aggravation–A temporary initial intensification of disease symptoms after administration of a homeopathic remedy.  This is usually a sign that the remedy has stimulated a healing reaction and improvement usually follows quickly.


allopathy – A treatment of disease by using medicines that oppose the presenting symptoms.  The approach taken in conventional medicine.


antidote – A substance, or a remedy, that counteracts the effect of a homeopathic remedy.  Mint, camphor and coffee are examples of antidotes.


cell salts – A homeopathic physician, W.H. Schuessler, developed the biochemic system using 12 different “cell salts” (or tissue salts).  Schuessler felt these were fundamental to the proper function of the human body.  They are prepared as low potency homeopathic remedies.


characteristic symptom – A symptom that is “striking, strange, unusual, peculiar.”  Close attention is paid to characteristic symptoms as they make it easier to find the proper remedy.  For example, burning pain made better with heat or better lying on the painful side.


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


complete symptom – Etiology (cause of disease), location (including radiation or extension of sensation), sensation, modalities (a condition that makes a symptom better or worse), and concomitants (symptoms that happen at the same time) all together provide a complete symptom.


concomitant – Occurring simultaneously.  Refers to symptoms that happen at the same time as the chief complaint (main problem reported by the patient).  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.


etiology – The cause of disease.  One of the aspects of a complete symptom.

homeopathy – A carefully devised system of natural medicine developed by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann.  It uses tiny amounts of natural substances precisely matched to a person’s individual characteristics and symptoms.  It seeks to stimulate the person’s self-healing mechanisms in such a way that a gentle but permanent cure occurs over a period of time.  The system is based on the Law of Similars.


homeoprophylaxis – Use of homeopathic medicines to prevent the occurrence of a disease.


keynote – A unique feature or fundamental aspect of a remedy.


Law of Similars – A homeopathic doctor chooses the proper remedy by following a special rule of nature called the Law of Similars.  This law states that “like cures like,” or that a medicine can cure a sick person if it can cause similar sickness in a healthy person.  For instance, if you peel an onion, your eyes burn, itch and water.  You might also have a runny nose and begin to sneeze.  If you had similar symptoms during a cold or allergy attack, such as runny nose, watery eyes and sneezing, a homeopathic micro-dose of the remedy Allium cepa (red onion) would help your body heal itself.*


location – Where the symptom is experienced.  Location is one of the parts of a complete symptom.


materia medica – “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.


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 in rainy weather, etc.  Modalities are one of the parts of a complete symptom.


Organon – The Organon of Medicine, a text by Dr. Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homeopathy.  This book describes the principles and practice of homeopathy.  Hahnemann wrote six editions of the Organon from 1810-1842.  The sixth edition, though finished in 1842, was not published until 1921.


plussing – Extension of a dose by adding water to the remedy solution and succussing (striking it against a firm surface) it further.

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 fifty-millesimal scale would be Arnica LM1.  These are the three potency scales currently in use.  To read a very helpful tutorial on the three scales of potency, click the link below.


potentized– Usually refers to a substance prepared according to homeopathic pharmaceutical standards.  This means that it has gone through serial dilution and succession.


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.


remedy – Medicine, as in homeopathic remedy.


repertorize – To repertorize a case, one looks up symptoms in a repertory (see below).


repertory – An index of the homeopathic materia medica by symptom.  A list of associated remedies is given for each symptom.  Most modern day repertories use Kent’s Repertory as their starting point.


rubric – A symptom as written in a homeopathic repertory.


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 stating that any substance which is capable of producing morbid symptoms (illness) in the healthy individual will remove similar symptoms occurring as an expression of disease.


simillimum – The most similar remedy corresponding to symptoms presented by a patient.  As such, the remedy most likely to cure.


succussion – The process of forcefully striking a vial containing a homeopathic remedy against a firm surface.


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.


vital force – The energy that maintains life in the individual



*Definition sourced from the National Center for Homeopathy website.


  All other glossary content sourced or adapted from the Whole Health Now website.