Prescriber and clinical repertory of medicinal herbs

Review by Dr Amritha .R

  • Author: Captain F. Harper Shove
  • Published by: B. Jain Publishers New Delhi
  • Printed in India by : J.J.Offset printers, New Delhi
  • Published in: 1938,Reprinted in : 1985
  • Price : Rs. 15.00
  • Total No: of pages: 199

A minor masterpiece, long out of print, Harper-Shove assembled the first British repertory for herbalists.It follows the same model and organization as the classic homeopathic repertories. THE AUTHOR IS a consultant psychologist who has never used any medicaments except herbal ones in the treatment of patients. His interest in this form of therapy was aroused as a result of studying the ways in which gypsies employ herbs for healing, their knowledge being passed from mother to daughter through the generations. This knowledge supplies the groundwork of the book, which is supplemented by Colonel Harper-Shove’s own subsequent experience of many other herbs.

About the author……..

Frederick Harper Shove  was born on 1886 Jul 30 at Hackney.Lived at 67 St Garmans Rd, Lewisham with grandparents and father . His father was a fur salesman.Married Rosa Bergna on Jan 26 1942 . He then added the qualifications D Sc and F F Sc. In 1974 died at Gateshead.

WHEN THIS BOOK was first published, Health from Herbs Magazine hailed it as ‘…a landmark as it is unique in being the  first Repertory to be published for Herbalists.‘

To make his work truly international, the author employed botanical, instead of the common or local, names of herbs. For the second edition he added a section entitled ‘Synonyms, Common, or Local Names of Herbs’, in response to requests from many laymen. This lists the herbs alphabetically and is designed to assist those who are unacquainted with the botanical names.

Owing to the great difficulty of memorizing the therapeutic action of some three thousand herbs forming the complement of the Herbal Dispensatories in general use, practitioners fall into the habit of prescribing a limited number of favourites  which  they have found by experience to answer the requirements of the majority of their patients with considerable success.  It is believed that many of their failures could have been obviated had they possessed  acknowledge  of the virtues of other herbs more specifically indicated by the symptoms of the patient.

The standard works on Specific  Medication advise the use of one or more remedies for the treatment of a given disease , but it has been found in practice that it is not always possible at the onset , owing to  the non-appearance of the “ correct “ symptoms , to diagnose with accuracy the particular complaint .

It is ,however , quite easy to recognize the prevailing symptoms at the time , and to proceed forthwith to treat the patient without loss of valuable time awaiting a classification.  The object of this work is to give, under suitable headings, the leading-symptoms demanding a particular herb, or herbs, together with an appendix showing the dosage to be prescribed in each case . For international reasons the botanical, instead of the common or local, names of herbs have been employed. Every available authority on Botanic Medicine has been consulted in the compilation of this work, and the author hopes that, in submitting it for publication, it may prove of value to his colleagues of the healing profession.

He desires to express his gratitude and indebtedness to all who have contributed to the production of this book, particularly Messrs. Potter & Clarke, the well known manufacturing chemists, for their kind encouragement and the use of their valuable library for reference.


Abbreviated names of herbs printed in ordinary type, such as Aln.ser.,Seren. Ser., are intended for internal administration per ora.

Those printed in italics, such as Acon., Bell., etc., being of a more potent, or poisonous nature, must be treated with caution with with respect to dosage; the maximum dose of the fluid extract being less than 30 mins.

Those enclosed in ordinary curved brackets are intended for external use only.

Those enclosed in square bracket are intended for use only  as  gargles,  washes, rectal, vaginal or nasal injections, etc.


  • (oints) denotes  “ointments”
  • (poult.)   “            “poultice”
  • (lin)        “              “ liniment”
  • (s.d)       “              “in small dose”.
  • (Amer)  “              “American  Dispensatory”.
  • (hot)      “              given as” hot infusion”.
  • (H)          “              “in homoeopathic doses:, or

The remedies prescribed in this work are entirely of vegetable origin, prepared from the roots, bark, leaves or seeds of the herbs in the form of:—

Infusions, made by grinding or bruising the roots, leaves, etc., and pouring boiling or cold water, according to the particular herb, over the drug, allowing it to stand for fifteen to twenty minutes with an occasional stir and then straining off the clear liquid. The usual quantity of herb is 1 oz. to 1 pint of water. The dose varies from one tablespoonful to a wineglass.

Fluid Extracts are the most popular preparations, being prepared in a concentrated fluid form of one fluid ounce of the crude drug to one fluid ounce of spirit.

Tinctures are spirituous preparations generally made in the strength of 1 or 2 oz. of the drug to 1 pint of pure or diluted spirits of wine.

Homoeopathic Mother Tinctures are prepared, amongst other methods, by expressing the juice of the freshly-gathered plants, or parts thereof, and mixing the juice so obtained with an equal quantity of absolute alcohol. The mixture is then succussed, allowed to stand for some time, and finally filtered. Five to twenty minims, according to the active principles present, are added to four ounces of water, and teaspoonful doses administered.

Dosage. It must be clearly understood that the “doses” mentioned in the following pages are intended merely for general guidance, and represent the average range of quantities which is considered suitable for adults when administered by the mouth.

The maximum doses mentioned may. as a rule, be repeated three or four times in twenty-four hours.

Alkaloids. N.B.—It is important to note that in no case whatsoever, in this work, are the ALKALOIDS, such as aconitine, digitalin, hyoscine, pilocarpine, etc., recommended for prescription, nor is any reference made thereto. The purchase of preparations from a reputable firm or qualified herbalist only is of paramount importance.


ABBREV                      NAME                                                   TINC.                                 FLD.EXT.

Abel.                Abelmoschus moschatus                                                                 ¼ – 1 drm

Abies                Abies Canadensis                                                                             ½ – 1 drm

Arrangement of chapters

There are 23 chapters in this book.They are arranged from Mind to generals in anatomical schema.

First rubric is Mind,ABERRATION and the last rubric is Generals,WOUNDS.



  1. EYE
  2. EAR
  3. NOSE






  1. LIVER


  1. CHEST







Main rubric is given on the left hand side, folowed by the subrubric which is placed in the centre and the corresponding medicine on the right hand side.

There is no gradation of remedies.

Ordinary type  – are intended for internal administration per ora.

Italics – Those printed in italics, such as Acon., Bell., etc., being of a more potent, or poisonous nature, must be treated with caution with with respect to dosage; the maximum dose of the fluid extract being less than 30 mins.


Abberation       from intracranial congestion or

obstruction with epistaxis, vertigo

and tinnitus due to intracranial

miliary aneurysm                                                                  clav.pur.

Comatose         state                                                                                       bell.


  • These herbs are contra-indicated in the following conditions –
  • Acon – Typhoid fever; great depression of the vital force; septic peritonitis; paralytic and chlorotic affections.
  • Adon- Gastro-intestinal irritation or inflammation.
  • CONTRAINDICATIONS of 48 medicines are given i.e from Acon. To Tarax.


  • List of herbal medicines with their abbreviations and dosage is given.
  • Has also given the address of the herbalist from where the author buys medicine.
  • Is less expensive and easy to use.
  • Arrangement is simple.


  • Action and use of potentised medicine is not mentioned.
  • Many medicines are rarely available.

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