Relationship of Homeopathy Remedies & its relevance

Dr Jatin N Dhagat

The subject of the relationship of remedies is one of the most fascinating in homoeopathy and many aspects of it have not been developed in the literature. Long before Hahnemann, Paracelsus wrote much on the doctrine of signatures and the old herbalists determined the uses of their remedies partly from those suggested signs.

A vast amount of work on the relationship of remedies to each other, rather than to symptoms, has been done by various stalwarts like Boenninghausen, Hering, Clarke, Gibson Miller, Kent, Guernsey, and Lippe. Most of this work has been done after considering one main line that of Complementary remedies, in other words those remedies which carry on or complete most successfully the action of other given remedies.

Dictionary Meaning:
The dictionary meaning of the word “Relationship” indicates: The way in which two or more things are connected, or the state of being connected. It also indicates a particular instance of being related. The dictionary meaning of the word Remedy indicates: a medicine or Treatment for a disease or injury. In short it is a connection or relation between two or more medicine. Though Hahnemann has given the indirect concept of relationship of remedies in his books Organon of Medicine and Chronic Disease Their Nature and Cure but Boenninghausen has represented it in a systemic way. So he is considered to be a pioneer of this concept. Later on various stalwarts have tried to explain the same relationship according to their perception.

Need of Remedy Relationship:
Materia Medica is a systemic collection of various numbers of symptoms and in order to study relationship of this chaos of Materia Medica it will be necessary to adopt some plan of study. What is that plan, is asked by every student, one teacher answers in one way, another in another way. We have to adopt some method and follow it up to the end. This creates a need to study this topic from different angles. An attempt has been done in this work to understand the concept of stalwarts regarding Remedy Relationship.

Evolution Of The Concept:
Boenninghausen was having a master piece mind of a lawyer. He had given more weightage on comparative values of remedies in relation to particular symptom groups, evolved through years of experience. Each remedy had some of the qualities of the attributes of every other remedy to some extent. It would hardly be possible to select two remedies so different from each other that they would not touch at some point. They were having some symptoms which were common and some were differentiating feachers. This gave rise to comparison of two remedies in relation to symptom groups. Similarity at some points implies dissimilarity at some other points. Thus the whole concept of relationship of Remedy in the form of comparative study of Materia Medica was evolved.

Hahnemannian Concept Of Remedy Relationship:
Hahnemann has directly or indirectly given the relationship of remedies in his book Organon of Medicine as well as in chronic disease. He has tried to explain complementary relationship with the help of layers of miasms. He says that he has shown cases of threefold complication of the three chronic miasm, the fig wart disease with the venereal chancre miasm and at the same time a developed Psora. They were cured according to the same method that is Psora was treated first then one of the other two chronic miasma, the symptoms of which were at the time the most prominent and then the last one. The remaining Psora symptoms had then still to be combated with suitable remedies.

Regarding antidotes Hahnemann says that there can never be any case in the practice of well trained, scrupulously careful physician in which he would have to give an antidote, if he starts as he should do with the smallest possible dose of his well chosen medicines, because an equally small dose of a better chosen medicine would correct any mistake he might make.

Regarding the relation of Acute Intercurrent in the treatment of chronic disease he has give more than one references in his book chronic disease their peculiar nature and cure. He says that during the treatment of chronic disease by antipsoric remedies we often need the other non antipsoric store of medicines in cases where epidemic diseases or intermediate diseases arising usually from meteoric and telluric causes attack our chronic patients. In reference to the same statement he has given a list of such medicines in the aphorism 221 and they are: Aconite, Belladonna, Stramonium, Hyosymus, Merc. etc. According to him it is also advisable to give such medicines in highly potentized subtle homoeopathic doses.

Hahnemann himself observed that occasionally constitutional treatment might need to be complemented by the administration of an intercurrent remedy, which is intended to treat miasmatic obstructions and suppressions and thus remove obstructions to the cure. This concept throws the lights towards the use of Nosodes as a block remover.

Boenninghausen’s concept of remedy Relationship:
Boenninghausen had introduced the concept of remedy relationship through the seven and the last section of his therapeutic pocket book under the rubric ‘concordance’. The dictionary meaning of the word concordance suggest that it is an alphabetical list of the chief words used in a book or by a writer, with the passages in which they occur identified or cited. When we try to understand the same word in relation to medicine, dictionary suggests that it is the inheritance by two related individuals of the same genetic characteristic.

In his original preface of the book he says; “This seven and the last section presents the results of the comparative action of the various remedies mentioned in the work; firstly in regard to the preceding sections noted with corresponding numbers and finally under the figure VII according to each particular remedy, everywhere with reference to their value in rank, indicated in the same manner as in the preceding sections. This laborious and time taking work which indeed has broadened and rectified my knowledge of the Materia Medica Pura will supply the place of the “Relationships’ which were published in 1836 and which were acknowledge to be very imperfect, yet my critic, contradicting himself, acknowledged their utility by coping them literally in his handbook of homoeopathic Materia Medica, with all their faults and errors and with a few, for the most part faulty, additions without giving the source from which he had obtained them. I therefore hope that no one will consider this section useless and superfluous in this improved and as far as possible, corrected form.”

“According to Boenninghausen this chapter has been of the extreme importance , not only for the recognition of the genius of the remedy but also for testing and making sure of its choice and for judging of the sequence of the various remedies especially in chronic diseases. For a beginner the study of this section will make him acquaintance with all the points covered by medicine because it covers majority of polychrest remedies. It will be easier for him to use such drugs.”

Gibson Miller’s concept Of Remedy Relationship:
Gibson Miller is considered to be a pioneer to introduce the concept of remedy relationship in a tabular form. Along with Boenninghausen’s concept of side of the body he has divided remedy relationship of drugs in to Remedy, Complements, Remedies that Follow well, Inimical, Antidotes and Duration of action of remedies.

John Henry Clarke’s Concept Of Remedy Relationship:
In 1904 on the basis of the excellent table published by Dr.Gibson Miller; J.H. Clarke had published the compilation of Remedy Relationship. He made a two fold division of the relationship—the natural relationship and the clinical relationship. Regarding natural relationship he called it as known relationship because there is nothing in nature really unrelated to anything else. Medicines are interrelated in various ways in point of therapeutic action. According to him knowledge of these relations is all important to those who aim at accurate prescribing.

His compilation of natural relationships showed at glance how a remedy stood in its mineral, vegetable or animal relationship to other remedies. Many books on Materia Medica which are now a days available are based on this.

The second section of clinical relationship has been given in tabular form and it represents the chief clinical relations of all remedies of the Materia Medica so far as they have been noted. These relationship are included under heading; “Complementary Remedies”, [The remedies which complete the action of first prescription] “Remedies follows well’, “Remedy is followed well by’, “Compatible Remedies”, [Remedies compatible with others without further qualifications] ‘Incompatible Remedies”, [Remedies that do not follow each other] “Remedy antidotes,” [counteracting the poisonous effect] “Remedy is Antidoted by”. The duration of action of remedies have been also added in it. [Clinical Repertory]

C.M.Boger’s Concept Of remedy Relationship:
In his book ‘Synoptic Key Of the Materia Medica’ Boger has given the Relationship Of Remedies in following way: 1.Follow.2.complementary.3.Related and 4.Antidotes. In the third portion of the same book he has given following Relationships.1. Complementary Remedies 2.Antagonist Remedies—Equivalent to inimical remedies. The hints given by Boger are having great practical value.

E.A. Farrington’s Concept of remedy Relationship:
Dr. Farrington has tries to understand a drug according to schema. He called it as genius of a drug. This schema includes the effect of drug on blood, blood vessels, lymph, lymph vessels, systems of body etc. He has also tried to compare one drug to others in the similar pattern. He has also explained the drugs which antidote each other. He further says that there are some remedies which although bear a strong resemblances to each other, seem as though they ought to be concordant remedies yet they are inimical. According to him drugs hold certain relations to each other and they are family relation- derived from their similarity in origin, complement relation-one drugs complete the cure which the other begins, antidote relation and relation of enmity that he has not explained.

Garth Boericke’s Concept of remedy Relationship:
Garth Boericke has explained Remedy relationship as practical importance in the application of Materia Medica. Different relationships given by him are similarity of origin or family relations which indicate a group of drugs belongs to the same botanical family or chemical group. Antidotal relationship- Homoeopathic remedies works as a antidote and destroy the existing action of a remedy in the body. Concordant or compatible relationship- certain remedies act better if given in series. Complementary relationship- work done by one remedy is completed by another. This relationship is especially useful in organic diseases where the person is under medication for a long time. Inimical relation-lack of harmony between drugs though they have similar disease producing power.

Kent’s concept Of Remedy Relationship:
Kent has given more specialized class of complementary remedies and that is the acute complements of chronic remedies. He says that a chronic patient may be suffering from an acute disease and the physician on being called may think that it is necessary to take the totality of the symptoms but if he should do that in an acute disease, mixing both chronic and acute symptoms toge6ther. The two things must be separated here. The group of symptoms that constitutes the image and appearance of the acute miasm must now be prescribed for.

Another type of complementary remedies described by Kent is one on which the least work has been done. Most of the data are being sprinkled around in Kent’s Materia Medica and it is remedies in series. For instance, Calc,-Lyc.-Sulph, Ign.-Nat. mur.-Sepia, Puls.-Sil.-Fluor. ac., Ars.-Thuja-Tarant., All.cep.-Phos.-Sulp., It will be noted that all three of these are chronic remedies. They must be used in this order and not the opposite one.

P.Sankarn’s Concept Of Remedy Relationship:
For convenience of reference the remedy relationships are given in tabular form in this book. Different seven columns are name of Remedy, complementary to the Remedy, Follow well to the remedy, Incompatible to the Remedy, Antidotal to the remedy, collateral remedies and Duration of action of remedies. In all cases of difference among authors he has given Clarke as final authority.

S.M.Gunavnate’s Concept of Remedy Relationship:
In the book ‘introduction To Homoeopathic prescribing” he says that the pioneers of Homoeopathy have founded in the course of their practice that remedies are related to one another in different ways and these relationships either help forward or hinder or undo the action of the remedies which preceded them. When one remedy has to be followed by another and then by some other, their mutual relationship acquires significance. He Has also explained Remedy relationship on the basis of Antidote, Intercurrent Remedies, Complementary Relationship and Inimical relationship.

Conclusion: On the basis of the concept of stalwarts we may conclude that

1. The whole subject of remedy relationship has grown out of clinical experience so there is always some difference of opinion in the practical application of it.

2. In the practical application of this concept Boenninghausen stands supreme as an unfailing guide.

3.The study of Remedy relationship create the internal relationship of the massive data and facts collected in the form of Materia Medica and in this way it has provided an opportunity of study an isolated drug to the level of comparative Materia Medica.


  1. Boger C.M, synoptic Key of The Materia Medica, B.jain Pub. New Delhi.
  2. Cambridge- International Dictionary of English, Cambridge University Press.
  3. Farrington. E.A., Clincical Materia Medica, B.jain Pub. New Delhi.
  4. Gunvante S.M, Introduction To Homoeopathic Prescribing, Fourth Edition, B.jain Pub. Ltd.
  5. Hahnemann S. 2002 Organon of Medicine. Sixth Edition. Translated by W.Boericke. B.Jain Pub. Ltd.
  6. Hahnemann S., Chronic Disease Their Peculiar Nature and Cure, B.Jain Pub. Ltd.
  7. Kent J.T, Lectures On homoeopathic Philosophy, B.jain Pub. New Delhi.
  8. Sankaran P, The clinical relationship of homoeopathic Medicines.
  9. Schepper De Luc Achieving and Maintaining the Simillimum B.Jain Pub. Ltd.
  10. Symposium council, I.C.R. Publication, Bombay.

Relationship of Homeopathy Remedies
Dr Jatin N Dhagat
M.D. [Hom.]
Lecturer Dept. Of Organon,
Dr.V.H.Dave Homoeopathic Medical College, Anand.
Email : [email protected]v


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