Miranda Castro
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::How to Study a Homeopathic Remedy: A Summary::

First published in Homeopathy Today in September 2003

Start by studying a single remedy with a pen and pad at hand.

Read the symptoms through from beginning to end over and over, and with each reading, pay attention to one of the following:
1.     Overall impression: what is your overall sense about the remedy?
2.     Affinities to particular organs or areas: which organs or areas of the body have the most symptoms?
3.     Symptoms: what is the character of the symptoms, i.e., the pains, the sensations, and the discharges, etc.?
4.     General modalities: what factors affect the person in general, making them feel better or worse overall, e.g., cold, heat, time, position, motion, pressure, side, etc.?
5.     Particular modalities: what factors (cold, heat, motion etc.) affect the person's symptoms (pains, discharges, etc)? Are the modalities of the symptoms different from the modalities of the person in general?
6.     Combined symptoms: are there any symptoms or diseases that follow each other or groups of symptoms or diseases in combination? For example, liver complaints with headache, or diarrhea with fatigue.
7.     Etiology: list any causations or etiologies. That is, to what is a person who needs this remedy vulnerable - mentally, emotionally, and/or physically?
8.     Origin or source: use encyclopedias or the Internet, etc., to check the remedy's origins and "close relatives" from its own family (botanical, chemical, zoological, etc.).
9.     Similar remedies: which remedies are similar because of the similarity of the symptoms?

Study another remedy that is similar to the first one and compare the two paying special attention to:
1.     What is similar (markedly or strongly similar) between the two remedies including:
        ~ Affinities
        ~ Symptoms/diseases
        ~ Modalities
        ~ Etiology
2.     What is opposite in terms of symptoms (or very different)? Pay special attention to modalities and specific locations.
3.     What's unique to each remedy?

Study a third remedy that is similar to the first and the second one, and compare the three of them paying attention to 1--3 above.

Recommended books

1.     The original provings from Hahnemann, Allen, etc.
        ~ T.F. Allen's Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica
        ~ S. Hahnemann's Materia Medica Pura
        ~ S. Hahnemann's Chronic Diseases
2.     Contemporary provings from Julian, Sherr, Eising, and Herrick, etc.
        ~ O. Julian's Materia Medica of New Homeopathic Remedies
        ~ Jeremy Sherr's Dynamic Materia Medica
        ~ Nuala Eising, Nancy Herrick, Todd Rowe's published provings, etc.
3.     Boger's Synoptic Key for affinities.
4.     Phatak's Materia Medica for one of the best general pictures including general symptoms, etiologies, and modalities.
5.     Clarke's Dictionary , Vermeulen's Concordant Materia Medica , or Murphy's Materia Medica for an expanded materia medica. Hering's Guiding Symptoms (10 volumes) for a very complete materia medica for serious students and practitioners.
6.     Kent's Lectures on Materia Medica and Tyler's Drug Pictures for more digested materia medica.
7.     Roger Morrison's Desktop Guide and Vermeulen's Synoptic Materia Medica for confirmatory keynotes and contemporary snapshots.
8.     Kent's Repertory , Schroyen's Synthesis Repertory or VanZandvoort's Complete Repertory for rubrics.
9.     Any book or listing of relationships of remedies (there's one in the back of Kent's Repertory ).

Author's acknowledgements

There are some marvelous articles about how to study the homeopathic materia medica on line and especially one by Constantine Hering and another which includes words of wisdom from Julia Green.

Will Taylor (see article Becoming familiar with a remedy, September 2003).

Each and every one of my teachers.

Miranda Castro 2003



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