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Eines der grossen klassischen Basiswerke der Homöopathie. Die ungefilterte gesammelte Darstellung der Prüfungssymptome aller grossen Arzneimittel. Für jedes Quellenstudium unerlässlich.
This massive work was listed in the Hahnemann schema. It is an almost complete record of all provings and poisonings recorded to that date. Each symptom is referenced as to the prover, the dosage which elicited the symptom, and the source of the information. Allen credits Hughes, Dunham, Hering, and Lippe with helping him compile the information. The volumes were issued over a five year period: vol.1 (Abies to Atropin):1874; vol.2 (Aurum to Carduus): 1875; vol. 3 (Carlsbad to Cubeba):1876; vols. 7 (Nicotinum to Plumbago), 8 (Plumbum to Serpentaria):1878; vols. 9 (Silica to Thuja), 10 (Tilia to Zizia): 1879. In 1881 Allen published 'A Critical Revision of the Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica.' A reprint from the North American Journal of Homeopathy of 16 pages, this small work is, essentially, an errata for his larger work. It covers revisions to remedies from Agaricus to Carbo veg. No further work was done.
In a small four-page printing with no date, Allen gives the number of the symptoms that have been clinically verified by Dunham.
A classic work, considered an essential reference in the serious practitioner's library. However, at the time of its publication a review in the December 1879 Homeopathic Times, described the work as "Dr. Allen's gigantic and most discredible fiasco." The review described the work as "...mass of trash, of wild vagaries, of symptoms which seem to have been gathered at random from every language under heaven, from every insane asylum in the land, and from nurseries where fond mothers take seriously to heart the symptoms and sayings of their young offspring. Mixed with all this trash, the trained searcher may possible find the real gems of our therapeutics, for they are there; but they are often so covered with what is perfectly worthless, that a special training is necessary to evolve them from the surrounding rubbish." It seems that Allen himself claimed responsibility for all the translations from the German, but in the reviewer's persual of the Nux vomica chapter, several gross translation errors were found. For example, a literal translation of Hahnemann reads: "She regards the present pain as intolerable." while Allen translated it as: "The usual pain seems intolerable." Hahnemann says: "After midnight, very violent palpitation with extreme anxiety which impels him to suicide." Which Allen translates as: "Extreme anxiety with violent palpitation which impels him to suicide." Says the reviewer: "...if we find a simple translation, from so important writer as Hahnemann, full of errors, what reliance can be placed on any of the editor's work?"
This review, although unsigned, was probably written by Egbert Guernsey, one of the editors of the Journal. It places into question the accuracy of a book which has been thought by many to be one of the primary sources of materia medica.