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James Tyler Kent
James Tyler Kent

Dr James T. Kent (1849–1916) was an influentian practitioner in the history of homeopathy. He pioneered the use of highly potentised or "charged" homeopathic preparations. In 1897 he published his repertory. Much modern homeopathy practise is based on it.

Features of Kent's teaching and practise were: High potency prescribing (200C and above for chronic cases); emphasis on "mental" and "general" symptoms; and a "watch and wait" approach in administering remedies.

He was a firm dogmatist.

In recent times, many weaknesses or limitations of his approach have become clear:

  1. His watch and wait for reactions to the single remedy approach as compared to a tighter follow-treatment, where remedies are adminstered according to a quite different sort of schedule.
  2. Some of Kent's provings of remedies were manufactured to satisfy an editor's demand. They were not true provings.
  3. He put excessive emphasis on the "mental" symptoms rather than emphasising symptom totality.
  4. His approach of expecting and even going for an aggravation at the start of treatment to confirm the choice of remedy - contradicts the ideal of rapid, gentle, and permanent cure that Samuel Hahnemann was striving for. [Source: Life Sketch.]

Kent's Repertory

Dr Kent first sought to pull together all the repertories that existed at his time but after several years he found no way to bring together those works, for they approached the subject from widely different angles. He started over again with the original provings and information that was gathered until then. His Repertory is still in use today by homeopaths the world over. Kent said, "The third edition completes my life work." It was proofed by his wife Clara Louise Kent, MD. There were no content changes in the later fourth, fifth and sixth editions, but there were faults and failings. It is cumbersome to many.

Defects of Kent's Repertory

In 1930, Elizabeth Wright outlined some of the faults and shortcomings of the work. Some of the points:

Some rubrics are out of place ⚶ there is no section for circulatory system, glandular system, lymphatic system, or nervous system ⚶ certain headings are misplaced ⚶ pathological, diagnostic, and objective symptoms are scattered instead of being in a separate section ⚶ many common symptoms (such as vomiting, restlessness, etc.) are so widespread among the remedies that listing such symptoms is of little or no use ⚶ many more remedies need to be included ⚶ many rubrics could be eliminated as useless ⚶ lack of an index and good cross-referencing.

She proposed working on a new, abridged edition. Many of Wright's points have later been implemented in later Remedy Finders (Repertories).

(Wright Hubbard 1990:50-62; also referred to in Winston 2001.).

Among sleek Remedy Finders, the list in Dr Stephenson's book on homeopathy helped me to get to grips with the basics in the old days, and even prescribe remedies that seldom failed, if what follows the intakes are to be taken as casual indication of that.

Kent Quotations

Below are a few Kent quotations. Interestingly, some of them make sense in the light of Drs Burr's and Ravitz' findings about a life field, and basic thought of homeopathy also.


Unless the inner nature of the remedy corresponds with the inner nature of the disease (patient) the remedy will not cure but simply remove the symptoms [for a while]. - James T. Kent

There is an innermost to everything or the outermost could not be. - James T. Kent

Never prescribe for a chronic case when you are in a hurry, take your time. Never give a dose of medicine until you have considered the whole case. - James T. Kent

The physician must penetrate into the inner recesses of symptoms; the very life of the patient must be opened and laid bare, Learn the fears, instincts, desires and the aversions of the patient. The remedy often crops out through the affections. - James T. Kent

Other Homeopathy Quotations

You may honestly feel grateful that homeopathy survived the attempts . . . to destroy it. [Mark Twain]

Medicine must rely on careful observation. [Jan Willem Nienhuys]

Homeopathy is the safest and more reliable approach to ailments and has withstood the assaults of established medical practice for over 100 years. [Yehudi Menuhin, renowned violinist]

As there is classical music, classical physics, classical arts, there is also classical homeopathy. [Dr. R. Shah]

One of the higher callings is to make sick people healthy. [With Samuel Hahnemann (17551843), originator of homeopathy]

Homeopathy views the human being as a dynamic, responsive, and health-oriented organism which expresses itself in a physical, emotional, and mental way. The sum of these 'levels' [physical, emotional and mental] constitutes the whole person. As a unified being . . . [Linda Johnston, MD]


James Tyler Kent, Homeopathy quotations, Literature  

Hubbard, Elizabeth Wright. Homeopathy as Art and Science: Selected Writings. Beaconsfield, Bucks, UK: Beaconsfield Publishers, 1990.

Kent, James Tyler. The Art and Science of Homeopathic Medicine. Unabridged, clothbound Deluxe Dover ed. N. Chelmsford, MA: Courier Dover Publications, 2003.

Kent, James Tyler. Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica. Reprint ed. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 1991.

Kent, James Tyler. How to Use the Repertory. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 2003.

Kent, James Tyler. Lectures on Homeopathic Philosophy. Volume 1 of Fundamental Doctrines In Healing. 2nd ed, reprint. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books, 1979.

Kent, James Tyler Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy. Reprint ed. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 2003.

Kent, James Tyler Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica: Together with Kent's "New remedies" Incorporated and Arranged in One Alphabetical Order.. Reprint ed. New Delhi: B. Jain Publishers, 1984.

Life Sketch of Dr. James Tyler Kent.

Stephenson, James Hawley. A Doctor's Guide to Helping Yourself with Homeopathic Remedies. 6th impression. Wellingbourough: Thorson's, 1983.

Winston, Julian. The Heritage of Homoeopathic Literature (Paperback ed. Tawa, Wellington, NZ: Great Auk Publications, 2001. ⍽▢⍽ This is an abbreviated bibliography of 915 books and journals on homeopathy from 1810 to 2000. Each entry contains the date, title, author, publisher, and number of pages. Most of the entries contain more detailed descriptions of the contents, and often quotes from contemporary reviews. Many of the entries also have a personal commentary by the homeopathic historian Julian Winston (1941–2005), placing the book into historical context, or commenting on its relative value. The work contains a chronological index of all the books and also an alphabetic index. Writes Dana Ullman: "If you want to know what homeopathic books or journals have been published in English and if you want to know something about them, this is the book to get."

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