Health Happiness and Harmony with Homoeopathy

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Monday, January 20, 2014


         With our hectic modern lifestyles   and  gradual disconnection from nature's cycles as well as  increased environmental toxicity prevailing around it is no wonder that Sepia Officinalis is often called upon by the homoeopathic practitioner. Derived from cuttlefish ink, Sepia has a broad range of action over the female organism, and is one of Samuel Hahnemann's greatest contributions to the homeopathic pharmacopoeia.

Unfortunately, when we study the homeopathic profile of Sepia, our attention is mostly drawn to the unpleasant traits.  It is important to understand that these qualities come out when the person is living out of harmony with their true nature hence flowing against the  flow of nature. Whether or not Sepia   which is homeopathy's “wise woman” or “reluctant woman” or “woman stretched beyond capacity” is the remedy for you, this article is intented to reconnect with your own inner Woman and help yourself to flow with the life.

Kent says that in Sepia "love is not shown as affection", he means that love exists, but it manifestation is benumbed and cannot be expressed. There is no absence of emotions. All the love expressions, marital, paternal, and even friendship burns Sepia out, and she feels that they interrupts her privacy and independence (company agg., being alone amel. Kent). That’s why Sepia shelters in occupation and in being alert to the house and family requirements. But finally, burned out, she desires to fly away from them, but her duty feeling doesn’t let her and the indifference to loved ones comes forth.

A look at the cuttlefish provides interesting parallels to the Sepia personality. Cuttlefish, belonging to the same family of mollusks which also includes the squid and octopus, are not sedentary creatures by nature. They are in constant motion, except when in defense mode, at which time they can remain utterly still. They glide through the water smoothly and have the ability to propel themselves backwards over short distances to evade their enemies.

Like cuttlefish, Sepia types prefer to keep moving and experience improved energy from exercising, especially dancing. As for the cuttlefish’s ability to propel itself backwards, Sepias are often antisocial, requiring an exorbitant amount of personal space. Fiercely independent, they can withdraw instantly if they feel they are being cornered or obliged. The cuttlefish behaves similarly when cornered in the sea, ejecting their ink and escaping, quite literally, under a cloak of darkness. The female cuttlefish is said to have complete disregard for her eggs once they are laid; Sepia women are quite often indifferent to their families, as they are too drained to even care.

The Sepia personality type has several distinct characteristics; however, it is diverse in how it presents itself from person to person. The Sepia woman, in her healthy state, is inherently independent, often with an artistic, creative or bohemian flair. She is an intuitive individual, with an implicit knowledge of her strengths and much self-awareness. She does what she likes on her own terms, and as a result can have a hardened or masculine edge.

In many cases, a Sepia state befalls a woman when she finds herself unable to assert her independence, or is trying to be moulded into a role that is not necessarily of her choosing. Traditional marriage and/or parenting roles are suffocative to creative Sepia, and her needs often go unmet, leading to resentment of the obligations represented by her spouse or children.

This is not to say that Sepia cannot be happily married with children; however, she must have her own time and space to reflect and pay credence to her creative and spiritual side. The un-nurtured Sepia develops various negative personality traits such as impatience, irritability and downright nastiness. She is beyond any attempts at diplomacy, and her words can be harsh and direct-hitting. Too lethargic to manage basic housework, Sepia is constantly worn out and lacks any interest in work or sex (in fact, her mood may take a downward turn following intercourse, which is perceived by her as yet another chore). She may be plagued by fears of poverty or insanity.

In addition to these distinct personality traits, Sepia also displays her own unique symptomology, such as: general chilliness and sensitivity to cold air, as well as an overall aggravation by missing regular meals, from intercourse, during pregnancy, before menses, and before storms. One guiding symptom of Sepia is that of not having been well after childbirth (overall energy, loss of libido, or appearance of new complaints after that time). She may have the internal sensation of a ball - in the abdomen or the rectum, and a tendency towards constipation. There is a general feeling of weakness and bearing down; Sepia may need to cross her legs when sitting, as she feels her pelvic organs will fall out otherwise. There is an intolerance to any tight clothing around the waist. Sepia is better for warmth and gentle motion (sometimes even vigorous exercise), and is a natural dancer.

The core of the Sepia personality is simple to explain – she is like as a rubber band. Everyone in her life takes a hold of the rubber band and pulls on it, and it stretches and stretches until it eventually becomes worn out. As we all know, a worn out rubber band has no elasticity left, and the same thing happens to Sepia’s tissues. They become too lax, sagging, and her inner organs start to prolapse. 

Basically Sepia is an independent type, more independent than Natrum-mur, but her problem is, that she is not quite independent enough. She is the kind of person who wants to be everything to everybody, but at the same time, she wants time for herself, too, so she can do what SHE wants. Perhaps she wants to pursue a career, perhaps she wants to do something artistic, but whatever it is that she wants to do; it is always hard for her to find the time to do it. Everybody else’s needs always come first. 

She wants to be a good wife and mother, she may even try to be super-mom, but in her heart, she wants to do things for herself, too, and somehow, her own needs are always put on the " back-burner" because the day doesn’t have enough hours in it, or because she is too exhausted by the time everyone else’s needs have been met. These are the core issues that always go through Sepia’s life. 

In many ways, Sepia is similar to Natrum-mur. They both try to be perfect in their relationships to others, but for different reasons, and they can both be confrontative and irritable when things don’t turn out the way they wished, but their core issues are still different.

Natrum-mur believes that if she can find her soul mate, or twin flame or the absolute " perfect mate," she’ll live happily ever after, and if she isn’t happy yet in her life, she just haven’t found Mr. perfect yet. She also believes that unless she is perfect, she doesn’t deserve to be loved, so she is always striving to be perfect, and to create the perfect relationship. Sepia on the other hand, secretly feels that relationships are a bit of a "drag," because she always ends up having to compromise her own needs, in other words, she is more flexible than she should be. 

The main difference is that Natrum is much clearer about her boundaries and need for space than Sepia is, and you can feel a rigid quality around Natrum-mur, that you don’t see in Sepia. She is definitely more independent than Natrum-mur, but not independent enough, because there is always the fear of what will happen if she becomes too independent, that this is what makes her compromise. So, behind her compromise is a basic fear of being alone, and a lack of trust that she is worth loving even if she stops compromising, and this issue alone is Sepia’s greatest challenge to overcome. The fact is that she often compromises even when people don’t expect her to. In her perception, she just thinks that they do, so it is her perception of reality that really needs to change. 

Sepia on one hand, is independent and wants to do her own thing, but at the same time, she is afraid that her mate will leave her if she becomes too selfish, so she has to compromise. Compromise is never fun. Anyone that compromises her own feelings or needs knows that anger and resentment will start to build up, and this happens in Sepia, too. If she doesn’t find enough time to take care of herself and her own needs and wants, she becomes irritable and starts complaining. Yes, she wants her family, but actually, her work appeals to her more, even though she won’t admit this to anyone. She is under the delusion, that if she admits this, she will end up without a family, so she hides her feelings and tries to juggle both, and when she starts running out of time and energy, she complains. However, it is part of her story that nobody listens to her, so she has to keep compromising. 

 The first thing that happens is irritability and complaints, which her family members usually ignore or argue against. So, she keeps compromising, even though she is starting to resent it. After doing this for some time, she will also start to resent the people who are making her compromise, including her husband and children. Therefore, we can see in Sepia aversion to her husband, and even aversion to her own children. This happens, not because she doesn’t care about them, but because they demand too much of her, and she is feeling that her energy is running out without ever getting any of her own needs met. 

The next stage is indifference. This happens when her energy levels are so low that she can’t do anymore for anyone. She just wants to be left alone, like a cuttlefish sitting under a big rock, and she puts a big, dark cloud of gloominess around her to keep people away. " Leave me alone! Stop pulling on me!" This is her most basic survival mechanism. She has to get away so she can build up her energy again. 

To others it looks like she doesn’t care, she is indifferent, her feelings of love have cooled down, but that is not really the issue. The real issue is that her energy level has been so depleted through compromise and always doing too much for others that she doesn’t have enough energy left to show any more emotions towards anyone. She just wants to be by herself until her "batteries" are recharged, and if that ever happens, the love for her family will also return, because actually, she does care. If she didn’t, why would she go to so much effort to compromise her own needs all the time? She does it because she cares. 

When she reaches this state of resentment and exhaustion, it naturally affects her sex life, too. She loses interest in sex, because sex involves energy, too. Therefore, her sex drive is very variable. When she feels good and her energy levels are high, she has a strong sex drive, but when her energy is low, sex is the last thing on her mind. In fact, it can even become another source of compromise. If she is afraid her mate will leave her if she says no to him too much, she will allow him sex, even though she doesn’t enjoy it, and this, too, builds up resentment to the point where she finally says NO! 

The ideal relationship for a Sepia is one where nobody is asking her to compromise, and everyone keeps themselves happy and doesn’t expect Sepia to make them happy. She doesn’t know how to say no when enough is enough, but that is what she MUST learn in this lifetime, because relationships without some kind of compromise don’t really exist. Or, she could learn to enjoy being alone, In fact, having time for herself and her own pursuits are so important to her that she must learn to give herself the same priority that she gives everyone else in her life. She could even use a timer to divide up her day. But, however she chooses to deal with the issue of compromise in relationships, it must be resolved, or her life basically turns sour. 

The key to avoid all this suppression, is trust. Sepia has to learn to trust in her own worth. She has to trust, that even if she puts aside some time for her own "selfish" needs, it is ok. In fact, it is more than ok, it is absolutely necessary, because this is what makes her happy. Being around a Sepia when she is not happy, is pure misery for everyone involved, so her whole family would benefit from giving Sepia enough time to pursue her own interests. She just needs a lot of space to allow for her own creativity to flower. 

It is interesting to note, that a lot of women need Sepia around the time of menopause. Now, why is that? I think it makes perfect sense. The children have been raised, and perhaps even left the home. They no longer need the kind of attention that they used to, so the mother finally has some more time for herself. She can be creative, or she can explore her own interests. She may perhaps go back to school, take a job, or maybe even pursue her dreams of starting her own business. But, whatever it is that she wants to do, her family may not be totally supportive of her new ways. So, again, she builds up resentment, she complains, she develops indifference and aversions to family members.

In male Sepias we see the same issues; they always end up compromising to ensure that their mates don’t leave. They always bend over backwards to please everyone else, and because it wears them out, they become irritable and indifferent as a result. 

The good sides of Sepia: She selflessly gives to others until her own energy runs out. She means well and tries to be the best she can to everyone who is pulling on her. She gives her children a lot of freedom to be themselves, so they often grow up to become very independent. 

The dark side: her complaining, resentful, irritable side that often ends up with indifference, depression and withdrawal from the world. The truth is, Sepia’s dark side is simply a cry for understanding from the people she surrounds herself with because she doesn’t have the strength to stand up for herself and take care of her own needs. If her family would listen to her complaints, they would understand, and she could stop compromising. If they don’t, however, life becomes miserable, and relationships become a burden.


The following are some conditions for which Sepia has proven itself effective, time and time again:

- Pre-Menstrual Syndrome (PMS): The Sepia woman may appear indifferent and/or irritable prior to her period, often taking her foul mood out on those closest to her (i.e., her partner or children). She will be fatigued, snappy, and chilly, and markedly worse for missing meals. 

 - Candida Albicans, also known as yeast infections: A person requiring Sepia will likely experience extreme vaginal itchiness, accompanied by a yellow or greenish discharge.
l Headaches and migraines: Sepia women tend towards migraines (worse before or during her period, during pregnancy, or before a thunderstorm) which start over the left eye and may extend to the nape of the neck. 

- Complaints of Pregnancy:
Pregnant women are often catapulted into a Sepia state on becoming pregnant, suffering from chloasma (the “mask of pregnancy”), morning sickness (worse from the sight/smell of food), extreme weariness, and constipation. Those lacking emotional or physical support, experiencing headache, varicose veins, and constipation would likely benefit from Sepia, as are women who have a history of miscarriage around five and seven months of pregnancy. Expectant mothers who already have children are especially prone to a Sepia state.

- Post-Partum Complaints: Women who have a lack of interest in their families, irritability and lowered energy (sexual and otherwise), are all Sepia candidates. 

- Menopause:
Think of Sepia in all cases of hormonal imbalance. The menopause of Sepia is typified by hair loss, irritability, hot flashes, profuse night sweats, and leaving the woman feeling overwhelmed and/or indifferent. Sepia women may have involuntary attacks of weeping, without knowing why.

- Circulatory Problems:
Sepia women, with their innate desire to keep moving, are especially prone to stasis and stagnation. Apart from overall chilliness, and especially coldness of the extremities, they may likely suffer from varicose veins and bleeding, protruding hemorrhoids (often accompanied by constipation).

In his masterly exposition on Sepia - a study in perspective, our respected teacher Dr K N Kasad states that the essence of Sepia lies in a failure to accept the passive feminine role in life. This rejection results in suppression of all feminine impulsive, instinctual urges, including suppression of sexual function. Biologically this suppression of sexual drive and feminine traits distorts all life activities, bringing about disorders at various levels of soma and psyche, as under:

Circulatory disturbances - different vasomotor effects
Congestive disorders i.e. venous stasis
A state of general spasticity and rigidity involving both voluntary and involuntary muscle groups and organs
A state of nervous irritability and emotional instability.

Dr Kasad continues: "At the emotional level, this 'masculine protest' makes woman a bustling, nervous, fidgety opinionated shrew. She is restless, anxious, depressed, sad, silent, solitary and weepy (especially when narrating her symptoms.)"

"She is sensitive, easily offended, moody, fault-finding with an aversion to company, yet with a fear of being alone. Averse to consolation. Stilled affections with indifference to loved ones, especially family members (the husband in particular). She is at variance with herself, her family, at her place of occupation and in society. She is therefore a misfit in life."

"She has limited powers of adaptation to the environment, both emotional and physical. Suppressed hostile impulses express themselves in a multitude of psychosomatic disorders."

Dr (late) Sarla Sonawala coined a phrase "he-woman" to sum up a Sepia personality. She poetically describes the scenario thus:
"Do not espouse a Sepia spouse
Else you'll have ample time to grouse
And if you too are such
You will blow up your house.

On the other hand, Dr Philip M Bailey says in his book Homoeopathic Psychology that Sepia is predominantly a female type and she is her own unique version of a woman. She is naturally independent and unlike Natrum she is just being herself and refusing to let other people mould her personality to their own ends. This independence sometimes gives her certain masculine appearance to others. Sepia woman, according to him, has less of a front and her independence results from her celebration of her own uniqueness and the sense of power she receives from her own connection with her body and earth. This sense of power is feminine and depends on being sensitive to one's body.

Dr Clarke in his introduction on this remedy in his Dictionary quotes Teste saying that it is suited to young people of both the sexes or rather persons between pubescence and the critical period of life; of delicate constitutions, with pure white skins or skins having a rosy tinge and particularly such as those who are exhausted by sexual excesses.

Dr Kent describes Sepia as suited to tall, slim women with narrow pelvis and lax fibers and muscles; such a woman is not well-built as a woman. With hips of a well-built man she is not built for child bearing; to a great extent the remedy seems to abolish the ability to feel natural love and to be affectionate.

                                                                           Compiled by 
                                                                     DR.MAYURI SANGHVI

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