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William Boericke's Homoeopathic Materia Medica Caveat


William Boerickes' Homeopathic Materia Medica is in the public domain (links are further down).

Dr Boericke (1849-1929) was born in Austria and emigrated to the United States. There he became the first professor of Materia Medica at the University of California at San Francisco. This is the complete Homeopathic Materia Medica by him. It is from William Boericke and Oscar Boericke's Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Boericke and Runyon, 1927. William furnished the Materia Medica, and his brother Oscar added a repertory later.

The work is called "the Little Bible of Homeopathy . . . a must have reference book for anyone going beyond the beginning stages of using homeopathy."

The book contains lists of symptoms attached to the remedies. Symptoms put in italics by Boericke were felt by him to be particularly telling (significant). This much said, there is no guarantee the remedies actually will benefit a patient. And it is preferable to study basic principles of homoeopathy before going into this terrain, generally.

As for the medicinal words and the at times obsolete terms in the book, you can find most of them them in the ◦Farlex Medical Dictionary (The 'search' botton on this page opens a meny of dictionaries, including Farlex). With modern terms 'oe' and 'ae' are turned into 'e' - for example, edema replaces oedema, and dyspnea replaces dyspnaea. And 'c' is turned into 'k' in some words, for example leukorrhea (from leucorrhea).

CAVEAT: Much of what Boericke writes of doses and non-homeopathic uses of remedies at the end of a great deal of his entries, and all he says concerning homeopathic potencies - I suggest you disregard that. The lowest potency should be about c6 or D6 to minimize the chances of poisoning. Besides, in some countries D6 or c6 are the lowest potencies that can be got at pharmacies. And in the case of nosodes (preparations made from living germs): refrain unless you are an experienced professional. The Danish ministry of health has discovered that D30 potencies of nosodes still contain harmful microbes, even though homeopathic theory says they are without any molecules of what gives the remedy its name. So beware.

Some years ago I started to publish Boerickes Materica Medica on this site. Today there are some versions of it on-line, and I give you links to them instead of my scanned and not fully proofread text. I hope you don't mind! The four first entries are kept for mainly sentimental reasons - I have removed Boericke's suggestions as to doses from them. From the four entries below you see how Boericke's work is designed: he makes use of a homeopathic scheme for presenting claimed symptoms.

REMINDER: Any information given on this site is not intended to replace mature, solid medical advice and/or treatment. Those in need of medical attention should consult a well qualified practitioner or therapist. And one should seek professional medical advice even if minor symptoms persist, as they could be signs of more serious underlying conditions.

Boericke's remedy descriptions on Google Books:

  1. ◦One - from 1927
  2. ◦Two- also from 1927
  3. ◦Three - enlarged and revised edition from 2000 (recommended)
More on William Boericke: [Link].


Mucous membranes are affected by Abies Can. and gastric symptoms are most marked, and a catarrhal condition of the stomach is produced. There are peculiar cravings and chilly sensations that are very characteristic, especially for women with uterine displacement, probably due to defective nutrition with debility. Respiration and heart action labored. Wants to lie down all the time; skin cold and clammy, hands cold; very faint. Right lung and liver feel small and hard. Gleet.

Head.—Feels light-headed, tipsy. Irritable.

Stomach.—Canine , hunger with torpid liver. Gnawing, hungry, faint feeling at the epigastrium. Great appetite, craving for meat, pickles, radishes, turnips, artichokes, coarse food. Tendency to eat far beyond capacity for digestion. Burning and distention of stomach and abdomen with palpitation. Flatulence disturbs the heart's action. Pain in right shoulder-blade, and constipation, with burning in rectum.

Female.—Uterine displacements. Sore feeling at fundus of uterus, relieved by pressure. Prostration; wants to lie down all the time. Thinks womb is soft and feeble.

Fever.—Cold shiverings, as if blood were ice-water. [Acon.] Chills run down back. Cold-water feeling between shoulders. [Ammon. mur.] Skin clammy and sticky. Night-sweat. [China.].

ABIES NIGRA (Black Spruce)

A powerful and long-acting remedy, in various forms of disease, whenever the characteristic stomach symptoms are present. Most of the symptoms are associated with the gastric disturbances. In dyspeptic troubles of the aged, with functional heart symptoms; also after tea or tobacco. Constipation. Pain in external meatus.

Head.—Hot, with flushed cheeks. Low-spirited. Dull during the day, wakeful at night. Unable to think.

Stomach.—Pain in stomach always comes on after eating. Sensation of a lump that hurts, as if a hard-boiled egg had lodged in the cardiac end of stomach; continual distressing constriction just above the pit of the stomach, as if everything were knotted up. Total loss of appetite in morning, but great craving for food at noon and night. Offensive breath. Eructations.

Chest.—Painful sensation, as if something were lodged in the chest and had to be coughed up; lungs feel compressed. Cannot be fully expanded. Worse coughing; waterbrash succeeds cough. Choking sensation in throat. Dyspnea; worse lying down; Sharp, cutting pain in heart; heart's action heavy and slow; tachycardia, bradycardia.

Back.—Pain in small of back. Rheumatic pains and aching in bones.

Sleep.—Wakeful and restless at night, with hunger. Bad dreams.

Fever.—Alternate heat and cold; chronic intermittent fever, with pain in stomach.

Modalities.—Worse after eating.

Relationship.—Compare: Lump in stomach - China, Bryon., Pulsat. also other Conifers - Thuja, Sabina, Cupressus (painful indigestion) also Nux vom. Kali carb.

ABROTANUM (Southernwood)

A very useful remedy in marasmus, especially of lower extremities only, yet with good appetite. Metastasis. Rheumatism following checked diarrhea. Ill effects of suppressed conditions, especially in gouty subjects. Tuberculous peritonitis. Exudative pleurisy and other exudative processes. After operation upon the chest for hydrothorax or empyaemia, a pressing sensation remains. Aggravation of hemorrhoids when rheumatism improves. Nosebleed and hydrocele in boys.

Great weakness after influenza. [Kali phos.]

Mind.—Cross, irritable, anxious, depressed.

Face.—Wrinkled, cold, dry, pale. Blue rings around dull-looking eyes. Comedones, with emaciation. Nosebleed. Angioma of the face.

Stomach.—Slimy taste. Appetite good, but emaciation progresses. Food passes undigested. Pain in stomach; worse at night; cutting, gnawing pain. Stomach feels as if swimming in water; feels cold. Gnawing hunger and whining. Indigestion, with vomiting of large quantities of offensive fluid.

Abdomen.—Hard lumps in abdomen. Distended. Alternate diarrhea and constipation. Hemorrhoids; frequent urging; bloody stools; worse as rheumatic pains abate. Ascarides. Oozing from umbilicus. Sensation as if bowels were sinking down.

Respiratory.—Raw feeling. Impeded respiration. Dry cough following diarrhea. Pain across chest; severe in region of heart.

Back.—Neck so weak cannot hold head up. Back lame, weak, and painful. Pain in lumbar region extending along spermatic cord. Pain in sacrum, with hemorrhoids.

Extremities.—Pain in shoulders, arms, wrists, and ankles. Pricking and coldness in fingers and feet. Legs greatly emaciated. Joints stiff and lame. Painful contraction of limbs. [Amm. mur.]

Skin.—Eruptions come out on face; are suppressed, and the skin becomes purplish. Skin flabby and loose. Furuncles. Falling out of hair. Itching chilblains.

Modalities.—Worse, cold air, checked secretions. Better, motion.

Relationship.—Compare: Scrophularia; Bryonia; Stellaria; Benzoic acid, in gout. Iodine, Natr, mur in marasmus.

ABSINTHIUM (Common Wormwood)

A perfect picture of epileptiform seizure is produced by this drug. Nervous tremors precede attack. Sudden and severe giddiness, delirium with hallucinations and loss of cbnsciousness. Nervous excitement and sleeplessness. Cerebral irritation, hysterical and infantile spasms come within range of this remedy. Poisoning by mushrooms. Chorea. Tremor. Nervousness, excitement, and sleeplessness in children.

Mind.—Hallucinations. Frightful visions. Kleptomania. Loss of memory. Forgets what has recently happened. Wants nothing to do with anybody. Brutal.

Head.—Vertigo, with tendency to fall backward. General confusion. Wants head low. Pupils dilated unequally. Face blue. Spasmodic facial twitching. Dull occipital headache. [Gelsem. Picric ac.]

Mouth.—Jaws fixed. Bites tongue; trembles; feels as if swollen and too large; protruding.

Throat.—Scalded sensation; as of a lump.

Stomach.—Nausea; retching; eructation. Bloated around waist and abdomen. Wind colic.

Urine.—Constant desire. Very strong odor; deep yellow color. [Kali phos.]

Sexual.—Darting pain in right ovary. Spermatorrhaea, with relaxed, enfeebled parts. Premature menopause.

Chest.—Sensation of weight on chest. Irregular, tumultuous action of heart can be heard in back.

Extremities.—Pain in limbs. Paralytic symptoms.

Relationship.—Compare: Alcohol; Artemisia; Hydrocy. acid; Cina; Cicuta.

William Boericke's Homoeopathic Materia Medica Caveat, END MATTER

William Boericke's Homoeopathic Materia Medica Caveat, LITERATURE  

Boericke, William, and Oscar Boericke. Homoeopathic Materia Medica. 9th ed. Philadelphia: Boericke and Runyon, 1927. —— More recent editions are from 2008, 1999, 1993, 1990 and so on.

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