Book Review by Dr. Gobind Narayan at Essentials of Boger’s Principles and Practice of Hoeopathy Compiled by Dr Shashi Kant Tiwari

Book Review by Dr. Gobind Narayan at Essentials of Boger’s Principles and Practice of Hoeopathy Compiled by Dr Shashi Kant Tiwari

homeopathic book review

Essentials of Boger’s Principles and Practice of Homoeopathy”, the collected work of Dr. C. M. Boger comprises of 66 chapters. These writings bring out in an inimitable way the principles of Homeopathy as expounded by Hahnemann, but with the spirit of Dr. Boger; thereby helping us to understand further what the Master taught us. Boger gives us insight of the Homeopathy practiced in that glorious age. This book is a collection’ of the untouched scattered valuable concepts deliberated by Boger which are very useful in clinical practice. This missionary work was accomplished through painstaking search and compilation of the valuable literature which reflects Homoeopathic education and practice of that period (1890-1935).

The author begins his book with the chapter ‘what is Homoeopathy?’

In this chapter, the author focuses on the system of homoeopathy, difference between other system and homoeopathy and what a homoeopath should do. In one of the paragraphs, the author writes, ‘an allopath is a natural opportunist while the real homoeopath is inevitably a vitalist’. In another he is saying, ‘the homoeopathist should know his tools thoroughly (sound homoeopathic books, materia medicas, repertories and card indices). He also mentioned the different era of medical history such as bloodletting, mercurialisation, poisons, serology, etc.

Chapter 2- Homoeopathic Science

In this chapter, author mentioned the difference between homoeopathic specialist and allopathic specialist. He explained that the real homoeopathic physician is specialist in materia medica and the exemplification of the law which include almost every system of the body while specialist of other system naturally inclines to a narrower view of things, e.g., dermatologist, microscopist, etc. he also mentioned that disease is truly dynamic in origin, we can only perceive its manifestation and it is only treated by dynamic method.

Chapter 3 – What is homoeopathy stand for?

With ever changing medical literature, here the author tried to explain homoeopathic modus operandi and its influence with these changes. While the teachings of Hahnemann were followed till last century which also saw the rise of cellular pathology by Virchow followed by bacteriology which became cornerstone of regular medicine. It also influenced the homoeopathist who approached the polypharmacy of old school and thought of them as modern and liberal protagonist but it proved a false step which led to a polluted and unscientific form of practice. To seek the truth of homoeopathic science, few books of renowned author have been mentioned e.g., “ Homoeopathy; All About It” By J.H. Clarke ,  “ Fifty Reasons For Being A Homoeopath” By J.C. Burnett,  “ Organon Of Medicine, Materia Medica Pura, Chronic Diseases: Their Peculiar Nature And Their Homoeopathic Cure” By C.F.S. Hahnemann, “ Lectures On Homoeopathic Philosophy” By J.T. Kent, “ Leaders In Homoeopathic Therapeutics With Grouping And Classification” By E.B. Nash, “Comparative Materia Medica” By E.A. Farrington, “A Synoptic Key Of The Materia Medica” By C.M. Boger.

Chapter 4- The standing of Homoeopathy (1911)

The author wrote about the practice of homoeopathy that state boards, prejudiced examiners and lying about it do not harm; but false practice is its greatest enemy. The power of the similimum is a constant source of pleasure to careful prescriber which is cited by an example of a highly educated man who underwent surgery but for vain, after persuasion tried homoeopathy and got cured.

Chapter 5- What homoeopathy means (1920)

“Similia Similibus Curentur” – that likes seemed to cure likes. Hahnemann had given successful treatment of cholera and typhoid fever. In this chapter author mentioned the importance of prevention than cure and also the importance of dynamic medicine and its marvelous results in cases of acute diseases, epidemics. He also explains the significance of symptoms which serves as indices for diagnosis, prognosis and treatment. The coarser symptoms are of more diagnostic and finer ones of therapeutic importance. He mentioned about the repetition of medicines with 9 clinical cases for better understanding.

Chapter 6 – The Evolution of homoeopathy (1914)

The collateral systems have been mentioned here with the difference between homoeopathy and isopathy by citing example of Psorinum.

Chapter 7- Why Homoeopathy?

5 cases have been given as examples where surgeon reported nothing could be done but Homoeopathic treatment made complete cure.

Chapter 8- A contribution on the relation of homoeopathy to the sciences (1904)

The chapter begins with comparison of earlier provings and later provings which according to the author has a vast difference- most of the later proved remedies have been experimented with in a very desultory fashion, and theft pathogeneses abound in meaningless generalities that lead nowhere and are often worse than useless. Even the disadvantage of keynote symptoms has been mentioned here which are adopted by nowadays physician which limits their activities to the number of keynotes known to him or of which he may readily avail himself through the literature at hand.

Chapter 9- The Law of Cure (1916)

Absolute cure means the establishment and maintenance of mental and physical harmony. Also mentioned about the Hering’s Law of Cure which also explains that all cure proceeds from soul through the spiritual body and finally manifest themselves in the physical body.

Chapter 10- The Philosophy of Similia

Homoeopathy, springing from and preserving the vitalism of the ancients, is willingly or unwillingly (nolens volens) leaven ofmodern medicine. The realist inclined towards the material and mechanical means, while the philosophically inclined works out his problems from the dynamic standpoint (idealist or dynamic schools of thought).

Chapter 11- What we should know

What we should know is that the physician needs all available evidence of disease before attempting to prescribe. Hahnemann said that in case of paucity of symptoms or the presence of overshadowing symptoms, the remedy could be selected on basis of its peculiar symptoms or concomitant. This has been cited by various examples throughout the chapter.

Chapter 12- Studies in the Philosophy of Healing (1921)

Dynamism is an essential factor of our very nature and life and must be reckoned with if we would be efficient healers of the sick. Curing is mild and gentle process, devoid of suppressive measures, narcotics, etc., all of whose finalities lean deathward.

Chapter 13- Vital Energy

This chapter deals with definition of energy, vital force, disease and restoration of order.

Energy has been defined in this chapter as “storehouse of vitality” and in human body all 3 forms of energy – physical in the tissues, the dynamic in the brain and nervous system and spiritual in the mind. In respect to disease condition, the author explained the condition with the example of a runaway train.

Chapter 14- The Language of Disease

The language of disease is nothing but the signs and symptoms and this chapter thoroughly deals with symptoms, its type, importance of signs with supportive examples. Apart from this, progress of disease has also been explained with beautiful difference of Rhus tox, Bryonia, Arsenic album, Arnica, Baptisia in case of typhoid fever.

Chapter 15- Taking the Case (1909)

The author tried to cover the general schema of case taking with detailed description of each point like location, sensation, modalities, concomitants as well as the peculiarities of the case, importance of time modalities.

Chapter 16- How to Take the Case (1920)

This chapter deals with the importance of proper case taking and few clinical cases have been mentioned. Also, in one of the paragraphs the author explains the importance of diagnostic symptoms in prescription with example of Bryonia (pleurisy) and Kali bichromicum (duodenal ulcer).

Chapter 17- The Similimum (1922)

Here, the author mentioned two principal ways of finding the indicated remedy. One method is to pick out the odd, strange, peculiar symptoms from among the general morbid ones. The other method includes finding the remedy with general symptoms.

Chapter 18- Finding the Similimum-I

Here, the author mentioned about the way of finding the similimum. Viewed from the angle of similia, author focuses on 3 points- the bearing of aetiology, anamnesis and hereditary disease aspect. The last point is especially helpful in those single symptom cases which Hahnemann called the most difficult of all. Finally, he focuses the information obtained on the patient in hand and thus what real homoeopath must do- differentiate his remedy.

Chapter 19- Finding the Similimum-II (1930)

Author points out that the specific application of similimum will always remain more or less an individual affair. One case has been given with indicated remedy.

Chapter 20- Finding the Similimum with the Help of the Family Anamnesis According to a method by Cyrus M. Boger

Importance of anamnesis as described by the author as follows is helpful in unilateral cases (most difficult cases) and patients without characteristic symptoms. Comparing the two series i.e., the patient’s disease tendency series and the family disease tendency series, similimum can be worked out with the help of repertory.

Chapter 21- The Power of Similimum

Homoeopathy is the one whose ramifications interlock with all of the others most intimately. Importance and uses of imponderabilia has also been mentioned.

Chapter 22- The Indicted Remedy (1922)

This chapter deals with the different ways of getting the indicated medicine, either through repertorisation or cross questioner or degree of similarity.

Chapter 23- What indicates the remedy? (1922)

Here the author criticized the polypharmacy and misuse of disease diagnosis.

Chapter 24- How Shall I find the Remedy?

This chapter deals with various ways of finding the indicated remedy.  Here, in a case the author stresses upon exciting and maintaining causes as well as the location, sensation, modalities and concomitant. Also, sign and symptoms of a patients are the prime importance in selection of a remedy.

Chapter 25- Some Thoughts on Prescribing

Distressing symptoms appear during the course of chronic diseases should be dealt with attention. Importance of family history is mentioned in order to complete the symptom image of any one individual sickness. This is the main reason for different prescription from different angles seen by physician. Even, various steps of forming portrait of disease are mentioned.

Chapter 26- What Divides Us?

Homoeopathy is far superior to every other form of treatment and the great beauty of it is that every new scientific development only adds strength to its already commanding prestige.

Chapter 27- Homoeopathic Reactions (1926)

Reactions occur between things occupying kindred states or planes. Author focuses on the reaction of vital force and of remedies. He also mentioned about non-homeopathic reaction which is more or less violent nature and may even do vital damage.

Chapter 28- Grading of Symptoms (1925)

Repertory is the index of Materia Medica. Importance of gradation of remedy has been given here. Many examples have been cited with rubrics which may have many remedies under it but we have to differentiate it according to the grades and hierarchy of the symptoms covered by the case.

Chapter 29- Philosophy and the Repertory

A repertory is essentially an index and may be advantageously used as such for discovering particular symptoms as well as for grouping remedies containing similar combinations in their pathogeneses. The trinity of homoeopathy are also mentioned – the law of cure, single remedy, minimum dose.

Chapter 30- Reason and Fact

Here we will learn about Law of Life, Nature’s call for help, peculiarities of epidemic, Doctrine of Signature etc. The author beautifully describes the Doctrine of signature with citing examples.

Chapter 31- Random notes

It deals with general discussion about medicine, Homoeopathy, Hahnemann, Symptoms. Every symptom picture shows three phases- constitutional, general conformation and the peculiarities. He mentions that all 3 must be well met before the similimum can be seen.

Chapter 32- Observations on Prescribing

The author says that the better we know our original materia medica the less will we feel the need of newer and but partially proven drugs, although the best prescribers have, at times, been compelled to resort to them for special occasions. He has given examples of Pulsatilla and Senecio aurens in case of functional amenorrhoea of puberty, Urtica urens in case of urticaria plus pinworm plus pale stool.

Chapter 33- Correct Prescription (from Synoptic Key)

Correct prescribing is the art of carefully fitting pathogenetic to clinical symptoms. The author arranged modalities, mental symptoms, sensations and objective aspect in descending order of importance in forming the contour of disease. He called modalities as natural modifiers of sickness and also mentioned various forms of modalities. Few points about repetition of same medicine have also been discussed.

Chapter 34- Is There a Law of Dose?

This chapter particularly deals with the process of potentisation and the discussion between stalwarts which revolves around Fincke’s method of potentisation.

Chapter 35- Choosing the Remedy

Here, the author beautifully opened the chapter with aphorism 152 for direction of selection of remedy. He further adds on many more important points for the selection of remedy such as changes of personality and temperament, intellectual and moral proclivities, seat of local diseases, etc. He also discussed about the importance of concomitant, anamnesis, accessory symptoms and modalities in selection of remedy.

Chapter 36- The Repetition of the Dose I

The author basically emphasizes on the single dose of properly selected medicine and not to repeat frequently which usually disappoint the physician. In non-recurring acute diseases like small pox, scarlet fever, etc., every repetition tends to retard the cure. He also mentioned about the change in the sick condition which embraces 3 events after the administration of carefully selected remedy.

Chapter 37- The Repetition of the Dose II

In this chapter, the author further elaborated the condition of repetition of remedy and where to wait and watch. It also deals with the importance of second prescription.

Chapter 38- Regularity and Progress-

Successful practice depends upon certain more or less fully developed innate faculties, and that our present methods of training do but little to up build them and thus make real healers of the sick.

Chapter 39- The Undeveloped Picture

The successive sickness of one individual bear enough resembelence to clearly show that each human entity reacts to disturbances in its own particular way. After an acute disease explosion, the submerged symptoms again slowly emerge from their hiding, finally showing themselves to be part and parcel of a deeply imbedded miasm which can only be eradicated by the most careful prescribing.

Also, he mentioned about the provers that only educated prover should not be included in the study.

Chapter 40- The Whole Case

This whole chapter deals with the drawback of keynote symptom. Few instructions for the beginner have also been mentioned.

Chapter 41- Suppression

Here, suppression has been defined as the forcible removal of some effect or symptom by external measures, regardless of the welfare of the patient. He also points out the effect of cleanliness in terms of miasm.

How suppression of sycosis and psora happened is also mentioned with examples of the cases and its treatment.

Chapter 42- Signs and the Law

This chapter deals with the danger of too much individualization which is a novel one and often neglected. The usual way is to advocate individualization without limit but there is a limit to that and if carried too far it will lead to many mistakes. A case of  Niccolum has been mentioned to explain how to read in between lines to get the desired remedy for any case.

Chapter 43- The Relation of Homoeopathy to Pathology

This chapter contains very interesting facts and discussion about pathology and clinical symptoms. The discussion between Dr. H.C. Allen and Dr. Boger about their views on clinical symptoms with example of Lycopodium and Calc carb. is worth reading.

Chapter 44- The Genus Epidemicus

This chapter deals with the idea and application of Genus Epidemicus with examples. Even two methods of prescribing that is high and low potency prescribing has been mentioned.

Chapter 45- Clinical Cases and Verification

A well proven remedy is worth hundreds of fragments. With this statement, the author describes the importance of a well proven medicine with example of Lachesis. Apart from this, case discussion has been the most beneficial part of this chapter.

Chapter 46- Tuberculosis – the Medical Side of the Question

Tuberculosis is a complex dyscrasia and will hardly yield to single remedy and the treatment of various phases of tuberculosis is dependent upon so many factors direct and contingent. This chapter deals with the approach and homoeopathic treatment of tuberculosis with examples of remedy.

Chapter 47- Three Liver Cases

Three different cases with three different remedies i.e. Carduus mar, Scrophularia nodosa and Menispermum canadense have elaborately illustrated in this chapter.

Chapter 48- The Homoeopathic Viewpoint in Cancer

This chapter solely deals with the approach of cancer and its treatment. Few examples of great stalwarts have also been cited.

Chapter 49- Panaritium

Different remedies with indication have been mentioned for panaritium in this chapter.

Chapter 50-The Metals and their Relation to the Functions of the Reproductive Organs

One thing is very stressed upon in this chapter is piece-meal prescription which is nothing but prescription based on few symptoms.

Chapter 51- Points in Obstetrical Therapeutics

One of the most interesting chapters of the book to read, which contain different conditions of pregnancy and its management. Many remedies with indication have been given such as Sepia, Medorrhinum, Viburnum, Arnica and many more.

Chapter 52- Climacteric Remedies

21 remedies with indication for climaxis have been mentioned in this chapter.

Chapter 53- Diabetic Gangrene

A case of diabetes insipidus cured with Nat.Sul.30 has been mentioned.

Chapter 54- Clinical Cases

Total 7 different cases have been presented with prescribed medicine.

Chapter 55- A Case of Cholecystitis

a very interesting case of Euonymus has been mentioned in Gallbladder stone.

Chapter 56- The Choleric Complex

The author focuses on the efficacy of homoeopathic treatment in diseases of infants and children. He also mentions that in affections of infants the objective is uppermost while in those of adults the subjective generally predominates.

Chapter 57- Homoeopathy in Diseases of Children

Few remedies in disease condition of children especially cholera, cholera morbus and cholera infantum have been mentioned and explained with differentiation with connected medicines.

Chapter 58- The Sick Child

Here it is mentioned that the first study is the child itself; particularly all of his dominating moods, for this are the master key to every sickness. Children are sick and they act their symptoms and one must be prepared to read that acting. Objective symptoms of many polychrest remedies have been added and how to observe that has also been mentioned.

Chapter 59- The Study of Materia Medica

This chapter deals with the way to study the drugs of Materia Medica. Study shows every drug to be a living, moving conception with attributes which arise, develop, expand and pass away just as diseases do. 

Chapter 60- The Development of Materia Medica

The future development of our Materia Medica is a subject of interest to every true Hahnemannian which is a necessity and it is our duty to develop our art to the highest pinnacle of perfection.

Chapter 61- Materia Medica, a Study

This chapter shows the method of approaching towards a medicine while reading Materia Medica.

Chapter 62- The Genius of Our Materia Medica

This chapter generally deals with the Materia Medica, medicines, how to get the picture of the medicine in diseased person and the Genius of the remedy.

Chapter 63- The Strontium Salts

The purpose of this chapter is to point out the necessity of proving the various Strontium salts, in order that the most active one may speedily come into use. An elaborative case has been mentioned to show the effective prescription of Strontium.

Chapter 64- Gymnacladus

This rare drug has been described with a wonderful case of stitching pain and appearance of blue tongue.

Chapter 65- Veterinary Homoeopathy

This is a short chapter dealing with the importance of Homoeopathy in cases of animals and a very interesting case has also been mentioned.

Chapter 66- President Address

This book ends with the final chapter i.e., President address.

It is a very well compiled work which is truly inspirational and should be read and reread by every homeopathic physician. I would like to recommend this book to the homoeopathic fraternity for better understanding of homoeopathic science and profession will really be enlighten with these collected lectures and articles.

Title: Essentials of Boger’s Principles & Practice of Homeopathy

Author: Prof. Dr Shashi Kant Tiwari

ISBN:     9788131928219

Imprint: B. Jain Regular

Pages:   326

Format:  Paperback

Posted By

Homeopathy360 Team