Dr Roger van Zandvoort
A brief historical outline, focusing on the principal dichotomy to emerge in repertory development – the inclusive vs exclusive approach to symptom indexing.￼(This outline originally formed part of the Repertorium Universale Guide.)
Baron Clemens F M von Bönninghausen, James Tyler Kent and Constantine Hering
As early as 1834 when Bönninghausen’s first repertory had been available for just 2 years (though already into its 2nd edition), and Jahr’s, which was based on Bönninghausen’s model, published only months before, Hahnemann homed in on the major stumbling block the repertory presented to practitioners. In a letter to Bönninghausen, he complained that even if homeopaths can see that the repertories alone aren’t sufficient to find the remedy, with a repertory in their hands they’re nevertheless lulled into believing there’s a good chance they can dispense with the literature altogether (1), a point no less valid 170 years further on. Paradoxically, the better a repertory becomes, the more its essential limitations need to be underlined.
Although it may seem to be stating the obvious, the repertory is an index. The back pages of the materia medica. There are different ways to index material, some intrinsically better than others, some a matter of personal preference. Some indexes are more accurate than others. There’s also no doubt that a good
index is a valuable complement to its source material, but it can never replace it any more than the index at the back of a reference book could stand in for its contents.
The homeopathic repertory (from Latin repertorium, an inventory) emerged as a concept around 1817 when Hahnemann started cataloguing all the symptoms gathered from the growing number of provings he was by then conducting. His alphabetical list of symptoms (Symptomenlexikon) grew to 4 volumes but was never published. It was 15 years before the first repertory finally appeared in print – Bönninghausen’s Repertory of Antipsoric Medicines – in 1832.
The best way to structure and organise the indexing of the materia medica occupied many minds at the time, and debate about the advantages and disadvantages of each schema continued throughout that 15-year period and for many years after. The debate crystallised around a single critical issue – that of how to index a symptom without losing the features which made it characteristic of the remedy. Opinion diverged on this.
Exclusivity vs inclusivity
Some (notably Hering) favoured preserving each symptom in its entirety and proposed an index biased towards exclusivity. Such an index results in a large number of very specific rubrics (from Latin ruber, red: a heading or title) containing relatively few remedies. It has great precision because the symptom is recorded exactly as the prover experienced it, narrowing down the choice of possible remedies very effectively. But this makes it somewhat inflexible, not to mention an unwieldy size. It’s of less use if the symptoms of the case in hand don’t precisely match what’s already recorded and as a result it’s much easier to miss potentially appropriate remedies. (Knerr’s 1936 Repertory of Hering’s Guiding Symptoms is probably the clearest exposition of this repertorial perspective. Knerr was Hering’s son-in-law.)
Others (notably Bönninghausen) realised that for any one remedy there were certain qualities or aspects of symptoms – their characterising dimensions – that were not confined to single symptoms but ran right through the remedy expression (eg. burning in Arsenicum, stitching pains in Asafœtida, ball/lump-like sensations in Lilium tigrinum). So these dimensions, once established as being characteristic of the remedy, could legitimately be separated from their precise context and indexed in their own right. Such an index is biased towards inclusivity. It results in a smaller number of less specific partial rubrics containing relatively large numbers of remedies. Complete symptoms can be constructed from the sum of their parts to match the case in hand, with the final differentiation being made between the remedies which appear in all (or the majority of) the rubrics. It’s less precise and produces a larger number of potential remedies to differentiate between, but is enormously flexible and less likely to miss an appropriate remedy. The most economic and elegant distillation of this method, which Hahnemann pronounced “excellent and eminently desirable”, is found in Bönninghausen’s 1846 Therapeutic Pocketbook (2). (The Introduction to T F Allen’s 1897 edition of the Therapeutic Pocketbook, including Bönninghausen’s original introduction, can be accessed from the Articles page.)
Many more repertories followed from a variety of authors, many of which were published as small specialist volumes devoted to a particular part of the body or a particular condition. Others reflected different approaches to finding the remedy.
Kent, who’s 1897 compilation repertory forms the basis for most of the repertories in common use today, achieved a certain amount of compromise between the exclusive and inclusive perspectives. He agreed with indexing the characteristic qualities of symptoms in their own right (3) and included much of Bönninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook in his own work, particularly the Generalities section. The view widely held today, that Kent’s approach is somehow opposite to Bönninghausen’s, is inappropriate for this reason. Despite the fact that Kent later set himself up in opposition to Bönninghausen and focused some of his criticisms on the latter’s principles of generalisation (4), the root of the difference between them lies elsewhere. It lies in Kent’s concept of a symptom hierarchy, which is absent from Hahnemann’s and Bönninghausen’s viewpoint.
Kent’s imposition of his Swedenborgian vision of a symptom hierarchy onto Bönninghausen’s non-hierarchical schema led him into a conceptual impasse when it came to dealing with individual symptom modalities (Kent’s “particulars”) which were the opposite to more general modalities (Kent’s “generals”) – eg. a painful shoulder worse for movement while the patient is generally ameliorated by walking about. In Kent’s view, a modality which turns out to be generally characteristic of the state is not a “particular” but a “general”, and once it’s a “general” it can’t be “particular”. He couldn’t marry Bönninghausen’s approach (which allowed for such eventualities eg. Aggravation; motion of affected part, and Amelioration; walking) with his viewpoint which constrained him to create this notional separation between “generals” and “particulars” in a hierarchical ranking. Kent’s blind spot – in some way confusing a generally applicable particular modality with a general modality for the person as a whole – led to him publicly criticising Bönninghausen’s work and perpetuating that view in his influential teachings. This also had the effect of isolating the Therapeutic Pocketbook from its context within the spectrum of Bönninghausen’s works and creating an artificially polarised perspective of the two approaches which is not supported by detailed study of the work of either man.
So it was the constraints of Kent’s hierarchy, rather than any fundamental disagreement with the principle of indexing characterising dimensions in their own right, which inevitably biased the structure of Kent’s repertory towards Hering’s (another Swedenborgian) exclusive viewpoint.
One of the greatest strengths of Kent’s repertory lies in his development of symptoms in the mental and emotional sphere, an area which Bönninghausen only indexed in the most brief and essential terms in the Therapeutic Pocketbook because of the greater specificity of symptoms within the Mind section and the greater potential for error in their interpretation. (The Mind section of Kent’s repertory has been substantially improved through each edition of the Complete Repertory.)
Computer repertorisation programs first appeared in the late 1980s and it was Kent’s structure which was initially adopted in the various digital repertories accompanying them. Two major repertory projects have since evolved. Synthesis has continued to develop along Kentian lines, informed to a large extent by the Hering viewpoint. Its most recent edition (version 9) includes Bönninghausen’s and Boger’s material, with (in version 9.1) some restructuring of subrubrics to permit a change in emphasis in the generalisation of characterising dimensions, but with no overall integration or updating. The Complete Repertory, on the other hand, in its original and subsequent (Millennium) editions has progressively moved towards the integration of Bönninghausen’s inclusive approach with Hering’s exclusive one. For the Repertorium Universale, the addition of all Bönninghausen’s repertories were completed, the Bönninghausen-specific rubrics were updated with most if not all post-Bönninghausen material and the Kentian foundation finally gave way to a structure allowing an even balance between flexibility and precision. While the Kentian foundation continues at present to be the structure of choice for most homeopaths, the elegance and power of Bönninghausen’s approach continues to inform the development of the Complete Repertory in equal measure.
Towards an integrated approach
The strengths of various different methodological approaches, each of which spawned their own repertories, have traditionally led to a prevailing wisdom which stipulates that certain types of case are best suited to certain methods and repertories. For example, a case consisting of mainly mental/emotional and general symptoms suits Kent’s approach, a case of physical generals well defined by modalities and concomitants, Bönninghausen’s, and a case with lots of physical generals, but not many individualising features, Boger’s or Phatak’s. The major drawback for modern practitioners using a variety of methodologies in this way is that few of the repertories have been updated with new provings and ongoing clinical confirmations since their original publication. Although all these repertories are generally included in the modern compilation repertories, they’re effectively lost in the Kentian structure which restricts all but the most limited application of methods other than Kent’s.
The information in a Kentian-style repertory has the quality of uniqueness, but is more or less limited to complete symptoms drawn from provings, while the information in a Bönninghausen-style repertory is more generalised and not constrained to complete proving symptoms. Prevailing dogma dictates that one should use either one method or the other, but in practical terms there seems little reason why that should be the case or why both approaches – and many others – shouldn’t be incorporated into a single repertory, doing away with the artificial polarisation evident in the perception of different methods. This allows the advantages of the exclusive perspective (specificity, precision) to be freely combined with the advantages of the inclusive perspective (combinability, completeness) and both views to be used interchangeably as and when appropriate. It also means that the disadvantages of each perspective – too great a degree of exclusivity and lack of differentiation – can be minimised.
The inclusive approach does have one significant conceptual advantage over the exclusive one. Its flexibility allows for the creation of a virtually infinite variety of complete symptoms, more than can ever be represented in any Kentian-style repertory. (Homeopaths today are still working with Bönninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook – the size of the Complete Repertory 4.5’s Mind section alone – for just this reason.) The specificity of the Kentian rubrics can, in most situations, be recreated from the Bönninghausen rubrics since the remedies in the Kentian rubrics are nearly always contained in the larger Bönninghausen partial rubrics. In combining the partial rubrics to reconstruct the complete symptom, the Kentian remedies are automatically included, but usually with the addition of further remedies which wouldn’t have come into the picture using Kentian rubrics alone.
Working with the Bönninghausen approach also encourages a different perspective on the literature – patterns and themes are emphasised, which works well with the latest trends in analytical technique.
The prominence given to Kent’s teachings in the English-speaking world and the prevalence of his repertory structure in modern repertories has tended to dictate the dominance of his method, commented on by Ian Watson, in his A Guide to the Methodologies of Homeopathy: “In Great Britain and the United States the Kentian method is now so widely taught and practised that many are misled into believing that it is the only way to practise homeopathy. If the existence of other methods is acknowledged, the Kentian method is often elevated by its proponents to the status of pure homeopathy, classical homeopathy or even Hahnemannian homeopathy (!). This need by some to be seen as the sole bearers of truth has, in my opinion, created greater disagreement and division amongst homeopaths than anything else.” (5) Perhaps it’s just that the characterising dimensions of Kent’s repertory – “hierarchy” and “exclusivity” – are generally symptomatic of the Kent gestalt, and find sympathetic resonance in all sorts of places!
Notes and References
(1) “Even if the homœopathicians perceive that the repertories are insufficient for finding the best remedy [aid] for every case of disease, nevertheless they calm down when they have such an overview in their hands, and then believe (with some probability) to be able to dispense with the sources and don’t buy and don’t use them.” (Hahnemann to von Bönninghausen, December 26 1834. Translation © Gaby Rottler, 2000.)
(2) “There is no doubt that a diligent and comprehensive study of the pure Materia Medica cannot be thoroughly accomplished by the use of any repertory whatever. I have not intended to dispense with such a study, but rather have considered all works of such intent positively injurious. Still, it is not to be denied that a homeopathic physician can only devote himself to such studies in his leisure hours (which are, indeed, few enough), and that he needs in his practice, to aid his memory, a work which is abridged, easily consulted, and which contains the characteristic symptoms and their combinations, to enable him, in any individual case of sickness, to select from the remedies generally indicated the one suitable and homeopathic, without a too great loss of time.” C M von Bönninghausen. Introduction to Therapeutic Pocketbook for Homeopathic Physicians for use at the Bedside and the Study of Materia Medica Pura. 1846. Translation from T F Allen edition.
(3) “Many of the most brilliant cures are made from the general rubric when the special does not help … The special aggravation is a great help, but such observations are often wanting, and the general rubric must be pressed into service. Again, we have to work by analogy. In this method Bönninghausen’s Pocket Repertory is of the greatest service.” James Tyler Kent. How to Study the Repertory in Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica. 1897. 6th edition, IBPP, New Delhi. pXX.
(4) “Nothing has harmed our cause more than books that generalise modalities, viz: by making a certain aggravation or amelioration fit all parts as well as the general bodily states. Cold air may aggravate the patient but ameliorate the headache. Stooping seldom aggravates headache, backache, cough and vertigo in the same degree, yet Bönninghausen compels you to look in one place for all of them, and they are marked with the same gradings. The patient is often better by motion, but his parts, if inflamed, are worse from motion.” J T Kent. The View for Successful Prescribing. Homeopathician: 1(1912)140-143 in K-H Gypser (Ed). 1987. Kent’s Minor Writings on Homeopathy, B Jain, New Delhi, p645. (Note how easy it is to interpret Kent’s comments about degree as if he were talking about intensity.)
(5) Ian Watson. 1991. A Guide to the Methodologies of Homeopathy. Cutting Edge Publications, Kendal. p20
About Complete Repertory 2011
The Complete Repertory is a standard reference source, being one of the two principle modern repertories in daily use by homeopaths all over the world, and has been translated into, or is being translated into many languages (German, French, Dutch, Japanese, Chinese, Hungarian, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Russian, Hindi). Based on Kent’s Repertory, it has been extensively revised, corrected and updated through several editions and incorporating material from materia medica, clinical cases and other repertories.
In its latest 2011 edition it contains nearly 2.3 million remedy additions in over 206,000 rubrics. The 2011 Complete Repertory features the changes to the remedy grading system that were introduced in the Repertorium Universale, ie. uses the Bönninghausen grading system for more detailed results in analysis, and benefits from the extensive revision and increase in number of cross-references between rubrics undertaken for the introduction of this repertory.
Since the release of the Complete Repertory 4.5 in 1995, over 81.000 rubrics, over 130.000 cross-references/references and 1.4 million remedy additions have been made.
An enormous amount of work during the last several years has gone into integrating the important sources of the past into the Complete Repertory. The percentage of material from old sources (pre-1931) has been substantially increased with additions from the likes of T F Allen, Jahr, Farrington, Clarke, etc. (See also the Top 13 Complete Repertory 2011Authors below). There have been criticsms that modern repertories feature too many additions from modern sources. These statistics here show this is not the case. In the last two years emphasis has been on Clarke’s Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, from which all smaller remedies are being added.
(NB. CR 2008 statistics are anomalous due to some errors in the Bilbiography that attributed post-1930 dates to pre-1931 material.)
Some authors, like Hahnemann, Boger, Kent and Knerr, who where already well represented in the last six versions of the Complete Repertory/Repertorium Universale, have seen their additions increase gradually, while authors like Allen, Jahr, Farrington, Clarke and Lippe have increased substantially due to the inclusion of all second degree and higher symptoms from Allen’s Encyclopedia, Jahr’s Symptom Codex, Farrington’s Clinical Materia Medica, all repertory work in Lilienthal’s Homeopathic Therapeutics, all material out of Lippe’s (Bannerjea’s) Keynotes and Redline Symptoms, (nearly) all Lippe’s articles, and of course the process of adding Clarke’s smaller remedies. All these sources have considerably increased the amount of clinical verifications (ie. 3rd and 4th degree additions). For Complete Repertory 2011 emphasis has been on completing the information from Homeopathic Links, new remedies and especially updating information from J H Clarke, from which source additions will continue to be made for Complete Repertory 2012.
The latest edition of the repertory features:
- About 15,000 additions from contemporary Homeopathic Magazines like Homeopathic Links, Zeitschrift für Klassische Homöopathie, Homöopathie Konkret, Homöopathie Zeitschrift and hundreds of additions from internet magazines like Interhomeopathy.
- 14 remedy-pictures have been added since 2010.
- nearly 300,000 additions from John Henry Clarke’s Clinical Materia Medica of mainly the smaller remedies out of Volume 1, start of 2 and 3 (an ongoing process of upgrading that will continue in the next versions of CR).
For Complete Repertory 2011, no further structural changes were made to the repertory. After working on the Repertorium Universale structure for quite some years and seeing that most people do not understand it, or for various reasons do not want to work with it, it was time to go back to the more Kentian version: Complete Repertory. In order to make the information easier to access the following structural changes were made for the 2008 edition:
- The “Ailments from” rubrics were rearranged under the Mind section. Previously some of these (eg. Anger, vexation agg., Anguish agg., Anticipation, foreboding, presentiment agg. and Anxiety agg.) were contained in the Generalities section.
- In the extremities section all specific localisations under “Upper limbs” and “Lower limbs”, ie. upper arms, elbows, ankles, feet, etc., were moved up a level in the hierarchy. You can now open Extremities; Pain and go directly to feet, or hands, etc. That means a lot of rubrics have become much more easy to reach, being less deeply embedded in the hierarchy of the repertory.
- Similarly, in the Mind Section, body parts in Delusions were moved up a level from the ‘body parts’ subrubric, eg. Delusions; body; body parts; hands becomes Delusions; body; hands. This is also the case with body parts in the Dreams section.
- Mind Section rubrics featuring animals in Fears, Dreams and Delusions were moved up a level in the hierarchy so that, for instance, Fear; animals; dogs becomes Fear; dogs.
- In the main rubrics of all sections the generalised modalities were merged with the phenomena. In CR2005 there were sometimes long listings of generalised modalities before the list of phenomena, and many users would like to see the phenomena more directly. Therefore I have merged them and, when the first word of the modality was the same as the first word of the phenomenon, I have made the modality a sub-rubric of the phenomenon, thus emphasizing the phenomenon a little bit more. For example, instead of having two entries for Activity, the first a modality and the second a phenomenon, both the modalities and phenomena attributable to Activity are now listed under the one rubric.
- The specific tastes, discolourations and smell/odours were taken out of their main rubrics when appropriate and moved up a level in the hierarchy, enabling the user to go to a specific discolouration, taste or odour directly.
- In Speech & Voice, the main rubrics now begin with the descriptive term, eg. Speech, awkward becomes Awkward speech.
Repertory Grade Comparison from Kent’s to Complete Repertory 2011
Originally the third degree was the highest degree available in my repertories, an inheritance of Kent’s grading system. On top of these was later added a fourth degree, inheritance of Pierre Schmidt. I am convinced P Schmidt’s fourth degree is actually the same as Bönninghausen’s fourth degree (fifth degree when you count the zero degree in Bönninghausen as the first) and therefore in later versions of my work this P Schmidt degree is amalgamated with the fourth degree of Bönninghausen. This change took place in Complete Repertory 2001. Starting with Complete Repertory 2005/Repertorium Universale V in this graph the Bönninghausen degree system is used. The second degree now expresses the information found in provings and available from two or more provers, enabling us to have a more pronounced analysis of especially those often new remedies that would otherwise be ‘flat’, not expressing any addition in the repertory in any degree but the lowest.
In the Complete Repertory 2011, over 400 remedies have 50% more information than the Complete Repertory 2009 including:
Abrus precatorius, Absinthium, Acalypha indica, Acorus calamus, Calcarea arsenicosa, Cerium metallicum, Cocainum hydrochloricum, Diphtheria pertussis tetanus vaccine, Echis carinatus, Equisetum arvense, Exrementum caninum, Fabiana imbricata, Ferrum phosphoricum hydricum, Fraxinus americanus, Glycyrrhiza glabra, Heracleum spondylium, Hochstein aqua, Hydrangea arborescens, Niobium metallicum, Ocimum canum, Paeonia officinalis, Paraffinum, Pastinaca sativa, Paullinia pinnata, Paulinia sorbilis, Pecten jacobeus, Penthorum sedoides, Pertussinum Petiveria tetandra, Phallus impudicus, Phaseolus nanus, Phenacetinum, Phlorizinum, Phosphorus hydrogenatus, Picrotoxinum, Pimpinella saxifraga, Pinus sylvestris, Piper nigrum, Placenta humana, Platinum muriaticum, Plumbum chromicum, Plectranthus fruticosus, Plumbago littoralis, Polygonum hydropiperoides, Polymnia uvedalia, Polyporus pinicola, Populus candicans, Primula obconica, Primula veris, Prunus padus, Pyrethrum parthenium, Pyrus americana, Quassia amara, Quebracho, Radium bromatum, Ranunculus acris, Ranunculus glacialis, Rhamnus cathartica, Rhamnus frangula, Rhodium oxydatum nitricum, Rhus diversiloba, Ribonucleicum acidum, Ricinus communis, Rumex acetosa, Russula foetens, Sabal serrulata, Saccarum lactis, Salicinum, Salolum, Salix nigra, Salix purpurea, Sambucus canadensis, Saponinum, Sarracenia purpurea, Scorpio europaeus, Scrophularia nodosa, Scutellaria lateriflora, Sempervivum tectorum, Senecio jacobaea, Silphium laciniatum, Sinapis alba, Sinapis nigra, Sium latifolium, Slag, Solanum arrebenta, Solanum mammosum, Solanum oleraceum, Solanum tuberosum aegrotans, Solidago virgaurea, Solaninum purum & aceticum, Sphingurus martini, Spiranthes autumnalis, Spirea ulmaria, Stachys betonica, Stanum iodatum, Stellaria media, Stigmata maydis, Strontium nitricum, Succinum, Sulphur hydrogenisatum, Sulfonalum, Symphytum officinale, Tartaricum acidum, Teplitz aqua, Tetradymitum, Trillium pendulum, Triosteum perfoliatum, Trombidium muscae domesticae, Tuberculinum Koch, Tussilago fragrans, Tussilago petasites, Vaccininum, Variolinum, Veratrum nigrum, Veratrinum, Vesicaria communis, Viburnum prunifolium, Viburnum tinus, Viburnum opulus, Vichy Grande Grille, Voeslau aqua, Wiesbaden aqua, Wildbad aqua, Yucca filamentosa, Zincum aceticum, Zincum iodatum, Zincum muriaticum, Zincum oxydatum, Zincum sulphuricum, Zincum valerianicum and of course all the Lanthanides
Over 800 remedies have 25% more information compared to Complete Repertory 2009.
Over 1,440 remedies with 10% more information compared to Complete Repertory 2009.
Nearly 28,000 new rubrics compared to Complete Repertory 2009, the result of extensive additions of material from mostly Clarke.
Many corrections, especially to so called “double rubrics”, merged into one, and further streamlining of expressions and meaning (which is one reason for the large amount of references and cross-references).
This Guide describes the basic foundations and principles used in the construction of the Complete Repertory.
The major repertories used in this century have been Kent’s Repertory, Bönninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook, Boger’s Bönninghausen Repertory, Barthel and Klunker’s Synthetic Repertory and Künzli’s Kent’s Repertorium Generale. Obviously these are all excellent repertories, but all have their mistakes and shortcomings. The richness and accuracy of our repertories is of vital importance since we use them as the primary tools to lead us toward the choice of the simillimum. Therefore we need a repertory that covers as much relevant information as possible and has as many of the rubrics as possible verified back to their original sources.
- To be reliable the repertory should refer to the oldest source of an addition rather than a later one.
- To maintain continuity it should show the related page number for each rubric for the other major repertories.
- To help new and experienced practitioners to find exactly what they are looking for it should have extensive cross references.
- And to enable us to zero in on the simillimum it should have all of the additions from every available reliable source.
Origins and Construction
The Source Information
The source information we used to create this repertory came from the first, third and sixth American editions of Kent’s Repertory. This information was combined with many corrections and additions found in:
- Homeopathic journals
- Pierre Schmidt and H Chand’s Final General Repertory
- Jost Künzli’s Repertorium Generale
- Sivaraman’s Additions and corrections to Kent’s Repertory
- Boger’s Additions to Kent’s Repertory and
- CCRH’s Corrections to Boger’s Bönninghausen Repertory (there is material in Kent’s Repertory that comes from this repertory).
In addition to the corrections above we extensively verified and corrected remedy abbreviations that have been confusing. Example: am-br. instead of ambr. or cocc. instead of coc’c. or vice versa.
Textual Changes to Kent’s Repertory
The hierarchy and text of each rubric have been examined and inconsistencies have been corrected.
The most important word in a rubric was moved to the beginning of that rubric. Example: during urination was changed to urination, during.
The rubrics were re-ordered alphabetically for the hierarchy used in Kent’s Repertory and that hierarchy has been improved compared to Kent’s. The hierarchy of the rubrics was restructured to follow the format: General; sides (one-sided, left, right); times; agg. and amel.; modalities and concordances; extending to; localizations and sensations (pain).
All of the agg. rubrics with amel. sub-rubrics were reorganized: Example
Older terminology was replaced when clearly needed by more modern terminology following the American English spelling. Example: miscarriage is included in abortion, and siesta is included in afternoon sleep.
The text of the rubrics, when unclear, has been corrected to match its materia medica source text.
We replaced the inconsistent use of several words with the same meaning by a single word throughout. Example: micturition became urination, qualmishness became nausea.
Alterations to Remedy Abbreviations
Different abbreviations for one and the same remedy were put together. Example: Kaol and Alum-sil became Alum-sil. (A full index to abbreviation changes can be found on the Indexes page in the Reference section.)
The remedies in each rubric were re-ordered alphabetically according to the alphabetic order of the abbreviations instead of the alphabetic order of the full names of the remedies.
Some remedy abbreviations have been changed to ensure less confusion about what each abbreviation denotes. The confusion was particularly marked for the mineral salts, metals, acidums and aceticums.
Aceticums, aceticas end in -acet. Previously -a or -ac or -acet. Example: Am-a was changed to Am-acet.
Alkaloids end in –in (some exceptions still exist though). Example: Dub. was changed to Dubin., Coni-br. was changed to Conin-br.
Arsenicosums, arsenicicums etc. end in -ar. Previously -ar or -a. or -ars. Example: Nat-a was changed to Nat-ar.
Carbonicums end in -c. One exception because of the weight of usage and tradition is Calcarea carbonica which remains as Calc.
Cyanatums end in -cy. Previously sometimes -c. Example Arg-c was changed to Arg-cy.
Ferro-cyanatums end in -fcy. Previously -fer. Example: Kali-fer was changed to Kali-fcy.
Iris. All Irises now begin with Iris- followed by the abbreviation for the sub species.
Magnetas begin with M- (previously Mag-), to avoid confusion with Magnesiums, which will all remain Mag-. Example: Mag-p-a was changed to M-p-a.
Lacticums end in -l. Previously -l or -lac. Example: Ferr-lac was changed to Ferr-l.
Metallicums now have no suffix at all. Example: Arg-m was changed to Arg. Many metals like Aurum had no suffix, while some like Arg-m. did. The exception to the rule because of the weight of usage and tradition is Arsenicum metallicum which remains as Ars-met. The -met suffix avoids confusion with the muriaticums (-m) and differentiates it from Ars, which stands for Arsenicum album (which in future could change to Ars-o, since it stands for Arsenicum oxidatum).
Muriaticums end in -m. Previously -m or mur. Example Arg-mur was changed to Arg-m.
Nitricums, nitrates, etc, end in -n. Previously sometimes -nit. Example: Stront-nit was changed to Stront-n.
Oxydatums end in -o. Previously -ox or -o. Example: Ant-ox was changed to Ant-o.
Oxalicums end in -ox. Previously -ox or -o. Example: Kali-o was changed to Kali-ox.
Sulphuricums, sulphates, sulfites, etc, end in -s. Previously sometimes -sul or -s. Example: Merc-sul was changed to Merc-s.
Many minor remedy abbreviations have been changed in order not to confuse them with other remedy abbreviations that represent completely different remedies. Example: Cocc-s. (Coccinella septempunctata, an insect) has been changed to Cocci-s in order not to be confused with Cocc (Cocculus indicus, a plant). One might think Cocc-s is a further species in the Cocc family, which it is not. Example: Crot-t (Croton tiglium, a plant) has been changed to Croto-t in order not to be confused with Crot-h and Crot-c, the Crotalus snakes.
Remedy Degrees used in the Repertory
Remedy degrees have been chosen using specific guidelines for the grades indicated in the material medica. Here are a few examples.
All new rubrics that were sourced from these repertories have been included with the degrees of the remedies as in these repertories, except for the bold upper case remedies that stand for the fourth degree in these repertories. This degree was downgraded to the third degree when adding the information to the Complete Repertory.
Some degrees were changed, overruling the original degree for the specified remedy in Kent’s Repertory, after referring to Kent’s Lectures, Lesser Writings and Minor Writings. In these instances you will find ID # 58 (additions from Kent’s Repertory have no ID number), meaning that you are dealing with information from Kent’s materia medica work, written after the completion of the repertory.
Some degrees were changed to higher degrees based on printed and handwritten information by P. Schmidt as found in his manuscripts and copies of Kent’s Repertory. These changed will have ID # 122 or the ID number for the oldest original author. All fourth degree remedies come from P. Schmidt but can also have an older ID number.
Some degrees were changed using J. Künzli’s Repertorium Generale without further mentioning. The text in the Complete Repertory should be identical to the text in the Repertorium Generale.
This book became the reference Kentian style repertory in the last few years and has been thoroughly checked by the Künzli-group under supervision of D. Spinedi.
Once we felt that we had created the most precise and correct Kentian style repertory possible we started working on further improvements and additions.
Revision of the grading system
Repertory gradings provide an additional source of information about the characteristic nature of remedy symptoms, but are frequently misunderstood. Many think they represent the intensity of a symptom, which may even originate in Kent’s teachings (1). This is incorrect. Repertory gradings, regardless of specific criteria which vary from repertory to repertory, have always indicated frequency: the number of times a particular symptom has been recorded for any one remedy. Gradings are consequently a confidence rating – an indication of reliability, or characteristic quality, or simply the fact that the remedy is a polychrest and has more documented clinical confirmation. This has no direct relationship to intensity.
With the structural changes to the repertory introduced for the Repertorium Universale, the grading system for the entire repertory database was completely revised, changing from a Kentian-based classification to one based on Bönninghausen’s criteria.
The important point to note is that the first grade/degree in Kent equates to both the first and second degree in Bönninghausen’s system.
Neither grading system separately distinguishes proving symptoms and clinical information, but Kent’s system contains a fundamental conflict in its criteria which makes it illogical and difficult to apply and interpret. Kent defines his first degree by saying it should include symptoms only experienced “now and then” in provings, the second is for symptoms found in “a few” provers, and the third for symptoms in “all or the majority” of provers (2). He then completely over-rides that differentiation by stipulating that clinical confirmation is required for the second degree, consequently relegating all proving symptoms to the first degree, regardless of their significance, until such time as they receive clinical confirmation.
P Schmidt’s fourth degree (introduced in Barthel & Klunker’s Synthetic Repertory and incorporated in the Complete Repertory) is broadly equivalent to the fourth degree in Bönninghausen’s grade system and is therefore no longer shown separately.
In the first edition of the Repertorium Universale there were very few remedies in the redefined second degree. Those included were mostly from recent provings. The use of the Kentian grade system up to that point meant that the first degree included all the remedies originally defined as second degree in all works using Bönninghausen’s grade system. These are being restored to the second degree as a comprehensive revision of the data sources for first grade remedies takes place.
The grading system changes have been made to give a more accurate impression of the characteristic nature of symptoms recorded in provings – a frequent source of frustration for today’s proving directors. Bönninghausen’s criteria provide a clearer delineation between proving information (including herbal and toxicological data) and clinical confirmation (which establishes the real homeopathicity of the remedy to the symptom). The system is more flexible, and also more consistent with the older literature (Hering, for instance, used Bönninghausen’s differentiation in his Guiding Symptoms). It gives a finer and more precise differentiation between the degrees and paves the way for further revisions in future editions of the repertory which will grade remedies according to even more precise criteria, removing all inconsistencies and confusion.
Grading revision is regarded as one of the most important areas of work over the next few years. All the material in the old journals contains a vast number of clinical confirmations for remedies, very little of which has been incorporated into any repertory revisions, or any of the modern repertories.
Rubric Reorganisation – Mind Chapter
There have been some important changes and additions to the rubrics of the MIND chapter. The Dreams have been put in the MIND chapter. After speaking to many homeopaths the general idea has formed that the Dreams are a substantial part of the MIND chapter. The Dreams represent emotional impressions and mental strain.
The location of the rubrics for Speech in the MIND and MOUTH chapters of the repertory has been changed. The original reason that Kent divided Speech rubrics between these chapters was that he wanted those rubrics of Speech that had a mental/emotional aetiology to be distinguished from those that were more physiological in origin. Nevertheless many rubrics have been confused or were open to misinterpretation. We reexamined the meaning of the rubrics and then put them either in the new chapter SPEECH & VOICE, or we have put them under other main rubrics, mainly Talk, talking, talks when their aetiology was a more emotional-mental one. Example: MIND; Speech; embarrassed (Kent p 81) was changed to MIND; Talk, talking, talks; embarrassed. Example: MIND; Speech; incoherent (Kent p 81) became Speech & Voice; Speech; incoherent. The main rubric Speech under SPEECH & VOICE includes all those rubrics that relate to the motor function of speech.
The bodily anxieties and apprehensions have been included in the MIND chapter under Anxiety. The reason for this is that, although felt in a specific part of the body, it is still an expression of emotional value and therefore should be included in the MIND chapter. Of course we also preserved those rubrics in the specific body part chapter. Example: STOMACH; Anxiety in has been included in Mind; Anxiety; Stomach, in.
The separate main MIND rubrics Talk; Talking and Talks have been combined into one rubric named Talk, talking, talks since they were inconsistent in their meaning and therefore confusing.
The sub-rubrics mentioning animals and body or body parts under the main rubrics Delusions, Dreams and Fear have been put together under the header: body, body parts or animals. Example: Fear; dogs, of (Kent p 44) became Fear; animals; dogs, of.
In the main rubric Delusions many sub-rubrics with the same meaning were found and their remedies were transferred to the most suitable location and wording to represent that information. Cross-references to the new locations indicate where a specific rubric in Kent’s Repertory has been moved.
Rubric Reorganisation – Other Chapters
In all chapters the Discolorations and Eruptions rubrics have been reorganised so that all of the sub-rubrics now fit the same hierarchical layout. The layout is: the general rubric, then the sub-rubrics concerning the time modalities, the general modalities and the locations, followed by the specific colours or specific type of eruptions with their specific locations as sub-rubrics. Kent’s presentation was not consistent. In some chapters he would use this hierarchy, in others the locations would appear first with the specifics as their sub-rubrics.
In all chapters the main Pain rubrics, except for the HEAD PAIN chapter and the EXTREMITY PAIN chapter, have been reorganised hierarchically. They all start with General, with the sub-rubrics arranged by the time modalities, the general modalities and causations and the “extending to” rubrics followed by the pain types, including “wandering”, “radiating” and “pulsating/throbbing” that were formerly found in the sub-rubrics of Pain; General. The rubrics Pain from the HEAD and EXTREMITIES chapter have been moved to their own chapters in order in order to minimise confusion resulting from the size of them and from the depth of the hierarchy.
Several body locations have been moved from more than one chapter to the one chapter in order to be consistent. Forehead as a location could be found in both the FACE chapter and the HEAD chapter. It is now contained in the FACE chapter with cross-references at the old location. In the NOSE chapter under Eruptions only those have been kept in the NOSE chapter that stand for Eruptions, inside, all other ones have been moved to the FACE chapter. In the FACE chapter all locations for “eyebrows, about” have been added, most of them coming from the EYE chapter. Eruptions about the eyes in the EYE chapter have been kept there. One could put these also in the FACE chapter though.
All noises in all different chapters have been put together, like in the EAR chapter, under the main rubric Noises.
In line with handwritten suggestions by Kent as found in P. Schmidt’s copies of Kent’s Repertory new chapters have been created for SMELL and TASTE, similar to the already existing chapters for VISION and HEARING.
The Aversion and Desire rubrics in the STOMACH have been moved to the GENERALITIES chapter where they can be found combined under the main rubric Food and drinks.
In the STOMACH chapter the Indigestion and Disordered rubrics have been reorganised so that now the Indigestion rubric contains all the modalities around Indigestion and Disordered and the Disordered rubric contains all specific foods that cause Indigestion or Disordered stomach.
In the ABDOMEN chapter all epigastrium locations have been moved to the STOMACH chapter and have been put in the general Stomach rubrics there.
In the STOOL chapter all colours have been put under the main rubric Colour, similar to the URINE chapter.
In the MALE and FEMALE chapters the rubrics for Excitement, Sexual passion, Desire diminished have been reorganized into Sexual desire with diminished or increased as sub-rubrics. In the FEMALE chapter the rubrics Menses, Leucorrhoea and Lochia have been reorganised with all general modalities under the rubric General followed by the rubrics describing the appearance of menses, leucorrhoea, and lochia.
A new chapter has been created containing those Speech rubrics from the MIND and MOUTH chapters that are related to speech production problems and the Voice rubrics formerly found in the LARYNX & TRACHEA chapter. The rubrics of Speech related to emotional background have been placed in the MIND chapter under Talk, talking, talks.
In the RESPIRATION chapter the sub-rubrics for Difficult and Impeded have been compared and when the same, they have been combined and put under Difficult with cross-references at the original locations of the rubrics that have been moved. The other rubrics have been given cross-references that link them to the similar rubrics in the other main rubric.
The FEVER chapter has been renamed to FEVER, HEAT. The CHILL chapter to CHILL, CHILLINESS. The main rubric Chilliness in here is confusing and could possible be combined with similar rubrics in the Generalities chapter.
In the SKIN chapter all the pains have been put under Pain, with the usual hierarchy as used in Kent’s Repertory and as further refined and updated following the text below. In the Ulcer sub-rubrics the pains have been reorganised following the same principles as for the pains in other chapters.
In GENERALITIES abuse of several substances and poisoning by several substances have been put under the main rubric Abuse of, poisoning with.
Many much smaller reorganisation work has been done, but it would be too extensive to mention all of it here.
Additions, New Rubrics and Cross-references
We made additions from various sources, using information about the reliability of authors, and using the book reviews for those sources from old homeopathic journals as a guideline for quality.
As a general rule, we tried to make additions from the oldest author available for that addition. We also took the grade of the additions and the existing information into account in order not to destroy the valid information in Kent’s Repertory. The original source is credited with their additions. In most cases there is extensive materia medica available to confirm and check information. The older authors have written more about their discoveries than their later colleagues!
This is why some of the additions in this new repertory come from very different sources than expected. For reasons of reliability we did not include information that cannot be confirmed or checked in writing. When information which you would like to see in this repertory becomes published, it will be included.
New rubrics were created when there were no existing rubrics that covered their meaning in Kent’s Repertory. We studied the meaning of the rubric using the information in the materia medica and the information in contemporary dictionaries of the time. Also, the rubric to be added should have real homeopathic value, ie. the new information should be information that helps the consulting homeopath find the right remedy.
Cross-references were created to help locate as many close alternatives to a specific rubric as possible. Most of the similar, but still somewhat different rubrics have been included as cross-references for many rubrics. This gives us better choices for our patients.
Much extra new information has been included, such as rubrics to guide you to the right place in the repertory to find the correct location of the rubric you need. This information mostly consists of synonyms and/or modern terminology for a specific rubric.
Key to the Complete Repertory
References and Cross-references
References are connected to rubrics that have no remedies and point to the rubrics to look at that contain remedies. References start with a → sign, followed by a • sign for every next reference.
Cross-references are connected to rubrics that contain remedies and follow the remedies of thatrubric pointing you to rubrics with related meanings. Cross-references always start with a • sign.
If the reference points to rubrics that can be found in the same main rubric or sub-rubric, then these first references are displayed in lower case italics. Example: micturition → urination, where urination can be found at the same level.
If the reference points to a main rubric, then the first character of the reference is displayed in upper case italic with the other characters in lower case. Example: talking, from → Talk, talking, talks; agg.
If the reference indicates a rubric in another section of the Repertory, then the section title is displayed in upper case italics. Example: • GENERALITIES; Weather; cloudy; agg.
Semicolons (;) indicates the hierarchical levels within the rubric. Example: • Exertion; mental; agg.
Dashes (-) used in references indicate several sub-rubrics within a main rubric that the reference is pointing to. Example: • Fear; bad news, hearing – horrible things – sad stories, which stands for Fear; bad news or Fear; horrible things or Fear; sad stories. Multiple references in a single layer are always displayed in alphabetical order. References to several other sections are displayed in the order in which they appear in the Repertory, following the Head-to-toe schema.
Author Identification Numbers
We have based the author identification numbers (IDs) chronologically, from the dates when the authors first published their work. This is a change from the system used in the computer versions of the Complete Repertory prior to version 3.1, the Synthetic Repertory and the Repertorium Generale. They indicate the time the addition was made and by whom. Author numbers are displayed as superscript numbers after the remedy abbreviation.
Degrees of remedies
Plain type First degree remedies
Bold italics Second degree remedies
BOLD UPPER CASE Third degree remedies
BOLD UPPER CASE UNDERLINED Fourth degree remedies
This display gives a clear distinction between the degrees.
Repertory Page References
Page references for Kent’s Repertory [K], the Synthetic Repertory [SI or SII or SIII] and the Repertorium Generale [G] have been included for those rubrics that are mentioned in these repertories. The page references are displayed within square brackets and are located directly after the rubric text. Example: mental [K95, SI 23, G76] indicating the rubric is found in Kent’s Repertory on page 95, in the Synthetic Repertory vol 1 in column 23, and in the Repertorium Generale on page 76.
Notes and References
(1) “Nothing has harmed our cause more than books that generalise modalities, viz: by making a certain aggravation or amelioration fit all parts as well as the general bodily states. Cold air may aggravate the patient but ameliorate the headache. Stooping seldom aggravates headache, backache, cough and vertigo in the same degree, yet Bönninghausen compels you to look in one place for all of them, and they are marked with the same gradings. The patient is often better by motion, but his parts, if inflamed, are worse from motion.” J T Kent. The View for Successful Prescribing. Homeopathician: 1(1912)140-143 in K-H Gypser (Ed). 1987. Kent’s Minor Writings on Homeopathy, B Jain, New Delhi, p645. (Note how easy it is to interpret Kent’s comments about degree as if he were talking about intensity.)
(2) J T Kent, Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. 1991.IBPP, New Delhi. Lecture 33, p213-214. (Note that in this lecture Kent refers to the lowest degree as the third grade and the highest as the first.)
ENGLISH/HINDI EDITION OF COMPLETE REPERTORY 2011
Between the first edition of the Complete Repertory Mind in 1994 and the release of this edition a lot of time has passed. In that time-span the Complete Repertory has become a very widely used tool. Now a English/Hindi Edition has been prepared to help support Homeopathy in the land with its largest supportive community.
Many people think a repertory only grows or improves when you put in more additions and in most of the advertisements you see that companies offering the repertories know how to play with this quest. They forget that you need to reorganize, sometimes even restructure the repertory so that even long existing, but hidden rubrics can be found so you can marvel about their content. Toward this aim there has been a lot of this restructuring, often subtle, enhanced by references and cross-references. Many new cross-references and references have been made, knowing that people will use modern day English to find old information. Knowing also that these references are especially useful for the non-English user who nevertheless wishes to use this repertory and needs assistance to find the right rubrics. And for many additions also the clinical confirmations have been found and included.
In the materia medica you should find diversity in remedies, in authors, in wording used to describe the picture of the remedy by the provers and by the authors. In the repertory it should be a different story. You need diversity of integrated remedy pictures but you do not want a huge diversity of words to find your information, nor in English, nor in Hindi. Where the Materia Medica excels at this the repertory should be limited, without losing the meaning of the original text. Therefore a careful balance had to be found between eliminating synonym words, merging similar rubrics into one and not harming the meaning of the context in which they were used. Examples are: micturition being removed in favor of urination, sweat being removed in favor of perspiration. And still today this work is ongoing. Quite often I still find double rubrics that need to become united in one place with a reference from the other place to the place where now united.
For a repertory compiler/author it is important to always start from the perception of the repertory by a non-experienced homeopath, a freshman who just starts to use this strange book. One can explain the structure of the material in front of him or her and then ask them to work with it once the structure is memorized. They will become disappointed when they see that there are too many exceptions to the rule.
The material as incorporated from Materia Medica is never incorporated in a symbolical way, but always to the letter. The text itself can be interpreted, but the starting point is a one to one approach. J.T. Kent’s main gift to homeopathy has been the structure of the repertory. This is proven by the wide acceptance of his work and by the many additions that still could be made to his material without infringing on that layout. The remedy information in his repertory has been lacking (even much older German material has not been included for example) as has been the way he implemented some of the material from the Materia Medica. But the skeleton is as unique and useful as the one we have in our body and should be maintained.
In the non-mind volumes/sections, where the skeleton is even more important, there will be more restructuring, more generalization a la Bönninghausen, especially in the pain rubrics. I have followed the tendency we see today: more repertorizing according to Bönninghausen’s method, since allowing use to start from a more generalized angle, often also the starting point of the symptoms of a patient. This can be done with a Kent-like repertory be it that there has to be information added, something I have done now. I have done this in the mind chapter too. It contains quite some main rubrics in the Bönninghausen style (generalized modalities the most) alphabetically mixed with the known Kentian rubrics.
To see which material has been used, just look into the bibliography, which makes for nice reading for all those interested in the roots of homeopathy. This interest should actually be active in all of you. The bibliography I think contains all the main books used in Homeopathy.
A general remark should be made about the inclusion of new proving material. There still is a discussion about the validity of some of the information added here. Please be reminded of the practical rule that says that the repertory is a book which will give hints about the search of the similimum. But one always has to check the Materia Medica to see whether or not the suggested remedy-rubrics really fit into the Materia Medica picture of that remedy. Therefore I have included all possible new remedy information that has indicated to be developed using sound proving standards. Incomplete material has not been added. However I have only included information that is available in writing so you can potentially fall back to it. We feel that it is our duty to give suggestions, as it is our duty not to pretend handing out decisive leads only. Besides using the right rubrics for your patients, checking the Materia Medica is part of the process of finding the similimum, and part of the homeopath’s obligation.
Enjoy this work, study it deeply, use it for your patients and also: give feedback if things are not okay or if remedies are missing. In due time these errors will be corrected and the missing material will be added. I can assure you that this is the one most missing but highly important aspect of development of this work: enough feedback
In Complete Repertory 2016
2,89,356 cross reference
6,02,753 clinical verification.
In Homeopathy, where all that is not given, is lost,
Roger van Zandvoort
The Hague, Netherlands
HINDI EDITION OF COMPLETE REPERTORY 2011
Repertory is an indispensible tool for a serious Homeopathic practitioner, who constantly strives to find out the most appropriate similimum for the presenting case. Since its inception, it has been continuously updated by dedicated authors across the world. The contributors being right from the prover to the clinician, who verify the symptom in the clinic to authenticate its rightful place in Materia Medica & Repertory.
While taking case, we used to wonder as what should be the right rubric for a symptom narrated by the patient in his local language (Hindi), wherein came the idea of translating the Repertory in Hindi for making it expedient for us & for the fellow practitioners to easily locate the right rubric. Secondly, many rubrics are very difficult to comprehend in English than in Hindi, which more often required dictionary to appreciate the meaning of rubrics. Thirdly, we missed many good rubrics just for the want of knowing the meaning.
Before this translation, we translated Kent’s Repertory in Hindi way back in 2003 for our personal reference. But, when we came across the mammoth & the exhaustive work done by Roger van Zandvoort, we were convinced that this was the right book to be translated & presented to the practitioners who are more comfortable in Hindi. So that, the ultimate aim of reaching the similimum is achieved.
In hindi edition of Complete Repertory 2011 (both software & book), we have tried to translate the rubrics into Hindi as close as the original & also tried to incorporate easily comprehensible words. We have tried to minimize the typological mistakes, but, wherever it has crept in, we are sure the kind reader will inform it to us & ignore our oversight. Healthy criticisms are welcome at email@example.com.
Enjoy! Easy Hindi repertorisation.
Roger van Zandvoort was born in Heerlen, Netherlands, in 1958.
In 1982 he started work on additions and corrections to Kent’s Repertory, without initial intention of publication. At that time, the work was for the benefit of his study/patients, but gradually he started to dedicate less time to them and more time to his work on the repertory.
From these efforts sprang a database called the Complete Repertory that started to be used commercially in combination with MacRepertory by Kent Homeopathic Associates and later with CARA by Miccant and Hompath, and now also joined by several others.
In 1990, guided by Dr. Künzli, 40 medical doctors from Germany, Austria and Switzerland started to integrate Boger’s Bönninghausen Repertory into the Complete Repertory. Roger received and integrated their work into the Repertory.
After nearly 30 years of work, consisting of updating and improving the Complete Repertory, Roger still works full-time on this project, busy including the classic works from Germany and the United States that have never been used, like Noak and Trinks, Possart, the provings from the German magazines, the articles in the old American journals and, the most important, the handwritten additions that Bönninghausen made in his last two repertories – Systematisch Alphabetisches Repertorium der nicht-antipsorischen Arzneien and the Systematisch Alphabetisches Repertorium der antipsorischen Arzneien – which were made based on clinical confirmations from his practice. To know more please go to www.morphologica.com .
About Nisanth & Smita Nambisan
They happen to be post-graduate teachers, researchers & practitioners of Homeopathy since 1998. With the inclination to help the Homeopathic fraternity they translated the Complete Repertory 2011 into Hindi. They are also instrumental in the Hindi version of the Complete Dyanamics software in which physicians can also repertorize in Hindi, authors of Pharmacokinship (Remedy relationship), and presented research papers at many national & international seminars, also winners of several national & international awards.