A remedy for Uncertain Times: Ignatia for Heartbreak, loss, and grief

Wise sages throughout history have been known to say nature provides humans with all the medicine we may need for every illness. While it may be so that we haven’t yet decoded all of Nature’s elixirs – or perhaps we’ve collectively lost much of this wisdom through our industrialization and domestication – nothing coaxes me into the depths of nature’s wisdom quite like homeopathy.

Betty* called me a few months ago asking for help from debilitating grief and depression.  She experienced the loss of her husband after his tragic death. Like many patients in my practice, she knew nothing of homeopathy and called hoping at best to receive nutritional guidance to support her mood,  and then herbs for insomnia.

I asked Betty to describe her experience of grief and depression. After all, these are emotions that may manifest themselves in a million different shades in different people: Does her grief and depression cause inertia? Anger or rage with over-eating? Numbness with lack of appetite?

Betty describes herself as a passionate, ambitious woman who’s always been highly productive and run many businesses in her life along side her husband, who she described as her best friend. “losing him was like losing a part of myself. I don’t know how I’ll go on.” When her husband died, she immediately kicked into over-drive taking care of the estate, nurturing his adult  children (her step-children) through their grief, sold the house they shared together, and opened a charity in his name. I asked her if this was unusual behaviour for her during stress. She answered, “oh no, when a classmate in college committed suicide, I started a suicide support group, facilitated  co-counseling, and created handbills for mental health awareness.  My response to tragedy is to take action for fear of falling apart.”

How a person reacts to a situation is an important clue to guiding a homeopath to their patients remedy.  I  want to point out that her response to take action is certainly not bad or wrong.  What’s notable is her pattern of over-drive then collapse.  This takes a toll on a person.

She said she’s not one to  confide in friends, instead she keeps her feelings all to herself.  When alone, she breaks down, literally collapsing on her living room floor in hysterical wailing, and then when needing to be “on” she gets up and presents to the world that all is okay.  She finds it hard to cry, but when it happens it’s like the flood gates open and she feels taken under by a tidal wave.  This scares her. She dwells on all the ways she could have saved him. She  binge eats after a day or so of not eating at all.  She finds herself snappish at one moment, then disappointed and sad the next. I asked her if she was experiencing any notable physical symptoms. She replied, “I haven’t slept more than 4 hours a night since he died, and all I want to eat, when I eat, is toast and tea.

Without delay, I gave her the homeopathic remedy Ignatia Amara (Strychnos ignatia) also known as the St .Ignatius bean. Ignatia is a very effective remedy for heartbreak, grief and loss, particularly in passionate people who tend to feel life acutely.  They are sensitive individuals, who can have a passionate aversion or desire to particular smells or sounds – notably an intolerance to the smell of tobacco, like Betty.  Those needing Ignatia can have changeable, or even contrary emotions or physical symptoms when unwell.  Ignatia is a great remedy for insomnia, and cravings for toast. (Yes, homeopathy is that specific!).

Three weeks later Betty came in for a follow-up appointment: “Well, I’m not sure if I can quite believe it but I feel like something significant has happened.” I asked her to elaborate.

The first three or four days after the remedy I cried more than usual.  I simply stayed home, and let myself cry, and cry.  I seemed to empty myself of all the tension and hidden grief lurking in my cells. It’s as if I cried and let go of every heartbreak and loss.  Then, with this unfamiliar sense of calm I went through all the boxes of my husbands belongings, and reviewed our life together.  I made scrapbooks and collages of the memories I want to hang on to. I faced the reality that he’s gone, and through this, was able to let go of all the resentment I only then realized I had, for all the things we didn’t get to do together. Since then, I’ve been able to sleep normally, feel optimistic for my future, and can actually imagine a new chapter.  In retrospect, I see how draining the ups and downs are, and I’m glad to say I feel stable emotional and physical energy.”

The purpose of homeopathy is to support a person through the natural healing process.  Grief and sadness are normal and healthy emotions.  It’s when a person is drowning in prolonged grief or depression that homeopathy may be called upon to assist so they do not get stuck in it, but move through all the phases of healing, and regain a sense of inner freedom to live life to the fullest.

Want to learn how to use homeopathy?  Check out my online course (go to my classes page here on my website). This is one of the most popular classes I teach. It’s so well loved.  I’ve been teaching it since 2007 and an incredible community has formed from taking this class. I’d love to you have join our tribe! You’ll have access to asking me direct questions and have my guidance, plus you’ll be able to join my private Facebook group.

* Printed with permission by this patient. Her name and identifying details have been changed to protect her identity. Note the herb St.Ignatius aka Ignatia must be prepared as a homeopathic remedy to be used as described above.  It is otherwise toxic as a herbal product.

In Health,



  1. Siobhan Mccabe on July 28, 2017 at 1:20 pm

    Dear Seraphina

    A homeopath just gave me some 200c Ignatia following my husbands recent suicide. I cant recall how much amd how often he said. Can you please help me? I haven’t slept more than a few hours for over 5 months since his death. I have nightmares when I do sleep. Thank you x

    • Seraphina Capranos on July 28, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Hi Siobhan,

      I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s a tremendous thing to lose someone dear, especially by suicide.

      I recommend you contact your homeopath to confirm your prescription; as there’s so many different approaches to use. A general guideline (which is all I could give to someone who’s not my patient) is once nightly until you get relief.
      I do hope you contact your homeopath,

  2. Reece Lawrence on December 23, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Dear Serphina… Will Ignatia help with a nervous stomach due to grief.? I find it difficult to eat…Thank you so much

    • Seraphina Capranos on December 23, 2016 at 9:55 am

      Hi Reece,
      Yes, it certainly should. And I would drink chamomile and mint tea, that should also help. Blessings to you and your healing.

  3. Eva on January 12, 2016 at 9:29 am

    My daughter just lost her husband at very yung age. I gave her high potency ignatia next day. So far she is doing well trying to close chapter and start another one. I expect some dificult times so I keep ignatia handy.

    • Seraphina Capranos on January 12, 2016 at 9:38 am

      Hi Eva, I’m so sorry to hear about your daughters loss. And, I’m so glad Ignatia can be an ally for her in this time. It is an incredible remedy. IT’s wise to keep Ignatia handy. Blessings to you and your daughter.

  4. Andrea Henning on February 18, 2014 at 3:57 pm

    This is great information and case studies are so effective for connecting people intellectually and emotionally to the message . I love your writing. I wish the intro to homeopathy was in Victoria 🙂
    With gratitude. A.

    • Valdoria on September 22, 2015 at 6:33 am

      What strength did Betty take of the ignatia and how often per day to come to a stable place?

      Thank you,

      • Seraphina Capranos on January 12, 2016 at 9:41 am

        Hi Valdoria,
        Betty used a 200C potency twice a day. Within about 3 days she began to feel the grief lift, and she could become more active in her life. I’d say it took a few weeks for her to find her feet. The improvement was gradual, and continual. Grief of course doesn’t go away quickly after such a loss, but most importantly, she was able to integrate her experience and begin to move forward.

        • Erika Freund on December 4, 2016 at 3:44 pm

          Where can I purchase this? I recently lost my dad in a sudden, unexpected death & I feel like I’m spiraling.

          • Seraphina Capranos on December 4, 2016 at 7:00 pm

            Hi Erika,

            I’m so sorry for your loss. My father died unexpectedly many years ago, I remember the pain vividly.

            You can purchase this remedy at nearly any health food store, or, online at Amazon.com or any online vitamin retailer.

            Good luck, and blessings,


    • Leyla on June 19, 2016 at 1:55 am

      This is so accurate description of how I been last 2 years since my mum died on a threadmill but in tears and also been grieving for myself , took Iganatia 200 on and off it was just like a layer lift up from me but I was not consistent and came back, and now affected me so badly that I was getting heart pain symtoms . I need like daily dose ,shall I take 30 or 200 or 6c? bless you

      • Seraphina Capranos on June 20, 2016 at 8:23 am

        Hi Leyla,
        I’m so sorry you’re re-experiencing such acute pain. I do know what that’s like. I remember the first two years after my father’s death were the hardest years. I recommend going back to 200C potency and take it once a day for 5 days. Then take a break. I think this will really help. You may find you need to do that once a month or so. If you find the Ignatia doesn’t hold for a prolonged period of time, I suggest reaching out to a professional homeopath. Once they take your case it may be that there’s actually another remedy state that would be well matched for you, and that might be why the Ignatia doesn’t work.
        Blessings to you,

        • Leyla on June 20, 2016 at 9:33 am

          Dear Seraphina
          Thanks ever so much , I will do so and let you know.
          Appreciate having people like you so commiitted to nature , I believe evrything has a simple cure if we just look around us, bless you for your help .

          • Seraphina Capranos on June 20, 2016 at 9:36 am

            You’re so welcome Leyla. Thank you for your beautiful words. Sending you blessings of healing ~ Seraphina

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