach me to make and to drink tea”.

DREAM. “I ask my friend to buy a house for me”.

“I forgot to see my friend good bye but I did not feel ashamed.”

“A friend called and offered a doctor.”

DREAM. “An unknown man is walking uphill along a treaded footpath, I am following him.”

DREAM. “A stranger walking inside the flat”.

DREAM. “A friend of mine gives me a poem”.

DREAM. “I am at my friend’s place as a guest with some people unknown to me”.

DREAM. “Me and my friend walking along a dark street.”

DREAM. “Some of my acquaintances blame me for stealing something”

DREAM. “I study at the courses with two friends of mine or some people whom I knew before. Both of them say that they do not know me and, in the presence of others, pretend that we are not acquainted. I behave the same way”.

DREAM. “I know that my friends made phone calls and agreed that he should back me up at the exam”.

DREAM. “His face resembled to me some of my university friends”.

Discussing the room for the seminar.

Constraint when communicating with strangers.

“I missed my friend‘s wedding party”.

The sun. Brightness / Clarity.

The perception of objects is more vivid.

“We have a solar eclipse today. The impression is that birds have lost their vision and are waiting for it to come back.”

“I called a friend and suggested to her to make a homeopathic remedy from the solar eclipse and prescribed what to do and how to do it.

“Today is a very sunny day, I felt this. The snow is blinding.”

“Happiness in the morning because of the sunny weather.”

“I am conscious that the outlines of the objects are brighter and clearer, even of the tiny ones.”

DREAM. “I am walking amongst the hills covered with a white snow carpet. The sun is blinding.”

Sun. Ice. White color.

DREAM. “I am walking amongst the hills covered with a white snow carpet. The sun is blinding. The air is fresh and frosty.”

“Chilly. When falling asleep the body feels as if made of ice.”

“I found myself in some wild place – I am in the middle of wasteland covered with snow, with hills and snow around. Dots of light afar. The road and the snow run into one.”

“I recollected all kinds of animals, the way they live. I feel that I myself as a frozen crocodile right now.”

“The music from some fairy tale about the New Year holiday.”

DREAM. “I am looking for a job closer to my home. I am walking along a snow field in the town where I live now.”

“I went outside. The snow was blinding. It was too bright.”

DREAM. “My girl insists on me receiving the patients saying: ‘Here you have white forms for every patient’.”

DREAM. “I am hugging a girl in a white kerchief “.

Symmetry. Geometry. Gothicism. Castles.

“I am lost among the mountains. The hills of snow are of an accurate geometric form.”

“Symmetric spots appeared on palms.”

“I have developed itch and rash where I had a trauma of my leg before; the same appeared symmetrically on the “healthy” leg. “

“An unknown town is located on the hill. The road is a ravine that accurately divides the town-hill into two equal parts.”

“The town is a gothic castle cut out in the rock.”

“A tall skyscraper. It looks like crooked and declined in my direction.”

“I find myself among huge elongated crystal castles of the Western European style”.

“A girl with a beautiful face but the left eye is missing. I keep being bewildered that she has no eye and her eye–pit is hollow.”

Time. Past – Future. Fast – Slow.

DREAM. “I realized that I recovered and was going to correct my mistakes that I did in the past. I will start from my moving back in time.”

“In the evening I was sitting at the light of a lamp feeling quiet as if I was young again. “

“I could travel in my mind into different periods of my early childhood and could see pictures that I had forgotten long time ago.”

DREAM. “The ways of birth. If this way – one thing happens, if that way – another thing happens”.

“The time seems running too fast.”

“It seems that the time is constricted into one dot.”

“Fussiness. Hurry. Feeling as if I am late to do something.”

“Unwillingness to hurry, slow thinking. Swaps of the mood.”

“My usual sluggishness has switched to fast pace of movements and actions.”

“Can hardly think. I must go to the office, slowly.”

“I do not speed up the process. I accept it as it is.”

“I am late all the time.”

DREAM. “I was two minutes late for the train”.

DREAM. “All of a sudden a train is crossing a field of snow… I am trying to jump into the train on the move despite the absence of a platform.”

DREAM. “I was late to go out of a public building. The lights were switched off and the doors were being closed”.

“I was behind and they locked me in the building after the studies (at the course).”

“I am going in cycles in my problem. If some situation occurred it runs over and over again even at night. It hampers my sleep, it prevents from thinking of something else.”

DREAMS. “I missed a week of my study at the course”. “I came for the studies but I want to run away.”

DREAM. “I am in the past; ...I go out to a large field with hundreds of students passing the last exam, suddenly the dean says, that’s it, the exam time is out”.

Doctors. Treatment / Vision. Eyes.

“On that day they requested the pharmacy to finish preparation of two homeopathic remedies.”

“I chaired the doctors’ board. The cosmoenergist told me that the potency had run out already.”

“A friend called me, offered an herb specialist to me to treat the liver.”

“We have a solar eclipse today. The impression is that birds have lost their vision and are waiting for it to come back.”

DREAM. “I work as an ophthalmologist somewhere. A man comes with complaints of his right eye. I find out that he has glaucoma. I have neither the forms to fill in nor the seal. I handle the prescription with big difficulty.”

DREAM. “The girl without the left eye says, go and take patients’ cases. I refuse because I feel indolent and scared. I answer that I am unwell and I have come to listen to the theory. I will leave if it is necessary to receive patients. I tell that I will treat only the eye diseases and nothing else… Then they show me a card filled in with the diagnosis and the treatment course. I am surprised how simple it is”.

DREAM. “I understood that I recovered and I was going to correct the mistakes that I made in the past when I was unwell… It was the moment of time when I did not have the doctor’s certificate.”

“At the seminar I was sharing my experience in treating psoriasis.”

“After taking the remedy I can read without screwing my eyes, even small script.”

“The vision is clearer even through the glasses.”

“I can see into the distance with eyes wide open. The sharpness of shapes has become evident.”

DREAM. “I can read small print without glasses”.

DREAM. “A discussion of treatment results at my patient’s home. I do not clearly see him and his mother. His grandmother says, look at the spots attentively”.

“In the evening I noticed that I can see the outlines brighter, and my vision is clearer (myopia, -3 both eyes).”

“Visited bioenergy therapist. One must register a visit to him long beforehand.’

Money / Coins

DREAM. “A purse full of banknotes and various coins”.

DREAM. “My bag is stolen. I have another one, however, with money scattered in it in a complete mess.”

“Recurrent dreams about money. In a dream, somebody tried to scare me: “You will stay without a single ruble!”

DREAM. “I enter a classroom. My desk is the first from the left. There are scattered coins on it and under it, with the pictures of different animals (like in Malta). Some of the coins are not finished yet; they are only printed on paper but not stamped yet. Those around me try to persuade me to keep all the coins with me because a lot of people need them.”

DREAM. “A man squabbles to get a free prescription.”

Childhood. Children / Parents.

DREAM. “I frightened others’ children and they were crying.”

Recurrent dreams about kidnapping.

DREAM. “I am in a strange castle town where I am trying to find my daughter kidnapped as a baby five years ago. They introduce to me a girl in a white kerchief. I hug her, cry of happiness. I am surprised that she is not an infant (as I imagined).”

“I received a postcard from my granddaughter, with a jumping bird pecking a worm in it.

“At night I sang a song to my granddaughter (who lives in another country) about a small pot, and I imagined that we cuddle each other.”

DREAM. “I am pregnant, this is very good, and it is a big happiness, a perfect condition.”

“Very strong and warm attitude towards the parents especially to the mother. Such a feeling can probably only be in the childhood.”

Daughter was laughing when sleeping. She asked not to wake her up and to allow her to see the dream to the end. I woke up from that.

“My daughter cried and thrashed about while sleeping.”

“Straight after taking the drug my consciousness dived into the recollections of the childhood. I could travel to different phases of my childhood. I had lasting dreams about my childhood.”

“In the first night I saw my infantile dream, which had shocked me at that time. “

“Suddenly I understood how strong my parents’ love towards me is and how much they did for me. I was wrong to have taken offence at them because they wished only the good for me.”

“When I had fever I asked my mother to come to me from the office, “Mom I am dying”.

Conflicts. Disagreements

“Desire to insist on my own way is very strong. I contradict those who do not agree with me. There is a desire to prove, to do something my own way.”

“I could not send away the driver who went with me. He seemed to have torn away a part of my heat and this hurts me.”

“Scolded my housekeeper who did not do her job as she should do”.

“A chat with my daughter. She cannot stand me repeating the same things. She has a feeling that I peck her brains. But I do want to punch, that is, at every round I get a new idea. Maybe I am a bird and she is a worm? Here you go, it’s karma.”

“How do I need to treat sick people to avoid contradiction?”

“Day and night the tension lasts, that I am going to get into a mess somehow.”

“A feeling of a conflict. Desire to slip wide of the policemen, not to fall into their hands.”

“Fixed thoughts of conflicts.”

“If a clash happens it is going over and over again in my mind for the whole night.”

“Desire to hit this problem into its mug to and to take all the tension away from myself. To influence it and to disappear.”

DREAM. “One of the guests wanted to slaughter somebody.”

“Persistent thoughts about the conflict. It hampers my sleep, and does not allow thinking about something else.”

“Desire to hide away and to be lost in the crowd in order to skip the conflict.”

“The complete self confidence.”

“Desire to tell them where they belong, those who tried to humiliate me.”

DREAM. “A man who has just returned from the war comes and rowdily demands a free prescription to cure his little daughter.”

DREAM. “People who usually treat me well say, “This Armenian insists on expelling you from the university because you are too proud, and they want to organize a test in order to check if you know something else apart from the eye diseases.” I am bursting into flame threatening to complain to the dean’s office”

DREAM. “I made a firm decision that I am sure of myself. I will stop to cringe and fawn upon the teachers. I will go complain to the dean and I will make it to the re-exam.”

DREAM. “…an impertinent young doctor resembles some of my acquaintances who used to offend and humiliate me at the university…”

“I answered sharply to the cheeky guy and thought afterwards if I went too far? Will they revenge me?”

“Lack of self-assurance, not certain about my capabilities. An emotional restraint, suppression.”

“In my dreams, I feel an unusual confidence and courage. In reality, I feel the opposite – the growing emotional restraint and despondence. There are problems communicating with people.”

DREAM. “I am jealous and suffering because of this. Nevertheless I behave calmly and confidently.”

DREAM. “A discussion of the results of the treatment of my patient…. Notwithstanding the boy’s general improvement his grandmother announces, “He is not better at all!” I oppose and say, “What are you telling me?! Look at those spots!” I have an impression that I know nothing, as it appears.”

DREAM. “Somebody was killed with a knife into the belly. On top of that, they screwed the knife. A sadistic violence.”

Singing. Music. Radio

“A frequent desire to sing.”

"I hear singing of the birds that the man walking near me doesn’t hear.

DREAM. “A friend of mine gives me a poem and I am trying to sing it.”

“I went to the market to buy a player”.

“At night I sang a song to my granddaughter about a small pot…”

“I went to work, on my way something happened to me and I started to sing songs.”

“I became more open. I even sang songs.”

DREAM. “They give me a radio set. A woman switches it on, tunes in a nice broadcast and gives it to me. I refuse to take it because it has no FM range but only the AM range. I am not interested in a good broadcast at this wave frequency range.”

“I had a constant desire to sing and kept offering others to sing.”

Note: This month several people paid my attention to birds’ singing.

Note: Another teacher for this group of students (she did not know about the proving) suggested singing several times during the lecture. After the lecture, the group sang a song together with the teacher.

Large / Small. Areas. Lost.

DREAM. “A huge yellow head of Koschei the Deathless. He holds his hand before his face and I am on his palm.”

"I felt myself in my consciousness as the smallest of small among the huge elongated crystal castles.”

DREAM. “I go out to a large field with hundreds of people passing the last exam… A huge figure of the examiner mounts over the field.”

“A strong anxiety, even worse in the underground and in narrow spaces. As if I am lost there.”

“I am looking into one point and cannot take away my eyes. I want to get away from the looks at me.

"Desire to hide and to be lost in the crowd.”

“Desire to hide myself in the room.”

DREAM. “I lost myself among the mountains.”

“A feeling of despair. There is no way out.”

The energy of the source

“In the morning after taking the remedy there is a strong energy. At the breakfast there is a sensation that some light and tender part of me has separated and hovers over me.”

Sensation of freedom, strength as if you are hovering.

Sensation of hovering in the daytime as a kite.

“I fell down in the street. At the peak of good mood I wanted to fly up but I fell down (it happened twice).”

The description of vertigo symptoms corresponds to the curve of a woodpecker’s flight.



 - fever 38.5 accompanies by extreme chills, heavy sweat. Worse at night, 01-03 a.m.

 - chills at 3 p.m.

 - chill when going to bed, sensation that body parts are icy

 - fever, worse at night. Sensation as if a “punching heat”. Followed by heavy sweat, impossible to sleep.


 - sensation of falling through, as if in an elevator duct, as if a change of air stream, “up and down”, deep fall – high rise.

 - with sensation of flushes in the head, to the occiput.

 - vision unclear. As if drunk. Desire of support, to clutch at somebody or something.

 - fear to fall down and collapse.

 - worse in closed space, narrow spaces, difficult to breath in.

 - better in the fresh air, in the open.

 - better without a cap.


 - precise and clear perception of subjects, down to smallest details

 - blurred, unclear

 - looking into one point, impossible to turn off, something makes you to look

 - looking with wide open eyes, without glasses

 - looking far with wide open eyes


 - pale, with blue circles around eyes during fever


 - strong lachrymation, as if from onion, < outdoors

 - lachrymation, both eyes, in streams

 - oedema, lower lids, mornings

 - soreness of distal corners of the eyes


 - permanent dryness in the mouth, throat

 - dry mouth, constantly

 - sensation, burned my mouth


 - thirst, strong

 - thirst, want of

 - desire tea, especially mate tea

 - coca-cola, canned juices, aversion to

 - desire of boiling water, hot water

 - desire of cold water, large quantities (during the fever)

 - aversion to liquids, any

 - appetite, want of

 - desire potato, any

 - aversion to cereals, porridge, especially rice

 - desire for salted food, adds surplus salt to the food

 - desire sugar, chocolate

Abdomen and stomach

 - sensation of strong heat in epigastria, between the right breast and the navel as if burnt through, as if a huge balloon bursts.

 - pain in the right hypochondrium, when walking

 - strong pain in the stomach, as if ulcer

 - nausea, vomiting

 - diarrhea, loose stool, several times a day

 - bright color, orange color


 - frequent

 - frequent, painful

 - urge for urination, painful, almost fainting


 - numbness

 - coldness, fingers and toes get cold, when falling asleep


 - bright pink spots on both palms

 - sensitive to washing in warm water – hyperaemia of skin

 - skin itching, face, chin, edge of lower jaw

 Two provers scalded hands during the proving


After processing and analysing the results of proving we suggest that the remedy Picus viridis carries an acute component and may belong to the Typhoid or Malaria miasm (Shankaran classification). This conclusion was made based primarily on physical symptoms. Every prover had enduring diarrhea several times a day and a frequent urination. Along with that, the provers had high fever, with heat, night and day chill and a heavy sweat repeating every day approximately at the same time. Provers lost up to eight kilos in weight.

Summarizing all the above we suggest that the core theme of Picus viridis is the focus on his own separate opinion and belief about what to do and how to do it, how to live and to survive, which is different from the opinion of others. He has proper, orderly and clearly organized principles of life, which often contradict the commonly accepted norms. His intrinsic conflict is in misunderstanding and non-acceptance of his opinion by others not belonging to his limited group of the likes, with a need to oppose and to clash. Picus viridis stubbornly insists on its own pattern, its own orderly logic and feels it necessary to prove his case. This is especially important when it concerns health.

One can trace here the connection with the source of the remedy. The woodpecker relentlessly punches the wood to get its food in a manner rather unusual for other birds. Besides, it carefully chooses the spots to peck selecting the affected wood and taking out vermin from under the decayed crust. People do not hunt them, do not capture them into cages, they preserve woodpeckers as the “doctors of the forest”.

Any bird is usually scared of being captured, to be in a cage. In human beings, this can be expressed in the life scenarios of behavior and interchange with the society. The “prison” of Picus viridis may be expressed as a problem of being the odd one out, the loner. In the nature even in the mating season, its behavior is bellicose when paying attention to a female.

The themes of ice and snow probably express the limitations and the danger to the survival in the wintertime when the food is hardly available.

The symmetry: the nest (the cave) of these birds has an accurate geometric form. It is possible that the Western Europe (the habitat of these birds) is expressed in the drug by the peculiarities of its architecture (medieval castles, churches, gothic architecture).

Singing and music: the rhythmic (musical) drumming of the woodpecker informs the environment of its intentions.

Vision, eyes, and oculists: a woodpecker does not see things located straight in front of it’s beak. It finds insects with its tongue and with the help of its fine sense of smell. The whole family is notorious for its sensitivity to smells.

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