What are Homeopathic Medicines Made From?

Please read disclaimer at end of page

A homeopathic medicine can be made from any substance.

Two things define a homeopathic remedy, these are:
1. The way it is made, by potentizing the source substance in a homeopathic pharmacy.
2. The way it is prescribed, to match the symptom pattern of the individual person.

There are several thousand different homeopathic remedies, made from an enormous range of sources.
Homeopathic remedies are usually identified by Latin names, because these are international. Each country may have its own common names for remedies. Here I use English common names.
It may be helpful to divide these sources into groups:
o Plant/vegetable
o Fungi
o Mineral
o Animal based*
o Micro-organisms*
o Miscellaneous
* see also below: Is Homeopathy Vegan?

Plant/vegetable remedies

Plant remedies include
plants well known in traditional medicine:
Salvia = Sage Echinacea = Coneflower Caulophyllum = black cohosh
Poisonous plants
Aconitum = Monkshood  Belladonna = Deadly Nightshade   Nux Vomica   Anacardium

Flowers and Trees
Quercus = Oak    Buddleia Lobelia

Plant-based remedies
Honey (cf. animal remedies) Mixed pollens
By the way, homeopathy can successfully treat plants too.


These include
ordinary or medicinal fungi and moulds
Penicillin   Mixed moulds

And poisonous or hallucinogenic species
Anhalonium = mescal   Secale = a fungus of grain

Mineral remedies

These include
naturally occurring elements, minerals and metals
Alumina = aluminium   Ferrum = Iron   Hydrogen   Limestone

Poisonous minerals
Arsenicum = Arsenic   Plumbum = Lead

Radioactive substances
Granite  Plutonium  Uranium

Chemical compounds created in laboratories
Causticum  Nitric Acid  Kali Phosphoricum – potassium phosphate   Aspartame - a sweetener

Amethyst  Lapis lazuli

Animal based remedies

By the way, homeopathic medicine can successfully treat animals too, but legally only a vet, or the owner of the animal, can do this. see Animal Health page.
Animal remedies include
remedies from animal poisons or venoms:
Bufo = toad   Lachesis = viper

Non-poisonous animal based remedies
Haliaeetus = blood sample from injured American bald eagle  
Lac Felinum = cat’s milk
Oleum Jecoris = cod liver oil
Lion Hair     Deer antler velvet
Calcarea Carbonica = calcium from oyster shell
Hepar sulph. = sulphur but contains oyster shell

Entire animals or meat
Tarentula Cubensis = a spider   Formica Rufa = an ant   Apis = bee
Pyrogen = decomposed meat    Felix Mas = tapeworm

Melatonin = a hormone   Dys. Co = bowel flora   Lac Humanum = breast milk
Thyroidinum = thyroid gland

Micro-organisms and disease tissue

Some micro-organisms are tiny animals, some are tiny plants, and some are difficult to classify. Micro-organisms include what we commonly call ‘germs’. This category includes those known as 'nosodes' or ‘homeopathic immunisations’ although this term is not accurate.

Remedies using micro-organisms involved in disease, or samples taken from diseased tissue:
Leprominium = leprosy
Diphtherinum = diphtheria, Corynebacterium diphtheriae
Chlamydia = a sexually transmitted infection
Carcinocinum – cancer
Candida = thrush
Morbillinum = measles
Hippozaeninum – a disease of horses
Feline leukaemia


We use an enormous range of substances which do not fit into the above groups. These include:

Drugs and vaccines
Salycilic Acid  Hydrocortisone  Influenza vaccine

Electro-magnetic or other energy
Electricity  Thunderstorm  Colours eg. red or green light   Fire   Magnetic energy

Extra-terrestrial energy sources
Sunlight  Moonlight  Light from particular star groups eg. Pleiades

Human-created significant things
Berlin Wall   Mobile Phone   House dust

Water from many different medicinal or spiritually significant springs and wells eg. Lourdes,
Glastonbury Chalice Well, Ganges.

I Don’t Like the Sound of That!

Some of these remedy sources may surprise you. Some may sound unpleasant or boring, ridiculous or unnatural.
The principle of all homeopathic remedies is the same, whatever they are made from. Each remedy represents a particular pattern of illness. If that pattern can be matched to your own pattern of illness, it can stimulate healing. ‘Like cures like’.

The source of the remedy is not as significant as the pattern of illness it represents. If Lachesis fits your symptoms, it does not mean you have had a snake bite. If Belladonna fits your symptoms, it does not mean you have ever eaten deadly nightshade. If you are prescribed Carcinosin or Morbillinum, it does not mean you have those diseases, or that you will get them later. The remedy simply fits your symptoms at the moment.

Homeopathic remedies are not dangerous, even when made from substances which are dangerous in their original form, as long as they are sufficiently highly potentised. Dangerous substances should not be taken in very low potencies: your homeopathic pharmacy will advise you.

All remedies are safe when taken according to instructions from a qualified homeopath. No poisons, radiation, contaminating germs or diseased cells will be present in your prescription.

Is Homeopathy Vegan?

The majority of homeopathic remedies are vegan in origin, but there are exceptions. Also, a remedy may be vegan in origin, but prepared with lactose (sugar of milk) which is not vegan. For more details, please read below.

Vegetarian or vegan
Every homeopathic patient has the right, moral and (in the UK) legal, to know the origin of their remedy. If you are vegetarian/vegan, you can opt not to use any of the animal-derived remedies. This may mean that you cannot receive the remedy that best matches your pattern of symptoms, but it is your right to choose, and any reputable homeopath should be able to work with you on this.

If you are vegetarian, you must decide for yourself where to draw the line. Here are some questions you might ask:
o Was any animal killed to make this remedy?
o How much of this animal product is used? For example, one sample of an animal product (eg. snake venom) may be enough to supply pharmacies with homeopathic remedies for decades or even, in some cases, 200 years.
o Does the remedy use something external? For example, fur or feathers.
Most of the animal based remedies are made without hurting or killing any animal; they use animal fur or feathers, milks, or poisons. Even some remedies made from whole animals did not cause the death of the animal: for example, Tarentula Cubensis was prepared from a spider that had already died and begun to decompose. Its life was not wasted, because this is a fantastic remedy for blood poisoning. Each case must be looked at individually, in the light of your own beliefs.

Lactose in Remedy Preparation
In the first stages of preparing a homeopathic remedy, before it becomes a pill, some substances are initially diluted with vegetable alcohol (ethanol). This includes most plant remedies and easily soluble substances.

Preparation of less soluble substances, such as minerals, begins with trituration. This means grinding in a pestle and mortar with lactose (milk sugar). This reduces particle size, so that after a while they become soluble, or colloidal, and the preparation then continues with dilution in alcohol.

The trituration method is also used with a few plant remedies eg. Lycopodium; with some snake venoms; with a few liquid substances eg. Petroleum.
If you want only vegan remedies, consider this part of the preparation, and if necessary ask for remedies that have not involved the use of lactose at any stage. I am not aware of any homeopathic pharmacy that is entirely vegan in its methods: all will be using animal products and lactose for some remedies.
Contact one of the homeopathic pharmacies in my Links for more detailed information.

Sucrose or Lactose Pills
Remedies are commonly available in the following forms:
Flat tablets based on sucrose and lactose (milk sugar); dissolve rather slowly. Suitable for infants if dissolved in water, but hard to dissolve.
Round pillules based on sucrose (plant sugar); dissolve quicker, and suitable for infants if dissolved in water.
Soft tablets (trituration tablets) based on lactose. Dissolve very quickly, suitable for infants.
Liquid remedies such as tinctures and LM potencies are based on alcohol, as a preservative. Suitable for infants when diluted. Alcohol can be removed by putting the remedy in a little hot water.
Granules, tiny round grains based on sucrose. Suitable for infants.
Powders, usually lactose. Suitable for infants.
Creams (easily absorbed) and ointments (more oily) may contain lanolin or beeswax, and may contain chemical additives. Some so-called homeopathic creams are actually herbal.

Lactose Intolerance:
Suitable forms without lactose in the end product include round pillules, granules, and liquid remedies. However, even with other forms, amounts of lactose are tiny, and this may not be a problem, especially with infrequent doses. Please discuss this with your homeopath.

DISCLAIMER: please read.

Please see Terms and Conditions before using this website.

Information on this site is not intended in any way as prescription or diagnosis, and is not a substitute for medical advice. If you have a medical condition, or take prescription medication, do not neglect good quality medical support.

‘Homeopathic treatment’ does not imply cure, but an individual analysis of your situation and the selection of homeopathic remedies suited to you. No homeopathic medicines mentioned on this site should be taken as prescriptive, and you should always seek qualified advice before selecting homeopathic medicines for yourself or your children. Homeopathic medicine is complementary to good quality medical support, not a substitute. Please use your common sense, and always read instructions on any product.

Note: Reconstruction of homeopathic sections of website

Changes in UK law oblige me to remove suggested usage from specific homeopathic medicines. You will notice things have been annoyingly removed on various pages of the site. Homeopathy is still entirely legal, and available just as before, but medicines are now categorised as ‘’unlicensed products’. I apologise for this inconvenience. It is my opinion that restricting this information makes the use of homeopathic medicines less accurate and reliable for the general public.

Although I cannot give general guidelines on the website, you may still consult me, or another qualified homeopath, as an individual client. As this is more time-consuming, I may have to charge for this service.

Creative Commons: 2008 Helen Swan.
Please ask for permission before reproducing any part, and include a link or credit to me.
Images may not be copied. See picture credits on main menu.