Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Homeopathic repertory

A homeopathic repertory is an extremely extensive and comprehensive index of symptoms and their cures that are maintained by trained homeopathy experts. For each entry, a number of associated remedies with a symptom either through an extensively-conducted homeopathic proving or from clinical experience. The inclusion of remedies transforms the repertory into an excellent example of materia medica, a form of medicine catalog. Repertories have rigorous inclusion criteria which assures accuracy and are continually corrected by homeopathic experts. There is often lively debate among the compilers of a repertory and interested practitioners over the veracity of a particular inclusion.

A line on the page of a repertory might look like this :Mind; Fear; Animals; Snakes, of : lach. abel. arg-n. ars. bell. calc. calc-s. carc. elaps. hep. ign. spig. sulph. syph.

Each of the above is an abbreviation for the full name of a remedy. In the example above, lach refers to Lachesis muta, a South American snake. The other initials also have meanings, such as arg-n for Argentum Nitricum. Often a subscripted abbreviation is appended, which indicates the name of the author or the authoritative source from where the entry is derived. For example, "Schm" indicates that it has come from the book Homeopathy and Minerals by Jan Scholten, a noted homeopathic writer.

The first symptomatic index of the homeopathic materia medica was arranged by the founder of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, who is a famous eighteenth century German physician and chemist as well as a homeopathic researcher. Soon after, one of his students Clemens von Bönninghausen, created the Therapautic Pocket Book, which Hahnemann strongly approved of. The most famous homeopathic repertory was compiled by James Tyler Kent, MD, one of the major contributors to homeopathic science and philosophy at the later part of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries. Currently the two most comprehensive homeopathic repertories are Repertorium Universale/Complete Repertory by Roger van Zandvoort and Synthesis by Frederick Schroyens.

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