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Value of Thermals Hot and Chilly 


Definition :

Gibson Miller defines general thermal modality as ‘the effect of different temperature upon the patient as a whole.’ ( Gibson’s Symptom Alone their value and selection – Page 13 )

Hot and Chilly Patients or Warm and Cold Patients :

A patient is considered hot or chilly on the fact whether he is predominantly aggravated by heat or cold. ( Kent’s Repertory, Dr. Gibson Miller’s Hot and Cold remedies Page XXX )

Rubric for Hot and Chilly Patients.

So, the rubric for Chilly Patient is ‘Generalities; cold; agg.’ and that for Hot Patient is ‘Generalities; warmth; agg.’

Many consider some other rubrics like ‘heat vital lack of’ and ‘tendency to take cold easily’ etc as rubrics for chilly patient. I like to quote Gibson Miller himself to confirm what is wrong and what is right.

“Another frequent source of error is the tendency to mistake any undue readiness to perspire as an indication that heat aggravates. On the other hand, many confuse an undue tendency to catch cold, with aggravation from cold, but when we have eliminated these errors and find the patient markedly aggravated as a whole by heat or cold, we are greatly aided in our choice of remedy.” (Gibson’s Symptom Alone their value and selection – Page 13 )

Questions asked or Points considered to derive the thermal modality in a case.

The thermal modality cannot be elicited with a single direct question. Many Generals and regionals are to be considered to confirm whether the patient is Hot or Chilly.

Some points considered in terms of rubrics are

1. Sensation:

Generalities; heat

Generalities; coldness.
Generalities; heat; vital, lack of

2. Weather

Generalities; weather; warm, sultry; agg.
Generalities; weather; windy, stormy; during; warm

Generalities; weather; cold, dry
Generalities; weather; cold, wet, damp.

3. Season

Generalities; summer; agg.

Generalities; winter; agg.
Generalities; weather; damp, rainy, wet; agg.

4. Clothing

Generalities; clothing; intolerance of, loosening amel.

Generalities; clothing; desires warm
Generalities; undressing; agg.

5. Covering

Generalities; covering; agg. or intolerance of
Generalities; uncovering; desires

Generalities; uncovering; agg.
Generalities; uncovering; aversion

6. Fanning

Generalities; fanning, fanned; amel.
Generalities; fanning, fanned; desire to be

Generalities; fanning, fanned; agg.

7. Air

Generalities; air; cold; amel.
Generalities; air; open; amel.

Generalities; air; cold; agg.
Generalities; air; open; agg.

8. Heat

Generalities; heated, warmed, hot, becoming; agg.

Generalities; heated, warmed, hot, becoming; amel.

9. Application

Generalities; applications; warm; agg.
Generalities; applications; cold; amel.

Generalities; applications; cold; agg.
Generalities; applications; warm; amel.

10.Desires - internal

Generalities; food and drinks; cold; drinks,water; desires
Generalities; food and drinks; cold; food; desires

Generalities; food and drinks; warm; drinks,water; desires
Generalities; food and drinks; warm; food; desires

11.General Agg - Internal

Generalities; food and drinks; warm; food; agg.
Generalities; food and drinks; warm; drinks, water; agg.

Generalities; food and drinks; cold; food; agg.
Generalities; food and drinks; cold; drinks, water; agg.


Generalities; bathing, washing; agg.; hot
Generalities; bathing, washing; amel.; cold

Generalities; bathing, washing; agg.; cold
Generalities; bathing, washing; amel.; warm

12.Regional thermal modalities.

( Many many more points can be listed from the repertory. )

If more points are towards warm, then the patient is HOT and if more points are towards cold, then he is CHILLY.

That means

Chilly patient : Generalities; cold; agg.  and
Hot Patient : Generalities; warmth; agg.


It is called a synthesized general because, we decide whether the patient is hot or chilly based on many other generals and regionals. Ie., it is synthesized from many other generals/regionals.

Value of General Thermal Modality

After elaborate case taking, thorough evaluation and repertorisation, many consider the thermal factor to choose the remedy for prescription and a few take the risk of filtering the medicines based on the general thermal modality initially itself.

The thermal factor itself is a SINGLE GENERAL SYMPTOM like all the other generals, and it is less valuable than the other confirmed generals in the case because it is a SYNTHESIZED GENERAL SYMPTOM.

In Gibson Miller’s list there are 111 chilly remedies, 48 hot remedies and 4 ambi-thermic remedies. But now the list has grown up to 664, 542 and 66 in Complete repertory. Rubrics with that much number of medicines ( 664 & 542 ) cannot be counted as a characteristic symptom. They are to be considered as COMMON SYMPTOMS !!

So, it is better not to waste our valuable time in synthesizing a common symptom.

Clinical Application

Filtering the repertorial result on the basis of such a common symptom is an absurdity. If one is so sure that he should consider thermals, then the better way is to take either of these two rubrics (Generalities; warmth; agg  and Generalities; cold; agg.) which correspond to hot and chilly for repertorisation.

Then, how else can we use the thermal part ?

The different general/regional modalities considered in the synthesis of the general thermal modality ( 11 points listed above ) can be considered individually as rubrics for repertorisation, provided they are distinct and confirmed.


1. Gibson’s Symptom Alone their value and selection  : IBPS .
2. Complete Repertory : Roger van Znadvoort.
3. A Synopsis of Homoeopathic Philosophy. : R Gibson Miller. M.D & J.T.Kent M.D B.Jain Publishers, Reprint edition 1995.
4. Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica : J.T Kent

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Comment by Dr K Saji on June 6, 2012 at 1:51pm

Can you please explain what do you mean by 'Cure combinable element' ?

Comment by Hans Weitbrecht on June 5, 2012 at 6:34pm

Question: How many of those 55 entries are reliable?

And mentioning only 2 remedies, does not mean, that I couldn't remember others having the same symptom.

But all important is to remember those remedies which have that symptom in a characteristic fashion, or as a Cure combinable element.

But Kent does not give us this information, -- the plan of his repertory does not allow for that differentiation.

Comment by Dr K Saji on June 5, 2012 at 7:25am

How many of such symptoms we can remember ?
In your example itself - 'hot head and cold feet' - you remember two but Repertory gives us 55.

Comment by Hans Weitbrecht on June 3, 2012 at 4:37pm

cham: Hahnemann MMP: symptom 391. And yes,-- the repertories are grossly incomplete.

you wrote:

Yes you are right. Certain combinations and sensations are not possible and not found in repertory. For such cases, we should refer MM for confirmation.

Does that mean, that in every case we have to study the complete MMP, just in case the repertory is incomplete again?

Well, I decided to study MMP first, once and for all, and then start practicing, so that a repertory is rarely necessary in my daily clinic.

Comment by Dr K Saji on June 3, 2012 at 11:29am

Thanks Dr.Wequar Ali Khan for the comment.

Comment by Dr K Saji on June 3, 2012 at 11:28am
Dear Hans Weitbrecht,

Yes you are right. Certain combinations and sensations are not possible and not found in repertory. For such cases, we should refer MM for confirmation.

In your example 'hot head and cold feet' - Complete repertory lists 55 medicines but, Cham is not there. Under rubric 'Extremities; coldness, chilliness; feet; fever; during' , 52 medicines are there but no Cham. What might be the reason ?
Comment by Dr. Wequar Ali Khan on June 3, 2012 at 9:19am

Very helpful posting. Now one has to be careful in selecting "thermals" as rubric.

Comment by Hans Weitbrecht on June 3, 2012 at 8:48am

Dear sir

Also see my comment on the other discussion comming pretty much to the same conclusion.

Things always become unpredictable when interpretation comes into play. And after all -- above are theoretical thoughts, in practice we see modalities of heat< or cold< attached to many sensations, and then it is up to us to consult the MMP to find a similar remedy, a repertory cannot do this for us.

Take the example: patient runs a temperature, -- has hot head and cold feet, -- so -- this could well be a case for BELLADONNA or CHAMOMILE depending on the other differentiating symptoms.

Comment by Dr K Saji on June 2, 2012 at 3:14pm
Thanks Debby Bruck for the nice words.
Comment by Debby Bruck on June 2, 2012 at 3:01pm
Very valuable teachings and understand of these generals hot and cold, especially for the new student of homeopathy.

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