In this excerpt, Dr. Murphy discusses the critical aspects of teaching homeopathy, emphasizing the importance of thoroughly learning the remedies themselves. He argues that an over-reliance on the repertory is a weakness and can undermine a practitioner's ability to apply homeopathy effectively in real-world scenarios. Dr. Murphy highlights the value of clinical experience and the practical application of Materia Medica, advocating for a balanced approach that integrates both traditional knowledge and modern practices.

Dr. Robin Murphy - Nervous Disorders
This podcast is an excerpt from the “Nervous Disorders” lecture by Dr. Robin Murphy, ND

In Dr. Murphy's Nervous Disorders lecture, disorders covered include Alzheimer’s disease, Bell’s Palsy, Parkinson’s disease, chronic fatigue, epilepsy and convulsions, fainting, headaches, migraines, memory problems, narcolepsy, motion sickness, multiple sclerosis, paralysis, sleep disorders, strokes, vertigo, and coma.

The full Nervous Disorders lecture is available for streaming access.


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Three different approaches: Eizayaga, repertory. Vithoulkas, basically Materia Medica. His greatness is in his knowledge of Materia Medica. Eizayaga is the repertory, and this therapeutics is differentials. Now I opted to go this middle route because it actually combines a rubric and brings it alive with the remedies in that rubric. Materia Medica gives you images of remedies, but those images are hard to translate into reality because within those images you have the acute symptoms, the chronic symptoms, the constitutional symptoms, you know, and all the different levels. It's not clinically oriented, so people read Aconite and say, "Oh, I can't give Aconite to this person because it doesn't fit everything."

But then you have to know Aconite. You have to know Aconite as a child's remedy, Aconite as an acute remedy, Aconite as a fever remedy. Aconite just isn't Aconite. It's easier to teach it as Aconite in fevers, Aconite in children, Aconite in agoraphobia, Aconite in just various conditions, not just diseases. Then you know Aconite and how to see it, the species of the remedies. Then you learn the remedy better. And the rubrics are just data. They're dead, just a list. There's some life in it because we have black type, italics, and this and that, but there's no life in it. You have to go to the Materia Medica to make the rubric make any sense. So you end up doing therapeutics anyway.

And I used to study at the University of Michigan. They had all the old homeopathic medical school curriculums. None of the schools taught repertorization, none of them. Repertorization is a modern phenomenon from Kent onward, but it wasn't standard homeopathic teaching. And I tell you, you can practice homeopathy and become a confident classical homeopath with never repertorizing a case. And we've been led to believe that repertorizing is the primary approach to case analysis, and it's not. It was never taught in the schools, never part of the curriculum. They never taught repertory. We see the first hint in history when Kent and them were discussing cases and how they came up with a remedy. They would quote rubrics from the repertory and have a little short elimination thing, and come up with a couple of remedies and read it in the Materia Medica. And from that point on in the 1890s and 1900s only to the present was repertorization process a part of homeopathy.

So to me, this is the weakest way to teach homeopathy. It takes you 10 years to master that book. The repertory is basically a dictionary of rubrics, which is not organized as a dictionary. It should be. It should just be an A to Z collection of rubrics. You want "heart," you would go to "H" - heart. The eye, ear, and nose are that way, but then extremities – you want wrist, it’s spread out between 200 pages. So it's just a dictionary. That's like someone teaching English, the English language, from a dictionary. That's ludicrous. And every time they have a conversation in a class, they go to the dictionary to analyze a sentence structure and grammar, this and that. An English teacher would use the dictionary 1% of the time. Someone learning their basic vocabulary would use it more initially and then not use it. And that is our dictionary only. 10-15% of the time we'd have to refer back to that.

So the differentials, you can get 70-80% of the cases working with a good differential, and you can expand your differential knowledge systematically. "Oh, I don't know MS." Then you can research MS, and that's how I prepare. I take a topic, like we're doing today is nerve diseases. So there are some other things on the flyer. I don't know if you have time to get to chronic neck and back pain, but there's a new set of tapes, three days of just that. So we might not get to a lot of the chronic neck and back pain. So I go and find, first of all, the books, the therapeutic books that cover neurological diseases. There's two or three of them. The good modern book is by Vakil. Prakash Vakil gives a lot of differentials on the nerve diseases, so I'll be quoting from that book. The old book is by Royal, George Royal, who was president, academic dean of the Iowa State University School of Homeopathy in the late 1800s, 1880 to 1930s, something like that. Big school, many, many homeopaths graduated from there, and he gives like 40-50 years of experience treating all these nerve diseases.

So this is the weakness of the repertory. You have a rubric there. That rubric, the primary construction of that rubric, is from Hering's Materia Medica. The primary structure of Hering is from provings. Since Kent's time, people made additions to that, but basically Kent's repertory is a record of provings, frequency of provers getting certain symptoms. And then after that time, from the 1890s on, they added clinical experience. When you see a black type remedy in there, that means a lot of provers got it. That doesn't mean it's cured cases at all. And now it's so confusing and mixed up that black type might mean it's clinically upgraded or added by Kent or one of his students or someone else in Europe or something, or that it was a proving.

This approach here, you're tapping into 200 years of clinical experience. So like in Tai Chi, they say being rooted. Okay, so we tap into the repertory as our primary tool to analyze cases. There's no root in clinical experience. 10-20% of the whole book is clinically verified. 80% of it was based on Hering's Materia Medica, and that never tells you what a polycrest is. Now people say, "Well, little remedies versus big remedies." This is 1830s and 1840s provings, and then Allen's came out of that. So that's the weak spot in homeopathy, is the repertory. But when we plug into therapeutics, Dr. Royal and that, I have one of his books. Here's an original of the textbook they would have in a class, and the doctors had to learn gastroenterology, neurology, pediatrics, women's health, all these different topics. And they would learn all the different authors and what Hahnemann said, what Hering said, what cases were cured. Then they would go treat the clients, the patients, then they quote, and then you're rooted into our 200 years of clinical experience. This is the goldmine in homeopathy, not the repertory. It's the over-dependency on the repertory that's weakened us and made it so hard to teach.


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