Ambra grisea is an animal remedy. It belongs to the sycotic miasm. Like other animal remedies it has the quality of divided will. It has two wills and has a kind of contempt for self. It also has traits such as animation, loquacity, sexuality, playfulness, love of animals, etc.
It is a sycotic remedy; an Ambra grisea woman feels that something is wrong with her that needs to be covered up. There is an intensely dirty feeling about herself. The expression “I feel like shit” aptly describes the main feeling of Ambra. The feeling is that something in her is intensely disgusting and that this part should never be exposed or she will be completely forsaken. Ambra feels a tremendous sense of embarrassment. Other remedies like Silicea, Carbo vegetabilis, Plumbum, Gelsemium, etc., also have something of this feeling, but Ambra feels it intensely and is acutely conscious of the slightest thing she does. This embarrassment is more when it comes to personal habits like passing stool and urine.
The symptom of Ambra: “Cannot pass stool in presence of others” describes this feeling exactly as if to say that “this disgusting part in me should never be revealed to others or they will consider me disgusting”. This symptom means that the patient cannot even have somebody in the next room when he is passing stool. It means that the sounds that he makes in the toilet embarrass him so much that he cannot bear the thought of somebody standing even in the next room. He would like to clear the whole house before he passes stool, to see that there is nobody around. This is the nature and degree of embarrassment in Ambra. Indeed, he cannot even bear the thought of going to somebody else’s house, afraid he may get an urge for stool. When he gets the urge for stool, he gets anxious: “Anxiety with ineffectual urging for stool”. This is a form of anticipatory anxiety in Ambra grisea.
This feeling of embarrassment creates tremendous shyness in company and in the presence of strangers. Because of its symptoms “Bashful” and “Strangers, in presence of” it comes quite close to Baryta carbonica. But Ambra has this very acute feeling of embarrassment which Baryta carbonica doesn’t have; Baryta carbonica has a tremendous irresolution which represents the feeling of lack of capability, which is not seen in Ambra.
Young girls with this Ambra feeling, in their embarrassment can talk in a flitting, flighty manner. They can also become mischievous and play pranks that are very much in keeping with this theme of shame and shamelessness. Embarrassment about one’s own body is one of the main themes. Also there is a feeling of embarrassment after doing something she considers disgusting or shameful.
Among other symptoms of Ambra I have noted: “Fear of night” and fear “As if diabolical faces crowd upon her to swallow her”. I have also noted in Ambra a love for whales.
o Anxiety, company, when in.
o Anxiety stool before, ineffectual desire for, from.
o Company, aversion to, presence of other people worsens symptoms, desire
o Company, aversion to, presence of people intolerable to her during stool.
o Delusion, faces sees, diabolical around, upon him.
o Delusion, faces sees, hideous.
o Fear, strangers of.
o Timidity, bashful.
o Timidity, company in.
o Modern society girls.
o Strangers, presence of, aggravates.
o Embarrassement aggravates.
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To read about the philosophical approach to developing these remedy pictures, see Dr. Sankaran’s introduction to Soul of Remedies: