Clinical Repertory by Dr. Clarke: Importance of chapter ‘Causation’

Repertories have always been an integral part of homeopathic practice and this need has led to creation and addition of newer repertories. Among them, there are practical repertories which are used when the characteristics of patients are masked by the clinical conditions, largely manifesting pathological symptoms. These are known as ‘Clinical repertories’. They contain clinical symptoms or conditions with corresponding group of remedies.

Clinical Repertory by Dr. John Henry Clarke is one such significantly important repertory. Dr. J.H. Clarke was an orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy and worked immensely in the advancement of homeopathy. He specially designed this repertory for the study of his huge materia, ‘The Dictionary of Materia Medica’. His repertory is very useful to facilitate the selection of remedy on the basis of pathological similarity or clinical condition, causation, and temperaments.

‘Causation’ is a very important and useful aspect of this repertory. We have explored the materia medica and studied the remedies and it is noticeable that almost all the remedies have relations to some kinds of conditions, or accidents in ordinary life. For example, Arnica treats conditions which are followed by injuries, or Arg. Nit treats the effects of apprehension before an interview or examinations, or Nat Mur getting affected by acidic food etc. All these conditions can be listed under ‘Causation’ or ‘Ailments from’ as we note in the history.

Clarke’s repertory has this chapter of causations where a number of causes are listed in an alphabetical order with drugs associated to them. For example: when there is a case with ailments from milk, you can just select the causation chapter, milk, and select your rubric.


There was this wonderful case of excessively heavy bleeding in a 30 year old woman after 7 months of delivering her baby. Bleeding was profuse, painless with bright red blood causing her extreme mental anxiety, sadness and often irritability. Even feeding the baby had become difficult. On history it was found out that post-delivery she was given haemostatic drugs for her bleeding to stop. The causation was very obviously ‘suppression of lochia’ and hence the following rubric was taken from the causation chapter:

causation chapter in clarke repertory

Millefolium 30 was prescribed three times daily and her bleeding stopped after 5-6 days. Since then, she has been getting her normal cycles and she was even able to feed her baby well.

This case is a perfect example of how important the causations are and how well they can be repertorized using the clinical repertory. You will even find many other common causative factors such as, ‘change of weather, over-exertion, anger, apprehension, anxiety, suppressed discharges or eruptions, alcohol abuse, emotional disturbances, honour injured and many more.’

Sometimes causation alone can help select the best possible remedy with excellent results. The chapter “Causation’ in the Clarke’s repertory is thus quite significant and can be used to narrow down the remedies from the main repertorization.

It is therefore imperative on the part of the physician to take the history well and give an utmost importance to the ‘ailments from’ of any symptoms or conditions. Histories well elicited and cases well repertorized are pre-requisites to a successful homeopathic practice.

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