Materia Medica Pura Project and Repertory

The active improvement of the two most important tools for homeopaths: materia medica and repertories.

Since 2005, André Saine with his colleagues from around the world have been at work to update the two most important tools used by homeopathic practitioners, namely the materia medica and the repertory, and are therefore making sure that the materia medica work of Samuel Hahnemann, Constantine Hering and TF Allen is continued today.

Samuel Hahnemnann
Constantine Hering

Since T. F. Allen and Constantine Hering compiled and published their comprehensive works of the homeopathic materia medica at the end of the 19th century, no further systematic revision of the materia medica has taken place. A great number of provings, cured cases, and intoxication and clinical experience reports have since been published and can be found scattered throughout a vast literature. They are lying there idle, and are therefore not accessible to practitioners in their day-to-day work. The main objective of the MMPP is to gather, index and integrate all this information into our materia medica and repertories with the ultimate aim to improve prescribing accuracy of every homeopathic practitioner.

For each individual remedy, a monograph (word file) is compiled with a clear presentation of the entire characteristic symptomatology, based on provings, intoxication and clinical experience reports, and on a collection of all available cases.

We are offering two free monographs to all, the ones of Trillium pendulum (download our PDF document) and Quassia amara (download our PDF document), as examples of the work of the MMPP. Only reliable and, for the main part, primary sources are considered. Modern sources are only used insofar as they are not speculative.

The work culminates in the presentation of the genius of each remedy (a succinct summary of its most characteristic features), and in the upgrading of the repertory in the form of additions, changes in the repertory grading of remedies and development of new rubrics. The genius of a remedy permits the busy practitioner to quickly grasp the most essential features of a remedy in order to compare them with a case in hand, thus greatly facilitating differential materia medica. Close to 50,000 additions have so far been made to the repertory. We are expecting to add between 10,000 to 20,000 additions per year in the coming years. All these repertory additions and upgrading of the materia medica on the basis of reliable sources considerably increase our possibility of finding the most similar remedy when a case is calling for it.

Provings, cured cases, and intoxication and clinical experience reports that have been published in the last 125 years have not as a rule been incorporated into our materia medica and repertories. Additionally, characteristic symptoms, even from the oldest sources, such as Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases and Allen’s Encyclopedia, have not yet found their way into our repertories. For instance about 800 additions have been made to the repertory in the revision of Ipecac, over 1,500 for Hepar sulphur, over 1,500 for Nitricum acidum and over 3,000 for Plumbum metallicum.

Overall on average, close to 30% of the characteristic symptoms of our remedies has not been incorporated into our materia medica and repertories. And many remedies have less than the majority of their characteristic symptoms represented in our repertories. Many remedies would unlikely ever be prescribed, even if they were clearly called for in a case, simply because such remedies are not thought of, as they don’t commonly appear during repertorization, as well as their materia medica would be very difficult to access.

The MMPP intends to make its work available to all homeopathic practitioners. Currently, it is only available in the English language. The materia medica resulting from the MMPP will always remain in a digital format, as it will continually be upgraded with the advent of new or recently discovered information (provings, cured cases, and intoxication and clinical experience reports).

Alongside André Saine, head of the project, 40 European and 11 North American colleagues are currently working on the project, with group leaders supporting and supervising the work of the participants involved. In addition to the work of upgrading the information of our remedies, the group systematically indexes the most important homeopathic journals. An update of more than 550 remedies is planned, of which 150 remedies have already been completed. Furthermore, participants of the project are conducting provings of little or un-proved remedies. More of these provings will continue to be conducted on an ongoing basis.

This project represents a real milestone and a great step forward in improving our materia medica and repertories, two of homeopathy’s most important tools.