Sepia Officinalis Homeopathic Remedy – Sepia Materia Medica

  • Pains extend from other parts onto the back
  • Sensation as of a lump or rolling over internally
  • Faints easily, especially while kneeling at church
  • Indifferent to those whom she loves best
  • The sight or thought of food sickens

Source: Animal kingdom
Synonyms: Cuttlefish
Family: Sepiadae
Prover: Dr Hahnemann
Duration of Action: 40 to 50 days
Miasmatic Background: Psora and sycosis
Temperament: Nervous
Thermal Relationship: Chilly patient

Introduction and History: Sepia is an invaluable remedy of our materia medica. It is long and deep acting in character. It has acquired a place in the list of our polychrest remedies. It is a woman’s remedy, popularly known as the ‘washer Woman’s remedy,’ because of complaints that are brought on by, or aggravated after laundry work. The idea of proving Sepia dawned upon Hahnemann when he found a complex lot of symptoms in a friend of his, an artist, who was in the habit of wetting his brush containing India-ink with his saliva. This remedy was proved and a whole array of symptoms was arrived at, as a result of the proving. Since then, Sepia has proved itself extremely useful. It is one of the greatest contributions to homeopathy.

Description: The cuttlefish is a cephalopods mollusc without an external shell. It is 1-2 feet long. It is soft, gelatinous, of brown colour verging on red having a spotted back. Its body is rounded, elliptical and enclosed in a sac furnished with a fleshy fin on each side along its whole length. The head, which is separated from the body by a neck is salient and round. It has salient eyes of a lively red colour. The mouth is surrounded by ten arms which are pedunculated, very large and furnished with suckers. The cuttlefish ink is an excretory liquid contained in a bag about the size and shape of a grape within the abdomen of the cuttlefish. Sepia is a blackish-brown liquor found in the contents of the ink bag of the cuttlefish. Sepia is very common in the Mediterranean sea. This fluid is utilized by the fish for the purpose of self-protection and catching its prey. This is done by darkening the water with this fluid, when it is pursued by its enemy or when it wants to pursue it’s own prey. This is somewhat on the principle of the smoke screen theory of the present day navy and aeroplane warfare.

Preparation: Triturations are prepared from the dried liquid from the ink bag of the cuttlefish.

Constitution and Physiognomy

It is especially adapted to tall, slim, persons with lax fibres and muscles, having yellow, earthy complexion, shallow skin, cachectic yellow face, with a yellow saddle across the nose, and a male type of pelvis in women.

Slender, puffy and flabby; women with dark hair; yellowishness of the face and conjunctiva; yellow spots on the chest.

Ailments From: Anger, vexation, blows, falls, jar, injuries, over lifting, snowy air, tobacco, laundry work, getting wett, alcohol, milk, fat pork.

Seat of Action (Pharmacodynamics): Female genital organs, portal system, digestive tract, venous circulation, nerves, skin, liver, glands, etc.

Active Principles (Chemical Constituents): The inky juice contains 20 per cent sulphur, melanin and other organic and inorganic substances.

Physiological Action

  1. Sepia is not generally recognised as a toxic agent. However, numerous homeopathic provings on a large number of subjects have demonstrated that it has a definite physiological action upon the human organism.
  2. It’s first effect is upon the vasomotor nerves and through them on the circulation in general, especially portal circulation.
  3. Excess of carbon dioxide in the cerebral capillaries induces confusion, sluggishness of mental operations, languor, faintness and trembling.
  4. Sluggish flow of blood through the peripheral capillaries causes distinct pathological changes in the skin, ranging from pigmentation to dryness, desquamation, various forms of eruptions and ulceration.
  5. Subsequently, relaxation of sphincter muscles and connective tissue ensues.
  6. The effect, together with venous stasis, results in visceroptosis, especially of the uterus, haemorrhoidal tumours and varices.

Physio-pathological Changes (Pathology)

  1. It acts upon the vasomotor nerves and through them on circulation in general, especially portal circulation.
  2. Acts upon the brain; excess of carbon dioxide in the cerebral capillaries induces confusion, sluggishness of mental operations, languor, faintness and trembling.
  3. Sluggish flow of blood through the peripheral capillaries causes distinct pathological changes in the skin, ranging from pigmentation to dryness, desquamation, various forms of eruptions and ulceration.
  4. It acts upon sphincter muscles and connective tissues causing subsequently, relaxation.
  5. The effect, together with venous stasis, results in visceroptosis, especially of the uterus, haemorrhoidal tumours and varices.
  6. Acts upon female sexual organs and produces weakness, irritation and congestion; also diminishes the general reproductive energy of the vegetative spheres.

Doctrine of Signature

  1. Cuttlefish is an independent creature. It swims alone rather than in a group. Sepia’s natural independence sets her apart from other women. she likes to be alone.
  2. Cuttlefish is a solitary animal. Sepia women can be unsociable and averse to company. She does not want to go out. Company aggravates; amelioration when alone.
  3. Cuttlefish refuse to nurse or care for their young. Sepia women can be found lacking in maternal instinct.
  4. Cuttlefish limbs or tentacles are always in motion, dancing in water. They are more comfortable from moving about and worse from any fixed or locked position such as kneeling at church, standing for any length of time, bending over to wash or even sitting. Like wise, the Sepia woman always feels better from any violent motion, activity, jogging, tennis, swimming in cold water. She is better from dancing and worse from being fixed or locked.

Characteristic Mental Symptoms (Psychology)

  1. Dread of being alone; of men; of meeting friends; with uterine troubles.
  2. Great sadness with tears. Excessively nervous; sensitive to least noise.
  3. The patient is very irritable. She cannot narrate her symptoms without Weeping.
  4. Thinks about evils, is anxious and fearful, flushes of heat over the face and
  5. Indifferent to everything, to her own occupation, to members of her own
    family whom she loved very much.
  6. Indolent, does not want to do anything – physical as well as mental work.
  7. Patient is very greedy and miserly, absentminded, has a weak memory.
  8. Very irritable and easily offended.
  9. Patient can not bear consolation; it aggravates her mental symptoms.
  10. Vertigo, with sensation of something rolling around in the head.
  11. Absentminded, cannot recollect; has to read a sentence twice befores he can comprehend it.
  12. Gloominess and dark forebodings of future about her health.
  13. Tendency to commit suicide from despair. Vexed and disposed to scold.
  14. Heavy flow of ideas, language comes slowly, forgets the chief complaints.
  15. Cries for a few minutes without knowing the cause.
  16. Depressed, anxious and fearful state of mind, with a sense of helplessness and yet susceptibility to excitement and still more to terror; frequent attacks of weeping and despair of life.

Characteristic Physical Guiding Symptoms

Sensation: Ball-like sensation in inner parts, especially in rectum, during menses, pregnancy, lactation; with constipation, diarrhoea, haemorrhoids, leucorrhoea and all uterine affections.

Sweat: Easily perspires. Single parts perspire profusely. Sweat is offensive.

Faintness: Faints easily; from extremes of temperature; while kneeling at church; when riding in a carriage.

Dyspnoea: Dyspnoea aggravated by sitting, after sleep, in a room, but relieved by dancing or walking rapidly.

Headache: Headache in terrific shocks, at menstrual period with scanty flow; in delicate, sensitive, hysterical women.

Constipation: Constipation during pregnancy; stool hard, knotty, in balls, insufficient, difficult; pain in rectum during and long after stool, sense of weight or ball in anus, not relieved by stool.

Emptiness: Painful sensation of emptiness, all gone feeling in the stomach relieved by eating.

Flushes: Flushes of heat and perspiration at climacteric. Flushes of heat over face and head. Flushes of heat from least motion.

Coldness: Cold legs and feet in bed. Coldness on top of the head. Cold in spots. Coldness of extremities during fever.

Tightness: Stiffness of limbs, worse after sleep. Uterus feels as if clutched. Stiffness of uterine region. All the coverings of the neck feel too tight and are constantly loosened.

Urine: Deposits a reddish, clay coloured sediment which adheres to the vessel as if it had been burned; foetid.

Yellowness: Yellowness of the face; conjunctiva; yellow spots on the chest; a yellow saddle across upper part of the cheeks and nose.

Enuresis: Bed is wet almost as soon as the child goes to sleep; always during the first sleep.

Menses: Irregular menses; early, late, scanty, profuse; amenorrhoea or menorrhagia.

Vital heat: Lack of vital heat, especially in chronic diseases.

Suppression: Suppressed or feeble menstruation. Consumption after suppressed gonorrhoea, menstrual headache with scanty flow.

Bearing down sensation: Bearing down sensation as if everything would protrude from the pelvis with prolapse of uterus and vagina; must cross limbs tightly to prevent it.

Smell: Cannot bear the smell and sight of food during pregnancy; the smell of cooking food nauseates.

Itching: Itching of skin, of various parts, of external genitalia; is not relieved by scratching, and is apt to change to burning.

Ptosis: Drooping of eyelids with catarrhal discharge.

Desires and aversions: Desire for acids, vinegar, pickles, sweets, bread, butter, soup, wine; spicy, pungent and bitter things, and aversion to the smell of food, meat, milk and tobacco.

Fullness: Sense of fullness in the pelvic organs and pressure down into the anus.

Quickness: Child wastes rapidly; lack of vital heat; ankles are weak and turn easily when walking.

Foetid: Leucorrhoea, sweat, etc. are foetid. Horribly offensive loose stool.

Indurations: Indurated eruptions like that of epithelioma. Apart of the lip is indurated; deformity of mails – of toe nails.

Milky discharges: Leucorrhoea like milk, only during daytime; milky vomiting.

Pains: Pains extend from other parts to the back; they then settle in the back.

Gleet: Gleet painless, yellowish, staining linen; meatus glued together in the morning; obstinate, of long standing; sexual organs weak and exhausted.

Important Characteristic Features

Menstrual disorders and leucorrhoea: Sepia is a remedy acting especially on the female organs and is a most valuable one. It produces in its provings venous congestion, which accounts for many of its symptoms. The general symptoms in a case calling for Sepia are of the utmost importance. Thus, we have characteristically the weakness and want of tone in the whole system, the yellow complexion, the yellow saddle over the nose, the sunken dark ringed eyes, the relief from violent motion, due probably to the toning up of the venous system, and the amelioration in the middle of the day. They are all grand characteristics of the remedy. When they are present, the other symptoms will be found to correspond with the drug most beautifully. The menstruation of Sepia may be of almost any combination, late and scanty being the most frequent. They may be early and scanty or early and profuse discolourations of the skin attending menstruation are characteristic; the flow is apt to be dark, the menses are preceded by aching in the abdomen and by colicky pains.

For amenorrhoea in the distinct Sepia temperament where there is extreme sensitiveness to all impressions. The leucorrhoea of Sepia is yellow-green in colour and somewhat offensive. It may be milky; it is worse before menses and is accompanied by bearing down. Leucorrhoea is often accompanied by a sensation as if the womb were clutched and suddenly released. On the uterus itself, Sepia exerts a decided action; the uterus is found to be enlarged and the cervix is indurated. Thus, Sepia becomes a useful remedy in displacements, especially prolapse or retroversion. There is also irritability of the bladder. Bearing down pains are grandly characteristic of Sepia; the patient feels as if everything would protrude from the vulva and this sensation is relieved by sitting with the limbs crossed. Accompanying this is a severe lumbosacral backache. It also has great dryness of the vulva and vagina; painful to touch.

Skin-itching: Itching of skin at various locations; of external genitalia, not relieved by scratching, apt to change to burning. Soreness of the skin and itching in bends of joints. Lymphatic swellings and crippled nails are often met with itching between fingers and in bends of joints. There may also appear brown spots on the skin. Ringworm, boils, blood boils, ulcers, etc. are regular occurrences. Profuse perspiration while walking. There may also appear herpes circinatus on isolated spots, on the upper part of the body.

Liver disorders: General state of sallowness in the patient. This peculiar sallowness is a waxy, anaemic appearance, mottled with yellow. This peculiar sallowness continues as a yellow, sallow line across the nose and the cheeks which looks like a yellow saddle across the nose and down the side of the face. During pregnancy, the lady may complain of great brown patches on the whole face. Brown spots on the cheeks, liver spots on the face, chest, etc.

Headache: Headache of delicate, sensitive and hysterical women. Pressing and bursting headache, aggravated by stooping, mental labour and relieved by external pressure and continued motion. Vertigo with sensation of something rolling around in the head. Great falling of hair, after chronic headache during climacteric period. Violent pressive headache in terrible shocks at menstrual nisus, with scanty flow; sensation as if the head would burst.

Prolapse of uterus and pregnancy: Pelvic organs relaxed. Bearing down sensation as if everything would escape through the vulva; must cross limbs to prevent protrusion or press against vulva. Morning sickness during pregnancy. The sight and thought of food makes the patient sick; even the smell of cooking food nauseates.

General Modalities

Aggravation: Afternoon, evening, motion, washing, laundry work, cold air, thunderstorm, lying on left side, after sweat, dampness, etc.

Amelioration: Warmth, from violent exercise, pressure, sitting cross legged, from cold bathing, after sleep, limbs drawn up, etc.

Remedy Relationships

Complementary: Nat-m, Nux-v, Sab, Nat-c, Sabad, Sulph.

Follows well: Bell, Calc, Con, Carb-v, Graph, Lyc, Nat-c, Petr, Puls.

Antidotes: Acon, Ant-c, Ant-t, Rhus-t.

Antidotal to: Calc, Chin, Merc, Phos, Sars, Sulph.

Inimical: Lach, Puls.

Compare: Lach, Sang, Ust.


Constipation from an inactive rectum: Alum, Sep.

Unable to sleep after business embarrassments, must get up: Ambr, Cimic, Sep.

Cannot bear the smell and sight of food during pregnancy: Ars, Colch, Sep.

Sensation of a lump of ice on vertex, with chilliness: Sep, Verat.

Headache from ironing: Bry, Sep.

Sweats on single parts: Calc, Sep.

Expectoration salty: Kali-i, Stann, Sep.

Want of vital heat, always chilly: Led, Sep, Sil.

Leucorrhoea with moth spots on forehead: Caul, Sep.

Yellow-gray colour of the skin of palms: Caust, Chel, Sep.

Fissures of nipples in nursing women: Graph, Rat, Sep.

Leucorrhoea during menses: Graph, Sep.

Suppressed malaria: Sep, Verat.

Cold spots: Sep, Verat.

Sweats easily from mental or physical exertion: Hep, Psor, Sep.

Sinking, all gone sensation in stomach: Murx, Sep.

Incontinence of urine during first sleep from which the child is roused with difficulty: Kreos, Sep.

Weight and pressure on vertex like lead: Lach, Sep.

Headache during menses: Kreos, Lac-d, Sep.

Displacements of uterus – antiversion, retroversion, subinvolution: Helon, Sep.

Headache with icy coldness of hands: Meny, Calc, Sep.

Potency: 3x, 6x, 12x, 30, 200, 1000.

Dosage: 30 to 1M.

Repetition: Single dose of high potency is enough, it should not be repeated.

Therapeutic Value: Abdominal disorders, Amenorrhoea, Apoplexy, Asthma, Cancer; Dyspepsia, Eczema, Eye affections, Female genital organs, Gonorrhoea, Gout, Headache, Jaundice, Leucorrhoea, Pregnancy, Prolapse of uterus, Psoriasis, Ptosis, Sciatica, Urinary troubles, Uterus bearing down, Varicose veins, Whooping cough, etc.


Lachesis should not be used before or after Sepia.

Pulsatilla should never be alternated with Sepia.

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