Meet James Tyler Kent

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy. In 1897 Kent published a “Repertory of the Homeopathic Materia Medica” on human physical and mental disease symptoms and their associated homeopathic preparations. This repertory has been translated into several languages. It has been the blueprint to many modern repertories used throughout the world and even remains in use by some homeopathic practitioners today.

James Tyler Kent was born on March 31, 1849 in Woodhull, New York.

Kent attended secondary school at the Franklin Academy of Prattsburgh, New York before enrolling at Madison University (today’s Colgate University), from which he was graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in 1868. He earned a Master’s degree from the same institution in 1870.

Kent attended the Institute of Eclectic Medicine at Cincinnati, Ohio, where, in addition to standard medicine, he studied naturopathyhomeopathy, and chiropractic. Kent graduated from the Institute in 1873.

Kent is remembered for his arguments against the germ theory of infectious disease:

“The microbe is not the cause of disease. We should not be carried away by these idle allopathic dreams and vain imaginations but should correct the Élan vital.”

“The bacteria is an innocent feller, and if he carries disease, he carries the Simple Substance which causes disease, just as an elephant would.”

Kent believed that illness had spiritual causes:

“You cannot divorce medicine and theology. Man exists all the way down from his innermost spiritual, to his outermost natural.”

Kent was a vitalist and believer in a “vital force”.

Kent died of Bright’s disease on June 5, 1916.  He was 67 years old at the time of his death.

(Bright’s disease is a historical classification of kidney diseases that would be described in modern medicine as acute or chronic nephritis.[1] It was characterized by swelling and the presence of albumin in the urine, and was frequently accompanied by high blood pressure and heart disease.)

It is said of James Tyler Kent;

He was “Genial, gentle, devoted friend to his patients and pupils; jealous guardian of pure Homeopathy against the criticisms of those whom he considered his enemies.”

Books mentioned in this podcast:


Lectures on Homeopathic Materia Medica

Repertory on the Homeopathic Materia Medica


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