The goal of this book is to help students and practitioners with their study of materia medica and cases. One important way of doing this is to study the comparisons between remedies, to explore the similarities and differences that allow us to make the finer distinctions in our prescribing. This book is therefore written from the point of view of the relationship between remedies and not so much the unique image of each remedy. It does not attempt to give an exhaustive picture of remedy pictures but to function as a supplement to the more in-depth materia medicas already available. Therefore, its main goal is to complement other textbooks on the subject and to attempt to weave a holistic view of our materia medica. There is no need to repeat information regarding the groupings of remedies and other methods of comparison that have been explored in detail in other books. However the interconnections between remedies can be seen from many angles and this book hopefully explores some of these in an interesting way.
This book is not adhering to any one methodology of system thinking or theory, whether kingdom, miasm, botanical classification, periodic table etc. Sometimes, classifications are used e.g., botanical families as a means of ordering remedies and/or mnemonic purposes. Of course some classifications are more clinically appropriate for comparison than others. The focus is whether it is clinically relevant and practical as a tool of comparison. Any theory or model is only useful if it makes our job easier and more practical and serves to clarify. The proof of any theory is in its application.
The book is designed to reflect the process of learning materia medica, moving from the larger, more well-known remedies to lesser used remedies, without ideally over-focusing on any one group. I have also listed certain rubrics for each remedy to allow people to study the rubrics and remedies further. The rubrics chosen either reflect key aspects of a remedy or that are not found easily in the repertory. I have not listed many obvious rubrics and I have not listed all the remedies in certain rubrics. The information already exists in the repertory and materia medicas but it is important to understand the relationship between the language of the repertory with the overall picture of a remedy and how that may be revealed in a homeopathic case. A rubric is simply a specific extraction of a symptom that is given as part of a whole story. The goal is to understand the rubric in relation to the whole case and also to be familiar with important rubrics for each remedy as well as to point out important rubrics used in daily practice.
The choice of remedies for each chapter may seem random but they were chosen to reflect their importance in daily prescribing and their function as a useful comparative device for many other remedies. The attempt was to create a representative group of remedies from the many possibilities within our materia medica. Of course, different homeopaths would choose different remedies based on their own experience but hopefully in the end, enough remedies are covered to allow a broad study of most important remedies.
An attempt has been made to balance the information given in each remedy, from the constitutional, psycho-dynamic images of remedies to specific keynotes and objective information that has been well verified in clinical practice. I have tried to avoid certain presumptive descriptions of remedy personality types unless they have been well documented. I have also avoided mentioning remedies whose provings or clinical data are still rather subjective. We have many remedies already and although there are some fascinating new and unusual remedies, I prefer to restrict the references to those remedies with which I’ve had experience or that have some solid documentation behind them. Again, this is a somewhat subjective choice but hopefully a balance is achieved between the better-known and the lesser-known remedies.
There has been a number of comparative materia medica books published before, from Farrington’s classic text in the 19th century to more recent additions. Hopefully this book will complement these and add a modern interpretation to the relationship between homeopathic remedies.