Homeopathic remedy Sepia has a profound action on the nervous system and is primarily considered to be a female remedy (although it works for men too). It is prepared from the dried liquid contained in the ink bag of cuttlefish. With its large eyes and languid body, the cuttlefish is representative of the this constitution – sensitive, strong and endearing. This fish is found mainly in the Mediterranean sea.
Majorly, it is used for treating female disordersincluding hormonal imbalance, menstrual irregularities, menopausal syndrome, hot flashes, depression, prolapse of uterus and PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome).
To prepare this medicine, the dried liquid contained in the ink-bag of the cuttlefish is collected. It then undergoes the process of trituration to make it ready for homeopathic use.
The ‘Sepia’ Constitution
It is especially suited to people with physical features like dark hair, sallow complexion, and a slender built. They tend to have a mild and easy disposition and have exceedingly excitable, anxious personalities with sensitivity to all impressions. It is primarily a women’s remedy. There are two types of personalities associated with it.
It is suitable for women who are tall, slim and have a narrow pelvis and relaxed pelvic organs. This medicine in pregnancy is especially suited to women, and also during childbed (after delivery), during lactation, and during menopause.
It also suits well pot-bellied mothers, with a yellow saddle across the nose, who tend to have irritable nature. It is also called a washer woman’s remedy because it helps in treating complaints that are brought on or aggravated after laundry work. Such women tend to be sensitive to cold air and can faint easily upon getting wet or from exposure to extremes of heat or cold.
It has been used since ancient times for many ailments. Homeopathic physicians tend to use this medicine for treating freckles, leucorrhoea, gonorrhea, kidney stones, hair loss. After its proving in homeopathy, it is used in a wide range of medical ailments.
The medical ailments where this medicine is indicated include depression, menstrual irregularities, hormonal imbalance, menopausal syndrome, hot flashes, prolapse of uterus sterility/ infertility in females, dyspareunia, decreased libido, ovarian cyst, PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome), leucorrhoea, PMS (premenstrual syndrome), menstrual headache, dysmenorrhoea, PPD (postpartum depression ), genital herpes, vaginitis, facial hair, morning sickness, constipation, piles, varicose veins, bedwetting, urinary incontinence and kidney stones, UTI, ringworm, psoriasis, icthyosis, urticaria, freckles, acne, chloasma and hair fall.
The Scope as a Homeopathic Remedy
1. Conditions of the Mind
It is a very prominently indicated medicine for treating depression. In cases where it is indicated, the affected person feels excessive sadness and dejection with frequent attacks of weeping spells. There may be a great indifference towards everything, and the person may not have any desire to do any work. Indifference towards family members and friends is also markedly present.
It is a remedy very often prescribed to women who suffer from depression after childbirth and during the menopausal period. The affected female has a sad, morose, gloomy, melancholic, cross and highly irritable mood all the time. She breaks into weeping spells, feels helpless, and becomes totally indifferent. She loses all interest in life and living, and her family and friends once very dear to her. She tends to remain sad about her health and domestic affairs all the time, and dwell upon disagreeable events from her past. She dislikes the company of other people and desires loneliness.
The Sepia woman sits quietly, saying nothing. Consoling her can make things worse. She may have suicidal thoughts and tends to be nervous, sensitive and take offense easily. She is unable to tolerate any sort of criticism and frequently experiences attacks of anxiety with fear, with her face flushing with fear and heat. Anxiety and restlessness are highly marked during the night.
Her memory turns weak and she finds it difficult to comprehend things. Fatigue accompanies her mental troubles, with predominating physical and psychological exhaustion.
2. Female Disorders
As mentioned before, it is mainly a remedy for women. It is highly recommended for treating a number of uterine disorders in females.
3. Menstrual Irregularities
It is of great use in correcting menstrual irregularities and hormonal problems in women. Females needing this medicine have irregular periods that are early or late, but never on time. The periods also vary in flow, from scanty to profuse. It helps treat hormonal problems and regularises the menstrual cycle. Abdominal distress and pain in the back precede the periods. During periods, episodes of chilliness and fainting may occur.
4. Menstrual Complaints
It is a great remedy for treating menopausal complaints. The symptoms including hot flashes, sweats, mood swings, irritability, weakness, pulsating headaches during the menopausal period are managed wonderfully well with this remedy. Depression during menopause and after childbirth is also treated with this medicine. It also helps in treating hair fall during menopause.
5. Uterine Prolapse
It is also indicated in cases where there is a prolapse of the uterus, displacement of the uterus, and a retroverted uterus. A dragging, bearing down sensation in the pelvic region may be present. There is a downward pressure with a sensation as if the internal organs will come out through the vagina. It is accompanied by pain in the abdomen. The women must cross her limbs in order to prevent protrusion of the pelvic organs from the vagina.
These sensations are accompanied by a weakness in the back and the woman may give up while walking.
The use of this medicine is also considered in the case of sterility and infertility in females.
It helps in treating dyspareunia (painful intercourse in females), a low libido and an aversion to sex. The affected woman may find sexual intercourse intolerable. The sexual parts become tender to the touch, and the vagina feels very dry. The vagina is very dry. There may be bleeding after sexual intercourse.
6. Ovarian Cysts
It also helps in treating cysts in the ovaries. It is indicated when there is a pressure or a dull, heavy pain in the ovaries. There may be stinging or burning pains in the ovary.
It is also prominently indicated for PCOS (polycystic ovarian syndrome). It treats PCOS by regularising the hormonal levels and treats conditions like the irregularity of periods, hair fall, acne, and facial hair.
It is extensively used to treat leucorrhoea (vaginal discharge) and vaginitis.
In cases of leucorrhoea, the discharge is yellow, green, or milky and tends to smell foul or offensive. The discharge is excoriating (irritates the skin) in nature and can cause excessive itching in the vagina along with a burning sensation. Leucorrhoea becomes profuse after urination.
There is also associated pain the sacrum.
8. PMS (Pre Menstrual Syndrome)
It is used to treat PMS (premenstrual syndrome) and its associated symptoms like irritability, bloating, mood sensitivity, swollen/sensitive breast before periods and headache. It also helps treat headaches during periods.
In cases of dysmenorrhea, this remedy works very well. Uterine pains are very severe. Stitching, shooting, or lancinating pain in the uterus, and a bearing down sensation may be present. Nausea, vomiting and extreme weakness tend to be present along with painful periods. The flow of the period may be scanty, and the pain improves once a proper flow has been established.
It is used to treat PPD (postpartum depression) in females. The woman becomes emotionally shut down following childbirth and may develop an aversion to breastfeeding.
It further treats genital herpes in women in cases where vesicles appear on the genitals along with severe itching.
Some other concerns where this medicine is used include acne on the face that appears mainly before the menses, chloasma (facial pigmentation, brownish discoloration on face) and abnormal unnatural facial hair in women i.e. hirsutism.
9. During Pregnancy
It is indicated for certain health complaints that arise during pregnancy. It is an excellent remedy for morning sickness where there is vomiting of food, bile or milky fluid. Nausea becomes worse from the smell (and in some cases the mere thought) of food. It is also indicated for piles and constipation during pregnancy.
To lose weight gained during pregnancy, this medicine is often indicated. The development of varicose veins during pregnancy also indicate the need for this medicine.
10. Urinary Problems
It effectively treats major urinary troubles like bedwetting, urinary incontinence, kidney stones, and Urinary Tract Infections. In the case of bedwetting, it is indicated for bedwetting during the first part of sleep. Urinary incontinence (involuntary urination) from a cough, sneezing, and laughing is treated wonderfully with this medicine. It is also highly beneficial for treating urinary incontinence in women.
The next indication for using this remedy is chronic cystitis (UTI). Here cutting, burning and smarting pain in the bladder during urination is marked. Constant pressure on the bladder is felt with an urgent inclination to pass urine. The urine is thick, foul-smelling and may be blood-stained.
11. Skin Ailments
It is used to treat chloasma or melasma (discoloration varying from light brown to dark brown color on the face). This pigmentation is marked on the nose and cheeks. It helps prevent the further spread of discoloration and lightens spots.
Next, it is used to treat ringworm infection, especially isolated spots. Recurrent ringworm infections, particularly in the spring season, are also indicative of its use.
Another skin complaint treated well with this remedy is psoriasis, in which red spots appear in large oval patches, covered with shining, white, adhesive scales.
It is well-indicated to treat icthyosis as well. Icthyosis is a genetically inherited skin disorder that is characterized by dry, flaky, scaly and thick skin that looks like that of a fish. The skin has an offensive odor.
It also helps treat excessive perspiration (hyperhidrosis) and offensive perspiration (bromidrosis).
In the case of small warts on hand and face, it is quite helpful.
Urticaria is the next skin complaint where this medicine works well. The key indication to use this remedy in urticaria are wheals with a burning, stitching-type itching that gets worse in the open air and better in a warm room.
It is indicated for common skin complaints like freckles, Mollusca, acne rosacea, and acne before periods in women.
It is also a remedy that works well to treat a fine, itchy rash that appears between the bends of the elbows and knees.
12. Gastric and Hepatic Troubles
It is used to treat the sinking, empty feeling in the pit of the stomach. The person may experience pressure in the stomach after eating a meal arise. Pain in the stomach after consuming simple food also indicates the need for this medicine.
It is also indicated for cramping, stitching or burning in the stomach.
For chronic hepatic troubles, where there is a sensation of fullness, pressure, sore pain and dull stitches in the liver region, this medicine is indicated.
13. Rectal Issues
The rectal complaints include constipation and piles. Constipation, where the stool is hard, large, or knotty, is treated well with this medicine. Pain in the rectum during and after stool may be felt. Tenesmus of the rectum may be marked. Excessive pain in the rectum is felt during passing stool, with burning and swelling in the anus.
It is also considered in cases of constipation where the person goes for days without any bowel movement. It is also used to treat constipation during pregnancy.
It works as a remedy for piles that tend to protrude with difficulty in passing urine.
14. Hair loss
It is highly effective to treat hair loss in females. Hair fall after childbirthand at menopause are strong indications for using this medicine.
It can be used in potency varying from 30 C to 1M. The potency and dosage vary from case to case. In case of low potency, it can be repeated often, while in high potencies its frequent repetition should not be made.
Relationship with Other Remedies
Complementary medicines are Nux Vomica and Natrum Mur.
Remedies that follow – Belladonna, Calc Carb, Graphites, Lycopodium, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Sulphur and Rhus Tox.
Remedies that are incompatible/inimical are Bryonia Alba and Lachesis.
Antidoted by Aconite, Sulphur and Vegetable Acids.
More About the Sepia Woman
Quoting from one of the most classical descriptions by Margaret Tyler, the “sepia type” is not difficult to spot.
Picture her as a sallow, tired mother of a big family, on “washing day”. She is perspiring profusely, pouring under the arms. She cannot be shut in because of the heat and the stuffiness which make her feel faint. Her back aches badly. She wants to press it to support it. She feels she must sit down, or cross her legs, as her whole inside seems to be dragging down, and coming out of her. She simply must sit down to keep it in. The worry of the children is more than she can bear.
Her baby wants to be carried, and wails and screams. And when her six-year-old starts drumming with a spoon on a tin can, she can stand no more. She snatches the tin can and hurls it away, and smacks her small son which does not improve matters. He howls dismally, and she does not care. Oh! How she wants to run away and leave it all, and have a little peace! Her headaches.
The pain is left-sided today: last time it was on the right side, as she remembers. She is so nervous and jumpy. She has to hold on to the edge of the wash-tub to prevent herself from screaming. If she could only go away from everybody and everything, and lie alone, in the dark, and close her eyes! Her husband comes in. She has no smile to greet him. Nothing but dull indifference, weariness, and suffering. He must leave her alone. She has her work to do. If she could only lie down, she knows even 10 minutes’ sleep would make her a new woman! But there are the clothes to be ironed, cooking to be done, the stuffiness, the terrors of her restless children, with their noise and fidgeting.
Sleep is not for her. Her dull face has lost its contour, its bloom, and its pleasing lines. There are horrifying brown bands or blotches on the forehead, and saddlewise across the nose and cheekbones. She once was a bright and beautiful girl.
The description of the remedy is for the reader to identify with its sensitive characteristics. It helps the physician in selecting the true constitutional medicine. In no way does it endorse self-medication.