Boerick’s Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory – Review

Repertory part : Oscar E BOERICKE, M.D.

Clinical Repertories

  • They are repertories which contain clinical symptoms (conditions) and corresponding group of medicine.
  • They facilitate the selection of remedies on the basis of pathological similarity, causation, modalities and concomitants.
  • They are not meant for the common repertorisation, but for those cases where we could found only common symptoms with few modalities and concomitants, in which the clinical conditions mask the characteristics of the patient

Origin of Clinical Repertories
In spite of emphasis on individualization and prescription based on characteristic expressions, the emergence of clinical repertories could not be prevented in homoeopathic practice as early as Hahnemann times. The grouping of medicines according to the name of diseases, though discouraged by many stalwarts, has given birth to clinical repertories

The greatest modern exponent of this practice is the late Dr. J. Crompton Burnett, who has brought once more to light the vast therapeutic treasures which had been forgotten in the works of our great masters. All ways of finding indications are open to practitioners and the clinical avenue is one of them.

Dr. J. Crompton Burnett says, “ The fact is, we need any and every way of finding the right remedy, the simple simile, the simple symptomatic  similimum and the furthest reach of all- the pathological similimum, and I maintain that we are still well within the lines of homoeopathy that is expansive, progressive science.”

As early as in 1869 Bell’s diarrhoea and 1873 Berridge’s Eye, two very useful clinical regional repertories were published. Though the concept of such practice was conceived by Burnett he could not compile a separate repertory for that purpose and hence the credit of authoring the first clinical repertory goes to J.H.Clarke in 1904.

J. H. Clarke says, “Certain diseases come to have certain remedies assigned to them and all patients who are found to be suffering from any given disease must be dosed with one of the remedies credited to it.”

The General Clinical Repertories


  1. A Clinical Repertory by J.H.CLARKE, 1904
  2. Materia Medica with Repertory by O.E.BOERICKE, 1906
  3. The repertory portion of Raue’s Special Pathology etc
  4. Synoptic Key – Boger
  5. Homoeopathic Medical Repertory – Murphy
  6. Phathak’s Repertory

The clinical school of philosophy
The clinical school of philosophy has among its patrons, homoeopathic luminaries as E. A. Farrington, J. C. Burnett, W. E. Boericke, J. H. Clarke and C. M. Boger who had a clinically oriented prescription.

In this method, the symptoms are classified as basic and diagnostic. The application of this principle operates at two levels:

The medicines which are not overtly indicated for a particular diagnostic condition are tentatively ruled out from consideration in prescription.

The diagnostic criteria are reckoned as bench marks. The symptoms which can be equated with the result of a pathogenetic process, represents the effects of the pathogenesis.

The symptoms which are actively attributable to the pathogenesis, i.e., those relating to the aetiology, sustenance or modification of the disease phenomenon in the patient , assume a greater significance.

Boericke’s Clinical Repertory
The most widely used bedside clinical repertory attached to Pocket Manual Of Homoeopathic Materia Medica  by William Boericke . Since 3rd edition, repertory part introduced, around the period of 1906 – 07

It was completely remodeled and brought up to date along with the 9th edition of pocket materia medica published in 1927 as its modest companion.

Author :    Oscar E. BOERICKE, M.D. (Brother of William Boericke)

The different editions MM

  • 1st edition :1901, no repertory part
  • 2nd edition : 1903, no repertory part
  • 3rd edition : 1906, published by Boericke and Runyan.- repertory part included
  • 5th edition : 1912, published by Boericke and Tafel.
  • 6th edition : 1916, published by Boercike and Runyan.
  • 8th edition : 1922, published by Boericke and Runyan.
  • 9th edition : 1927, published by B.Jain Publishers. – I Indian edition

Clinical repertory was completely remodeled and brought up to date by embodying much of the available material. It was published in 1927.

SOURCE BOOK : William Boericke’s Materia Medica

Philosophical Background : not on any philosophy

Plan and Construction
This repertory has 290 pages of information, which is classified under 25 chapters.

Following  Hahnemannian anatomical schema as in the Materia Medica Pura. It can be seen that this macro-construction is a harmonious blend of the anatomical parts and the systems.

Headings and sub-headings and specific conditions or symptoms are arranged in alphabetical order

All headings when extensive in scope -e.g., Headache, are presented under definite captions in the following order: Cause, Type, Location, Character of pain, Concomitants, Modalities -i.e., Aggravations and Ameliorations.

To preserve uniformity, the technical names of diseases are bracketed, thereby assuming a subsidiary place, which is in strict accord with the homoeopathic requirement

Index to repertory – At the end of the repertory an index of rubrics arranged in alphabetic order along with page numbers is also included n 9th edition, making the usage easier.


  • Altitude high
  • Bathing
  • Beer
  • Type
  • Anemic
  • Chronic
  •  Old People


  • Frontal —
  • Extending to eyes, root of nose, face, etc. —
  • Occipital —
  • Character of pain
  • Aching, dull —
  • Bursting, splitting —
  • Distensive, full —
  •  Concomitants parts,& sensations
  • Eyes
  • Blindness, or visual disturbances, precede or attend —
  • Enlarged feeling —
  • Injection —
  • Lachrymation —
  • Soreness, pain —
  • Face
  • Flushed, hot —
  • Head


  1. Mind.
  2. Head
  3. Eyes
  4. Ears
  5. Nose
  6. Face
  1. Mouth
  2. Tongue
  3. Taste
  4. Gums
  5. Teeth
  6. Throat.
  1. Stomach
  2. Abdomen
  3. Urinary system
  4. Male Sexual system
  5. Female sexual system
  6. Circulatory System
  1. Locomotor system
  2. Respiratory system
  3. Skin
  4. Fever
  5. Nervous system
  6. Generalities
  7. Modalities

The Boericke Repertory resembles the Kent rather than the Boenninghausen but Boericke has reclassified some of the anatomical sections. For instance, vertigo appears under HEAD; sinuses are grouped together under NOSE; lips are under MOUTH instead of FACE : tongue has a section to itself as have gums; oesophagus is under THROAT instead of STOMACH; foods that disagree are in STOMACH with the cravings and aversions, rectum and tool are under ABDOMEN. All the URINARY SYSTEM is together under that heading; breasts are rightly classed under the FEMALE SEXUAL SYSTEM; there is an admirable section on PREGNANCY, LABOR and LACTATION; after GENITALIA comes the section on the CIRCULATOY SYSTEM including pulse; hen comes the LOCOMOTOR SYSTEM including extremities, gait, neck, inflammatory rheumatism and arthritis, back, and axillae; then comes RESPIRATORY SYSTEM, including lungs, cough, expectoration, larynx, voice and respiration; following the is the SKIN. The FEVER section includes chill and sweat, the exanthems and various fevers such as influenza, typhoid, malaria, etc. The NERVOUS SYSTEM follows and includes epilepsy, paralysis, sleep, dreams, weakness, convulsions, goitre, sea-sickness, neuralgia, sciatica, spine, meningitis, etc. The GENERALITIES section is much reduced and contains mainly diseases, tissues, poisonings, suppressions(under Checked discharges), glandular affections including mumps, goitre, a very interesting section on Complaints from winds, damp places, sudden, gradual, injuries, prophylactics, and tumors. This section has been relieved of much misplaced matter and has added to it a great deal of interesting and valuable material. The last section is MODALITIES, first aggravations and then ameliorations, and time under these appears in alphabetical order under morning, night, periodicity, etc., instead of altogether at the beginning of the section as in Kent.


  • Gradation Of Remedies:  remedies are graded into two:-

Italics – 2 marks(e.g., Ac); Roman -1 marks (e.g., acon)

  • Number Of Drugs: 1405 or 14091048N
  • Number Of Rubrics: 8,320
  • Arrangement Of Rubrics-Rubrics in each chapter are printed in BOLD CAPITAL. Sub rubrics are also arranged alphabetically. Sub rubrics are printed in roman after first indentation.
  • Cross references. There are three types of cross references-
  • Rubrics mentioned within the chapter.
  • Rubrics mentioned of other chapters .
  • More than one cross references if given with or without medicines.
  • Technical names: The technical names of diseases are given in brackets with the main symptoms.
  • Some of the rubrics and sub rubrics are explained to simplify by giving technical terms, synonyms or more than one synonyms, and some time complete meaning in the brackets.


  • The largest section is Female Sexual System, spread over 24 pages.
  • The smallest section is Tongue spread over only one page
  • The largest number of rubrics are in Skin Section. It has 102 main rubrics.
  • The least number of rubrics are in Gums section. It has only 1 main rubric.
  • The largest number of cross references are in Modalities section. It has 65 cross references.
  • The least number of cross references are in Section Ear. It has only one cross reference.
  • The repertory has a total number of 1409 medicines. The index provides a list of 1414 medicines but certain medicines appear twice due to their dual names.  Eg : Actea racemosa and Cimicifuga.
  • Technical or clinical terms are often as rubrics and also bracketed thus assuming as subsidary place which is in strict accord with the Homoeopathic requirement to prescribe for the symptoms of each specific case and not for mere name of disease.
  • The remedies are arranged in alphabetical order and the italics indicate the more frequently verified clinical remedy.
  • Because of 2 types of typography used to indicate the intensity of remedies, it is more practical for reference work and repertorization.
  • Index to repertory facilitates the search of a needed rubric to a great extent.
  • Rubrics related to “Prophlactics” are given in Genralities under heading “Prophylactic”
  • Rubric related to toxic effects of drugs are given in Genralities under the rubric Complaints – abuse of
  • Many clinical rubrics are in this repertory – Bubonic plague, Addison’s disease.
  • Affections of part of location are given under that part. The chapter which represents a organ or system follows that pattern, the rubric will be that part, and subrubrics are the conditions relatecd to it for easy reference.  Eg : Eyes – Choroid – Inflammation, Suppuration, Congestion.

Concept of totality
Type-clinical, pathological, investigation
Modalities: Aggravations and Ameliorations


  • The clinical school of philosophy is operating in the case where a diagnosis can be made, and there are several expressions which help to individualize that diagnosis


  • Because of its small size, a great many symptoms and remedies cannot be found in it.
  • The organization of the information is very haphazard and confusing
  • No fixed pattern is followed
  • Some typographical errors
  • The arrangement of rubrics is arbitrary
  • Some misplaced rubrics
  • The sources of the remedies should be studied in detail so that no ambiguity remains
  • Some alternating symptoms along with subheading Cause


  • For one-sided diseases
  • Cases with clinical diagnosis
  • Cases When definite cause is known
  • To prescribe on the basis of pathological generals
  • For the prescription of toxicological effect
  • For the prescription of a prophylactic remedy
  • For the prescription based on suppressed effects.
  • For acute cases
  • Nosological diagnosis
  • Concomitants given separately, so useful
  • In some chapters, Sensation under separate heading
  • For Pathological General prescription
  • Index or Repertory given is useful

The drugs written in italics were included after ‘frequent clinical verification’ by the great clinicians Dr. William Bœricke and Dr. Oscar E. Bœricke.

The mentioned single medicine highest grade rubrics in Bœricke’s Repertory are very useful in clinical practice.

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