The common cuttlefish and its parts have long been put to a great variety of uses. The muscle flesh (calamari) and eggs are very popular foods. The dried secretion of the ink gland is highly valued as a water colour and as sepia ink in painting. Here distinction must be made between natural sepia (Sepia vera), madder which is reddish in colour (from Rubia tinctoria) and sepia which is chemically coloured umber. According to Soranus, sepia ink was once used for hair loss. The white posterior shell of the common cuttlefish (Ossa sepia) is also used. Soft shells (= marina) of dead animals are used as a remedy to promote bone formation and in folk medicine as a medication for fever and stomach problems. They are also used as a toothpaste additive, as a sharpening tool 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 moulds for gold.
The common cuttlefish is a mollusc with a flat,
oval, 35cm to 40cm 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. . An interesting point is the creature’s extremely variable,
bright and beautiful colouration, which provides complete camouflage
against its surroundings. At rest, its back is brownish-yellow, the eye
area bluish, the tentacles greenish, and the fin fringe violet. It
moves backwards by forcing water from a hole in its mantle. At the back
end of the gut-sac is a large ink sac, which serves both as a gland and
as a storage organ. It is filled with a brown, opaque fluid. When
danger threatens, it changes colour completely and spots appear in the
most diverse colours. It then empties its ink sac in order to flee
from its pursuer under cover of a dark cloud Common cuttlefish are
dioecious (i.e. the sexes are separate) and reproduce by means of
extremely yolk-rich eggs (’sea grapes’) laid on rocks on the floor of
The common cuttlefish is native to the coastal
waters of the Mediterranean, especially the Adriatic, and also lives in
the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It prefers relatively shallow waters
with a muddy or sandy bed. The cuttlebone, the oval inner shell of the
dead cuttlefish, can often be found washed ashore on a beach.
A.Vogel/Bioforce uses a homoeopathic dilution of
the dried secretion of the ink gland, prepared in accordance with the
current Homöopathisches Arzneibuch (HAB) (New Official German
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