The Materia Medica Pura Project—A Systematic Updating of Our Materia Medica and Repertories

Liga—Paris—July 2014

André Saine, N.D.

Despite the fact that our materia medica and repertories (MMR) are our most important tools, we has been incredibly negligent as a profession in the last century for not having integrated in them all the new provings, the published cured cases and cases of intoxication and all the accumulated clinical experience

Essentially, our main materia medica have not been updated since T. F. Allen’s Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica dating to 1874-1879 and Hering’s Guiding Symptoms dating to 1879-1891.

The words Hahnemann addressed before the French society of homeopaths soon after his arrival in Paris in 1835 really strike a chord in this context, “When we have to do with an art whose aim is the saving of life, negligence in learning is a crime.”

The Beginning of the Materia Medica Pura Project

A course in materia medica that began concurrently in Niendorf, Germany in 2005 and in Montreal, Canada in 2006 slowly evolved over the years into a systematic updating of our MMR for each remedy that was taught, and thus began the Materia Medica Pura Project (MMPP).

Why “pura”? With all due respect to all my colleagues present here, the word “pura” in the context of the materia medica is better defined by paragraph 144 of the Organon: “All conjecture, everything merely asserted or entirely fabricated, must be completely excluded from such a materia medica; everything must be the pure language of nature carefully and honestly interrogated.”

Why shall we still use this approach today, aside from the facts that, first, it is one of the important pillars on which Hahnemann developed homeopathy, and second, it leads to a higher level of certainty? Simply, because it was used by the American school of homeopathy that was led by Lippe, Hering, Guernsey, Wells, Dunham, Boger, etc., etc., etc., which obtained the very best results in the history of medicine, and therefore of homeopathy.

The ultimate goal of the MMPP is to review close to 600 of our better-known remedies.

In this ongoing course, the study of the materia medica is divided in 24 sections, each section being represented by one of 24 key remedies, which include 12 so-called “acute,” and 12 “chronic” remedies that are studied in the following order: Sepia, Lycopodium, Nux vomica, Arsenicum album, Aconitum, Belladonna, …

Each remedy is studied in comparison with another one from the standpoint of similarity, following the original plan of Hering’s diagnostic method that was taught at the Allentown Academy in the 1830’s.

However, as this review-work of our entire materia medica was obviously much too large for any one person to accomplish, 25 groups with 70 practitioners from 11 different countries have been formed since 2009 and are working together for the accomplishment of this enormous and invaluable task.

The Five Main of Outcomes of the MMPP

There are five main outcomes from this project:

1) the creation of a general index of the homeopathic literature

2) the production of remedy monographs

3) additions to the repertory

4) repertorization graphs,

5) provings.

The most valuable homeopathic literature is being systematically indexed for provings, cured cases, cases of intoxication and clinical experience. The centerpiece of this project is the production of remedy monographs. Each monograph has an introduction, a description of the genius of the remedy, a listing of the most characteristic symptoms, and lastly, all the clinical experience and cured cases that have so far been found in the literature.

The Introduction to a monograph

An introduction to a remedy monograph contains the etymology of the remedy’s names, its previous use in ancient and traditional medicine, any interesting anecdote and its introduction into homeopathy.

The Genius of the Remedy

The genius of a remedy is composed of the most distinctive features of a remedy, which only emerges after looking at all the available provings, cured cases, cases of intoxication and clinical experience, and, and provides a new, clear, succinct, very precise and unmistakable picture of a remedy. Developing the genius of a remedy in all its complexity is one of the most important and rewarding tasks in the production of a remedy monograph. By systematically creating geniuses for all the remedies reviewed by the MMPP, we are making the practice of homeopathy so much easier for focusing down on the simillimum in any given case.

Listing of the Most Characteristic Symptoms

All the most characteristic symptoms of a remedy are displayed in the sections from mind to generalities in each monograph, and are all referenced and graded according to their prominence. This gradation is automatically transferred into our repertories with new entries and rubrics and changes in the grade of the remedies in the different rubrics.

Cured Cases

All the reliable cured cases are reproduced at the end of each monograph and their symptoms are also graded.

An Important Finding

We have found during this work that on the whole about 30% of the characteristic symptoms of our remedies is absent from our MMR. Many remedies have less than the majority of their characteristic symptoms represented in our MMR, and many of them would unlikely ever be prescribed even if they were clearly called for, simply because such remedies are not thought of, as they would not commonly appear during repertorization.

New entries into the repertory

A great number of characteristic symptoms from even the oldest sources, such as Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases, had not yet found their way into our repertories until they were recently reviewed. For example, 3,200 new entries have been made to the repertory in the review of Hepar sulphur; 2,300 for Veratrum viride; and 2,100 for Cannabis indica/sativa. In the following table you can here appreciate the numbers and the percentages of new entries for some of the remedies reviewed by the MMPP:

Updated remediesNo. of entries in CR-4.5No of entries in MMPP CR-4.5No. of new entriesDifference
Trillium  286797511180%
Veratrum viride1,4363,7532,317161%
Mancinella  1,1062,4311,325120%
Cimicifuga  2,7684,8072,03973%
Hepar sulphur  6,3729,5643,19250%
Ferrum phosphoricum1,6252,43581050%
Cannabis indica/sativa4,4826,6072,12547%

 In the last year only, about 60,000 changes have been made to the Complete Repertory 4.5, which includes about 20,000 new repertory entries while most of the other repertory changes consist of the creation of new rubrics and sub-rubrics, and changes in the gradation of remedies. Aside from being used by MR users, the repertory changes were given to the two other software companies, namely Archibel and Mercurius.

Repertorization Graphs

All the symptoms found in a monograph are repertorized, as if a remedy was a disease, and this exercise provides repertorization graphs, which have been found to be quite useful for comparative materia medica.


In the last two years, the MMPP has been busy conducting about four provings a year. So far the provings of Passiflora, Mimosa pudica , Aqua marina and Flor de piedra have been completed.

Final Results of the MMPP

  1. What it is not:
  2. It is not a complete work, as it is not possible to consult all the sources in all the languages used in homeopathy. The most important sources are the first ones to have been consulted.
  3. It is not a printed work.
  • What it is:
  •  First and above all, it is a very practical work with one main goal, which is the improvement oftherapeutic accuracy.
  •  The entire work of the MMPP is written in English, as it is the most universal and easily accessible language in language in homeopathy.
  •  The monographs will always remain in a digital format, as they are always subjected to being updated with new information.
  •  The updated MMR have become two very powerful tools for the practice of homeopathy.
  •  Each monograph greatly augments the knowledge of our materia medica and the accuracy in prescribing.
  • It is an extremely user-friendly materia medica, as
    • It is well organized.
    • The most characteristic symptoms are graded.
    • The genius of remedies provides practitioners with a quick and concise overview of a remedy.
  •  The cumulative experience of our most reliable practitioners is assembled in one text.
  •  By making our repertories a better reflection of our materia medica, they become much more efficacious tools for pointing out the most similar remedies to be considered in any given case.
  • The monographs have elements of:
    • Hering’s Guiding Symptoms, as we have included into our materia medica as many characteristic clinical syndromes as possible and the symptoms have five levels of gradation.
    • Tyler’s Drug Pictures, as we quote many authors in their own words.
    • Clarke’s Dictionary, as we relate anecdotes and provide a summary (the genius of the remedy), as it is found in the Characteristics heading of his Dictionary.
  •  However, the final product is a unique materia medica that resembles most Hering’s Guiding Symptoms with in addition of:
  1. An introduction
    1. A genius
    1. Clinical experience
    1. Cured cases

Two monographs, the ones of Trillium pendulum and Quassia amara, can be downloaded online from the MMPP homepage at


1- The MMR of the MMPP have emerged as incredibly powerful clinical tools.

2- They represent a great leap forward for advancing the practice of homeopathy.

3- By assembling all the characteristic symptoms of all the known provings (including reports of intoxication) with the greatest number of cured cases, we are developing a much more comprehensive and precise picture of each remedy.

4- The true genius of a remedy finally emerges, clear, accurate and reliable.

5- The upgrading of our repertories to reflect our materia medica is a major step forward for improving clinical accuracy and bringing the practice of homeopathy to a new level.

In 1834, Clemens von Boenninghausen wrote in a letter to Hahnemann that every effort made in order to complete our MMR comes with its reward: “A complete dictionary of symptoms, which is easy to consult, would nearly by itself remove all difficulties, and make the healing art appropriate to nature more accessible—even to the busy physician. Once we have such a work, allopathy can pack in, because the main obstacle for the greater dissemination of the only true method of cure is the great difficulty at which the beginner recoils everywhere.”[1]

Already, fifteen years earlier in 1819, Hahnemann said that as we continue to enrich our materia medica, (quote)** “The healing art will then approach the mathematical sciences in certainty.”[2]

As the MMPP would like to double its work force to about 150 colleagues, I am inviting any experienced practitioner who is interested to participate in this great project to contact the coordinating director of our project, Dr. Raduan Khalil, at the following address: [email protected].

Depending on one’s expertise, location and language, Dr. Khalil will assign each newcomer to an already existing team.

Also you are as well all invited to join us next September in Niendorf, Germany at the occasion of Part 9 of the MMPP ongoing course, during which we will be presenting remedies contained in the sections of Natrum muriaticum, Ignatia, Staphysagria and Pulsatilla. As Niendorf is a resort town, many participants combine their time there as work and family vacation.

An interesting outcome of this project is the fact the people who have been working on this project are developing an invaluable expertise not only of our literature, materia medica and repertories but are becoming more accurate prescribers.

Finalement, au nom de toute l’équipe du MMPP, je voudrais exprimer aux membres du comité organisateur de ce congrès notre plus sincère appréciation pour l’opportunité que vous vous nous avez donné de pouvoir présenter devant la communauté internationale ce projet qui est si important pour le futur de l’homéopathie. 


[1] Martin Stahl. Der Briefwechsel zwischen Samuel Hahnemann und Clemens von Boenninghausen (Correspondence between Samuel Hahnemann and Clemens von Boenninghausen).Quellen und Studien zur Homoeopathiegeschichte Band 3. Heidelberg: Haug, 1997, 104.

[2] This passage can be found in the footnote to paragraph 152 in the second edition (1819) and to paragraph 145 in the sixth edition of the Organon (1843).

Picture of André Saine, N.D., F.C.A.H.

André Saine, N.D., F.C.A.H.

André Saine is a 1982 graduate of the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. He is board-certified in homeopathy (1988) by the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians and has been teaching and lecturing on homeopathy since 1985. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the subject of homeopathy.