Clinical Homeopathy Terminology

A Homeopathic Glossary


Aggravation - a noticeable intensification of the disease symptoms previously observed. Often associated with the action of the correct homeopathic remedy. See aphorisms 157-161, 247-249, 280, 282 of the Organon.


Antidote - a substance or a remedy that counteracts the effect of a homeopathic remedy. High temperatures are thought to antidote remedies. Mint is said to be an antidote of Natrum muriaticum. Many feel that coffee antidotes homeopathic remedies. When a person is reacting incorrectly to a homeopathic remedy, an antidote may be given to neutralize the effects.


Anti-psoric -- the group of homeopathic medicines, identified by Hahnemann, that cure the psoric miasm and associated diseases.


Allopathy -- the treatment of disease by using medicines that oppose the presenting symptoms. It is a system of medical practice that focuses on treating diseases and symptoms through the use of drugs, surgery, and other interventions.


Avogadro's Number -- 6.03 x 10 to the 23rd power. The number of molecules contained in 1 mole of a substance. Potencies greater than 12c or 24x no longer contain any molecules of the original substance.


Causation rubric -- a rubric that reflects the cause of the disease.


Cell salts (biochemic remedies, tissue salts) - W.H. Schuessler, a homeopathic physician, developed the Biochemic system using 12 different 'cell salts'. Schuessler felt these were fundamental to the proper function of the human body. Prepared in low potency(3x or 6x) and used based on homeopathic indications.


Centesimal - one of three potency scales used in homeopathic pharmacy. It was the first potency developed by Hahnemann. 1 part medicinal substance (dry or tincture), mixed with 99 parts diluent (lactose or alcohol), and then succussed (shaken), yields the 1c potency. Taking 1 part of that potency mixed with 99 parts diluent, then succussed, yields the 2c potency. This is continued until the desired potency is reached. A 200c has gone through this process 200 times. A 1M potency has gone through this process 1,000 times. The higher the potency, the stronger the stimulation of the vital force.


Centrifugal -- moving away from the center


Centripetal -- moving toward the center


Characteristic symptom - a symptom that is 'striking, strange, unusual, peculiar' in the case. Close attention is paid to characteristic symptoms as they must correspond to symptoms of the remedy if it is to cure. For example, burning pain, better heat, or better lying on the painful side. See aphorism #153 of the Organon.


Chronic Disease -- Disease that arises from the dynamic contagion of a chronic miasm. Left to themselves without their specific remedy, they continue to increase indefinitely, despite the best mental and dietary habits.


Collective disease -- In epidemics, the collective disease reveals itself in the totality of the signs and symptoms of several cases.


Common symptoms - symptoms that are common to a specific disease, for example, stiff joints in arthritis or yellow skin in jaundice.


Complementary -- Complementary remedies enhance or augment the action of the previous remedy.


Complete symptom - etiology, location (including radiation or extension of sensation), sensation, modalities, and concomitants all together give a complete symptom.


Concomitant - occurring simultaneously. Refers to symptoms that happen at the same time as the chief complaint. One of the parts of a complete symptom.


Constitution -- the physical body and mental temperament that is expressive of the natural traits and predisposition of the individual.


Contagion -- An infectious state transferred by contact.


Decimal - the first experiments with the decimal scale were performed by Constantine Hering in 1833. 1 part medicinal substance (dry or tincture), mixed with 9 parts diluent (lactose or alcohol), and then succussed (shaken), yields the 1X(D) potency. Taking 1 part of that potency mixed with 9 parts diluent, then succussed, yields the 2X(D) potency. This is continued until the desired potency is reached. dynamis-life energy, vital force.


Degree -- A combination of the frequency with which a remedy cures a symptom in provings or clinical practice. A numerical value is assigned to a remedy in a rubric in a repertory. In the Synthesis Repertory, this is a range from 1-4.


Diathesis -- A mental or physical [inherited or acquired] chronic predisposition or disease state.


Doctrine of Signatures -- The concept that any organic substance carries within itself the likeness of some organ or part of the human economy as a sign that this particular substance was applicable to disturbances of that organ.


Drainage remedies -- Remedies used to balance, nourish, or detoxify the system.


Dyscrasia -- An illness or sickness.


Elimination rubric -- A rubric used in repertorization to eliminate consideration of any remedy that is not found within


Etiology - the cause of disease. One of the aspects of a complete symptom.


Families -- Looking at remedies from the standpoint of botanical relationships, animal groupings, or place in the Periodic Table.


Fluxion -- method of homeopathic pharmacy that does not succuss past a 30c potency. The pressure of water is used instead.


Genus Epidemicus -- A remedy that is found to be curative in the majority of cases of the same disease(e.g., epidemics). Hahnemann taught that the genus epidemicus remedies should be chosen by the uncommon characteristic symptoms of all the patients, not the common symptoms of the epidemic disease.


Grafting -- A method of making medicated pellets by placing non-medicated pellets in contact with medicated ones. Also done with liquid potencies.


Hering's Law -- A true cure takes place from within to without; from the more important organs to the lesser important; from above to below; heals the symptoms in the reverse order of their development.


Homeopathy - A system of natural medicine developed by Samuel Hahnemann. Based on the Law of Similars.


Homeoprophylaxis -- Use of homeopathic medicines to prevent the occurrence of a disease.


Inimical -- These are remedies that have been shown to have an adverse effect on following one another.


Intercurrent -- A remedy used to provide renewed activity in a stalled case.


Isopathy - The treatment of a disease with the identical disease agent. See Aphorism 56a of the Organon.


Keynote - A unique feature or fundamental aspect of a remedy.


LM (50 millesimal, Q) - the second potency scale developed by Hahnemann, introduced in the sixth edition of the Organon. Start with a 3c triturate of a remedy. One part is placed into 500 drops of liquid (400 drops water, 100 drops alcohol). One drop is placed into 100 drops of alcohol. This is succussed by hand 100 times. One drop of this mixture is used to medicate 500 #10 pellets. This is the Q1 potency(sometimes written 0/1). The Q2 is made by taking 1 of these medicated pellets, putting it into 1 drop of water, and then mixing it into 100 drops of alcohol. This mixture is succussed 100 times by hand.


Today, the HPUS standard differs from Hahnemann's. The following excerpt is taken from HPUS Abstracts - General Pharmacy:

"LM (50 millesimal, Q) - the second potency scale developed by Hahnemann, introduced in the sixth edition of the Organon. Start with a 3c triturate of a remedy. One part is placed into 500 drops of liquid (4 parts water, 1 part alcohol 95% v/v). One drop is placed into 2 ml alcohol 95% v/v. This is succussed by hand 100 times. One drop of this mixture is used to medicate 500 #10 pellets. This is the Q1 potency (sometimes written 0/1). The Q2 is made by taking 1 of these medicated pellets and placing it into 2 ml alcohol 95% v/v. This mixture is succussed 100 times by hand."


Location - where the symptom is experienced. Location is one of the parts of a complete symptom.


Magnetism -- Rubbing or stroking.


Materia medica - means "materials of medicine" in Latin. A reference that lists the curative indications and therapeutic actions of homeopathic medicines.

This information is derived from provings and clinical experience.


Mesmerism -- Healing force by which a well-intentioned man exerts his strong will over a patient with or without touching him, or even at some distance, in such a way that the vital force of the healthy mesmerizer gifted with this power dynamically flows into the patient.


Miasm -- A diathesis based on an infection, its sequellae, or inherited effects.


Modality - a condition that makes a person or their symptom better or worse. For example, better in a hot bath, abdominal pain better bending over, worse rainy weather, etc. Modalities are one of the parts of a complete symptom.


Nosode - a homeopathic remedy prepared from diseased tissue or the product of disease.


One-sided diseases -- Diseases that seem less amenable to cure because of an apparent paucity of symptoms; one or two symptoms predominate, obscuring almost all the others.


Organon - The Organon of Medicine, by Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy. This book describes the principles and practice of homeopathy. Hahnemann wrote 6 editions of the Organon from 1810-1842. The sixth edition, completed in 1842, remained unpublished until 1921.


Originating cause -- The factor responsible for the genesis of something.


Potency - the strength of a homeopathic remedy. Determined by how many times the remedy has been succussed and diluted during preparation. A number and a letter are associated with the remedy name to indicate which potency scale has been used. An example of the decimal scale would be Arnica 6x. An example of the centesimal scale would be Arnica 30c. An example of the 50 millesimal scale (LM) would be Arnica LM1. These are the 3 potency scales currently in use.


Potentized - usually refers to a substance prepared according to homeopathic pharmaceutical standards. This means that it has gone through serial dilution and succussion.


Plussing -- Extension of a dose by adding water to the remedy solution and succussing further.


Primary effects -- Every power that acts on life, every medicine, alters the vital force more or less and brings about in human health certain modifications of greater or lesser duration. Although it is a product of both the medicinal and the vital force, this primary action nevertheless belongs more to the domain of the former.


Proving - the most accurate method of ascertaining the action of medicines on human health. Medicines (usually potentized) are administered to healthy people to discover the symptoms they are capable of producing and thereby able to cure. See aphorisms 20, 21, 108, 121, 136, 141, 145 of the Organon.


Psora -- the 'itch dyscrasia'. One of the three major miasms described by Hahnemann. Deficiency is a key element.


Remedy - medicine, as in homeopathic remedy.


Repertorize - To repertorize a case, one looks up symptoms in a repertory.


Repertory - An index of the homeopathic materia medica by symptom. A list of remedies is indicated for each symptom. All modern-day repertories use Kent's Repertory as their starting point.


Rubric - A symptom as written in a homeopathic repertory.


Sarcode - A tissue or glandular extract made into a homeopathic remedy.


Scrofula -- tuberculosis of the lymph glands.


Secondary effects -- Our vital force strives to oppose its energy to this influence. This, its life-preserving reaction, is an automatic activity called secondary effects.


Sensation - the experience of a symptom, what it feels like. One of the parts of a complete symptom.


Similia Similibus Currentur -- "Likes are Cured by Likes". The homeopathic doctrine states that any substance which is capable of producing morbid symptoms in the healthy will remove similar symptoms occurring as an expression of disease.


Simillimum - the most similar remedy corresponding to a case. As such, the remedy that is most likely to cure.


Simple substance -- the basic material from whence all force and forms in the universe have their origin.


Succussion - the process of forcefully striking a homeopathic remedy against a firm surface.


Sycosis -- Hahnemann's term for the chronic effects of the gonorrheal miasm. Excess is a key element.


Syphilis -- Chronic effects of the syphilitic miasm as described by Hahnemann. Destruction is a key element.


Susceptibility -- The degree to which a person is sensitive to a remedy or a disease.


Symptom complex -- The group of symptoms pertaining to a particular remedy.


Totality -- The aggregate of the characteristic symptoms in a case. The totality of a single symptom refers to a complete symptom.


Underlining -- Method of recording the intensity of a symptom.


Vis Medicatrix Naturae -- The healing power of nature.


Vital force - the life-sustaining energy within an individual. See aphorisms 9-12 of the Organon. Vigor vitae or the life force, prana, qi, or ki.


Wesen -- essence, nature, substance.


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