Dr. Cyrus Maxwell Boger was an American Homoeopath of German origin. He was born in Annville, Western Pennsylvania on 13 May 1861. It is interesting to note that he was a contemporary of Dr. J. T. Kent. His mother was Isabella Maxwell Boger and father Professor Cyrus Boger who was Principal of Lebanon High School from where the young Boger did his primary schooling. He graduated from Philadelphia College of Pharmacy in 1882. He later studied Homoeopathy from Hahnemann Homeopathic Medical College, Philadelphia in 1888 and completed his post-graduation from Hering Medical College. At the age of 27 years, Boger started his clinical practice in a small town of Pennsylvania, Parkersburg. In a short time, he gained popularity for prescribing right medicine in incurable cases which had common symptoms. He gained popularity in distant parts of USA and also in other countries with his successful practice and later became member of West Virginia Homoeopathic Society. Later in 1904, he became member and President of International Homoeopathy Association and was elected as Vice president of its Niagara Falls division. He used to frequently give lectures before scientific audiences on Materia Medica at the Pulte Medical College in Cincinnati.

 Boger always emphasized on proper and detailed case taking and believed that this is the first and very important step to find the simillimum. He was strongly against giving undue importance to a single symptom even if the symptom might be a characteristic or keynote. In his own words, “It is far better to be able to see the general picture of the case and use the keynotes as a differentiating point, just as we would use a modality”. According to him, running after keynotes while paying scant attention to general picture of case spoils many cases and leads to polypharmacy. He was aware of the importance of last symptom of the disease or recent appearing symptoms of the case and frequently used it in his clinical practise which gave him some remarkable results.

 Dr. Boger has immense contribution in Homeopathy, notable amongst them are his clinical acumen and thus successful treatment of incurable cases and presenting his writings and teachings on Homoeopathy to the profession. His first few works includes Repertory of symptoms of the Ovaries in 1893 and The Homoeopathic Therapeutics of Diphtheria in 1898.

 Boger was an ardent follower of Dr. Boenninghausen. He started translation of Boenninghausen’s repertory from Germany to English and called it A Systemic Alphabetic Repertory of Homoeopathic Remedies with his own additions which was published in 1900. Boger also translated Boenninghausen’s German repertory and included his own additions in it which was published in 1905, popularly known as BBCR (Boger Boenninghausen Characteristic Repertory).

 In his clinical practise, Boger was amazed by the successful application of keynotes based on Boenninghausen’s work. At the same time, it saddened him when he realised that it was getting misunderstood and misinterpreted by beginners. So, he started reading high valued symptoms of Boenninghausen more deeply and formed a small repertory Materia Medica of Characteristic Symptoms with Index which was later published in 1915 as A Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica.

 General Analysis and Card Repertory was developed by Boger in 1924 which underwent several editions. Repertory has total 305 cards arranged alphabetically. Rubrics mentioned in cards are similar to as mentioned in Synoptic Key. This card repertory was useful to find the simillimum based on general symptoms of the case. Boger started teaching in the same year at the American Foundation of Homeopathic Post Graduate Course (established in 1921). The versatile Dr. Boger used to teach Philosophy, Materia Medica and Repertory and continued teaching till his death.

 In 1931, Boger published his new angle in prescribing remedies related with time of month in The Times of Remedies and Moon Phases. Whenever a patient used to report a striking amelioration of the symptoms or complaints, that time was calculated and marked by Boger in the terms of different phases of moon. This compilation ultimately became the basis of this book which made it a well appreciated and used repertory in clinical practise.

 His proving of Samarskiteis also a valuable addition to the profession. With publication of his own works his interest grew more and more in the field and he started doing Additions to Kent Repertory. Boger found that many rubrics and sub-rubrics in Kent Repertory did not have prominent remedies but he found them very effective in his practise. This inspired him to start this exhaustive work but he could not publish it.

 In January 1929, Homoeopathic Survey (a small journal published by American Foundation for Homoeopathy) mentioned a method Boger used for changing a remedy’s potency when it is still indicated, but no longer working by Electrical Potentizer which was owned and operated by Boger himself.

 All the articles of Boger were compiled by Robert Bannan and was published as Collected Writings of Dr. C. M. Boger in 1993.

 Boger got married three times in his life. His daughter from first marriage died at very young age. He had five daughters and four sons from his second marriage. His third marriage was with Anna M. Boger, his secretary and constant helper.

 Boger died on 2nd September, 1935 at the age of 74 years after two weeks of illness from eating a can of home preserved tomatoes. He drove himself to hospital but died shortly on arrival. It was after his death that Homoeopathy started declining in America due to lack of properly trained physicians and finally vanished. After Dr. Boger’s demise, Dr. H. A. Robert commented that “Probably there has never been a more thorough student of Boenninghausen than the late Dr Cyrus M. Boger”.

About the author

Dr. Subhas Singh

Dr. Subhas Singh, MD (Hom), Ph.D is a well known personality in the Homeopathic World. He is the Director of National Institute of Homeopathy. A well known speaker and resource person at different seminars, workshops and conferences, Dr Subhas Singh continues to be the chairman of the Scientific Standing Committee of the Homoeopathic Medical Association of India (HMAI).