This offering from the chief editorial pen is presented in response to the demands of a publication date in the absence of the scheduled copy from A. H. G., to whom this space had been assigned, who is at the moment enjoying the sunlight and hospitality of St. Petersburg, Florida while participating in the joint sessions of the Southern Homoeopathic Medical Association and The Pan American Homoeopathic Medical Congress.
Whether the tenuous thread of editorial celebration will snap under the strain of emergency composition remains a question for Recorder fans to answer-but please, fans, keep the answer to yourselves!.
While groping about in the cobwebby obfuscation of his mind the writer-to his own surprise and no doubt to the amazement of those, if any, who will read this-came upon a thought, concerning the use of that practical and valuable repertory, von Boenninghausens Therapeutic Pocket Book. It is the writers impression, gathered from conversations with other homoeopaths on the subject of repertorial analysis, that Kents Repertory of the Materia Medica is in far more common service and that the infrequent man who uses the Therapeutic Pocket Book is an oddity of present day Homoeopathy.
This may indeed be the case; the writer is aware of but two from among his homoeopathic acquaintances who regularly use the Pocket Book in repertorial work. At a guess one would estimate that for every “Boenninghausen man” there are a hundred “Kentians.” While not desiring in the least to cast any reflection upon the usefulness of Kents stupendous work, realizing the vast amount of energy and erudition that were poured into its composition, the writer somewhat hesitantly suggests that, in part at least, the present popularity of his repertory is due to the influence of Kent himself on present day homoeopaths, many of whom were his students or came under the impress of his personality in other ways.
This is not the case with the Therapeutic Pocket Book. Von Boenninghausen died in 1863, too long, ago to have had any personal influence on the homoeopathy of today. But it must be remembered that von Boenninghausen was a genius, too, and had a vogue in Continental homoeopathic circles quite as outstanding as that of Kent in a later generation.
His Therapeutic Pocket Book had the blessing of Hahnemann with whom he had discussed his plans for the project. To say that this repertory is the only one of the early works of a similar nature to have survived the test of time is no exaggeration. Dr. H. A. Roberts introduction to the reprinted T. F. Allens fifth American edition is an outstanding exposition of the practicability and uses of the Therapeutic Pocket Book of which von Boenninghausen himself could well be proud. The philosophical principles upon which it is constructed are easily comprehended and once grasped the use of the book in repertorial analysis becomes comparatively simple and the search for the similimum proportionately shortened.
Those who are yet unconversant with the Therapeutic Pocket Book are urged to obtain it, study it, and apply it to the problems of prescribing; it is practical and adaptable to the exigencies of the chronic case. Those who now use it are to be congratulated upon their recognition of its value in repertorial analysis.