An Overview of The Boenninghausen Therapeutic Pocketbook Repertory

Delaware Homeopathy thanks Robert Bannan, practitioner of classical Homeopathy, for his very interesting and helpful overview of the Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook. The shorthand notation for this repertory is often read as TBP.

Gravely ill with what was thought to be tuberculosis, Boenninghausen’s healing had been given up by allopathic doctors. His friend, a physician named Weihe who was a homeopath and friend of Hahnemann, asked for details of Boenninghausen’s symptoms and mailed him a remedy. Boenninghausen recovered, subsequently devoting his life to Homeopathy, to curing the sick. After recovering he was in constant communication with Hahnemann.

Listening to Hahnemann’s desire to have more ease in finding a remedy to heal the symptoms of the ailing person, Boenninghausen began work on creating a repertory which would link a patient’s symptoms with the curative remedy of Hahnemann’s Materia Medica.

The translation of the German repertory to English in 2000 paved the way for using the unique method of Boenninghausen’s Pocketbook, which due to poor translations and misunderstandings had fallen out of use. Many practitioners have since experienced Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook as the most effective and useful repertory in Homeopathy and a dynamic reliable bridge to Materia Medica.

Robert Bannan explained several aspects of Boenninghausen’s method which contribute to the unique effectiveness of his repertory.


You may have learned that a complete symptom needs to have Sensation, Location, Modality and Concomitant. Using Boenninghausen’s method we learn that a complete symptom is Sensation/Complaint, Location, Modality, or CO – LO – MO. The addition of Concomitant creates a complete CASE.

Using TBP repertory allows one to look at a case in such a way that a minimum of just two complete symptoms are needed to find the remedy.  Most often these are common symptoms which by themselves would not point to a remedy. But taken together and as unique to the patient they can be used to find the curative substance.

Hahnemann, in Paragraph 95 of the Organon of Medicine, tells us that “Chronically ill patients become so accustomed to their long sufferings that they pay little attention to the smaller, often characteristic acompanying befallments which are so decisive in singling out the remedy…” They have a connection to the main disturbance.

Note that Boenninghausen’s method works only with rubrics in the TBP. You may be able to find similar rubrics in Kent’s Repertory but the TBP has a different structure and looks at the symptoms differently.

Overall, TBP is a reliable book using a reliable method not found in other repertories. Robert Bannan explained features that create this reliability.


One feature is Boenninghausen’s grading of symptoms.  Grading represents the characteristic value of symptoms – the frequency for which the remedy appears for that symptom. The remedy with the best consistency of scores when that remedy appears again and again with characteristic rubrics, is the most reliable.

Another feature of TBP is its smaller number of rubrics ( 2,695) – the rubrics therefore being more ‘potent’. Compare the Complete Repertory (van Zandvoort) which has about 231,300 rubrics.

TBR has a more even spread of rubrics and is therefore less prejudicial. Modern repertories are like bottle necks, says Bannan, where 6 lanes must converge into one, with more chance for prejudice.


A compeling and unique component to the structure of TBR is Boenninghausen’s genius for abstraction and recombination of characteristic symptoms with a completion of symptoms by analogy.  ‘Characteristic’ means that the symptom appears with consistency.

Boenninghausen was able to look through provings of a remedy and understand the consistent quality of that remedy, from one prover to another, that would become the grand, general characteristic or the ‘genius’ of the remedy.

For example, a complete symptom is Co – Lo – Mo; COMPLAINT, LOCATION, MODALITY and the modality needs to be consistent – e.g. Aconite has fear around the hours of midnight. A complete Case includes Concomitant.

An example of abstraction / recombination / analogy. A symptom can be completed by analogy by using another symptom from another sphere of sensations/complaints within the patient, as in the case which follows:

A person had a sensation of a hair in the eye for which there was no matching rubric but was cured by analogy using a remedy from the rubric for “sensation of a hair on the tongue”. Here is another -a  remedy found in the rubric, “visual disturbance made worse by sewing” cured a patient whose symptom was pain in the neck when sewing or knitting. 

In summary, Bannan mentioned the two best advantages of TBR:  All symptoms of Materia Medica Pura and Chronic Diseases (both by Samuel Hahnemann) can be reconstructed  AND  case – specific recombination of elements of cases can be accomplished.

Robert Bannan held our attention to the end with accounts of cured cases which illustrated some key notes of the Boenninghausen Repertory. We thank him for his enthusiastic discussion of Boenninghausen’s Therapeutic Pocketbook.


TBR 2nd edition can be purchased at Nature-Reveals,

An archived webinar presented by Jamie Oskin, N.D. about how to use TBR can be purchased on

An interesting web site for more reading about TBR is that of George Dimitriadis who undertook the laborious task of translating the German Boenninghausen’s TBR to English.

Homeopathy for Everyone, a free web site, has many articles about Boenninghausen and his method.

The North American Society of Homeopaths (NASH) 2001 issue of The American Homeopath is devoted to the works of Boenninghausen.



2 thoughts on “An Overview of The Boenninghausen Therapeutic Pocketbook Repertory

  1. peggy says:

    This was a great summary. I thoroughly enjoyed this class and Rob’s presentation.
    The References that follower the class presentation in this article was very helpful. Thank you to all that have taken their talents and valuable time to educate the public; especially me.


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