Last modified on January 8th, 2019


Symptoms of the homeopathic medicine SEPIA from A Text Book of Materia Medica and Therapeutics by A.C. Cowperthwaite. Find all the symptoms of SEPIA

      Synonyms – Sepia Octopus. Sepia Succus. Natural order – Dibranchiata. Common names – Cuttlefish. Squid. Preparation – Triturations from the inky juice of the cuttle fish.


Affects especially the portal, hepatic and the female sexual systems, and diminishes in general the reproductive energies of the vegetative sphere. Its action is sluggish, and its pains and isolated symptoms feebly pronounced, the general condition being one of torpidity and depression.

The functions of the liver are not greatly disturbed, but the secretions are altered, becoming sour and foul, and their consistence changed, as is indicated by a special analysis of the symptoms produced. Sepia exerts its chief local action upon the female sexual organs, producing weakness and irritation, and upon the skin producing herpetic eruptions.


Mind. Excessively nervous; sensitive to the least noise (Coccul., Silicea). Great sadness and dejection, with much weeping (Lycopodium, Natr. mur., Platina, Pulsatilla); in evening; when walking in the open air. Gloominess, and dark forebodings of the future; about her health. Depression on awaking in the morning. Anxiety, with flushes of heat in the evening (Aconite). Very irritable, fretful, and easily offended (Bryonia, Chamomilla). Great apathy; indifference to everything (Berberis, Phosphorus ac.); even to one’s own family. Indolent mood; indisposed to any exertion, mental or physical (Nux v., Phosphorus, Sulphur). Absent-minded. Dullness of comprehension. Stupid. Heavy flow of ideas; language coming slowly (Nux moschata, Phosphorus); unable to collect thoughts; weak memory (Anacardium, Kreosotum, Lachesis, Mercurius, Natr. mur., Nux moschata).

Head Painful confusion of the head, particularly in the forehead. Rush of blood to the head. Vertigo when walking in the open air (Agaricus, Calcarea); with nausea and anxiety. Violent pressive headache, as if the head would burst (Natr. mur., Pulsatilla, Sanguinaria); worse from stooping, motion, coughing or shaking the head (Belladonna, Bryonia). Headache, with mental depression in the morning. Headache, with nausea, beginning in the morning. Headache, with nausea, beginning in the morning (Natr. mur., Nux v.), and lasting till noon or evening; better in the open air (Pulsatilla, Sanguinaria). Heavy, pressing pain in the left orbit and left side of head, with darting pains from left eye over side of head toward occiput; better after meals. Headache worse form mental labor. Pain over eyes; over left eye; worse on motion in the house; better on walking in the open air, and on lying down; with nausea. Intense frontal headache, dull pressure, or stitching, tearing pains. Jerking pains in forehead. Tearing pains from left temple to upper part of left side of head. Fullness in forehead and temples, with throbbing in carotids. Great falling out of the hair (Ambr., Graphites, Hepar s., Lachesis, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Natr. mur., Nitr. ac., of the head (Graphites, Hepar s., Lycopodium, Rhus tox., Sulphur). Scalp and roots of the hair very sensitive to touch (Cinchona, Ferrum, Hepar s., Staphysagria, Sulphur, Veratrum alb.). Much itching of the scalp (Causticum, Graphites, Sulph).

Eyes. Inflammation of the eyes, with swelling, redness, and burning, smarting, pressive pains; lachrymation, which relieves. Lachrymation morning and evening. Eyes feel heavy, and lids inclined to close, as form paralysis (Causticum, Coni., Gelsemium, Plumb.). Soreness, roughness and burning in the eyes, from walking in cold wind; aggravated by gas-light, and from reading. Pressure as from sand in the eyes; aggravated by rubbing and pressing lids together (Arsenicum, Causticum, Hepar s., PUls., Rhus tox., Sulphur). Whites of eyes become yellow. Eyes become easily fatigued from reading and writing, especially by candle-light (Myrica, Phosphorus, Ruta.). Nightly agglutination of the eyes (Calcarea c., Graphites, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Rhus tox, Sulphur). Red, herpetic spot on upper lid, scaly and peeling off. Pustules on conjunctiva. Heat and dryness of the margins of the lids, with much itching (Staphysagria, Sulph). Vision obscured, as from a veil (Causticum, Croc., Natr. mur., Petrol., Phosphorus, Sulphur). Slight vanishes during the menses, better on lying down. Intolerance of reflected light from bright objects. Fiery sparks (Belladonna, Cyclamen, NAtr. mur., Phosphorus, Sulphur) and zigzags before the eyes. Many black spot before the eyes (Agaricus, Mercurius Phosphorus).

Ears Very sensitive to noise (Aconite, Belladonna, Lycopodium, Sil). Loud sounds and humming in the ears. Itching.

Nose. Nose inflamed and swollen; nostrils sore and ulcerated (Alumina, Antim crud., Graphites, Mercurius). Painful eruption on tip of nose. Severe dry coryza, especially of left nostril. Fluent coryza, with frequent sneezing (Aconite, Cepa.). Violent bleeding of the nose, especially during menses.

Face Face pale; yellow (Hepar s., Natr. mur.); red; flushed; swollen. Yellow saddle across the nose and upper part of cheeks; also yellow spots on the face (Ferrum). Yellowness around the mouth. Herpetic eruption on the lips. Red roughness on face; on forehead. Skin swollen on forehead. Itching pimples on the skin.

Mouth. Early decay of the teeth. Toothache, drawing, tearing, stitching, extending to the ear, especially after eating, drinking, or taking anything hot or cold into the mouth. Toothache during the menses. Gums painful, swollen dark-red, ulcerated, and easily bleeding (Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Phosphorus). Vesicles on the tongue (Borax, Nux v., Nitr. ac.). Tongue coated white (Antim crud., Bryonia, Nux v., PUls.). Tongue feels as if scalded (Iris, Mercurius, Platina). Bad smell from the mouth (Arnica, Hepar s., Iodi., Mercurius, Nitr. ac., Nux v.). Dryness of lips, mouth and tongue (Apis, Nux m). Taste bitter (Bryonia, Cinchona, Nux v., PUls., Sulphur), sour (Calcarea c., Cinchona, Mag. carb., Nitr. ac., Nux v.), slimy, foul, mostly in morning.

Throat DRyness and soreness in throat, with tension and scraping. Much mucus in throat. Pressure in throat in region of tonsils, as if neck-cloth were too tight. Roughness and burning in fauces; aggravated by hawking. Soreness of throat, with swelling of cervical glands.

Stomach Excessive appetite, never satisfied, or no appetite at all. Aversion to meat (Sabad.). Desire for vinegar (Hepar s.). Frequent eructations, sour, bitter (Nux v., Phosphorus, Pulsatilla), or like rotten eggs (Agaricus, Arnica, Borax), especially after eating and drinking. Hiccough after a meal. Nausea, mornings, passed off after eating something; after a meal; from smell of food; with weakness, vertigo, and darkness before the eyes. Vomiting of bile and food (Nux v., Podophyllum) during pregnancy (Kali carb., Nux moschata, Puls); straining so hard that blood comes up. Sensitiveness of pit of stomach to touch (Hyoscyamus, Natr. carb., Silicea). Painful sensation of emptiness in stomach and abdomen (Cimic., Hydras., Ignatia, Petrol., Pulsatilla, Sulphur). Pressure in stomach as from a stone, after eating (Bryonia, Nux v., Pulsatilla). Pulsation in pit of stomach (Ant. tart., Asafoetida, Pulsatilla). Stitches or burning in pit of stomach.

Abdomen. In region of liver, stitches (Arsenicum, Bryonia, Cinchona, Kali carb.); fullness; pressure; soreness (Apis, Belladonna, Bryonia). Severe stitches in left side of abdomen. Attacks of contractive pain in right hypochondrium. Pressure and heaviness in the abdomen. Abdomen distended and sensitive (Bryonia, Cinchona, Graphites). Abdomen puffed up; pot-belliedness of mothers. Loud rumbling in abdomen (Agaricus, Aloe, Lycopodium), especially after eating. Pain across hypogastrium at night on lying down, better from micturition. Brown spots on the abdomen.

Stool and Anus. Burning and itching in the rectum and anus (Sulphur). Prolapsus of rectum. Weak feeling in rectum in evening in bed. Painful protruding haemorrhoids; during stool; when walking; bleeding when walking. Soreness, aching, or stitches in the anus. Inactivity of the bowels (Alumina, Camph., Opium). Rectum feels full all the time, even after a soft stool. Ineffectual urging to stool, with discharge of mucus or flatulence only; with sensation of a plug. Stool insufficient, retarded; like sheep’s dung (Alumina, Kali carb., Opium, Plumb.); difficult, mixed mucus. Bloody. Diarrhoea, after boiled milk. Whitish or brownish color of the stools. Expulsion of ascarides (Ferrum, Mercurius, Spigelia)

Urinary Organs Urging to urinate from pressure on the bladder and tension in hypogastrium. Frequent micturition, even at night (Ambr., Borax, Coni., Phosphorus ac.). Feeling as if the bladder were greatly distended. Burning in the urethra, when urinating (Aconite, Arsenicum, Cantharis, Coni., Natr. carb.); stitches; smarting. Urine; turbid, clay-colored, with reddish sediment; thick, slimy, very offensive (Calcarea c., Kreosotum), depositing a yellowish, pasty sediment; becomes turbid and offensive, with white sediment (Calcarea c., Colchicum, Graphites); staining bottom of vessel.

Female Organs. Pain in the uterus, and sensation of bearing down in all the pelvic organs, with strong pressure, as though the contents would issue through the vulva (Belladonna, Lilium tigrinum, Natr. mur., Platina); must cross her limbs to prevent protrusion of the parts, with oppressed breathing. Dull, heavy pain in the ovaries; especially left. Great dryness of vulva and vagina, especially after menses; painful to touch. Prolapsus uteri (Argentum nit., Coni.), with congestion, with yellow leucorrhoea. Prolapsus, with inclination of fundus to left (Pulsatilla, Nux v., right side), causing numbness in left lower half of body, with pain, better when lying, especially on right side, tenderness of os uteri. Menses too early; and scanty, appearing only in the morning. Too late and scanty; regular but scanty; flow dark (Nux v.). Soreness and redness of the labia; in the perineum, and between the thighs (Kreosotum). Leucorrhoea yellow; like milk (Calcarea c., Coni., Lycopodium, Acid Sulphuricum, Pulsatilla); excoriating (Alumina, Arsenicum, Kreosotum); like pus; of bad-smelling fluids; before the menses; with soreness of pudenda. Abortion after the fifth month. Itching of nipples which bleed and seem about to ulcerate (Graph).

Respiratory Organs. Dry, hacking cough, especially in the evening, on lying down and at night (Coni., Hyoscyamus, Pulsatilla, Silicea). Spasmodic; from tickling in larynx (Hepar s., Phosphorus, Rumex, Silicea, Sanguinaria); much rattling of mucus in the chest (Ant. tart., Ipecac., Phosphorus). Short, dry cough, as if proceeding from the stomach (Bryonia); with pain in stomach; with nausea and bitter vomiting. Expectoration profuse, purulent, offensive, tasting salty (Ambr., Carb. v., Lycopodium, Phosphorus). Expectoration of blood while lying down. Oppression of the chest and shortness of breath when walking or from slightest exertion (Aconite, Arsenicum). Oppression of the chest morning and evening. Stitches in chest when coughing (Bryonia, Kali carb.); especially in left side (Phosphorus). Brown spots on the chest (yellow, Phosphorus).

Heat and Pulse Palpitation; in evening, in bed with beating in all arteries; during digestion; with stitches in left side of chest.

Neck and Back Pain in the back, and small of back particularly with stiffness; improved by walking (Rhus tox.). Aching pain between the shoulders, and under left scapula. Tearing in back during the menses, with chills, heat, thirst and contraction of chest. Aching and dull pain in lumbar and sacral regions, extending to thighs and legs. Heaviness in back in morning on waking, almost as if asleep. Weakness and tired pain in small of back (hydras.), when walking. Sprained pain over, in evening in bed, and in afternoon.

Limbs Heaviness of the limbs. Drawing, paralytic pains, and weakness in limbs, especially in joints. Arthritic pains in the joints. Limbs go to sleep easily (Silicea, Sulphur). Coldness of the hands and feet; but moist.

Upper Limbs Itching eruption in bends of elbows. Tension in metacarpal joints.

Lower Limbs Lancinating stitches over right thigh; must get out of bed for relief; sore as if ulcerated. Bruised feeling in lower limbs, desires to sit down, and when sitting feels that she must stand up. Pains in hips and thighs, extending to knees. Soreness and burning pain between the thighs. Swelling and heaviness of the feet. Sticking pain in hell;and corns. Offensive foot-sweat (Baryta c., Nitr. ac.), causing soreness between the toes (Silicea).

Generalities Frequent trembling of the whole body. Excessive prostration, exhaustion and faintness in morning during menses;in morning on waking ;in morning on rising. Indolence; after a meal. Easily fatigued from the least exercise. Excessive sensitiveness to pain (Aurum, Chamomilla, Cinchona, Coffea, Ignatia). Sensitive to cold or damp air (Aurum, Nux v., Petrol., Rhus tox., Rumex, Silicea). Violent ebullition of blood, also during the night. Feels pulse beating through the whole body (Gloninum, Pulsatilla, Silicea, Zincum met.). especially in whole of left chest.

Skin Itching on various parts of the whole body (Rhus tox., Sulphur), face, arms, hands, back,hips, feet, abdomen and genitals. Red, herpetic eruptions; with itching and burning. Brown or reddish liver spots on the skin. Indolent ulcers, with itching, stinging and burning.

Sleep Great sleepiness in the day-time, especially in forenoon. Difficult waking in the morning, with much weariness. Rest. less, unrefreshing sleep; wakes up tired and aching. Wakes at night in a fright, and screaming. Talking in sleep.

Fever Want of natural body warmth (Ledum, Silicea). Chilliness in the evening, in the open air, and from every motion. Chilly in the warm room, during the day. Flushes of heat, as if hot water were poured over him, or from least motion. Anxious heat afternoons and evenings. Heat ascends to the head and face. Profuse perspiration; at night (Calcarea c., Cinchona, Mercurius, Mercurius, Phosphorus, Silicea, Acid Sulphuricum), in morning after awaking (Calcarea c., Nitr. ac., Nux v., Pulsatilla, Sulphur); while walking; from slightest motion (Ambr., Calcarea c., Hepar s., Lycopodium, Phosphorus, Silicea). Cold sweat at night on breast back and thighs.

Aggravation Morning and evening; from 12 till 1 P.M., and from 4 till 6 P.M.; after eating; while sitting; after sexual excesses.

Amelioration In the open air; during violent exercise.

Conditions Especially suited to persons with dark hair; for women, and particularly during pregnancy, child-bed, and while nursing.

Compare Aconite, Arsenicum, Belladonna, Berberis, Bryonia, Calcarea c., Carb. v., Cinchona, Graphites, Lilium tigrinum, Lycopodium, Mercurius, Natr., Nux v.,

Podo Pulsatilla, Rhus tox., Silicea, Sulphur After Pulsatilla, Silicea, Sulphur, the Sepia follows swell. Inimical to Sepia is Lachesis

Antidotes Vegetable acids, Nitr. sp. d., Aconite, Antim crud., Ant. tart., Rhus tox.

Sepia Antidotes Calcarea c., Cinchona, Mercurius, Phosphorus, Scars., Sulphur


Thee chief clinical use of Sepia is in the treatment of diseases of the female organs. In general it stands at the head of all remedies in the treatment of uterine displacements, especially prolapsus, with engorgement and the characteristic bearing down sensation as if the organs would protrude, has to cross her limbs to prevent it. Has cured many cases of prolapsus without this symptom, but where other indications for Sepia were present, especially a sensation of “goneness” in the stomach. In general it is the chief remedy in chronic endometritis, and uterine leucorrhoea, with pain in back, yellow or milky excoriating discharge, etc. Congestion and induration of thee cervix, with soreness and burning. Useful in all disorders of menstruation. Especially valuable in chronic amenorrhoea; scanty irregular menstruation. Dysmenorrhoea. Metrorrhagia. Chronic vaginitis, parts dry and painful, especially during coition. Morning sickness. Threatening miscarriage; disposition to miscarry; sore nipples. Pot-belliedness of mothers. Flushes during climacteric period. Ovarian irritation. Indurations; of mammary glands and aviaries. Chlorosis. Often useful in melancholia and hysteria, associated with uterine troubles. Hemicrania. Anaemia. Jaundice. Epithelioma of lip, stomach or vagina, with burning pain. Herpetic eruptions, especially on face and in bends of joints. Acne. Eczema. Indolent ulcers, and ulcers around joints, especially of fingers. ” Liver spots,” especially on abdomen and chest. Often used in eye affections. Asthenopia associated with uterine disease, worse evenings; also from loss of semen in the male. Sudden vanishing of sight during the menses. Scrofulous conjunctivitis, subacute mucopurulent discharge in the morning, eyes dry in the evening. Supra-orbital neuralgia from uterine disease. Granulated lids. Paralysis or upper lid from uterine disease or disordered menstruation. Phlyctenular conjunctivitis. Blepharitis ciliaris. Pustular keratitis. Tarsal tumors. Cataract. Dry catarrh. Nasal polypi. Epistaxis during menses. Facial neuralgia during pregnancy, with chronic amenorrhoea; intermittent worse at night. Toothache from same causes. Frequently useful in dyspepsia during pregnancy, or with uterine disease or amenorrhoea, with hypochondriacal mood, also from severe mental labor or sexual excesses; desire for acids, “gone” feeling in stomach, etc. Acid dyspepsia, enlargement and congestion of the liver, with heaviness and soreness. Useful when the liver is sluggish and torpid, with headache, bad taste mornings, sallow complexion, especially “yellow saddle,” across bridge of nose, constipation, etc. Constipation from inactivity of the rectum. Bleeding, painful, protruding haemorrhoids, especially with uterine or hepatic disease. Diarrhoea from boiled milk, especially in teething children. Chronic cystitis with characteristic urine and sediment, constant urging and pressure, etc. Atony of the bladder. Nocturnal enuresis. Chronic urethritis. Gonorrhoea Bladder troubles, with uterine displacements. Chronic bronchitis, cough worse evening, with gastric, hepatic and other Sepia symptoms. Whooping cough, worse before midnight, cough seems to come from the stomach. Reflex coughs from uterine or gastric troubles. OFten indicated and useful in the course of phthisis pulmonalis, particularly in women, with characteristic Sepia symptoms. Functional heart troubles with uterine disease, menstrual disorders or at climacteric, especially palpitation, fainting, flushes, etc. Arthritic affections. Sometimes indicated in intermittent fever.

About the author

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. Cowperthwaite

A.C. (Allen Corson) Cowperthwaite 1848-1926.
ALLEN CORSON COWPERTHWAITE was born at Cape May, New Jersey, May 3, 1848, son of Joseph C. and Deborah (Godfrey) Cowperthwaite. He attended medical lectures at the University of Iowa in 1867-1868, and was graduated from the Hahnemann Medical College of Philadelphia in 1869. He practiced his profession first in Illinois, and then in Nebraska. In 1877 he became Dean and Professor of Materia Medica in the recently organized Homeopathic Department of the State University of Iowa, holding the position till 1892. In 1884 he accepted the chair of Materia Medica, Pharmacology, and Clinical Medicine in the Homeopathic Medical College of the University of Michigan. He removed to Chicago in 1892, and became Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics in the Chicago Homeopathic Medical College. From 1901 he also served as president of that College. He is the author of various works, notably "Insanity in its Medico-Legal Relations" (1876), "A Textbook of Materia Medica and Therapeutics" (1880), of "Gynecology" (1888), and of "The Practice of Medicine " (1901).

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