The Rod of Asclepius and The Caduceus

The Rod of Asclepius has traditionally been the symbol for healing and medicine. However, over time the Caduceus has been confused with the Rod of Asclepius and mistakenly used to represent medicine.

“A 1992 survey of American health organizations found that 62% of professional associations used the rod of Asclepius, whereas in commercial organizations, 76% used the caduceus.”Graphically, the Caduceus makes is a more elaborate symbol and would be more fun to use in a logo, however, it’s origins are not related to medicine or healing.

The caduceus is sometimes used as a symbol for medicine or physicians (instead of the rod of Asclepius) even though the symbol has no connection with Hippocrates and any association with healing arts is something of a stretch. Its singularly inappropriate connotations of theft, commerce, deception and death have provided fodder for academic humor.

The rod of Asclepius (sometimes also spelled Asklepios or Aesculapius), also known as the asklepian,[1] is an ancient symbol associated with astrology, the Greek god Asclepius and with healing. It consists of a serpent entwined around a staff. The name of the symbol derives from its early and widespread association with Asclepius, the son of Apollo, who was a practitioner of medicine in ancient Greek mythology. His attributes, the snake and the staff, sometimes depicted separately in antiquity, are combined in this symbol.[2] The Rod of Asclepius also represents the constellation Ophiuchus (or Ophiuchus Serpentarius), the thirteenth sign of the sidereal zodiac.

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The caduceus is typically depicted as a short herald’s staff entwined by two serpents in the form of a double helix, and sometimes is surmounted by wings. This staff first was borne by Iris, the messenger of Hera. It also was called the wand of Hermes when he superseded Iris in much later myths.

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Guess which one our National Government is using?

“Everyone’s searching for Barack Obama’s health care logo online right now after Rush Limbaugh mentioned how a right-wing blog thinks it looks like something from Nazi Germany.” – From via jameskurtz


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