Sensation as if by HA Robert –A repertory of subjective symptoms

Dr Mahalasa Kanthi

Title: “sensation as if” –A repertory of subjective symptoms

Author: Herbert A Roberts, MD

Year of publication: 1937


About the author:

Was born on 7/7/1868 in Riverton of Connecticut

  • He completed his graduation in Winsted High School
  • After completing his graduation he decided to take his career in medicine particularly in Homoeopathy.
  • With this objective he took admission in New York Homoeopathic Medical College from where he did his matriculation in 1892.
  • He studied for 4 years and obtained graduation in Homeopathic medicine in 1896 from the same institution
  • He started his practice in Brattleboro of Vermont for 3 years and was a successful practitioner 
  • He then shifted to Shelton where he practiced for 55years


  • Member of the Connecticut Homeopathic medical society
  • President of Connecticut Homeopathic medical society
  • Secretary of Connecticut Homeopathic medical society
  • Member of American Institute of Homeopathy
  • Member, President and Secretary treasurer of International Hahnemannian Association 
  • Chairman of board of trustees of American Foundation of Homoeopathy
  • Member of the faculty of the PG school 
  • Editor in chief of Homoeopathic recorder of International Hahnemannian Association 
  • Only and first man to serve in the US Army Medical Corps during World war, with a rank of first Lieutenant

Books: –    

  • Study of Remedies by comparison
  • The rheumatic remedies
  • Sensation as if
  • The Principles and Art of Cure by Homoeopathy
  • Introduction to Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocket Book
  • Demise: 13/10/1950 died at Brattleboro  of Vermont

The hallmark of case taking in Homoeopathy is the understanding core of the individual, his mental status, psychological and behavioral aspects. More importance is given to reactions and sensations of the emotions rather than emotions or the feelings itself.

Dr H A Roberts greatly emphasized on patient’s own expressions as an important aspect of case taking.

A sensation in Homoeopathy is an internal feeling. It can be as simple as describing a pain, or as subtle as describing the feeling of being lonely. It is not an emotion such as sadness or anger but rather how one would experience such sadness or anger. Sensations have always been very important in finding the correct Homoeopathic remedies, because they express more directly the particular nature of an individual.

Sensations can be on an emotional plane or on a particular part or felt all over the body.

Mental sensations – eg: patient feels as if she is totally alone in the world and no one else existed

Physical sensations – eg: feeling of ants crawling on the extremities

Plan and construction:

General layout: the Book can be divided into following parts:

  • Dedication
  • Publishers note
  • Foreword
  • Contents with page number
  • Repertory
  • Remedy list

Dedication: dedicated to the memory of Samuel Hahnemann, the first to evaluate subjective symptoms

Publishers note:  

  • Written by Kuldeep Jain
  • lists about the source of the book namely: 

• Information from an interleaved copy of Holcomb’s work that was compiled by Dr W A Yingling. 

• Works of Hering, Clarke, Allen.

  • Changes made in new edition: Abbreviation and name of the remedies have been standardized according to Synthesis
  • • Improved and more readable font 
  • Size of the print area  6*3” changed to  7*4”


  • Was written by H A Roberts in 1937 Jan 10 at Derby
  • Lists the 6 sources for his work:
  • Sensation as if by A.W. Holcomb [1894]
  • Dr W A Yingling’s work 
  • Hering’s Guiding symptoms
  • Clarke’s dictionary of materia medica
  • Allen’s handbook of encyclopedia
  • E.P. Anshutz New, old and forgotten remedies [1900]


  • Content with page number are given
  • Remedy list is also mentioned in the contents along with chapter names
  • Repertory:

   Macro construction:

  • total number of chapters: 25
  • chapter name is printed in the center of the page in Bold and capitals
  • chapters are arranged according to Hahnemannian anatomical schema
  • starts with Mind and ends with generalities


  1. mind and sensorium
  2. head
  3. eye and vision
  4. ear and hearing
  5. nose
  6. face and jaw
  7. mouth, tongue, teeth and gums
  8. throat
  9. stomach
  10. abdomen
  11. hypochondriasis
  12. rectum, anus and stool
  13. urinary organs
  14. male sexual organs
  15. female sexual organs
  16. external chest
  17. internal chest
  18. respiratory organs
  19. heart and circulation
  20. neck and back
  21. upper extremities 
  22. lower extremities
  23. sleep and dreams
  24. skin
  25. generalities
  • Chapters not found in this repertory but found in Kent’s repertory are:
  1. vertigo
  2. larynx and trachea
  3. cough
  4. expectoration
  5. fever
  6. chill
  7. perspiration
  • Combined chapters:
  1. Eyes and vision
  2. Ear and gearing
  3. Mouth, tongue, teeth and gums
  4. Rectum, anus and stool
  • Chapters not found in Kent’s repertory:
  1. Hypochondriasis
  2. Heart and circulation
  3. Chest- inner and external
  4. Extremities- upper and lower

Micro construction:

  • Total number of remedies – 742 [Abies c –Zizia]
  • Rubrics are printed in bold letters
  • Alphabetical order is maintained
  • Sub rubrics are given with one space indentation below the main rubric and this space is given by a small horizontal line
  • Very few cross references both confirmatory and comparative are given
  • Confirmatory cross references – rubric followed by “see also” followed by cross reference in capitals. [ no remedies are mentioned under the first rubric]
  • Comparative cross reference – rubric followed by cross reference within brackets. [ remedies are given under both the rubrics]
  • Very few remedies are given below every rubrics
  • No gradation of remedies are done

Remedy list:

  • Is given at the end
  • Alphabetical order
  • Starts with Abies c and ends with Zizia
  • In the new edition, remedy list is omitted even while it is mentioned in the contents


  • Can be used as a reference book
  • Contains various rubrics which are not present in other repertories


  • Grading of medicine are not given
  • Systematic repertorization cannot be done
  • Only few medicines are presented beneath every rubric
  • New edition has omitted remedy list

Experience of few physicians with this book:

One of my friends came to me, with an acute presentation of some discomfort in his abdomen.
D: tell me what is your problem?
P: Something is troubling me here (pointing out the hypogastric region) It is increasing since the morning
D: What is there? Can you explain to me?
P: Oh. You see a stone weighed 100gm is hanging there. No pain but there is heaviness. Will it be a renal stone?

Analysis with his sensation I referred the HA Roberts – Sensations As If
SENSATIONS AS IF, Stone in abdomen, heavy, in hypogastric region – Cocc (Page: 308)
Prescription: 1 pill of cocculus 30CH, Crushed with Sugar of milk, dissolved in 100 ml of water, well stirred and asked to take 3 tea spoons from the remedy solution once.
Follow up: The next day the person came to me with a good expression. He is now completely relived from the trouble.

This case by Julian Winston describes his use of ‘Sensation as if’. A number of years ago, a friend sought my help with a bad cough she was experiencing. Had I been more observant, I might have seen clearly what remedy she needed. But I wasn’t. I did not see that she was chilly. I did not see that the coughing exhausted her so, that she had to sit down after coughing. She did not tell me that when she coughed her chest burned. All those symptoms (chilliness, burning pains, and the least exertion causing exhaustion) point clearly to Arsenicum. What my friend did say was that she coughed because she had a sensation as if she had a ball of mucus in her throat. I tried finding that symptom in Kent’s Repertory to no avail. She was adamant. It was not a “plug” of mucus, but rather a “ball” of mucus. I looked in H.A. Roberts’ repertory, Sensations As If, in the Throat section, under “ball.” There it was! ” Ball; of mucus lodged in the throat.” It had a single remedy: Arsenicum and the remedy cleared her symptoms quickly!


  1. Sensation as if – a repertory of subjective symptoms  by H A Robert
  2. Life history-
  3. Hompath

Dr Mahalasa Kanthi

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