The definition of the word repertory originates from the Latin word “repertoir,” which means any store or stock, (e.g. of information), that can be drawn upon. “Repertorium,” in French and Latin, means a catalogue or storehouse. Repertoire means a collection or an inventory of capabilities (e. g. songs, plays, music. etc.). In homeopathy the word “repertory” refers to books which are compiled indexes of the Homeopathic and Herbal Materia Medicas.
Referring to his repertory, J. T. Kent said, “It has been built from all sources, and is a compilation of all the useful symptoms recorded in the fundamental works of our Materia Medica, as well as from the notes of our ablest practitioners.”
There have been more than 110 different repertories published as part of homeopathic literature during the last 170 years. The first repertory was created by Samuel Hahnemann which he called a “Symptom Dictionary.” Later, Jahr and Boenninghausen compiled their indexes to the homeopathic materia medica.
In modern terms, the repertory represents the clinical and research database for the practice of homeopathic medicine. The general information contained in these books is derived from history, provings, clinical practice, research, physiology and toxicology.
This edition was designed to be a modern, practical and easy to use clinical guide to the vast homeopathic materia medica. To achieve these goals, a redesigned and upgraded repertory had to be compiled (including a new schema), focusing on filling in the clinical deficiencies and correcting the major flaws found in older repertories.
Historical Repertory Schemas
A schema is defined as a plan, outline or diagram. In homeopathy, a schema comprises the basic outline of headings and sub-headings used in our materia medicas and repertories. Many variations have been tried throughout the last 170 years. The most common historical schemas are represented by the hierarchical and concordance approaches while the schema used in this work is clinically focused and organized alphabetically.
1.Hierarchical/Anatomical/Theoretical – Boenninghausen, Boericke, Lippe, Kent, Knerr.
2. Concordance-Symptomatic – Allen, Clark, Gentry, Phatak.
3. Alphabetical-Clinical – Murphy.
Hahnemann’s schema offered an outline for recording the information gathered from the experimental provings of homeopathic remedies. This eventually became the schema for his Materia Medica Pura. In its preface, Hahnemann describes his schema (the first ever formulated) on pages 4-5. Hahnemann’s schema differed radically from Kent’s later hierarchical organization. It begins with Vertigo, goes through more than fifty sections, finally ending with the Emotions and Mind, where subsequent schemas would begin.
Kent’s Repertory is based on the assumption that all cases should be analyzed from the general to the particular, from the psychological to the physical. Kent saw his cases from one perspective only; he was prejudiced even before he took a case! This perspective helped to establish the modern homeopathic view that mental symptoms are always more important than physical ones. We should remember that particular symptoms (for instance: tumors, diseased organs or wounds) can literary kill a person, which highlights the importance of local symptoms in pathological cases.
Dr. T. F. Allen addressed this issue of whether our repertories should be organized in a hierarchical order or a simple alphabetical one in his introduction to the Index of the Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica. He states: “We venture to hope that future standard works will present a new schema free from theoretical ideas concerning the physiological action of remedies, classifying our symptomatology in a form which will permit ready reference and enabling numerous provings to be condensed.”
A natural hierarchy used for case analysis should be based on several premises: first, what is most life threatening to the patient; second, the causative factors in the case, and finally, the most severe or important presenting symptoms.
In homeopathic literature, a fixed hierarchy is unnecessary because it goes against the individualization of each case. The natural hierarchy in a healthy person is physiological, while in a sick person, that natural order becomes deranged into multiple, unpredictable patterns. We should not have preconceived ideas about what should be important in a case because we should perceive the unique hierarchy of each case.
The Homeopathic Clinical Repertory
After prolonged research and experimentation with the old schemas, I decided to create a new one that would facilitate access to rubrics at all levels in order to provide clearer images of the anatomical, physiological and clinical rubric groups. For example, all the lungs rubrics are in one place instead of being spread throughout the chest chapter. This schema allows an easy transition from particular to general chapters, and vice versa. If a pain rubric cannot be found in its precise chapter (“Lungs,” for instance), then go to a more general chapter (“Chest,” in this case, but be aware that because these rubrics are more general they also include heart pain.).
The Alphabetical Format
This repertory contains 74 chapters arranged in an alphabetical order. They were rearranged and compiled from the original 36 chapters found in Kent’s Repertory.
The Homeopathic Clinical Repertory was created to be more consistent with Hahnemann’s anatomical and physiological categories and has been reorganized into an alphabetical order. This schema was chosen as the most natural organizational method for large amounts of information, bringing this repertory into line with the homeopathic materia medicas.
The chapters in this book are arranged alphabetically according to anatomy, physiology or clinical topic. The rubrics and sub-rubrics contained in each chapter are also sorted into an alphabetical format. This simplifies Kent’s complicated system for arranging rubrics and sub-rubrics (by sides, time, conditions, modalities, circumstances, extensions, locations, etc.).
The Language of the Homeopathic Clinical Repertory
Using modern terminology is paramount to the study and practice of homeopathy. The language of the provings, materia medicas, therapeutic books and repertories must reflect the culture in which one lives. If homeopathic provings and the case taking protocols require us to record a person’s symptoms in their own words, shouldn’t the repertory utilize a similar language?
Formating and Grading of Remedies
The formatting for The Homeopathic Clinical Repertory is similar to Kent’s Repertory, with the strongest remedies in the rubric or sub-rubric designated in bold-capitals, CALC., (4 points), CALC., (3 points), next, bold-italics, calc., (2 points) and plain-type, calc., (1 point).
In general, if a remedy has cured a symptom or condition more than three times and been confirmed by more than three homeopaths, it deserves to be added to the repertory in the first grade (1 point, plain type). If a remedy has cured more than six times and likewise confirmed by three others, it should be added in the second grade (2 points, bold-italics). The third grade, (3 points, bold-capital), requires twelve cases confirmations by three or more practitioners.
Other criteria for gradations: (1) Remedy’s Provings, the frequency and intensity of symptoms. (2) Remedy’s Toxicology. (3) Remedy’s Cured Cases, symptoms and diseases. (4) Remedy’s Clinical Experience and Research. (5) Remedy’s History and Folklore.
Clinical and Pathological Rubrics
In the preface to his repertory, Kent stated that “Physicians are requested to send in verified and clinical symptoms, and to call attention to any errors which they may discover in the text.” When referring to how his repertory was compiled, Kent admitted that the rubrics came from three major sources: previous repertories, the materia medica and notes from the ablest practitioners of the time. These sources comprise the new rubrics, remedy upgrades and additions when verified in homeopathic practice.
Hahnemann states throughout The Organon that every homeopath must clearly perceive what has to be cured in diseases, and to perceive the totality of symptoms of the disease. He also refers to acute diseases, chronic diseases, epidemic diseases, iatrogenic diseases, infectious diseases, mental diseases, miasmatic diseases, physical diseases, traumatic diseases, etc.
Therefore, modern homeopathic repertories must include more clinical rubrics, particularly those that reflect new diseases and conditions of our modern chemical-industrial society, in addition to those caused by allopathic drugs, radiation, chemotherapy, surgery, vaccinations, etc. (see the “Cancer,” “Clinical,” “Toxicity,” and “Vaccinations,” chapters).
The Need for a Modern Clinical Repertory
Kent stated in The Homoeopathician, Journal for Pure Homoeopathy, No. 2, August 1912: “Provings of remedies are not continued to the extent of producing tissue alterations-indurations, infiltrations, suppuration, caries, etc. Most of the indications for the use of remedies in these conditions must be learned clinically, from the use of remedies in patients when these conditions have developed. When a remedy has been prescribed for a patient in whom tissue-changes have occurred, the prescription being based on the symptom-image, resolution of the existing tissue-changes has occurred as a result of the reaction to the remedy. These become reliable clinical symptoms of the remedy: demonstrations of the power of the remedy over the altered tissue. These remedies are then recognized to be suited to constitutions in which these pathological changes can develop. Hence they are as important to the prescriber as though they had appeared actually in the proving.”
“By reference to the repertory the prescriber may find remedies which have thus been established as suitable for suppuration, those suited for cancer, those suited for tuberculosis, those related to apoplexy, etc., and as an intelligent prescriber, the physician should select a remedy for the patient, similar to the condition of the ultimated disorder. This is totally different from prescribing on the pathology alone, or seeking a specific for the name of the ultimate, regardless of the patient.”
Dr. Shashi Kant Tiwari writes in his book, The Essentials of Repertorization: “An urgent and constant need was strongly felt by the professionals for a repertory which could meet the pace of development of modern pathology and internal medicine. This need was fairly and squarely met by the emergence of Homeopathic Medical Repertory, (2nd edition) authored by Robin Murphy, N.D.”
“This is a unique repertory, which helps a practitioner to find the simillimum on the basis of clinical as well as classical symptoms. The author has merged both the types of practice, i.e. classical and clinical”.
“Murphy’s concept of totality is based on clinical as well as classical homeopathic practice. It embraces the principles of Kent’s generals, Boenninghausen’s complete symptoms, Boger’s pathological generals and other stalwarts’ clinical principles of prescribing. This repertory can be used for all types of cases:
1. Where mentals and generals are prominent
2. Where clinical symptoms/diagnosis is available
3. Pathological generals/constitutions are available.
4. Where complete symptoms are available.
5. Where the case has a paucity of symptoms
Dr. Shashi Kant Tiwari, is the Head of Dept. of Case taking and Repertorization and Principal, of Father Muller’s Homeopathic Medical College & Hospital, Mangalore, India.
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Dr. Robin Murphy was born on August 15, 1950 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. In 1976 he entered the National College of Naturopathic Medicine (NCMM) where he was awarded the Hahnemann Scholarship for his Thesis: Homeopathy and Cancer. He directed the homeopathy program at NCNM from 1980-1984. He also taught at Bastyr University. He published the Homeopathic Medical Repertory in 1993 and the Lotus Materia Medica in 1996.
He has extensive teaching and clinical experience including his years as chairman of the Homeopathic Department at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland. Dr. Murphy has lectured at the National Center for Homeopathy and at colleges in Canada and England. He is now director of the Health Academy of North America.
Dr. Murphy is presently the director of the Lotus Medical Center, located in London, England, which sponsors seminars on homeopathy and oriental medicine throughout the world.
Visit Dr. Murphy at his Website: