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Same Remedy, But Different Names - No More Confusion!

Once our pioneers had a clash over the name of a remedy- Cimicifuga vs Actea Racemosa. One group proposed Cimicifuga and the other group proposed Actea Racemosa. And finally, as a compromise, most of the homeopaths use Cimicifuga-Actea Racemosa. Similarly, there are a few more medicines in homeopathy having different names used in labeling, materia medica description, and most importantly while giving a prescription. The use of different names for the same medicine can confuse the pharmacists, students and also the doctors who are not familiar with the synonyms.


When I was a student, I had a bet with my classmates. In our college OPD, we had a case of Bronchial asthma with a strong modality- breathlessness relieved by passing stool. Pothos is the only remedy for this indication, I strongly suggested. But my classmates were not ready to agree, they said, there is one more remedy called Ictodes. A few students supported me, but the majority in the other group. Finally we referred some books and felt sorry for an unnecessary argument, because Pothos and Ictodes are the same remedy! The name given in the materia medica is Pothos and the repertories give Ictodes.


On another occasion, I prescribed Ox gall 6X for a gall stone patient. Immediately, the patient reported that it is not available in the nearby pharmacy. When I changed the prescription by writing the synonym Fel Tauri 6 X, it was available there!


In India, some medicines are marketed and prescribed as per the common names instead of the scientific name. Example: Brahmi Q, 1x, 3x etc is prescribed by many, but the scientific name Bacopa moneeri is also used by many pharmacies.


Our materia medica, therapeutic books and the repertories follow different names
for many drugs. Here I am listing a few among them.


Fel tauri- Ox gal


Kalmeg- Andrographis Paniculata.


Cimicifuga racemosa - Actaea racemosa


Solanum lycopersicum- Lycopersicum esculentum


Pothos foetidus- Ictodes foetida


Kurchi- Holarrhena antidysenterica


Anacardium orientale - Semecarpus anacardium


Cyperus rotundus- Mutha.


Calcarea carbonica – Calcarea ostrearum


Damiana – Turnera diffusa


Calcarea ovarum - Ova tosta (toasted egg shell)


Nux moschata – Myristica fragrans


Arjuna – Terminalia Arjuna


Dolicos pruriens - Mucuna pruriens


Psoralea Corylifolia – Babchi or bavchi


Bhrahmi - Bacopa monnieri


China - Cinchona


Asoka - Saraca indica - Jonosia asoka


Adhatoda vasaka - Justicia adhatoda


Eriodyction californicum - Yerba Santa


Camphora officianalis – Camphor

Saw palmetto - Sabal serrulata


Aviaire - Tuberculinum avis

Tongo Odorata - Diptrix Odorata

Guaiacum Officinale - Guajacum Officinale

Withania Somnifera - Aswagandha

Vinca Rosea - Catharanthus Rosens

Serum Anguillar Ichthytoxin - Elserum

Terminalia Arjuna- Arjuna

Quercus glandium spiritus- Spiritus glandium quercus

Mercurius Iodatus Ruber- Merc bin iod

Mercurius iodatus flavus- Merc proto iod

Kli iodicum- Kli hydroiodicum

Jborandi- Pilocarpus

Hydrophobinum- Lyssin

Boerhavia diffusa- Punarnava.

Golondrina - Euphorbia polycarpa W. Boericke has written Golondrina, and Blackwood has written Euphorbia. Both are same.

Verbascum thapsus is also used in homeopathy as Mullein oil, which is Verbascum Q mixed with Glycerine.


Drugs prepared from acids can also confuse while dispensing. For example: Some pharmacies label Acid Nitricum and others mention Nitric acid or Nitricum Acidum.


While giving prescription, we make a great mistake by writing only the genus name of the medicine, without writing the species name. Prescribing only “Phytolacca” is meaningless, because we have Phytolacca decandra and Phytolacca berry. True that some remedies are more popular, for example: If anybody prescribe Aconite, most probably it is Aconitum Napellus. Acon Napellus is popular, but we have different varieties of Aconite such as: A.napellus, A.anthora, A.cammarum, A.columbianum, A.ferox, A.lycotonum, A.septentrionale etc.


[Some materia medica books also confuse the readers. In Allen's keynotes, the drug picture of Tarentulla cubensis and Tarent hispanica are written together as a single drug]


To avoid the confusion, use the scientific names that is accepted world wide. This is the main intention behind the introduction of Binomial nomenclature by Carolus Linnaeus.


Dr Muhammed Rafeeque, BHMS, PGNAHI.

Family Homoeopathic Clinic


Views: 6589

Comment by HOMEOPATIA SOUZA MARQUES on August 24, 2010 at 8:22am
Very good this treatise on the names of medicines. Dr. Rafeeque. Our pharmacy also has this problem but we decided because we know a lot about synonymy of homeopathic medicines have a complete book with all the synonyms. Many doctors give the synonymy of drugs, since the names are in Latin. This article is very important for pharmacies and doctors.
Comment by Debby Bruck on August 24, 2010 at 10:30pm
Awesome Dr Rafeeque. Wonderful contribution.
Comment by Dr. Aamir Mustafa on August 25, 2010 at 12:57am
Dr Rageeque you discus very important issue about this confussion name of homeopathic medicines. Thank you contribution, this is todays all homeoptahic doctor and students problem.
Comment by Dr Neena Singla on August 26, 2010 at 3:33am
This often leads to confusion.My mother who was in germany for some time took lot of homeopathic medicines with her. One day she had lot of bloatedness and she called me up to ask the remedy I told her to take China 30 , She told me it is not available with me and I told them I have given the remedy, Then I told them search for cinchona off. So this type of confusion create problems many times
Comment by Dr. MAS on August 26, 2010 at 4:21am
Few abbreviations or names are universally accepted in their right syntax or atleast these are mentioned same in different software / books. Those who read them also understand them.

For example, Writing Calc or Calcarea alone means calcarea carbonicum and not calc sulph. If somebody is understanding it as calc sulph then he should study list of homeopathic remedy names. Pharmacist and Doctors are already trained for that purpose. Writting Phytolacca alone always means phytolacca berry unless it is written phyto-d or else pointed out.

The problem arises when you write Kali-m and patient use Kali-chl. Kali muriaticum and Kali cholratum are two different proved remedies but patients are using them same. That is the problem that has to be addressed.

On Silicea 200 (Willmar Schwabe) bottle, the word Salicylicum Acidicum is written. But Salicylicum - Acid is another remedy but we are using them and funny thing is that we also claim cure from them.
Comment by Dr. MAS on August 26, 2010 at 4:34am
So frankly speaking, confused with words, does not matter as it is our confusion on academic level. Most of the materia medica provides information on synonyms so if people do read them they may not be confused. The main problem is we are using different remedies and understand that we are correct. Two examples are quoated above with one real video showing silicea bottle. What you will do? Will you use on your silicea patients? (Smile ;) )
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 26, 2010 at 7:51am
Thanks for your valuable comments.

Thanks to Dr Neena for adding one more synonym to the list. With your kind permission, I am adding that in the list.

Thanks to Dr Mas for your comments. The video shows Acidum Salicicum, not Salicylicum. Am I correct? I have searched in the net for clarification. Here is the link to your discussion. I think this is a synonym of Silicea! The responce given by Dr Ricky is significant in the following link.
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 26, 2010 at 7:51am
Sorry Dr Mas, by mistake I deleted the video. Please post it again.
Comment by Dr. MAS on August 27, 2010 at 1:23am

In your provided link, it was not me in that discussion. My students, colleagues and friends are in thousands of numbers who belong to mas organization participate in discussion, sometime they write for me as well. For that purpose, I have permission to them. About 9 members at Hpathy are writing under dr.mas names but they are also not me. I never got registration at hpathy. I have the permission to my students to paste my articles on net with their own names. I have no problem. This procedure is adopted to promote education. on my books and articles there is no copy right. Every body is free to publish my books, articles and research papers with their own names. I do not claim copy right. I have made four major and global web sites in Pakistan for big organizations. I have clearly written on them that these sites are also free of copy right. Even I announce,if any body copy that material on any site, I demand no link from them. We have educated above 20 thousands students free of cost.

Never authenticate any internet information. All info available on net is not correct ;)

Salicylicum or Acidum Salicicum, I accept. But question is not answerd. (What you will do? Will you use the medicine from this bottle on your silicea patients? )

So you believe ACID Salicicum is the synonym of silicea. Would you please open any materia medica and see whether the word ACID as an ingrident used in silicea. I am writing in light mood with cute smile -:) Again surf on net and tell us your opinion?

Second question, will you use Natrium Cholaratum 30 on your patient who is natrium muriaticum?

(Sorry for spelling mistakes, as I write directly in "ADD COMMENTS" box.)
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on August 27, 2010 at 6:02am
I am really impressed by your dedicated service to promote homeopathy, that too, without any financial gain! Hats off to you doctor.

Right now, I am not sure about the synonym of silicea, hence i will not use medicine from this particular bottle, even though I trust Willmar schwabe's medicines. This could be a synonym or a printing mistake. It has to be confirmed.

I will never give Natrum chloricum for a Natrum mur case. There may be some common features of Natrum group, but there is no surrogates in homeopathy.


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