Students of Homeopathy who read different Materia Medicas written by various authors, must have observed that some symptoms given under a particular remedy in one materia medica are not given by other. Dr. Boger has selected the most important symptoms from various materia medica and has included them in his Synoptic Key. But while presenting these symptoms, he has, at times, used such words, that unless the student has the ability to read between the lines, he will miss their hidden meaning. Moreover, Dr. Boger has omitted many important symptoms given by other authors. I will give some examples to illustrate my point. Dr. Boericke has given “Retention of urine after operation” under ‘Causticum’. Boger has not given this symptom. Dr. Boger has given “Distension of abdomen after operation” under Carbo animals which is not given by other authors. Dr. Kent has not mentioned above two symptoms in his repertory. But these two symptoms gave me opportunity to remove these distressing conditions successfully. Dr. Boger has given a very curious symptom “Breathes through a metallic tube as if” under Mercurius Cor. which is not given by other authors. Moreover he has made it a general symptom – under the heading “Tube metallic – Mercurius Cor.”. The meaning is obvious. If a person comes and says that while passing stools or urine or even speaking, he is doing these functions as if through a tube, Mercurius Cor is apt to be useful. I had an occasion to give this remedy to a person who was speaking through a tube.

If well understood, Dr. Boger’s Materia Medica. and repertory are quite sufficient for most of the cases. But we possess neither his intellect, nor his acumen.

In compiling this materia medica, I have given all the symptoms given by Dr. Boger. I have tried to simplify many of his ambiguous words by explaining these meaning. Moreover I have garnered many useful clinical and other symptoms from other materia medicas (which were not given by Dr. Boger) and included them here.

The presentation of Materia Medica is on usual schematic basis. Under generalities the profile picture of the remedy is given along with the regions on which it acts and how it acts, diseases which it is liable to cure and causations. Then general modalities of the remedy are given, after that regional symptoms with their particular modalities follow.

It is my belief that Dr. Boger wished to compile a concise repertory arranged in alphabetic order rather than regional one. In the same way a concise materia medica, in which all relevant symptoms pertaining to each remedy are given; was desirable. He has given clues in his Synoptic key for compiling such books. With my poor intellect and limited knowledge of homeopathy I have tried to fulfil his wish. How far I am successful in my attempt, only time will show.


My thanks are due to my friend Dr. (Miss) Homai Merchant for typing the manuscript twice without a single murmur. Thanks are also due to my son Dr. D. S. Phatak, for correcting first to final proofs several times and for making arrangement to print the book with Mouj Printing Bureau. Mr. Datay who got the composing done and Mr. M. R. Sane who composed the book single handed, deserve my thanks.

Readers are requested to have a look at the “Hints for the beginners” and Index of Surgical remedies.

Finally I am very grateful to God for sparing me in spite my heart disease and old age to see the book completed. I have done whatever I could. Capable young homeopaths should carry on the work further.

July 1977


Materia Medica and Repertory are the twin pillars on which successful practice of homeopathy stands. Both are complementary to each other. None is complete in itself.

Study of materia medica, is a long drawn out effort. There is no short or easy road to success.

Drugs should become your friends. You can identify your friend from, the way he rings the bell, taps or opens the door, climbs the foot-steps, etc. Similarly you should be able to know the drug even when it is partially seen.

The marks of identification of the drug are found in its Generalities, Modalities (i.e. worse and better) and Mind. A thorough grasp of these headings helps you to identify the drug in relation to the patient.

To achieve this, when you read a drug each rubric should be seen in the repertory. The relative importance of this drug is to be fixed in your mind by comparing it with other drugs under the same rubric. This appears to be tedious. But the drug picture slowly gets firmly and clearly set in your mind.


The most difficult thing in homeopathy is interpretation of symptoms. When the patient is telling his story in his own words, you should be able to fix these, in terms of rubrics given in the repertory. If you have grasped the materia medica well, certain drugs will automatically come to your mind. Verify them in repertory. Causation, modalities are more important. The peculiar symptom -which, underlying pathology fails to explain- does many a time point towards the suitable drug.

When a cup is half-full, it is half empty also. While interpreting symptoms, try to look at the same thing from various aspects.

While reading materia medica also, try to remember the peculiar things in the drug. Bland discharges of Pulsatilla, “Can’t throw things off” in Zincum Met, “Great variety of symptoms” in Mercurius, etc. As said before these are the identification marks of the drug.


< means worse from or after. > better or relieved by. Semi colon; is used in this book with care. For instance in Calcarea Carb under mind you will find, Fears; disease, misery, disaster, insanity; of being poisoned. It means Fears (1) disease, (2) misery, (3) disaster, (4) insanity and fears of being observed. In Phosphorous under generalities, “Ill effects of anger fear grief; worry; exposure to drenching rains washing clothes; tobacco; etc. is to be interpreted similarly. Suitable combinations can be profitably made.

Three types, are used in this book to show gradation. Relative importance of different symptoms is given by this. But in a particular patient a low graded symptom may prove to be the most important. So you need not be carried away by the gradations.


give due respect to the authorities on homeopathy for what they say. But if your experience is contrary to what the authorities say, do not get swayed by their opinions. Ultimately your experience is the best authority as far as you are concerned.


S.R. Phatak
A pioneer of Homoeopathy in Maharashtra, Dr Shankar Raghunath Phatak was born on 6th September, 1896. He did his MBBS from Grant Medical College, in 1924. Started his practice but somehow not satisfied with Allopathic Treatment.

He was convinced about Homoeopathy while going through Sir William Osler's writings on 'History of Medicine' so switched over to an entirely Homoeopathic Practice in 1932. He also started working on Homoeopathic literature along with his Practice.

He has contributed immensely to homoeopathic literature. He was an ardent follower of Dr Boger. His Repertory is based on Boger's ''A Synoptic key to Materia Medica'.