Frederik Schroyens


Once the symptom and remedy to be added are firm, one has to search in the existing Repertory to see if the symptom already exists. It is very important to invest time in this procedure, otherwise many too similar rubrics are created. You should also be aware that the Repertory is a summary of the homeopathic information and so is its language. I refer you to the section on the language of the Repertory where you can find "Preferred words, expressions and spelling". If a rubric exists which comes close to the meaning of the symptom to be added, we should not create a new symptom.

1. Addition of a Remedy

If the rubric exists, only the remedy must be added to it. The only problem is the degree. These are the rules we used:

  • the remedy is not yet present in the rubric: - addition from a living author: add in first degree - addition from literature: - classical author or author respected by you: add in degree as he proposes - lesser known author: add in first degree.
  • the remedy is already present in the rubric: - if the remedy is already in Kent's Repertory, it should not unnecessarily be added - if there is difference of opinion about the degree, preference should be given to the proposal of the "classical or respected author". The way we have transcribed the meaning of two, three, four or even five different degrees in the Materia Medica to the four degrees as used in the Repertory is described in the Appendix (Degrees in the Repertory for additions from the Materia Medica). Synthesis uses four degrees according to Dr. Pierre Schmidt, and has a few more remedies in the fourth degree if they met the criteria set for this degree.

2. Addition of a Symptom

The symptom to be added should first be transcribed into Repertorial language as explained in "Editing the symptoms". The following proposed rules for adding new symptoms are in part inspired by the rules Dean Crothers (Seattle, USA) and his collaborators have used.

  • A new rubric is not added unless it expresses something characteristic of the remedy
  • The most important rule is this: the addition is made to the most specific rubric, not to the more general rubric(s). Say the symptom to be added is: "eye - pain - stitching - coughing, on". The more different modalities exist together, the more this symptom is specific. And we should maintain the specificity of this information. This symptom does not allow us to add the same remedy to the rubrics "eye - pain - stitching" neither to "eye - pain - coughing, on".

    Boenninghausen did add the remedies to the more general rubrics on this basis and this is one of the main differences with Kent's approach. As homeopathy is individualizing, we should not exchange the more individualized information for general, more vague symptoms without reason. If it appears clearly from the proving or from the case that specificity is important, we should not hesitate to create a new rubric, even if a similar symptom or part of the symptom is already reported. In our example: the coughing causes real stitching, not just any type of pain, so we add to "pain - stitching- coughing".
  • A remedy can be added to a more general rubric only if several more specific rubrics indicate this. In the previous example: there is stitching pain in the eye also from sneezing, while stooping, on motion, etc.: we can add the remedy to "eye -pain - stitching" even if this last symptom was not mentioned as such by any prover. Another example: a case reports fear of thunder. No matter how strong this fear of thunder may be, no matter how many cases with the same remedy report fear of thunder: the remedy cannot be added to the main rubric "fear". Only when various fears are also reported, can the remedy be added as well to "fear", even if no one said: "I am afraid".
  • If a modality itself is modified, then the modality closest to the core of the symptom will be preferred, except when there is an indication that both modifications are important. E.g.: if the symptom is "drawing stitching pain", we say that "drawing" modifies "stitching", and we add the remedy to "stitching". If the symptom is "drawing, stitching pain" or even stronger "drawing and stitching pain", we have to add the remedy to both rubrics (to "pain - drawing" and to "pain - stitching").
  • A number of modalities are taken into consideration only if they are really essential. "Backache in the morning" is relevant only if there is little or no backache at other times, in the afternoon, etc.; when the backache returns, it is again in the morning. If it is occurring at different times of the day, the "time modality" is less relevant because the backache has to occur anyway at a certain time of the day. The question is: "Is it noteworthy that the backache appears in the morning?" The same caution should be taken with modalities of "sides", "localizations", and maybe some other modalities. When adding symptoms, the question we should put to ourselves most often is: "Is it noteworthy that...?"
  • A longer symptom should be split into meaningful bits. When Hering mentions that bromium has a "cough which is aggravated from exercise and on entering a warm room", we should not try and squeeze this information into one rubric (which is what Kent did: "cough - loose - exercise and warm room agg."). In the perspective of more additions, we should build a consistent structure and, therefore, add bromium to "cough -loose - exercise" and to "cough - loose - warm room - going to a warm room". Only if there is a connection between the two modalities, should they remain together, one modality being a subrubric of the other.