Sea remedies: a vast little-explored treasure source of healing potential
“The sea is a symbol of the dynamism of life. Everything comes from the sea and everything returns to it. It is a place of birth, transformation and rebirth. With its tides, the sea symbolizes a transitory condition between shapeless potentiality and formal reality, an ambivalent situation of uncertainty, doubt, and indecision.” Phillip Robbins
The sea is regarded as the source of all life; it covers about 70% of the Earth’s surface, and contains virtually all of the known elements. Given its huge significance for life on the planet, only a small number of homeopathic remedies sourced from the sea are widely prescribed: Natrum muriaticum, Calcarea carbonica, Sepia, Ambra grisea and Spongia, although there are currently nearly 100 sea-sourced remedies available. The sea is the habitat of 230,000 known species; it is estimated that only 5% of the ocean has been explored, and biologists believe that over two million marine species may exist!
More than in any other realm of nature, there is a huge healing potential lying dormant in unproved sea creatures and sea plants, and in seldom prescribed sea remedies that are already available. This has led me to engage in the study of sea remedies over the last 10 years, initially through setting up ‘The Sea Remedies Project’. More recently, I have taught sea remedies in a series of workshops which have included short provings of new sea remedies.
From work done by Massimo Mangialavori’, and my own research, some themes that are characteristic of sea remedies have emerged:
Watery language e.g. “flow; drift; sink; swim”.
AFFINITY WITH WATER; people who need sea remedies often like to be near water or by the sea; sea hobbies; swimming, scuba diving, surfing, sailing, coastal path walking. Water seems frightening, with hidden unseen depths and threats e.g. fear of drowning, fear of sharks.
VULNERABILITY: They feel VULNERABLE and have a need for PROTECTION. Fear of being injured, touched, invaded or penetrated, including sexually; need for SAFETY: “I stay inside my shell.” WITHDRAWAL from bad experiences; try to hide or escape, withdraw emotionally. Physically there may be contraction, spasms, cramps, and numbness.
SENSITIVE to PAIN and SUFFERING, sensitive to mental impressions; sensitive to MUSIC; noise; odours. EMOTIONS; BEING HURT; NUMBNESS; emotional indifference; unfeeling; numbness of extremities.
ISSUES WITH BEING OPEN, INTIMATE, Sexual. LACK OF TRUST. PROBLEMS CONNECTING to other people; WITHDRAW inside themselves; difficulty with communication. Problems relating to their partner, children, close family; estrangement; feel forsaken, abandoned, misunderstood. Ailments from: loss of relationship; disappointed love. HURT and GRIEF: A tendency to dwell on negative past experiences, withdraw as a protection against further hurt or loss.
Need for Private
Need for PRIVACY. Prefer to be ALONE IN THEIR OWN SPACE and not be disturbed. INTRUSION. CLAUSTROPHOBIA; AGORAPHOBIA. Feelings of ISOLATION, they keep people at a distance.
Guilt & Shame
INHIBITED, not spontaneous. Feel unable to be themselves; restricted by feelings of guilt and RESPONSIBILITY; feel under pressure, heavy, burdened, weighed down. Ailments from reproach. Ashamed; poor self image. Need for recognition.
Relationship problems can start with MOTHER; FOOD and NOURISHMENT, eating disorders, anorexia or overeating. FOOD ALLERGIES, intolerances: salt, milk, wheat, fish and shellfish, rich food. Cravings for SALT, milk and fish.
DEVELOPMENTAL PROBLEMS; emotionally and psychologically. Immaturity; reluctant to leave home; internal conflict between self-sufficiency, dependency and independency.
SEXUAL AMBIGUITY; homosexuality. Reversal of male/female roles and responsibilities.
RESISTANT TO CHANGE. Anxieties about moving house. Difficulties with MOTION; stiffness; paralysis. Some remedies have to move and be active; overwork. Weakness, exhaustion, M.E from over-exertion.
HORMONAL CHANGES: menopause, PMT, uterine prolapse (especially Calc carb, Sepia, Murex, Octopus)
GLANDS: all glands, particularly
THYROID and TESTES. Pain, swelling, induration, ulcers of glands (especially Calc carb, Sepia, Spongia, Nat mur, Sea Salt, Ambra grisea, Asterias, Murex)
HEART and CIRCULATION: Palpitations; fast or abnormal pulse; high or low blood pressure. Varicose veins; distension of blood vessels; sluggish circulation, heart pain. (especially Nat mur, Sea Salt, also Octopus, Cephalopods, Eel serum)
LUNGS: asthma; difficult breathing; wheezing; whistling; congestion of chest and lungs; constriction and oppression of chest. Coughs; suffocative; or dry and spasmodic; asthmatic cough. (especially Spongia Tosta, Calc carb, Sepia, Pecten jacobaeus)
WATER RETENTION; watery discharges.
DRYNESS: e.g. throat; cough; inside nose; skin. (especially Nat mur, Sea Salt, Calc carb, Spongia, Sepia, Octopus)
SKIN: Allergic skin reactions; burning, itching, stinging. Herpes; urticaria; vesicles; ulcers. Dry skin. (especially Cnidarians ~ jellyfish, urchins, coral, also Sea Salt)
CANCER: cancerous ulcers. (especially Calc carb, Sepia, Sea Salt, Ambra grisea, Asterias, Murex)
AUTOIMMUNE DISEASES: (especially Cnidarians ~ Coral, jellyfish)
USED IN SEA REMEDY CASES
‘Sensation’ language is often used by patients who may need a sea remedy:
SEA: ‘at sea’, adrift, awash, ebb and flow, in the flow, seasick, salty, clear, murky, choppy, swirly, changeable, alive, wild, storm.
DEEP: depth, ‘out of my depth’, ‘hidden depths’, dark, sinking, submerged, underwater, unseen things, drowning, gasping for breath, suffocated, diving, timeless, vast space, immense.
FLOATING: ‘tossed about’, ‘like a ship at sea’, swimming, afloat, bobbing along, buoyant, balance, bubbles, light, dancing.
WAVES: ‘it comes in waves’, tides, ‘up and down’, periods, rhythm, tidal wave, tsunami, cycles, moon, full moon.
FISH: fishy, ‘wet fish’, slippery, slimy, oyster, mermaid, Neptune, crab, whale, shark, dolphin, shrimp, squid.
SHELL: protection, ‘I stay inside’, ‘my house is important to me’, ‘in my shell’, ‘soft and vulnerable inside’, ‘hard exterior’, spiral, ‘I close up’, ’half and half’ (=bivalve), ‘I build a wall’, ‘I withdraw’, ‘I hide’, ‘I close a door on it’, ‘I go into a cave’, Intrusion by drilling, breaking, intruding, crushed, smashed.
SEASIDE: seashore, beach, coast, ashore, ‘head in the sand’, shells.
DESERT ISLAND: lost, castaway, marooned, stranded, remote, detached, disconnected, estranged, distance, on an island.
WATER: flow, fluid, pressure, heavy, energy, movement, overwhelming, powerful, awesome, flood, flooding, danger, peril, engulfed, awash, cold.
TO PRESCRIBING SMALLER SEA REMEDIES
Salt is the main mineral constituent of sea water (3%). As Natrum mur is a polychrest well-represented in homeopathic repertories, it is often prescribed in cases that may do better with another sea remedy.
Natrum mur, Sepia and Calc carb appearing in the top six remedies in a repertorisation, suggests looking at other sea remedies as possibilities for the case.
‘Animal kingdom’ themes or language in a case that looks like Natrum mur is a clue to consider other sea creature remedies.
If the case is Natrum mur, with sea themes, (but no animal kingdom themes or language), you could also consider Aqua marina (deep sea water), Sea Salt (from beach water), and Himalayan Crystal Salt.
Remedies made from shells, or other calcareous material of the sea creatures, often use words and phrases that suggest the mineral kingdom.
If a patient does well on one sea remedy, but the remedy action is less than hoped for, consider other remedies in the same biological group. For instance if Sepia helps to an extent but not quite enough, you could consider other cephalopod remedies: Octopus (solitary, hiding in a cave) or Nautilus (‘up and down’), or Squid (squid shoal as a social group and has propulsion, whereas Sepia is solitary and has stasis).
New sea remedy cases, provings, and materia medica information is gradually becoming more available on the internet, and in recent welcome publications by Jo Evans and Rajan Sankaran . However, our overall knowledge of sea remedies, like our knowledge of the sea itself, is still in its infancy, and much work remains to be done. The cases presented in this current issue of Interhomeopathy will hopefully shine a bit more light into a vast little-explored treasure source of healing potential.
 From the proving of Aqua marina by Phillip Robbins (1999)
 The major elements found in the sea (in order of prevalence) are: Chlorine, Sodium, Magnesium, Sulphur, Calcium, Potassium, Bromine (also Iodine another Halogen), and Carbon. Other important elements in the sea which are indispensable to organic life include Phosphorus, Oxygen, and Nitrogen. Sodium Chloride salt comprises 3% of the total mass of sea water.
 ‘The Sea Remedies Project’ was set up in 2004. It involved a group of about 20 local homeopaths and homeopathy students researching lesser known and newly-proved sea remedies and then presenting them to other members of the project in bi-monthly meetings in Bristol. The project ran for about 5 years.
 Trituration proving of Sea Otter (Enhydra lutris). Short meditation provings of Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia aurita), Pearl (Pearl immersion), Seahorse (Hippocampus kuda), and Sea Turtle (Lepidochelys oliveacea ovum)
 ‘Remaining in a Safe Environment: the Sea Remedies’ – transcription of Massimo Mangialavori course by Vicky Burley.
 A computer repertory comparison of rubrics containing all of the sea polychrest remedies. The rubrics were placed into groups, and themes drawn out.
 ‘Sea Remedies: Evolution of the Senses’ by Jo Evans
 'Survival: the Mollusc' by Rajan Sankaran and Sudhir Baldota
Wikimedia Commons; Bangalley Head, Australia; Nigel Howe
Scallop shell; Jürgen Weiland
Keywords: sea remedies, float, drift, sink, swim, vulnerability, sensitivity, protection, privacy, relationship, inhibition, immaturity, gender, movement