Complete Repertory to Homoeopathic Materia Medica by Berridge

Book review by  Dr Sudheera A P

Full name: Complete Repertory to the Homoeopathic Materia Medica

Second edition
Revised rearranged and very much enlarged

Year of Publication:1873- April
No of pages-317
Price :–Rupees 12/-

No of Drugs represented:1171

Published by :B jain publishers
Printers: Jay Print Pack private ltd.-New Delhi-110015

About the author: Dr. E.D.Berridge M.D.
(Bachelor of Medicine and bachelor of Surgery of the University of London Doctor of Medicine (By examination ) of the Homoeopathic College of Pencylvania)
(Formerly Recident Medical Officer to the Liverpool Homopathic Dispensary)

Author of
Index to cases of poisoning in the allopathic journals
Pathogenetic record

Contribution to
Americal Journal of Homoeopathic Meteria medica
North American Journal of Homopathy
Hahnemannian Monthly
Hering’s Complete Materia medica
Monthly Homoeopathic review
Gregg’s Homoeopathic Quarterly
British Journal of Homoeopathy etc.

According to Dr.C. Hering:
“it is the only complete one we have , it is the clearest and best arranged and it will enable us to do twice as much as formerly in diseases of the eyes”

Basis of the book :C.Hering’s Materia Medica and addition from later provings
Added many valuable symptoms from cases of poisoning, reported in the allopathic journals

Describes about the aim of this work. Also strongly criticizing the deceptive works published under the names of “Domestic Homoeopathy” etc. and giving 3 reasons for avoiding those books

1. The plan of many of these works is entirely erroneous, the medicines being arranged under the names of diseases and followed by their symptoms, instead of being arranged under the symptoms as in repertory

2. These works are often written by men possessed of very little knowledge of Homoeopathy, who wish to gain notoriety by continually thrusting themselves up on the notice of the public by popular books, tracts, pamphlets, journals etc.—only glorification of the author , vilification of Hahnemann and his followers

3. they all encourage the public in that curse of Homoeopathy, the alternation of medicines, entirely opposed to the teachings of Hahnemann


According to Dr. Berridge, if we wish to obtain maximum benefit from Homoeopathy , we can only do so by faithfully following the three great rules of the Master

1. Careful selection of similimum
2. Single remedy
3. Minimum dose

Gradation of medicines 
He says Boenninghasuen and Hahnemann insisted up on the necessity of having the medicines in a repertory distinguished by different types to show their relative value, but hitherto such classification has been entirely arbitrary. The plan he proposed is based entirely on the provings, not on the clinical experience of any one individual, and shows the relative frequency with which any symptom has been produced, compared with every other symptom of Materia medica

Count the no of distict pathogenetic symptoms of each medicine obtained from different provers irrespective of their conditions and concomitants

Eg.:”Dilated pupils’ has been produced by a medicine on 20 different provers, it is counted as 20 symptoms , but if 20 times in the same prover, only as one, even though conditions and concomitants should vary each time. Then if the total no of provers up on whom a symptom of any medicine has occurred amounts to 1-25th of total no symptoms of the medicines obtained as stated above, the medicine producing that symptom is placed in the first rank . The following typography is used

Italic capitals
Plain capitals
Roman letters
Roman bracketed- doubtful

The above typography is used mainly in relation to the rubrics and not to indicate the marks of medicines. The medicines are written either in roman or in roman parenthesis in the repertory part.

Plan and Construction:
A perfect repertory should contain a reference to every symptom of the materia medica under every rubric where it can possibly be looked for. To effect this he has divided each chapter of this repertory in 2 sections
1. The symptoms themselves
2. Their conditions(including concomitants)

Section I is further divided in to 5 sections

  • Functional symptoms
  • Anatomical regions
  • General character , sequence and direction
  • Right side
  • Left side

Section II in to 2 subsections

  • aggravation
  • amelioarions

All the symptoms in these subsections are arranged alphabetically, excepting the peculiar symptoms ,which not falling under any general heading are placed last All symptoms of a nearly identical meaning are placed under the same rubric, according to the table of synonym.

The conditions including the concomitants are arranged in 23 groups as follows
1. Time
2. situation and external influences
3. posture
4. touch
5. motion
6. head including mental symptoms
7. eyes
8. ears
9. nose
10. face and front of neck
11. teeth
12. mouth and throat
13. Abdomen (including stomach anus and al functional symptoms thereof
14. urinary organs
15. sexual organs
16. chest and larynx
17. back and nape of neck
18. arms
19. legs
20. sleep
21. fever(Chill, heat, sweat)
22. generalities (including skin,bones convulsions, other drugs etc.)
the arrangement of symptoms in section II is in every respect exactly the same as that of section I

In the subsection I C Direction, the symptoms are given in the chapter belonging to the organ in which they commence, thus shooting from eyeball to head is given in the subsection 1 c of the chapter on EYES but not in that on HEAD

Sometimes in a complex group of symptoms one symptom follows another in this case if they are both in the same organ they are given in section 1, subsection c, if in different organs in section 2
eg.: Blindness followed by heat in eyes would be given in 1 C under the rubric “Symptoms changing character” but Blindness followed by heat in head would be given in section 2 under the rubric “Before head symptoms” and also in the Head chapter under After Eye symptoms

Section I
Functional symptoms :
Objects false appearance of(colors, far too, distorted, moving, multiplied, part visible)
Objects, imaginary (Halo, figures of living objects–)
Sight dazzled
Sight impaired(Blindness,dimness)
Anatomical regions-
Eyeball ( Conjuctiva , bulbar)
Inflamed (see red)
Chamber of eye
General Character, sequence, direction
Changing character
Right then left

Imporatance to analogy: 
As our Materia medica is still incomplete, we are still obliged to select the remedy to a certain extent by analogy.
Collectives of medicines agreeing with regard to anatomical regions , the chief divisions of the functional symptoms , general character sequence direction and sides are given under their respective rubrics and in these collectives doubtful symptoms only are bracketed.

Eg. Changing or alternating in character or place in eye , collectives as to the varieties of change of character or place are given (page 62)

In the rubrics “Right then Left” “Above then Below” and reverse clinical symptoms are marked with an asterisk , to facilitate the application of Hering’s Law of Inverse Directions

In this table he has arranged under one rubric all the varieties of expression which in practice I have found to be synonymous. According to him hair splitting distinction shouldbe avoided in a repertory (though in the Materia medcia the ipsissima verba of the provers should be given ), as different provers will often describe the same symptoms by different terms. Symptoms verbally the same may actually be different according to their locality. Thus pressing out in the had generally is equivalent to bursting , in the forehead to pressing forwards, in the occiput to pressing backwards, in the vertex to pressing upwards etc. He had arranged all such symptoms under real not verbal rubrics

Eg.:Boring- digging ,rooting
Cutting – acute, sharp

List of medicines:
A list of 1171 medicines given alphabetically. With regard to the abbreviation of the names of medicines, he has adopted a uniform and scientific method of cyphering , as it is quite time that such absurd names as Hepar sulphuris, alcohol sulphuris etc. be discarded for a more scientific nomenclature

In the appendix portion the omitted portion in the text is mentioned. The rubric- Changing character or place ( page 62) are reprinted in its complete form to avoid confusion

Corrections in different pages are given

For symptoms and conditions are given separately towards end

Opinion of press:
Opinion about the book by important personalities and several journals are given at the end separately.

Working out a case:
The author has given two cases from his practice to demonstrate the working method of this repertory
The symptoms should be arranged as mentioned below
1. Complaints, symptoms
a.Functional symptoms
bAnatomical regions
c general character , sequence and direction
d Right side
e Left side
2. Aggravation
3. Amelioration
4. concomitants

Some important rubrics: 
Eyeball motion (oscillatory movement)
Objects false appearance of
Eyeball eruption pterigium
Eyeball projecting
Eyeball colour red
Objects false appearance of parts visible (hemiopia)
Eyeball movements squinting (squint)
Looking at near objects( Presbiopia)
Eyeball lacrymation
Objects imaginary halo
Spots, black moving
Cornea eruption ulcers
Cornea opacity
Arcus senilis
Iris, pupils contracted
Eyelid paralysis (Ptosis)
Eyelid eruption styes
Lachrymal sac fistula

Scope and Limitation: 

As a regional repertory Berridge’s eye has not been put to the fullest utility, This can be very useful too if the scope and limitation are properly understood and implemented in practice.

1. Regional repertories can be used in the study of homoeopathic therpeutics as well as materia medica.
2. They help to repertorize the following type of cases
a) Cases lacking mental generals and physical general but rich with common symptoms
b) Cases with clinical diagnosis
c) Short cases with a few symptoms
3. They are used as quick reference books at the bed side
4. Regional repertories contain some rubrics, which are not found in other general repertories, therefore they can become a good companion in study of such rubrics
5. Regional repertories help us to find the most appropriate palliative medicines in incurable cases.

Being a regional repertory its use is limited to particular type of cases. They are mainly used for reference work not for a complete repertorisation
Grading of drugs-not done
Number of drugs less
Abbreviation different from the commonly using repertories

Dr Sudheera A.P  BHMS,MD(Hom)
Calicut. Kerala