Repertory had never fascinated me; when I look back at my college days, I always wondered how to use repertory and would always use Allen’s Keynotes and Materia Medica until I met Dr. Sunirmal Sarkar from Kolkata, stayed and worked day and night with him for 7 months, seeing 150 cases a day in his clinic at Salt lake and Thakurnagar in West Bengal.
From my days at his clinic, I remember one incident, a case which really impressed me, of a man about 35 years old, who had come to see Dr. Sarkar with cough over the last 3 days. With the cough, the patient felt that he would develop fever any time and was very anxious about it. Dr Sarkar, like an ace player, opened the Kent Repertory and showed me an interesting rubric – Fever; ANTICIPATING (1) – with the only remedy as Nux vomica
He confidently prescribed it, saying that the patient will be absolutely fine and indeed when the patient came back a week later, he was smiling and said, “I felt much better with the medicine.”
The success of this case thoroughly impressed me. I was fascinated by the passion and his knowledge of repertory and the ease with which he used the repertory almost more 2000 times a day and with such amazing results. When I came back from Kolkata, I met Dr. Rajan Sankaran and from then started my journey of understanding the repertory in depth and artistically using it.
I remember this case very clearly, of a lady who had come with asthma and said that nowadays she couldn’t understand what was happening with her. She just sat in one place at a time and even if a 100 rupee note was placed in front of her she would be unable to find it, as her attention was hardly there in the moment. This also happened when she cooked food or was standing in the kitchen, where she would often fail to understand what to do next. For this Dr. Sankaran beautifully used the repertory and converted the patient’s language to the exact rubric which was:
The remedy given to her was Nux moschata. From this case I learned not just the remedy but also how to find the exact symptom in the repertory corresponding to the patient’s language. This filled me with passion to learn the repertories, Kent’s, Phatak’s, Boericke’s, Allen’s, Knerr’s, BBCR and Reference Works. The following is an attempt to convey how and when to use each repertory artistically.
- It has mind rubrics with lesser remedies, hence it can be used in cases where mind symptoms are very clear and when there are characteristic physical particulars.
- General symptoms are also emphasized in Kent since he stressed the working out of a case from generals to particulars and then cross-checking the remedy’s picture.
- It helps understanding the drug picture, e.g. Chapter – Mind, Rubric – Lamenting, Sub-rubric – appreciated, because he is not, and the only remedy that comes up is Calcarea sulph (now this sub-rubric often becomes the main genius of the remedy especially if it is a single drug rubric).
Another instance: Chapter – Mind, Rubric – Unfeeling – the only remedy given is Anacardium. Again this goes to indicate that this is the central feeling of Anacardium.
Again in Mind chapter if we take Delusion, Rubric- Work and Sub-rubric as- is hindered at, then we get the only remedy China which has this symptom as its central feeling.
- The main idea of Phatak’s Repertory is to GENERALISE the Local Symptom
It is especially useful in cases where characteristic symptoms are not available. So often we have to generalize the local symptom, for example- Suppose a patient says, I have this pain in ankle, better by rubbing. Often, we may not have this rubric in bigger repertories, thus would have to generalize this by taking the rubrics
-PHATAK REPERTORY; RUBBING, Stroking; amel (23):
-PHATAK REPERTORY; ANKLES (8)
Hence we generalize the Local Symptoms
- It is an alphabetically arranged repertory, based on Boger and Boenninghausen’s principles
- It can be used in cases where the Genius / Generals are prominent
A few salient features of this repertory are:
Specific locations are available, like:
A patient has an obstruction only at the duodenum; then in the Phatak Repertory, we have; DUODENUM, Affections, of; obstruction, of (1): Calc-fl
For a person developing eruption, only between the fingers, then -PHATAK REPERTORY; FINGERS (7): am-m., lyc., ran-b., rhus-t., sil., sulph.
Like remedies which have specific affinity for orifices -PHATAK REPERTORY; ORIFICES AFFECTIONS Of (20): 3nitricum acidum, 3Nux-v., 3Sulph., 2aesc., 2caust., 2merc.
Special Mind Rubrics
There are some very interesting Mind rubrics which are not given in other repertories:
PHATAK REPERTORY; EXPRESS herself cannot (1): puls.
-PHATAK REPERTORY; EXTREME, GOES, to (4): bell., caust., con., valer.
Generalities – Where the patient shows features of early old age, chronic pathology or recurrent infections
-PHATAK REPERTORY; OLD, AGE, SENILITY; early, premature (8): 2lyc., ambr., bar-c., berb., con., kali-c.
-PHATAK REPERTORY; RELAPSES, RECURRENCES, Attacks Recurrent (21) : 2psor., acon., ars., bar-c., bar-m., bell.
There are many Pathological generals given in this repertory which are of great use, like-
-PHATAK REPERTORY; CICATRICES (12) : 2graph., 2merc., calc-f., caust., fl-ac., hyper.
Others include- degeneration, hardness, induration etc.
Direction of Symptoms
Even the Direction of symptoms – especially which side; does it increase slowly, crosswise or diagonally
-PHATAK REPERTORY; DIRECTION OF SYMPTOMS ALTERNATING; side, lain on, go to (12): 3Pulsatilla, 2ars., 2bry., 2ph-ac., calc., hep.
- This homeopathy repertory belongs to the Puritan type of repertories and also to the group of concordance repertories.
The word “concordance” means a state of being of the same heart and mind, a harmony, a harmonious arrangement of the symptoms. This word was first used in homeopathy by Boenninghausen in his Therapeutic Pocket Book. The word concordance was replaced by “Relationship of Remedies” in a later edition by Allen.
- The Knerr Repertory is based on Herring’s Guiding Symptoms which has many constitutional / clinical rubrics associated with characteristic symptoms, so a particular mind or physical or physical particular symptom may be associated with that clinical diagnosis, and a specific rubric based directly on the provers’ language which makes it pure or given as it is.
When to use Knerr Repertory?
- This repertory has a lot of Clinical Rubrics which are especially associated with AGE, SEX and PATHOLOGY
For example: General; EMACIATION; brain; affection, with dry, flaccid skin (1): 3Helleborus
Emaciation when associated with Brain affection and dry Skin – Helleborus is the only remedy in this Rubric. So This Repertory is also very useful in Clinical Pathologies
- Useful especially in cases where Level of experience is Level 1 (Name), level 2 (Fact) i.e. symptoms mainly at the diagnosis and the factual level.
- Useful in cases where the Mind symptoms, Dreams and Fears are not so prominent.
- However, many of the rubrics from this repertory can be used only if you are well familiarised with this repertory and need to study this later with Herring’s Guiding Symptom.
- An eminent feature of this Repertory is that, the symptom is not converted into rubric – it is given directly in the prover’s language (similar to Gentry Repertory).
- Another major use is when there are two separate pathologies, like- Calculi in Subacute Pleuritis, where the only remedy is Arg- nit (this rubric indicates two separate pathologies in an individual)
- Mind chapter- Rubric- Sad, Sub-Rubric- anxious with cancer uteri, where the only remedy is Graphites
- It is a CLINICAL REPERTORY and hence it is of a major advantage in cases where the characteristic symptom is unavailable and only clinical diagnosis is available.
- It is a widely used bedside clinical repertory with compilations mainly based on Materia Medica by William Boericke.
- The repertory has a separate chapter on Circulation- nerves, separate chapter on Ailments From and a separate chapter called Therapeutic Index
- There are also many Clinical rubrics like- Chapter-Ailments from- Angioma, where the only remedy is Abrotanum
Chapter-Ailments from- Atrophy, where there are 3 remedies- Ars, Iod and Ol-jac
- Some rare Clinical diseases which were especially seen in older times like- Riggs’ Disease
- Clinical observations are also added from Burnett, Clarke and homoeopaths of earlier eras, like – Chapter- Generalities – Rubric- Cancer- Sub-rubric-remedies to relieve pains, where the main remedy is Calc ova tosta
- In Chronic Disease to begin treatment- complaints appear atypically- Moschus.
-Effusion threatening – Iodoform; Mutinism of childhood- Agraphis nutans.
- Strange mind symptoms, like:
Chapter- Mind, Rubric- PERFORM great things, desire to, where the only remedy is Cocaine
- The main idea in this repertory is that it gives remedies with such high prominence, not so in other repertories.
- Also this repertory has some interesting rubrics, like for example:
-Circulation; ARTERIES, AORTA; Rupture of artery (31): 2 acon., 2 arn., 2 bell., 2 glon., 2 lach., 2laur.