A Brief Study Course in Homoeopathy

The Kent Repertory is a compilation of materia medica, certain prior repertories, such as Lippes and clinical symptoms verified. In order to successfully search in the Kent Repertory for the symptoms of your case as evaluated in accordance with our last lecture you must be thoroughly familiar with the plan of the book, its rationale, and also its inconsistencies.


As no one person can carry all the symptom of all the remedies in his mind a concordance of index is needed. We term a symptoms index a repertory. There are about half a hundred of these, general or special, based on different symptoms of studying the case. The two most vital to know are the basic ones of the two main methods, the Kent Repertory and the Boenninghausen.


The Kent Repertory is a compilation of materia medica, certain prior repertories, such as Lippes and clinical symptoms verified. In order to successfully search in the Kent Repertory for the symptoms of your case as evaluated in accordance with our last lecture you must be thoroughly familiar with the plan of the book, its rationale, and also its inconsistencies. The plan of the book is to work from generals to particulars, a general rubric first in most instance.

The book is based on anatomical divisions, (see Table of Contents, p. VII), with certain exceptions such as the first section on Mind ; the last one, Generalities ; discharge, such as Stool, Sweat, Urine and Expectoration, which appear as separate sections next to the anatomical region producing them ; and certain general condition, such as Vertigo, Cough, Sleep, Chill and Fever, which are also separate.

Under such anatomical section the rubrics run in alphabetical order regardless of whether they are pathology, sensations, modalities, or objective symptoms (such as “bores head in pillow”, page 108).

Each such main heading is followed by modifiers, (if there be such) in the order following : Time, circumstances in alphabetical order, extensions (the point from which a symptoms extends is the one under which it will be found, not the point to which it extends), location with its time, circumstance and extension modifiers, and lastly, sensation with its modifiers. For instance, the main section Head is anatomical. but under that you will not find an anatomical section for occiput, rather must you look under the sensation in the occiput, as for instance, COLDNESS or PAIN, OCCIPUT, in.

It is to be noted that certain anatomical regions have no corresponding section in this Repertory, for instance, Neck, which is found under Throat, External Throat and Back. External Throat contains the rubrics pertaining to the anterior neck,m such as goitre, glands, torticollis, etc., and Back contains nape and posterior cervical region.

Furthermore, lungs, heart, aorta, axillary glands, breast and milk appear under Chest ; posterior chest appears under Back ; pulse under Generalities ; head sinuses are divided between Nose and Face; salivary glands are found under Stomach ; and liver under Abdomen. There is no section for the circulatory, glandular or nervous system, as this book is not based on systems, (Boerickes Repertory is in part), but the parts of these systems are found scattered throughout the book under allied anatomical headings.

Many symptoms which one would expect to find under the nervous systems appear under Generalities as they indicate a tendency of the whole organism, such a ANALGESIA, CHOREA, CONVULSIONS, PARALYSIS, TREMBLING etc. Twitching of the parts appears under the anatomical part, such as Face, Extremities. Nervous symptoms having to do with the spine appear under Back, such as OPISTHOTONUS. Meningitis appears in two places, under Head, INFLAMMATION, meninges of, and Back, INFLAMMATION, cord, membranes of.

Similar of allied rubrics often appear in two or more different places, as for instance : Dysmenorrhoea under Genitalia, Female, MENSES painful ; menses, during ; Abdomen, PAIN, hypogastrium, in, menses during ; and Abdomen, PAIN, menses during.

It must be noted that many rubrics which appear as particulars under the proper anatomical sections or main heading also appear in the last section, Generalities, in their relation to the body as a whole, for instance, under Generalities, MENSES, comes aggravation or amelioration of the whole person before, during or after menses, while under Genitalia Female appears the type and circumstances of the menses, or so to speak, the particulars.

Similarly under Generalities, PERSPIRATION, appears amelioration or aggravation of the body as a whole from sweat, whereas under the section Perspiration are given the quality, occurrence and modalities of the discharge itself. Sweat of any especial part is found under the anatomical section in which the part is located, such as Abdomen, PERSPIRATION on.

Perspiration of the scalp is not under Head, scalp, perspiration of but under Head, PERSPIRATION, scalp of. General amelioration by, or distress from, the act of eating appears under Generalities, EATING ; and under Generalities, FOOD, are the aggravations and ameliorations from the different article of food, but under the section Stomach, aversions and desire for special articles of food appear.

Pathological diagnoses are found frequently in Generalities and occasionally as headings under other sections but more often as sub-headings under the condition involved, for instance, pleurisy is found under Chest, INFLAMMATION, pleura of, and appendicitis.

On the other hand empyema is found under Chest, EMPYEMA, directly and goitre under External throat, GOITRE. Certain pathological states which are symptoms rather than diseases, such as CHOREA, CONVULSIONS, CYANOSIS, DROPSY, etc., appear and Generalities. Objective symptoms are scattered all through the book and are often small unclassified rubrics, such a BRITTLE NAILS, GESTURES under Mind, BITING under Mind, and red lips under Face, DISCOLOURATION, red, lips.


This Repertory is built to work the cases form general symptoms to particular symptoms. We have already spoken in our lecture on the evaluation of symptoms of Kents method of grading, Mentals being the most important, and Generals next. Most chronic cases and many acute ones can be worked out by the Repertory on the Mentals and Generals alone to within three to five remedies, The beginner should take at least eight of these symptoms, although experts often solve the case on three to five.

The beginner must be sure that these Mentals and Generals are really true of the patient, and that he has not warped the symptom in translating the patients colloquial expressions into the language of the rubrics. Moreover a symptoms must have the same mass or importance in the patients case as is assigned to it in the symptoms hierarchy.

If an important symptom can not be found in the Repertory it can be found under a synonymous rubric. It is to be understood that the headings under Generalities which are not pathological and not marked “ameliorated by”, or otherwise explained, and which are not sensations or conditions, mean “aggravation from”, for example, EATING, before, means worse before eating. COITION, after, means aggravated after coition, etc. Many of the ameliorations are omitted and you must look the for them under aggravation under their opposites, for instance, there is no better in summer.

This is considered equivalent to worse in winter. Sometimes two or more rubrics must be combined in order to be equivalent to a given symptom. If the rubrics are very small it very small it may be wise to add all the remedies. If at least one of the rubrics is large and others fair size, only such remedies as run through all the component rubrics of this symptoms should be taken.

Certain symptoms have so large a group of remedies that they are almost useless except as eliminating symptoms. Such a one is cold bloodedness of the patient, which appears under Generalities, HEAT, lack of vital, and would serve to eliminate any markedly hot blooded remedies which had otherwise come through the generals high in a given a case.

The student would recall from our previous lecture that the common symptoms, or the unqualified big, main rubrics, such as SADNESS VOMITING, etc., are of little or no use in repertorizing and that among both Generals and Particulars, a strange, rare and peculiar symptoms ranks high. A strange, rare and peculiar general would be “during cold stage craves cold”, or “during hot stage craves heat,” as in Camphor ; a strange, rare and peculiar particular would be “thirst for ice water only during chill” (Eup. per.).

We have said that the beginner should locate in the Repertory his eight or more main Generals and chart the remedies appearing under each of these, putting 3 for the bold face (heavy black type), 2 for italics and 1 for roman (plain type), this being done for all the symptoms chosen, the remedies appearing in more than half the rubrics are listed with their fractions, the numerator of the fraction being the numerical totality of the remedy grades, and the denominator being the number of symptoms in which the remedy appears.

Now the Particulars come into play, beginning with the most peculiar ones, and care should he taken not to use too small rubrics. In fact it is safer to use a more general, medium sized rubric than the more exact particular rubric, The occurrence of these particulars in the few remedies which have stood highest in the Generals and in these only, being taken, you can now see which few remedies are fairly similar to the Generals of your case, and which few of those most resemble the Particulars of the case.

Add the particular to the general fraction and reduce your list to the three to five remedies which stand highest in their grand total. If one remedy totals 16/7 and another 15/8, the former is to be preferred. As you have taken your symptoms in the strict order of their importance according to the Kentian schema your first two or three symptoms should appear in the remedies that come high, and where they do not the remedy should be looked on with suspicion.

It is to be remembered that certain remedies, like Sulph., Calc., Nux, Puls., etc., almost always come out high numerically because they have been so thoroughly proved, and unless the beginner discounts this and bases his final judgment on materia medica and especially the mentals and the type of the patient, he will prescribe these well proved polychrests too often. Conversely, it must not be forgotten that some remedies, like Tub., have but a fragmentary part of their proving in the Repertory, and that only a little more than 500 remedies are mentioned in the Repertory, and very few of the nosodes and double slats are adequately stressed.

When the remedies have been reduced numerically to from three to five, these must be read in the materia medicas, especially their Mentals, and the original case as taken, reviewed and compared to each of the remedies. The miasmatic relationships of the patient and of the remedies that come out high must be considered. For future reference in treating the case, in acute as well as chronic prescribing, a list should be made on the chart of the constitutional remedies which come high, of the nosodes which most nearly apply, and of the acute remedies ranking highest. These or complements of these, will often be found to fit any illness of that patient in the future, unless an epidemic remedy be called for.

Ideally, on the repertorizing record each symptom should be stated in the words of the patient in the symptom column, restated in the exactly corresponding rubric in the rubric columns, and the page where this is found after it. There are repertorizing sheets [ These are obtainable from the American Foundation of Homoeopathy, 38. Elizabeth Street, Derby, Conn., for a reasonable sum.] on graph paper with the main remedies printed in, numbered places for writing in symptoms, etc., which are a great convenience and a time saver.



Boenninghausens Therapeutic Pocket Book, one of the earliest repertories is based largely on Hahnemanns Materia Medica Pura and the idea of it was approved by Hahnemann himself. The book falls into seven distinct parts. Although each of these is complete in itself, “yet each one gives but one portion of a symptom, which can be completed only in one or several others parts”. For example, the seat of pain is found in the second section, the kind of pain in the third, the aggravation or amelioration according to time or circumstances in the sixth, and the necessary concomitants in the various sections.

The seven sections are : 1. The Mind and Disposition ; 2. Parts of the body and organs : 3. Sensations and Complaints in alphabetical order, in general and then specially, of the glands of the bones and of the skin and exterior parts ; 4. Sleep and dreams ; 5. Fevers with chill Circulation and Sweat (the 2nd, 4th and 5th sections have concomitants) ; 6. Aggravations and Ameliorations from time and circumstance ; 7. Relationship of Remedies. In section seven under each drug the previous section headings, 1 through 6, are given and under each the remedies applying in that section which are related to the drug in question. At the end of each drug is given a list of other related remedies and the antidotes.


This Repertory is based on Generals even much more than the Kent. The rubrics in the different sections dealing with the different aspects of one symptom are used to eliminate all remedies but such as run through them all. This is a swifter, easier method than the Kent, but too general, and a great many symptoms can not be found in it at all. Also there are very few rubrics under Mind, only seven pages out of 482. Bogers General Analysis is based on this repertory and his unique method of working case by it is also deserving of study.


The Kent Repertory in its present form is unwieldy for the physician to carry with him to the bedside. Neither the Boenninghausen nor Kent repertories have any materia medica and repertory are handy in the pocket or medical bag. One of these is Bogers Synoptic Key of which his General Analysis is am abridged form, and the other is Boerickes Materia Medica with Repertory. The Boericke Repertory resembles the Kent rather than the Boenninghausen but Boericke has reclassified some of the anatomical sections.

For instance, vertigo appears under Head : sinuses are group together under Nose ; lips are under Mouth instead of Face ; tongue has a section to itself as have gums ; oesophagus is under Throat instead of Stomach ; foods that disagree are in Stomach with the cravings and aversions ; return and stool are under Abdomen ; all the Urinary system is together under that heading ; breasts are rightly classed under the Female sexual system ; there is an admirable section on Pregnancy. Labor and Lactation ; after Genitalia comes the section on the Circulatory system including pulse; then comes the Locomotor system including extremities, gait, neck, inflammatory rheumatism and arthritis, back and axillae ; then comes Respiratory system, including lungs, cough, expectoration, larynx, voice and respiration; following this is the Skin.

The Fever section includes chill and sweat, the exanthems and various fever such as influenza, typhoid malaria, etc. The Nervous system follows and includes epilepsy, paralysis, sleep, dreams, weakness, convulsions. goitre, sea sickness neuralgia, sciatica, spine, meningitis etc.

The Generalities section is much reduced and contains mainly diseases, tissues, poisonings, suppressions (under CHECKED discharges), glandular affections including mumps, goitre a very interesting section on COMPLAINTS from winds, damp places, sudden, gradual, injuries, prophylactics, and tumors. This section has been relieved of much misplaced matter and had added to it a great deal of interesting and valuable material. The last section is Modalities, first aggravations and then ameliorations, and time under these appears in alphabetical order morning, night periodicity, etc., instead of altogether at the beginning of the section as in Kent.

Under all extensive headings, such as Headache, appear definite captions in the following order : Cause, Type, Location, Character of Pain, Concomitants Modalities, i.e. Aggravations and Ameliorations.

This book is a clinical rather than a symptomatological index and has many technical terms as main headings. A tremendous number of remedies are given in the materia medica section, and well given, with plentiful mentals. Owing to its small size a great many symptoms have had to be omitted from the repertory. Its pretensions are not great but its usefulness within its sphere is tremendous.

This gives the beginner a birds eye view of three of the most usable general repertories. It is strongly advised that every student master the Kent method, as it will reward familiarity more than any other. To the advanced student it should be added that many strange and peculiar symptoms can not be found in these three repertories and must be searched for in Gentrys Concordance, Knerrs Repertory. Lippe, Jahr, or the special repertories.

Card repertories have not been mentioned. There is one by Field, based largely on the Kent, but inaccurate. It is useful for hurried acute prescribing in the office. A new card repertory exactly following Kent is now under construction by the Doctors Pulford of Toledo. Ohio. Bogers card closely follow his Synoptic Key.

These different methods of repertorizing will appeal to different type of cases, the Boger method suiting those with much pathology and few other symptoms ; the Kent method suiting those with marked mentals and an intricate anamnesis ; the Boenninghausen suiting conditions with acute pains and clear cut modalities, cases without subtleties. In closing this brief, suggestive method or repertory study we would reiterate, STUDY THE KENT METHOD FIRST, LAST, AND ALL THE TIME.

Elizabeth Wright Hubbard
Dr. Elizabeth Wright Hubbard (1896-1967) was born in New York City and later studied with Pierre Schmidt. She subsequently opened a practice in Boston. In 1945 she served as president of the International Hahnemannian Association. From 1959-1961 served at the first woman president of the American Institute of Homeopathy. She also was Editor of the 'Homoeopathic Recorder' the 'Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy' and taught at the AFH postgraduate homeopathic school. She authored A Homeopathy As Art and Science, which included A Brief Study Course in Homeopathy.