Book: Harvey Farrington’s Homoeopathy and Homoeopathic Prescribing
Dr Jaimin R. Chotaliya (M.D. Part – II)
Department of Repertory
Dr. V. H. Dave Homoeopathic medical college and research Centre, Hahnemann House, Amul dairy road, Anand, Gujarat. 388001
Homoeopathy is a branch of medical science which is known for its gentle treatment and holistic approach. This method of healing contains its own unique philosophical as well as practical aspects. Since the discovery of the Homoeopathy to Present time, many literatures regarding these both aspects were occupying position as a good guide to Homoeopath for practicing this wonderful science. There are some hidden pearls from ocean of this literature that is useful for Homoeopath to understand this science. Harvey Farrington’s Homoeopathy and Homoeopathic Prescribing is one the pearls from Homoeopathic literature that contains some useful guidelines in brief to understand the Homeopathic Science. So, let’s explore these guidelines to improve our Practical Skill in Homeopathy.
KEY WORDS: Homoeopathic Prescribing, Harvey Farrington, Symptomatology
Dr. Harvey Farrington in his book “Homoeopathy and Homoeopathic Prescribing” described 3 major pillars of Homoeopathy in very concise and lucid way. He divided Organon/Philosophical Aspect, Homoeopathic Materia Medica and Repertory in different lessons of book. Total 43 lessons are present in this book.
43 Sections of book are divided into following manner,
- Philosophical Aspect – Lesson 1 to Lesson 5
- Homeopathic Materia Medica – Lesson 6 to Lesson 42
- Repertory – Lesson 43
5 Lessons of the book are allotted to philosophical aspect as follow.
- Lesson – 1 & 2:
These Sections contain brief information regarding Law of Similia and Drug Proving with Some content regarding origin and History of Homoeopathy.
- Lesson – 3:
This lesson contains detail regarding disease classification including Miasmatic and Suppression theory.
In this lesson his comments regarding Practical advice on Suppression is as following, “The suppression of any of the above or like diseases is followed by changes in the resistance and susceptibility of the individual, and new expressions of deranged vital force instituted which differ from those of the original ailment and are frequently mistaken for new ailments.”
- Lesson – 4 & 5 (part 1 and 2):
These lessons deal with Case Management (Case taking, Symptomatology, analysis of case, potency and administration)
Lesson 4 – In this lesson his description regarding symptomatology with an example of each type of symptoms will be helpful for neophytes of Homoeopathy to learn the symptomatology in depth.
Mental symptoms are both characteristic and common. Irritability, sadness, fear is common to many diseases, many patients, also many remedies. But “aversion to company”, (Natrum muriaticum, Nux vomica and Anacardium), “loss of affection for wife or children” (Sepia); “Restlessness only while at work” (Graphites), “weeps when relating symptoms” (Pulsatilla); are typical examples of mental characteristics.
Lesson – 5 (part-1) – This part deals with important guidelines for case taking. In this lesson case analysis is explained with illustration (examples). For illustration: A lady, thirty-seven years old, was afflicted with spasmodic asthma. Her history showed that some time previously she had had eczema on the hands and fingers with deep cracks, a sticky exudate and some bleeding. Graphites given over a period of several weeks stopped the asthma and brought back the eczema, which finally yielded to Psorinum. Not only were asthma and eczema completely cured, but the patient’s health was greatly improved.
Lesson- 5 (Part-2) – Potency, Repetition and Remedy Reaction after administration of remedy are discussed under this lesson. Few lines are discussed about “Epidemic remedies”.
Homeopathic Materia Medica – Lesson 6 to Lesson 42
- Lesson – 6:
This lesson starts with prefatory remarks in which arrangement of medicinal presentation has been described by Dr. Harvey. These are described in following way.
The first paragraph of each Lesson gives the common name, habitat, part used, etc., and is merely for general information and to assist the student in becoming acquainted with the remedy that is the subject of the lecture.
The physiological action briefly outlined in the second paragraph is a matter of general knowledge and may be found in textbooks on materia medica.
The study from the homoeopathic standpoint begins with “General Characteristics”, which sets forth in schema form the essentials of the remedy and constitutes a key to its further study when more particular indications are added to form a complete concept of its individuality and scope of usefulness. The student who masters this important third paragraph is less liable to fall into the habit of prescribing mainly on the diagnosis or the name of the disease, or into the unscientific practice of choosing a remedy from one or two prominent symptoms without due regard for the general features which are so essential.
The various kinds of type in the third paragraph are used to denote the relative importance of the symptoms in the remedy under consideration, not only in the totality of the remedy itself but as compared with the same symptoms to be found in others. Thus “Restlessness” so characteristic of ACONITE, ARSENICUM or RHUS TOX., is given the highest rating or large capitals. The same symptom less characteristic, or of less importance, in such remedies as Chamomilla, Ignatia or Nux is placed in the second degree by being printed in Italics; under Arnica, Aloes, Bryonia, in the lowest degree by appearing in ordinary type. (On the typewritten page, “Italics” will be underlined, as shown above in the latter part of the preceding paragraph.)
- At the end of each remedy, The Prime indication of Particular remedy and Remedy Relationship has been mentioned by Dr. Harvey Farrington.
- In Homeopathic Materia Medica section of book, 111 remedies from plant, animal and mineral kingdom are described in manner of Different groups. Groups are Prepared in context to different themes like, Fever group, Kali group, Female group etc. Small description about Nosodes is present at the end of lesson 42. This section also contains Brief Repertory on Uterine Hemorrhage.
REPERTORY – LESSON 43
This lesson named Use of The Repertory is divided into 5 sections.
- Section – 1: It deals with Introduction of Repertory and utility of different repertories according to their construction and philosophy.
- Section – 2: Initial part of this section contains 4 essentials in the study of an ailment, namely Location, Sensation, Modalities and Concomitant. Dr. Harvey mentioned about its importance in few lines.
“These four are emphasized only in order to assist the student in acquiring a concept of the kind of information necessary to obtain a practical working record of objective and subjective symptoms.”
After short description about essentials followed by its Dr. Harvey introduced important and basic aspect of repertorization.
“Having taken the case with the above points in view, the selection of the remedy with the help of the repertory may be approached in one of three general ways”.
Dr. Harvey mentioned about these 3 methods in following way:
- Method One: starts with the mental symptoms; then come the physical generals, followed by the particular symptoms of the case.
- Method Two: starts with the physical generals (those which concern only the body and its parts, such as heat, cold, motion, various kinds of pains and the like); next, the mental symptoms are used and then the particulars. This method is obligatory in many cases where the mental symptoms are altogether lacking, nondescript, or so common as to be valueless.
- Method Three: consists in the selection of one striking peculiar, unusual symptom as a key symptom; then from other symptom-rubrics only those remedies which have this same striking symptom are selected. This may be called the “short cut” and is frequently used by the experienced prescriber at the bedside. But it is risky for the beginner, as it may easily lead him into error because of his unfamiliarity with the materia medica as well as his uncertainty in selecting the key symptoms. This method applies also to those cases with few symptoms or where the general symptoms are nondescript or of low valuation.
Each method has been described with corresponding illustrations and with one problem case at the end for Practice. So, let’s understand these 3 methods with the help of Problem case apart from his examples.
Case according method – 1, i.e. starts with Mental General followed by Physical general and Particulars.
H.F., male, aged 39. Occupation, banjo maker. Eruptions on forearms, lumbar region, and on the legs below the knees. Eruption consists of an undefined red base covered with yellowish white scales. Itching when the patient becomes warm from exercise or from the heat of the bed. Scratching followed by intense burning. Many desquamated scales in the bed in the morning. Rheumatic stiffness of the knees, worse especially on rising from a sitting position. Belching in the early morning and after meals. Constipation. Appetite easily satisfied. Extreme thirst. Inability to concentrate. Faculty memory, dullness, mental sluggishness, difficult comprehension, all aggravated by mental exertion. Perspiration offensive even to the patient. Better in general from moving about.
Here in above mentioned case prime importance was given to mental general for repertorization followed by physical general. So, Dullness and mental Sluggishness < by mental exertion is important symptom in this analysis followed by Physical General like > by Motion and offensive perspiration.
So, if this case is repertorised by Kent’s Repertory then in following way the reportorial analysis could be done.
MIND; DULLNESS, Mental Exertion, from (page no.38)
Anac., aur., calc., calc-p., cocc., graph., hep., hura., ign., lach., lyc., mag-c., Nat-c., nat-m., nux-v., olnd., pic-ac., puls., ran-b., sil., sulph.
GENERALITIES; MOTION, amel. (page no.1374)
Acon., agar., aloe., alum., ambr., am-c., am-m., anac., ant-t., arg-m., arg-n., arn., ars., asaf., atro., Aur., Aur-m., aur-m-n., bar-c., bar-m., benz-ac., bism., bor., bov., brom., calc., calc-p., canth., Caps., carb-ac., carb-an., carb-v., caust., cham., chin., chin-a., cic., cina., coca., cocc., coloc., com., Con., cupr., Cycl., dios., dros., Dulc., Euph., euphr., Ferr., Ferr-ar., ferr-p., gamb., gels., guaj., hep., hyos., ign., indg., kali-c., kali-i., kali-n., kali-p., Kali-s., kreos., lach., laur., lil-t., lith., lob., Lyc., mag-c., mag-m., mang., meny., med., merc-c., merc-i-f., mosch., mur-ac., nat-c., nat-s., nit-ac., nux-m., olnd., op., par., petr., ph-ac., plat., Pyro., Puls., rat., Rhod., Rhus-t., Ruta., Sabad., Samb.,sel., seneg., sep., spig., stann., stront., Sulph., sul-ac., Tarax., Tarent., teucr., thuj., tub., Valer., verat., verb., vib., vio-t., zinc
PERSPIRATION; ODOR, offensive (page no. 1298)
Aloe., all-s., am-c., apis., Arn., ars., art-v., aur-m., Bar-m., bapt., bell., Carb-an., Carb-s., Carb-v., cimx., cimic., cocc., con., cycl., deph., dulc., euphr., ferr., ferr-ar., fl-ac., Graph., guaj., Hep., kali-ars., kali.c., kali-p., lach., led., Lyc., mag-c., med., merl., Merc., Nit-ac., Nux-v., Petr., phos., psor., Puls., pyrog., rhus-t., rob., rhod., sel., Sep., Sil., spig., stann., staph., Sulph., tarax., tell., Thuja., verat.
Now, we are applying Elimination Process of Repertorization here and for further repertorization of rubrics we will retaining only those remedies found in the 3 previous general rubrics. These will eliminate all other low-Grade remedies and it will be easy to find group of most similar medicines of case.
STOMACH; THIRST, extreme (page no.529)
Cocc., hep., lyc., mag-carb., puls., Sulph
STOMACH; ERUCTATIONS, morning (page no. 489)
Cocc., hep., lyc., mag-carb., puls., sulph.
STOMACH; ERUCTATIONS, eating, after. (page no. 491)
Hep., lyc., Puls., Sulph.
STOMACH; APPETITE, diminished (page no. 476)
Lyc., puls., sulph.
STOMACH; RECTUM, CONSTIPATION (page no. 606)
Hep., Lyc., puls., Sulph.
SKIN; ERUPTION, burning scratching after (see burning) (page no. 1309)
Hep., lyc., puls., sulph.
SKIN; ERUPTION, itching, warmth of bed agg. (page no.1314)
SKIN; ERUPTION, desquamating (page no. 1314)
EXTREMITIES; STIFFNESS, knee, rheumatic (page no. 1195)
EXTREMITIES; STIFFNESS, knee, rising from seat (page no.1195)
Now after repertorization, next step leads towards final Court i.e. Materia Medica. Here, our final group of similar medicines contains following medicines.
Pulsatilla, Sulphur, Lycopodium
When above mentioned medicines are studied in Materia Medica to find most suitable remedy for case then Drug picture of Sulphur is properly matched with the Disease Picture.
Symptomatology from Clarke’s Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica
- Great indolence and repugnance to all exertion, both mental and bodily
- Itching in skin, even of whole body, agg. at night, or in morning, in bed, and often with pain as of excoriation, heat, itching (soreness), or bleeding of the part which has been scratched.
- Burning itching of the eruptions. – Desquamation and excoriation of skin in several places.
- Perspiration very debilitating, pungent smell, very seldom offensive, at times cold.
When reportorial analysis of the case in Repertory Software was done without using eliminating symptoms then following result was obtained.
- Section – 3: This section contains Method Two of repertorising a case. This method employs the physical general characteristics and is usually chosen when mental symptoms are lacking in case or common mental symptoms are present. Second order is given to mental symptoms while particulars at last position.
A stone mason aged 47; brown hair, partially bald; gray eyes; spare of build, slightly stoop-shouldered with scrawny neck and thin arms. Married, father of four children. History of hard labor since childhood. Has led the ordinary life of a workingman.
Present complaints: Has suffered from dyspepsia for the past year, gradually getting worse. For two hours after eating spits up food but it is not acid. He is hungry, but a few mouthfuls of food seem to fill him to the throat. He drinks two cups of coffee during each meal.
Much flatulence and rumbling in the abdomen. Belching of gas immediately after meals which relieves the distention temporarily. Food comes up with the Eructations. Thirst for, cold water to wash his throat, but it causes pain in the stomach.
He complains of forgetfulness; uses wrong words in speaking. (He did so in addressing the doctor). He is fidgety and keeps moving or walking about to quiet his nerves. On coming home from work, he has his wife rub his right shoulder and back to relieve the burning pains which come on in the late afternoon.
He perspires normally while working. The urine is sometimes highly colored and burns slightly on voiding. On rising from the supper table, he notices pains in his right wrist and right hip, especially if the room is cold.
He is inclined to irritability and is depressed over his inability to do work as well as formerly. He has no sexual or family incompatibilities.
The physical examination and laboratory findings, which are omitted, were in complete accord with the symptoms elicited.
- Section – 4: This include 3rd method when Repertorial analysis is based on keynote symptoms. As words of Caution were mentioned by Dr. Harvey as describe above.
An adult male has been sick in bed for two days. He is restless. His chief complaint is an agonizing toothache. His neck is sore and his ear aches. He resents being spoken to, and shows his irritability in other ways. One cheek is red, the other pale. He sweats freely. He does not sleep well. No other symptoms of value could be obtained except after hot coffee he is much worse; and he frequently drinks cold water which gives temporary relief.
Choose the “key symptom” and by employing Method Three repertorize the case, writing down every step taken in the process with reasons therefore. The remedy will be one of the polychrest already studied.
- Section – 5: This section deals with case analysis when lack of characteristics symptoms and Pathological symptoms are more in case. Here, he gave some guidelines about various aspect of case that helps physician in Prescription. for example, “Prescribing on the name of the disease, unscientific from the homoeopathic point of view, at once limits the number of remedies to be considered and diverts attention from the symptoms of the patient, which are the true characteristics. Yet, where definite characteristics are not to be found, the remedies given in the Repertory for certain diseases may be reviewed, as, for instance, scarlatina. A smooth rash is indicative of BELLADONNA; a tough rash of Bryonia; a patch eruption, livid from sluggish capillary circulation of Ailanthus. In Kent’s Repertory, 3rd Edition, page 1319, twenty remedies are listed as useful in this disease. The more particular character of the rash appears in the sub-rubrics. High fever and over-sensitiveness, more or less common, will serve to differentiate Belladonna from Ammonium carb., which has more of coldness and prostration; or from Euphrasia which is rarely indicated in this disease and seldom presents the violent congestions or nervous twitching of Belladonna. Extreme prostration, putrid sore throat and drowsiness would confirm the choice of Ailanthus.”
His guidelines for careful analysis of symptoms and finding its corresponding rubrics in repertory are useful for any Homoeopathic Physician.
- In the use of the Repertory, First Section, paragraph 16, it was pointed out that the language of the Repertory may not correspond to the language of the patient. Instances of this kind require a knowledge of synonyms and thorough familiarity with the terms used in the Repertory consulted. For instance, Kent uses pulsation instead of throbbing; copious instead of profuse; and menses frequent instead of menses early. Menses delayed refers to the first appearance at puberty; amenorrhea will be found under “Genitalia, Female Menses” subheading “absent”. Absence of taste or of smell occur respectively under Mouth, “Taste, wanting”, and Nose, “Smell, wanting”; but absence of perspiration is noted under “Skin, dryness”, subheading, “inability to perspire”. Remedies for lancinating and shooting pains in general must, in most instances, be sought in the rubric, “Pain, stitching”, and those for stinging under, “Pain, burning”. These are some of the few inconsistencies in this great work, for shooting pains are not always stitching, and there is a distinct difference between burning and the sharper stinging. This the author has recognized, for on page 1309, we find “Eruptions, burning”, and on page 1319, “Eruptions, stinging”, and in several places as on page 1123, “Extremities, shooting (see stitching)”.
- Careful analysis of symptoms is many times required in order to choose the proper rubrics for repertorising. This is especially true when a symptom is more or less common. The question is, what does the symptom involve? If the patient, for instance, is worse while sitting, is this due to the upright position of the body, or to pressure against the chair? Or, the patient is worse while walking in the open air. Is it because the air is damp and cold, because of the effort of walking, or of the effect of motion?
- Rubrics of particular symptoms may not contain the required remedy. Take, for instance, “Numbness of the fingers”. If none of the remedies under this rubric seems to fit the case, the more inclusive rubric, “Numbness of Hand” may be used.
This article is intending to explore basic knowledge about Homoeopathic subject for Neophytes and little revision for experienced Prescribers. This short summary will help you to understand Homoeopathic Pillars in pure and Fundamental way.
- Farrington H. Homeopathy and Homeopathic Prescribing. Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 2001.
- Clarke J.H. Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica. Reprint edition. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers; Zomeo version 3.0