At the root of every successful homeopathic school is the deep knowledge of philosophy, theory and Materia Medica. Mastering philosophy and theory is both interesting and important, but no one has become a good homeopath without Materia Medica. That is why teachers of homeopathy do their best to help students remember the “pictures” of homeopathic remedies. We are offered “essences”, “temperaments”, “group analysis”, analysis according to the different kingdoms in nature and other systems for establishing at least some order in our knowledge.
However, very few would deny the importance of the Repertory. As soon as we open it, especially if we are tired after the last seminar, a dangerous adventure is awaiting us. The huge ocean of symptoms tosses the little boats of courageous homeopaths, venturing into deep waters, lured by promises of miraculous healing. The mysterious rubrics, scattered throughout the Repertory, thrill them. Here and there strange abbreviations flash by in capital letters, or bold type, or even emphasized with bright red color. To cap it all, while we are torn between reference notes, synonyms and similar rubrics, we begin to feel seasick and start hesitating whether our “vertigo, nausea with” is Cocc, Tab. or Petr. It is not at all easy to become a good homeopath!
Every teacher makes his or her own contribution to our ideas for the remedies. Nevertheless I was astonished when I began to play with the computer version of the Repertory Synthesis 7. I suddenly realized that the most distrustful and suspicious remedy is… Lyc! It turned out that I did not have sufficient knowledge of remedies such as Aur, Ign or Nat-m, allthough I often prescribe them.
That is how I came to the idea of compiling this guide. It should make it easier to study homeopathy, by listing only the most important symptoms of each remedy. I recommend it to all colleagues, who are not absolutely sure in their knowledge of the principal symptoms of the most frequently used homeopathic remedies. With this book I hope to help eliminate some possible omissions in our knowledge. I feel that the reason for these omissions is the difficulty that students experience in extracting reliable information from the Repertory.
The mastering of Materia Medica has several stages. To begin with, students need to learn the most important and typical “strange, rare and peculiar” symptoms of the remedies that distinguish them from all the others. Details can wait. I learned this from the style of teaching at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy: George Vithoulkas emphasizes the importance of memorizing the most significant symptoms of each remedy, even if this means a smaller number of symptoms.
But how to find a symptom in the Repertory? Its language is very specific and at first, it is difficult to find the needed symptom because the student is not yet accustomed to the phrasing – especially if English is a foreign language to him. On the other hand, all rubrics are not equally useful; therefore initially it is better to be able to discover the most important ones. Besides, the human mind is not able to remember hundreds of details about thousands of remedies. So wouldn’t it be nice to have “a memory enhancer” – an easy tool we can use to confirm our analysis?
I suggest to my colleagues to memorize some of the strongest symptoms and keynotes of the remedies by means of repertory rubrics. This way, when they see them in the patient they can switch towards the remedy in question and either confirm or reject it with the help of other symptoms.
So we can use this book for studying remedies when we have a couple of minutes free – we could just open it and choose a remedy. Or, when we study or teach Materia Medica – just in case we forget something important…
When we have examined the patient and we are about to give him or her a remedy, we can use this book to confirm the remedy or to make a differential diagnosis with the help of the Repertory or the RADAR software. Actually at first I was using the various extraction tools of the software, but this does not work if you don’t use a computer. So here is a book that could help us when the computer is not available.