The cuttlefish is one of my favorite animals. Outstandingly it has the ability to change colour in beautiful ways at a moments notice as a form of communication. It is quick and majestic in the water and has numerous other amazing features such as: “w” shaped eyes, 3 hearts to pump green blue blood around, a large brain and a cuttlebone. The cuttlebone is a calcium structure that is filled with gas to change it's buoyancy. Hai Piao Xiao is cuttlebone.
In TCM it’s used to stabilise and bind.
It enters KD, LR and ST and is salty, astringent and slightly warm
Stops bleeding, secures essence and dries dampness
Used for many bleeding patterns, especially from deficiency and it can also be used to stop traumatic bleeding externally. Drying and inhibiting in its characteristics it enters blood level of the Liver channel and restrains bleed, dries vaginal discharge. It enters the Kidney channel and secures essence, and enters Stomach and controls acidity, stops epigastric pain and treat diarrhea and dysentery disorders.
Bensky et al, 2004, Chinese Herbal Medicine: Materia Medica 3rd Edition, Eastland Press, USA
Really great video of cuttlefish: