A.Vogel plant encyclopaedia

Sepia officinalis L.



Sepia officinalis - Squid

The squid and its parts have long put to a great variety of uses. The muscle flesh (calamares) and eggs are very popular as food. The dried secretion of the ink gland is greatly esteemed as a water color and as sepia ink in painting. Here, natural sepia (Sepia vera) is distinguished from sepia colored reddish with madder or lake (from Rubia tinctoria) or with chemical umber. According to Soranus, sepia ink was once used against hair loss.

The white posterior shell of the squid (Ossa sepia) is also used. Soft shells (= marina) of dead animals are used in medicine to promote bone formation and in folk medicine as a medication for fever and the stomach. They are also used as a toothpaste additive, as a   grinding material for wood, and as a grindstone for pet birds to rub their beaks on. The hard shells (= pescheria) taken from living creatures are used to prepare casting molds for gold.

Zoological characteristics

The squid is a mollusc with a flat, oval, 35 - 40 cm long body fringed with a fin. It has several relatively short tentacles and two long tentacles with suckers on the end. The eyes are disproportionately large, very expressive, and highly developed. The squid's extremely variable, lively, and beautiful coloration serves as camouflage much like a chameleon. At rest, its back is brownish-yellow, the eye area bluish, the arms greenish, and the fin fringe violet. The animal moves backward by forcing water from a hollow in its mantle. At the back end of the gut-sac is a large ink bladder, at once gland and storage space for a brown, opaque fluid. When danger threatens, the entire animal changes color, developing spots of the most various hues. Then it empties its ink sac to flee from its pursuer under cover of a dark cloud.

Squids are of two sexes and reproduce by means of extremely yolk-rich eggs («sea grapes») laid on rocks on the floor of the sea.


The squid is native to the coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea, especially the Adriatic, and also lives in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, but not in the Baltic Sea. It prefers relatively shallow waters   with a silty or sandy bed. The bones (Ossa sepia) of the dead animal are easy to find, since they are very light and often wash up on shore.


A.Vogel Bioforce uses a homeopathic dilution of the dried secretion of the ink gland, prepared according to the actual HAB.

Official designation







Belosepia sepiodes VOLTZ.

Eusepia NAEF


Common names



Pulp (inky juice of cuttlefish)