Dr Sumesh P
A brief book review on Boenninghausen’s characteristics materia medica and repertory – C M Boger
Name of the book: Boenninghausen’s Characteristics Materia Medica and Repertory with word index
Author : C.M.Boger.
Publisher : Boerick & Tafel (1st Edition-1905)
Roy&co , India (2nd Edition –1937)
B.Jain Publishers (P) Ltd. New Delhi ( Reprint Edition- 1993)
2.Life History of Dr.C.Von Boenninghausen
4.Materia Medica part
This is written by H.A.Roberts. He says that it was Boenninghausen who first evaluated the remedies in relation to the individual symptoms and it was he who introduced various relationship of any given remedy to the individual case. The repertory is based on the original repertory of the Antipsoric remedies of Boenninghausen.
Life History of Dr.C.Von Boenninghausen
This is given by T.L.Bradford. M.D
C.M.Boger mentions that Masterpieces of Boenninghauasen-
1. Therapeutic Pocket Book
2. Apsoric repertory
3. Antipsoric repertory
4. Sides of the body
5. Intermittent fever
6. Whooping cough &
7. Aphorisms of Hippocrates
Were included in the repertory part.
The Materia Medica part consist of
2. Whooping cough
3. Domestic physician
4. Aphorisms of Hippocrates
5. Intermittent fever
On the use of Repertories
Repertory is used for discovering particular symptoms as well as for grouping remedies containing similar combinations in their pathogenesis.
Choosing the remedy
Selection of remedy is made after considering the following seven points
1. Changes of personality and temperament
2. Nature and peculiarities of the disease
3. The seat of the disease
4. The concomitants
5. The cause
6. The modalities
7. The time
The repetition of the dose
The primary and secondary action of many drugs repeats itself alternately, as long as the first dose has not exhausted its action- hence repetition should not be done during this period.
In diseases, which attack, man only once, every repetition retard the cure.
In chronic diseases the action of the remedy must be left undisturbed if we wish to attain success. After the administration of the carefully selected remedy, within 8 days (in acute diseases within few hours) one of the two events certainly follows either:
a. The state of the illness is changed
b. It remains the same
The change in the sick condition include one of three following events:
3. Disease alters its symptom complex
In the first case, repetition should be done only when the improvement comes to a visible standstill.
In the second case, which is called as Homoeopahtic aggravation , nothing further is to be done ; if it is too strong an antidote must be applied, which in most cases will be the smaller doses of the same medicine itself.
In the third case the remedy was incorrect, and that must be exchanged for a suitable one.
If the state of illness remains the same, which is due to want of receptivity, we must seek to remove it either by repeated small doses or by medicines recommended for deficient reactions.
A well correct medicine applied to a sick individual operates within sphere corresponding to its action will overthrow the disease; on the other hand if the reaction remains absent or new symptoms appear during the operation of the drug, the prognosis is grave.
Materia medica part (Characteristics)
Medicines are described in the anatomical order- for example;
23. Upper extremities
24. Lower extremities
29. Allied remedies
Materia Medica include the following 140 medicines;
2. Agaricus Muscarius
3. Agnus castus
7. Ammonium carbonicum
8. Ammonium muriaticum
11. Antimonium crudum
12. Antimonium tartaricum
14. Argentum metallicum
15. Argentum nitricum
21. Baryta carbonica
29. Calcarea carbonica
30. Calcarea phosphorica
35. Carbo animalis
36. Carbo vegetabilis
41. Cicuta virosa
48. Conium maculatum
58. Fluoricum acidum
64. Heparsulphuris calcareum
69. Kali bichromicum
70. Kali carbonicum
71. Kali nitricum
77. Magnes artificialis
78. Magnetis polus Articus
79. Magnetis polus Australis
80. Magnesia carbonica
81. Magnesia muriatica
86. Mercurius corrosivus
89. Muriaticum acidum
90. Natrum carbonicum
91. Natrum muriaticum
92. Natrum sulphuricum
93. Nitricum acidum
94. Nux moschata
98. Paris quadrifolia
100. Phosphoricum acidum
108. Ranunculus bulbosus
109. Ranunculus scleratus
113. Ruta graveolens
119. Secale cornatum
131. Sulphuricum acidum
136. Veratrum album
138. Viola odorata
139. Viola tricolor
Duration of action of remedies
Remedies are divided into following types depending on their duration of action;
1. short acting
2. brief acting
3. medium acting
4. long acting
5. very long and deep acting
He gives the twelve observations of Kent as the important hints for the selection of second prescription.
During Dr.C.M.Boger’ s time both the Benninghausen and Kentian schools were popular. Boger made a study of both but accepted Boenninghausen’s way of working out of a case. He tried to translate Repertory of Antipsoric Remedies. In the course of his translation work, he was further convinced that Boenninghausen’s basic principles, plan and construction were sound and that the book was comprehensible and hence practicable. He was also aware of the difficulties faced by the practitioners while using the Therapeutic Pocket Book and the criticisms leveled against its principles and the methodology. He undertook the major work of rewriting the Therapeutic Pocket Book, by adding aggravations, ameliorations and concomitants at the end of each chapter. This lead to the development of a new repertory- “Boenninghausen’s Characteristics and Repertory”.
This repertory is based on the following principles
1. Doctrine of complete symptom and concomitant
2. Doctrine of pathological generals
3. Doctrine of causation and time
4. Clinical rubrics
5. Evaluation of remedies
6. Fever totality
1. Doctrine of complete symptom and concomitants:
A symptom is said to be complete when the following elements are present-
c) modality and
Concomitants are the symptoms accompanying the main complaint without any pathological relation to the main complaint. They are known as the “unreasonable attendants”.
He tried to make every symptom as far as complete and he included concomitants at the end of each chapter.
2.Doctrine of pathological Generals:
These are the general changes in the tissues and parts of the body. They reveal the state of the whole body and its changes in the changes in relation to the constitution. The chapter “ sensations and complaint in general” is full of examples of pathological generals, which include discharges, structural alterations, constitutions, diathesis, etc.
3.Doctrine of causation and time:
Boger has given adequate importance to causative modality and time modality. Each chapter in this book is followed by a separate sub chapter of time aggravation.
4. Clinical rubrics:
In the absence of characteristic symptoms, clinical conditions are very useful in grouping medicines, which can be further narrowed down with the help of modalities and concomitants and finally selecting one among them. They help the physician in case of advanced pathology.
5.Evaluation of Remedies:
Boger used the same five grading of medicines as Boenninghausen followed in his Therapeutic Pocket Book. The grading is based on the frequency of appearance of symptoms in the provers. He used five different typography to represent these grades:
(Roman) in parenthesis (1)
This is the unique contribution of Boger. The three stages of fever are followed by time, aggravation, amelioration and concomitants. They helps to repertorise any simple as well as complicated cases of fevers.
Concordances or relationship of remedies helps in the second prescription.
Plan and construction
Boger followed basic plan and construction of Boenninghausen’s Repertory of Antipsoric Medicines. He made several sections for different parts of the body and he added many rubrics and sub-rubrics. The chapter on fever has been completely changed in its arrangement and its contents. The different chapters and sub-chapters of the repertory.
Dr P Sumesh
Mdical Officer, Govt. of Kerala