The study of materia medica and its clinical application is a difficult task.
– Although pure materia medica may provide an accurate description of the symptomatology, it makes no attempt to synthesise that information into what we know as the essential characteristics of the remedy.
– Clinical materia medica is the compilation of the writer’s clinical experience and is, consequently, subjective and incomplete.
– The repertories, including Barthel and Klunker’s Synthetic Repertory, whether used manually or on computer, contain a vast wealth of information, but they, too, do not provide a complete image of the remedy.
– After I had spent some years wrestling with this problem, and doing repeated repertorisations of each case, I decided to embark on a more detailed study of the repertory.
– I had observed that, with each repertorisation, there would be several remedies that had many symptoms in common with the simillimum of the case.
– Some were familiar to me, others were not, and there were still others that had not even been mentioned in works of clinical materia medica.
– Through the repertory, it was possible to learn a lot more about little-known aspects of remedies.
– If a remedy is studied both in the materia medica and the repertory, a surprisingly complete image will emerge, defining and characterising the remedy in a highly typical manner.
– With this typical picture, it becomes easy to see the connections between symptoms, which are more than just a collection of disparate facts; each symptom, with its modalities and actions, has a dynamic intention and result.
– Furthermore, the symptoms arrange themselves into levels of hierarchy, so that the essential characteristics of the remedy are clear.
– A good caricature of a face will contain only those few outstanding features which are necessary to distinguish it from all other faces.
– Similarly, with a remedy picture, between five and ten symptoms are all that is necessary to synthesise the information into the Minimum Characteristic Syndrome.
– This small group of symptoms can then form the basis for repertorisation, and a comparison of similar remedies can be made using this somewhat mathematical process, whereby the essential similarities and differences between remedies will become self-evident.”