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Insights Into Skillful Use Of Repertory – 2 Exploring Different Repertories

Last modified on August 15th, 2016

Written by Sneha Vyas

Drs. G. Gaikwad, S. Vyas and R. Shah, present insights in the use of various repertories.

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

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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:

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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.

KENT REPERTORY

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Practical utility:

  • 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).

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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.

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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.

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PHATAK REPERTORY      

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  • 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:

Location:

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

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For a person developing eruption, only between the fingers, then -PHATAK REPERTORY; FINGERS (7): am-m., lyc., ran-b., rhus-t., sil., sulph.

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Rare Rubrics

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.

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-PHATAK REPERTORY; EXTREME, GOES, to (4): bell., caust., con., valer.

General Rubrics

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.

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Pathological generals

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.

KNERR REPERTORY

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  • 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)

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  • Mind chapter- Rubric- Sad, Sub-Rubric- anxious with cancer uteri, where the only remedy is Graphites

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BOERICKE REPERTORY

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  • 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

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Chapter-Ailments from- Atrophy, where there are 3 remedies- Ars, Iod and Ol-jac

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  • Some rare Clinical diseases which were especially seen in older times like- Riggs’ Disease

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Weil’s Disease

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  • 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 April 2016 Gaikwad 21
  • 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

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  • The main idea in this repertory is that it gives remedies with such high prominence,  not so in other repertories.April 2016 Gaikwad 23
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  • 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.

-Circulation; ARTERIES, AORTA; Atheroma of arteries (35): 2am-i., 2ars-i., 2aur-i., 2bar-c., 2glon., 2kali-i.

  • The main idea of this Clinical Repertory is that very few remedies, especially main remedies are given in clinical rubrics, like the ones known for that pathology.

 BOGER- BOENNINGHAUSEN’S CHARACTERISTICS AND REPERTORY (BBCR)

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  • It needs to be understood keeping in mind its main philosophies – Doctrine of Analogy, Doctrine of Concomitants and Doctrine of Generalization.

When to use?

  • In cases having more modalities and concomitants, and cases where the pathological and objective symptoms are more marked.
  • Different types of constitutions and diathesis with groups of remedies are available in various chapters – Like- URIC ACID diathesis is given in aggravation and amelioration in General Chapter.
  • Some interesting Mind Rubrics given in BBCR which are not given in Synthetic Repertory-

-Mind; Alcoholism (67): 4ARS., 4NUX-V., 3Aurum, 3Belladonna, 3Calcarea, 3Cocc.

-Mind; Beseeching (1): stram.

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  • Many of these Rubrics have been added in Complete Repertory, however the technique of using it through BBCR is different.
  • One of the most useful sections in this repertory is the FEVER chapter.

Fever totality – it is a unique and important contribution of this repertory, where each stage is followed by time, agg, amel and concomitant. Some very useful rubrics from the chapter are:

-Fever; PARTIAL HEAT; single parts, of (124): 4AML-N., 4ARS., 4BELL., 4BRY., 4MERC., 4PH-AC.

-Cold; SHIVERING; PARTIAL; of single parts (71): 4BELL., 4PULS., 4STAPH., 4VERAT., 3Arsenicum, 3Causticum

  • Some very RARE rubrics – like: Infants affections of- is given in BBCR

-Generalities; Infants; asphyxia (4): 4ANT-T., 3Opium, 2chin., acon.

-Generalities; Infants; affections of, abdominal (14): 4CHAM., 4IP., 4RHEUM, 3Borax, 3Cina, 2acon.

-Generalities; Infants; indigestion, acute (5): 4IP., 3Aethusa, 3Nux-v., 3Pulsatilla, chin.

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CLARKE’S REPERTORY

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  • Clarke says this repertory is designed “for use in the study of the Materia Medica” and as an instrument for finding out the indicated remedies.

Practical application:

Strong Causation/Exciting factor is there in a given case

Constitutional feature of patient is prominent

  • It has three main sections- Clinical, Causes and Temperaments.
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  • Majorly it is useful In Causes- Causes From

Causes- Air, snowy- here there are two remedies- Conium and Sepia

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Causes- Driving in cold wind, where the only remedy is Sanguin-n

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  • Temperaments- this chapter is made specially depending upon the body constitution and symptoms:

Temperaments- Adults, males rather than females, where the only remedy is Plumbum

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Temperaments – Cancerous history, patients of, where there are three remedies Sars, Scirr and Tub

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  • Children constitution:

Temperaments- Children- Ride, who cannot, in jolting conveyances, where there is only one remedy Kali-iod

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  • Has given very few remedies in the Clinical rubrics, like:

-Clinical; Adhesions (1): thiosin.

ALLEN’S REPERTORY

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  • This repertory is based on Allen’s Encyclopedia and Allen’s Handbook. It is arranged in an Alphabetical order.
  • It is a Repertory where you have to open location of the rubric and then the symptom.
  • Allen’s keynotes are taken from Allen’s Encyclopedia, Allen’s Handbook and Herring’s Guiding Symptoms.
  • Strong keynote- rubric like patient is unable to kneel down, so Rubric- KNEEL DOWN, unable to, where the only remedy is Tarentula
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  • One of the interesting cases analyzed using Allen’s Repertory that I remember was of a 40 year-old man with huge ankles, enormously swollen with constant itching and aggravated by slightest walking who was given Bryonia
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  • without any relief. It was solved using this repertory

I was surprised to see the remedy Arundo and with it the swelling reduced within a day.

ROBERTS REPERTORY

  • It is a Puritan (Concordance) Repertory.
  • The sources of this repertory are from three major works viz. Dr. Constantine Hering’s Guiding Symptoms, Dr. John Henry Clarke’s Dictionary of Symptoms and Dr. Henry Charles Allen’s Handbook of Symptoms. Dr. Roberts took frequent references from Dr. Timothy Field Allen’s Encyclopedia & Dr. Anshutz’s New, Old & Forgotten Remedies.
  • The repertory is based on sensations, if patient starts by saying ‘as if’, then the only repertory to be looked in is Roberts Repertory.

If a patient says there is an itching sensation as if biting of ants, we can find it under, Chapter- Skin, Rubric- Biting, Sub-rubric- of ants, where there are two remedies- Gamb and Lach

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Choked in the chest- in the Complete Repertory shows many remedies, but in this repertory, there is only one : Internal chest-Choked in chest, the only remedy is Lil-tig

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  • If there is a strong sensation which is the main one in the case, then one can use Roberts

COMPUTER SOFTWARE – REFERENCE WORKS

  • Software is one of the revolutionary new instruments for homeopaths, as it broadens the horizons for case analysis
  • It has 2 sections to it, namely – REPERTORY and REFERENCE WORKS

 REPERTORY

The software repertory has a few salient features

  • It readily gives the cross references
  • It becomes easier to combine rubrics
  • We can easily get a Repertory Sheet
  • The Author – who has suggested the Marks for the remedy is readily available

REFERENCE WORKS

This is a huge advancement for homoeopathy since it has in it all the different repertories and the different Solved cases plus proving symptoms which may not have been added in the Repertories and all the materia medica books plus  recent Materia medica and new provings.

For example, if a patient has a symptom: metrorrhagia with excessive thirst,  this symptom is unavailable in the repertory. However if we use the REFERENCE WORKS, as a search engine like- Metrorrhagia within four words of thirst (3): 3Acet-ac., cham., plat. We get 3 remedies, on studying the references Phatak MM – Acetic-acid- Metrorrhagia, with great thirst; after parturition. Threatening abscess of the breast. Milk impoverished, bluish, sour; suckling droop lose flesh, get marasmus.

Case Example:

I had an interesting case recently of a 40 year old man – with vitiligo. He says that from the time I have these white spots on my face and I have developed an itching in them. When I tried to search the repertory – I couldn’t find the exact symptom

When I searched it through the reference works –

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White within four words of spots within four words of itching (22): 3Torul., all-s., apis, calc., calc-sil., cassi-f., coca, dulc., electr., herin., kreos., mangi., mim-p., nat-c., nit-ac., ozone, paraf., pip-m., pitu-a., sulph., thuj., urt-u.

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When I went through every reference – the only remedy which was exact was Sulphur with which the symptoms disappeared in the next few days.

Reference works is basically the REPERTORY OF THE FUTURE which will bypass everything. So we can go through the repertory and come to very exact proving symptoms through the Reference Works.

Thus, the repertory which seemed to be so easy to use in college has been the most difficult to apply in practice. I hope this has given all the readers a good insight into the application of repertory for a successful practice.

the other song is organizing the Repertory series ‘Mastering the Repertory’ which will cover a range of  topics including the use of repertory and practical application of repertory demonstrated through cases. The lecture series will also involve case exercises, video lectures and webinars to thoroughly train the students in skillful repertorial application.

A small glimpse into the content of the course:

  • Different chapters of Kent’s repertory
  • How to study mind rubrics
  • Finding exact symptoms in the repertory
  • Single drug rubric
  • Finding the expression of the patient
  • Use of Repertory in pathological cases
  • Use of Repertory with Kingdoms and Miasms

The faculty of the other song, including Dr. Rajan Sankaran, Dr. Jayesh Shah and Dr. Sujit Chatterjee, will speak on various topics to provide deeper insights into the subject in weekly lectures over the year.

‘the other song’ Academy and Clinic:

Launched on July 1, 2011, the other song – International Academy of Advanced Homoeopathy, is a pioneering institute that offers the best possible homoeopathic treatment to patients, and teaches the latest advancement in the field of Homoeopathy to doctors. Spearheaded by Dr. Rajan Sankaran and ably supported by his colleagues, it is the converging point of some of the best minds in the field of Homoeopathy that our able to personally make invaluable contributions towards the cognitive enrichment of doctors and overall well-being of patients. The other song, besides being a world-class center of Homoeopathy, is also a platform for in-depth study and research in the application of Homoeopathy to a wide spectrum of diseases, testing skills and acumen of seasoned practitioners. It is inclusive in the use of alternative toolkit at the disposal of new-age therapists, i.e. yoga, meditation, diet, physiotherapy and focused counseling in order to facilitate and hasten total recovery of patients. It is also a forum where therapists from the domain of Homoeopathy converge to share their experience and widen the field of enquiry, research and advanced education.

About the author

Sneha Vyas

Dr. Sneha Vyas, M.D. (Hom), Resident Doctor, the other song

About the author

Ruchita Shah

Dr. Ruchita Shah, B.H.M.S.

About the author

Gaurang Gaikwad

Gaurang Gaikwad

Dr. Gaurang Gaikwad, B.H.M.S. graduated in 2011 from CMP Homoeopathic Medical College. He mainly got his motivation for studying homoeopathy from Dr. Vijay Vaishnav. He studied for seven months under renowned homoeopath Dr. Sarkar from Kolkotta. Later, he learned from L.M. Khan. Dr. Gaikwad has been with Dr. Sankaran in his OPD clinics for the last two years. He greatly contributed to the books Synergy in Homoeopathy and Synergy Synopsis by Dr. Rajan Sankaran and also worked on The Pathological Factor in Homoeopathic Prescription by Dr. Ashok Borkar. He is tremendously passionate about homoeopathy, especially studying the repertory in great detail.

4 Comments

  • An excellent article for use by Homoeopaths as well as by Layman. As far as degree is concerned I’m an engineer but I’m practising homoeopathy for family, friends and aquaintances. So, I need to know two things if you can help me out on the same, I’ll be highly grateful to you:
    1) Which is good cheap repertory software which I can afford, as I’m not a professional and only spend on medicines and do not earn out of it. Mainly it is a kind of social work I’m doing.
    2) Any diploma/distance learning course from Calcutta or elsewhere in India, after doing which I’ll be eligible to legally practice homeopathy.

    • You can go for Synthesis app available for around Rs 7000/-

      There are no online courses which makes you eligible to prescribe.
      Hope it helps.

      Good luck!

    • To Dr Shishir, You can Log on to HOPE on http://www.synergyhomeopathic.com and you will get many lectures for learning although there is no degree available for online courses.
      A Software Worth Rs.10000 is available with Synergy Homeopathic Also – which has the revolutionary MacRepertory and ReferenceWorks. You can Look up in the website and locate a Sales Rep based on your location.

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