Kent Materia medica
James Tyler Kent
Kent was born on March 31, 1849 at Woodhull, New York.
In 1873 he completed medical studies in allopathic,
homeopathic, naturopathic and chiropractic at Institute
of Eclectic Medicine in Cincinnati, Ohio at the age of
25. But he had little regard for homeopathy.
1874 he married a Baptist like himself, settled in St. Louis
and began practice. In 1876 he became the professor of anatomy at
American College of St. Louis. During the same year, his
wife became seriously ill and was cured by homeopath
resulting in his complete and enthusiastic conversion to
In 1881 he accepted chair of professor of anatomy of
the Homeopathic College of Missouri and then the chair of
surgery. Stayed until 1888. In 1883 he became professor a
of materia medica. In 1890 he became the Dean of
Professors at Post-Graduate Homeopathic Medical School of
Philadelphia through 1899.
During the same year, Kent lost his
first wife, studied works of Swedenborg and adopted his
philosophy. Kent met his second wife, Clara-Louise, a
practicing physician and diagnosed her as having an
incurable iatrogenic miasm of Lachesis due to too many repetitions
In 1896 Kent and his pupils saw over 18,800
patients in one year. From 1903 to 1909 he taught at
Hahnemann Medical College, Chicago. In 1909 he became the
Professor and dean of Hering Medical College and
In 1916 Kent went to his country home in
Montana to rest and write a ‘real’ book but his catarrhal
bronchitis turned to Bright’s disease and he died mostly
from years of overwork. James Tyle Kent passed away on
June 6 at Sunnyside Orchard, Montana.
practitioners today still follow Kent’s early method of
curing, which was to prescribe remedies using single doses
of high potencies. When he taught, he would inspire his “Kentians”
to use these higher potencies; and he held a strong belief
that homeopaths must treat patients in their entirety,
including the physical body, as well as the
mental/emotional and spiritual elements, using these high
potencies. Later in his career, however, Kent began
using Hahnemann’s method of starting with low potencies and working
up the scale by threes (6, 9, 12 etc.).
One of his
greatest contributions to the profession of homeopathy,
and its teachings, was his completely unique style of repertory.
Although others exist, Kent’s famous repertory, The Great
Repertory, is still the popular choice, and has been
described as more complete, systematic and precise – with
more well-described symptoms.
Kent is also known for developing
“pictures” of constitutional types of patients. A
well-known example would be his description of Sulphur as
“the ragged philosopher.” There are many works based on
Kent’s principles, including a book by one of his pupils,
Margaret Tyler. Tyler further developed this idea of “pictures”
into a book entitled Homeopathic Drug Pictures.
considered to have been a great homeopath; and his philosophy,
homeopathic interpretations and influence have steadily continued
to grow in popularity since his death.