Book review by Mansoor Ali
Full name : Kent’s minor writings on Homoeopathy
Compiled & edited by Klauss-Henning Gypser MD
Published by : B Jain Publishers. New Delhi
Indian reprint edition
The major contribution to the field of Homoeopathy by Dr.J.T.Kent are Repertory, Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica & Lectures on homoeopathic philosophy. But many other papers, seminars, works, thoughts expressed by the master were not a part of the above. So Dr. W Sherwood compiled the various article, papers presented by Kent as “ New remedies, clinical cases, lesser writings, aphorisms & percepts “ in 1926.But various doubts arise about this book, about its originality the authenticity is questionable-no primary source of various contributions were given. So Gypser tried to collect all the articles sent by Kent to the periodicals of that time.-to bring to light what was written by him in facts. It is a very difficult task to Gypser, because as most journals were not available, and mainly held in various libraries in different countries.
So he had traveled many countries like USA, Canada,Brirtian etc. several times, and had to correspond extensively until the desired material was obtained.
The search for the original articles was done with outmost care, but even now it cannot guarantied that his compilation really contain all Kent’ work, other than his larger publications. But from this work a more correct judgment of Kent’s thoughts regarding Homoeopathy can now be made.
Salient Features of the Book
- First and fore most a bibliographic indication for the individual articles were provided
- Rendering possible a chronological presentation, thus enabling the reader to study Kent’s evolution of thoughts on Homoeopathy
- 49 articles of Kent were discovered which are not present in Lesser writings
- This collection comprise about 172 articles, 150 case histories & an appendix
- A critical evaluation of material was made to decide what could be incorporated in this edition
- He ascertained that the articles are geniually Kent and note lecture note taken by his pupils, noted down by others.
- For the above reason the aphorisms& percepts were eliminated.
- The article like Class room talks, The study of provings,The articles on Sycosis& Syphilis are lecture notes edited by Sarch L.Guild Leggett are avoided.
- In Sherwoods Aconite or Sulphur,Breech presentations are also avoided since their authenticity is questionable
- Editorials that didn’t explicitly indicates Kent’s author ship were also excluded.
- A few editorials were omitted because the dealt with non medical matters such as remarks about the creation of new journals or educational facilities
- Avoided Sherwoods frequent practice of sub dividing Kent’s articles
- A few entries from Sherwood edition were relegated to the appendix, because no source could be found for them- are Alteris farinosa, Culex muscae, Distinction between the similar & Similimum, To all Homoeopaths, and Vespa vulgaris.
- The contributions in this edition are reproduced, with a few exceptions, in the original version which was frequently not the case in Sherwood edition. Eg. Omitting the name of the person preparing the remedy, or leaving out Mind, Head etc.
- Sherwood also changed the type of print and some titles and he introduced his own divisions of the subject matter
- Gypser included simillimum instead of similimum,homoeopathy instead of Homoeopathy and capitalization of the first letter of remedy names.
- Names of person were generally printed in italics
- Obvious printing errors also corrected
- The index contain names of people and remedies.
Thought Provoking Points in Some Chapters
Aspermatism (1st chapter )
Is a condition in which the individual fails to ejaculate semen in coition.
According to Kent- Hypertrophy of the prostate and urethral stricture are often productive of this defect.
Restoring of spinal reflexes is the object in the management
Treat on constitutional peculiarities along with galvanic and faradic currents.
Vaccination – 1883 Page.28
He is in favor of vaccination.
“ From an active experience with vaccination, I am convinced that it is prophylactic in large degree”.
The state and condition following vaccination should be looked upon as disease and watched and treated by the family physician. He is in the habit of vaccinating children with the bovine virus that is known to be good.
He had none of the unpleasant things spoken by the antivaccinationists.
The condition that follow vaccination are not so much exaggerated as to appearance as they are understood in their etiology.
But in the article VACCINATIONS in 1901 (page 427)
“ I have watched it many years, examined the evidence on all sides “
He had to come to the conclusion that the evidence in favor of vaccination is extremely doubtful . On the other side vaccination has done an immense amount of injury to the human race, and to individuals.
“It has made many people sick, it has produced grievous ulcers and I have no doubt it mixed up many constitutional complaints. I see no ground upon which I should favor vaccination”.
At the same time he developed certain medicine to prevent disease.
Diphtheria (Page 39)
A gargle of sugar ad water is good for diphtheria along with remedies like Lyc,MBI,MPI
Malarial Fevers- Therapeutics (page 48)
Compared so many medicines with their indications which are very worth full in treating malaria.
Surgical Therapeutics (Page 85)
Explained the various medicines with their indications after the surgery or shock
Revision of Our Materia Medica (Page.93 )
The study of materia medica means laboring continuously. The cry for more perfect materia medica is vain one. The plan advocated by Coperthwait is good enough for a condensed material medica .The man who needs few remedies & few symptoms only are happy with this condensed material medica. But in Allen’s encyclopedia all the pathogenesis are included.
Emergencies- Euthnasia (Page.97)
In this article he had given direction for treating in acute emergencies and grave conditions. The tre physician will embrace the opportunity to exercise his skills at this moment, without resort to the necessity of departing from the law. So take the symptoms of each individual case and select the remedy.
Phobias ( Page114)
He had compared so many medicines with their phobias, which help us to prescribe on keynotes and on bedside.
Eg. Actea spicata _ fear of death especially at night in bed
Aloes- fright at slight noise after nocturnal emissions.
What Shall We Do When The Law Fails (Page.133)
The remedy in not Homoeopathic simply because it is carried in the case of a Homeopathic physician. It is based upon a perfect law,that itr is not Homeopathically unless remedy is similar and curative. Many prescription lack the Homoeopathic relation necessary to a Homoeopathic prescription.
The learning Homoeopathy second hand is mostly the cause of so much lack of success in applying the means that results in Homoeopathic cure when properly applied.
What is Homoeopathy (Page.142)
In this article he emphasized that – the study of true pathology should be encouraged ,and is essential to the success of Homoeopathy and no Homoeopathician has ever discouraged it.
Culex Muscae (Page.166)
A detailed list of provers and symptoms obtained on proving are explained here under.
How To Study The Repertory (Page.191
Explained the need of repertory and method of working out a case. He said if Boenninghausen used the repertory with the limited remedies at that times proved,how much more do we need to consult.
The beginner should not try to abbreviate the anamnesis, but should write out the full general rubric.
Many of the most brilliant cures are made from the general rubric when the special don’t help. To be methodical the general rubric should appear in the notes of the prescriber and the special below it
Characteristics In Throat Disease (Page.216)
Explained and compared various throat remedies in detail.
Verifications (Page. 228 )
Explained the various striking ,singular,uncommon symptoms of many remedies which helps in individulisation.
The Second Prescription (Page. )
Give answer to – how long shall watched & wait after the first ?
_ Is the remedy still acting ?
_ If the symptoms are returning, how long shall they be
watched before second prescription ?
Give the medicine in water and in divided doses , this seems to have good action over single dry doses.
Many physician makes a correct first prescription and the patient does well for a while, but finally the test is made for the second and then all is lost.
The 3 rules of Hahnemann are- start with too small potency & dose
- avoid improper use of drugs
- don’t repeat unnecessarily
The Study of Our Materia Medica ( Page.241)
The student of our materiamedica must study a proving until he feels the image of the totality of the sick feeling of all the provers as if he had proved this remedy and felt all the morbid feeling of the provers.
There is no short way of learning materia medica ,the more condensed it is the more imperfect it is. Many of our keynotes are not be found in our proving ,they are better stated clinically.
Characteristic Symptoms ( Page.255)
Explained the characteristic symptoms of few medicines that may help for individualization.
Management of Uterine Displacements )Page.315)
He claimed with cured cases that the displacement of the uterus could be cured or palliated even , without mechanical support. In his experience two remedies are usually been sufficient to cure and the time required is 6 months-1 year.
Treatment of Domestic Animals (Page.370)
Suggested few medicines for the ailments of domestic animals with cured cases.
How To Use The Repertory (Page.422)
The use of the repertory in Homoeopathic practice is a necessity if one is to do careful work .. Our materia medica is so cumbersome without a repertory that the best prescriber must meet with only indifferent results.
Observation Regarding The Selection of Potency ( Page.474)
He said “ The selection of best potency is a matter of experience and observations, and not yet a matter of law.
According to him 30th potency is fond to be strong enough to begin with a case. The indiscriminate use of any one potency is very likely to bring reproach upon our art.
Any potency, no matter what it is high or low will cease to act after a time. That shows at once the usefulness of knowing about more than one single potency of a medicine.
Representative Symptoms ( Page.477 )
The symptom that the patient relates spontaneously are the true representative of himself and his parts.
The great aim of the Homoeopathic physician is to study the representations until the sick man stand out in bold relief, not the disease ,but including the disease.
How to Use The Repertory ( Page.477)
When the physician limit the list of remedies to the parts affected in working out a case of sickness by the repertory , he will often be disappointed in the result. We can go from generals to particulars, any one who have worked out the case the other way , that is from particulars to generals ,has found that the particulars are so scattered ,lead in various directions and to contrary results.
The Modern Tendency to Reprove Our Materia Medica ( Page.657)
He strongly criticizing this method.
On reproving nothing has been done yet to improve any of the old provings made in the early days ,we had gathered in the past all that is worth is knowing for the purpose of prescribing..
Many believe that the reproving should be done under eye specialist with all laboratory tests, blood test,BP etc. think that this is a highly scientific procedure and display would cause Homoeopathy to be accepted by the modern medicine people. In his opinion we would only subject to ridicule.
They aim at bringing forth the common symptoms and neglecting the symptoms that characterize the patient . our well proved remedies do not need reproving. Many of our scantily proved drugs should have further proving , but strictly on Hahnemannian method.
The Definition of A Homoeopathic Physician ( Page.658 )
“ A Homoeopathic physician is one who adds to his knowledge of medicine a special knowledge of Homoeopathic therapeutics and observe the law of similars “.
“ The Homoeopathic physician one who prescribe the single remedy in the minimum dose in potentised form selected according to the law of similars “
Adoption of Homoeopathy ( Page.663 )
He says , our literatures have been defective, to a large extend, as a teaching medium – that which has been prepared for laity. In the literatures of the past we observe many incongruities.
Hahnemann’s organon is a rich source of knowledge, but it is in long sentences and very condensed, and very difficult for many to understand. The subject is so deep, so difficult to comprehend.
Nearly all our students fails to study these principles ,such a state of affairs delays the spread of Homoeopathy.
Books ( Page.664 )
Homoeopathy is slow to win its way because of the defective use of the books, as well as defective books,thus producing results that are not striking but merely ordinary.
The Position of the Specialist ( Page.665)
The local treatment of the nose and throat, vagina, eye and ear , is no doubt the most dangerous of all works done by specialists.
The smallest part of the body should never be treated except by a remedy that fits the symptoms of the entire constitution, organs or parts.
Land Marks of Homoeopathy ( Page.678)
He criticized those who are practicing other methods along with Homoeopathy.
“ It is a source of much astonishment that, so many apparently good Homoeopathic physicians depart from the law and order methods of practice, and adopt faith cure,hypnotism,mind cure etc.
It is undoubtedly because of the lack of the knowledge of the science of Homoeopathy. The art has been studied , but the science of art has been neglected”.
The hypnotics don’t know the quality or form of the force he uses. He does not know the symptoms it will produce upon the healthy. The symptoms produced by hypnotics are mostly observed on the sick and feeble , hence are doubtful.
According to Kent the art of healing must not be taught first . The science must be taught first , and the art next – the law first and experience following.
To convince students by the clinic is incorrect teaching. The proper method is to teach first the science and convince the mind that the doctrines are true, that the art may be taught by clinics.
The Language of the Repertory ( Page 656 )
“ He must study the repertory until he learns how to use it, so that he can find what he wants when he needs it. “
the physician must read over and over the rubrics in the repertory in order to learn what is in it and how symptoms are expressed . Many fails to use the repertory because they think of symptoms in pathological language or because they look for expressions in the language of traditions.
The proper use of repertory will leads to correct offhand prescribing in simple cases – with in 10-20 years. The mechanical use of the repertory never leads to artistic prescribing nor to remarkable results.
The Development & Formation of Repertory ( Page.725 )
Kent’s repertory was not completed by Kent himself
Kent completed the repertory of urinary organs ,chiil,fever and sweat.
With other sections partially complete.
Lee helped to complete Mind and Head
The modalities of Head & Generalities are given in the last
He say “ It is of course a compilation ,I did not manufacture the symptoms,but wrote them the best way I knew “.
Bibliography given on page.737 – which add authenticity and reliability to this book
Alphabetical list of articles are given on page.742
Index of persons on page. 749
In Appendix – a note on Alteris farinosa,Culex,The difference between similar and similimum , Vespavulgaris , and To all Homoeopths given.
To All Homoeopaths
He strongly criticize mongrels
“ If you give quinine, go on with it,if you give an opiate go on with it,do not go back to Homoeopathy “.
Some men are incapable of grasping Homoeopathic doctrines, and fall back in to mongrelism which is a cross between Homoeopathy and Allopathy.
If the doctor has not the grit to withstand the cries of the family, the criticism of the friends, the threatening of hoi pocket book and of his bread and butter,he will not practice very long. A honest man doesn’t fear these things.
The doctor who violate the law also violate the consciousness, and his death is worse than the death of the patient.
IN SHORT - This compilation of the valuable articles of our master will help us in the following way
- the basic concepts of Homoeopathy
- why we are failing
- how we can overcome our failures
- how to study MM & repertory
- how to teach Homoeopathy
and so many more…..