Homeopathy 2011; 100(04): 293-299
DOI: 10.1016/j.homp.2011.06.003
Social and Historical
Copyright © The Faculty of Homeopathy 2011

No fear of ghosts in Lycopodium: a contribution to the discussion on repertory reliability

U.C. Adler

Subject Editor:
Further Information

Publication History

Received19 August 2010

accepted03 June 2011

Publication Date:
20 December 2017 (online)

Background: Repertory mistakes in modern homeopathy have been pointed out since the early years after the publication of the sixth edition of Kent’s repertory. A structural error of many current repertories is the use of Kent’s repertory as a basic information source. ‘Fear of ghosts’ is widely considered to be a symptom of Lycopodium clavatum by the homeopathic community.

Objectives: To demonstrate that the source of ‘fear of ghosts’ in Lycopodium clavatum was an inaccurate translation, that has been spread by secondary sources and to review Hahnemann’s conception and efforts towards a reliable repertory.

Results: The symptom ‘fear of ghosts’ does not exist in the primary source, being the product of a misunderstanding of the English translation of Hahnemann’s original record, ‘fear of frightful imaginary images’. Hahnemann’s efforts to compile a reliable and complete dictionary of Materia Medica were also briefly presented, as well as Rückert’s repertory, which, in addition to collating and classifying symptoms in alphabetical rubrics and sub-rubrics, displayed them completely, as registered in primary sources.

Conclusion: The misunderstanding about ‘fear of ghosts’ in Lycopodium clavatum exemplifies how distant current homeopathic information is from its primary sources and from Hahnemann’s ideal of a symptom-lexicon. In spite of its technical limitations, Rückert’s repertory, which was strongly recommended by Hahnemann, can be considered as a template for new repertories based on primary sources.