A Brief Study of Major Sirker’s Repertory

Review by Dr Krishnendu Maity

Name of The Book : A Hand Book of Repertory.

Author  : Major K. K. Sirker.   MB (CU), AIRO, IMS (Retd.)

SOURCE BOOKS [Basis of Repertory] : It is based on mainly 05 books; viz.

  1. J. T. Kent’s Lecture of Materia Medica.
  2. C. Herring’s Condensed Materia Medica.
  3. W. Bœricke’s Materia Medica.
  4. H. C. Allen’s Keynotes on Materia Medica.
  5. E. B. Nash’s Leaders in Therapeutics.
  6. Other Standard Books of Materia Medica.

Publication : August 01, 1978.

Typography : Major Sirker used 03 types of grades; e.g.

  • (a) Bold – 1ST Grade [Merc.].
  • (b) Italics – 2ND Grade [merc.].
  • (c) Roman – 3RD Grade [merc.]. 


MEDICINE : The Repertory part contains 379 medicines; and in the Relationship part, 184 medicines have been discussed.

This book can be divided into 7 parts – as —-

PART I : It is the “Repertory Part”. It contains 40 chapters. Chapters are arranged alphabetically – starting from ‘Abdomen’ to ‘Vertigo’.

Major Sirker followed the Kentian Concept of ‘Deductive Logic’; but did not follw the schematic division of chapters, as done by Dr. Kent in his repertory. Major Sirker arranged Kent’s sub-chapters of Urinary Organs as individual chapter.

To mention, Major included some separate chapters on ‘Alteration of States’, ‘Sensations as if’ and ‘Sensation of’.

PART II : It is the “Relationship Part”; containing 184 medicines – under different heading – as Follows well, Followed by, Follows, Complementary, Incompatible, Antidote, Similar, Inimical and Compare. In some places, he also mentioned some specific conditions of relations.

PART III contains the names of the “Remedies & Their Abbreviations”.

In PART IV, Major Sirker gave “A Few Important Suggestions” regarding the aspects of practicing Homœopathy. These are —–

Drugs used in Cyclic Order

1. Acon.                   2. Coloc.                      3. Lach.                        4. Merc.

    Spong.                    Caust.                           Lyc.                               Hep.

     Hep.                        Staph.                           Sep.                              Sil.

5. Puls.                    6. Sulph.                      7. Sulph.

     Sil.                           Calc.                             Sars.

     Fl. ac.                      Lyc.                               Sep.

These are the ‘Cognate Relations

Comparison of Drugs – Bell, Hyos, Stram

1.   In fever – (a) Bell (very intense).

    (b) Stram (intense).

    (c) Hyos (less intense or none).

2.   In delirium – (a) Stram (most violent).

     (b) Bell (violent).

     (c) Hyos (less violent or passive).

Arg. met. and Arg. nit.

The metal acts especially on the cartilage.

Where as the nitrate acts more on mucous membrane, the skin, and especially on the bones and periosteum.

A few words about Potency

In this section, there are some valuable view on the potency of some of the stalwarts; such as —-

  1. Arum t. – Higher potencies, most prompt and effective. (Allen)
  2. Dros. – One single dose of 30th potency in epidemic whooping cough. (Hahnemann)
  1. Iod. – During lying-in period, only in high potency. (Herring)
  2. Ka. p. – In single dose of high and highest potencies.
  3. Lac c. – Acts best in single dose.
  4. Lyc. – Should rarely be repeated, after improvement begins. (Allen)
  5. Mag. p. – Acts best when given in hot water. (Allen)
  6. Merc. and Hep. – Low potency hastens suppuration, rather than absorbs.
  7. Variolinum – From 6th cent to c.m. (Allen)
  8. Sepia – Single dose acts curatively for many weeks. (Allen)

PART V deals with the “Therapeutics Index”. Major Sirker clearly mentioned the purpose of such index – ‘For convenience of beginners and to save time of busy practitioners, a Therapeutic Index is appended herewith’.

PART VI is the “Dictionary” part. It is a small dictionary of the medical terms rendering ‘convenience to the amateur Homœopaths’. The meaning of the terminologies other than the mentioned ones, are to be referred to the Pocket Oxford Dictionary or any other Medical Dictionary.

PART VII contains the “Errors & Omissions” in the book. Major Sirker regretted the mistakes in printing.

Advantages: –

  1. It is a repertory based on “General to Particular”; containing ‘Relationship of Remedies’. Those who are acquainted with te Kent’s Repertory, can use it efficiently.
  2. It has got 40 chapters and arranged alphabetically; where as Dr. Kent’s repertory contains 33 chapters.
  3. 3.The relationship part deals with 184 medicines [125 in Bœnninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book (BTPB) and 141 in Boger-Bœnninghausen’s Characteristic & Repertory(BBCR)] and the relations of each medicine are arranged systematically; even the Nosodes. In some places the specific relations in specific conditions are also mentioned.
  4. The part dealing the ‘Suggestions’ are very helpful to know the sequences of the medicines, especially for the beginners.
  5. Some chapters like ‘Alteration of States’, ‘Sensations as if’ and ‘Sensation of’ are helpful for quick reference in clinical practice; while in Kent’s repertory these are not separated and are found scattered in the concerned chapter of the part, deals with.

Some Practical Hints: –

  1. There is no separate chapter for ‘Neck’. The rubrics related to spine are found in the chapter ‘Back’.
  2. Different types of constitutions are found in the ‘Generalities’ chapter, under rubric Constitution.
  3. Aggravations and Ameliorations are found in the ‘Generalities’ chapter.
  4. Major Sirker divided ‘Time’ in broader aspect like Dr. C. M. Boger in BBCR – as — ‘DAYTIME’, ‘MORNING’, ‘FORENOON’, ‘NOON’, ‘AFTERNOON’, ‘EVENING’, ‘NIGHT’ – along with specific division. 

Drawbacks: –

  1. Though it was published after the publication of Synthetic repertory in India (1973) – but is included only 379 medicines.
  2. There are some medicines, which are mentioned in the sub-sub-rubrics, but are not mentioned in the super-rubric or sub-rubric; e.g. Mouth – Taste, bad, morning: nat. p, phos. mentioned; whereas these two medicines are not mentioned in Mouth – Taste, badEye – Winking – air, open, in: merc. (single medicine); but this medicine is not mentioned under Super-rubric Winking.
  3. A few nosodes are mentioned in this repertory; but the sarcodes are not. In this ‘Era of Complex Diseases’ sarcodes and nosodes are frequently used in clinical practice ‘to clear-up the picture’ or as ‘inter-current remedy’.
  4. Though it is based on Kent’s Lecture on Materia Medica and follows the ‘Deductive Logic’ – but in some places Major Sirker used the nosological name of the disease, as well as, the name of the organs as super- rubric or sub-rubric.
  5. There are separate chapter on ‘Sensations as if’. In spite of that the Generalities chapter contains some rubrics on ‘Sensations’.

Conclusion: –
Every system, every tool, every repertory has some drawbacks or limitations; and Major Sirker’s repertory is no exception. We should remember that the repertory is a tool to bridge the patient and the Materia Medica. “Repertory itself is not an end, but a means to an end”.

In spite of the demerits it can be said that it helps us immensely in the clinical practice, as has been experienced by me.

References: –
Sirker, Major K. K. – A Hand Book of Repertory [Reprint edition 1989; B. Jain].
Tiwari, Dr. S. K. – Essentials of Repertorization [4th Reprint edition 2006; B. Jain].

Dr. Krishnendu Maity
BHMS [Calcutta] MD [Hom. Repertory] [Pune] CFN [IGNOU]
Associate Professor and I/c Dept. of Practice of Medicine
Teaching Practice of Medicine, Materia Medica & Repertory
Lal Bahadur Shastri Homœopathic Medical College, Bhopal – 26 (MP).
Email: dr_krishnendu@yahoo.com

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