Study of Kent Repertory

“Or if the keynotes look like Pulsatilla, see to it that she is not chilly, that she likes the windows open, wants she is not chilly, that she likes the windows open, wants to walk in the open air, is better from motion. tearful, gentle. The great trouble with keynotes is that they are misused. The keynotes are often characteristic symptoms; but if the keynotes are taken as final, and the generals do not conform, then will come the failures.” And now, at last, to the REPERTORY! We know what we want; let us see where to find it,

In the Repertory it is a question of Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last the MENTALS in the first section of the book, the GENERALITIES, (or GENERALS) at the end, in the last section. These are what most import us. Many a chronic case may be worked out on mentals and generals only, and the particulars will be found to fit in, in a marvellous way.

Observe that in the Mentals at the beginning, in the Generals at the end, and in all the intermediate sections, from cover to cover, the same arrangement holds; so that we can master it at once, and for all.

Everywhere it is the same

First, TIME.


Then, when it is a question of pain, LOCALITY, CHARACTER, EXTENSION.

Take a mental symptom from the first section of the book; take anxiety.

First, always, TIME, ANXIETY; morning. afternoon, at night; at some special hour.

Then, conditions under which anxiety has been observed, in alphabetical order ANXIETY; in open air, in bed; as of a guilty conscience; during fever; for others; before menses; about salvation; on waking, and so on

Now turn to the last section of the Repertory, the Generalities, or GENERALS. Here we have the aggravation, ameliorations and reactions of the patient as precisely the same arrangement is found.

First, in regard to TIME. the patient is generally worse in the morning, at noon, at night, at such hour. (Where nothing is specified, aggravation is always understood. “On waking”. mean worse on waking. It is normal to be ameliorated by sleep. We do not repertorise the normal!)

Then, after time, come the general conditions of the patient as a whole, in alphabetical order. these always apply to the patient generally. (The aggravations of his various parts, head, skin, stomach, limbs, occur earlier in the book, each in its own section.)

Among these Generalities at the end of the book we find worse and better from bath and washing; from cold; from wet and dry; from position, motion, pressure, eating, sleep, and so on. Here also, inserted alphabetically among the rest, you will find nearly all that there is of pathology in the book, and that is not much. Also certain conditions in their alphabetical place, such as faintness; convulsions; fullness; pain in general-its onset, gradual or sudden; and its disappearance in the same way, and their combinations; its character, burning, pressing, shooting, etc.., and its direction, pains that shoot up, down, inwards, outwards, across.

(Elsewhere under different headings, in their different sections we must look for particular pains, located in head, limb, joint or organ.)

But under these broader headings, such as faintness, convulsions, you will again find qualifications, aggravations and ameliorations; and in all of these, down to smallest sub- sections, the same order reigns, down to first, then CONDITIONS, alphabetically. (AS FAINTNESS morning; after morning after midnight; at such an hour; during fever; before or after eating; on exertion; after M.P.; while standing, and a host of others.)

But there are also a few Generals scattered through the earlier sections of the book, and we must know where to look for them.

Desires and aversions in regard to foods are to be found in the section STOMACH, with hunger and thirst -these latter with their modifications and qualifications in regard to time, first, and the other conditions in alphabetical order. Observe that while hunger and of diet are placed in the section STOMACH, the aggravations and ameliorations from eating, drinking, and from different kinds of food and drink are found (most of them under the heading food) among the Generals at the end of the book.

In the same way, while the general aggravation and amelioration in regard to the menstrual function are placed in the Generalities, as we saw; all the important menstrual conditions are to be found in the section GENITALIA-FEMALE. While particulars with menstrual modifications will be found scattered from end to end of the book, as for instance, various headaches modified by menses in the section HEAD. Stomach or abdominal distresses modified by menses in the section STOMACH or ABDOMEN.

Everywhere and in everything the self-same arrangement holds The better and worse of the patient as a whole occurs always under the Generalities: the better or worse of a part or organ (the particular) is always found in its appropriate place, whether under HEAD, STOMACH, CHEST, EXTREMITIES.

Between the MENTALS at the end, the intermediate bulk of the book, with these few exceptions, is concerned with PARTICULARS; that is to say, not with the patient as a whole, but with his various parts.

Let us now take pain in the extremities, the most alarming and bewildering of all to the neophite; for it occupies more than 120 pages of the book, and is absolutely hopeless without knowledge of the arrangement.

If starts, as usual, with what is more general. PAIN GENERALLY IN THE EXTREMITIES. FIrst as to TIME, then the usual modifying conditions in alphabetical order, as-during chill;when lying;during M.P.; rheumatic; alternating with different ailments; wandering and shifting; in wet weather, and so on.

NEXT, pAIN, as LOCALISED GENERALLY; in bones. flexor muscles; joints, nails, tendons; always qualified as to various conditions, first as regards time, and the rest in alphabetical order.

Then PAIN as localised in the UPPER LIMBS GENERALLY, right; left; with the same conditions following; first as to time, then the rest alphabetically, then EXTENSION.

After finishing the upper limb as a whole, Kent now takes its parts, SHOULDER, UPPER ARM, ELBOW, FOREARM, WRIST, HAND, FINGERS, with all their details, to individual fingers, with joints, nails tips; each time with conditions in the same order- time; other conditions alphabetically, then extension.

The upper limbs so far disposed of, the LOWER LIMBS are now taken in precisely the same way, with the same detail, and the same arrangement; and that ends localities generally; and Kent next proceeds to consider the CHARACTER OF THE PAIN, and that ends localities generally; and Kent next proceeds to consider the CHARACTER OF THE PAIN,A ND UNDER THE VARIOUS HEADINGS, ACHING, BURNING, CUTTING, DRAWING, & C., the whole thing is gone into again!

For instance-

ACHING, generally, with its TIME and other conditions.


ACHING IN UPPER LIMBS, with time, other conditions, extension.

Then ACHING in all the LOCALITIES in order, first of upper limb, then of lower, with in each case, the usual conditions, first as to time, then the rest in alphabetical order, then extension.

So through all the various kinds of pain, burning, pressing, shooting, tearing;l each being carried down through all the localities, from the larger and more general, to the smaller and more particular, with always, time aggravations, other conditional aggravations and extension. Truly an amazing work.

Thus we are made free of the Repertory; for wherever PAIN occurs, whether in HEAD, STOMACH, BLADDER. BACK, the arrangement is precisely the same:

FIRST, PAIN GENERALLY, in regard to time and other conditions, and extension.

Next, PAIN LOCALISED, in regard to time; other conditions, and extension

Then CHARACTER OF PAIN GENERALLY, with time; other conditions, and extension

Then CHARACTER OF PAIN IN REGARD TO EACH LOCALITY IN TURN, always with regard to time; other conditions in alphabetical order, and extension.

The homoeopath is already familiar with the broader arrangement of the REPERTORY, for it is that of the Materia Medica. In conclusion, let us just glance through it, as there are a few points of difficulty in the search for what we want.

Let us run through the book, taking the Sections in order.

MENTALS-Here especially we need to read constantly, and compare, We may very often have to take the idea, and resort to synonyms, in order to find just what we need. Sometimes we have to combine rubrics, Among the Mentals, the sub-sections are often far more important than the lists under the large and more general headings.

WEEPING is a very long rubric, and is common to very many remedies; it is qualified below, WEEPING at a certain hour; alternating with cheerfulness; causeless; consolation aggravates; while telling symptoms; from music; these things individualise, and carry us nearer to the remedy. It repays you to constantly study the Mentals; to know exactly what you can find there, and under what precise phraseology. Observe that SENSITIVE TO LIGHT, NOISE, etc.., ARE HERE; while sensitive to odours comes under “SMELL acute in the section NOSE.

VERTIGO- Here are several heading that denote levitation; and here we get sensations of sinking, and tendency to fall to right, left, etc..

HEAD-Includes HAIR-Here we get all the head sensations and pains; and here, for head only, we get what we had previously noted in GENERALITIES, for pain generally, i, e., increasing and decreasing suddenly or gradually, and their combinations,

EYE-With a separate section, VISION.

EAR-With discharges and pains, but with a separate section, hEARING.

NOSE, Including TONGUE, which is interwoven into all its sections; but with a separate section for TEETH (coated tongue you find under “Mouth, discoloration.”)

From mouth, away down the digestive tube, taking first THROAT, with tonsils, uvula, oesophagus.

And here, in the next section, Kent inserts EXTERNAL THROAT, with cervical glands and thyroid. This section is always difficult to find.

STOMACH- with the important Generals-the desire and aversions in regard to articles of diet, and hunger, and thirst (As we said, better and worse for eating and drinking, and for different foods are found in Generalities.)

ABDOMEN. Here most of the menstrual pains are to be found. As it is difficult often to differentiate between gastric and abdominal pain, it is often advisable to consult both these sections.

RECTUM, with a separate sections for STOOL. diarrhoea, Constipation and Urging, are found under RECTUM, whereas character of stool-loose, hard, large gushing, forcible, colour, odour, etc.., are in the next section, STOOL.

Then under URINARY ORGANS. we get no less than five sections, and they are very puzzling at first, because BLADDER and URINE are widely separated, and one hardly knows what to look for in each. these sections are, BLADDER, KIDNEYS, PROSTATE occur under BLADDER; whereas the character of the urine, its odour and deposits are to be found under URINE. HERE also we find urine copious and scanty.

GENITALIA, in two sections for MALE and FEMALE. In the latter are found the important Generals associated with menstruation, whereas, as we saw, the generally worse and better in connection with menses, are placed under GENERALITIES, at the end of the book.

Then we are taken back to the THROAT, to start this time down the respiratory tract. Kent’s order in compiling the Repertory is always, from above down; from the more important to the less; from the most broadly general, to the most minutely particular.





Then CHEST, into whose sections are interwoven lungs, heart, mammae.



NEXT, SLEEP, with dreams. Really an important general. This includes positions in sleep; whereas better and worse for sleep, and for different positions lying, are found at the end of the book, in Generalities.

Then the FEVER sections CHILL, FEVER, PERSPIRATION. (Under Fever, you find the succession of stages, which may be important.

Lastly SKIN; which, remember, is merely a particular, an organ, though a very important one, as regards its excretory function,.

And so the book ends up with the all-important section, GENERALITIES.

Margaret Lucy Tyler
Margaret Lucy Tyler, 1875 – 1943, was an English homeopath who was a student of James Tyler Kent. She qualified in medicine in 1903 at the age of 44 and served on the staff of the London Homeopathic Hospital until her death forty years later. Margaret Tyler became one of the most influential homeopaths of all time. Margaret Tyler wrote - How Not to Practice Homeopathy, Homeopathic Drug Pictures, Repertorising with Sir John Weir, Pointers to some Hayfever remedies, Pointers to Common Remedies.