People often ask me if homeopathy can do anything for hormonal problems, and I have to tell them, “Yes, indeed, it can.” In fact, more often than not, the health problems that women experience are related to hormonal imbalances, whether they are headaches that occur right around the time the period is due, to heightened emotional sensitivity, leading to angry outbursts or crying spells premenstrually, to the hot flashes of menopause. Joint pains, gastrointestinal problems and innumerable symptoms and states in between, may also be hormonally influenced. These problems are all amenable to homeopathic treatment and the women who seek homeopathy as an alternative to western treatment approaches have no regrets.
Today I want to tell you briefly about one woman’s hormonal remedy that is very frequently needed, and that can produce very dramatic health changes in the women who take it. This remedy is called Sepia. It is a remedy from the animal kingdom, and it hails from the sea. It is the ink which is secreted by the little cuttlefish, an independent creature that prefers to swim alone and resembles a miniature octopus. When this little cuttlefish wants to avoid its predators or catch its prey, it secretes a black ink cloud to hide it from view. So it is said that women who need Sepia can also emit a black cloud with their moods and anger.
Homeopathically there are some features which make this remedy distinctive and not too difficult to spot. Rajan Sankaran, a great teacher of homeopathy, describes the person who needs Sepia as someone who is forced to do something against her will, out of a feeling of not being good enough. He says that Sepia women often do not feel attractive to the opposite sex, so to keep their spouses happy, they try to do what they want. This means the Sepia woman may have sex with her husband when she does not really want to, or she may try to please him by becoming the perfect wife who has a successful career, while running her household and caring for her children. The effort of all this can become too much for her, and she may become worn-out, tired, irritable, sad, indifferent, and withdraw into herself (or wish that she could). Another author and teacher of homeopathy, Catherine Coulter, says in her book, Portraits of Homeopathic Medicines, that “the classic picture is the woman seeking emancipation from her traditionally passive and too limited role as wife and mother in the home.”
Sepia can also be used for men, but I will speak of it in this article on how it relates to women’s health problems, because in my experience it is primarily a women’s hormonal remedy. The Sepia state often comes on after a hormonal shock to the system, such as menarche, pregnancy, menopause, long and difficult labors, miscarriage, hysterectomy, and the use of birth control pills. All of these can be an etiology, or underlying instigator of the Sepia state. This remedy can manifest its symptoms in all areas, but has a particularly strong affinity to the female pelvic organs. The remedy is known for bearing down sensations in the pelvis, and for “ball sensations” internally, such as the sensation of a ball in the rectum. The tendency for prolapse of the pelvic organs is also present in Sepia. Sexual dysfunction of one form or another dominates in this remedy. This can range from vaginal dryness, to painful sex, aversion to sex or low sex drive, and lack of orgasm.
Sepia is a remedy for hormonal imbalances, and is often indicated in women who have a slightly more masculine build, such as straight rather than curved hips. Sepia women are also very often athletic, and even though they generally may feel weak, they often feel much better from vigorous exercise. This is, in fact, one of the first remedies I think of for women who are actively involved in sports. The exercise they take may be in the form of dance rather than athletics, as this is one of the main remedies for passion to dance in homeopathy. Sepia and Carcinosin both share this love of dance and amelioration from exercise, as well as many other symptoms.
Sepia women are often career-oriented, rather than oriented toward raising a family, though they may be engaged in both activities simultaneously, and having a rough time balancing the two. If they are raising a family, even though they love their family dearly, it can be a stress on them. Occasionally people who need Sepia have a difficult time showing affection, or they can be indifferent to the people they love, and have a lot of anger or aversion to their spouse. These feelings often come to the fore right before the period is due, in the form of PMS anger.
Sepias tend to suffer from weakness and low energy in general, and the worst time of day for them is often three to five o’clock in the afternoon. Other distinctive features of the Sepia profile are a love of watching thunderstorms, which Carcinosin and Lycopodium also share, aggravation from doing the laundry, a yellow-brown saddle or discoloration across the cheeks and nose, a desire for chocolate, vinegar, lemons and pickles.
There is much more to tell about Sepia, but to make it more interesting, I will let the following story of a woman who benefited from this remedy, speak of its marvels.