Since the discovery of Homoeopathy and proving of symptoms, different authors represent it in different ways. If we look back to the history of material medica, an evolution takesplace in presenting materia medica by different authors. With the advancement of time number of proved drug increased, a lot of clinical symptoms of many drugs are introduced by different Homoeopaths.
So many scholars of early and mid nineteenth century like Dr.Hering Dr. R. Hughes, Dr. J.T. Kent tried to systematize the writings of materia medica symptoms which resulted in different types of Materia medica.
Broadly Materia medicas can be classified into two.
- UNMODIFIED Type of Materia Medica
- MODIFIED type of Materia Medica.
It is difficult to typify the types of MM. But according to the ways of representation they can be grouped into different types.
Symptoms were mentioned in an unmodified form is directly in the form in which it was obtained from the prover.
- Schematic MM
- Keynote MM
- MM of pharmaco dynamic type
- MM of physiological action
- Clinical MM
- Therapeutic MM
- Picture type MM
- Picture method of MM
- Comparative type
- Approach through periodic table
- Study of drug by analyzing the group
- Combined type
- Specialized MM
MODIFIED TYPE OF MM
- Materia Medica Pura by Dr. Hahnemann
- Chronic disease their peculiar nature and their homoeopathic care by Dr. Habnemann
- The Encyclopedia of Pure MM by TFallen
- The Guiding symptoms of our MM by C- Hering (10 volumes)
- A dictionary of practiced MM by J.H. Clarks.
Merits of schematic type
- As the drugs are systematically written against each organ, if facilitates to memorize such multitude of symptom of each drug.
- A ready reference can be made easily and quickly for a particular symptom while searching it for a particular part of the body.
Demerits of Schematic type
- It is very difficult to give value to the symptoms according to their intrinsic worth. It is because the real unexpected deviations are lost due to its fragmental study. For eg : Chilly patient but likes cold drinks is peculiar to us but if it is separately mentioned in different section the real peculiarity of symptoms cannot be ascertained immediately.
- Dr. R. Hughes criticized this arrangement as “An artist painting a family painting keeping all eyes of all the members of family in one part of the picture all the nose in one another and so on.
After the age of schematic MM a new school of thought was founded who were the sponsors of kenote characteristic of symptoms. They attached special importance to these peculiar rare and striking symptoms. It was introduced by Guernsey. Hahnemann, Lippe told it as characteristic symptoms.
Definition of Keynote symptom
In comparing the symptom of medicine we find that each medicine present peculiar difference from other medicines. These difference by which one remedy is distinguished from another are key notes of the remedy .
As there is only one key note to any piece of music, however, complicated and that note governs all others in various parts, no matter how many variations are there showed in the remedy to be selected, there must be a peculiar symptom or combination of symptom which is known as characteristic keynote symptom. The key note generally falls under the following categories.
- Very peculiar symptoms
- Mental concomitant with bodily disease, Eg. Ars
- Precise locality Eg : Capsicum –Mastoiditis
- Course and direction of pain sensation Eg : Chel
- Alternative symptoms – alternate constipation& diarrhea-opium
- Keynotes on leading remedies by H.C. Allen (304 drugs)
- A primer of MM – TF Allen (265 drugs)
- A synoptic key to MM – By CM Boger (323 drugs)
- Leading symptoms of thousand remedies – by M. Bhattacharya and Co.
- Characteristic MM – by W.H. Burt
- Keynote and redline symptoms of the MM – A.V. Lippe (235 drys)
- Characteristic of Hom MM – by M.E. Douglas.
Merits of Keynote MM
- To quote B.K. Sarkar “The keynote is simply the predominating symptom or feature which direct one’s attention to the totality of the symptoms in & through which an individual case is expressed.
- The function of keynote in the process of finding similimum is suggestive.
- Its utility lies in the fact that when prescribes has become familiar with these keynotes he will be able more quickly to find the similimum because the field of selection is narrowed.
- Keynote prescribing is no doubt is a short cut and time saving device but it is often misused. We court failure if these keynotes are taken as final and generals do not conform.
- It tries to narrow down the number of likely similar medicine.
- It is also liable to misfire as it ranks one or two symptoms very high and practically ignores other.
- List of keynotes though of very great value cannot take the place of full schema. The prescriber is constantly requiring to know the exact symptoms produced and curved by the drugs and often these are not to be found among the keynotes. Again when a prescriber has found correspondance in some leading symptoms he must refer other particulars also.
- That’s why Dr. Tyler apthy remarks that the keynotes symptoms are invaluable often to give the costing vote.
3. MM OF PHARMACODYNAMIC TYPES
After the age of schematic MM, few authors and some genius of Homoeopathy interested in MM of pharmacodynamic type.
- The new comprehensive system of MM &therapeutics by Dr. Hempel (2nd Edn 1865)
- Lectures on MM – Carol Dunham (5th Edn. 53 med.)
- A manual of Pharmaco dynamics by R. Hughes (6th Edn. 1880 medicines.
In these books particularly in pharmaco dynamics by R. Hughes the main object is to set forth the sphere of action of each drug. Every medicine even though if it is great polychrest which seems to embrace nearly the whole organisms within the circle of their influence has one or more centre of action. These centers sometimes from the pathogenic sometimes form the clinical side. Many authors are of view that if these centers can be traced out for each drug, the understanding and remembrance of the drug become easy.
Eg : Nausea and vomiting of Ipecac.
Many symptoms of the drug could have been overlooked in this type of study.
4.MM OF PHYSIOLOGICAL ACTION
Eg : 1. Physiological Materia Medica by W.H. Burt Ist Edn. 1881, 3rd edn – 1882 (no of drugs 281)
- Characteristic Materia Medica by D.C. Dasgupta Ist Edn. 1936 (no of drugs 176).
This type of books deals with the kind of action of each drug. Here attempt is made to describe the central theme of physiological action or actions of each of them.
- It is a retrospective study from stored drug pathogenesis collected from proving on human beings and clinical practice. This type of MM produce a new method for Homoeopathy, to receive a scientific base from physiological and pathological stand point.
- By knowing the physiological and pathological action ie, on which tissue it acts and how it affects them give direct knowledge of its curative action. The knowledge of its physiological or local action gives the key to its therapeutics.
- When summoned to court, sphere of action of remedy must be known by the physician to protect him.
Many symptoms of the drug could have been overlooked in this type of study.
5. CLINICAL MM
In this type of books discussion is emphasized on therapeutic aspect with other symptoms
Eg : 1)A clinical MM by E.A. Farrington
Ist Edn 1887, 536 drugs.
2)A dictionary of practical MM by E.A. Farrington
3)Pocket Manual of Homoeopathic MM with repertory by W. Boericke 9th Edn 1927-1414 drugs
- A quick selection of a drug can be made as the medicines are compared on its clinical aspect.
Complete picture of the drug cannot be compared on its clinical aspect.
6. THERAPEUTIC MM
Here the drugs are studied under the headings of different diseases.
Eg : Drugs producing pain in different joints are described under arthritis.
- Quick selection of drug can be made.
- It reduces the choice of remedy to a limited number
Whole picture of the drug cannot be studied.
Eg : 1)Practical Homoeopathic therapeutics by W.A. Dewey
2) Select your remedy by Dr. R.B. Bishambar Das. Ist Edn. 1956
3) The Prescriber 9th Edn 1947 (427 med) – Lilienthel
7. PICTURE TYPE MM
Here the pathogenesis of drug is presented in a comprehensive manner so that an individual picture of a drug comes out.
Eg : Homoeopathic drug picture by M.L. Tylor – 1952, 125 med.
Lectures of Homoeopathic MM By J.T. Kent – 1904, 174 med.
- Understanding of the whole drug can be possible in this type of MM.
- Comparative study also can be possible.
- As it is vast, a quick reference cannot be possible.
8. PICTURE METHOD OF MM
Hahnemann’s case taking was rather a bit crude. He used to jolt down the symptoms and indicated remedies for each symptom. He laid stress in the numerical totality of the symptoms and selected a drug which covered the majorities of the symptoms including strange, rare and peculiar symptoms. This method is tedious and painstaking job. Perceiving these difficulties Hahnemann’s and Bornning hausen’s contemporaries evolved a new technique for assessing the totality of symptoms with regards to its sensation, location modality and concomitant. This method also has certain limitations. This method is useful where there is lack of prominent mental symptoms. But presence of prominent mental symptoms open a new approach to arrive at a totality of symptoms it is done by Dr. JT. Kent. Swedenborg’s philosophical ideas influenced Kent to form a concept regarding sole, innerman & personality. According to him soul mind and body are degrees of existence in descending order and the entitative existence of a higher degree creates and moulds that of lower degree. So in order to cure disorders of the lowest plane of existence ie, matter in the human body we have got to influence the higher plane. So according to Swedenborg’s, Mind precedes body, mind regulates body and thus mental symptoms. We must try to find the clue to disorder in human economy. So, Kent emphasized the idea that the man is to be taken as a whole whether he is in a healthy or sick state.
Kent introduced a method of presenting drug picture by which the personality of a drug was made out in boldest headlines— its action on the man as a whole and its action on different organs, tissues and parts of the human body. So that each drug can be individualized for its administration to an individually sick person.
The scheme that the followed as follows.
- MENTAL SYMPTOMS
- Will – Love, Hate, Fear
- Understanding with delusions and delirium
- STRANGE RARE AND PECUliAR SYMPTOMS -These may occur among mentals, generals or particulars and must therefore be for varying importance and of ranks.
- PHYSICAL SYMPTOMS
- Sexual perversion (Love, Hate, Physical)
- Stomach – desire and aversion for food.
- Reaction to heat and cold
- Characters of discharges
2. PARTICULAR SYMPTOMS
Referring different anatomical points of the body
So, by this method we can bring out in bold outlines the picture of a drug in such a way as to pick out the individual drug as we pick out the individual being from a group of men.
This is what is known as a picture type materia medica ie, personification of remedies by artistic character, delineation which is an interesting form of material medica.
Demerits : As it is vast, a quick reference cannot be possible.
9.COMPARATIVE TYPE OF MM
In this type of MM, drugs having similar pathogenesis are compared with their differentiating points.
Again they are studied with similarity of pathogenesis at different level which are as follows.
a..At symptomatic Level
All clinical MM are of this type. Comparison of the drugs are made on peculiar signs and symptoms present in a drug.
Eg : Comparative MM by E.A. Farrington
Comparative MM by Gross (no. of drugs 115)
b.Comparison at Organ Level :
Drugs are compared with here indication for a particular organ. Those are otherwise known as “organopathic type”.
Eg : Therapeutics by K.C. Bhanja
c.Comparison at organ level : Drugs having a resemblances to each other are compared. Eg : Cina and Chamomella in the book -children types by Douglas.
Merits : Easy to understand the differentiating features of each drug. Useful when cases comes with apparently similar symptoms.
- All the symptoms can’t study by this way.
- Understanding of the whole drug cannot be possible in this type of MM.
10.PSYCHO ANALYSIS TYPE OF MM
In this type of MM mental symptoms and psychological sphere are analysed and probed so that drugs are individualized on the basis of their personality , temperament understanding etc.
Eg : Essence of Homoeopathic MM by George Vithoulkas
Portracts of Homeopathic MM by Catherine Coulter.
Homeopathic psychology by (35 drugs) Philip M. Barley.
- Understanding of drug at psychic level in possible, useful in cases with more of mental symptoms.
- Physical symptoms not included.
11. APPROACH THROUGH PERIODIC TABLE
This type of MM is introduced by Jan Scholten.
Periodic table consisting of 7 horizontal rows and 18 vertical columns. Dr. Scholten introduced a novel approach that drugs in each horizontal row bears some similar characters though differing in continuity. As example, the first horizontal row known as hydrogen series from hydrogen to helium. This series corresponds with concept of the period of un born child in the development of life. Similarly number of horizontal row is carbon series, Lithium to Neon corresponds toddler etc. 3rd series corresponds to teenager etc. like were the table shows the theme, age area, sense of tissue affection of medicine belonging to each horizontal group. The 18 vertical rows as described by him are stages in a cycle.
Similarly Dr. R. Sankaran attempted to explain symptomatic relations of drugs belonging to horizontal of vertical group.
- General features of the each row can be understood .
- Easy to remember.
- Action of each drug is not explained well .
- All the elements in a raw is not proved only a few are proved and using in our practice.
12. STUDY OF DRUG ANALYZING THE GROUPS
Drugs belonging to same family is vegetable Kingdom , belonging to same group in mineral kingdom and same species in animal Kingdom bears many similar relations as regards symptomatology is concerned, though bearing their own individuality to be differentiated. Eg : Ophedia group having common symptoms like sepsis, haemorrhage, ordema etc.
Egs : a. clinical MM by EA. Farrington
b.Homeopathy and Homoeopathic prescribing by Harvey Farrington.
Harvey Fariengton made groups accordings to his own choice not including drugs of same family but drugs bearing similar spheres of action is a group.
c.Text book of Homoeopathic MM by Otto lesser. He grouped as alkalies, halogens, Sulphur gr, carbon gr, heavy metals etc.
- General features of each group can be studied.
- Features differentiating each other can be studied.
- Easy to remember
- Some drugs will be entirely different from the group.
13. COMBINED TYPE
In the age of 20th century many genius of Homoeopathy try to represent all types described above, in gist with emphasis on important aspect relating to each drug.
- Text book of MM by S.K. Dubey
- Text book of MM by M Mohanty
- Systematic MM by K.N. Mathur.
Merits : They are ready made, easy to remember giving an overall idea of a drug.
Demerits : Even though all points are given in brief still they are not of the type in Jack of all trades, master of none. A clear picture of the drug cannot be understood.
14. SPECIALIZED MM
- Drugs of Hindustan – SC Ghosh (47 drugs)
- MM of nosodes – O.A. Julian Ist edn 1982 contants 66 drugs.
His MM of new homoeopathic remedies (revised Edn. 1979) contain 106 medicines.
Merits :Given drugs can be studied thoroughly
Demerits : Number of drugs are very less.