Sepia (Sepia officinalis) is the homeopathic name for "cuttlefish" or squid remedy. The remedy is made from the contents of the "ink bag" of the cuttlefish.
Sepia's primary role in the world of alternative medicine is as one of the homeopathic remedies. In fact, it is classed as one of the 20 polychrests, which are those homeopathic remedies having the widest range of application, and which are also recommended for inclusion in the set of basic remedies that should be kept on hand in every household.
Homeopathy is a method of treatment devised by Samuel Hahnemann that works on the principle of treating "like with like," (similia similibus curentur). Hahnemann devised a system of more than 100 remedies formulated to be administered in minute doses; effective, yet safe and without side effects. He discovered the principle of minute doses by gradually reducing medicines until he arrived at an effective dose with no side effects.
Hahnemann also discovered the method of "potentizing" his remedies by sucussing (similar to shaking) them vigorously. Until now, no one has been able to discover exactly why potentizing works. Even in his lifetime, Hahnemann's new methods were proven to be effective and safe.
According to homeopathy, the chief centers of action of the sepia remedy are those of the mind, mental processes and reproductive organs, upon which it is considered to act deeply over extended periods of time and to which it is more appropriate as a long-term remedy rather than a "quick fix."
Sepia is considered one of the chief remedies for the treatment of female ailments. It is particularly indicated for the following type of person: Irritable, tall thin girls who have pale sallow skin. These girls may often be ill, in fact never really well, and tired most of the time. They may often be at odds with others because of their attitudes. They feel better after exercise and improve with company, and when sociably occupied forget their ailments. These girls often suffer from heavy prolonged periods with intense cramping and general discomfort. Backache and constipation may also be experienced.
The ink of the cuttlefish was previously known as Indian ink, and was widely used by artists in the past because of its dark reddish brown pigment.
Uses for sepia
- women's problems related to menstruation
- costipation, particularly as a result of pregnancy or menstruation
- dandruff, particularly when associated with "pigmented patches"
- delayed menstruation, particularly if yeast infections are a problem
- problems associated with menopause, especially menstrual flooding and feeling that the womb will "drop out"
- amenorrhea when accompanied by depression and general aches and pains
- menorrhagia when accompanied by dragging pain in the lower abdomen, backache, depression, and irritability
- miscarriage when accompanied by dragging pains and irritability
- nonmalignant swellings and tumors of the uterus (such as fibroids), again, when accompanied by the dragging pains and emotional make-up outlined above
- bedwetting in children when it occurs soon after falling asleep, and involuntary passing of urine on sneezing or coughing
- irritability, especially when connected with menstruation
- morning sickness, especially when cravings are worse in the morning and there is a craving for vinegar or pickles
- thrush or candidiasis
- young mothers who are having difficulty developing maternal feelings
- babies who dislike being held
- depression accompanied by irritability and an exaggerated sense of responsibility
- infertility, particularly when associated with loss of libido, exhaustion, and apathy
Homeopathic remedies come in several strengths, or potencies. Common examples include 6x, 12c, and 30c. For minor ailments, the 6x potency may be taken twice daily for seven to ten days. For acute conditions, either the 6x remedy may be taken every two to four hours for three to five days, or the 30 remedy may be taken once every four hours three times only.
For extremely serious conditions, such as severe pain or accidents, burns or hemorrhage, the patient can take either the 6x remedy once every fifteen minutes for six to eight doses or until the condition improves, or the
Homeopathic remedies work best if the correct remedy is picked. The best person to do this is an experienced homeopathic physician. Some naturopathic physicians are among the finest homeopathic practitioners.
Homeopathic remedies should be dissolved under the tongue. Handling of the remedies should be kept to a minimum as they react to handling and may be spoiled. They should also be kept away from heat and light, and should not be swallowed with a drink. After taking a homeopathic dose, patients should not eat, drink, smoke, or clean their teeth for about fifteen minutes if possible.
Homeopathic remedies are not known to produce side effects, as they have no effect except when matched with particular symptoms. Individual aggravations may occur.
Homeopathic remedies can be taken in conjunction with allopathic medicine. Sepia should not be taken at the same time as bryonia or lachesis, as they may react adversely to each other. Coffee, peppermints, and some essential oils may counteract the effects of homeopathic remedies. Dental treatment may also affect the action of remedies.
Smith, Trevor. Homeopathic Medicine, A Doctor's Guide to Remedies for Common Ailments. UK: Thorsons Publishers, 1982.
Treacher, Sylvia. Practical Homeopathy, A Beginner's Guide to Natural Remedies. Bath: Parragon Books, 2000.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. http://www.naturopathic.org.