≡ ▼
ABC Homeopathy Forum




Rhus Tox: $6.59First Aid Kit: $160.00


The ABC Homeopathy Forum

Difference between Ruta and Rhus tox

Hi everyone,

I've had great difficulty in differentiating Ruta from Rhus tox in treating joint pain? Some of the modalities are very similar and also in the materia medica these 2 remedies seem to have somewhat similar pictures. For instance, I had a patient with hip pain due to trauma to ligaments and analyzing her case led me to Ruta and Rhus with equal relevance!! Kind of confusing...

Can someone help me better understand these 2 remedies and their clinical indications?

Thanks in advance,
  lhesabi on 2010-12-06
This is just a forum. Assume posts are not from medical professionals.
If the patient is having constipated bowels go for Ruta. If he has peculiar eye symptoms go for Ruta.
If his first movement is very difficult, if he is worse after rest and better by movements go for Rhus Tox.
There are many who alternate these two remedies and get good results.
kadwa last decade
Ruta patient is likely to have a prolapsed rectum....with other symptoms.

Rhus tox patient likely to have cracking of the jaw....with other symptoms.

Punkaj Varma
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Thanks very much for the reply.

But in terms of the nature of the pain, how else do you differentiate between these 2 remedies beside the agg. or ame. with motion?

lhesabi last decade
I am sorry I missed this post. Differential materia medica is one of my specialities, having taught it to students for many years.

Rhus-tox belongs to the Anacardiaceae family and these plants share some common themes, which are best known in this particuluar remedy.

The main sensation of Rhus-tox (and its family members) is one of being Caught, being Stiff and Tight. It is a feeling of being stuck, like being jammed against something - sort of like a door stop. This causes a feeling of immobility, which provokes a desire to move. The restlessness of this remedy is very marked - there is an aggravation on the first movement which becomes amelioration as they continue to move.

So Rhus-tox injuries feel Stiff, Tight, Hard to move, with a constant desire to move the part (which they may call Stretching it).

Ruta on the other hand belongs to the Rutaceae plant family. The main sensation of this group is Squeezing. There are sensations of Twisting, Breaking, Being crushed, Compressed or Constricted. This creates in Ruta a Numb and Weak feeling. There is a strong desire to stretch like Rhus-tox, but rather than this being an expression of the desire to move, it is a desire to open the part up in the opposite direction (it is being squeezed remember). In fact, Ruta is strongly aggravated by Motion for the most part.

Other words that patients may use to describe their injury pains are Grasped, Wrenched, Clutched, Gripped,Shattered, Sprained. Some of these sensations may be confused with the Cactus family (grasped by a tight band and compressed and released alternatively).
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
The case is one of trauma.

The symptom complex that has arisen due to the trauma needs to be treated.

His problems in other areas like eyes and rectum won't come into picture at this stage.

I agree with David's analysis.

gavinimurthy last decade
Thanks so much Brisbanehomeopath and Murthy. This really helps.

Differentiating between these has been so confusing and these explanations surely help. :)

lhesabi last decade
The guiding symptoms of Rhus Tox and Ruta are comparable.
The time modalities of Nux Vomica and Rhus Tox are comparable.
The motion modalities of Pulsatilla and Rhus Tox are comparable.
Generally other remedies that share common symptoms with Rhus work when rhus fails to work.
Murthy and his worthy friend are much holier than me. Still i am posting my opinion because i know this forum is not owned by 'sole contractors (self proclaimed) of classical homeopathy'.
Again in my humble opinion John Stanton and Sameer demonstrate excellent knowledge of classical homeopathy compared to those who are good at creating scenes and who 'seem to' have some hidden motives.
i also find merit in the opinion of Dr. Niel and Sameer that 'Sensations method' deviates from true classical homeopathy.
kadwa last decade
How could i forget...
The thermal modalities of Calc Carb and Rhus are comparable.

Calc did wonders in many cases where i thought Rhus was indicated.
kadwa last decade
Dear Kadwa,
You are doing a fine job. Each one of us has his own strengths. If some one failed to compliment you...don't let it un-nerve you. Your strengths and self-less efforts are well recognized.
Best wishes,
Punkaj Varma
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Kadwa why are you having a go at me? Have I done something to offend you?

All symptoms of Rhus-tox and Ruta that I have mentioned are found in the provings and standard materia medicas.

Liana simply asked for the difference between those two remedies, not the difference between any of the others you mentioned. I, in turn, simply answered her.

There is no need to personally attack me over such a trivial issue. No need for a personal attack at all. What is your hidden motive I wonder?

My presence on this forum seems to be very threatening to a number of people it seems.

How odd that 'classical' has become an insult. I don't actually call myself Classical because the meaning has been lost - in part because the use it is put to by untrained homoeopaths. Partly because many who call themselves Classical do not practice according to the Organon. I prefer to just say Professional since I am registered to practice in my country, and discuss my methods with each patient so they can decide if they wish to put themselves in my care.

Really, can we not have a discussion about homoeopathy without the derision and snide comments?

One cannot be truly humble when cloaking one's words in sarcasm and criticism.
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
This is an portion of an article from David Little's website. I stumbled upon it looking for something about E.A. Farrington's philosophy of prescribing. It is quite interesting.


'There is much discussion about the three kingdoms of nature in contemporary Homoeopathy. Who was the first homoeopath to speak in terms of the mineral, plant and animal worlds? The answer is Samuel Hahnemann in The Chronic Diseases.

As a rule it was developed from their pure symptoms, that most of the earths, alkalis and acids, as well as the neutral salts composed of them, together with several of the metals, cannot be dispensed with in curing the almost innumerable symptoms of Psora. The similarity in nature of the leading antipsoric, sulphur, to phosphorus and other combustible substances from the vegetable and mineral kingdoms led to the use of the latter, and some animal substances naturally followed them by analogy, in agreement with experience.

The Chronic Diseases Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homœopathic Cure; S. Hahnemann (Theoretical Part), The Medicines, page 244.

In the above quote Hahnemann discusses the elements of the periodic table and explains how it is possible to use “analogy in agreement with experience” to uncover related properties in the plant and animal remedies. This established a system in which the symptoms of the remedies of the three kingdoms and their families can be compared. This method was taken up by Professor E. A. Farrington M.D. in his lectures at Hahnemann Medical College, which was founded by Hering.

“We are now ready to begin our study of the various drugs composing the Homoeopathic Materia Medica. For this purpose I have arranged the remedies in three grand divisions, according to the kingdom of nature from which they are derived.”

A Clinical Materia Medica, E. A. Farrington, Lecture I. page 14.

Hering so was impressed with Farrington’s knowledge of remedies that he said, “When I am gone Farrington must finish my materia medica”. It has been noted from an early period that each of the three kingdoms has its characteristic symptoms. In his lectures Dr. Farrington offers insights into the remedies of the animal world including the theme of “violence and intensity”. The great teacher wrote:

You will find, too, that these animal poisons are apt to affect the mind, especially the emotions. They arouse the lowest qualities in human nature, and produce a condition which is truly shocking. Some of them arouse the filthiest lust, the most intense anger, and passions of a kindred nature.
A Clinical Materia Medica, E. A. Farrington, Lecture I1, Animal Kingdom, page 25.

In Homoeopathy and Minerals Jan Scholten develops a series of themes for the elements of the periodic table that use the method of group analysis in a creative manner. For example, Jan’s essences for the Magnesium group are Pacifism; Aggression; Fear of loss; and Pain. His essences for the Muriaticums are Self pity; Care and Nurturing; Mother; Attention; and Self-awareness. By combining the essences found in Magnesium with Muriaticum, Jan has postulated the following essential themes of Magnesium Muriaticum: Aggression leads to the loss of care from the mother; aggression is necessary to forcefully ask for care. Other combinations might include aggression to get attention or any combination of the main components. These themes are based on a synthesis of the characteristics found in the two elements that lead to a more developed picture of the composite remedy.

In Homoeopathy and the Elements Scholten further expands on his method by introducing a series of themes related to the evolution of the 7 horizontal periods and 18 vertical groups of the periodic table. By using this method of group analysis and the synthetic approach he has assigned certain symptoms to proven and unproven remedies. For a more complete understanding of Jan’s methods please refer to the original publications.

The use of the synthetic prescription is not new to Homoeopathy. For example, Dr. Clarke said, “Bar-i. has been used empirically, especially in cases of glandular enlargement and new growths, on indications suggested by its two elements”. Clarke was showing that if one has a decent understanding of Baryta and Iodium it may be possible to prescribe the remedy, Baryta Iodata. Hering offered a similar opinion about the use of remedies like Calcarea Arsenicosa. Other hints are found scattered throughout out homoeopathic literature. Nevertheless, some have questioned the very origins of this method. Where did the idea of synthetic prescribing originate?

The earliest recorded experiment of a synthetic prescription was in 1843 when Samuel Hahnemann gave Robert Everest (Casebook DF-14, page 13) Cinnabaris (Red Sulfide of Mercury) based on the combined symptoms of Mercury and Sulphur found in two rubrics in Boenninghausen’s repertory. This is a clear example of keeping one’s eyes open for the possible combination of elements while analyzing the symptoms of the patient in our reference works. This means that the synthetic method has been with Homœopathy since the beginning!

Dr. Rajan Sankaran is well known for his contributions to Homoeopathy which includes the central disturbance, core delusions, compensation, dream interpretation, etc. His more recent offerings include Insight into Plants, Volumes I and II and The Vital Sensation. His latest works introduce a new approach to the patient’s main complaint that focuses on the “vital sensation”, which is present in the symptoms of the body as well as the mind. Through the generalization of each plant family he presents what he believes to be the important sensations found throughout the entire family. At the same time, he notes which miasm is the most similar to each species found in the family in accordance with his sequence of ten miasms running from the acute to the syphilitic.

On this basis Sankaran has developed a grid of botanical medicines that is similar to the system Scholten developed for the mineral remedies. This schematic presents the vital sensations of the families and the miasms of each individual plant in a manner that is easy for cross reference. By matching the vital sensation with the corresponding miasm one may locate a plant remedy for the patient. Dr. Sankaran is now applying his new method of case taking to the mineral, plant and animal kingdom.

The methods of Scholten and Sankaran are considered by many to be the cutting edge of contemporary Homoeopathy. Nevertheless, is the new “systems approach” being used by some in such a one sided manner that it is overturning the cardinal principles of our healing art? Are unproven remedies being used in a way that lacks the consistency of the classical standard? Has the inductive reasoning of the Organon been replaced by methods that are based mostly on speculation? Hahnemann felt that the study of the natural kingdoms could provide hints about the potential use of homoeopathic remedies but he opined that provings and symptoms brought out on patients under treatment were essential to the method. In Essays on a New Principle Hahnemann wrote.

I am far from denying, however, the many important hints the natural system may afford to the philosophical student of the materia medica and to him who feels it his duty to discover new medicinal agents; but these hints can only help to confirm and serve as a commentary to facts already known, or in the case of untried plants they may give rise to hypothetical conjectures, which are, however, far from approaching even to probability.

The Lesser Writings of Samuel Hahnemann; S. Hahnemann (Dudgeon Edition), Essay on a New Principle for ascertaining the Curative Powers of Drugs, page 257.

Drs. Scholten and Sankaran are very experienced classical homoeopaths but their experimental methods are being taken up by students and practitioners new to the art. This method is being used by persons that have not yet mastered the traditional methods in a reasonable manner. They do not understand how to use the repertory or materia medica properly. They depend mostly on flow charts of essences rather than rubrics of our reference works. Others think they have found a short cut to the “highest method” and don’t really need to use the repertory. Some of these persons cannot even recognize a simple Calcarea or Arsenicum case standing right in front of them yet they are trying to use unproven and lesser known remedies by a simple two dimensional grid on paper.

Many practitioners do not have the background to understand when these experimental methods are leading in the wrong direction. In some cases the use of these new methods has become a fad or fashion, which is the antithesis of the term “classical”. When the use of the systems approach is supported by the classic methods of the repertory and materia medica the outcome may add very valuable insights. When these new methods replace the traditional techniques they lack the stability and consistency of the classical practice. The truth is that a well constructed systems approach is based on the generalizations of the symptoms approach and is not a separate system. The symptom and system approach should be used together in a balanced and practical fashion.'
brisbanehomoeopath last decade
Dear Punkaj

Whatever compliments i recieve i simply pass on to people like you, Murthy, Rishi and others whose posts help innumerable people like me understand homeopathy. i don't deserve any recognition.
If someone fails in delivering relief to his patient he should re-read the Materia Medica 100 times instead of taking recourse to non-proven methods like Sensations method.
My personal identity is known to none here, so there is no question of taking anything personally.
i used strong words to express my dis-pleasure at Sensations method and not due to not getting any recognition.
This website enjoys widest participation because here members are not given differential status like some other website.
i am happy that you are in good health now.

Best Regards.
kadwa last decade
Many thanks dear Kadwa,

Yes I am better now and yesterday...I had a 3 km walk...didn't feel the fatigue.

Thanks for clarifying your view point and your compliments.

You are very correct about ABC. It is good that dear Simon Broadlay keeps the format simple for all to show case their talent in homeopathy. He is a fine guy and dedicated to his work. I met him in London on one of my visits and we shared our views. As a Moderator he is impartial.

Only one suggestion: I notice in your posts that you are very self-effacing. I used to be like that in my younger years. Later, looking at the world how it goes on ...I realized it did not help.

I made many friends through ABC and would be happy to have you in my friends list.
(Some I have never met in person..but spoken to on phone).

Best regards.
Punkaj Varma
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Dear Punkaj

i am now working with an NGO that provides subsidised medical services to poor poeple. All homeo doctors working there are giving only allopathic medicines. The patients are coming from economically weak sections. They can't afford to remain sick and lose their wages. i am doing cases there using Rishi's fast track classical homeopathy approach. i am pleased to say that i could convert 15 patients to homeopathy out of 60-70 patients. i had a long discussion with Dr. Sajjad and later i translated all those ideas into concrete implementation while working on the project.
i have served more than 1000 patient-visits during these 5 months and the total cost of medication is not more than Rs. 1000.
i have also been using the remedies like Quercus Glandium Spiritus in Q form for breaking drinking habbit of habitual drinkers along with indicated remedies like Nux Vomica, Syphilinum etc. So far the results are satisfactory.
All remedies other than Quercus Glandium Spiritus are used in potentized form and in c ( and m) potency. The tissuse salts are also used only in 6c potency.
Homeopathy has the capability of virtually reducing the cost of medication to zero. i hope that people like you and Murthy should educate your local NGOs about the amazing possibilites with homeopathy. Once there is success at local level we can have a pool of such cases and experts sitting at remote location may also make their specific suggestions for the cases.
i am connected to you through Sai Connection, a much deeper connection than a telephonic connection.

Best Regards.
kadwa last decade
Dear Kadwa,
It is great to hear all this.
I am also glad to hear that we have a common Sai Connection.
I have great regard for Dr. Sajjad Akram because of his very practical approach to homeopathy and his helpful nature which I have been experiencing since 2003/2004.

I take your suggestion of getting associated with some NGO to further my efforts in being of service to more people through homeopathy. I will give it a serious thought. By the way...in my neighbour hood , to the poor I provide free advice and give away free medicine. To the ones who can afford...I give free advice but ask them to buy their medicine.

I have never charged for homeopathic advice. I pray to Sai Baba to keep me filled with money from my business/investment ventures so that I don't have to ever charge anyone for homeopathic advice.

This has been happening for more than 15years now.

And I have a great 'fan' following because I helped many people to recover from their illnesses. They include small children to 78 year olds. And ... they are not restricted to my city. My phone rings regularly from people around India and around the world seeking my advice on homeopathy. Sometimes ...seeking second opinion on a Homeopathic Doctor's advice.

For that reason I also hand over my phone number selectively.

Just curious: Which city are you in?

Best regards,
Punkaj Varma
New Delhi, India
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
Hello Liana,
I haven't forgotten the original question of yours.

I am quoting from a book the distinction between Ruta and Rhus tox...given in a very precise way:

For Sprains:

Ruta....if pain is WORSE with continued movement

Rhus Tox...if pain is BETTER with movement .
(It gets worse only after a couple of hours of movement).

Adding from my side:

Some more meds you can look at

Bryonia...when there is no desire to move at all. There is loathing at the very thought of movement.

Ledum...when pains begin in feet and lower part of the legs. There are pimples on the fore head.

Of course, read about the complete 'drug picture' of these meds before deciding on one of them. (From a Materia Medica).

Punkaj Varma
PANKAJ VARMA last decade
To David Kempson

I was interested in your response to Kadwa which I copy below and cannot help advising you in the context of your constant criticism of almost all my posts on the ABC:


I may not be as qualified as you state you are in Homeopathy as I do not have any paper qualifications but I too have been exposed to this Science in my own way since 1968 first as a skeptic and later as a student and still later as a practitioner.

You may like to read a post that I made a few hours ago this morning on:
I have explained in detail my response to the 'classical homeopathic attitude' that you and a few others adopt in sneering at my therapy within a few hours of my posting it in response to a patient request for help. It is strange to note that the majority of patients whose cases I have helped have been cured and what is more, they have confirmed their cured status.

I remember that Punkaj advised you NOT to be constantly critical of others on the ABC as we all have our own manner of prescribing to a patient which has helped them to be cured. We are all people from different walks of life who derive some satisfaction in helping patients who post on the ABC purely on a voluntary basis. This is not a Forum to display one's superiority in Homeopathy and is certainly not one where a debate between 2 homeopaths ends up in a brawl. You certainly have the right to criticize the therapy that I or others prescribe if you feel convinced that it would be dangerous from the viewpoint of the patient but in your case I have noticed that you have that patronizing attitude you adopt which is perhaps because you are a teacher, in your constant criticisms and comments which I for one resent, especially when it comes from you.

It is my fervent hope that you will desist in future from personal attacks which I have observed have abated in the recent past, and which I hope will also continue into the future.

'Kadwa why are you having a go at me? Have I done something to offend you?

All symptoms of Rhus-tox and Ruta that I have mentioned are found in the provings and standard materia medicas.

Liana simply asked for the difference between those two remedies, not the difference between any of the others you mentioned. I, in turn, simply answered her.

There is no need to personally attack me over such a trivial issue. No need for a personal attack at all. What is your hidden motive I wonder?

My presence on this forum seems to be very threatening to a number of people it seems.

How odd that 'classical' has become an insult. I don't actually call myself Classical because the meaning has been lost - in part because the use it is put to by untrained homoeopaths. Partly because many who call themselves Classical do not practice according to the Organon. I prefer to just say Professional since I am registered to practice in my country, and discuss my methods with each patient so they can decide if they wish to put themselves in my care.

Really, can we not have a discussion about homoeopathy without the derision and snide comments?

One cannot be truly humble when cloaking one's words in sarcasm and criticism.'

I presume that you have never thought of applying your own words to yourself, as they may be too close in their impact to the target.

Joe De Livera
Joe De Livera last decade
I just wanted to thank everyone for your comments and opinions. I definitely appreciate them and am learning from such knowledgeable homeopaths. :)

lhesabi last decade
Humble suggestion from me, from new jersey USA.
We stop fighting among our self and make homeopathy such strong so we never fail and first prescription always work , here people give one opportunity if we fails they go to allopath right away since medical insurance cover almost 90% allopathic treatment , no coverage for homeopathic treatment and on top patient always doubt about tiny pellets..
bkushwaha 5 years ago

Post ReplyTo post a reply, you must first LOG ON or Register


Information given in this forum is given by way of exchange of views only, and those views are not necessarily those of ABC Homeopathy. It is not to be treated as a medical diagnosis or prescription, and should not be used as a substitute for a consultation with a qualified homeopath or physician. It is possible that advice given here may be dangerous, and you should make your own checks that it is safe. If symptoms persist, seek professional medical attention. Bear in mind that even minor symptoms can be a sign of a more serious underlying condition, and a timely diagnosis by your doctor could save your life.