Be a Master of Materia Medica – Book Review

Dr Navneet Bidani

However you define excellence in prescribing, knowledge is always an essential ingredient. Knowledge, in all its aspects, brings our understanding to the fore. Who we are as a person is the most important factor in how we live our life, and thus also in how we practice as a homoeopath. Dr. Muhammed Rafeeque’s ‘Be a Master of Materia Medica’, a superb collection of symptoms & rubrics of an individual medicine, weaves these insights, among many others, into the fabric of what homeopathy is, how it works and what it means to be a homoeopath.

In this book, well-proved drugs are selected and the symptoms are arranged in a systematic order – from generals to particulars. Under each symptom, the rubrical representation of the same symptom is given. Here the most suitable rubric is selected from a repertory in which the symptom is well represented. The remedies with gradings as given in the repertory follow the rubrics. This book makes the study of Materia Medica, comparative Materia Medica and Repertory easy and systematic. The readers will also get a chance to read the other indicated drugs for the same symptom. Since the grading is given, the intensity of each symptom in different drugs can be compared. The rubrics are selected from well-known repertories published by stalwarts like Kent, Knerr, Clark, Gentry, Boericke, Robert, Phatak and also from the latest repertories published by F. Schroyens and R. Murphy.

In this book, the author has covered 86 well-proved drugs. On an average, majority of the drugs carry 50 to 60 symptoms along with rubrics and remedies. Apart from improving the Materia medica knowledge, the routine use of this book can help the readers to get rid of “prejudiced materia medica,which is the main reason for our failure in remedial diagnosis. Truly speaking, our mind is intruded with some specific drugs for each favorite “indications” we are habituated with.  Here are some examples:

Most of us think about Lycopodium when the patient says that his complaint goes from right side to left! But, for the same indication, there are other drugs given in the repertories.

Kent ® Generalities ® side ® right -then left:, acon, ars.n, aspar, bell, lyc, mez, sang, spong, sulph.

When the patient is extremely fastidious, the first drug comes to our mind is Arsenic. If we refer repertory:

Robin Murphy ® mind ®  fastidious: Alum, anac, arg.n, ARS, asar, aur, calc, CARC, con, graph, ign, iod, lac-ac, med, nat.m, nat.s, nux.v, phos, plat, psor, PULS, sep, sil, sulph, thuj.

When the patient has profound despondency with suicidal thoughts, Aurum met comes to our mind. But the repertory gives: 

Robin murphy ® mind ® depression ® suicidal disposition with: Alum, AUR, calc, carc, car.s, chin, cimic, con, graph, hep, ign, med, merc.aur, naja, nat.m, nat.s, psor, ranb, rumx, sep, spig, STAPH, sulph.

This book also helps to know the value of some PQRS symptoms that are covered only by a single drug.

Diarrhea from bad news is the indication of Gelsemium.

Robin murphy ® Rectum  ® Diarrhea  ® News, bad, from: GELS.

Can pass stool by leaning very far back – is the indication of Medorrhinum.

Kent ® rectum® constipation® lean far backward to pass stool, must: Med.

Menses too early and bright red, if late blood is dark – is the indication of Calc phos.

Gentry® menstruation ® late® menses too L. blood dark, or bright then dark: Calc p

It is also noticed that, our materia medica knowledge gets weaker by the lack of regular reading habit. The words of Dr M L Tyler is very relevant here, “Read a drug everyday, and two on Sundays.” Yes, every homoeopath should stick to her words. We must read regularly and repeatedly, that too, same drug using different books. True that no modern tools can replace the classical books written by the pioneers, but books of this kind can surely help to strengthen our Materia medica Knowledge.

It also gives pleasure to learn that this book is now translated into Spanish by the B Jain overseas publishers. The author has spared himself no pains in his endeavor to present the main ideas in the simplest and most intelligible form, and on the whole, in the sequence and connection in which they actually originated. The wealth of detail, the infinite care never to let anything pass unexplained, with which he presented to the students of Homoeopathy the result of his experience, are impressive & worth appreciating. All in this entire book is not only to be recommended to homoeopaths, but I would say it is a “must”. But not only a must, it’s a delight and a joy to have it and work with it.

Details of the Book
Title: Be a Master of Materia Medica.
Author: Dr Muhammed Rafeeque
Pages: 409
ISBN: 978-81-319-0087-1
Price: 149/-
Published by: B Jain Publisheres, New Delhi.

Dr. Navneet Bidani
Director, Dr. Bidani’s Centre for Homoeopathy,Hisar, Haryana.
Mob: 9416336371

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