Disease and drug study in general

All the diseases known to man have their likeness in the Materia Medica, and the physician must become so conversant with this art that he may perceive this likeness. …

Part of your study should be to bring before the mind, as fully as possible, the diseases that the human race is subject to. This cannot be done to any great extent from Old School books, as they do not treat of psora, syphilis and sycosis in such a way as to bring the image of the disease before the mind., the diagnostic or pathognomonic symptom are brought out for the purpose of distinguishing one disease from the other, but not with the idea of bringing the image of the disease before the mind that it may look like some remedy recorded in the Materia Medica, because that is not the allopathic physician’s way of prescribing.

It is important to go over the great bulk of the psoric symptoms that Hahnemann has given to obtain as perfect an image as possible of the disease psora. If we take the Chronic Diseases and go over them, writing out opposite every symptom that Hahnemann has mentioned as psoric all the remedies that have been found from provings to correspond to these disease symptoms, we shall have before the mind a list of the anti-psoric remedies. It is a good exercise and a good way of preparing for the study of Materia Medica.

Try to master this: Disease must not be looked upon from a few symptoms that the patient may possess but from all the symptoms that the whole human race bring out. It is just as improper to look upon psora from a few symptoms as it is to look upon a remedy from a few symptoms. Just as you see the image of a remedy from all the symptoms, including the peculiar symptoms, so psora must be considered from its characteristics, the features that constitute psora. Remedies are adjusted as to appearance; the appearance of the remedy expressed in symptoms must be adjusted to the appearances of the disease expressed in symptoms.

When you have finished psora, take up sycosis, and spend much time in gathering together all the symptoms that sycotic patients have felt, l all their suffering and all the ultimates. Group them as one, and look upon them as one miasm. Then go to the Materia Medica again and make an anamnesis. Take each symptom and place opposite it all the remedies that have produced that symptom. You can readily see that the remedies that run through most strongly will be anti-sycotic remedies, i.e., the remedies that have the essentials of the disease or the nature of sycotic in them.

In the same way make an anamnesis of syphilis. By these means you will bring before your mind the three chronic disease of the human race and when this is accomplished in a general way you will be prepared to enter upon their treatment. But remember that the symptoms, when it comes to prescribing for a chronic patient, constitute the whole basis of he prescription; we have not other. We may theorize as much as we have mind to, but when it comes to the actual application the symptoms must guide to the remedy. These are, however, a good many different ways of looking at the symptom

s. It is a very easy thing to become confused over the symptoms and fall into error by taking symptoms that are unimportant. Your study in the Materia Medica will illustrate how you must study disease, as the plan of studying the Materia Medica for the purpose of bringing the image of a remedy before the mind is the plan we must adopt in studying a disease. the physician who can only hold in his memory the symptom of a disease or a remedy will never succeed as a homoeopath. He has not taught himself to think, he has only a mass of particulars, and nothing to tie to. There is no order. It is like a mob.

Here I want to read you an note of Hahnemann’s. “Should it, however, be thought sometimes necessary to have names for diseases, in order to render ourselves intelligible in a few words to the ordinary classes when speaking of a patient, let none be made use of but such as are collective. We ought to say, for instance, that a patient has a species of chorea, a species of dropsy, a species of nervous fever, species of ague.” etc. It will lead the mind into heresay if none gets into the custom of speaking from appearances and naming diseases according to the old way. The homoeopathic physician must avoid thinking that way. One who has been in the habit of thinking that way must make a great effort to keep the mind from running in that groove. Of course, it would be folly to talk to an old school physician or to a patient in any other words and we can talk to them so, for the sake of conversing but we must know when we speak in such a way that it is only an appearance.

James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician. Prior to his involvement with homeopathy, Kent had practiced conventional medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He discovered and "converted" to homeopathy as a result of his wife's recovery from a serious ailment using homeopathic methods.
In 1881, Kent accepted a position as professor of anatomy at the Homeopathic College of Missouri, an institution with which he remained affiliated until 1888. In 1890, Kent moved to Pennsylvania to take a position as Dean of Professors at the Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of Philadelphia. In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College.