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Let's Discuss About "Pathological Generals"

The Pathological General is the concept of Dr. Cyrus Maxwell Boger.

Pathological Generals are the expressions of the person which are known by a study of the changes at the tissue level. Certain types of constitutions are prone to certain pathological changes to different levels of the system or organs.

An individual may respond to constant unfavorable stimuli through pathological changes in different tissues, but a common propensity might still persists. This common changes at different tissue levels show the behavior of the whole constitution which is important to understand the individual. This common changes are called Pathological Generals.

Suppose a patient comes to the clinic with cellulitis, pneumonia as well as conjunctivitis or osteo-arthritis. Dr Boger warned us about the patient's affinity towards a particular pathology i.e. INFLAMMATION at different tissue levels. Why don't we give importance to inflammation ( although it is a mere pathology ), as it is the tendency of the individuality of the patient to react in that manner against any external stimuli, when other patients are not responding in the similar way? So although it is a pathology but still it deserves the highest priority.

Dr Boger was such a modern minded person. He was a person of few words. That is why we see all of his writtings are not very voluminous. Most of his writtings are initially hard to crack, but when they are understood they are the gems.

This is my understanding about the Pathological Generals. Please share your views in this regard.

Views: 2782

Comment by Dr Muhammed Rafeeque on March 13, 2010 at 5:58am
Boger's Doctrine of pathological general is highly useful not only in repertorisation but also in miasmatic diagnosis. It was actually a connecting link between two classes of homoeopaths. But, unfortunately, his method of repertorisation is not widely practiced now. Most of the colleges in India are promoting Kent's repertory (except a few colleges like Father Muller's HMC), may be due to the reason that his work is difficult to understand. Even though Boger has successfully improved the work of Boenninghausen, there were some politics going on against their approach from the fans of Kent.
Comment by sajjadakram on March 13, 2010 at 7:37am
Dr Boger was a genius person.His intention was to bring homeopathy in line with the modern system of medicine. He was working on these lines but died ahead of time. He wished to see the capabilities and effectiveness of homeopathic medicines in advance pathological cases. After his death no one paid any attention and did nor work on these lines perhaps due to lack of knowledge or non cooperation of homeopathic community.
You are right in saying that every person has natural tendencies towards certain diseases.
You must have seen that all those who smoke tobacco do not suffer from lungs cancer or heart disease or any respiratory diseases and that remain free from any problem throughout the life.
Comment by sajjadakram on March 13, 2010 at 9:05am
Please read"they remain free"instaed of" that remain free".Sorry for mistake.
Comment by DR. ARINDAM DUTTA on March 14, 2010 at 10:39pm
It requires a knowledge of pathology, keen observation and careful study of the symptoms on the part of the physician to detect the pathological generals.


1) Symptoms should be clearly interpreted from the standpoint of pathology and expressions.
A "forced" pathological general would fail to produce any result.

2) The list of remedies against these rubrics are largely based on clinical observations and
confirmations. Some rubrics contain very few medicines. Thus its use in repertorization
should be cautiously made.
Comment by Dr Dushyant Kamal Dhari on March 14, 2010 at 11:36pm
Every person reacts differently to a stimuli and that reaction is a pre-meditated according to his genetic structure / constitution / miasm. The reaction of the person leads to changes on mental / physical level and are manifested as pathological changes on physical level. These changes manifest on different organs / tissues as per his susceptibility and rhyme with the miasmatic tendency of the person.
So pathological changes present on different organs / tissues affecting the person as a whole and similiar in manifestations as Pathological generals.
Few examples of these are - Emaciation, Obesity, Inflammation, various tendencies and diathesis as Haemorrhages, Suppurations, Discharges, Uric acid diathesis etc.

A strong word of Caution
As our remedies are not proved so as to produce changes at pathological level, the remedies in these rubrics are based on Clinical observations and confirmation. So their use should be with caution.
These rubrics should not be used as Eliminating rubrics as by doing so we may miss the similimum which has not yet been added in these rubrics.

My esteemed friend Dr Dutta has already said all these.
Comment by DR. ARINDAM DUTTA on March 15, 2010 at 2:23am
Dr. DKD & others,

Let me discuss it in a little different manner....

In Kent's repertory we see a number of nosological rubrics also. More so in the chapter "Generalities".

In Boenninghausen's Characteristics & Repertory Boger showed us a number of Pathological Generals in different chapters, more so in "Sensations & Complaints" and "Aggravations & Ameliorations" chapters.

I am taking the help of the rubric-OBESITY

In Kent's Repertory-

OBESITY : Agar., am-m., ambr., ant-c., asaf., aur., bar-c., bor., bry., calc-ar., Calc., camph., canth., Caps., chin., cocc., con., cupr., eupho., Ferr., Graph., guai., iod., ip., kali-bi., kali-c., lac-d., lach., laur., lyc., mag-c., merc., mur-ac., nat-c., nux-m., olnd., op., plat., plb., puls., sabad., sars., seneg., sep., sil., spig., spong., sulph., thuj., verat.

In B.B.C.R.-

Obesity, corpulency, etc.:- Acon., Agar., Am-c., Am-m., Ambr., Ang., Ant-c., Ant-t., Apis, Arn., Asaf., Aur., Bar-c., Bell., Bor., Brom., Bry., CALC., Camph., Canth., CAPS., Carb-v., Caust., Cham., Chin., Cic., Clem., Cocc., Coloc., Con., Croc., Cupr., Dig., Eupho., FERR., Graph., Guai., Hell., Hyos., Iod., Ip., Kali-bi., Kali-c., Lach., Laur., Lyc., Mag-c., Merc., Mur-ac., Nat-c., Nux-m., Olnd., Op., Phos., Phyt., Plat., Plb., Puls., Rhus-t., Sabad., Sars., Sel., Seneg., Sep., Sil., Spig., Spong., Stram., Stront., Sulph., Thuj., Valer., Verat., Viol-o.

The similarities are self evident.

So," Nosological rubrics of Kent" and "Pathological Generals of Boger"- are they identical?

Old wine in a new bottle?
Comment by Dr Guillermo Zamora on March 16, 2010 at 10:20pm
Dear Dr Dutta, members:

Here a little contribution about it...

Boger accepts the idea of Boenninghausen´s patient totality, but he emphasizes the "general physical", "modidades general" and "concomitants". Certainly as Dr. Dutta said, there is a big generalization and foremost of "pathology" that is seen in the repertory.
So, the point of view of Boger´s totality lies in the following factors:
1.-Great importance to the "General pathologics", structural alterations, general locations, secretions, etc..
2.-General Physicals: sensations and complaints.
3.-The concomitant characteristics.
4.-The physical general modalities and especially the differential modalities.
5.-Mental state.

Best regards
Dr. G
Comment by DR. ARINDAM DUTTA on March 16, 2010 at 10:21pm
Dear GZ & others,

We must not forget apart from pathology, Dr. Boger put much stress upon-

1) the concept of CAUSATIONS


2) the importance of TIME MODALITIES.

They were also great contributions of DR. C. M. B.
Comment by DR. ARINDAM DUTTA on March 17, 2010 at 2:45am
Like the other mainstream homoeopaths Dr. Boger also gave utmost importance to the uncommon individualistic symptoms for making homoeopathic prescriptions, but at the same time unlike others he also emphasized on the pathology of the diseases our patients suffering from.

I am quoting here from one of Dr. Boger's mastermind article- "GRADING OF SYMPTOMS"

"......Illness may present any possible combination from among many thousands of
symptoms, although as a matter of fact such extreme variability of disease expression is the
exception; were it otherwise the problem must remain, practically unsolvable. Most of its
symptom groups are referable to particular diseases, organs and individuals. The two former
remain fairly constant, at times, how-ever, exhibiting very pronounced disease phases,
thereby beclouding the diagnosis and leading to organopathic, pathological or diagnostic
prescribing of a makeshift nature; ultimately a most pernicious thing.

"Of far greater importance are the individualistic symptom groupings, for they generally
show forth the real man, his moods, his ways and his particular reactions. Occurring singly,
in small groups or at indefinite intervals, they often seem to lack distinctive support, hence
are more difficult to link together and interpret. This encourages palliative medication as
well as makes real curing much harder. On the other hand cases presenting very numerous
symptoms are hard to unravel, especially when brooded over by an active imagination.

"The final analysis of every case resolves itself into the assembling of the individualistic
symptoms into one group
and collecting the disease manifestations into another, then
finding the remedy which runs through both, while placing the greater emphasis on the
former. This method applies to repertory making just as fully as it does to case taking and
prescribing. Therefore the over large rubrics of our repertories are likely to be more useful
for occasional confirmatory reference, than for the running down of the final remedy."

PS- The bolds are mine.
Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on March 17, 2010 at 12:45pm
Dr Dutta,very interesting topic.The more we learn, more feeling that we have to know more;

From what you have quoted from Boger's article,i will request you to take up a case and guide us(me in particular;)how those points in the form of rubrics under "--individualistic symptom into one group", " --disease manifestations into other" and then "finding the remedy in both--" can be applied.This will enable us to study any case keeping Boger's approach in mind.
"The final analysis of every case resolves itself into the assembling of the individualistic
symptoms into one group and collecting the disease manifestations into another, then
finding the remedy which runs through both, while placing the greater emphasis on the
former. This method applies to repertory making just as fully as it does to case taking and
prescribing. Therefore the over large rubrics of our repertories are likely to be more useful
for occasional confirmatory reference, than for the running down of the final remedy.


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