Understanding the rubric indifference and the first grade remedies of Kent’s repertory

Dr Manish Kumar Tiwari

Homeopathy is a system of medicine which is based on the principle “similia similibus curentur”. A physician with his knowledge and experience establishes a similarity between the individual with the disease and the medicine. Repertory is an index to the materia medica, Where we find the symptoms along with the remedies present under a specific rubric at one place. Majority of the rubrics found in the mind are neglected by the common practitioners for want of correct understanding and right interpretation of the rubrics.

For successful use of the repertory the meaning of the rubrics should be well understood and also the understanding of how the remedies differ for that particular rubric should be known, as the core concept of homoeopathy is individualisation. Keeping this in mind an attempt is made to understand the meaning of the rubric “indifference” and also differentiate the 1st grade remedies from Kent’s repertory.

Marked by total or negligible important or value for something – no marked feeling, interest or concern. Neutrality of mind between persons or things. There is a lack of interest, sympathy or anxiety towards either children or business matters or loved ones or some doing.

According to webster’s dictionary Indifference – it is the Lack of feeling for or against anything; apathy; lack of sufficient importance to constitute a difference; not easily interested or moved; neither good or bad, desirable or undesirable

It is also a sickness arising from total physical collapse or mental shock, with no strength to care.

Sometimes it is part of a curative process offering the individual a way to find emotional equilibrium or overcome an underlying vulnerability.

The rubric indifference in Kent’s repertory has 18 1st grade remedies – 3  marks

  • Apis Mellifica
  • Carbo vegetabilis
  • China officinalis
  • Crotalus cascavella
  • Helleborous
  • Lilium tigrinum
  • Mezereum
  • Natrium carbonicum
  • Natrium muriaticum
  • Natrium phosphoricum
  • Onosmodium virginianum
  • Opium
  • Phosphoric acid
  • Phosphorous
  • Platina metallicum
  • Pulsatilla
  • Sepia
  • Staphysagria


  • Absolutely indifferent to everything that would make her happy or joyful.
  • Aggravation in heat and in warm room. Ailments from fright, rage, vexation, jealousy or hearing bad news. Busy insanity – patient is constantly busy doing things. Strong tendency to jealousy.
  • Foolishly jealous and suspicious, absolutely joyless.
  • No ability to apply things that would make her happy to herself, they must mean someone else.
  • Lost all consciousness of things around him, and sank into a state of insensibility.
  • There is Dulness of mind causing Difficulty in thinking. The patient is unable to bring his thoughts to anything definite. In typhus when asked if sick, he says : nothing is the matter, lies in a soporous condition, unconscious, with delirious  muttering and hardness of hearing

Carbo vegetabilis comes first to mind for the utter indifference accompanying the state of collapse following a severe illness. The patient is aware of his surroundings but “hears everything without feeling pleasantly or unpleasantly, and without thinking of it. He cannot “whip himself into activity or rouse a desire to do anything, and is unable to perceive or feel the impressions that circumstances ought to arouse. His affections are practically blotted out, so that nothing that is told to him seems to arouse or disturb him.

Indifference follows a debilitating physical illness, where the patient simply has too little energy to care. The patient becomes indifferent, apathetic, low spirited, silent, and disinclined to think. He is unable to control the mind, to make it do what it wants to do. Indifference arises from extreme debility great lassitude and weakness, usually associated with the loss of vital fluids (haemorrhages, drenching perspiration, diarrhoea).

It can also result from severe mental shock after a fright or overwhelming sorrow.  There is indifference to eating and drinking.

Emotional indifference with grief, disappointment and mental anguish, alternates with paranoid state, suspicion, jealousy, quarrelsome behaviour. Answers all questions with no

Depression, apathy and perfect indifference, wholly indifferent to his fate, he cares not whether he lives or dies. Stubborn silence

When questioned, answers slowly; stupefaction bordering on insensibility. Diminished power of mind over body, they cannot fix ideas and slow in answering.

Indifference after injury to head.

Indifference after typhoid which causes mental dejection and apathy. Dull and indifferent to all external impressions, will not speak, sits quietly in bed and seems lost in brooding, will take proffered food but never expresses desire for anything

Indifferent about anything being done for her. Suited for Hysterical women. Tormented about salvation. Listless, inert, yet does not want to sit still; restless, yet does not want to walk; does everything in a hurried manner, desire to do something, yet feels no ambition; Depression of spirits, disposition to weep.

She can hardly speak a decent word to anybody, will snap even when spoken to kindly. It is impossible to please her. They are the most ungrateful people of material medica

Indifference to everybody and everything, looks through the window for hours without being conscious of objects around. Aversion to talk – it seems to him to be hard work to utter a word. Religious or financial melancholy. Thought difficult, memory weak, absent minded. Has no rest, when alone, yet averse to talking. Everything seems dead and nothing makes a vivid impression.

Misanthropy – aversion to mankind, aversion to society and indifference to one’s own family.

Aversion to relatives, to strangers; feels a great division between himself and them.

Indifference to business and friends, excessively irritable, doesn’t tolerate anyone talking to her. Music causes a tendency to suicide, melancholy, weeping and trepidation which increases to religious insanity. Playing the piano is so exhausting that she must lie down. Depressed and irritable, accompanied by gastric symptoms.

Indifference is born of hopelessness and mental languor. Individuals are very emotional and sensitive and they feel any form of rejection, ridicule, humiliation or grief would be personally intolerable. Consequently, they create a wall of invulnerability, become enclosed in their own worlds, and prefer to maintain control over their circumstances. They avoid being hurt at all costs.  After being hurt several times, they learn to become cautious. They will think twice before becoming involved in an emotional experience. They turn to introverted activities which are emotionally “safe”, i.e reading books, listening to music, dwelling on ideas and fantasies. They can become quite content in their isolation. They tend to be self-contained, desiring to solve problems by themselves without trusting help from other people. Gradually, they come to the point of not needing contact with the outside world. If someone intrudes upon their private, introverted world, they may feel resentful. Their primary concern in life becomes, “not to hurt and not to be hurt”. 

Sad and tearful. No matter how cheering the circumstances are she cannot bring herself into the state of being joyful. She is benumbed to impressions, easily takes on grief, grieves over nothing. Unpleasant occurrences are recalled that she may grieve over them.Consolation aggravated the state of the mind – the melancholy, the tearfulness, sometimes brings on anger.

Indifferent to everything, even to his family. A gradually increasing indolence, a dread of mental and physical work, anger over trifles, aversion to company. Sits quiet and still for a long time. Mental weakness. Sad from music. Nervous, forgetful.

She is listless, Talkative but in a discontented way.

Wants to think and not move, and thinks until she forgets everything and where she is. Cannot concentrate his thoughts on a subject. Forgets that he is reading and he drops the book in vague and listless thought.

Indifference to everything. Rash and inconsiderate, vivid imagination. Stupid indifference

Unable to understand or appreciate his sufferings. Thinks he is not at home.

Ailments from fright. Complaints of nothing, wants nothing.

They are indifferent to the affairs of life. Prostrated and stupefied with grief.

Indifference to those things that used to be of most interest, especially if accompanied by debility and emaciation. When questioned he answers slowly or does not speak, but only looks at the questioner.  He is too tired to talk or even think.

This state is found in both acute and chronic diseases. In chronic diseases ailment from – long study, prolonged worry in businessmen, in feeble school girls.

In acute diseases it is usually seen in typhoid fever. The patient is averse to speaking or answering questions, He merely looks. Finally he rouses up and says: “Don’t talk me, I am so tired.” He cannot think what he wishes to say, cannot frame his answers to questions. Another cause is sexual excesses in young men, or in those guilty of secret vice.

Ailments from grief, disappointed affection, chagrin, loss of vital fluids, violent acute diseases.

Lies like a log

Patient is usually emotional, loving, sympathetic and caring in nature. Becomes easily excited, anxious fearful and restless, then a phase of indifference, apathy, weakness of memory and dullness of senses occurs. Indifference is towards loved ones, family and surroundings because he does not get the love and attention he wants from family members. There is indifference to own children. Answers no questions, takes no notice of his family and things about him, answers slowly, thinks sluggishly, seems dazed or in a stupor. Everything looks dark, he is weary of life, gloomy and says nothing. Patient becomes weepy, sad, and hysterical; Self centred and inconsiderate. Mentally, the patient easily forgets himself, even to the degree that awareness can become too diffuse and unfocused; the patient becomes easily “spaced out”. All the mental symptoms are worse from mental exertion; aggravated from noise.

Sepia’s natural independence sets her apart from other women. She seeks to be herself, unfettered by the expectations of others, especially those of men.

They are free spirited and irritable. They do not like to be dominated and when they are not allowed to be independent and she is forced to do things against her will. This makes her feel unfortunate

and disturbs her emotional, intellectual or physical levels. Hence in emotional level we find apathy, indifference. We find aversion to one’s family and work. Indifference to loved ones – family, husband, kids etc.

The indifference is more towards people who have brought her the sadness.

The remedy seems to abolish the ability to feel natural love, to be affectionate.To illustrate it in the language of the mother: “I Know I ought to love my children and my husband, I used to love them, but now I have no feeling on the subject.”  There is a lack of realization, a lack of ability to register such affections; the love does not manifest itself. Very indifferent to everything: the death of a near relative or some happy occurrence leave her equally unaffected. This state is brought out in a woman during confinement, after uterine and other haemorrhages, after prolonged indigestion; high living with disturbance in the circulation, pallor, enfeeblement of body and mind.

It can also be seen in men, but it is a striking feature in the woman.

It often comes on when nursing a child, from nursing an over-vigorous child or twins who require much lacteal fluid and this drags her down. It may be brought out in a woman who has an over-vigorous husband. Excessive sexual excitement and over-indulgence brings on coldness and she becomes a cold woman. She who has been excitable, nervous, and fidgety becomes the opposite, taking on a stoical state of mind. An absence of all joy, inability to realize that things are real; all things seem strange; no affection for the delightful things of life; life has nothing in it for her.

The Sepia woman permits no opposition to her opinions.

Pulsatilla’s indifference is to business affairs, characterized by indecisiveness. There is no clear reason for choosing one preference, one course of action, over another. This goes hand-in-hand with the conviction that if she waits long enough, assistance will be forthcoming.

Indifference to her household affair, to which she was formerly attentive. She seeks consolation. Changeable – Irritable once, tearful again, mild pleasant and again tearful. Emotional satisfaction is the cornerstone of pulsatilla.

She imagines the company of the opposite sex a dangerous thing to cultivate, and that it is dangerous to do certain things well established in society as good for the human race.She will not answer questions unless hard pressed, when all she will say is “Yes” or “No”, or she will merely shake her head. 

Depression, great indifference, he does not seem to care whether his wife dies or not. Dislikes her children calls them too little. Ill humor in the morning. She imagines that she is of a high born family and that her friends and relatives are of lowly origin and looks down upon them. – Her acquaintances are inferior to herself. The indifference is due to Pride and overestimation of one’s self and looking down with haughtiness on others. They are too well satisfied with themselves. Contemptuous, pitiful, looking down upon people usually venerated, with a kind of casting them off.

Sadness in morning with inclination to weep, thinks she stands alone in the world.

Indifference with absence of mind.

Indifferent, low spirited. Dullness of mind after onanism,as a result of sexual excitement and masturbation. Dwells on venereal subjects, thinking on sexual relations.

Irritable, easily fatigued, easily excited and disturbed, but seldom manifests. Indifference from suppressed anger, suppressed feelings. Due to this suppressd feelings, he isolates him so as to avoid similar instances. There is little expression of life – little interest or emotion shown. The voice is dry and monotone, and only few words are spoken. Doesn’t make eye contact. They usually have abusive fathers. As a result, they fear almost any human contact, and  avoid being noticed. They have indifference to everything in life usually following some insult or emotional injury. Ailments from indignation and vexation, or reserved displeasure. The person becomes speechless. The most attractive things makes no impression on him. Great indignation about things done by others or by himself.

Repertory is a useful tool, wherein we find symptoms in the form of rubrics and a group of medicines known to produce it or associated with it. It gives an idea about the close running medicines.

Success in homoeopathic prescription lies in the ability to individualise of the physician to individualise the patient and also in differentiating a group of similar remedies, thereby arriving at the similimum.


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  5. Phatak S. Materia medica of homoeopathic medicines. 2nd ed. New Delhi: B. Jain publishers; 1999.
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Dr. Manish Kumar Tiwari
MD Part 2
Department of Repertory
Under the guidance of Dr Munir Ahmed R
Government Homoeopathic Medical College and Hospital

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