Keynote prescription of Homoeopathic Remedies  

Keynote prescription of Homoeopathic Remedies  


The keynote prescription is something that is peculiar to medicine and on the basis of these  symptoms, a practitioner can give and individualize the case with ease and comfort.  The keynote prescription gives a direct method to Individualisation on the basis of peculiar  symptoms of medicines which are given by different Authors in their writings of Keynote  prescriptions. 


Keynote, prescription, homeopathic medicines, Dr. Hahnemann, peculiar symptoms.


“This creature has some features which are peculiar to this creature and may also be different to other of the same species . so the characteristic of this creature would be  Keynote and peculiar to this only.” 

The anamnesis of the patient is the basis of prescription in Homoeopathy. So practitioners come  with a huge workload along with the need for a perfect similimum. This similimum would be based on  vast knowledge of medical knowledge along with the Art of case taking. 

After this cumbersome work a practitioner has done, a minimum is even very tough to find  sometimes when the patient is not giving the whole picture, so a quick peculiar method of  finding out of Medicine can be overcome by the keynote prescription. 

Individual pictures can be made with the knowledge of the remedy in the pathogenesis – Peculiar/ Uncommon/ Characteristic/ the red-stranded symptom and the central modality or  principle of the remedy. 

Ex –amelioration of Rhus tox is by motion but Aggravation from the motion of Bryonia makes  it a different and peculiar symptom which is the keynote of the prescription. 

The totality of symptoms made and through which an individual case is expressed is called the  “KEYNOTE PRESCRIPTION”

Dr. Hahnemann has said in Paragraph 153 of the Organon that even if you have the whole  case done and you have got all the symptoms written down but without having the most peculiar 

the most uncommon and most striking symptom which corresponds to medicine most peculiarly  this will not lead to proper similimum and will be a failure. 

‘’The more striking, singular and uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms  of the case of disease are chiefly and must solely be kept in view; for it more peculiarly, these  very similar ones in the list of symptoms of selected medicine must correspond to constitute it  most suitable for effecting the cure. The more general and undefined symptoms; loss of  appetite, headache, debility, demand but little attention when if that vague and indefinite  character; symptoms of general nature observed in every disease and drug’’ 

Keynote prescription given by different Authors: 

1. M E Douglass: Characteristics of Homoeopathic Materia medica. 2. Henry C Allen: Keynotes and characteristics with comparisons of some of the  leading remedies of the Materia Medica with some nosodes  

3. A primer of Materia medica : TF Allen  

4. Cyrus M Boger: A synoptic key of Materia Medica.  

5. W H Burt:Characteristic Materia medica  

6. A Lippe: Keynote and redline symptoms of Materia Medica  

Keynotes of some leading Homeopathic medicines: 


Southernwood. (Compositae. 

Marasmus of children with marked emaciation, especially of legs (Iod., Sanic., Tub.); the  skin is flabby and hangs loose in folds (of neck, Nat. m., Sanic.). 

A very useful remedy in marasmus, especially for lower extremities only, yet with a good  appetite. 

Acetic Acid. 

Glacial Acetic Acid. (CH3COOH.) 

Great prostration; after injuries (Sulph. ac.); after surgical shock; after anesthetics. 

rests better lying on the belly (Am. c.). Hectic fever, skin dry and hot; red spot on the left  cheek and drenching night sweats

rests better lying on the belly (Am. c.). Hectic fever, skin dry and hot; red spot on the left  cheek and drenching night sweats

Aconitum Napellus. 

Monkshood (Ranunculacea.) 

Great fear and anxiety in mind

Fever; skin dry and hot; face red, or pale and red alternately; burning thirst for large  quantities of cold water; intense nervous restlessness, tossing about in agony

On rising the red face becomes deathly pale, or he becomes dizzy. 

Actaea Racemosa. 

Black Cohosh (Ranunculaceae.) 

Sensation as if a heavy, black cloud had settled all over her and enveloped her head so that  all was darkness and confusion.  

Pregnancy: nausea; sleeplessness; false labor-like pains; sharp pains across abdomen;  abortion at third month (Sab.). During labor: “shivers” in the first stage

Aesculus Hippocastanum. 

Horse Chestnut (Sapindaccae.) 

Severe dull backache in lumbosacral articulation 

Back “gives out” during pregnancy. 

Rectum.–Dry, aching. Feels full of small sticks. 

Aethusa Cynapium. 

Fool’s Parsley (Umbelliferae.) 

Complete absence of thirst (Apis, Puls. – rev of Ars.). Intolerance of milk: cannot bear milk  in any form

Epileptic spasms, with clenched thumbs, red face, eyes turned downwards

Agaricus Muscarius. 

Toadstool (Fungi.) 

Drunkards, especially for their headaches; bad effects after a debauch (Lob., Nux, Ran.) 

Chilblains that itch and burn intolerably; frostbite and all consequences of exposure to cold,  especially in the face. 

Agnus Castus. 

Chaste tree (Verbenaceae) 

Premature old age, Complete impotence

Allium Cepa. 

Onion (Liliaccae) 

Coryza: profuse, watery and acrid nasal discharge, with profuse, bland lachrymation 

Catarrhal laryngitis; cough compels patient to grasp the larynx; seems as if cough would tear  it.

Aloe Socotrina. 

Socotrine Aloes (Liliaceae) 

Adapted to indolent, “weary” persons; averse to either mental or physical labor; mental labor  fatigues. 

Diarrhoea: has to hurry to the closet immediately after eating and drinking (Crot. t.); with want of  confidence in sphincter ani; driving out of bed early in the morning. 


Pure Clay. (Al2O3.) 

Constipation: no desire for and no ability to pass stool until there is a large  accumulation (Melil.); great straining, must grasp the seat of closet tightly; 

Leucorrhoea: acrid and profuse, running down to the heels (Syph.) 

Baptisia Tinctoria. 

Wild Indigo. (Leguminosae) 

Can swallow liquids only (Bar. c.). 

Painless sore throat; tonsils, soft palate and parotids dark red, swollen; putrid, offensive  discharge (Diph.). 

In whatever position the patient lies, the parts rested upon feel sore and bruised. 

Baryta Carbonica. 

Barium Carbonate. (BaCO3.) 

Children are both physically and mentally weak

Diseases of old men. throat infections after checked foot sweat


Deadly Nightshade. (Solanaceae) 

Rush of blood to head and face (Amyl., Glon., Mel.). Headache, congestive, with red face,  throbbing of brain and carotids

Benzoic Acid. 


Urine dark brown, and the urinous odor highly intensified

Berberis Vulgaris. 

Barberry (Berberidaceae) 

Stitching, cutting pain from left kidney following course of ureter into bladder and urethra . Colic from gall-stones.


Hydrated Oxide of Bismuth (Bi2O3OH2.) 

Solitude is unbearable; desires company, child holds on to its mother’s hand for company Anguish; he sits, then walks, then lies, never long in one place 

Vomiting: of water as soon as it reaches the stomach 


Biborate of Soda 

Dread of downward motion in nearly all complaints. 

red noses of young women 


Puffball (Fungi.) 

Stammering children (Steam.). Discharge from nose and all mucous membranes; very tough,  stringy, tenacious (Kali bi.). 


Bromine. (The Element.) 

It acts best, but not exclusively, on persons with light blue eyes, flaxen hair, light eyebrows,  fair, delicate skin; blonde, red-cheeked, scrofulous girls. 

chest pains running upwards. Membranous and diphtheritic croup; much rattling of mucus  during cough

Bryonia Alba. 

White Bryony, Wild Hop. (Cucurbitaceae.) 

Pains: stitching, tearing, worse at night; < by motion, inspiration, coughing; > by absolute  rest, and lying on painful side 

Excessive dryness of mucous membranes of the entire body. 

Mammae heavy, of a stony hardness; pale but hard; hot and painful; must support the  breasts (Phyt.). 

Cactus Grandiflorus. 

Night-blooming Cereus. (Cactaceae) 

Whole body feels as if caged, each wire being twisted tighter and tighter

Heart feels as if clasped and unclasped rapidly by an iron hand; as if bound, “had no room  to beat.” 


American Arum. (Araceae.)

Prutius vaginae; induces onanism (Orig., Zinc.); during pregnancy; with mucous  discharge. Falls asleep during evening fever and wakes when it stops. Sweet sweat attracts  the flies

Calcarea Ostrearum. 

Middle layer of Oyster Shell. (Calcium Carbonate) 

Head sweats profusely while sleeping, wetting the pillow far around (Sil., Sanic.) Coldness: general; of single parts 

Girls who are fleshy, plethoric, and grow too rapidly

Calcarea Phosphorica. 

Phosphate of Lime (Calcium Phosphate) 

Rachitis; cranial bones thin and brittle; fontanelles and sutures remain open so long, or  close and reopen

Feels complaints more when thinking about them (Helon., Ox. ac.). 


Marigold (Compositae) 

Traumatic affections: to secure union by first intention and prevent suppuration 

Ulcers: irritable, inflamed, sloughing, varicose; painful as if beaten (Arn.); excessive  secretion of pus

Cannabis Indica. 

Indian Hemp. (Urticaccae) 

Very forgetful: forgets his last words and ideas; begins a sentence, forgets what he intends to  speak

Cannabis Sativa. 

Hemp. (Urticaccae) 

Sensation as of drops of water falling on or from single parts; on the head, form the anus,  stomach, heart. 

Dyspnoea or asthma, where the patient can only breathe by standing up


Spanish Flies (Cantharideae) 

Oversensitiveness of all parts. Haemorrhages from nose, mouth, intestines, genital and  urinary organs. Pain; raw, sore, burning in every part of the body, internally and externally;  with extreme weakness. 


Cayenne Pepper (Solanaccae)

Burning and smarting sensation, as from cayenne pepper, in throat and other parts, not >  heat 

The burning spasmodic constriction and other pains, worse between acts of deglutition 

Carbo Vegetabilis. 

Vegetable Charcoal 

Bad effects from loss of vital fluids (Caust.); haemorrhage from any broken down condition  of mucous membranes (Cinch., Phos.). Weakness of memory and slowness of thought. 

desire to be constantly fanned

In the last stages of disease, with copious cold sweat, cold breath, cold tongue, voice loss, this  remedy may save a life. 

Carbolic Acid. 

Glacial Carbolic Acid 

Dull, heavy, frontal headache, as if a rubber band were stretched tightly over the forehead,  from temple to temple (Gels., Plat., Sulph.). 

Constipation, with horrible offensive breath 


Hahnemann’s (Tinctura acris sine Kali) 

Rawness or soreness: of scalp, throat, respiratory tract, rectum, anus, urethra, vagina, uterus 


Matricaria Chambilla. (Compositae) 

Children, new-born and during the period of dentition. Peevish, irritable, oversensitive to pain,  driven to despair (Coff.); snappish, cannot return a civil answer. Child exceedingly irritable,  fretful; quiet only when carried

Chelidonium Majus. 

Celandine (Papaveraceae) 

Constant pain under the lower and inner angle of the right scapula


Worm Seed. (Compositae) 

Adapted to children with dark hair, very cross, irritable, ill-humored, want to be carried, but  carrying gives no relief; does not want to be touched; cannot bear you to come hear it; averse  to caresses; desires many things; but rejects everything offered. 

Canine hunger: hungry soon after a full meal. 

Cinchona (China). 

Peruvian Bark (Rubiaceae)

Ailments: from loss of vital fluids, especially haemorrhages, excessive lactation, diarrhoea,  suppuration 

Colic: sensitive to touch, to pain, to drafts of air

Digitalis Purpurea. 

Foxglove. (Scrophulariaceae) 

Pulse full, irregular, very slow and weak; intermittent every third, fifth or seventh beat

Dioscorea Villosa. 

Wild Yam. (Dioscoreaceae.) 

Colic pains: < from bending forward and while lying; > on standing erect or bending  backwards (rev. of Col.). 


Homeopathic Antitoxin. (A Nosode.) 

Painless diphtheria; symptoms almost or entirely objective; patient too weak, apathetic or too  prostrated to complain; sopor or stupor, but easily aroused when spoken to (Bap., Sulph.). 

It need not and should not be repeated too frequently 

When the patient from the first seems doomed, and the most carefully selected remedies fail  to relieve or permanently improve

Drosera Rotundifolia. 

Sundew. (Droseraceae.) 

Cough: < by warmth, drinking, singing, laughing, weeping, lying down, after midnight. 

Equisetum Hyemale. 

Scouring Rush. (Equisetaceae.) 

Frequent and intolerable urging to urinate, with severe pain at close of urination 

Eupatorium Perfoliatum. 

Boneset. (Compositae.) 

Bruised feeling, as if broken, all over the body (Arn., Bellis, Pyr.). Bone pains affecting  back, head, chest, limbs, especially the wrists, as if dislocated. 

bone pains, before and during chill. Insatiable thirst before and during chill and fever;  knows chill is coming because he cannot drink enough


Eyebright. (Scrophularaceae.) 

Profuse acrid lachrymation, with profuse, bland coryza (reverse of All. c.). The eyes water  all the time and are agglutinated in the morning. 

Pertussis: excessive lachrymation during cough; cough only in day time (Fer., Nat. m.).

Ferrum Metallicum. 

Iron. (The Element.) 

Extreme paleness of the face, lips and mucous membranes which becomes red and flushed  on the least pain, emotion or exertion. Blushing (Amyl., Coca.) 

Red parts become white. 

Fluoric acid. 

Hydrofluoric Acid. (HF.) 

Complaints of old age, or of premature old age; in syphilitic mercurial dyscrasia; young  people look old 


Yellow Jasmine. (Loganiaceae) 

General depression from the heat of sun or summer. Weakness and trembling Lack of muscular co-ordination


Nitro-glycerine. (C3H4(NO2)O3) 

Head: feels enormously large; as if the skull were too small for the brain; sunstroke and sun  headache

Intense congestion of the brain from delayed or suppressed menses; headache in place of  menses


Black Lead. (Amorphous Carbon.) 

Sexual debility from sexual abuse

Leucorrhoea: acrid, excoriating; occurs in gushes day and night

a watery, transparent sticky fluid. 

Helleborus Niger. 

Christmas Rose. (Ranunculaceae.) 

Boring head into pillow: rolling from side to side; beating head with hands 

Urine: red, black, scanty, coffee-ground sediment; suppressed in brain troubles and  dropsy. 

Helonias Dioica. 

Unicorn Plant. (Melanthaceae.) 

For women: with prolapsus from atony, enervated by indolence and luxury; worn out with  hard work, mental or physical; overtaxed muscles burn and ache; so tired can’t sleep

Hepar Sulphuris. 

Sulphuret of Lime (CaS) 

The slightest injury causes suppression 

Cough: when any part of the body is uncovered (Rhus); croupy, choking, strangling; from  exposure to dry west wind

The skin is very sensitive to touch, cannot bear even clothes to touch affected parts. 

Hyoscyamus Niger. 

Henbane (Solanaceae.) 

every muscle in the body twitches, from the eyes to the toes 

Lascivious mania; immodesty, will not be covered, kicks off the clothes, exposes the person; Intense sleeplessness of irritable, excitable persons form business embarrassments

Hypericum Perforatum. 

St. John’s Wort (Hypericaceae) 

Injury to parts rich in sentient nerves 


St. Ignatius Bean. (Loganiaceae) 

Persons mentally and physically exhausted by long-concentrated grief. Involuntary sighing Oversensitivity to pain 

The slightest fault finding or contradiction excites anger. 


Iodine. (The Element) 

Ravenous hunger; eats freely and well, yet loses flesh all the time (Abrot., Nat. m., Sanic.,  Tub.). 


Iodine. (The Element) 

A low cachetic condition, with profound debility and great emaciation eats freely and well, yet loses flesh all the time 


Ipecac. (Rubiaceae.) 

tongue clean or slightly coated. In all diseases with constant and continual nausea.  Nausea: with profuse saliva

bright-red from all the orifices of the body

Pains as if bones were all torn to pieces 

Kali Bichromicum. 

Potassium Bichromate. (K2Cr2O7) 

Discharge of a tough, stringy mucus which adheres to the parts and can be drawn into long  strings 

Nose: pressive pain in root of nose (in forehead and root of nose, Stict.); discharge of plugs,  “clinkers;” tough, ropy, green fluid mucus;  

Headache: blurred vision or blindness precedes the attack 

Kali Bromatum. 

Potassium Bromide. (KBr) 

Hands and fingers in constant motion; fidgety hands Loss of memory; forgets how to talk 

Kali Carbonicum. 

Potassium Carbonate (K2OCO2)  

Cannot bear to be touched. 

Bag-like swellings between the upper eyelids and eyebrows. 

Feels badly, week before menstruation. 

Kalmia Latifolia. 

Mountain Laurel. (Ericaceae.) 

Pains sticking, darting, pressing, shooting in a downward direction (Cac. – upward, Led.);  attended or succeeded by numbness of affected parts (Acon., Cham., Plat.). 


Kreosotum. (A Distillation of Wood Tar.) 

Overgrown; very tall for her age (Phos.). Children: old looking, wrinkled (Abrot.); Post climacteric diseases of women 

Teeth begin to decay as soon as they appear; 


Surukuku Snake Poison. (Ophidia.) 

Climacteric ailments: haemorrhoids haemorrhages; hot flushes and hot perspiration. 

Left side is principally affected; diseases begin on the left and go the right side – left ovary,  testicle, chest. Great sensitiveness to touch; 

Worse after sleep, or the aggravation wakes him from sleep; sleeps into the aggravation;  unhappy, distressed, anxious, sad < in morning on waking. 

< by hot drinks, after sleep; liquids more painful than solids 

Lac Caninum. 

Dogs (Milk.) 

Changing from side to side every few hours or days. Very forgetful, absent-minded; 

pains extend to ears (Hep., Kali bi.); begin on the left side (Lach.). Shining, glazed  appearance of diphtheritic deposit 

Ledum Palustre. 

Marsh Tea. (Ericaceae.) 

< at night, by warmth of bed and bed-covering (Mer.); > only when holding feet in ice-water 

Lilium Tigrinum. 

Tiger Lily. (Liliaceae.) 

Bearing-down sensation; in abdomen 

Flow only when moving about; cease to flow when she ceases to walk. 

Lobelia Inflata. 

Indian Tobacco. (Lobeliaceae.) 

chronic with good appetite, with nausea, profuse sweat and marked prostration. Sacrum: extreme sensitiveness; cannot bear the slightest touch, even of a soft pillow; 

Lycopodium Clavatum. 

Wolf’s Foot; Club Moss (Lycopodiaceae) 

Deep-seated, progressive, chronic diseases. Pains: aching-pressure, drawing; chiefly right  sided, < four to eight P.M. Affects right side, or pain goes from right to left 

Excessive accumulation of flatulence; constant sensation of satiety; good appetite, but a few  mouthfuls fill up to the throat, and he feels bloated; fermentation in abdomen, with loud  gurgling, croaking, 

Dryness of vagina; 


The Saliva of a Rabid Dog. (A Nosode.) 

The sight or sound of running water or pouring water aggravates all complaints. Cannot bear heat of sun (Gels., Glon., Lach., Nat.). 

Magnesia Carbonica. 

Carbonate of Magnesia. (MgCO3,3H2O.) 

Flows only at night or when lying, ceases when walking  

stools green, frothy, like scum of a frog-pond

the milk passes undigested in nursing children. 

Magnesia Muratica. 

Chloride of Magnesia (MgCl) 

Children: during difficult dentition are unable to digest milk;  

crumbling at the verge of anus (Am. m., Nat. m.); of infants during dentition. CONCLUSION 

In modern school practice they diagnose the case made on the basis of investigations or the  symptom of physical appearance which are common to all affected with the same  

So keynotes seem indispensable to enable us to intelligently and successfully use our  voluminous symptomatology. But correct prescribing will always remain an art. 


● H.C. Allen. Keynotes and Characteristics with Comparisons of soul of the Leading  Remedies.8th ed. 

● William Boericke. Pocket manual of Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 9th ed. New Delhi: B Jain Publishers; 1987. 



● Dr. Purnima singh, PG SCHOLAR, Dept. of Organon of Medicine & homeopathic  philosophy, St. National Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow 

● Dr. Anshita Khare, PG SCHOLAR, Dept. of Materia Medica, St. National  Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow ● Dr. Anupama singh, PG SCHOLAR, Dept. of Materia Medica, St. National  Homeopathic Medical College and Hospital, Lucknow

About the author

Dr Purnima singh

Dr Purnima singh - BHMS,MD in Homoeopathy, Department Organon of medicine

About the author

Dr Anupama Singh

PG Scholar, Department of Materia Medica, State National Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Lucknow, U.P.