An Overview of “A Synoptic Key of The Materia Medica”

Dr. Cyrus Maxwell Boger, a qualified homeopath, is widely recognized for his significant contributions to homeopathic literature through numerous books and publications. In addition to revitalizing the study and interest in the works of Dr. Boenninghausen, Boger also made additions and rewritings to the Boenninghausen therapeutic pocket book, resulting in the Boger Boenninghausen Characteristics & Repertory. He further shared his own experiences in the form of the Boger Synoptic Key, establishing himself as an esteemed author in the field.

Dr. Boger’s profound understanding of homeopathic science, comprehensive knowledge of homeopathic philosophy and materia medica, and exceptional prescribing skills were consistently evident in his work. As a result, he is rightly regarded as having achieved a prominent position in the realm of homeopathic practice, a level of expertise that few have ever attained.

Boger’s “Synoptic Key” is a valuable tool that seamlessly incorporates the concepts of generalization, tissue affinity, time dimension, and pathological generals, highlighting their significance in the evolution of diseases. Therefore, it should be utilized with careful consideration of these concepts during case analysis.

Here is an excerpt from his foreword from Hompath Zomeo:


This classic work by Boger builds upon the pioneering efforts of Boenninghausen.

  • It is a concise book that encompasses a comprehensive materia medica and a complete repertory, all condensed into less than 600 pages.
  • Boger’s intention was to capture the essence of each remedy, while also creating a synergy between materia medica and repertory.
  • The book covers a total of 323 remedies, providing their characteristic symptoms and chief modalities.
  • For each remedy, the entry begins with organotrophic relationships and modalities, followed by a selection of the most significant symptoms.

The Synoptic key of Materia Medica is constructed as follows and consists of:

  • Foreword by Dr. CM Boger
  • List of remedies in Materia medica portion
  • Part I – Analysis
  • Part II – Synopsis
  • Part III – Comprises of 4 appendices
  • List of remedies & their abbreviations


This part has a short repertory divided into the following 4 sections:

  1. The periods of aggravation
  2. Conditions of aggravations and amelioration
  3. Generalities i.e. consideration of drug affinities for the entire organism
  4. Regional repertory

Here is how the repertory looks in Zomeo. Have a look at the conditions of aggravations and ameliorations:

Zomeo Homeopathic Software

Construction of the repertory

Each page is arranged in two columns

  • Name of the chapter is written on the top of the page in BOLD CAPITAL
  • Rubrics also represented in BOLD CAPITAL
  • Sub rubrics are represented in bold Roman letters
  • Synonyms are given soon after the rubric in bold Roman letters with the prefix ‘see’

Cross references are given after the medicine in bold Roman letters with the prefix ‘comp.’

Gradation of medicines


II: Bold Romane.g.Acon

III: Ordinary roman e.g.Acon


1. The periods of aggravation

Consists of time periods of aggravation

Starts with the rubric PERIODICALLY, in general

Periodically- Daily, agg ; at same hour, agg; Weekly, aggetc


2. Conditions of aggravations and amelioration

Rubrics arranged alphabetically from AIR to YAWNING

Can be taken as causative modalities.


3. Generalities

It consists of the consideration of the drug affinities of the entire organism

Rubrics are arranged in alphabetical order ACHING to YELLOW.

Rubrics include locations in general like bones, joints; sensations; complaints; pathological generals; clinical rubrics; mental rubrics


4. Regional repertory

Given as sub-chapters

Starts with INTELLECT & ends with SWEAT

Each subchapter is separated from the others by a horizontal line



This section entails a detailed exposition of the significant and distinctive features of the most important remedies found in the homeopathic materia medica, including their physiological spheres of action, modalities, and relationships.

It delves into the general expression or genius of each remedy, which Dr. Boger emphasizes should be the guiding principle for every prescriber in determining their ideal place in the prescription.

The Synoptic Key of Materia Medica is indeed the key that a student or a practitioner needs to unlock the right remedy in each case.

This book is useful for bedside prescriptions as well as for quick revision.

It has a fascinating layout and concept. Each remedy is presented in concise and clear words. In Boger’s layout, you can easily see which remedy affects which specific part of the body. This book intends to make the general expression or genius of each remedy, thereby helping the prescriber to correct the manner of his practice.

The repertory section of the Synoptic Key of Materia Medica is a true reflection of Dr. Boger’s philosophical approach, evident in the quality of rubrics and the overall structure. The arrangement of chapters underscores the importance of considering the dimension of time, modalities, and generalities in totality.

Have a look at Hompath Zomeo’s layout for the Materia Medcia of Synoptic Key, which is easy to read, easy to navigate and quick to search:

Synoptic Key

The rubrics in this repertory demand that the reader’s mind transcend from specific to general. Those who can master this journey of thinking will reap the benefits of this classic work.

One major limitation of this tool is that the repertory section includes only a limited number of remedies compared to the materia medica section. However, this gap can be effectively utilized by scholars to expand the repertory section with the ever-increasing clinical knowledge of materia medica application, thus enriching its content.


Hompath Zomeo comes with unique features, a storehouse of data in form of 40 Repertories, 1300 Volumes of Books, materia medica of above 3200 remedies and 4 unique Expert Systems to make you an expert prescriber.

Begin your journey with Hompath Zomeo now and see the difference in your practice.

Zomeo Homeopathic Software is loaded with 43 repertories, 1300+ homeopathy books, 3400+ remedies, 1561 homeopathic medicines keynotes, 3251 remedy properties, 136 materia medica books and many useful features.

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