Dr. Kent said that perfection in prescription comes with experience. He further added importance of organon of medicine, materia medica and potency selection…….

A physician advanced in Years looks back upon many failures. The faithful homoeopathist recalls a man, a woman, a child, and realizes that these, among his past failures, would now be simple cases. Prescribing the homoeopathic remedy is such a process of growth and progress that it may be said that “the best of the wine is saved for the last of the feast.” In the beginning of one’s practice many acute diseases run their course, in advanced years they are nearly all aborted.

The young man looks upon the successful years of long experience, and wanders if he will cure as he sees cures made-as Hahnemann made them. It is well to hope- for all to hope-that, with experience, each may attain the high degree of perfection in healing that Hahnemann attained. Much can be done now that Hahnemann could not do, because we have a greater number of remedies, and a greater number of potencies, and higher potencies. It is doubtful if the technique of prescribing has made much progress. It is in this direction that all need most to meditate. None of Hahnemann’s pupils lived since Hahnemann who could do what he did. Few have lived since Hahnemann that could do what he did. It was what he was able to do in his ripe old age that appears so wonderful.

If we would make progress, we must dwell upon the teaching of THE ORGANON.

1. We must dwell long upon what it is in the human being that must be changed, in order to restore man from sickness to health.

2. We must meditate long upon what it is in remedies or drugs that constitutes a healing power or principle. (3.)

To some it will seem to be an old story even to refer to this question, Which has been heretofore so fully considered; but it may also surprise some to learn that many of our so-called faithful friends are thinking and acting as if the patient is sick because his liver, or heart, or stomach, or some organ, is improperly functioning.

So long as one thinks that man is sick because his organs are not doing proper work, just so long he cannot construct a treatment that accords with THE ORGANON. So long as one regards the results as causes, so long the true idea is obscured. So long as one thinks in this way, he will take symptoms accordingly and work the repertory in such manner, and, although his results may satisfy himself, yet they will not compare with results obtained from thinking that sick organs are but the results of a disordered state of the man himself, who is composed of mind and physical being and, last, of organs and extremities. (ORG. 10-11, 15.)

Traditional nosology may be useful so long as we have a public sphere to maintain, but it is useless in the homoeopathic art of healing. It must be clearly settled what it is in man that is first, and what is last; what is highest, and what is lowest; what is innermost, and what is outermost; before we can perceive what are causes and what are ultimates. So long as one thinks of pathological conditions as causes, so long will he act in directions that are the opposite of healing, and toward destruction.

All nutritive processes are commanded and conducted from center to circumference, therefore all healing processes must go on from centralized efforts. Pupils have often heard these statements, and wondered at their meaning. I have kept a watchful eye over such pupils for many years, and all of them who have failed have wondered at the meaning of such statements. They who can perceive the meaning are the ones who are able to perform the works directed in THE ORGANON of Samuel Hahnemann, and heal the sick as he taught, viz: to cure the patient, and then the organs will also return to normal functions. Men who give Bryonia for pneumonia, Nux Vomica for the stomach, Kali-iod for syphilis, and Belladonna for cerebral congestion, seldom learn to individualize from the patient to his parts and organs. The best they can do is to individualize from organs and parts, hoping to get somewhere. “Lucky hits” are their sole joy and success. Their successes would be failures in the minds of men who can follow Hahnemann in all he means in emphasizing the mind symptoms above all others in any given totality of symptoms of a sick man. (ORG.213.)


The true physician must know that whatever it is in man that is morbid can represent itself by signs and symptoms only. These he must meditate upon earnestly, patiently and wisely, that he may find in the Materia Medica symptoms most similar. If he is heedless of the best interest of sick people, or careless in discovering and writing down their symptoms, or too indolent to search for corresponding symptoms in the Materia Medica; or if he is given to making light of the symptoms he hears the patient speak of, or of the symptoms he reads in the Materia Medica, he will never prosper or grow wise with age, but will go the way of all such men into indolence and levity, depending upon hired laboratory findings for the basis of a prescription. The last state of that man will be worse than the first. The man who believes that he is directing his remedies against germs, or against worms, or against a tumor the patient may have, is in extreme darkness, if he cannot perceive that a healthy man will have healthy tissue, healthy blood, and therefore there can be no soil for germs and worms or morbid growths.(7, 11, 12, 14, 70, 84, 89, 98, 107-9.)

On one side we have the laboratory to furnish a basis for prescribing; on the other hand is the ORGANON. One class of prescribers is demanding enormous expenditures for laboratory fixtures in our colleges, while giving no credit for our Materia Medica opportunities, though the latter are ten times greater than any found in the colleges of the former class. This clearly indicates the trend of traditional medicine and of the ignorant homoeopath following in this line. They should be permitted to have their enormous and surplus laboratories in peace; but we must demand that we have our full privileges in Materia Medica and therapeutic philosophy. This demand has never been made upon State Boards that stand over our colleges with uplifted hands. The requirement of our Hering College should be entirely different from that of Bush or the P. & S. The basis of our knowledge in Practice is Philosophy and Materia Medica, while theirs is laboratory. Both must have clinical advantages the same in quantity, but differing in character and quality.

The reverse of all these whims and imaginations are Hahnemann’s substantial doctrines, based upon facts, and now confirmed by a century of experience, viz. It is impossible to conceive of anything but symptoms that are to be removed or cured in order to establish health. Look back upon our century of experience, and what have we cured. Nothing but symptoms. The results of disease disappear themselves when the symptoms are cured. When the symptoms are removed by a homoeopathic remedy, the patient is cured.

The physician must perceive when the symptoms represent a complete image of a sickness. When only a few symptoms are observed, Hahnemann calls it a one-sided case, and says that no great things should be expected of a remedy chosen on a few symptoms. ORG. ( 172-6, 185.) The homoeopathic physician clearly perceives when he has a clearly defined image, and then he knows how certain the remedy is to act curatively. (3, 104.) Defective education is often revealed by professed homoeopathic physicians bringing cases for advice with only a few clinical symptoms, or a few particulars, or the results of disease, all mental symptoms and generals being omitted. The physician who administers a remedy on such a one-sided case will have a high percentage of failures; but he often struts like a peacock over his lucky hits. All curable sicknesses make themselves known to the intelligent physician in signs and symptoms. (ORG. 14.) Diseases are, therefore, incurable when they do not make themselves known in signs and symptoms. Whether the physician fails to find the symptoms, or whether there are no symptoms, as in malignant growths, or whether the patient conceals the symptoms, they are unknown to the prescriber.


Every effort is being put forth to re-establish the science of medicine upon a positive basis, yet these efforts are based upon pure theory. What can be more positive or matter-of-fact than the written declaration of the interested patient, or the prover? These are assertions of fact, and they are daily confirmed by thousands of experiences. How can a more substantial basis be expected?

The records of confirmed and verified provings stand as so many recorded facts.

The symptoms of the sick man are recorded as so many facts.

The similarity between these two is the only variable quality, and this is a matter of art; and art is always a variable quality.

Then all that remains is to find an artist-a physician and all the questions are solved. Is this grade of intelligence too high for which to work? Can it be true that educated men and women wish to compete for a prize much lower in the scale of human accomplishments?

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.