Utility of Concordance chapter in Therapeutic pocket book

The word Concordance means

  • The state of being of the same heart and mind,harmony
  • Aarangement in Abc order of important words used by author or on a book
  • An index of words or passages of a book.

This word first used in the homeopathic literature by Dr. Boenninghausen in the earlier editions of TPB. Concordance section was named ENIGMA in the earlier editions meaning puzzle. The heading was changed in to concordance in the later editions because the word used previously was not explaining the contents. The chapter contain 121 remedies. However the word concordance was replaced by relationships of remedies in later editions by T F Allen and he  added 21 remedies. Therefore the total number of medicines in the relationship chapter in Allen`s edition is 142remedies and stretches between the page numbers 351-526.

H A Robert`s writes “To the majority of homoeopathic physicians the last chapter in the TPB –relationships has been a complete mystery. Even though the physician has a fair knowledge of the general use of the book, this section was practically useless to him, except for occasional reference at the bedside.”

Relationship of remedies means the similarity or dissimilarity between the remedies. Similarity can occur at general level or local / specific level. The concept of relationship requires the application of the following principles

  • Principles of generalization and  individualization
  • Principle of similarity and dissimilarity
  • Principles of analysis ands synthesis.

Joslin has illustrated the concentric circles of similarity.the nearer the  centre the smaller the circle and higher the ratio of similarity. As the circles widens the complementary qualities of the remedies occupying the outward curves lessens until their similarity to the similimum or their complementary relationship to the similimum, is very slight.

In the philosophic background of TPB,he emphasized more on completing the symptoms with all their components like location, sensation,modalities,concomitants. Boenninghausen`s attempt was to complete the symptoms buthe found it difficult to do so. Therefore he developed few fundamental concepts form the bedrock of his TPB.

  1. Doctrine of analogy
  2. Doctrine of concomitant
  3. Evaluation of remedies
  4. Concordance

So in the concordances Boenninghausen`s keen , observant mind noticed that there exist a relationship among the medicines. He incorpaorated  a chapter on this, in his TPB towards the end with title “Concordance of remedies”. Dr Boenninghausen`s own experience and the study of remedies had helped him to compile the “Relationships of Remedies”, which would in fact render important service to the system. In the earlier edition of the book, he referred to this chapter as concordance of Remedies , but Allen gave it more comprehensible title `relationship of Remedies`. He discusses the relationship of remedies under the headings – Mind, Localities,Sensations, glands, bones, skin,sleep and dreams, blood , circulation, fever, aggravation, other remedies , antidote, and inimical/injurious.

In the repertory of antipsoric remedies there were some sections which were later changed in his therapeutic pocket book. In the Repertory of antipsoric medicines there were 45 chapters , the chapter concordance were not included. Aggravations and ameliorations are  given at the end of each chapter. The section Mind and intellect had the name mind and soul. All these changes are because of application of doctrine of analogy and doctrine of complete symptoms.

Construction of the chapter
Number of     Medicines in the the relationship part is 142 starting from the aconite to zincum. Gradation is same that of repertory section, ie, 5grades.remedy in parenthesis are for the critical evaluation.later many authors have not considered this last grade remedies. The chapter on Relationship of remedies is divided in to sections- each sections being devoted to a remedy, in alphabetical order Each of these remedy section sub divided in to rubrics, as are all general sections in this book , but in this chapter we find the rubrics are not particularized as symptoms, but generalized symptom groups. Each remedy has 12 subsections which correspond to the general section of the first part of  TPB. Subsections include

  • Mind
  • Localities
  • Sensations
  • Glands
  • Bones
  • Skin
  • Sleep and dreams
  • Blood . circulation and fever
  • Aggravations: time and circumstances

To this section added 3 additional rubrics like o

  • Other remedies
  • Antidotes
  • Injurious

The one that is always present bears the title is other remedies. Other remedies are those , which have a general relationship to the remedy under consideration and not only to the specific subsection. Of the other two rubrics which occationally appear , antidotes and injurious are easily comprehended. He used the word “noxious” instead of injurious. This section of book is far from being as complete as the other chapters.

Dr Boenninghausen wrote “ for myself , material medica pura is the most indispensible works of homoeopathy, thus concordance has been extreme importance , not only for the recognition of the genius of the remedy , but also for testing and making sure of its choice and fore judging of sequence of the various remedies especially in chronic diseases. Clinical relationship does exist on a definite doctrine but it is obscured at present.”

Relationship of remedies is an important consideration in second prescription, when the symptomatology has changed or when in the treatment of chronic case , some acute trouble has cropped up. A knowledge of the relationships of superficial and antipsoric  remedies or those of the nosodes is great help in prescribing the follow up medicines.

The chapter Relationship of Remedies has the following uses / Adaptability of  the chapter relationships of remedies

  • It can be used for studying the relationship o remedies at various levels – mind,parts,sensations , modalities
  • Helps to find out close running medicine, which can be thought in future follow up.
  • To find out second medicine, ie, first one (though indicated) doesn`t meet with expectation in a given period of time
  • In order to avoid unwanted precipitation of adverse symptoms, when a deep acting remedy is given, in those cases analogous can be found out.

Eg – in case of an advanced tuberculosis

To elicit the chronic to acute relationship of remedies

  • To find cyclical or sequential relationship
  • Helps us to study various relationship of remedies .
  • Cases where the outstanding complaint of the pateint were related bones , glands ,skin etc… we can select remedies from rubrics , under remedy that served well at first in the acute case
  • It helps in the study of comparative MM- the symptomatology in a patient move in closely related field rather  extend in to totally unrelated one, as the final choice being as always confirmed by reference to materia

This concept of relationship of remedies and its reportorial analysis is the unique contribution made by Dr Boenninghausen in the promotion of scientific prescribing in homoeopathic practice. He evaluated closely similar remedies and elaborated the unique concept of remedy relationships. It establishes the relationship between acute and deep acting constitutional remedies. Antidotal and inimical relationship are largely of use in the clinical practice , so also the so called “cycles”. We can use relationship of remedies in above conditions such as antidote, complementary, cognate , change of remedy, change of plan of treatment.

The relationship of remedy indirectly a probable sequence of changes in the susceptibility also. Boenninghausen`s critical study of symptomatology in homoeopathic materia  medica and wide spread clinical experience are reflected in the section of relationship of remedies in therapeutic pocket book. This knowledge grown with additions made subsequently by Boger, Knerr,Kent, Hering and others.

The concepts relates similar picture to each other ,relates the main picture to sector wise or miasm wise, projects sequential changes likely to occur in the future under the influence o the selected remedy, relates the main picture to the partial expressions of nosodes as anti- miasmatic drugs and also stresses antidotal and inimical relationships derived purely from clinical experience.

Working method
Introduction to TPB dealt with a case – of simple fever and cold in a child of 3 years, the remedy suited were belladonna, but belladonna failed to control temperature of 105 degree centigrade. So the case was analysed by the chapter on relationships under the remedy belladonna. Only the remedies ranking 3,4,5 under the mind were taken  and the other rubrics under belladonna were checked against them. So that we can find the drug with maximum mark is related very closely to that condition. In this we will get PULS  as most valuable related remedy.

Different types of relationship of remedies .they are –

Family relationship– derived by similarity of origin(eg- OPHIDia group have similar tendencies like haemorrhagic iathesis, constrictions etc)

Concordant relationship– marked similarity in action though dissimilar in origin, they may follow each otherwell ( aloes and sulphur – both have abdominal plethora and portal congestion)

Complementary—one drug completes a cure which the other begins but is unable to complete. The complementary drug completes the work of a given remedy.(EG, BRY and RHUS). There are acute and chronic complementary.  Cognates  are the complementary remedies in series (eg – Bry- sulph-calc carb- tub)

Antidotes – medicine given to counter act a poison or disease. In homoeopathy it is the medicine given to counteract, minimize,or moderate the over action or undesired effects of a drug either during proving or during the therapeutic use. Symptom similarity is the basis of antidotel relationship of medicines.

Inimical– -drugs although resembling each other apparently , will not follow one another with any satisfaction. They seems to mix up the case. The more closely similar the remedies , the greater the similarity of their symptoms, the greater risk of antagonism between themans more certain the second remedy will injure the case

Intercurrent—  needed after a remedy, for the repetition of the first one with much advantage. Usually they have a complementary relation to first one. ( nat mur will not be repeated without an intercurrent.( dr. Hahnemann)

Other authors said about relationship of remedies
Dr Hahnemann said in the aphorism 249, he suggest , “if the aggravation be considerable(after a medicine), be first partially neutralized as soon as possible by an antidote before giving the next remedy chosen more accurately according to similarity of action.” Also he says , “subsequent doses often removes, curatively, some one or other of the symptoms caused by the previous dose” in aphorism 131.

Dr John Henry Clarke – in his clinical repertory. Gives in a tabular form , the chief clinical relations of all remedies in the following headings- complementary, remedy follows well,remedy is followed well by, compatible remedies, incompatible,remedy antidotes,remedy is antidote by,duration of action.

Dr Calvin broast Knerr – dealt with different types of drug relationships. Like antidotes , collaterals,compatible, complementary, inimical,similar .

Boger BBCR also dealt with relationship of remedies under the chapter the concordance. Arrangement and construction followed from TPB , but the number of remedies in each headings are less and there fore the practical purposes it falls short and cannot complete with TPB.it contain only 125 remedies.

E A farrington – says about , family relations, concordant relation, complement, antidote, enmity or inimical.

Dr.Gibson Miller –complements,remedies that follows well, inimical – (quoting Kent, says that some remedies areinimical to each other in acute sphere and others inimical only in chronic sphere,) and also about antidotes.

Dr H A Robberts – complimentary,antidote,neutral,remedies with lesser degrees of similarity, inimical, succession of  remedies

Dr R E Dudgeon – antidote ,(antidotarial influence of medicines up on one another depends solely up on the homoeopathuc principle”)

Dr J T Kent – chronic remedy – (Eg – calc is the neutral chronic of bell and RHUS),complimentary, inimical,  antidote .

Dr Stuart close – days about the antidotes , they are divided in to 3 classes, physiological/dynamical, chemical  and mechanical.

Dr H L Chitkara – compliments, antidotes ,remedies follow well ,inimical or incompatible,antidotes to,

Dr  CONSTANTINE HERING – complementary to , incompatible to , compatible to , antidotes

Dr  Elizabeth wright hubbard – Complementary, 3 types – plain relationship,acute compliments of chronic remedies, remedies in series., incompatible,vegetable analogues/ chemical analogues, botanical relationships

Dr J BenedictD` castro harmonious  means most similar one are complementary and they antidote the bad effects,neutral, an dinimical.

Dr P Sankaran – complements , remedies that follow well, inimical, antidotes , collaterals ( They are similar in their symptom picture but they are noy related in any way)

Dr Garth Boericke – family relations , antidotal relationship, concordant or compatible , complementary, inimical.

Dr B K Sarkar – Complementary , concordant remedies  .( He says that the concordant have marked similarity in action , although they belong o different or natural groups. This group includes complementary remedies and remedies which follows well . ), antidotal  remedies, inimical remedies , incompatible , collateral, remedies which follows well. 


  1. Boenninghausen`s TPB – Dr T F Allen`s edition
  2. A reference to repertories for homoeopathic students- Dr SIJU PV
  3. Essentials of repertorization – Proff . Dr. S K TIWARI.
  4. The principles and practice of repertorisation – DR . K. Harinadham.

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