Master your repertories if you want to master Case taking

lampMaster your repertories if you want to master ‘case taking’and become a successful homeopath 

Chandran K C  

Most homeopaths consider REPERTORY only as a tool for finding similimum after case taking is over. For them, role of repertory is limited to what is called ‘repertorization’. In fact, repertories are great learning tools in mastering materia medica as well as the art of ‘Case Taking’, and should be utilized as such.

Key to the art of successful homeopathic case taking lies in the skill of homeopath in converting ‘basic symptoms’ into ‘complete symptoms’ by adding with their ‘accessory symptoms’, through intelligent interrogation, keen observation and logical correlations. Without genuine ‘complete symptoms’, you cannot hope to work out a case homeopathically to a reasonable similimum. This skill has to be cultivated in students and budding homeopaths by their teachers and senior colleagues.

Patients normally give only  ‘basic symptoms’  while narrating their complaints. They would say, ‘I have a headache’, ‘I have a pain in stomach’, ‘I have pain in joints’ and like that. Such ‘basic symptoms’, even though provide us valuable diagnostic hints, are of no use in making a homeopathic prescription. We need ‘homeopathic symptoms’ or ‘complete symptoms’. A ‘basic symptom’ becomes a ‘complete symptom’ when it is associated with its diverse ‘accessories’ such as location, expression, sensation, modalities, concomitants, extensions, alternations etc. Hunting these qualifications or accessories for each and every ‘basic symptom’ is the real art involved in ‘homeopathic case taking’.

For successfully hunting these ‘accessories’ of all ‘basic symptoms’, and converting them into ‘complete symptoms’, a homeopath should have a clear idea about what are the possible ‘qualification’ for any given ‘basic symptom’ presented by the patient. Without a reasonable knowledge of matera medica and especially repertorial rubrics, we cannot hope to attain that essential skill. That is why I stress the vital importance of constant study of repertories.

Learning rubrics in your repertory is a most important part of learning ‘Case Taking’. Those who are poor in knowledge of rubrics in repertories will be poor in case taking also. Case Taking is the most decisive step in finding similimum. With out a well taken case we cannot hope to find a similimum or get a cure for our patient. I get hundreds of cases from homeopaths, requesting to suggest similimum. It is not an exaggeration to say that 99% of those cases are very poorly taken from homeopathic angle. Of course, they provide excellent diagnostic information. But, we cannot find a homeopathic similimum from diagnostic symptoms and information alone. We need ‘complete symptoms’ for that.

Collecting ‘complete symptoms’ is the most essential part of homeopathic case taking every homeopath should master, if he really want to be a successful homeopath. For that, we should have a clear idea about what are the  ‘complete symptoms’ we should look for in a given case during case taking. In fact, repertories provide us an exhaustive list of ‘basic symptoms’  and ‘accessory symptoms’ we should explore in each and every disease conditions and individuals. That is why I say, “master your repertory if you want to master the art of case taking”.

I would request freshers and young homeopaths to dedicate maximum available time in studying repertories, so that we get an idea about the ‘complete symptoms’ we should look for in a patient coming to us with specific complaints. Normally, patients will not voluntarily disclose the ‘complete symptoms’- we have to interrogate and dig them out. Actually, we cannot do any search or exploration for anything, if we do not have a clear idea about what we we are really exploring or searching for.

Most important aspect of ‘complete symptoms’ are ‘accessory symptoms’ associated with each ‘basic symptom’. Unqualified ‘basic symptom’ such as headache, dysmenooroea, abdominal pain or convulsions are of no use for finding a similimum. These ‘basic symptoms’ become valuable ‘complete symptoms’ when they are associated with their peculiar ‘accessories ‘ such as expressions, locations, sensations, modalities, alternations, extensions and concomitants. Even a ‘single’ particular homeopathic symptom with all its ‘accessories’ can play a decisive or ‘pivotal’ role in determining a similimum for the whole case. Searching for ‘accessories’ of each and every ‘basic symptoms’ described by the patient- that is what we mean by ‘collecting complete symptoms’. Without a reasonable knowledge of language and arrangement of repertorial rubrics, we cannot accomplish that task in a satisfactory way.

If you have a good Repertory Software, learning repertory becomes very simple, and more rewarding.

Materia Medica is the final court of verdict in deciding similimum. Repertory is only an index to materia medica. Repertory is materia medica arranged in a more systematic and comparative format. By mastering repertory, we are actually mastering materia medica. Essentially, REPERTORIZATION is a comparative study of materia medica of different drugs using indexed symptoms

For example, let us study Rubrics under ‘Headache’ or ‘Head : PAIN, in general’ in KENT REPERTORY:


  • Daytime/ Morning/ Forenoon/ Noon/ Afternoon/ Evening/ Night/ Morning agg/ Morning amel/
  • Morning : Bed, in/
  • Morning : Bed, in : First motion, on /
  • Morning : Bed, in : Nausea, with/
  • Morning : Breakfast is delayed, if/
  • Morning : Ceases toward evening/
  • Morning : Comes and goes with the sun/
  • Morning : Increases and decreases with the sun/
  • Morning : Increases until noon, or a little later, then gradually decreases/
  • Morning : Increasing during day/
  • Morning : Rising, on/ Morning : Rising, on : Amel./
  • Morning : Same hour, at/
  • Morning : Until noon/
  • Morning : Waking, on/
  • Morning : Waking, on : First opening the eyes, on/
  • Morning : Waking, on : Preceded by disagreeable dreams/
  • Morning : Waking, on : Until 10 a.m./
  • Morning : Waking, on : 5 a.m./
  • Morning : 6 a.m. until evening/
  • Morning : Until : 10 a.m./
  • Morning : Until : 3 p.m./
  • Morning : Until : 10 p.m./
  • Forenoon/ Forenoon : 8 a.m/
  • Forenoon : 9 a.m. to 12/
  • Forenoon : 9 a.m. to 1 p.m./
  • Forenoon : 9 a.m. to 4 p.m./
  • Forenoon : 10 a.m./
  • Forenoon : 10 a.m. to 2 p.m/
  • Forenoon : 10 a.m. to 3 p.m./
  • Forenoon : 10 a.m. to 4 p.m./
  • Forenoon : 10 a.m. to 6 p.m./
  • Forenoon : 11 a.m./

In this way, we have many many possible time-related modalities for headache under NOON/ AFTERNOON/ EVENING/ NIGHT as well.


  • Alternating with : Abdominal and uterine symptoms/
  • Alternating with : Asthma/
  • Alternating with : Diarrhoea/
  • Alternating with : Lumbago/
  • Alternating with : Lumbo-sacral region/
  • Alternating with : Nausea/
  • Alternating with : Oppression of chest/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Abdomen/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Back/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Chest/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Joints/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Loins/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Neck/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Pelvis/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Stomach/
  • Alternating with : Pain in : Teeth/
  • Alternating with : Prolapsus ani/
  • Alternating with : Red sand in urine/
  • Alternating with : Stitches in hypochondrium/


  • Extending : To back/
  • Extending : Around the head/
  • Extending : Cheek/
  • Extending : Chest:/
  • Extending : Ears/
  • Extending : Eyes/
  • Extending : Face/
  • Extending : Finger tips/
  • Extending : Forehead/
  • Extending : Jaws/
  • Extending : Left side/
  • Extending : Limbs, through/
  • Extending : Neck/
  • Extending : Nose/
  • Extending : Nose : Root of nose:/
  • Extending : Occiput/
  • Extending : Occiput : Right side/
  • Extending : Occiput : Left side/
  • Extending : Right side:/
  • Extending : Scapula/
  • Extending : Shoulder/
  • Extending : Spine, down/
  • Extending : Teeth/
  • Extending : Temples/
  • Extending : Throat/
  • Extending : Tongue/
  • Extending : Vertex/
  • Extending : Zygoma 


  • Periodic headache : Morning : Every/
  • Periodic headache : Morning : Every : Every other, on awaking/
  • Periodic headache : Morning : On awaking, with vertigo and nausea, also in evening, often amel. by pressure, in open air or by eating/ Periodic headache : Morning : 7 a.m./
  • Periodic headache : Morning : 9 a.m. to 1 p.m./
  • Periodic headache : Noon to 10 p.m./
  • Periodic headache : Afternoon, increasing until midnight; every third attack alternately more or less violent/
  • Periodic headache : Afternoon, increasing until midnight; every third attack alternately more or less violent : 2 p.m. to bed time/
  • Periodic headache : Afternoon, increasing until midnight; every third attack alternately more or less violent : 4 p.m. to 3 a.m./
  • Periodic headache : Day and night/
  • Periodic headache : Certain hours, at/
  • Periodic headache : Every day/
  • Periodic headache : Every day : At same hour/
  • Periodic headache : Every day : Continues two or three days/
  • Periodic headache : Every day : Earlier each day/
  • Periodic headache : Every other day/
  • Periodic headache : Every : Seven days/
  • Periodic headache : Every : Ten days/
  • Periodic headache : Every : Fourteen days/
  • Periodic headache : Every : Fourteen days : Lasting two or three days/
  • Periodic headache : Every : Six weeks


  • Menses : Before/
  • Menses : Commencement of, at/
  • Menses : Commencement of, at : Amel., when flow begins/
  • Menses : During/ Menses : During : Amel./
  • Menses : Suppressed/
  • Menses : After/
  • Menses : After : Morning, on awaking, after sudden cessation of/
  • Menses : After : Cessation, on/
  • Menses : After : Top would fly off, as if/


  • Sleep : Before going to/
  • Sleep : During/
  • Sleep : Morning, second sleep, agg/
  • Sleep : Amel./
  • Sleep : Falling asleep, on, amel./
  • Sleep : After/
  • Sleep : After : Amel./
  • Sleep : After : Amel./
  • Sleep : After : Restless sleep/
  • Sleep : Loss of : From late hours/
  • Sleep : Loss of : From night watching/
  • Sleep : Roused, on being, from/
  • Sleep : Siesta, after a:


  • Biting/
  • Blows, as from/
  • Boring, digging, screwing/
  • Burning/ Burrowing/ Bursting/
  • Come off, pain as if top of head would:/
  • Cramping/ Crushed, as if shattered, beaten to pieces/
  • Cutting, darting, stabbing/
  • Drawing, tightening/
  • Dull pain/
  • Foreign body, as if/
  • Gnawing/ Grasping/
  • Grinding/ Griping/ Grumbling/
  • Hacking/
  • jerking/
  • Lancinating/
  • Nail, as from a/
  • Open, as if/
  • Opening and shutting/ Pecking/
  • Pinching/
  • Plug, peg or wedge, as from a/
  • Pressing/
  • Pulled, sensation as if hair were/
  • Pulling, like/
  • Scraped feel amel. on motion, while lying the pain shifts to side lain on/
  • Shooting/
  • Smarting (compare Soreness)/
  • Sore bruised, sensitive to pressure/
  • Sprained sensation, back of head/
  • Stitching/
  • Stunning, stupefying/
  • Tearing, rending/ Torn, as if:/
  • Twanging, as from breaking a piano string/
  • Ulcerative/


  • Confusion mental : With/
  • Delirium, with/
  • Pains : In back, with//
  • Pains : In small of/ Pain in : Neck, with/
  • Pain in : Nape of:/ Paroxysmal pains/
  • Perspiration : With/
  • Unconsciousness, with/
  • Unconsciousness, with : And after/
  • Unconsciousness, with : On moving/ Uncovering body, from/


  • Acids, from/
  • Air, cold /
  • Air, cold : From : Amel./
  • Air, cold : From /
  • Air, cold : Draft of, from/
  • Air, open/
  • Air, open : Amel./ Anger, from/
  • Animal fluids, from loss of/
  • Animal fluids, from loss of : Profuse uterine haemorrhages, after/
  • Attention, from too eager/
  • Back, pressing up against something hard, amel./
  • Ball were beating against the skull on beginning to walk, as if:/    and lot more

It is now obvious how much deep we have to explore during case taking for collecting ‘accessories’ to make a ‘basic symptom’ such as headache a ‘valuable’ ‘complete’ ‘homeopathic symptom’


  1. good article.. i also agree that good knowledge of repertory helps to take better case but i want to ask you what is the best and most effective way of studying repertory so that it is well utilized when needed.

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