The times of aggravation can be a very important indication towards the right remedy. I myself have started to apply these times more and more systematically in my case analyses. The result of these findings is described below.
How the timetable was put together
Some remedies have a very clear time of aggravation. For instance, Ars at 1 am, Nat-m at 11 am, Kalium carbonicum around 3 am. These times are general; all the complaints belonging to that remedy may be aggravated at that time.
But there is also a noticeable variation in the well known aggravation times. For instance, Ars is sometimes mentioned as having an aggravation at 1 am, at others times 12 midnight is mentioned, or from 1am to 3 am. These variations are usually around one hour from the main time.
These variation could be linked to the uncertainty of the times. It is to be expected that the time of aggravation is mentioned in local time. This local time is dependent on the position of the sun at the particular location of the place where the time is measured. In Holland the official time varies by about 40 minutes from the local time. Everything is always 40 minutes too early. During summertime the deviation will be even greater, by 1 hour 40 minutes.
Another important point may be the inner time. Experiments have revealed that people are naturally inclined to have a 25 hour day. So we have to adjust our inner clock to the ‘ordinary’ clock every day.
Another noticeable fact is the difference between the times of aggravation. The next group of remedies usually has an aggravation time two hours later. For instance, Ars has an aggravation time of 1 am, varying between 0 and 2 am, and Kalium carbonicum has an aggravation time of 3 am, varying between 2 am and 4 am.
If we generalise in a similar fashion we could divide the aggravation times in 12 time groups: 1am, 3am, 5am, 7am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm, 9pm, and 11pm.
Structure of the time table
Based on the above mentioned observations, the timetable shows 12 aggravation times. Every remedy has been searched for its particular time of aggravation, which is then reduced to one of those 12 time groups.
Some remedies are known to have a whole section of the day as their aggravation time. Usually the literature mentions a starting time and a peak time. For instance, Syph is mentioned as having an aggravation during the whole night, beginning slowly and decreasing slowly. I have reduced this in the time table to < 1 am.
Or, as another example, Lyc has an aggravation from 4 pm till 8 pm, which has been reduced to < 5 pm.
When a remedy has more than one aggravation time, I have also tried to reduce this to one particular time. For instance: Kalium carbonicum is mentioned in the repertory under just about every hour of the day. These other times are, in this exercise, considered to be incidental and I have stuck to the main time of 3 am.
Some remedies are mentioned under two different aggravation times. For instance, Kali-s is mentioned under 3 am, because of the Kali element, and under 5 am because of the Sulphur element. In this case both the literature and our experience warrants this double aggravation time.
But in other cases there is some doubt about the viability of these double times. For instance, Sars has an aggravation in the morning and is mentioned under both < 7 am and < 9 am.
In addition to all this, there are also some times that I have included of my own accord. This because some times had been grossly generalised: for instance, all the Kali's were only mentioned under < 3 am. And furthermore because some of the remedies which I used in my practice appeared to have clear times of aggravations, previously unmentioned.
How can the table be used?
This table can be used in cases where there is an obvious time of aggravation. The time of aggravation should then be marked as the time of onset, or the time where the aggravation is at its peak. The aggravation could be both general or pertaining to specific complaints.
In some cases there may be indications to use the opposite time of day or night, for instance 3 pm instead of 3 am.
It has become clear that by careful questioning it is nearly always possible to get a precise time of aggravation. Particularly questions as to the specific part of the morning, afternoon or night in which they suffer the most usually reveal a more definite time.
It may be necessary to take the difference between local time and official time into account.
Particularly during summertime, when the difference may be quite substantial.
There are four grades of importance in the table: plain type means a possible time of aggravation, italics means a probable time of aggravation, bold type means a confirmed time of aggravation and underlined bold type means a confirmed and classic time of aggravation.
The numbers behind the remedies refer to the sources. They are the same as in the 'Complete Repertory' (Zandvoort, 1992). The number 1 refers to Kent as a source, or to the generalisation of an element as Kent made already. The number 509 refers to my own observations.
Advantages and disadvantages of the time table
Of course this time table is not the one and only means with which to solve a case, but it has helped me, personally, a great deal. There have been several difficult cases where it was the time table that gave me the hint I needed to arrive at the correct remedy.