How to Use the Repertory

The use of the Repertory in homeopathic practice is a necessity if one is to do careful work. Our Materia Medica is so cumbersome that the best prescriber must meet with only indifferent results….

Ever since the appearance of my Repertory in print many of my friends who use it have urged me to write out my own method of using a Repertory. I realize that it is a most difficult undertaking, but shall attempt to explain my method. I doubt not but most careful prescriber will find that they are working in a similar manner.

The use of the Repertory in homeopathic practice is a necessity if one is to do careful work. Our Materia Medica is so cumbersome without a Reports that the best prescriber must meet with only indifferent results.

After the case has been properly taken according to Hahnemann’s rules it is ready for study I do intend to offer in this manner the ordinary rubrics, because all know them so well.

A case that is well taken and ordinarily full will show morbid manifestations in sensations to many surroundings, such as weather heat and cold, also in the desires and aversions, mental symptoms and the various regions of the body.

When I take up a full case for study, I single out all the expressions that describe the general state, such as the aggravations of the general state of the patient or of many of his symptoms. I next consider carefully all his longings, mental and physical, all the desires and aversions, antipathies, fears, dreads, etc.

Next I look for all the intellectual perversions, methods of reasoning, memory, causes of mental disturbances, etc. All these I arrange in form together, in order to set opposite each one all remedies in corresponding rubrics as found in the Repertory. But the cancellation process it will soon be seen that only a few remedies run through all these symptoms, and therefore only a few are to be carefully compared in order to ascertain which one of all these is most like the particular symptoms not et lined up to be considered as the first ones have be considered.

Hahnemann teaches in the 153 paragraph that we are give particular attention to such symptoms as are peculiar and characteristic. He teaches also that the physician must pad his earnest attention to the patient. Now if these two things are duly considered, it will be seat hat Hahnemann idea was that a characteristic symptom is one that is not common to disease but one that characterize the patient, and are predicated of the patient. All the first lot o symptoms singled out for a more comprehensive few are such as characterize the patient. and are predicated of the patient himself.

By treating a portion of the symptoms in this way we have reduced the last of possible remedies to a few or perhaps only one. As it is necessary to consider the totality of the symptoms for a basis of the homeopathic prescription, it is now necessary to consider the totality of the symptoms for a basis of the homeopathic prescription, it is now necessary to examine all the rest of the symptoms in order to ascertain how these few remedies correspond with all the particulars.

It may be said that the above is only routine work and everybody does it just that way. True, but after so much has been accepted the more intricate problems come up. To work out a well-rounded case is to simplest part of Repertory work, but when one-sided cases appear and when the patient states his symptoms in language that cannot be found in proving the case is far different.

The record of the patient should stand as nearly as possible in his own language. From an extensive correspondence and many years of teaching graduates, I have come to the conclusion that it is a difficult matter for many to know when the record of symptoms contains the possibilities of a curative prescription.

Many cases are presented with no generals and no. mental symptoms-absolutely no characterizing symptoms-only the symptoms common to sickness. when a successful prescription is made on such symptoms it is scarcely more than a “Lucky hit.” It cannot be classed as scientific prescribing. Many records are presented with pay of vague description and one keynote that has served as a disgraceful “stool pigeon” to call forth a failure from many doctors.

Unless the symptoms that characteristics the patient are brought out in the record the physician should not be surprised at a failure. The remedy must be similar to the symptoms of the patient as well as the pathognomonic symptoms of his disease in order to cure.

To show something about the requirements of Repertory work, I will try to bring out hypothetical groups of symptoms such as come to every man. In a well-rounded case, or as an isolated group, we frequently meet with what is called. “writer’s cramp” This must be divided into many elements before it can be properly put on paper as a work-out case or fragment of a case. If we should take “writer’s cramp” and say no more about it, we would have only a limited number of remedies to look to for cure.

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.