Creating Waves of Awareness
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
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