“Studies In The Philosophy Of Healing And Other Writing Including The Study Of Materia Medica And Taking The Case” by Dr. C.M Boger-
Reviewed by Torsa Das
The author of the book is Dr. Cyrus Maxwell Boger.
- chapters are divided into three parts. Though it these parts are not well distinguished, well divided.
First part- first 12 to 13 chapters like vital energy, homoeopathic sciences, the language of disease, some thoughts on prescribing, finding the simillimum, philosophy and the repertory, the repetition of the doses, what we should know, the undeveloped picture, etc., are discussed about the basic homoeopathic philosophy, along with some basic lectures for new practitioners, which will guide them in their clinical practice.
- In second part some clinical cases of Dr. Boger are discussed, along with there is brief studies of some remedies, and therapeutics on some special topics along with the guidance is there, (i.e., how to manage the case according to the law of similia and what are the indications for medicines and also the disease indication) like “THE SICK CHILD”, RANDOM NOTES, HOMOEOPATHIC VIEW POINT IN CANCER”, “climacteric remedies”, “panaritium” etc.
- The 3rd part is “THE STUDY OF MATERIA MEDICA AND TAKING THE CASE”, and its preface which was written in march 1, 1941. This title itself details it, along with there is discussion of some special points on observation on prescribing, grading of symptoms and homoeopathic prognosis.
1ST edition was published in 17th November 1952
2nd edition was published in 24th October 1964
Preface of 1st edition– it is written by publisher (name unknown). This book is actually a compilation of Boger’s illuminating articles, especially from “HOMOEOPATHIC RECORDER”.
Preface of 2nd edition– here the publisher mentioned that this edition includes Dr. Boger’s two other interesting article, “REASONS AND FACT” and “POINTS IN OBSTERICAL THERAPUTICS”.
Dr. Boger wrote the Foreword of SYNOPTIC KEY, and most of the part was taken from this book specially from the chapter “SOME THOUGHTS IN PRESCRIBING”.
Aim of this book is to introduce the path that how to find the simillimum that works with ease and certainty.
Correct prescribing is consisting of –
- Grasping essential points of symptom image.
- Skilful use of reference books along with proper knowledge of materia medica.
Hereby some valuable instruction of Dr. Boger is directly coated from the book, are mentioned below-
Dr. Boger directs that, “clinical symptoms are best obtained by asking the patient to tell his own story, then it is accurately defined by the physician, who should find the cause and also the course of sickness, along with natural modifiers (modality) of the sickness should be definitely ascertained. Most important modalities are time, temperature, open air, posture, being along, motion, sleep, eating and drinking, touch, pressure, discharge etc. Mental state comes next in the order of importance. Presence of irritability, sadness, or fear is the ruling factor. Third step includes the patient’s own description of sensations, like burning, cramping, cutting, bursting, soreness, throbbing, thirst is most important. Objective aspect or expression of sickness like facial expression, nervous excitability, demeanour, sensibility, restless or torpor, state of secretions and any abnormal colouring, that may be present. Part affected i.e., organs affected right or left must be noted.”
“Differentiating factor to reach the similimum belong to these above-mentioned points. Ignoring the disease picture and laying importance on some particular factors makes the path to cure distractible.”
“Whenever the chosen remedy excites little or no reaction, the selection is faulty, or there is underlying fundamental miasms which calls for either psorinum, sulphur, medorrhinum, or syphilinum.”
“Whenever the general benefit derived from a single dose lag, the remedy should be repeated in the next higher potency and a new remedy is chosen only when new symptom picture disease phase takes on a fairly definite or settled from.”
“External manifestation is nowise indispensable to the existence of chronic disease, on the contrary, the more the external symptoms are disturbed or repressed, the deeper do they take root and flourish internally. It follows from the dynamic nature and constitution of every real disease that it is never purely local, but always finds its genesis in the immaterial life force, therefore in the whole living organism, and can only be rooted out as fast as the increasing vital reaction displace the primary drug action; most rapidly towards the end- Abstracted from The Aphorisms of Hipocrates, VII,12.”
“By following these rules, we have the pleasure of assisting the sick to recovery in an incomparably shorter time, than commonly been possible under the former evil treatment, where the physician lacked a fixed rule of practice- cited from the preface of REPERTORY OF ANTIPSORIC.”
The materia medica part helps to grasp the general expression and genius of each remedy. There are total 6 drugs, that are discussed briefly, in the separate chapters, which are mentioned below.
CAUSTICUM- materia medica along with comparison of the other drugs like physostigma, phosphorus.
CIBULTUM- materia medica or drug summary along clinical short cases.
COCCUS CACTI- discussion of materia medica along with the discussion of a short case.
GYMNACLADUS- same as coccus cacti there is a summarised materia of the drug along with discussion of a short case.
SYPHILINUM- a concise discussion.
CLIMACTERIC REMEDIES- Amyl nit, Belladonna, China, Cimicifuga, Cocculus, Conium, Ferrum, Graphites, Lachesis, Magnolia, Merc sulph, Phosphorus, Pusatilla, Sangunaria, lastly Xanthox, total 21 remedy was inscribed there with their concise therapeutics in this chapter.
Likewise, chapter PANARITIUM contains total 12 remedy, i.e., Anthracin, Apis, Arsenic, Fluoric acid, Hepar sulph, Lachesis, Ledum, Nat sulph, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, Silicea, and Sulphur– all remedies were discussed in brief.
There are eight well described clinical cases, present in the “CLINICAL CASES” chapter, some cases are also present in “WHY HOMOEOPATHY”, “RANDOM NOTES” chapter.
The last part is the study of materia medica and taking the case. Where Dr. Boger gave some valuable advises, he said “A knowledge of many symptoms is of a small value, while on the other hand learning how to examine a patient and then to find the remedy is of the utmost importance. The common way of eliciting well known key notes and prescribing accordingly is a most pernicious practice, which has earned a deserved odium and is no improvement upon the theoretical methods of the old school.”
He also added- “To do the best work nothing must prevent a full free frank presentation of the symptoms as they are, without bias, and although their comprehension necessarily involves the judgement, the more clearly, they follow the text, the greater is their similitude, hence usefulness.”
He concludes that- “The homoeopathic prognosis- homoeopaths besides knowing all that the allopaths do for diagnosis, possess the most trustworthy signs derived from the behaviour of the remedy. Experiences teaches that whenever the correctly and fittingly chosen remedy is applied and operates within the sphere corresponding to its action, hence excites the necessary reaction, the overthrow of the disease is naturally to be expected. If on the contrary, the reaction, remains absent or symptoms, which are foreign, appear during the operation of the drug, the prognosis is most grave, even not apparently so. In order to profit, it is absolutely necessary to have an accurate knowledge of power of every medicine, even down to their finest shades of differences, as well as to see to it that only one remedy is administered at a time. – taken from Aphorisms of Hippocrates, II., 19; also I., pages 12- 13.”
Overall, I see this book was written in very simple language and having a simplified approach. One can say this book is an allrounder, as it contains philosophy along with therapeutics and Materia medica. Though it not a monumental work of Dr. Boger, but it is a treasure in Homoeopathic Philosophy as well as in Homoeopathic literature, as a good reference hand book, and not read once and left on rack