Kent’s Repertory: a Guide

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Kent’s Repertory:

an Aid in Applying the Doctrines of Hahnemannrepertory

 By JULIA C. LOOS, M.D., H-M., Harrysburg, PA., U. S. A.

The Homeopathician, January 1912, Vol. 1.1


The method of treatment to restore health, expounded by Hahnemann is only hinted at in the name he applied to it – Homœopathy : The practice summed up in the law “Similia Similibus Curantur.” The foundation on which this law rests cannot be disregarded by those who would apply it with confidence and with benefit. Construct the arch of the foundation, on one side with the doctrines of (1) Vital Force and (2) the Totality of Characteristic Symptoms, correspondingly on the other side with the doctrines of (1) Dynamic Drug Force and (2) Drug Pathogene­sis on the Healthy, united and held in position by the keystone (3) Individualiza­tion, each stone true and accurate in structure and placing. Then build your application of the law “Similis Similibus Curantur” on that and you have a road for the prompt, mild and permanent restoration to health. If these stones be defective, or one omitted, the arch will not hold, the road will be unreliable and will be discarded for some path that appears more alluring or more promising. Keep this road illumined by the lamps Obedience to hygienic law – physical, mental and moral ; Patience to Wait for developments, and Uninterrupted Action of medicine, gained by permitting suitable intervals between the doses.



These are the doctrines expounded in the ORGANON OF MEDICINE, the fruit of many years of Hahnemann’s work, and more recently elucidated in James T. Kent’s book, “Lectures on Homœopathic Philosophy.”

The first fundamental essential is perceiving the patient as a unit, an organism in disorder, a co­ordinated being under the control of life force ; not a collection of organs and tissues isolated or separate from each other, nor some entity in the form of a specific disorder which bas entered the organism, to be dealt with as separate from the living being.

The Precautions for a physician prepared to restore order in the sick promptly, mildly and permanently, in­clude three definite items – (ORGANON § 3.)

  • (a) Knowledge of what is curable in dis­order (disease),
  • (b) Knowledge of what is curative in medicines, and
  • (c) Knowledge how, properly, to apply the medicine to the individual case of sick­ness.

(a) Much advance is noted, in the conception of what constitutes sick­ness and what characterizes the sick person, since Hahnemann wrote his astounding doctrines. Though they are not universally adopted even at the present time, recognition of the in­fluence of the unseen, the power of the immaterial, has largely replaced the materialistic views of his day. We find, however, that Hahnemann had this perception and taught it, so far as his pupils could receive it. Before the modern practice of mental healing and mental causative influence in diagnosis, he intelligently demon­strated that sickness is in the unseen forces of the being and the tissue changes are but the results of this sickness, not the sickness itself. (ORGANON §§ 7-15. Kent’s “Lect. on Hom. Phil., Chaps. 7-10.)

As a man thinketh, so is he. The man is his mind. The body is the elaboration of the mind, through the power of the vital force. It is the house of the tenant, into every part and cell of which the mind extends and expresses itself. The innermost is the mind and the outermost is the body. What is curable in sickness is the vital disorder which disturbs the harmonious expression of mind in healthy functional action, nutrition and repair of tissue cells. The symp­toms that characterize the patient in his, disorder, that distinguish him from a normal being, rationally controlled and in harmonious action : the symptoms that distinguish one sick : the strange, rare and peculiar symptoms that differ from common expressions of derangement – these are the evidences that reveal what is curable. The disorder and the tissue results of disorder must be clearly distinguished to the perception.

(b) What is curative in medicine has not yet been learned by any except students of Hahnemann’s teachings. The majority of doctors in modern times take a strange satis­faction in declaring that there is nothing curative in medicines. So unsatisfactory has their administra­tion become, as medicines have com­monly been employed, that a general revolt has arisen against them, though in particular cases of suffering, habit sends the sufferer again to medicines. Different forms of drugless healing and various methods have come into better repute and appear often to give more satisfactory results.

The only method of obtaining knowledge of what is curative in medicines is by the Pure Provings on the Healthy. (ORGANON §§ 105-108. Kent’s Lects., Chap.28.) Proving col­lects the symptoms as evidence of the action of each drug, separately, espe­cially in reference to those symptoms that reveal the man himself in dis­order, expressing the alterations in will and intellect and their exten­sion into the tissues.

(c) The third point, the applica­tion of medicines to the particular case of sickness, is the practical appli­cation of the preceding knowledge. It constitutes the art, as the other. two constitute the science, of healing. Employment of the single remedy, in the minimum dose to obtain curative results, according to the similarity of sickness image and remedy image, constitute our rational method of treat­ment. (ORGANON §§ 146-153. Kent’s Lects., Chap. 31.) It is the method which has given wonderful results in innumerable cases of suffering, supe­rior results which have given to the system of Hahnemann the position it occupies in the esteem of the wise.

Failure by prescribers to obtain the expected results is due to insufficient knowledge of one or more of these three cardinal precautions in the judicious, true practice of medi­cine. Such failure on the part of the prescriber almost certainly throws discredit on the method and leads to adulteration of practice and renuncia­tion of faith in the power of Homœopathy. The result of failure should be a better preparation, on the part of the individual prescriber, for the art which has been signally successful when conducted according to the science which underlies it.




Familiarity with the plan and ar­rangement of Kent’s Repertory is the secret of its usefulness. This com­prehension is not difficult but simple. The prime necessity is the foregoing acquaintance with the doctrines on which an homœopathic prescription is based. These doctrines are em­phasized and fixed in the mind by use of the book ; but it is useless as a book of reference except the patient be viewed according to our fundamen­tal conception – as a unit, an individ­ual in disorder, disturbed from the in­nermost to the outermost. This the repertory reiterates unceasingly.

Using it as a reference book, we seek the remedies having the symptomatol­ogy presented in the patient. On the other hand, as a consultant it acts as a monitor and guide, a quiz master. In effect it asks the prescriber : “What are the characterizing features of this individual case of sickness; what are the symptoms which mort forcibly and clearly express the dis­ordered being?” That which this query demands, viz. : the prescriber’s perception of what symptoms are most expressive of the individual and most characteristic of his disorder, is essential before search is made in the repertory for remedies character­ized by such symptoms.




The innermost of man is the mind; the innermost of the mind is the will ; hence the symptoms of the will are most expressive of the patient in disorder. Most important in study, the first to be considered, are the expressions of disordered affections­ – emotions, desires and aversions. These are classed in the repertory under MIND, in the rubrics :

Anger, contrariness, curling, hatred, im­patience, indignation, irritability, quarrel­someness, rage, shrieking, violence, anxiety in various phases, and fears in various phases, despair, sadness, weeping, aversion to many things, cowardice, nymphomania, ail­ments from bad news, from grief, from love, front reproach, from sexual excesses, ennui, discouragement, lasciviousness, loquacity, aversion to talk, aversion to being spoken to, contradiction of will, and many other dis­orders in sentiment.

These are arranged alphabetically, in each instance the simple rubric first, then the details of circum­stance and time and specific forma.

Next in order, closest to the will, is the intellect. Perversions in intellect, rationality, intelligence, under­standing, are also included in MIND.

These include absent-minded, absorbed, ab­straction, errors in answers, clairvoyance, alterations in comprehension and concentra­tion, confusion, delirium, delusions, dullness, sluggishness, ailments, from mental exertion, gestures, abundance or deficiency of ideas, imbecility, mistakes in speech and writing, in mental activities, mental prostration, som­nambulism, disorders of speech and thought, unconsciousness.

Investigation of the rubrics in this section should be made in every case where any symptoms relative to the mind can be obtained. The mental symptoms, the innermost expression, give the key to the entire case. The remedies that correspond to the mental image will form the basis for further comparison.

The will is expressed also in the physical desires and aversions, the physical affections. Some things give comfort and amelioration and others afford discomfort or aggravation of symptoms. These are expressive of the entire being; they dominate as a general dominates. and controls his army, and are termed “generals” because they are dominating. In the section GENERALITIES, these are found alphabetically arranged. Im­portant among them are :

Heat and cold, motion and rest, time of ag­gravation (in reference to the parts of the day, the month and the seasons) effects of positions, wetting and bathing, influence of pressure, touch, rubbing, jarring, the effect on the individual from eating, from fasting, effect of coition, of defecation and urination, of menstruation, of sleep. (The patient in himself is worse or better after these func­tions.)

A complete record of a case in­cludes the symptoms of the patient­ – those that relate to the organism­ – regardless of the specific or particular disorder the patient suffers.

Among the generals, included in GENERALITIES, are those rubrics which refer to the conditions affecting the physicial organism, related to the functional action, not of one part but in general ; the nature of physical alterations.

These include anæmia, physical anxiety, apoplexy, atrophy, discoloration of parts, can­cerous conditions, caries, catarrh, catalepsy, chlorosis, chorea, congestion, contractions, collapse, convulsions, cyanosis, dropsy, dwarfishness, emaciation, exostoses, faint­ness, hemorrhage, gonorrhœa, heat flashes, indurations, inflammations of varions tissues, excessive physical irritability, jerking, lassi­tude, inclination to recline, loss of fluids, character of discharges, numbness, orgasms of blood, distinctive character of pains, paralysis, plethora, variations in pulse, lack of reaction, relaxation, sides affected, slug­gishness, stagnation sensation, swelling of various tissues, trembling, twitching, varices, weakness under various circumstances, effects of injuries, of intoxication, of lifting, of sexual excesses, of various poisons, sequellæ of acute disorders, septicæmia.

These all relate to the patient, rather than to one organ or one part of the body. Some of these conditions are reported directly, as relating to the patient, as when he says, “I tremble; I am weak; my pains are all burning sensations, cutting sensations; this I had after measles, or after vacci­nation ” etc. Other conditions are perceived by a collective survey of the symptoms as the patient reports them, or as they are observed by others-anæmia, collapse, poison ef­fects, etc.­

Symptoms of menstruation, of coition, of sleep, chill, fever and perspiration are close to the indivi­dual as an organism, hence are symp­toms of the patient, but are to be found in the different sections of the Repertory devoted to GENITALS, SLEEP, CHILL, FEVER, and PER­SPIRATION.

Cravings for certain articles of food and water are expressions of the will (desires of the individual) manifested through the stomach.

Character of discharges from any part of the body indicate the condi­tion of the blood, to some extent, and the blood is expressive of the individual.

When the study of the patient with the repertory has extended through all the symptoms which express the patient-the Generals-and all reme­dies eliminated that do not have in general ; the nature of physical these rubrics in their symptomatology, the number of similar remedies is so small that it is possible to select the most similar without difficulty. Reason and experience are unanimous in teaching that the remedy which is most similar to the patient (as revealed by the general symptoms) will control any condition of disorder that is local, if controllable.

To complete the evidence of study embracing the Generals, or to verify the selection based on the Generals, comparison is extended to those symptoms relating to the various parts of the body, found under their own headings, in the various other sections of the Reper­tory. Guided by the preceding plan, the student consults each section, where the symptom rubrics are ar­ranged alphabetically, with details of circumstance and time secondary to the general character of the symptom. Here, also, we discriminate in layer of things more general, the more particular following in order.

This is not a long nor tedious method of study. It is scientific, simple, working from center to cir­cumference, and in the end saves time, strength and disappointment, because it leads to the best results in gaining the homœopathic prescrip­tion and the results attendant upon, the administration of the homœopathic prescription. Use of the Repertory according to its intended purpose leads the prescriber to in­vestigate the case, when listening to its report, with more emphasis on the patient as a sick individual and less as a specimen of morbid anatomy or a bacteria colony laboratory. It strengthens the aim to restore order in the patient so that the functions will be harmoniously performed, rather than to be satisfied with rapid extirpation of altered tissue or de­molition of the bacteria in their feeding ground. The homœopath deals with the beginnings of disorder, while the materialist devotes himself to the end results, regardless of their be­ginnings and the conditions that con­tinue them. This Repertory trains the prescriber more and more to the trend of mind to perceive the beginnings and estimate the relation of beginnings and endings.



Such use of the Repertory leads us to study the materia medica in a more scientific manner, perceiving the characteristics more in accordance with the doctrines. Whether in making acquaintance with a remedy alone or in comparison with the con­dition of a patient, we strive to be­come familiar with its influence in the mental realm on the desires and aversions (revealed in the modal­ities), and the effect on the patient, as herein outlined, in Generals. By establishing such a habit of com­parison, the perception is trained to study remedies in this scientific, rational method, from interior to exterior, from center to circumfer­ence, noting the effect on the provers, in the will, the intellect and response to every day environment, and these extended into the tissues, thus ob­serving the influence revealed in the disordered man rather than in the morbid anatomical changes produced.

The program of one of our state societies, last year, included the report of study of certain remedies in glandular affections. The study, as it was presented, was absolutely useless in determining the indications for these remedies in patients suf­fering glandular disorders because it presented only the glandular changes. It ignored completely the symp­toms relating to the patient, which should determine the effect on the patient, according to our doctrines for selecting a homœopathic remedy. If these be omitted from the materia medica study, its value as an in­strument for curing is absent. If these be omitted from the record of the individual case of sickness, there is no basis for a homœopathic prescription, though page after page of particular and common symp­toms be presented.

With his own copy every new remedy proved, every remedy Dr. Kent studies (and he is constantly studying remedies), is incorporated into the Repertory. The grade of every remedy in the rubrics is raised or lowered, and new entries made in the rubrics, according as further study or observation in clin­ical use reveals its proper place. New provings are reported to him from many countries and all reliable and consistent symptoms are inserted in their proper places. There is nothing to prevent every student of Homœopathy incorporating into his repertory the data he can collect, in consistent symptomatology, as he desires.

Many appeals have been received by this master of materia medica and prescribing, urging him to ex­plain his method of prescribing. There is no secret about it. The Repertory is furnished, the intro­duction outlines its plan. The method of using the book is to pro­ceed as suggested in the introduction, with the conception of the patient and his characteristics ever clear. Actually working in this line makes the plan and the doctrines ever clearer, and the perception truer, as attested by the work and the results of the master himself, and his pupils who have persistently and consist­ently followed that practice.

It is this method of working and studying, this line of thought through many years of active practice, that has led James T. Kent to his present ability to restore order in cases that baffle the efforts of those who have worked many years in Homœopathy. It is this which enables his pupils to undertake and succeed with cases That, from other views appear com­plicated and hopeless. The field of Homœopathy is so broad, from this point of perception, that there is always more awaiting our efforts. The joy of entering it is in proportion to the grasp of the comprehension of its doctrines, and the success in results is in proportion to the zeal with which they are applied.

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