Sepia is suited to tall, slim women with narrow pelvis and lax fibers and muscles; such a woman is not well built as a woman. A woman who has the hips of a well built man is not built for child bearing; she cannot perform the functions of a woman without becoming relaxed in the pelvic organs and tissues. Such a build is a Sepia build, very tall slim, narrow, straight from the shoulders all the way down.
One of the strongest features of the Sepia patient is found in the mind, the state of the affections. To a great extent, the remedy seems to abolish the ability to feel natural love, to be affectionate. To illustrate it in the language of the mother: “I know I ought to love my children and my husband, I used to love them, but now I have no feeling on the subject.” The love does not go forth into affection, there is a lack of realization, a lack of ability to register such affections; the love does not manifest itself. Upon reflection it will be seen that the love itself cannot be so changed, but the affections can be as they are the expression of the love. It is a striking feature of this remedy that the affections are stilled; all things seem strange; she does not realize; she may even be estranged and turned aside from those she loves. This is on the border land of insanity; it is quite a different state of affairs from that when a woman abused by her husband knows in her rational mind that she does not love him.
This state is brought out in a woman during confinement, after uterine and other haemorrhages, after prolonged indigestion; high living with disturbance in the circulation, pallor, enfeeblement of body and mind. It is seldom manifested in a man, but it is a striking feature in the woman. It often comes on when nursing a child, from nursing an over-vigorous child or twins who require much lacteal fluid and drag her down. It may be brought out in a woman who has an over-vigorous husband. Excessive sexual excitement and over-indulgence brings on coldness and she becomes a cold woman.
She who has been excitable, nervous, and fidgety becomes the opposite, cold, takes on a stoical state of mind. Yet Sepia has all the excitability of any medicine, aggravated by noises, excitement, company, extreme irritability of tissue and mind; an excitable suicidal patient ; melancholy, sits and says nothing; taciturn; answers questions in monosyllables when pressed to answer. An absence of all joy, inability to realize that things are real; all things seem strange; no affection for the delightful things of life; no joy; life has nothing in it for her. She is worse in company yet dreads to be alone; and when she is in company she is spiteful, in the midst of her dullness of mind she is spiteful; she vents her spite on those she loves best. The Sepia woman permits no opposition to her opinions. The best impression of her is lost if controversy arises.
The next most general state is a peculiar sallowness which you will need to see to fix in your mind. Sepia has jaundice, yet this peculiar sallowness is a waxy, anaemic appearance, mottled with yellow, a yellow, sallow tint across the nose and the cheeks described as a yellow saddle across the nose and down the sides of the face. It is also common for the whole face to be covered with enormous freckles, great brown patches as in pregnancy, brown spots on the cheeks, brown warts, warts that have been red or pink become pigmented; liver spots on the face, chest, and abdomen. The skin of the flee is sallow and doughy, looks as if the muscles were flabby; you will seldom see Sepia indicated in the face that shows sharp lines of intellect; a person who has been thinking a long time has the lines and sharp angles of a thinking person, of one who possesses will and intellect. The Sepia subject is one who is rather stupid and dull, thinks slowly and is forgetful; the mind is anything but active and we see it in the face. In many instances, however, the Sepia patient is a quick patient, but the dullness of intellect is the most striking feature and it reflects itself upon the face. The face is generally puffed, often smooth and rounded and marked by an absence of intellectual lines and angles.
This patient is anaemic, pale lips and ears, pale, sallow face, fingers and hands become shriveled, sallow, waxy, bloodless. Sepia establishes a progressing emaciation of the body and the skin becomes wrinkled; the person looks prematurely old; wrinkles intermingled with sallow spots on the face in one who is 35 years of age, making him look as if he were fifty. A child looks like a shriveled dried up old person..
With all complaints there is constipation. The bowels lose their ability to expel their contents and the patient is always constipated; constipation during pregnancy; slow, difficult stool; stool like sheep dung. Always has a feeling of a lump in the rectum, never able to empty the bowels; though he goes to stool there is always a sensation of a lump remaining in the rectum. ‘When the stool passes into the lower bowel, it is not expelled until there is an accumulation, which presses the stool out.
Another feature present in most Sepia patients is a gnawing hunger, seldom satisfied; even though he eats plentifully he feels a gnawing, empty, hungry feeling in the stomach, not relieved by eating or relieved only for a moment. This is striking especially when associated with the constipation and the peculiar state of the affections.
When these symptoms are associated with prolapsus, Sepia will certainly cure, no matter how bad the prolapsus has been or what kind of displacement there is. It is the result of the state of relaxation of all the internal parts as if they were let down, wants a bandage to hold the parts up or wants to place the hand or a napkin on the parts; a funneling sensation, better sitting down and crossing the limbs When these symptoms group themselves together, the gnawing hunger, the constipation, the dragging down, and the mental condition, it is Sepia and Sepia only. One is not sufficient but it is the combination.
Sepia has a marked catarrhal tendency, tendency to milky discharges from mucous membranes. Long after digestion has ceased and the stomach is empty comes nausea and sometimes vomiting. It is a catarrhal state of the stomach and when it persists with the milky vomiting, Sepia is very valuable. This is not an uncommon feature in the vomiting of pregnancy. Vomits up food and after emptying the stomach of its contents, vomits or eructates a milky fluid; morning vomiting, first of food then a milky substance. Do not confound this with vomiting of milk. Some medicines vomit milk alone and Sepia does this also. Whitish, milky discharges from the posterior nares, from the vagina, excoriating, milky leucorrhoea, which at times takes on the appearance of curds, thick, cheesy, and horribly offensive; it has also thick, green and yellow discharges; it has dry crusty formations on mucous membranes.
Prolonged inveterate catarrh of the nose, thick, green, and yellow crusts are blown from the nose and sometimes are hawked from the posterior nares, thick, leathery formations. Loss of taste and smell. The smell of cooking food, meat and broth causes nausea. Catarrh of the chest with thick, tenacious, yellow expectoration accompanied with a violent cough, retching, gagging, violent prolonged retching, vomiting; dry cough and yet there is rattling. Whooping cough; asthmatic cough with retching and loss of urine. The cough is a violent one. Cough during first sleep (Lach., in irritable children Chain.). Tuberculosis. Quick consumption after a suppressed gonorrhoea; if given soon enough it will check. Spasmodic dry cough in the evening until midnight; holds the chest during the cough (Bry., Nair. sulph., Phos.).
Eruptions on the skin. Tendency to produce herpetic eruptions about the genitals, lips and mouth; ring-worm upon the face and body. It has cured zona, and herpetic eruptions of the labia and foreskin. Vesicular eruptions in the axilla, upon the tips of the elbows; eruptions that pile up in great crusts on the elbows; thick crusts form upon the joints; eruptions between the fingers; moist eruptions that pour out a watery fluid, or thick, yellow, purulent fluid.
Sepia produces the induration that belongs to some forms of eruption like epithelioma; indurations will form on the Iips and crack and bleed. This scaly eruption that looks like epithelioma is especially Sepia. When the scales come off a yellow, green, ichorous base remains, and as soon as one crust peels off, another forms; finally if torn off prematurely, it bleeds. Sepia has cured epithelioma of the lips, wings of the nose, and eyelids. It has cured old indurations caused by the use of a clay pipe, where it continues to form, and beneath it is seen this thick, yellow, purulent exudation. It is indicated in lumps and Iupoid formation on the skin, where there is infiltration; sometimes healing from the center to form a ring; this is a typical Sepia condition. The hardness and purple color are what are peculiarly sepia. Sepia stands on a par with Lach. for this purple aspect.
Sepia has a hysterical diathesis. Brea s out in spells of weeping, is sad one minute, gentle, yielding, and in another she is disagreeable, excitable, obstinate. You do not know what she is going to do next. She says and does strange things, makes errors, no dependence can be placed in her; no mental endurance; no affection for her family; whole mind weak and disordered, not when there is fever but it is a chronic manifestation of psora or sycosis. Fear of ghosts; that something unusual will happen; atmosphere full of figures, not seen but she knows that they are there, departed friends or other forms and very often in accordance with religious belief. Never happy unless annoying someone; relating her grievances; sarcastic; insulting; fear of insanity, poverty. “Fears to starve, is peevish and feels mortified, easily frightened and full of forebodings.” “Passionate, irritable; the greatest irritability from slight causes, very easily offended. Vexed and disposed to scold.”
The headaches are nervous, bilious, periodic, violent, involving the whole head; congestive. Generally better lying down, keeping perfectly quiet; worse from ordinary motion, but relieved by violent motion, like most Sepia symptoms in general; she can walk off her sufferings. Stasis of the brain, slowness of thought, mind will not work and mental labor aggravates the headache. A good substantial sleep relieves it, but if she is wakened after sleeping a short time, the headache is worse. The same is seen in regard to motion; moving the eyes, head, or body, moving about in a warm room aggravates the pain, but a good, long walk in the open air until she becomes heated up, relieves. It is a sluggish state of the body which requires exercise and violent exercise to keep it in a state of comfort. The Sepia symptoms are worse in the open air unless combined with continued motion, better from exercise in the open air and worse in the house. The headache is worse from stooping, motion, coughing, going up stairs, jarring, light, turning the head, lying on the back and from thinking, but continued, hard exercise relieves as does a tight bandage, and the application of heat, though worse in a warm room.
There are Sepia headaches that particularly affect the occiput, worse in the morning; great pain through the eyes and temples; relieved by sweat, worse on beginning to move; throbbing felt on stooping, worse on going up stairs.
The Phos. headache is relieved by sleep, but continued, rapid motion aggravates. Cannot endure it Sepia is suited to the old fash ioned bilious headaches. It is better from vomiting; the pain gradually increases, loathing of food, then nausea, vomiting and the patient falls asleep and wakens without the headache. Sang. resembles it, is better vomiting, better in a dark room; the direction is different, however.
Neuralgia of the head; periodic sick-headaches in gouty people; violent, congestive headaches in young women sensitive to noise, women of extremely delicate fiber, especially those with dark eyes, dark skin, and who become sallow from sickness. Jaundice often sets in with the headaches; at the close of the headache vomiting, and in a few days jaundice, which passes away but returns again with the next headache. Headache every morning with nausea; the smell of food repulsive_
Sepia takes on a stupid state of mind as mentioned above; will not work; will not answer questions; as if intoxicated, benumbed; eyes and face swollen, sclerotics yellow and jaundice. This sometimes ends in violent vomiting spells. Craves spicy, pungent, bitter things like beer in old drunkards with headache; threatening apoplexy. “Apoplexy in men addicted to drinking and sexual excesses, with a disposition to gout and haemorrhoids, etc.” “Threatening apoplexy in a dissipated, middle-aged man, who is subject to arthritic and haemorrhoidal complaints; they have usually passed through several light attacks of apoplexy and are frequently visited with prodromic symptoms.”
Under external head we have eruptions and falling out of the hair; yellow crusts; oozing of pus and other fluids; vesicles; eczema of infants. Eyes; catarrhal symptoms with vesicles and pustules; granular lids; ulcers and psoric manifestations; various infiltrative conditions of the eyes and about the eyes; pustules on the margins of the lids, pustules on the globe of the eye, seems as if looking through a gauze; tarsal tumors, agglutination of lids, styes, etc. The ears discharge thick, yellow pus; offensive.
The nose is a favorite locality; loss of smell; yellow or green thick crusts fill the nose and cannot be blown out; inveterate discharge of thick yellow pus. “Large offensive-smelling plugs from the nose, often so large that they have to be drawn back into the mouth and expectorated, causing vomiting. Dry coryza especially of left nostril. Blowing of large lumps of yellow or green mucus or yellow-green crusts with blood from the nose.” This is descriptive of the worst forms of catarrh; very few will let it run on thus far, they apply local treatment and heal the nose up, and, the process at once going to the chest, phthisis pituitosa comes on.
The gums settle away from the teeth. Toothache and neuralgia from taking cold. Sensation of a lump in the throat (like Lach.), but the latter is better from swallowing. (The same in worm troubles indicates Cina.) Uneasiness of the collar and corsets like Lach. Worse in the first sleep like Lach.
Sepia brings out many things in connection with the appetites, thirst, eating, drinking and stomach, etc. The Sepia patient is generally conscious of a spoiled stomach, sour and bitter eructations of food, of mucus and bile, sour and bitter vomiting of food and mucus; all-gone, hungry, empty feeling in the stomach sometimes not relieved by eating. At times a gnawing pain, a sinking, a gnawing hunger which is not always relieved by eating. Almost constant nausea, especially in the morning, nausea and eructations and vomiting of milky fluid; when the stomach is empty, vomiting, spitting up, eructations of milky fluid. Aversion to food, to the smell of food cooking, like Colch. and Ars. The patient gets up in the morning with an all-gone feeling, distress and fullness in the stomach followed by belching and uprisings of mucus, and milky fluids ; vomiting of pregnancy ; vomiting of milky water in the morning; this is a characteristic of Sepia.
Acrid, burning eructations; heartburn; rancid eructations, excoriating the throat; pyrosis which is another form of eructation ; acrid, sour fluids burning all the way up, causing contraction, tingling, smarting. Nausea violent; deathly sinking accompanied with an awful anxiety in the stomach. Phos. has more of the typical hunger which is relieved by eating. The Ignatia patient is always sighing; cannot get rid of “that feeling.” Oleander has an all-gone, empty feeling as if he would die; food does not relieve, is not digested, but passes undigested the next day.
Lyc. has an all-gone feeling sometimes not better by eating, felt as markedly before as after eating, and after eating there comes a throbbing. Kali carb. has it also, without the amelioration from taking food; it is even intensified by eating, which is followed by a sensation of fullness and throbbing.
In severe liver and heart affections the stomach is not able to keep up assimilation; palpitation, great weakness, liver congested, white stool. Digitalis comes in here with its deathly sinking not better by eating. In Sepia this symptom is associated with the loss of affections, the lump in the rectum, with the constipation, etc.
“Pain in the stomach after the simplest food. Stitches and burning in the stomach. Pain in the stomach worse by vomiting.” This is peculiar, for vomiting usually relieves the distress. The Sepia stomach becomes like a leather bag, fill it up and the food comes up just as eaten or at times sour or mixed with bile.
Inflammation of the liver, enlargement with jaundice, pain, fullness, distension, distress in the region of the liver.
Abdomen distended with flatus, rumbling and distension. These disturbances are often chronic as in pot-bellied mothers; abdomen covered with brown spots. Sepia has removed tape-worm.
Chronic diarrhoea, stools jelly-like, lumpy; alternating diarrhoea and constipation; a great amount of mucus with the stools, whether constipated or diarrhoeic; hard stool covered with a great quantity of jelly-like mucus. Goes for days without a stool and then sits and strains until a copious sweat breaks out and yet no stool, but after assistance with the finger and prolonged strain a little stool is passed, followed by a cupful of jelly-like mucus, yellow or yellow-white and very offensive.
The acute diarrhoeas and dysenteries with jelly-like stools are more in keeping with Kali bi. and Colch. This in chronic diarrhoeas or in constipation with stool covered with or followed by jelly-like mucus is Sepia. Do not confound with Graph., which has an enormous stool with much straining and sweating, and coated with and mixed with a substance looking like the cooked white of egg, as if covered with albumen.
In Sepia there is much offensiveness; the odor of the stool is unusual, loose stools horribly offensive, foetid; the sweat is fetid, the urine is foetid. “The stool has a putrid, sourish, foetid smell, expelled suddenly and the whole of it at once.” Sepia is given in a routine way for constipation, when there are few symptoms. There is always a sense of fullness in the rectum after stool; ineffectual straining and sweating in the effort because the patient is weak and exhausted. Sepia has the ineffectual urging like Nux. She may go for days with no urging and then the effort is as if she were in labor. Prolapse of the rectum. Weight as of a ball in the anus not relieved by stool. Soreness of the anus. Expulsion of ascarides. Oozing moisture from the rectum, soreness between the buttocks. Haemorrhoids soon form when the rectum is so packed with faeces, and they give additional trouble.
There is much urinary trouble; involuntary urination as soon as the child goes to sleep at night. Sepia is compelled to keep the mind on the neck of the bladder or she will Iose the urine; urine is lost when coughing, sneezing, laughing, the slam of a door, a shock, or when the mind is diverted. Frequent, constant urging to urinate with milky urine that burns like fire and after standing a while a milky, greyish deposit will form which is hard to wash off the vessel BIoody urine, scanty and suppressed, great pain in the kidneys and bladder with great bearing down; sudden desire with tenesmus as if the uterus would come out. Sudden desire to urinate with cutting like knives and chill all over the body, if unable to pass it, as a lady in company. I remember a pitiable case. A saleswoman was obliged to go to the closet every few minutes; a violent pain like a knife cutting came with the desire to urinate and if the urine was not passed this pain would hold right on. She was compelled to keep her mind on the urine or she would lose it. She was tall, slim, with sallow face, distressed look, worn and tired. Sepia cured her and she was never troubled again.
The Sepia patient aborts at the third month. All sorts of ulcerative conditions, displacements, dragging down and relaxations. Retained placenta. Subinvolution, all the pelvic organs are tired and weak. Metrorrhagia during the climacteric or during pregnancy, especially at the fifth and seventh months.
Both male and female have aversion to the opposite sex. In the female there is a state as if she had indulged to excess, when this is not the case. No endurance, tired after coition, sleepless nights, sleep full of dreams, jerking of muscles, twitching, leucorrhoea, congestion of the pelvis. A woman who has been normal in her relations with her husband brings forth a child, and then the thought of sexual relations causes nausea and irritability.
The menstrual symptoms are of all sorts, no particular derangement characterizes Sepia. At one time it was thought that scanty menstruation was the more striking feature, but this is not necessarily so; from provings and clinical observations, it has cured profuse as well as scanty flow. Most violent dysmenorrhoea in girls of delicate fiber, sallow girls.
Sepia comes in when the woman ought to menstruate when the child ceases to nurse; sometimes the child dies and menses ought to be established but do not appear, and the mother runs down, pines away; Sepia will establish the flow. Calc. is the opposite; the menses come on while the child is nursing. Thick greenish acrid or milky leucorrhoea. Leucorrhoea in little girls.
In the male, old sycotic discharge that has resisted injection. Profuse yellow, or milky discharge from the urethra, or the “last drop,” painless. Gonorrhoea after the acute symptoms have subsided. Urine loaded with urates, stains everything red and often excoriates, very foetid, associated with prostatitis. “Gleet; no pain; discharge only during the night, a drop or so staining the linen yellowish; yellowish discharge, no burning on urinating; painless; of a year and a half’s standing; orifice of urethra stuck together in the morning, particularly when the sexual organs are debilitated by long continuance of disease or through frequent seminal emissions.”
Warts on the genitals; Sepia is useful when these organs have been overused and take on such an appearance. Impotence in the male, loss of sexual feeling in the female.
The dose relation between this remedy and if Murex is worth considering. The muscular relaxation, dragging down in the abdomen and pelvis, aggravated from exertion and walking, ameliorated by sitting with the limbs crossed and ameliorated by pressure on the genitalia would be like both remedies; but add to this copious menstrual flow and violent sexual desire and Murex must be considered and Sepia eliminated. Both have extreme empty feeling in the stomach. Sepia has diminished sexual desire and often aversion. Murex has great soreness and congestion of the uterus, and she is constantly reminded of the uterus. Murex has acute pain in right side of uterus which crosses the body diagonally upward to left side of chest, or left breast. It cures violent dysmenorrhoea. It has been useful in cancer of the uterus. Watery, greenish, thick, bloody leucorrhoea, causing itching.
One of Sepia’s most general characteristics is the amelioration from violent exercise; worse on beginning to move but better by getting warmed up. This condition is closely related to the back symptoms. There is a great amount of soreness in the back, the spine aches all the way down. Pressure on the spine reveals some places, spinal irritation. Aching in the back mostly from the loins to the coccyx, often coming on from sitting, and ameliorated from violent exercise. A peculiar feature is amelioration from hard pressure. The patient commonly puts a book low down on the chair and presses the back against it. Sepia does not seem to get the amelioration from lying upon the back as Natrum mur. does. Stooping aggravates the backache. “Backache worse from kneeling.”
Under symptoms of the lower extremities we find great numbness of the feet. “Coldness of the legs and feet especially in the evening in bed; when the feet get warm the hands get cold; icy coldness of the feet; profuse sweat of the feet or sweat of unbearable odor causing soreness between the toes. Swelling of the limbs better while walking.”
The sleep is full of dreams and distress; cannot sleep upon the left side because of palpitation of the heart Palpitation in sleep, with pulsations and trembling all the body, pulsations to the finger tips.
In old cases of suppressed malaria, Sepia brings back the chill, but its most useful sphere is after a bad selection of the remedy and the case becomes confused. Where a remedy has been selected for only a part of the case and changed it a little but the patient gets no better. It will be seen that the fever, chill, and sweat are just as erratic as can be. Natrum mur. is one of the greatest malarial remedies, but it is full of order like China, Sepia is full of disorder. In a case confused by remedies think of Calc., Ars., Sulph., Sepia and Ipecac. Never give China or Natrum mur. for irregular symptoms and stages.
Sepia is complementary to Natrum mur. Aside from the stupid condition of the mind it has an excitable condition of the general nervous system that is often marked in Natrum mur., as, for instance, being disturbed by a noise, the-slam of a door, etc. It produces jerking of the muscles in sleep; constantly wakes from imaginary noises, thinks someone has called her; the least disturbance about the house wakens her.
Worse before and during menses; during pregnancy; after eating; during first sleep; change of weather; during a thunderstorm; overwhelming fear.
Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.