What Are Generalities?
The Generalities section is found at the end of Kent’s Repertory. Along with the Mind section, this is one of the most important sections of the Repertory. Generalities are symptoms that are true of the whole person rather than of a particular part of the body. They are symptoms of which we can say “I” instead of “My.” I may be a chilly person (found in Generalities, p. 1366), but my left leg is what hurts (a particular symptom found in Extremities, p. 1043). Symptoms of the whole are usually more important than symptoms of a particular part. Take a few minutes to read through the Generalities section, p.p. 1341-1423.
The Generalities section begins with time aggravations. “Morning” refers to six to nine a.m., “Forenoon” from ten a.m. until noon. Afternoon is one p.m. to five p.m., “Evening” six p.m. to nine p.m., and “Night” nine p.m. until five a.m. Certain remedies are well known for specific time aggravations, although there are many other remedies listed in the Repertory for these time aggravations. These include:
7 a.m. (Eupatorium perfoliatum)
9 a.m. (Chamomilla)
10 a.m. (Natrum muriaticum)
11 a.m. (Sulphur)
Noon (Argentum metallicum)
2 p.m. (Pulsatilla nigrans)
3 p.m. (Belladonna)
3-5 p.m. or 4-6 p.m. (Sepia)
4 p.m. or 4-8 p.m. (Lycopodium clavatum)
Better evening (Aurum metallicum and Medorrhinum)
Twilight (Pulsatilla nigrans and Phosphorous)
9 p.m. (Bryonia alba)
Sunset to sunrise (Syphilinum)
11 p.m. (Cactus grandiflora)
Better at midnight (Lycopodium clavatum)
1 a.m. (Arsenicum album)
2-4 a.m. (Kali carbonicum)
3 a.m. (Kali nitricum)
4 a.m. (Nux vomica and Carcinosin) [Note that Carcinosin is not in Kent’s Repertory]
5 a.m. (Podophyllum and Kali iodatum)
There is a another rubric called “Periodicity.” This means any symptoms that tend to recur in a periodic way, whether it be daily, weekly, monthly, or annually. There is also a separate listing for “Breakfast, after” (1346).
Chilliness is best found in the rubric “Heat, Lack of Vital” (1366). Other related rubrics are “Cold, Becoming” (1349), “Cold in General Aggravates” (1348), “Uncovering Aggravates” (1410), and “Undressing Aggravates” (1410). There is a Chill section of the Repertory. This relates more to infections with chills and fevers rather to feeling cold.
Heat intolerance is best found in the rubric “Heated, On Becoming” (1367). Other related rubrics are “Warm Aggravates” (1412), “Weakness, Worse Heat” (1417), “Sun Aggravates” (1404), and “Summer Aggravates” (1404). There is also a Fever section of the Repertory which again is more related to infections. Hot flushes (I.e., menopausal hot flushes) are found under “Heat, Flushes of.”
There are a variety of weather aggravations. There is a section for “Air” (1343), which contains “Open Air, Ameliorates” and “Open Air, Aggravates.” Also, you will find here “Air, Seashore Aggravates” and “Air, Seashore Ameliorates.” This is the best rubric for people who are better or worse at the seashore. Other weather rubrics include:
Change of Temperature (1347)
Change of Weather (1347)
Clear Weather (1348)
Cloudy Weather (1348)
Cold Dry Weather (1349)
Cold Wet Weather (1350)
Dry Weather (1357)
Foggy Weather (1362)
Snowy Air (1402)
Storm Approach (1403)
Vaults=Basements [Cold and damp] (1411)
Warm Wet Weather (1413)
Wet Weather (1421)
Windy Stormy Weather (1422)
There are separate sections for “Air” (1343) and “Wind” (1422). “Drafts” are found under the Air section, along with “Desire For” and “Aversion To” Open Air.
Desire and aversion for alcohol are found in the Stomach section. Those who are generally worse from alcohol can be found in the rubric “Alcoholic Stimulants” (1344). Related rubrics include “Intoxication” (1369), “Reveling From Night” (1397) and “Wine” (1422).
There are a number of rubrics in the Repertory pertaining to clothing. Perhaps the most useful is “Clothing, Intolerance of” (1348). This idea can also be found in the section “External Throat, Clothing Aggravates” (471) and in the section “Abdomen, Clothing Sensitive To” (541). Related rubrics are “Undressing Aggravates” (1410) and “Uncovering Aggravates” (1410).
There are a variety of body functions listed in the Generalities section. These include:
Loss of Fluids [I.e., Extended diarrhea or hemorrhage] (1371)
Again, note that these rubrics refer to general aggravations at the time of these activities.
There are separate listings for body types. These include:
Nursing children (1376)
Old people (1376)
Stoop Shouldered (1403)
A small but useful rubric is “Contradictory and Alternating States” (1351). This refers to conditions that rapidly change from one polarity to another in a confusing and unpredictable manner. An example would be a young man who complains of intense coldness in his hands alternating with severe heat. The condition changes so rapidly that at times he complains of both simultaneously.
“Faintness” (1358) is a useful rubric in the Generalities section. This should be distinguished from “Vertigo”, which has its own section. Faintness is more non specific and non localizing. It is often described as a complaint of lightheadedness, dizziness, giddiness, floating, swaying, or disorientation. Generally it is not associated with any specific accompanying signs. Vertigo is the illusion of movement or rotation of the environment about someone. It can also be the illusion of rotation, tilting, or oscillation of the environment. It is often associated with nausea or vomiting and balance problems.
There are a variety of rubrics relating to food. These include:
Fasting [this is a useful rubric to describe hypoglycemia] (1361)
Hunger From (1367)
Tobacco Aggravates (1407)
The Food section refers to feeling generally worse from eating certain foods. Food desires and aversions are found in the Stomach section.
Motions of the body include:
Chorea [dance-like writhing movements] (1347)
Convulsions [seizures] (1351)
Convulsive Movements (1356)
Shuddering Nervous (1400)
There is also a separate rubric for Parkinson’s Disease (“Paralysis agitans”).
Long-term effects of exposure to various toxins and poisons are found in the Generalities section. Larger sections for these problems can be found in Boericke’s Pocket Manual of Homeopathic Materia Medica with Repertory and Murphy’s Homeopathic Medical Repertory. These include:
Coal Gas (1348)
Aggravations related to position include:
Change of Position (1347)
“Pulse” (1393) is a fairly extensive section that describes various types of pulses. These include irregular, hard, imperceptible, frequent, fluttering, slow, and weak.
There are a variety of purposeful activities that cause aggravations. These include:
Playing Piano [use this also for repetitive typing on the computer] (1390)
Riding [can use the subrubric for motion sickness] (1397)
Motion sickness can also be found in the Stomach section under “Nausea, Riding in a Carriage” (509).
Much of the Generalities section is taken up with sensations of the body. These include:
Analgesia [painlessness of something normally painful] (1345)
Coat of Skin Drawn Over Inner Parts (1348)
Foreign Bodies or Grains of Sand Were Under the Skin (1364)
Formification [creeping, crawling sensation on skin like insects crawling on it] (1364)
Hair Sensation (1365)
Hard Bed (1365)
Numbness [loss of all sensation] (1375)
Orgasm of Blood [sudden rush of blood to the affected part-adrenaline rush like feeling] (1376),
Painlessness of Complaints Usually Painful [see also analgesia] (1390)
Shot Rolling Through Arteries (1400)
Stagnated as if Blood (1403)
Streaming of Blood (1403)
Trickling Like Drops (1409)
Water Dashing Against Inner Parts (1413)
Wave Like (1413)
Worms Under the Skin Sensation (1422)
Sexual aggravations are found in a variety of locations in the Generalities section. These include “Coition” [sexual intercourse] (1348), “Emissions Aggravate” (1358), “Onanism” [sexual withdrawal before intercourse] (1376) and “Sexual Excesses” (1399). Some of these ideas can also be found in the Genitalia sections.
An important rubric is “Sides” (1400). This is where you would look for a condition where someone only had symptoms on one side of their body. Sub rubrics here include “One Side”, “Alternating Sides”, “Crosswise”, “Right” and “Left.”
“Vaccination” (1410) refers to ailments following a vaccination. This condition is also called vaccinosis. Kent’s Repertory refers only to the smallpox vaccination, as no other vaccinations were available at the time of writing. In more modern repertories, this has been expanded to include other vaccinations.
“Bathing” (1345) is a useful rubric. The subrubrics include “Bathing, Dread Of” (1345) and “Bathing Ameliorates” (1345). There is a separate listing for “Uncleanliness Aggravates” (1410).
There are a variety of rubrics that touch on the idea of fatigue. These include:
Reaction, Lack Of [inability of the body to muster a defense against disease] (1397)
Sluggishness of the Body (1402)
These are useful rubrics to consider for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
There are a variety of diseases that are included in the Generalities section. Most of the diseases in the Repertory are found here. There only a few diseases listed. Remedies are generally prescribed on symptoms and not on specific diseases. Many of the well known diseases of today were not well known or understood at the time of the writing of the repertory. Specific diseases found here include:
Abscess [a collection of pus in a circumscribed cavity] (1343)
Anemia [deficiency of blood constituents] (1344)
Apoplexy [stroke] (1345)
Cancerous Affections [see also “Tumors” and “Ulcers, Cancerous”] (1346)
Caries of Bones [dental cavities or pockets of degeneration of bones] (1346)
Catalepsy [trance-like state with rigidity of limbs that remain in the same position for a long period of time, catatonia] (1347)
Chlorosis [iron-deficiency anemia] (1347)
Cold, Tendency to Take [recurrent upper respiratory infections] (1349)
Contracture/Strictures After Inflammation [the constriction of tissue after an inflammation] (1351)
Convulsions [seizures] (1351)
Cyanosis [blue discoloration of the body resulting from lack of oxygenation to the tissues:see “Face, discoloration, blueness”] (1356)
Dropsy [edema/swelling: see also “Extremities, Swelling, Lower Limbs, Dropsical”] (1356)
Emaciation [malnourished or Underweight] (1357)
Exostoses [bony hard overgrowths] (1358)
Glanders [disease of horses with swollen lymph nodes and ulceration] (1365)
Gonorrhea Suppressed (1365)
Hemorrhage [bleeding] (1365)
Leukemia [cancerous disease of the white blood cells] (1370)
Measles After [see Fever Exanthematic Measles] (1373)
Necrosis of Bones [destruction of bony tissue] (1375)
Paralysis Agitans [Parkinson’s disease] (1390)
Polypus [growth extending from a mucous membrane] (1391)
Scarlet Fever [see Fever Exanthematic Scarlatina] (1398)
Scurvy [vitamin C Deficiency] (1398)
Septicemia [infection of the blood] (1399)
Thrombosis [blood clot] (1407)
Varicose Veins (1410)
Diabetes is not listed in the Generalities section, but can be found under Urine Sugar (691). Thyroid disease and goiters are found in “External Neck, Goiter” (471). Malaria is found in the Fever section under “Remittent” and in the Chill section under “Quartan”, “Quotidian”, or “Tertian.” Meningitis (inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) is found under “Fever, Cerebrospinal” (1282) or “Head, Inflammation, Meningitis” (128). Parasites are located in the Rectum section under “Worms” (634). The Generalities section contains rubrics for Sycosis and Syphilis. There is no specific rubric for psora. Tuberculosis is found under “Chest, Phthisis” (878).
A variety of injuries are found throughout the Repertory, many of which lie in the Generalities section. These include:
Shocks from Injury (1399)
Slow Repair of Bones (1402)
Bites of Poisonous Animals (1422)
Sunstroke can be found in the Head section under “Sunstroke” (231). Head injuries can be found in the Head section under “Concussion” (109) or “Injuries” (128). Stings of insects can be found in the Skin section under “Stings of Insects” (1331). There is also a listing in the Extremities section for “Injuries” (1019).
Other Confusing Rubrics
“Puerperal Convulsions” (1353) refers to convulsions of pregnancy. “Atrophy” (1345) means a wasting or shrinkage of tissue. “Clonic Convulsions” (1352) are seizures characterized by an alternating contraction and release of the muscles. “Tonic Convulsions” (1355) are more of a steady contracted state. “Extensor Muscles” (1353) refer to muscles that tend to straighten or extend a part of the body. “Fistulae” (1361) are abnormal passages between a body cavity and the surface or between two body cavities. “Indurations” (1367) are hardenings of tissue. “Excessive Physical Irritability” (1369) refers to a nervous system that is excessively sensitive and wound up. “Magnetism Ameliorates” (1373) is about individuals who feel better when they are hypnotized or placed in a trance state. “Metastasis” (1374) refers to symptoms that jump from one part of the body to another. The symptoms are not necessarily related to each other. An example would be the remedy Abrotanum, which has rheumatic arthritis following diarrhea. “Plethora” (1391) is an excess of any bodily fluid, although most often relates to excess of blood in a particular area. This often manifests as flushing of the skin, redness, and heat.
Dr.Todd Rowe is a licensed homeopathic physician in Arizona. He teaches extensively and has written several books on classical homeopathic education including Homeopathic Methodology and the Homeopathic Journey. He is the past-president of the National Center for Homeopathy and serves on the Board of Directors for the Council for Homeopathic Education. He is the director of the American Medical College of Homeopathy and the Society for the Establishment of Research in Classical Homeopathy.