• Paula Jeffrey

Comparison of Nux Vomica and Sepia

Sepia has lost all inspiration. She’s worn herself to the bone trying to be the best in all her roles without support and is now just barely surviving. The things she once loved now drain her – her independence is gone, her freedom barred by obligations – no one else can do her job so she, apathetically, persists.


Nux can’t stop. He works hard, parties harder – and when it all stops he collapses, he’s forced to face it all. His nervous system is firing fast and hard. If he stops his place will be taken, so he gets it done by hook and crook.


Nux is needed the day after the party. Sepia’s learned to live with her hangover.


The Kingdoms

Sepia and Nux come from two different kingdoms – Sepia is Animal, Nux is Plant. The kingdoms that remedies come from flavours how they express as remedies!


Sepia - Cephalopod - Mollusc

Sepia is an animal remedy made from the ink of a cuttlefish. You know those burnt Sepia tones? That’s the sepia we’re talking about. The cuttlefish comes from the mollusc family and (obviously) lives underwater. Sea remedies often carry themes of darkness, vulnerability, a desire to withdraw and be private. Think of the clamshell or the oyster or the octopus. They are resistant to change. There is a very primal issue with nourishment – which can manifest as relationship issues to food, the mother.


The Mollusc family, best known as invertebrates (no spinal column) are security driven. They have strong nervous systems that help them navigate the dark waters and in remedies we see that manifest as a focus on security, being protected and contained, and a sense of stuckness. They put up a hard shell (literally and figuratively).


But Sepia, part of the cephalopod family alongside squids and octopi, does not have an external shell. The cephalopods have the most complex nervous systems of the invertebrates but have an internal shell remnant. Instead, they rely on their keen senses and the ability to produce a cloud of dark “ink” (mucous and melanin) to confuse predators. These creatures are very social, very smart, with very acute senses. But it lands them in a place where safety (outer shell) has been sacrificed for mobility. This creates an internal battle – with freedom comes risk.


Nux Vomica - Loganiaceae - Gentian

Nux Vomica is a plant remedy in the Gentian Order. As a plant remedy, there is a strong sensitivity – plants have limited defense mechanisms, can’t run away! They must be sensitive to survive, blowing in the wind and responding accordingly.


The Gentians are heartbroken and grief struck, much like other remedies in this family: Ignatia, Gelsemium, Curare, Spigelia. Dr Angelica Lemke describes gentian remedies as having a drive for workaholism and idealism out of a deep need for recognition and approval. There is a magic equation in which suppressed/unresolved emotions leads to a strong need to create an outer image of perfection. There is an void that must be filled.


The smaller family that Nux belongs to is the Loganiaceae family. They are hypersensitive and often feel shocked, shattered, paralyzed. The Loganiaceae plants are extremely poisonous and can cause two primary reactions: the initial reaction of oversensitivity, convulsions, neuralgia, and the secondary response which blocks neuro-transmitters causing paralysis, exhaustion, and death. These themes are what we see in the Nux Homeopathic Remedy; tetanic spams, cramping, paralysis, numbness, shock, hypersensitivity. Great remedies for the nervous system!


Just looking at the bigger picture of Sepia and Nux Vomica, while in two totally different kingdoms (plant and animal) we can see their overlap. Strong sensitivities, a drive for survival, very nervous system oriented. Both carry a “protective” mechanism to keep them safe – Nux with it’s drive for perfection to protect from feeling vulnerable with their unresolved emotions, Sepia with is smokescreen of darkness to confuse the other so she can withdraw.


The Essence of Nux and Sepia

Nux Vomica is a competitive go-getter. He is driven by a raw desire for success which gives his life meaning. Nux is our businessman remedy, the overindulgent workaholic. Depending on the flavour of the Nux character, this desire for success can be cruel and ruthless, mafia/dictator. Or it can be courteous, knightly, robin hood. No matter where he lands on this spectrum, Nux Vomica:

  • Is full of abundant, competitive energy

  • Does not rest on his laurels – always seeking the next level of success

  • Is an expert, is always right (even when he’s not), can touch on arrogant, but doesn’t come across as too prideful in a healthy Nux

  • Is addicted to stimulation – sexual indulgence, stimulants to keep him going, fast cars, war and action, the nicest things

  • Is impatient in satisfying his desires

  • Takes great pride in his family as they are an extension of his success

  • Has great ambition to achieve, will do anything to get there.


Sepia brings the rooted feminine energy to this level of drive. She too has a raw desire for success but her success looked different. Our Sepia is driven by her desire for freedom and independence. She may be the leader of a women’s liberation movement, fighting for women to have the right to choose (desire for freedom). Sepia is our dissatisfied mother remedy, she has been confined to a box and lost the independence and freedome she once had. I see many Sepia mothers who work outside the home, but also stay-at-home-moms who love their work. Sepia is the energy that is now speaking up saying, “the work of mothers needs to be recognized and supported”. And yet often, she has a hard time receiving that support (there's that push pull of the mollusc without a shell, freedom with risk).


Sepia arrives in many forms, but tends to carry core themes of:

  • Connection to her body and the earth

  • Natural rhythm, intuition, feminine wisdom

  • Is often a healer of some sort, a witch, a potion maker, and artist

  • Natural independence, in control of her own self and body

  • Coldness when connecting with others as a means of protection (may be celibate, very selective about her mates if any)

  • Bitter, angry and apathetic when restricted, put in a box, or if compromising her true nature

  • Conflict between business and relationship, aversion to and desire for company, independence and receiving support.

Similarities

Let’s look more closely at their similarities as Homeopathic remedies:

  • Sensitive, irritable, angry

  • Sensitive to noise, music, odors

  • Concerned with occupation and business and business ameliorates

  • Strong aversion to failure

  • Both are chilly and constipated

  • Both suffer from nervous system issues when they can't do what they please

  • Both naturally independent, desire to be left alone to do what they need to do

  • Impatient when it comes to what they want (I suspect they are often Manifestors)

  • Both can be quite sexual and have ailments from sexual excess - Nux the playboy who has literally overdone it, Sepia the high class "courtesan" who has been hurt and wants to reclaim control over her body.


Differences

In researching, I really started to see how Nux and Sepia seem to carry an “opposites attract” kind of relationship.

  • Nux is rather masculine while Sepia is one of our strongest feminine remedies

  • Nux is the expert warrior, intellectual and competitive. Sepia is the witch, wisely attuned to her inner-knowing and the earths rhythms.

  • Nux is driven by a love of power, Sepia by a love of independence.

  • Nux says, “I will be the best”, Sepia says, "just let me be me".

  • Nux is straining to get it out (ineffectual urging), Sepia is trying to hold it all together (bearing down ball sensation).

  • Nux falls apart when the hustle ends, Sepia exhales.

  • Nux is filling a void, Sepia wishes she had a void to scream into.


Just looking at that list, I hope I am conveying how Nux and Sepia reflect the impacts of the more traditional masculine/feminine roles in our culture. Keep in mind my use of “he” and “she” is to reflect the masculine and feminine energy of the remedies, not to be limiting who can use the remedies.


The strong overlap between the two? The drive to do what they please, at the cost of their health. Their nervous systems pay the price – Nux often into fight and flight, Sepia often into shutdown (though both can shift through the polyvagal ladder). They become irritable and fixated: Nux on success, Sepia on survival.


Physical Generals

Physically the two remedies share much overlap. I won't dive too deep into specific symptoms as I want to highlight the broader picture of these two remedies.



There are so many layers to an individual homeopathic remedy – and without even having gone deeply into specific symptoms, I hope this comparison gives you a broader perspective of the patterns within these two phenomenal remedies. One that teaches us about our masculine, yang energy that thrives on competition, intellect, and action. The other driven by the strength of the yin – the empowered female rooted in the earths energy, intuition, and self-connection.


We can see how the healthy and balanced masculine can achieve great success and leadership – and how he can fall into arrogance, self-destruction, dictatorship when the love of power becomes too large or he fails to acknowledge his emotion and physical needs.


Much the same, the health of the balanced feminine is empowered, intuitive, and connected – but turns apathetic, bitter, and angry when she takes independence too far (rejecting support) or if forced to fit into a box.


A single mother doing it all for her family, avoiding the grief of becoming a mother, may be in a Nux state. A businessman who hates his job and feels forced into it to feed his family, suppressing his childhood dreams may be in a Sepia state.


Both energies are in all of us, one typically more than the other. But in our modern world, these two energies are all around us, always influencing us. Through our parents, the media, stories, stereotypes and expectations...and as with anything homeopathic, it's not about the existence of these energies it's about how we respond to them.


To learn more about Homeopathy and how these remedies might be able to support your healing, book a curiosity call with me or explore around the website. Hope you enjoyed this read!


 


References:


http://www.interhomeopathy.org/sea-remedies-a-vast-little-explored-treasure-source-of-healing-potential


https://hpathy.com/materia-medica/introduction-to-sea-remedies/


Healing Complex Children with Homeopathy by Angelica Lemke


Bogers Synoptic Key by C.M. Boger


Homeopathic Psychology by Philip Bailey


Allens Encyclopedia


Boenninghausens Characteristics


Qjure.com


I'm Paula, Homeopath and Hypnotherapist. I help individuals reconnect with their body's innate wisdom so that they can support themselves as they heal and grow beyond their chronic symptoms.

 

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