Homeopathic literature often uses different names for a single substance and sometimes includes several distinct substances under a single name. When we prescribe a remedy, we (hopefully) base our prescription on a proving / clinical symptoms image of a substance as recorded in our books. These substances are denoted by distinct names, but the usage of these names vary from one author to another – for example, your case may call for Mercurius iodatus ruber, but the pharmacy has no remedy with such name, they have it under Mercurius bi-odatus.
Also, various pharmacies use various source substances for homeopathic remedy preparation. The optional goal is to find out what exact substances are used to prepare specific remedies – if their cooperation can be obtained.
Each sufficiently distinct substance has a unique page name, with a unique numeric identifier. What considers a distinct substance? There is no simple answer. In theory, every substance is different from any other substance, even if taken from the same source and prepared by the same process.
For practical purposes, if we, for example, consider two specimens of species Achillea millefolium, we usually consider them as a single substance – even if one was grown in Europe and the other one in North America, although it is akin to claiming that all grape varieties are the same.
Since the point of this project is linking substances with their respective names used in homeopathic literature, the question of a distinct substance is largely determined by the status provided by said literature. For example, in Hahnemann's Materia Medica Pura under Ferrum metallicum, we find symptoms belonging not only to iron, but also to iron acetate and sometimes even iron carbonate.
Notwithstanding these problems, the project should provide clear answers to the questions of identification, such as follows:
If my case calls for Pulsatilla and my homeopathic pharmacy only has Pulsatilla pratensis, is it the same remedy or is it a distinct substance?
If Kent describes Pulsatilla nigricans, is it the same plant as Pulsatilla pratensis or something different?
Is Pulsatilla patens the same plant as Pulsatilla pratensis?
Is Pulsatilla nuttalliana the same plant as “general” Pulsatilla?
In this article
from the pen of P.P.Wells about Gelseminum
, is he actually describing a remedy we now know as Gelsemium sempervirens
or is it a distinct remedy?
How many distinct substances are remedies named Benzenum, Benzolum, Benzinum, Nitrobenzolum, Benzinum nitricum?
If I purchase Medorrhinum, Psorinum, Carcinosinum or other nosodes from my local pharmacy, will these work as described in homeopathic literature or should I be doubtful?
Each substance page should contain the following basic data:
Standard name – this is the usual / traditional unique name of the remedy prepared from a substance; the name most frequently used for that particular substance in homeopathic literature
Other names – other names used to denote the same substance, whether historical or modern, as recorded in homeopathic literature; ordered by frequency of use, semicolon-separated (most common names are first); erroneous names are marked with (err.) behind the name or stated in the optional Erroneous name field (see optional data)
Standard abbr. – this is the usual / traditional unique remedy abbreviation as used in homeopathic literature
Other abbr. – other remedy abbreviations as used in homeopathic literature, semicolon-separated
Scientific name – current accepted scientific name of the source substance, if any, including author name, if applicable (example: Pulsatilla pratensis (L.) Mill.)
Other scientific names – other scientific names of the source substance, if any, including author name, if applicable (example: Anemone pratensis L.)
Common names – common name(s) of the source substance in English; ordered by frequency of use, semicolon-separated (most common names are first)
Source substance description – a concise description of the source substance part to be used for remedy preparation and / or a process to obtain it
Distinctness – distinctness attribute of the remedy; possible values
Classification – remedies are classified into several groups based on the original substance or mode of preparation
Organism – these are futher classified into eight Kingdoms
) and categorized into simplified taxonomy
consisting of Phylum
Provings – all known provings of the substance (potentized, crude and poisonings), with a direct link to proving text, if possible
Materia Medica – all known Materia Medica sources of the substance, with a direct link to text, if possible; clinical and proving information are mixed and not readily distinguishable
The basic data set can be further enhanced by additional optional information:
– erroneous names of the remedy based on a typo, misunderstanding, ignorance or similar, as used in the homeopathic literature (such as Aloe soccotrina, which should be Aloe socotrina
); semi-colon separated
– similar remedies, remedies made from a similar source or of similar origin; semi-colon separated, ideally with a direct link to the remedy named (examples are Tuberculinum
, both having relationship to tuberculosis)
Provings mixed with
– official names of the remedies (with corresponding hyperlinks within Project Remedies records), symptoms of which are often included with this remedy; semicolon-separated (example: Calcarea carbonica
includes proving records of Calcarea acetica
Examples of processed remedies
For better evaluation of current data setup, please have a look at first 5 remedies:
Adding a new remedy
Please only add substances / remedies that actually exist, not made-up remedies that you only think may exist! (such as arbitrary combinations of elements that do not even react chemically)
When adding a new remedy, please follow this process:
Find out the most recently added remedy number – in the Official remedy name list, section Most recently added remedies. The page name looks like rXXXX, where XXXX is the index number of the remedy, so your new remedy should have the next highest number.
Direct your browser to URL http://www.legatum.sk/en:rem:rXXXX
, where XXXX is your new remedy number. The page should say “This topic does not exist yet”. If it contains a remedy information, increment your remedy number in the URL
and try again.
Click Create button in the right-upper area of the window.
Click Edit and copy / paste the remedy template from the template page to your newly created remedy page
Edit the information for your new remedy – not applicable lines in Classification should be deleted
Once you have saved your remedy, please add it to the Official remedy name list, especially the Most recently added remedies section
The remedy lists are re-generated from time to time, so you do not need to add your new remedy to all the lists as these will be generated by a script.
Where to find remedy information
If at all possible, DO NOT rely on a single source of information. Verify, verify, verify!
The following sources we have found to provide quite reliable information pertaining to this project:
Substance identification and preparation
Hahnemann, S: Materia Medica Pura
Hahnemann, S: Chronic diseases
Allen, T.F: The Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica
Clarke, J.H.: A Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica
Vermeulen, F: Prisma
Vermeulen, F: The New Synoptic One
Vermeulen, F: Synoptic Materia Medica II
various homeopathic pharmacopeias
single provings of substances
Plant and animal substance identification and taxonomy
If you wish to donate specifically for this project, please use the donation link below. For general purpose donations, please proceed here.
For direct bank transfer, please use the following banking information:
| Name on the Bank Account:
| LEGATUM HOMEOPATHICUM
| Foundation address:
| Hrušková 28/A, 836 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
| Bank Name:
| FIO BANKA, A.S.
| Bank Address:
| Nám. SNP 21, 811 01 Bratislava, Slovakia
| Bank Account number:
| BIC / SWIFT Code:
| SK94 8330 0000 0029 0030 8392
In the message to the recipient, make sure to state PROJECT Remedies or something similar indicating you wish to support this particular project.
includes naming variations
includes naming variations and common names
Pondering the idea, it would be really useful if homeopathic remedy manufacturers always named the source of the original remedy substance or prepared the remedy from the substance originally used in the proving, if at all possible – ideally providing a photo and a description of how and where the source substance was obtained.
of the purity of which and the actual composition used in the original provings we can only speculate
please respect the italics and normal type for the name and the author
for example, “a tincture of the root of the plant” description may be sufficient
for example, for Hepar Sulphur, a following description could be given “A mixture of equal parts of finely powdered, clean oyster shells and quite pure flowers of sulphur is kept for ten minutes at a white heat in a hermetically closed crucible and afterwards stored up in a well-corked bottle.”
if the source text contains both provings symptoms and clinical symptoms, the proving symptoms must be distinguishable from the clinical ones; if not, include the source text within Materia Medica section
For example, if the last remedy page name is r2541, your new remedy should reside on page r2542