top of page


Proving of Branta canadensis ovum
Canada Goose Egg

Remedy Abbreviation: bran-cn-o

Northwestern Academy of Homeopathy 1998


Eric Sommermann, PhD, CCH, RSHom (NA)


Source: Kathy Schurdevin collected a single egg from Waconia, Minnesota. The remedy was prepared by Eric Sommermann and sent to Michael Quinn at Hahnemann Labs in San Francisco, California for further potentization.


Christie Jergens along with other volunteers.
Themework by Sandra Haering

As the story goes...

One of the students in homeopathy school at the time was quite adamant that Eric Sommermann conduct a proving of goose.  In Minnesota geese are quite prominent and a bit of a nuisance (perhaps as she was to Eric). This student supposedly went out and collected the egg that was used to prepare the remedy.  She participated in the proving (we are not sure if she knew whether he had used the goose egg she collected or not) and had a huge healing reaction. It was likely her remedy. (This was the story that was told to us)

This began a series of provings done under the direction of Eric Sommermann.  The idea at that time was to prove substances common to the Upper Midwest United States; Canada Goose, Snapping Turtle, Sheep, and Loon.


“The birds didn’t know where they were but they weren’t lost. They knew where they were going even if they had never been there before.”
- James P. Carse

Articles and Other Printable References

Branta Canadensis Proving (Canada Goose)
By Jason-Aeric Huenecke

This article was originally published in The American Homeopath Journal and appears by permission of the North American Society of Homeopaths.

The American Homeopath Journal
Vol 14, 2008
Page 128

Branta canadensis Theme Document (29 pgs) (PDF)

Branta - Physical Rubrics (4 pgs) (PDF)

Branta canadensis Entire Proving Journal (35 pgs) (PDF)


KINGDOM: Animalia
PHYLUM: Chordata
SUBPHYLUM: Vertebrata
ORDER: Anseriformes
SPECIES: Branta canadensis; Canada goose; cackling goose

SOURCE: One whole goose egg from Minnesota provided by an alumna.


Breeding & Biology
Food Habits


Geese are usually monogamous for life; faithful to natal areas. Their nesting season is March through June. They have a clutch of four to six eggs; when weather or predators destroy their first clutch, Canada geese often renest (see list of common predators below). Their incubation varies between populations; 24 to 29 days. Fledging varies with populations; 42 to 86 days.

These geese have black heads and bills, white chinstraps, and long black necks. Their bill has lamellae, or teeth around the outside that are a used as a cutting tool. Their body is usually a light gray tone and their weight varies. Their belly colors are much lighter and almost white on the tail. During flight the tail shows a white semi-circle just above the black tail. A large wingspan provides ganders with weapons to use aggressively during the mating season (50 to 70 inch wingspan). Females may be slightly smaller (averaging 5 lbs.) than males (7 – 14 lbs.), although similar to each other in color pattern. Their legs are close together with very black feet. The average life span of the Canada goose in the wild is 10 – 25 years.


The Canada goose is widely distributed throughout North America; it occurs in or at least migrates through every state and province; natal areas are located in grasslands and chaparral areas, and on the arctic tundra. Canada geese primarily live in wetland areas dominated by emergent vegetation which grow in water but which pierces the surface so that it is partially in air. They also inhabit communities dominated by dwarf birch (Betula nana), Labrador tea (Ledum palustre), and willow (Salix). They also inhabit man-made habitats that are open and grassy. [Ref 1] [Ref 5] [Ref 6] [Ref 7]


Canada geese are herbivores and grazers which mean they eat grasses. They feed most often during early morning and late afternoon. They eat a variety of terrestrial and aquatic plants; geese eat roots, tubers, and leaves of various food plants which are usually locally abundant. Some foods include foxtail (Alopecurus), brome (Bromus), sedge (Carex arenaria), saltgrass (Distichlis), spikerush (Eleocharis), horsetail (Equisetum), fescue (Festuca), bird's foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus), orchard grass, reed (Phragmites astralis), bluegrass (Poa), smartweed (Polygonum), pondweed (Potamogeton), wigeon grass (Ruppia), glasswort (Salicornia), bulrush (Scirpus paludicola), giant burreed (Sparganium eurycarpum), cordgrass (Spartina), clover (Trifolium), and cattail (Typha latifolia). [Ref 1] [Ref 6] [Ref 7]



Canada goose predators include humans; magpies (Corvidae); crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos), and ravens (Corvus corax); gulls (Larus); parasitic jaeger (Stercorarius parasitucus); foxes (Aplex, Urocyon, and Vulpes); coyote (Canis latrans); Opossum (Didelphis virginiana); bobcat (Felis rufus); raccoon (Procyon lotor); badger (Taxidea taxus); and brown bear (Ursus arctos). [Ref 6]


Branta comes from the Old Norse meaning burnt goose, referring to there grayish appearance. [Ref 4]



Goose flesh was a source of protein for Native Americans and to European immigrants coming to North America. The goose’s feathers are made into pillows and bedding, and goose grease was considered of medicinal value.

“The action of Sambucus nigra upon the mucous membranes generally, and upon the Schneiderian membrane in particular, accounts for the use of this agent in the dry coryza of children, where it is used by homoeopathic practitioners, if the breathing should be materially interfered with while the child is nursing. In simple and transient cases, frictions on the nose with goose-grease or mutton-suet may prove sufficient.”

- Charles Julius Hempel



Traditionally used to ease coughs and colds. Mixed with herbs and applied to the chest goose grease has a long history of folk medicine use. It also relieved chapped hands and faces; and for ear infections; and to soothe rheumatism.



When geese fly high in the sky the saying, “All is well and the goose hangs high,” indicated good weather to early Americans. The goose is associated with Juno, the goddess of marriage and childbirth, adviser and protector of Rome. Geese are a symbol of marriage because of their fidelity (geese are monogamous for life). Romans and Celts associated geese, because of their watchful nature and aggressive temperament, with warriors and protectors, legend has it that their warning cries sounded when attack was eminent. The Celtic people kept geese, but did not eat them; considered totem animals or spirit guardians, geese remains and ancient warriors’ share graves. It thought that geese aided the warriors and shamans on their soul’s journeys to other worlds; therefore, the goose is a messenger between heaven and earth in many cultures. Geese are guides associated with communication, especially through the use of stories. The term of endearment “silly goose” is for silly behavior, and the scolding term “cackling goose” is for people who engage in idle chatter or gossip. Native Americans thought that a harsh winter was on its way when geese flew south in early August. [Ref 3]

“There has emerged a composite picture of the Bird Remedy that includes: nervous energy, trembling or twitching and neuropathies; disturbances of appetite and water metabolism; sharp, stitching or tense and cramping pains; pattern rather than sequential thought; empathy, spirituality and sensitivity; detachment; perfectionism and a love of nature; a lack of understanding of time and space and perhaps most important a feeling of being trapped and a desire for freedom. (See Birds by Jonathon Shore and Birds – Seeking the Freedom of the Sky by Peter Fraser)”

- Peter Fraser


Bellrose, Frank C. 1980. Ducks, geese and swans of North America. Harrisburg, PA: Stackpole Books. 3rd ed. p. 540.
Carse, James P. 1994. Breakfast at the victory: the mysticism of ordinary experience. New York, NY. HarperCollins Publishers. 1st edition. p. 27.
Huurne, Suzanne ter. The Animal Files. [Online]. Available:
Kear, Janet, and Mark Hulme. 2005. Ducks, geese and swans. Oxford University Press. p. 306.
Petersen, Margaret R. 1990. Nest-site selection by emperor geese and cackling Canada geese. Wilson Bulletin. 102)3: pp. 413-426.
Snyder, S. A. 1993. Branta canadensis. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory (Producer). Available: [2008, May 1].
USDA Wildlife Services, Living With Wildlife [Online]. Available: .

Bathroom Tiles
bottom of page