Sepia in Nature
It is the function of creative man to perceive and to connect the seemingly unconnected1
This special study is our effort to connect the seemingly unconnected aspects of Sepia. It is a study, which encompasses its study in nature, its in-depth analytical study of proving notes in homoeopathic literature, their correlation to each other and then utilizing that understanding for the benefit of curing patients. So in a way, that is the lineage in which you should read this study to benefit most from this presentation.
Through this special study it is our endeavor to illustrate a true and fascinating method of studying proving, so that an otherwise dull and dry reading gets converted into an adventure, into knowing what is the essential of Sepia as a remedy, and then you can emulate the same when you study other remedies. It is very rare that students are exposed to this kind of a study, especially in this manner. It is usual to find students of homoeopathy mugging up the keynotes of Sepia from probably the third or fourth generation homoeopaths and in that process form a picture of the remedy. The pitfall is that out of hundred Sepia patients that destiny throws at you, you are able to recognize only one, i.e. the picture that you have formed. The other presentations will simply fly out of the butterfly net of your senses. But if you study the provings in this meaningful way, then the portrait of the remedy comes forth. You understand its essentials. In a way, you understand the remedy Sepia, but you do not have any picture of it.
It is our humble suggestion that you read this study from the beginning to its conclusion. Do not start reading from anywhere in the middle for it will not lead you anywhere. The purpose of sharing with you is to make you think, but thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably why so few people engage in it. 2
But think you must, for the loss that you will incur having those fixed remedy pictures in your mind is immense! For that you need to change, for ‘things do not change; we change’3
Sepia in nature …
When is a fish not a fish? Em! Okay, er! Em! It’s not a funny joke, actually it’s just a fact… cuttlefish are not fish!
One of the most mystifying creatures of the deep, the cuttlefish has abilities and even senses that are alien to us humans. This versatile animal can change its appearance at will, mimicking floating vegetation or rocks on the seafloor. Yet when danger looms, the animal can jet away at great speeds, shooting out a smoke screen of ink or using its ink to create decoys of itself. How does the cuttlefish accomplish all this? Below, take a look at select parts of this octopus relative and learn more about how this master of deception and disguise functions. — Rima Chaddha
Cuttlefish are much more closely related to garden slugs and snails than they are to fish. They belong to the same group of animals as the octopuses, squid and nautilus and like a snail they are all molluscs. Cuttlefish are unique within this group, in that they have a gas filled bone within their bodies, which allows them to be buoyant. You may have seen cuttlebones before, sticking out from the bars on a budgie’s cage? The bone is within the body part of the animal called the mantle and attached to the mantle is a head with eight arms and two feeding tentacles. The cuttlefish is an ambush predator and a master of disguise. Its skin is covered with special cells called chromatophores, iridophores and leucophores that reflect light in many different colours enabling the cuttlefish to blend into its background almost perfectly. Some say it’s like a chameleon but it is far superior in its ability to change colour and even the texture of its skin! A cuttlefish will steadily, using its camouflage, sneak up on its prey. Their preferred diet is crabs or fish, and when it is close enough it opens apart its eight arms and out shoot two deceptively long feeding tentacles. On the end of each is a pad covered with suckers that grasp hold of the prey and quickly pull it close to the cuttlefish’s mouth that looks like a parrot’s beak. The scientific name for a cuttlefish is Sepia. In years gone by sepia ink, which is derived from cuttlefish, was used by artists for their paintings. For the cuttlefish this ink is a decoy, a means of escape from predators. If a large fish were to attack a cuttlefish it would eject a cloud of dark brown, almost black ink towards its attacker! The predator would get a mouthful of ink that tastes nasty and coats its nostrils. Meanwhile the cuttlefish is hidden from view and propels itself away backwards by using its own jet propulsion system, its siphon. The eggs of cuttlefish are laid in clumps together and are often coated in ink from the mother; this serves as camouflage for the eggs. They hatch at a much further developed stage than an octopus does and immediately start feeding on suitably small shrimp.
Anatomy of a Cuttlefish
Arms and Tentacles:
Both the arm (top) and the tentacle (bottom) are lined with suckers.
Unlike the octopus’s arms, which that animal often uses to move and carry objects, the cuttlefish’s eight arms are specialized for grasping prey after the cuttlefish captures it with its two elongated tentacles. When potential food sources such as fish or shrimp swim near, the cuttlefish can alter the color of its skin while waving its arms in a mesmerizing display. This lures potential prey to within reach of the cuttlefish’s tentacles, which can then shoot rapidly from a pocket at the base of the arms to grab the prey. The arms are also important for a defensive display in which the cuttlefish sucks water into its mantle cavity and spreads its arms in order to appear larger to its potential opponent.
The dark area seen here is part of the cuttlefish’s strong, sharp beak, the rest of which lies behind the buccal (cheek) mass.
The cuttlefish’s beak looks much like a parrot’s beak, but it is hard to see because it lies buried at the base of the animal’s eight arms. The cuttlefish can use its beak to help subdue prey and to defend itself against predators and rivals by biting. Like cuttlebones, beaks differ among species, and their remains enable scientists to identify which cuttlefish species have lived and died in certain areas.
Unlike in mammals, the cuttlefish’s optic lobes are located outside of its cartilage brain casing. Above is a transverse cross-section of the cuttlefish brain.
The cuttlefish has one of the largest brain-to-body size ratios of any invertebrate, perhaps even larger than that of the octopus. The cuttlefish brain can handle input from a variety of senses, including sight, smell, and even “sound” (in the form of pressure waves). According to some scientists studying cephalopod learning, the cuttlefish can use visual clues to solve mazes, making it as intelligent as the octopus or land animals like the pigeon.
The rigid cuttlebone allows the cuttlefish to keep a constant internal volume, unlike a fish’s swim bladder, which expands and contracts with depth.
A defining characteristic of the cuttlefish, is an internal structure called the cuttlebone, which is composed of calcium carbonate and is porous, to provide the cuttlefish with buoyancy making it functionally similar to swim bladders in fish. Cuttlebones have both gas-filled forward chambers and water-filled rear chambers. Changing the gas-to-liquid ratio in the chambered cuttlebone can regulate buoyancy. Each species has a distinct shape, size, and pattern of ridges or texture on the bone. Although it can take hours for the cuttlefish to change its density through its cuttlebone alone, the animal can control its positioning in the water with the aid of its specialized fins and mantle. Cuttlebones are traditionally used by jewelers and silversmiths as moulds for casting small objects. They are probably better known today as the tough material given to parakeets and other cage birds as a source of nutritional and dietary calcium supplement. The cuttlebone is unique to cuttlefish, one of the features contrasting them with their squid relatives.
A cuttlefish looks on through its large eye. Note the smoothly curving W shape of its pupil.
Although color-blind, the cuttlefish has two of the most highly developed eyes in the animal kingdom. The organogenesis of cephalopod eyes differs fundamentally from that of vertebrates like humans. Superficial similarities between cephalopod and vertebrate eyes are examples of convergent evolution. It can see well in low light and can also detect polarized light, enhancing its perception of contrast. They have two spots of concentrated sensor cells on their retina (known as fovea), one to look more forward, and one to look more backwards. The lenses, instead of being reshaped as they are in humans, are instead pulled around by reshaping the entire eye in order to change focus. Also, the cuttlefish’s eyes are very large in proportion to its body and may increase image magnification upon the retina, while the distinct “W”-shaped pupil helps control the intensity of light entering the eye.
The cuttlefish’s undulating fins can move more freely than fish fins because they lack both bony and cartilaginous supports.
While the cuttlefish uses its mantle cavity for jet propulsion, it relies on its specialized fins for basic mobility and maintaining consistent speeds. Resembling a short, flouncy skirt, the muscular fin can maneuver the cuttlefish in nearly any direction: backward, forward, even in circles, with such movement being more energetically efficient than jetting. The movement and positioning of the fins also come into play when smaller males in certain species mimic the opposite sex in order to swim past larger males and gain access to females.
Gills, Hearts, and Blood:
The cuttlefish’s pair of orange gills (one appears above) filter oxygen from seawater and deliver it to the bloodstream.
The cuttlefish has three hearts, with two pumping blood to its large gills and one circulating the oxygenated blood to the rest of its body. The blood itself is blue-green in color because it possesses hemocyanin, a copper-containing protein typical in cephalopods—cuttlefish, octopuses, and squids—that transports oxygen throughout their bodies. (Mammals’ red blood uses the iron-rich protein hemoglobin to do the same thing.)
The dark ink sac can be seen clearly in this image of part of the mantle cavity.
Like its close relatives, the squid and octopus, the cuttlefish is equipped with an ink sac that can help it make a last-ditch escape from predators that hunt by sight. The cuttlefish can eject its ink in two ways. One way creates a smoke screen behind which the animal can escape perceived danger. In the other, the released ink takes the form of “pseudomorphs,” or bubbles of ink surrounded by mucus that are roughly the size of the cuttlefish and can act as decoys. The ink, which contains dopamine and L-DOPA, a precursor to dopamine, may also temporarily paralyze the sense of smell in predators that hunt by scent.
This ink was formerly an important dye, called sepia. Today artificial dyes have replaced natural sepia. However, there is a modern resurgence of Jewish people using the ink for the techelet dye on their Tallit strings.
In this scanning electron microscope image, “L1” and “L2” mark the lateral lines, while “A” indicates the cuttlefish’s arms.
Although the cuttlefish can’t hear, it can detect sound in the form of pressure waves using its lateral epidermal lines. Seen here via a scanning electron microscope, these lines consist of thousands of hair cells. The cells seem to be especially sensitive to sounds ranging between 75 and 100 Hz, with 100 Hz being similar in frequency to a typical automobile engine running at maximum speed. One physiological study showed that in total darkness, healthy cuttlefish could capture about 50 percent of available prey, whereas cuttlefish with compromised epidermal lines could capture only about 30 percent. The hair cells can also be used in defense, allowing cuttlefish to detect the movement of possible predators.
In this view of the inside of an adult cuttlefish’s mantle, the orange gills and dark ink sac are clearly visible.
The multifunctional mantle cavity is important for cuttlefish locomotion, giving the animal its characteristic jet propulsion ability. To jet away from a predator, the cuttlefish sucks water into the cavity and then uses its strong mantle muscles to expel the liquid with great force, driving the cuttlefish in the opposite direction. Water exits through a movable part called the funnel, which controls the angle of the spray. The mantle cavity also aids in respiration by bringing water to the animal’s gills, which in turn filters oxygen into its bloodstream.
Males and females face each other and embrace while mating.
During mating, the male uses a modified arm to transfer his genetic material into the female’s buccal area. This is the part of the female’s mouth that stores the male’s spermatophores (sperm packaged in special containers) until she is ready to use them to fertilize her eggs. Because the female often accepts more than one mate, the male sometimes sprays water through his mantle funnel into the female’s buccal area to wash out other males’ spermatophores. When she is ready to deposit her eggs in safe locations such as under rocks or in discarded shells, the female uses her arms to wipe the stored spermatophores onto each egg.
Stripes ripple across a cuttlefish’s skin.
An infant cuttlefish protects itself with camouflage. Cuttlefish are sometimes called the chameleon of the sea because of their remarkable ability to rapidly alter their skin colour at will. When it comes to changing one’s skin color, the cuttlefish outshines even the chameleon, in both degree and kind. Its skin possesses up to 200 chromatophores (pigment cells) per square millimeter, allowing the animal to pattern itself with a variety of colors. Their skin flashes a fast-changing pattern as communication to other cuttlefish and to camouflage them from predators. When vying for a mate, for example, some male cuttlefish will showcase “intense zebra displays”. This color-changing function is produced by groups of red, yellow, brown, and black pigmented chromatophores above a layer of reflective iridophores and leucophores, with up to 200 of these specialized pigment cells per square millimeter. The pigmented chromatophores have a sac of pigment and a large membrane that is folded when retracted. There are 6-20 small muscle cells on the sides, which can contract to squash the elastic sac into a disc against the skin. Yellow chromatophores (xanthophores) are closest to the surface of the skin, red and orange are below (erythrophores), and brown or black are just above the iridophore layer (melanophores). The iridophores reflect blue and green light. Iridophores are plates of chitin or protein, which can reflect the environment around a cuttlefish. They are responsible for the metallic blues, greens, golds, and silvers often seen on cuttlefish. All of these cells can be used in combinations. For example, orange is produced by red and yellow chromatophores, while purple can be created by a red chromatophore and an iridophore. The cuttlefish can also use an iridophore and a yellow chromatophore to produce a brighter green. As well as being able to influence the color of the light that reflects off their skin, cuttlefish can also affect the light’s polarization, which can be used to signal to other marine animals, many of which can also sense polarization. The cuttlefish can also use muscles in its dermis to change its skin texture from smooth to rough, enabling it to hide easily among rocks on the seafloor, for instance.
Blood: The blood of a cuttlefish is an unusual shade of green-blue because it uses the copper-containing protein hemocyanin to carry oxygen instead of the red iron-containing protein hemoglobin that is found in mammals. The blood is pumped by three separate hearts, two of which are used for pumping blood to the cuttlefish’s pair of gills (one heart for each gill), and the third for pumping blood around the rest of the body. A cuttlefish’s heart must pump a higher blood flow than most other animals because hemocyanin is substantially less capable of carrying oxygen than hemoglobin.
Toxicity: Recently it has been discovered that the Pfeffer’s Flamboyant Cuttlefish’s muscles contain a highly toxic compound that is yet to be identified. Research by Mark Norman with the Museum Victoria in Queensland, Australia has shown the toxin to be as lethal as that of a fellow cephalopod, the Blue-ringed octopus.
Cuttlefish as food: Cuttlefish are caught for food in the Mediterranean and East Asia. Although squid is more popular as a restaurant dish all over the world, in East Asia dried cuttlefish is a highly popular snack food.
As you have gone through the above notes pay attention to the section on eyesight, movement, and the survival characteristics of Sepia; of course not to over look the ink sac, as it is this ink that was used in the proving. We leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. If you understand it, well you will see the correlation coming through in the proving and this also illustrates the principle that in a part is hidden the essence of the whole.
Sepia – Essentials emerging through homoeopathic Proving
“Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” … Abigail Adams
Sepia – a study from source books …
We have studied Sepia in nature now let us study from the source books the simple language of expression of this remedy. When we say the source books we mean The Chronic Diseases10, Materia Medica Pura8, Dr. Hering’s Guiding Symptoms9 and Dr. Allen’s Encyclopedia10.
Studying the sensation and function and understanding the verb takes one deeper in understanding the essentials of a remedy. It is only the study of the source that will take you to the understanding of the very essential of which the remedy is made, and it is this very essential that a physician narrows down to when he views, listens to and remarks by his other senses in silence when receiving a case.
That which is characteristic about the remedy in a proving, will, as when receiving a case, come in a more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) way to the physician studying the proving. It is only through the study of a proving that one gets to the essential of the remedy and thereafter correlates the same after case receiving.
Let us go through the different headings and see the essentials coming through. We will like you to especially pay attention to the italic bold which we have made to illustrate our point of view. (Italic bold ours)
‘Extreme loathing of life; he felt as if he could not any longer bear this miserable existence, and as if he would pine away unless he made away with himself’ …10
‘Vexatious occurrences from the past times keeps recurring to themselves, which makes him so irritable that he gets quite besides himself, and cannot contain himself’ …10
‘She is filled with concern about her health; thinks she will have consumption and soon die’ …10
‘Received news of slight illness of a friend, which caused great mental depression (at other time it would not have made the slightest impression), the condition grew on me until I became so nervous that I felt that, unless I held onto something, I should scream’…10
‘He felt oppressed in sultry weather, but becomes more cheerful when it thunders and lightens’ … 10
‘I feel very cross, and only lack a reasonable cause to vent my ill humor’…10
‘When spoken to, every idea flies from me, …’10
‘Pressure, twitches and pecking, with heat in the head, as if everything was pressing out of the forehead and the eyes,’ …10
‘Headache, as if pressing form within outwards’. 10
Headache as if eyes would fall out’. 10
Violent headache as if head would burst. 1
Constrictive headaches’. 10
Pressive contractive pain in the upper part of the head’. 1
‘… shooting above the left orbit outwardly with contraction of the eye’. 1
‘Pain in the occiput, mostly at night, and worst when lying upon it, as if hollow, and as if festering underneath, externally and internally, relieved by pressing upon it with the hand.’… 1
Violent shooting above the left orbit outwardly, with total contraction of the eyes…10
Headache every Saturday for several years; boring pain from within outward, accompanied by nausea and vomiting; > binding head up tightly and after a good sleep. …9
The eyelids are painful on awaking as if too heavy, and as if he could not hold them open. 10
Pressure above the eyes, when he goes about in bright daylight. 10
The candle-light troubles the eyes, when reading and writing, through a contractive sensation. 1
Drawing shooting pain in the internal ear, proceeding outwardly. 1
Pressing outwardly in the ear, when pressing during a stool. 10
Tension and contraction of the skin of the face, especially of the forehead. 1
Pain in the submaxillary glands per se, as if they were being squeezed; …10
Pressure upon the bladder, in the morning, and urging to urinate, but urine only comes after several minutes. 1
Constant urging to urinate, with painful forcing in the pelvis in the morning. 10
He has to urinate two or three times an hour; there is a bearing down on the bladder, …10
Feeling as if bladder were full and contents would fall out over pubes, with constant desire to push them back.9
Pressure on bladder; …9
Frequent and strong urging to urinate, with painful bearing down in pelvis, in morning; sensation referred to neck of bladder; must rise frequently at night. 3
Constant pressure on bladder with urgent inclination to pass water; sensation as if bladder and urinary organs would be pressed out, > by standing or sitting with legs crossed or by lying down; if desire to pass water is not immediately complied with, urine passes involuntarily; …9
… sensation of enlargement of bladder (subjective) which seems to fall from side to side; menses appear regularly but very painful, with bearing down; discharge is profuse, blood light-red without clots; pains resemble labor pains, is obliged to brace her feet; this condition lasts two days, after which soreness reappears in left side mostly;…9
Respiratory organs and chest:
Intense pressure on the chest, in the evening in bed. 1
Much expectoration of pus, with severe coughing, with great oppression of the chest and rattling; the least movement takes away her breath and she feels all gone…10
Oppression of chest.9
Sensation of emptiness in chest.9
Contraction and oppression of the chest, with stitches therein on deep breathing,… 3
All the time I had violent palpitation of the heart, as though it would force its way through the thoracic wall; …10
Pressure in the throat, even when the neck is covered in the loosest manner.10
Pressure in the throat, in the region of the tonsils, as if the cravat was tied too tightly. 1
Constrictive pressive throat-ache, close above and on the larynx. 10
Painful contraction and pressure in the throat. 1
G I T:
Sensation of emptiness in the stomach. 1
Pressure in the stomach after eating and when touching it. 1
Pressure in the pit of the stomach going off through a fermenting movement downward10
Sensation of fullness in the hepatic region. 1
Violent squeezing in the hepatic region, diminished by eructation and the emission of flatus. 10
Pressure in the abdomen, going off after an evacuation. 1
Undulating pressure pain in the right inguinal region, from within outward. 1
Pain in the abdomen, in the morning, quite down in the pelvis, pressing outwardly, winding and contracting. 1
Sensation of emptiness in the abdomen. 1
Sore pain in the rectum, chiefly between stools; it feels like a pressing out of the same 10
In the rectum, contractive pain, extending into the vagina10
Contractive pain in the rectum, extending from there into the perineum and into the vagina. 1
Frequent painful contraction in the anus.10
Sensation of squeezing in the anus, going off after fermentation in the abdomen.10
Protrusion of the rectum 10
Prolapse of the rectum. 10
Bearing down on the anus in the afternoon, soon after 10
Nausea as if viscera were turning inside out; inclination to vomit in morning when rinsing mouth.9
Peculiar faint, sinking emptiness or goneness at pit of stomach. 3
Painful sensation of emptiness in stomach and abdomen. 3
In abdomen: sensation of emptiness; … drawing tensive pressure; bearing down with menses; feeling of crowding and pressing downward; pressure as if everything would issue through vulva; …9
Feeling of bearing down of all pelvic organs. 3
Bearing down in pelvic region, with dragging pain from sacrum; pain extending into loins and down thighs. 9
Spasmodic contractions in abdomen, with terrible bearing down. 3
Constrictive pain in rectum extending to perineum and into vagina; pain in rectum on going to stool, persists a long time after sitting down, and finally an imperfect stool is voided, with sore, smarting pain, weight in anus, like a constant drag. 3
Distress in the pelvis, with the sick feeling, at 9 A.M., increasing during the forenoon; waked from a nap, at 4 P.M., with the distress aggravated and feeling somewhat gloomy, but battling against it; after supper, at 6 P.M., all my bad feelings left me; at 9 P.M., the bearing down feeling in the abdomen returned. At 9 A.M., the dragging and pressing sensation in the abdomen returned; pressure as though the contents would issue through the genital organs; pressing outwards in the hypogastric region, as if the bladder would fall out over the os pubis, partially relieved by hard pressure… … Pressure downwards, as if the uterus would issue through the vulva; … at 9 A.M suddenly ill, with the bearing-down feeling greatly increased in the abdomen… … Bearing down sensation, with the menses. Feeling of crowding and pressing downwards. Downward pressure in abdomen; the only way in which I could fall asleep was by assuming the knee-elbow position for a time, causing slight eructation, relief, and sleep. In the afternoon pressure in the uterus, as if everything would issue through the vulva…10
Griping in the bowels, with sensation as if they would turn inside out, 4
Sensation of emptiness in the abdomen, 4
Emptiness and lax feeling in the abdomen, after stool, 4
Severe pelvic pain, commencing in the sacrum, passing forward and down to the right knee, at 7.30 A.M.; the only relief I found was pressing against something hard, which relieved all the pain, but by crossing my limbs the pelvic pain was relieved, but the pain in the knee was much aggravated. 4
Sensation of bearing down in the pelvic region, with a slight dragging pain from the sacrum; pelvic symptoms increase; more weight and bearing down; more pain extending into the loins and down the thighs in front, with constriction of the sphincter; symptoms of the pelvic region last the longest. 4
… at 9 P.M., the bearing down feeling in the abdomen returned (second day). At 9 A.M., the dragging and pressing sensation in the abdomen returned; pressure as though the contents would issue through the genital organs; pressing outwards in the hypogastric region, as if the bladder would fall out over the os pubis, partially relieved by hard pressure…10
Strong bearing down pains. 4
Undulating pressure in the inguinal canal, from within outwards. 4
Female reproductive system:
Pressing downward, in the uterus, constricting the breath, as if everything would fall out, with colic; she has to cross her thighs to prevent a prolapse of the vagina; but nothing protruded, there was only an increase of the gelatinous leucorrhoeal discharge.10
Pressure and heavy weight or dull, heavy pain in ovaries.9
Congestion; stinging in ovary; pain in ovarian region running outwards and backward. 3
For three or four months previous to last confinements, suffered from great distension of abdomen with pain and soreness; one month previous to confinement labor like pains with discharge of serous fluid; pains subsided and returned again every three or four days until her confinement; thinks she must have discharged at least three gallons of fluid during four weeks; child was alive, after seven months, great distension of abdomen with pressure and bearing down, especially when standing or sitting a long time, a feeling as if contents would issue through external organs; general soreness through bowels; occasional discharges of serous fluid, similar to those before confinement, gushing out with force;… 9
When stooping, suddenly an intense pain in the back, like a blow with a hammer, attended with a shooting, tearing pain, so severe that he thinks he will sink down and give up breathing; the pain is relieved by pressing his back against a hard object. 1
Pressure and drawing in the legs, extending from the knees to the toes, more while sitting and lying down, better while walking.10
Heaviness of the legs, extending to the knees, as if they would drop off. 1
Drawing in the arms from above downward, extending to the fingers.10
Faint, in the morning, on rising from bed, even so as to sink down, with absence of thought; then chilliness with goose-skin and yawning for an hour; the tongue is very pale, the pulse, slow and weak.10
Anxious dream, at night, as if he was being chased, and had to run backward; when wakened, he imagined, that something which oppressed his chest was coming down upon him from above; then crawling and stitches in the chest.10
Are you able to pick the essentials the characteristics? Let us summarise and synthesize them to understand what runs through and through.
On the level of feelings:
The different feelings that express characteristically in the provings are …
Bearing down, Sink down, Drawing
Pressure, Pressing out
Fullness, Heaviness, Cannot contain, is Filled
Bursting, to Vent, Flies away
Contraction, Constrictive, Squeezing
All gone, Hollow, Empty.
On the level of sensation:
The different sensations that express characteristically in the provings are …
As if the bladder would fall out over os pubis
As though contents would issue through the genitals
As if the uterus would issue through vulva
As if bowels would turn inside out
As if every thing would fall out
As if pine away
On the level of function:
Held on to something
Better by crossing the limbs
Pressing against something hard
Pressing upon by hand
On the level of direction:
Force its way outwards
Outwards and backwards
If it is difficult to perceive and appreciate this, the individual feelings, sensation and direction are given together for your reference at a glance.
Summarization from text:
It will be appropriate to once again go through a few frames of references from the Text to understand this well.
Bearing down, especially when standing or sitting a long time, a feeling as if contents would issue through external organs; Faint, in the morning, on rising from bed, even so as to sink down,
Pressure and expulsion:
During the menses, severe pressure on the forehead, with expulsion of indurated, fetid matter from the nose. 1 Red swelling on the forearm, with pain, as from pressure on a boil. 1
With febrile heat and intermingled shaking chills, a severe headache, a dull and heavy feeling in the forehead, after previous flickering of light before the eyes, as from a thousand suns, with heat and pressure therein; attended with much nausea and oppression of the chest, as if everything was constricted, but without short breath, from morning till evening. 1
Sensation of fullness in the hepatic region. 10
Short breath, during a walk, as if the chest was full. A full feeling in the head, …10
Head feels full and hot …10
* Feeling as if the bladder were full and its contents would fall out over the pubis, with constant desire to press them back; this feeling of distension of the bladder is quite different from the pressure downwards, as if everything would be pressed through the vulva (eighteenth day), …10
Felt as if the veins were full and ready to burst, …10
The eyelids are painful on awaking as if too heavy, and as if he could not hold them open. 10
He gets quite besides himself, and cannot contain himself’ …10
She is filled with concern about her health. …10
Headache as if the head would burst, also with cough. Violent headache, as if the head would burst.
Single, violent, undulating jerks of pressive headache, …10
In the root of the nose, pressive pain.
Constrictive pressive throat-ache, close above and on the larynx.
Painful contraction and pressure in the throat.
Undulating pressure pain in the right inguinal region, from within outward.
He has to urinate two or three times an hour; there is a bearing down on the bladder, but still he has to stand a long time before the urine comes, which is then emitted without pain; if the tires to do without urinating, he feels anguish, and pressure in the bladder.
Violent shooting above the left orbit outwardly, with total contraction of the eyes, three days in succession, in the morning after rising, till noon; somewhat relieved in the air.
Shooting headache, from the eyes outward, all the day. Drawing shooting pain in the internal ear, proceeding outwardly. Pressing outwardly in the ear, when pressing during a stool (aft. 3 d.).
Pain in the abdomen, in the morning, quite down in the pelvis, pressing outwardly, winding and contracting. 1
Hollowness & Empty:
Pain in the occiput, mostly at night, and worst when lying upon it, as if hollow, and as if festering underneath, externally and internally, relieved by pressing upon it with the hand. 10
The teeth quickly become hollow. 1
Much cough with expectoration, day and night; by night, she is awakened by the cough, with a sensation in the chest as of hollowness and erosion there, as if sore. 1
Burning in the anus daily, with a hard stool, with intermixed empty tenesmus. 10
Headache, as if pressing from within outward 1,4
While walking in the cold wind I experienced dull pain through both ears, at 4.30 p.m.; the pain seemed to come from within outward (the first time I ever had earache), …10
In the evening had a severe headache, characterized by pressing pains in the temples, which seemed to press outwards, … 10
Headache: all day with great mental depression; in forenoon as if brain were crushed: as from pressure from within outward; as if head would burst; …9
Shooting headache, from the eyes outward, all the day. 1
Heaviness and sinking down of the upper eyelid. 1
Drawing shooting pain in the internal ear, proceeding outwardly. 1
Undulating pressure pain in the right inguinal region, from within outward. 1
Pain in the abdomen, in the morning, quite down in the pelvis, pressing outwardly, winding and contracting. 10
Stitching headache, outward through the eyes, the entire day. 10
Beating in the top of the head, very painful from the slightest motion, on turning the eyes and on moving the head to body, as if would force outwards, also indistinct beating during perfect quiet …10
While walking in the cold wind I experienced dull pain through both ears, at 4.30 p.m.; the pain seemed to come from within outward …10
Drawing-stitching pain in the internal ear, from within outwards…10
Colic, in the morning, quite low down in the pelvis, pressing outward, twisting and contractive, …10
… pressing outwards in the hypogastric region, as if the bladder would fall out over the os pubis, partially relieved by hard pressure. …10
Undulating pressure in the inguinal canal, from within outwards, …10
Sore pain in the rectum mostly between the stools, and like an outward pressing, even when lying, …10
Though this is not a place to really go into every small detail but as one goes through the proving symptoms one realizes the characteristic expressing through. It is only by allowing remedies to talk and tell their own story that individualization is accomplished. 5 This is no picture of Sepia … this is its revelation and our understanding through what it has revealed.
It will we appropriate to quote Jeremy Sherr as we find a lot of congruence in his way of studying and understanding remedies and patients. He writes, “In formulating the sensation and function of a case or remedy it is preferable to begin with generals and physicals rather than the mentals. The mind can be a minefield, leading us down the path of speculation.
As an example, the remedy Sepia: we can speculate on many mental themes. It would be more accurate to begin from characteristic physical sensations and functions. We recall the Sepia prolapse with a need to cross the legs or hold on with her hands – sensation falling out, function must hold on. We then find the Sepia symptom “must hold on to something or she will scream”. This is a stuck function, something she ‘must do’. She has two options, scream or hold on, i.e. expel forcefully or prevent this expulsion.
We can now scan Sepia to see if there are any other examples of this verb. On the emotional level we recall Sepia’s avarice, a need to hold on to money. Looking to the reciprocal sensation, we observe Sepia’s great fear of poverty; fear that the bank account will be empty. We can conclude that it is a fear of emptiness that leads Sepia to hold on so tightly. Thus the consistent sensation is of emptiness. Emptiness of uterus, of bank account, and the well-known description of ‘all gone empty sensation’ in the stomach. We find the same emptiness in the head, rectum and chest. It is only now that we can understand the true nature of Sepia’s emotional state. Drained by child care, menses and stress, she is empty of emotions, to husband children and life.
To perpetuate the cycle of emptiness and holding on, Sepia must expel, as in scream, prolapse or extravagance. This becomes a cycle of expulsion till empty, then hold on until full.
Function leads to sensation leads to function in a circular way. We can summarise the verb of Sepia as ‘Must expel till empty, then hold on’. The sensations, driving the functions, are inherent within. I.e. ‘feels empty, then full’. Function and form follow each other. It is interesting to note the form of Sepia, the cuttlefish; an empty vessel with tentacles for holding on, forcefully expelling ink. Sensation creates function, function creates form, form begets sensation.
It is not essential to discern exactly which is sensation and which is function. The important thing is that this understanding is not based on speculative analysis of emotions, but on well-described physicals and generals. When searching the mentals it is much easier to find the ‘verb’ of a case or remedy from original idioms. In the Sepia proving we find the following expressions: “ She is filled with concern about her health”; “As if he would pine away if he did not kill himself; “Ideas fly from me”; Vent my ill-humor”; “Oppressed in sultry weather, but become more cheerful when it thunders and lightens”; “Bloatedness of abdomen … never during walking or dancing”. These simple expressions describe the dynamic process of filling and emptying.
The skill of writing is to create a context in which other people can think.9
. This study is a process of our assimilation, synthesis and understanding but it doesn’t stop there, the ultimate pleasure is in sharing and aiding others also to understand. Obviously this does not mean that you just read what we have shared here, but in order to enjoy the whole understanding it is essential that you go through the source books yourself.
Now let us take this a step further i.e.viewing the essential through cases…
CASES of Sepia in practice
This is the case of a 50 year old lady who came for consultation in July 2002 with a long list of chronic complaints. She said, “I have no strength. I am sick since years!”
Observations: Obese, Frowns, Warts-numerous, pedunculated and of various sizes on neck.
She was suffering from, Headache, especially right sided. > By closing eyes. She kept taking pain killer tablets for it.
She had Hypertension since last 4-5 years. Her blood pressure remained in the range of 150/100 mm of Hg and this in spite of taking anti-hypertensive tablets since last 2 ½ years.
She had pain in left knee with a lot of cracking and grating while walking. She had consulted many well-known orthopedic surgeons and had done various investigations. She was advised for knee joint replacement surgery after 2 years. Severe pain and swelling of finger joints.
Body ache since last twelve years but worse since menopause.
She was suffering from obesity. In last few years she had put on a lot of weight. According to her, at the age of 26 years she weighed 49kgs and at 50 years she was 90 kgs.
She had no energy. The whole day she felt drowsy…not active.
She is menopausal since the last three years. She had dryness of vagina causing painful coition. Though she had consulted various gynecologists and taken hormone replacement treatment for it, still the problem persisted.
She also had an offensive vaginal discharge with itching in vagina.
P/H/O pain in the breasts < Menses before. >After menopause.
She had consulted a surgeon in Tata memorial hospital for her suspicion of a lump in her breast, as she was scared of cancer.
She was suffering from frequent urinary tract infection and had taken a lot of antibiotics the last 10-12 years for it.
Pricking pain in urethra. < During urination. She would feel her urine very hot.
Pain in right dorsal back < Lying on left side. > Lying on right side.
She really felt better by supporting that painful part. “I need to support that part.” So she would sit with her back resting and pressing against the back of a chair.
She also complained of…
Swelling of face and body, fetor oris, frequent coryza and sore throat. She would get choking sensation and pricking pain in throat, numbness of hands and warts since many years … she had got them cauterized but they reappeared. There was itching in warts.
Appetite: ‘very good’.
Desires: sweets…”I get tempted to eat sweets!”, non-veg., fried snacks.
Aversion: cottage cheese.
By nature, she was full of fears and anxiety about herself and her family members. She was very mistrustful especially regarding health matters. She kept consulting different doctors and ended up doing a lot of investigations for “self satisfaction”. She was concerned that she should not become like her father, who was suffering from anxiety neurosis. He had tremendous fear of heart disease and death. She said, “Every day a doctor had to visit him at night to check his pulse!” She felt she had a lot of similarities to him. She made sure that she gave only fresh food to her children. She was very particular about checking the manufacturing date while buying anything. She always checked for any cracks in the drinking water glass before giving it to her children. She was very careful and cautious. Once she noticed that the tip of her kitchen knife was broken. Immediately she rushed her daughter to the surgeon. Though he confidently assured her that the child was all right, but she insisted that an X-ray be taken and got it done for her satisfaction! Also, when her kids fell sick, she said, “ I am very quick in giving medicines.” She feared something would happen, especially when children fell sick. She would get very scared at night, as no doctor is available at that time. Even for herself she had consulted many doctors of different specializations. She was all the time under some or other antibiotics and analgesics. She was on hormone supplements, apart from anti- hypertensive and multivitamin supplements.
At the time of consultation she was going through tremendous stress as her husband had a myocardial infarction and had recently undergone coronary bypass surgery. Though a cardiac patient, he continued to smoke and drink. Financially they were very well off. Being a compulsive gambler he wouldn’t return home for one or two nights without informing her. His erratic and irresponsible behavior created fear, anxiety and stress in her.
She would get angry easily. Generally the fights between husband and wife were regarding his habit of drinking, smoking and gambling. She felt very depressed…neither at home nor outside did she feel happy.
If someone spoke lies, she would get angry. She wouldn’t care if the other person would feel hurt.
But out of all these multiple problems that she was suffering from, her major suffering was her genitourinary problem. Since last 10-12 years she was getting frequent urinary tract infections with pricking pain in the urethra. She said, “It is too painful. All the time I feel as if something is falling … something heavy.” Because of this constant sensation and pain she preferred to lie down which was the most comfortable position … or while sitting she pressed her hand on vulva to feel better.
Observation: She spontaneously demonstrated what exactly relieved her.
This sensation of something falling got aggravated before menses.
P/H/O menorrhagia. She would get copious flow in gushes, < by turning in bed.
She gets lot of problems before menses …pain in the breast, fever up to 100°F, body ache, sleeplessness, bearing down pain as if menses would appear.
Sleeplessness due to depression.
She used to sleep on her abdomen, but due to pain in the back, she started sleeping on her right side.
She had a habit of biting her nails, but stopped it from the first day of marriage.
An unprejudiced case receiving revealed a beautiful portrait of disease with absolute clarity. On the basis of following the totality of symptoms, we prescribed for her:
Sepia 6 single, minimum dose.
Anxiety, health, about
Fear, disease, of impending
Genitalia-female, pain, bearing down, uterus, lying amel.
Genitalia-female, pain, bearing down, uterus, menses, before
Genitalia-female, pain, bearing down, pressing on vulva amel.
Coition, painful, dryness, from
Head, pain, closing eyes amel.
To have clarity of vision, one has to master the art of removing the non-essential and this becomes possible only if one is not bound by fixed drug pictures.
Taking this case as an example, generally one ‘thinks’ of Sepia when there are repeated abortions in a woman or if the woman has had many children … and of course, the Sepia patient is supposed to be ‘flat-chested’ and have a manly look! Having a picture has pitfalls and two things happen because of this…first, if there is a ‘Sepia’ patient sitting in front of you who doesn’t have H/O multiple abortions or who does not have a ‘flat chest’, you simply fail to recognize her as Sepia. Secondly, if there is a patient who has H/O abortions or who has a ‘flat chest’, you immediately think of Sepia! Then it doesn’t matter if she is Baryta-Carb; she ends up receiving Sepia as a remedy. The outcome of such prejudice can be nothing but disaster.
If you are looking for any Sepia picture in this case, you will simply fail to perceive it, though it is so simple. She doesn’t have many children, she doesn’t have H/O abortions and she is not flat chested!
Her grand generality is need for support, which ameliorates. She expresses it so beautifully…whether it is pain in the dorsal back or in genitourinary organs, what she requires is support. In the back pain, she supports it and is relieved by pressing it against the back of a chair. Also, her pain is aggravated by lying on the left (painless) side and better by lying on the right (painful) side. In genitourinary organs, she feels heaviness – as if something is falling which compels her to support by pressing a hand on the vulva.
These are the characteristics of this case leading to a successful prescription of Sepia….curing her of that painful bearing down sensation, making her free of frequent UTI, backache and joint pains, including disappearance of pain in her left knee!
This is a case of a young lady, a mother of two children, who was already under our treatment since mid 2004. From then till Nov. 2006 she was doing very well and received two remedies as per indications (aph.248), one following the other.
An active lady, she wanted to pursue the fields of her interest like learning an instrument or singing.
Observation: Thin, anxious manner of expressing and narrating her problems, casual but neat dressing; speech was loud.
In Sepia 2006, she started complaining about a “bloody vaginal discharge”, which would remain for a few days and then disappear. As such it was not causing her any major problem or discomfort, but she felt it necessary to mention it, as the discharge was “bloody”. This was a totally new complaint, happening without any apparent reason. Though otherwise doing very well health wise, we advised her to undergo a gynecological examination. According to the gynecologist everything was all right and an ultrasonography was suggested if it recurred.
In Nov.2006, when she came in for her follow-up, she again mentioned about getting a brownish, bloody vaginal discharge for a day. This time she complained of pain in the lower abdomen and vagina that caused great discomfort while shopping with family in a supermarket a week ago.
Perceiving an early phase of a shift in the state, we went into further detail.
She described the pain as “something very heavy in the vagina” … she felt, “as if everything is converging over there” … “as if something is hanging”. Standing worsened this painful sensation. She had to sit down. She said, “I want to hold my stomach and sit down.” and she demonstrated it by supporting her abdomen with both hands. USG of abdomen and pelvis was normal.
Also, in the following two months she started getting pus filled, painful boils which had totally disappeared. She was feeling very sad and started weeping while telling about her illness. She expressed intense anxiety regarding her health.
In Feb. 2007 she came down with big boil on her right thigh, which had burst the previous night. She told us that it was an extremely painful boil… “Doctor! The pain was so severe, it was hanging me down!” She was upset, feeling very sad that after getting well, the boil had come up again. “What could be the reason?” she asked us. “Do you see any end to it?” Also, during the fortnight she had a ‘stomach upset’ after eating out. She once again complained of lower abdominal pain … a “bearing down” which was worse by standing
Appetite: ‘very good eater’.
Desires: sweets. “Anything sweet!!” she exclaimed … gulping the saliva down as her mouth watered.
Sweat: copious and easy, especially on back, axilla, ‘stomach’ folds. Odor was offensive. “I feel very dirty.”
Basically an anxious person, she was full of cares and worries about children, maids, and household work, etc.
Her narration was punctuated by many questions regarding her health and recovery.
Anxiety, health, about
Cares, worries, full of
Cares, worries, domestic affairs, about
Doubtful, recovery, of
Weeping, telling of her sickness, when
Genitalia-Female, pain, bearing down, uterus, standing agg.
Genitalia- Female, pain, bearing down, uterus, supports abdomen with hands
Genitalia- Female, pain, bearing down, uterus, comes out, as if everything would
Better by support is once again highlighted in this case. She received Sepia and is doing wonderfully well.
This 58 year old lady came with severe, unbearable backache. The pain extended from lower back to ‘front’ i.e. to anus and then through vagina to uterus. She demonstrated with her hand how exactly she experienced the pain traveling from back, down to front.
She was also experiencing burning ‘like fire’ … ‘like acid’ in vulva, which compelled her not to wear any underwear; but to her dismay, that caused great discomfort with sensation “as if uterus is falling down.” She felt better in this painful sensation only by wearing underwear, which gave her a feeling of support. Pain < standing and stooping.
Her husband was diabetic and was suffering from impotency since the last eight years. She felt her pain would disappear if her sexual desire was satisfied. They had adopted their brother-in-law’s (husband’s brother) daughter as her husband had azospermia. She was not very happy about it, as she wanted to adopt a boy who could be her support in old age.
She was suffering from hypertension for which she was taking allopathic medicine since one year.
H/O operated on both eyes for cataract – left eye in 2006 and right eye in March 2007.
She had cough 6 months back, for which she had taken allopathic medicine.
Observation: Obese, applying hair dye, frowns.
Her husband was very hot tempered and abusive by nature. She also would get angry easily and was stubborn since childhood. According to her, all her problems started after marriage. She was particular about keeping her self respect; so if someone did something for her, she would do ‘double’ in return. Very sensitive by nature, she felt hurt easily. “I want to live with self respect.” She feels insulted and hurt. She can’t answer back, but then suffers within due to suppressed anger. She keeps good relations with everyone so that no body hurts her feelings. She doesn’t like to take anyone’s obligation. Being in a joint family, she went through a lot of stress. At the time of consultation, she was going through financial stress, as according to her, her brother-in-law had taken away all property by deceit. “These brothers have taken away our peace…this tension is killing me.”
Very worried about her health, she felt that she was not going to recover. “I feel this illness will not leave me.”
Desires: spices and pungent…she puts a lot of ‘masala’ and chillies while cooking as then only she relishes the food.
Thirst: 4-5 glasses/day.
She cannot bear cold as well as hot weather.
Sleep: She had a very peculiar way of sleeping. She would lie on her side with pillow pressed against the lower abdomen and vulva, plus she took a heavy bed sheet on her chest and against her hips, as she felt much better by “support”.
She had dreams of snakes. They were very frequent even in her childhood. She would get scared even if she watched them on Animal Planet program on T.V.
Menstrual history: Menopause since 8-9 years.
F.M.P. at 14 years. In the past, as flow was not stopping, she had taken allopathic treatment.
She felt ‘heaviness’ in vulva.
For some or the other problem she was constantly on allopathic medicines.
Pain in knees- left > right. Aggravated by folding the leg.
Ailments from, anger, suppressed
Ailments from, mortification
Genitalia-Female, pain, bearing down, uterus, standing agg.
Genitalia-Female, pain, bearing down, uterus, comes out every thing would
On the basis of above totality of symptoms, she received Sepia.
Through these cases you can see the characteristics, the essentials, coming through. One can see how beautifully the feelings, sensation and function, as well as direction, which are meticulously noted down in prover’s language in our texts, are illustrated.
There are general, peculiar and common symptoms. The general is used in the sense of the general of an army, and the generals command all other symptoms and really control the patient … (Kent)
Through these cases you will perceive how modalities relate to the generalities and how generalities relate to the stuck state and are continued into particulars in a meaningful way.
Every case presents itself in its own unique and individual way. They cannot be compared and contrasted with each other as in this world of individuals there can be no comparisons ! If dire need be, such comparison only serves a statistical purpose, but statistics are meant for dead people, not live!
The different feelings that express characteristically in the proving are seen manifested in these cases intensely and with clarity. E.g. Bearing down, pressing out, fullness, heaviness. Also, on the level of sensation… As if something is falling, something heavy, hanging me down, everything is converging over there, as if something is hanging, something very heavy in vagina, as if uterus is falling down are expressed. On the level of function … the need to support that part, presses hand on vulva, to sit with back pressed against the back of the chair, sitting with holding the stomach and in the third case the need to wear her undergarment, which again executes the same function. She even wanted to adopt a male child, as he in her old age would come to her aid as a support. This is no hypothesis, but her language of desire expressing her stuck state.
And that is how simple homoeopathy is! We can see these directions given by Hahnemann in the Organon in § 153 i.e to simply match the essentials of the patient with those of the remedy.
It is easy to perceive when one’s mind is not prejudiced by remedy pictures and so if you study the proving, you understand the essentials. Once you have imbibed the essentials you will come to understand that homeopathy is capable of demonstrating itself in all intelligent hands!!
1. William Plomer
2. Henry Ford
3. Henry David Thoreau
4. The Chronic Diseases
5. Materia Medica Pura
6. Dr. Hering’s Guiding Symptoms
7. Dr. Allen’s Encyclopedia
8.. Dr. JT Kent
9. Jeremy Sherr
10. Edwin Schlossberg
11. Synthetic Repertory by Dr. med. Horst Barthel. 4th edition.
12. The Concise Repertory of Homoeopathic Medicines by Dr. S. R. Phatak.
13. Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica by J. T. Kent A.M.,M.D.