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Date posted: April 14, 2012

Drug:- Drugs are medicinal substances when they are given in physiological doses they are able to change state of health of man as a whole.

Medicine:- Are those drug substances, in dynamic form they are proved on both sex; different age group, different constitution or the persons having different temperament in different seasons and all other different factors taking into consideration its signs and symptoms on man as a whole they are thoroughly known to us.

Remedy:- Indicated medicine among’s the group of medicine is called as remedy.

In order to get knowledge of medicine physician should keep idea of government and law in mind, he should proceed from generates to particulars, physician can’t get through knowledge of medicine if he looks by a particular angle towards medicine.  For that purpose he should study for provings.  As when we are undergoing for a proving we should be through with the pharmacy we have to select a group of healthy individuals, by taking all the above different factors into consideration give medicinal substance in dynamise form to all the proven: record signs and symptoms, likely chance that among all the prover few prover  may give head symptoms more prominently; few of eye, throat; rectum; etc.

Drugs have been used for cure of disease since antiquity.  Various doctrines of healing sprang up through the years.  The most interesting was the ‘Doctrine of signatives’ glimpses of better methods of drug application.  After the discovery of the law of cure, Hahnemann desired to know the action of drugs in an orderly way.  The genuine process of ascertaining the pure and peculiar effect of medicine on healthy human being is known as drug proving.  In section 105 Hahnemann, says that drug proving is  aprocess of acquiring knowledge of instruments intended for the cure of natural diseases. Apho:105 to 145 deals with drug proving.

The universal law ‘similia similibus curentur’ was the natural law which homoeopathy believed even since it was established in 1796.  The drugs that were employed remained the same since the principle that governed the cure and cause of disease remained the same, of medicinal substance.  They only increased in number from time to time.  More and more provings were done and more medicinal substances, natural and synthetic, were introduced in the Homoeopathic materia medica since 1924.

Vegetable sources—The mother tinctures are prepared from the whole plant or from the part of it.  This depends upon the portion that was used in the ‘proving’ of the medicine.  The elders probably decided this on the basis of their medicinal contents available in the various parts of the plant substance.

  1. Whole plant – (including root)  Acalpha indica; Aconite nap; Atropa Belladonna, Chamomilla, Chelidonium.
  2. Root – Artemisia vulgaris, Arum triphyllum, Calotropis gigantean. Bryonia alba, Cicuta virosa.
  3. Stem – Jaborandi, Sabina (with leaves)
  4. Modified stem – (Rhiomw) – Caulophyllum thalectroides, Dioscorea villosa, Gelsemium.
  5. Bulb – Allium Cepa, Allium sativum, Homeria.
  6. Tuber – Solanum tuberosum acgrotans.
  7. Corm – Colchicum, autumnale.
  8. Leaves – Abrotanum, Abroma augusta, Bryophyllum pinnatum, Cannabis sativa, Digitalis perpura.
  9. Inflorescence – Calendula officinalis (with leaves)
  10. Flowers – Cina Cannabis indica, Cactus grandiflora.
  11. Stigma – Crocus sativa.
  12. Fruits – (Berries) – Agnus castus, Crataegus oxyacantha.
  13. Bark-Root – Baptisia tinctoria, Berberis vulgaris, Myrica cerifera, calotropis.
  14. Stem-Cinchona officinalis, Holerrhena antidysentrica.
  15. Oil-Oleum cojuputi (oil from leaves) Oleum ricini.
  16. Resin – Abies nigra, Itu.
  17. Juices – Myristica sebifera. 

A plant or vegetable substance consists of cllulose and lignin which forms the basic frame material of the roots, stem, leaves and other parts of the plant.  A part form water which forms the major constituent of the plant it contains organic and inorganic substances also.

These constituents depend upon the species of the plant, their habitat, the height at which they grow, the soil on which they thrive and the various seasons of the year.  Often there is variation in composition of these constituents in the different parts of the plant.  These constituents reach a peak level at a certain time in certain parts.

The various constituents normally found in the plant substance:
Carbohydrates – These are organic compounds.  Apart from the lignins and cellulose which form the frame work of the plant structure, carbohydrates are found in vegetable kingdom combined in glycosides, plant pigments, glycoproteins, gums,pectins, mucilage, galactants etc.  Ascorble acid or vitamin C is a derivative of carbohydrate xylose.

The carbohydrates are sub-divided into two categories: Sugars and Non-sugars.

Glycosides – Glycosides are complex organic plant principles from the combination of hydroxy compounds with sugars.  Hydrolytic reactions normally split up the glycoside into their constituent parts.

Tannins and Tannic acids – These are widely distributed in the vegetable kingdom.  They are found in barks and fruits of many plants.

Alkaloids – The alkaloids are largely derived from plants though few are found in the living animal body and others result from decomposition of dead animal tissue.

  • Leacomlans are from the living animal tissue, whereas the ptomains are frm dead animal tissue.
  • The alkaloids are classified according to their therapeutic property, chemical structure and source.
  • Alkaloids are active principles of many plants.
  • Most of these alkaloids are physiologically very active.  Some of them being extremely poisonous.

Volatile oils – These are found in various plant organs are tissues.  They are obtained  from plants from either of the following methods.
(a) Distillation with steam, (b) Distillation per se, (c) Expression Extraction.

Certain flowers, like orange flowers and roses must be used fresh or preserved in salt or glycerine before subjected to extraction for oil.  Dry substances such as sandal wood, cinnamon bark should be macerated with water before subjected to distillation.

Lipids – These are fat and fat like substances found in plants and animals.  They are grouped together on the solubility character.

Plant exudates – It comprises of naturally occurring solid or semisolid, chemically complex mixtures of vegetable origin and resins.

  • Resins – These are natural or induced exudates from plants, solids or semi solids in nature, they are insoluble in water.
  • Oleoresins – These are natural mixtures of volatile oil and resin obtained by incising trunk of a tree.  Turpentine copaiba are two examples of natural oleoresins.
  • Gum resin – Natural mixtures of gum and resin obtained as an exudates from the plants.
  • Balsams – These are compounds of resinous substances benzole or cinnamic acids or their esters.
  • Vitamins – Vitamins are normally not synthesized by plants.  But there are few which do, viz. Alfalfa and Spinach contain Vit.K.
  • Thiamine, Riboflavine, nicotinic acid are constantly present in small amount in many fruits and plant cells. 

Animal sources – Like tapping the resources from vegetable source, man has tapped the animal kingdom for the use of their products to alleviate the disease, by observing their behaviour, their discharges, secretions and their poisoning effects on human beings.

All these animal species are used in the preparation of homoeopathic drugs either the whole of the healthy animal or its secretion (venom of lechesis; dried preputial secretion of muskdeer-moschus; fluid secretion of the anal gland of wild cat-mephitis etc.)

Chemical or mineral source – Materially considering the entire world is composed of 98 elements and only two elements are yet unknown.

Homoeopathy has derived many minerals for the purpose of medication either in their pure form or in combinations.

Elements – Gold-silver-copper etc.

Compounds – Calcarea carb, Ferrum phos, Baryta carb, Ammonia carb. etc.

Acids – (inorganic;) Nitric Acid, Hydrochloric Acid, Sulphuric Acid etc. (Organic) – Benzoic Acid, Acetic acid, Picric acid etc.

Nosodes – Sarcodes: The word nosode is derived from Nosonos meaning disease.  The medicinal substances are prepared from the diseased product or the excretion of the living organism.

  • Psorinum – Itch eruption.
  • Syphillinum – Syphillitic poison.
  • Ambra grisea – A disese product from whale fish.
  • Secale cornutum – A fungus growth, which attacks the grain of rye.

Imponderabillia: X-ray – Absolute alcohol contained in a flint glassed battle was irradiated by Meyervitz coil by Finckes.

Synthetic:- Thymol (methyl-iso-propyle phenol) Sulphanilamide, Histamin hydrochloricum, purified chemical Corticorropin, Purified Hormone Cortizone.

Collection of Drug substances:
Vegetables: The collection of drug substances particularly for the preparation of homoeopathic mother tinctures should be done by a qualified botanist having a special knowledge of taxonomy and systemic botany.

All vegetable and animal products are to be collected fresh as far as possible.

Where the material is the product of the coreign country and has to be imported they are to be obtained from a reputed firm but preferably in their natural form or state and proper identification should be carried out before using them in the preperation of the mother tincture.

As regards the plants, the parts which are used in the preperation are to be collected at the specific time.

Whole plants: Whenever the term whole plant, is used it means the whole plant including the roots.  Otherwise it is mentioned as without the roots when the roots are not employed in the preperation of the mother tincture.

Leaves: When the leaves are used, they should be collected just before or during or the early part of the flowering time.

Flowers: When the flowers are used they should be collected partly in bud and partly in the blossom, and in dry weather.

Stem: When the stems are used they should be collected after the development of leaves.

Seed and fruits: When the seeds and fruits are used they should be collected when fully ripe.

Young shoots: when young shoots are used they should b collected in the spring when the whole plant is in full vigour.

Bark: when the bark of resinous trees is used it should be collected in the early spring.  e.g. about the time of development of leaves and blossoms.

Roots: When the roots are used different directions are to be followed, according to the nature of the plant.

  • a) Roots of the ‘Biennials’ should be collected in spring.
  • b) Roots of the ‘Annuals’ should be dug out early in autumn because they dry after te riperning of the seeds.
  • c) Root of ‘Perennials’ should be collected in second or third year before they develop the woody fibres. 

The foot should be cleaned without the use of much water.  They should be free from moulds and woody appearances.  After the fresh material is collected they should be processed as quick as possible, to avoid deterioration.

Incase the plants need drying before their transportation to be place of storage or manufacture, they should be tied in loose bundles and then hanging in the shade away from direct sun, rain etc.

During Hahnemann’s times, the science in general and chemistry in particular was not much advanced and therefore even with the allopathic practitioners vegetable sources were quite common.

Animals: They must be thoroughly identified and collected by a zoologist.

Chemicals and Minerals: The genuineness, purity of drugs, metals, minerals and chemicals should be thoroughly tested before incorporating them in the preparation. 

Nosodes and Sarcodes: These should be obtained from standard serological laboratories who deal only with the manufacture of the cultures of these organisms.

Preservation of Homoeopathic Drug Substances:
More the substance in its fresh and natural state beter it is in its efficacy and therefore the sole object of the pharmacist should be to collect the substances and use them at once so that they should not loose their original properties.

The plants are cleaned without much use of water.  Roots should be free from moulds and woody appearance.

When the fresh plant material is collected immediately after preliminary cleansing it shoul dbe transferred to a refrigerator or cold storage plant or a dry freezing plant.

It may happen that sometimes there is no alternative left than to prserve the fresh plant for a longer period, to avoid deterioration, it has to be treated by tying them in bundles and hanging them in shade, protected from sun, rain etc.  Odourous plants should be kept separately so that, the peculiar odour of these is not transmitted to the others.

After drying them they should be powdered down to different grades of fineness in conformity with the specification mentioned under individual monographs in the Homoeopathic Pharmacopoeia of India.  These fineness are coarse, moderately coarse, fine and very fine which are represented by 20 meshes, 60 meshes and 80 meshes to 2.5 cm. respectively.

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