Plants and fungi used in homeopathy

 

This website is about the plants and fungi used in homeopathic remedies. A searchable database details hundreds of plants and fungi as well as lichens, brown and red algae.

The Museum is an authority on scientific names and descriptions that are used to identify animals and plants correctly.  Scientists use this information in all types of research, ranging from understanding ecosystems, to combating malaria, to tackling environmental pollution.

Scientific names and descriptions are also used in activities such as homeopathy or  traditional herbal treatments but this does not mean that they are based on science, explained in scientific terms or based on scientific research in the same way as most modern conventional medicine. 

The theories used in homeopathy to explain how treatments work are not scientific and the effectiveness of homeopathic treatment is questioned and investigated from a scientific viewpoint.

This carefully researched database refers to those plants named in the Homeopathic Materiae Medicae and:

  • provides a standard reference for the plants and fungi used in homeopathy and other alternative treatments;
  • corrects the nomenclature (system of naming to a set of international scientific rules) used and allows it to be updated in line with current use in botany.
  • reorganises information developed over the last two centuries to make it more reliable.
  • provides a reliable resource for scientific research into alternative therapies that use plants and fungi.
What is included ?

The remedies used in homeopathy are mostly derived from angiosperms (flowering plants), though some conifers and ferns as well as fungi, including lichens, brown and red algae are also used. Other homeopathic remedies derive from animals and minerals, but these are not considered here.

History of naming soecies

Homeopathic remedies have accumulated gradually over the past 200 years. During this time, the plants and fungi recorded in the various Homeopathic Materiae Medicae have received a variety of epithets, although these are mostly Latin names. Often, the naming of these plant remedies has not followed any recognised botanical or medical code and, despite having some resemblance to the modern botanical system, nearly half of these names needed updating with respect to the current International Code of Botanical Nomenclature (ICBN; Greuter et al., 2000; McNeill et al., 2006). In response to this problem, of outdated and often inaccurate nomenclature, a new checklist was prepared (Bharatan et al., 2002; Bharatan and Humphries, 2002). This checklist together with this online searchable database of currently accepted names can provide a standard reference that can be updated in line with the revisions of the Botanical Code that take place every 6 years.

Disclaimer

Health concerns should be referred to a qualified doctor. 

The site is not informing the use of the plants and fungi in homeopathy or other approaches. 

The site is providing information for educational and research purposes only

The Museum is not endorsing non-scientific perspectives, such as homeopathy or traditional medicines. 

Contact us

Vilma Bharatan
Research Associate, Medicinal Plants

Natural History Museum
Botany Department
Cromwell Road
London
SW7 5BD
UK

Email us