Lectures on Materia Medica
Kent's lectures on the homeopathic Materia Medica are legendary. We can sense how this master of homeopathy captured the more than 200 remedies in this book as living creatures in his mind's eye: the resulting remedy pictures are of unequalled clarity and acuity. This was a breakthrough in the depiction of remedies, which had to that point only been described as lists of symptoms. As a teacher, Kent possessed an unmatched ability to express clinical matters in everyday language. This rare combination of science, art and straightforward descriptions comprises the inimitable charm of his lectures. His pupils were so enthusiastic that they took verbatim notes of his talks. Kent then edited these transcripts himself. This is how this masterpiece of the Materia Medica came to be handed down to us, and we can confidently say that it has lost none of its authenticity over the years.
Kent, like Hahnemann, was endowed with a keen analytical intellect coupled with a highly artistic temperament. His genius could see unity in diversity, an order and light in an apparent confusion of jumbled up symptoms. He was a strange mixture of an artist and a scientist. It is with a stroke of his rich imagination that he conceived a novel idea of presenting the drugs of our Materia Medica as individual pictures. In his lectures he was able to present well-defined but colourful pictures of each drug. This was a very bold and a great step forward in the development of our Materia Medica. Kent gave his lectures in a colloquial, semi-clinical form with the result that anybody who listened to his lectures was spell-bound and carried an indelible impression of the drug. He was able to create a continuity of a symptom-picture from all the disjointed symptoms listed in the other standerd books.