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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


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Comment by Dr. MAS on September 16, 2010 at 12:09am
If your patient is of Sciatica with burning pain that is worse at night and you don't have Salicylicum Acidum 30 then you can give silicea 30 instead? Am I right?
Comment by Dr. MAS on September 16, 2010 at 12:03am
So you all agreed to this point that if a patient is of Salicylicum Acidum we can give Silicea being the synonym?

You mean when the symptoms of Salicylicum Acidum are found in a patient. See the Symptoms

Then instead of suggesting Salicylicum Acidum We can give medicine of Silicea, this one

Please finally remove my confusion so that we may close this topic and homeopathy.
Comment by HOMEOPATIA SOUZA MARQUES on September 15, 2010 at 10:11am
About Silicea: All I found is that Silice Acidum silicilicum and are the same thing ... Not to be confused with Acidum Salicylicum or (Salicilicum)
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For me this enlightened!
Comment by HOMEOPATIA SOUZA MARQUES on September 15, 2010 at 8:42am
Natrum hypochlorosum
(Solution Labarraque)
Solution - mother, a part of the drug to 99 parts ethanol 60 º GL.
Boericke's book inadvertently calls this solution Natrum chloratum.

-------------------------------------------------- -----------------------------------

Natrum Muriaticum Natrum or chloratum
Not to be confused with Natrum hypochlorosum
(Sodium chloride)
SYNONYMS: Chloruretum sodicum, Sodium chloride and Natrum hydrochloricum.
Crushing: RULE 8.
Solution - mother: one part of sodium chloride to 89 parts distilled water + 10 parts ethanol 90 º GL. The other dinamizations in ethanol 60 º GL. RULE 5.
-------------------------------------------------- ----------------------------------------
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on September 15, 2010 at 8:18am
From Dr PN Verma's remarks, it is very clear that Acidum silicicum and Silicea are synonyms. Similarly, Natrum muriaticum and Natrium chloratum are also synonyms. Some pharmacies are using both names or only the synonym, but majority of the pharmacies are using the well accepted scientific names. Using different names is not the right way, but why should we hesitate to give the medicine when we are sure about the synonym? In India Brahmi is available in tincture and potencies, but some pharmacies are marketing it as Bacopa monneiri. If the drug is same, we can surely use it!

Natrum hypochlorosum is another remedy prepared from Labaraque's solution.
In some countries, it was named as Nat Chloratum. Since we already have nat mur and natrium chloratum as synonyms, in order to avoid confusion, it is now termed as Natrum hypochlorosum. Only the name changes, but the material is the same -Labaraque's solution.

My name is Muhammed Rafeeque, my friends call me Rafeeque, my family members call me Rafi, I also had a nick name during my school days, but, I am the same person!
Comment by Dr. MAS on September 15, 2010 at 3:47am
How Natrum hypochlorosum is prepared as compared to Natrium Cholratum or Natrium Muriaticum? Kindly check both preparations from the same pharmacopeia and paste here. Thank you.
Comment by Dr. MAS on September 15, 2010 at 3:44am
No, the doubt is not clear yet. Both confusions are still persist.

First the potencies which I showed you are from Schwabe Germany. What is their opinion.

Secondly do ask him, can we use silicea potency on a patient who have Acidum silicicum sympotms as silicea did have Acidum silicicum during its preparation? Can we use Natrium Cholratum potency on a patient having natrium muriaticum symptoms as Natrium Muriaticum is also written as synonym. And what about those potencies which are coming with single name Natrium Cholratum but no synonym is written and what about natrium muriaticum where no synonym is written.

The written report which schwabe sent from Germany to my friend Rashid is totally different from the info which your india pharmacy has provided.
Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on September 11, 2010 at 12:21am
This is the clarification I received from Dr P N Verma,Scientific Adviser, Dr.Willmar Schwabe India Pvt.Ltd.
Dear Dr. Rafeeque,

The drug Silicea is made from silica. It is a natural product mainly containing silicon dioxide. Its chemical formula is SiO 2 . Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India (HPI) has given the method of preparation under the monograph Silicea in page no. 190 of volume 1. If the method is carefully seen the end product is the hydrated form of silicon dioxide, which is nothing but Silicic acid (Acidum silicicum or Silicicum acidum). This is the reason why under Silicea the other name/synonym is written as Acidum silicicum in keeping with other homoeopathic literatures like "Hand Book of Materia Medica and Homoeopathic Therapeutics" by T. F. Allen, "A Manual of Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacology" by A. L. Blackwood, etc. As far as Natrum muriaticum is concerned, its chemical name is Sodium chloride, which is commonly known as table salt or common salt. In German, the word 'Natrum' is called as Natrium and 'Chloride' is called as Chloratum. So in Germany it is called Natrium chloratum, which is the official name mentioned in their German Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia. Another drug which is made from Liquor Sodae Chlorate, called also as Labaraque's solution or Chlorate of sodium is often called as Natrum chloratum in other countries. Its chemical symbol is NaCIO 3 . The confusion arises from the old literatures, where it is mentioned as Natrum chloratum. To avoid the confusion, this drug is now called as Natrum hypochlorosum. If you see the old edition of Boericke's materia medica, this drug is mentioned as Natrum chloratum, but if you see the recent edition of the same (eg. New Manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory, William Boericke, Augmented Edition based on Ninth Edition, 2000, B. Jain Publishers (P) Ltd. 1921, Street No. 10, Chuna Mandi, Pahar Ganj, New Delhi), it is changed as Natrum hypochlorosum. You can see this 'change in name' in other recent literatures also like Encyclopaedia Homoeopathica (Radar), Encyclopaedia of Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia, etc.

Hope this clarifies.

Dr. P. N. Varma
Scientific Adviser
Dr.Willmar Schwabe India Pvt.Ltd.
A-36 Sector-60,

I feel the doubt is cleared.
Comment by Dr. MAS on September 7, 2010 at 3:56am
If you want to see homeopathy flourishing, then start thinking from mind and not from heart. Homeopathy is a system of medicine that has depth of cure of so many chronic diseases. It is the pathy of future. But at the same time, it has so many anamolies, the need of the day is to work out a plan to remove those bugs from homeopathy to make it first hand medical system and not alternative therapy.
Comment by Dr. MAS on September 7, 2010 at 12:09am
Do ask the officer, you are also marketing Natrium Cholratum and Natrium Muriaticum separately. Why?

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