Synoptic Materia Medica, affectionately known as the Silver Book, dawned with a shimmer of light that pierced the darkness of prescribed materia medica reading in 1992. Until this time, student and practitioner alike had to face the dense impenetrability of 19th century Latinate language to understand their late 20th century homeopathic medical art.
Synoptic One lightened this lugubrious penumbra with a shimmer of hope as lambent as its silver cover.
The book had originally grown out of Frans Vermeulen's need to structure the vast amount of homeopathic data into simple, straightforward remedy pictures for students of the Dutch, Finnish and Irish Schools of Homeopathy. He found it dismayingly difficult to compose a coherent picture from fragmentary and often contradictory information.
However, the man is a luminary, and he has a mission. We homeopaths and our patients are the beneficiaries of his task.
After 9 reprints in 12 years, the Silver Book was in need of revitalization. The New Synoptic One was born, some 300 pages longer, looking remarkably like its sister, but more mature. The remedies are the same, with the inclusion of Bambusa. The Repertory throughout is generated from Radar, MacRepertory and Cara/Isis computer systems.
In this updated book Frans Vermeulen has as ever aimed to give homeopaths a clear, concise materia medica that can be used as handy reference, while containing all the key characteristics, essences and nuclei of the chosen remedies. He has maximised the information and sources available in as few precise words as possible. This synthesis is a concentration of information from many sources - the ancient and the modern, and including material from the late Pierre Schmidt's extensive library. However, to fully understand the works of modern authors, you are encouraged to follow up their ideas in their own books and lectures.
We are living in times of exciting advances in Homeopathy. Frans is re-translating, correcting and restructuring information so that it is easier to categorise and access. This has resulted in 21pp. of Repertory additions, which are reproduced in full in the book. There is much new thinking on the relevance of the Kingdoms and Miasms. Rajan Sankaran has introduced the idea of Vital Sensation to the plant remedies. We are conversant with Jan Scholten's work on the Periodic Table. Massimo Mangialavori has extended our ideas about Families of remedies, continuing work bravely begun by previous generations.
Many ideas from living homeopaths find a place in this book making it a tool at the cutting edge of homeopathy.
The following format is used in each remedy picture:
-The top corner of each page displays the remedy abbreviation used in Kent's Repertory.
-An apposite quotation follows the remedy name. From this you understand the drift of Frans's feeling for the remedy, and it connects the remedy back to the real world.
-The Latin name, Natural Order and Common names are given. It helps in grouping remedies to be able to identify the family, particularly if you use the Sankaran or Scholten plant family Sensations in case analysis. The common names often give a hint to the Doctrine of Signatures.
-The organ affinities of the remedy are listed under REGION, while the * indicates the side of the body as recorded in the Synthetic Repertory. The affinities, taken from Boger's Synoptic Key of the Materia Medica, are included, since they can be a deciding factor in a differential diagnosis.
-MODALITIES list the aggravations and ameliorations. These are also taken from Boger. His grading does not always agree with that of the Repertory, however the relationship of the grades to each other gives a good idea of the modalities of the remedy in question. Generally speaking, modalities in the third grade can be considered as generalities, which also applies [but to a lesser extent] to those in the second grade, while, as a rule, modalities in the first grade refer to the amelioration or aggravation of local symptoms.
-The Section on MAIN SYMPTOMS requires little explanation. It is a synthesis of information and knowledge from modern homeopaths and also homeopaths of Kent's day. Sources are given where necessary. The use of capitals is not to express the grading of symptoms, but to draw the eye to the fact that these symptoms occupy an important place in the total remedy picture.
-Since the similimum is chosen primarily on mental and general symptoms, less attention has been paid to local symptoms, except in the case of remedies where little is known of the mental picture. Here the local symptoms are given as complete as possible, i.e. including concomitants, modalities and, where known, aetiology. This principle has also been adopted in the case of the polychrests.
-The RUBRICS are from the Synthetic Repertory. The grading given in the previous editions of Synoptic One have been removed for easier reading. You can check the grading in a Repertory search. Italics denote the leading search word in the Repertory symptom. E.g. 'Mental activity alternating with dullness' will be found under Mind: Activity, mental?. A semi-colon indicates a following sub-rubric of the initial symptom.
-FOOD desires and aversions are listed according to gradation, to enable the reader to see the most important ones at a glance.
-Each remedy picture carries a NUCLEUS. This is based on the extensive knowledge and experience of Frans Vermeulen. You may argue with or add to this information, according to your understanding and experience - there is space left for your own valuable notes.
-Mineral remedies carry a synopsis of information on the essence of the SERIES and STAGES as understood by Jan Scholten. Read more about these ideas in his books, particularly 'Homeopathy and the Elements.'
-The ideas emanating from Rajan Sankaran and his students worldwide are included in the SENSATIONS and MIASM of the Plant remedies. This should be understood as a work in progress, and further explanation of this system may be found in his book: 'Insight into Plants'
-Information on various members of the Animal Kingdom comes from Jenni Tree's research and lectures in Leuven and Helsinki.
-21 pp of Repertory additions.
Frans Vermeulen's aim in this book of materia medica is to structure some of the vast amount of information currently available to homeopaths, while making it a neat and enlightening reference tool. We hope it will help you to find the simillimum for your patients.