The study of individual drug is only possible if the learner perceives (a) the effect of a drug substance on the healthy human being of different age groups, genders and constitutions and (b) the action of proved drug substance i.e. medicine on the sick individual. Therefore, the knowledge of each individual homoeopathic medicine becomes imperative. There is vast literature available for the study of Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Allen’s Keynotes is one of the most popular and widely used materia medica book for the search of the similimum. It is concise and precise book that covers keynotes of leading remedies of the materia medica along with bowel Nosodes and repertorial index.
Many authors have come up their novel ideas of simplifying grasping of Allen’s keynotes for its appropriate application in practice. One of such work is Selective pointers through Allen’s keynotes by Dr Shyam Kumar Vaishnav which is a leap step in the Homoeopathic literature. The author has worked on Allen’s keynotes and identified the centrality of remedies based upon gender, physiological states, addictions, age groups, environment, do’s and don’ts, antidotes and thumb rule. The book is written under 12 headings with Allen’s keynotes as a common beginning of each head and the topic covered is written in the bracket. As per the hierarchy, the covered topics are (1) women, (2) girls, (3) drunkards, smoking, alcoholics, (4) young, (5) children, (6) old people, (7) seasons and months, (8) antidotes, (9) do’s and don’ts, (10) pregnancy, abortions, (11) menopausal or climacteric and (12) thumb rule.
But the logical sequence would be (1) children, (2) girls, (3) young, (4) women, (5) pregnancy, abortions, (6) menopausal or climacteric, (7) old people, (8) drunkards, smoking, alcoholics, (9) seasons and months, (10) thumb rule, (11) do’s and don’ts and (12) antidotes.
Under each topic keynote of the remedy is given and arranged as per the alphabetical order of the remedy in a column wise format having serial no, keynote symptom and the drug. Instead of using the term drug, remedy will be more appropriate. The symptoms belonging to title or theme of the chapter is written in bold font. The chapters young and antidotes doesn’t follow the alphabetical order of drug. At some places chemical formula is written instead of name of the element e.g. it antidotes the bad effects of Hg (Chapter on Antidotes).
In the chapter on seasons, months serial no 12 the term ErethicChlorosis is printed jointly and the spelling of erethic is wrong; it should be erethitic. Under chapter on thumb rule there is printing error on the last page where the number 151 is not printed. At few places the symptom seems to be quoted in a fill in the blanks format by having an underline e.g. chapter pregnancy, abortions serial no 35 —————- often acts promptly when stram has failed.
Instead of using – bullet another bullet should be given and that to all symptoms that are given in that particular column as the first symptom is not having bullet but the next symptom starts with – bullet. It confuses the reader. Originality of Allen’s keynotes is retained by stating symptoms along with remedies in the bracket.
This work minimizes the labor of searching the whole text and can be utilized for further simplifying the search for similimum. A thorough grasp of Allen’s keynotes can be fruitful before going to Selective pointers. It is rightly said that keynotes of each remedy gives individuality to the remedy. Though this book can’t replace the original work of Allen’s keynotes but definitely selective pointers will help to classify symptoms under different headings that will help students in memorizing and applying it in day to day practice.
Book Title: Selective Pointers through Allen’s Keynotes
Author Name: Dr Shyam Kumar Vaishnav
Publishers: B. Jain Publishers Pvt. Ltd.