Concordant Reference – Complete Classical Materia Medica
Hard cover, 2074 pages
B. Jain Archibel s.p.r.l. ISBN 978-2-87491-020-3
Price: USD 140.00
Review by Dr. J. Rozencwajg, NMD
I have always been a huge fan of Frans Vermeulen’s work. It is clear, objective and covers the subject as deeply as humanly possible. The Concordant Reference does not stray from this tradition. From its beginnings, when it was called the Concordant Materia Medica, to this latest edition, it collates the information about remedies from the old, classical authors, those that time and continuous use have vouched for, removing multiple quotes but including trusted sources, even for small remedies that are almost never used, often because they were buried under the massive, repetitive writings about the most common remedies. Boericke, Boger, Lippe, Allen, Cowperthwaite, Kent, Clarke, Hering and Vermeulen himself are the sources of this Materia Medica. They definitely can be trusted.
After a short introduction and an explanation about the structure of the book, 1209 remedies are reviewed in alphabetical order, with their common names, Latin names and family when warranted. If you only know or search for the common name, that will be difficult to find, as there is no index or cross-reference. You need to consult another book to find the proper name first. That is one very annoying shortcoming. I have another issue though, which has been ongoing since the first publication: a lack of order in the sub-rubrics. If I look up Sepia, Female, first come the sensations; fine, that was in the explanations at the beginning of the book; then we swing from ovaries, to uterus, to tubes, to menses, to discharges, to labour, to flushes, back and forth apparently without any logic. So if I want to check everything that is related to “Ovaries”, I have to go through a full page of small font disorderly symptoms packed together. Why not put some order there? Trying to read that page, my eyes kept slipping away and I realised that I was at high risk of skipping some important information if I was really looking up the remedy for a patient.
That being said, I have nothing but praise for this book. If I was to work in a remote place and be allowed to bring only one Materia Medica, this would be the one. I do not use many of the newly proved modern remedies in my practice; therefore the information contained in the Concordant would still allow me to prescribe successfully in most of my cases. The students might be quite overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge carried in this book. For them, while learning, I would still recommend a simpler materia medica, like the Synopsis, to get acquainted with the remedies, then read the full text in the Concordant, first as an illustration, then as a way of getting a deeper knowledge.
The Concordant Reference is a must for every practicing homeopath.