The Materia Medica is any information compiled about a Substance that will lead to a better understanding of the properties of the Substance. Materia Medica are the materials of our medicine. In Homeopathy it is usually a compilation of symptoms collected from provings or common knowledge about the Substance. Good Materia Medica can really open up understanding about the remedies we are using. It helps complete the picture of the remedy that will be most useful to help inspire a person to heal.
Sometimes information about a Substance comes from the most unlikely sources outside of Homeopathy. I have a very basic book about the elements written by a very passionate Professor who explains the most unlikely information about each element. His descriptions are brief and concise but carry a lot of information about the elements. This is Materia Medica. The same can come from the plant or animal kingdom. The energy of the Substance is released through the potentization process and information about that Substance is in the remedy.
We have many fine Homeopaths who have contributed to Materia Medica over the last 200 years. These have been in articles published and books bound for the homeopathic community. Their observations make a fine resource for searching and learning about the remedies.
One of the best resources for Materia Medica is from Synergy Homeopathic Software in the their ReferenceWorks library. There are thousands of sources of information about the remedies complied in their easy to use program. It would be impossible to carry all of the books and pamphlets and would easily fill any home library. In addition to the content, there is an easy way to search single words, or a collection of words, in a sentence, or paragraph or within a remedy description. This feature will also save the remedies that have been found, allow you to read the text, as well as form a rubric that could be used within this program or exported to their companion program, MacRepertory. I highly recommend this program and their best collection of Materia Medica. You will have an immense volume of information at your fingertips.
Books are also important. I use them daily. I have my favorite Materia Medicas that I use most often. Frans Vermeullen has created the very best Materia Medicas, in my opinion. They are an eclectic collection of vital information about the remedies. His Prisma and Synoptic 2 Materia Medicas are the two I use most often in my first search for information about remedies. He has distilled an essence for all remedies in Prisma and I have found them to be absolutely accurate. These Materia Medicas will “cut to the chase” about the energy of the remedy and expose the metaphor that is most expressive of the human condition we are wanting to treat. They are simply brilliant. In a few pages you can learn very intimate details about the Substance, as well as the grand characteristics and most important information about the remedy. If you have not used these Materia Medicas, I highly suggest you get them. They do not disappoint.
The next Materia Medica I use most often is Natures Materia Medica by Robin Murphy. He has compiled information from many authors into a very useful, medically oriented, Materia Medica. Information from Clark, Boericke, Nash, Phatak, Allen, Hahnemann, Boger, Jahr, and many of other authors are included. This collection is in a single, easy to navigated book. The focus is not so much on the Substance as it is on the medical indications for the remedy. The authors are credited so you can see where the source of the information has originated and is another highly useful book.
With these three books and the ReferenceWorks program I can gather information about almost any remedy. The books are my first reference and often enough to confidently prescribe. If I need to search deeper and look at more authors, ReferenceWorks always fills the bill.
With so many books written about Homeopathy I could easily spend many thousands of dollars and fill a library. But with these 4 references I can cover almost any Materia Medica need. These are my “go to” Materia Medicas. I have saved a lot of money and time by finding these Materia Medicas and the ReferenceWorks program. Nothing takes the place of good Materia Medicas. If you have favorites that you find most important, please share with everyone. I am sure they would love hear from you.