A GOOD Repertory is of inestimable value to the conscientious homoeopath. In the opinion of my friend and teacher Dr. John H. Clarke: “It is impossible to practice homoeopathy as it should be practised without the aid of a Repertory, and the best Repertory is the fullest.” I have just received the fourth and revised edition of the Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica by the late Dr. James Tyler Kent, which is undoubtedly the best Repertory in existence.
For the information of the lay readers I would say that a Repertory is an index of symptoms. The volume before me is a large book of 1,423 pages, printed in two columns, and it is a volume which I have found indispensable in my work. It is printed on better paper than the third edition, and it is provided with thumb index which greatly facilitate its use.
Of course, one must know how to use a large repertory like the one mentioned. At first, it is confusing. Under general headings such as “Salivation”, “Burning Pain in Throat”, “Frequent Urination”, etc. 150 or more remedies are mentioned, a number which is confusing to the inexperienced user. One must not rely upon single symptoms but on several symptoms in order to find out the indicated remedy. For instance, a patient who complains about salivation must be asked for further particulars, and he may say that profuse salivation takes place only during the night. Under the heading “Salivation during Sleep” only seven remedies are mentioned among the Mercurius is printed in thick type.
The competent use of a large Repertory requires lengthy study and guidance, and I would recommend the publishers, Messrs. Ehrhart & Karl, Chicago, to produce a short book or pamphlet, to be sold at a low price, such as a IS., giving the necessary guidance to novices. No such guidance is given in the volume itself.
Among the most important symptoms required for the selection of the remedy are the Symptoms of the Mind which are given in the first section and the Generalities which occupy the last section of the volume. Some of the mind symptoms and general symptoms are of the greatest importance. Also of outstanding weight are the rare and peculiar symptoms which frequently indicate only a single remedy. For instance, inability to urinate in the presence of others suggests Natrum muriaticum, a remedy which is also strongly suggested by the mental symptom of aggravation by consolation.
The book is of priceless value to every experienced homoeopath. It is sold at the price of 6 guineas and can be obtained from the Homoeopathic Publishing Co. The price seems high, but the book cannot very well be sold at a lower price because of the great expense of production. Besides, it is fully worth the money to every prescriber, professional or lay. Dr. Clarke used to have three copies in constant use, one at his house, another at his hospital and one in his car. Some time ago the Germans, who have not an adequate Repertory, wished to bring out a translation of Kents Repertory, and they fixed a provisional price of 600 marks, or L30 at the normal rate of exchange.
I hope that the book will sell well. Its value is great and it is absolutely reliable. Kent had a very sound knowledge of homoeopathy, he was an excellent doctor and prescriber, he had unrivalled knowledge of the Materia Medica, and this wonderful work of his is the work of a lifetime. He certainly worked for more than twenty years on the compilation of this book which is a permanent monument to his genius and industry.