James Tyler Kent was born on March 31, 1849 in Woodhull, New York as the son of Steven Kent and Caroline Tyle. Kent attended secondary school at the Franklin Academy of Prattsburgh, New York. Later he graduated from Madison University with a Bachelor’s degree in 1868.
After completing two undergraduate degrees by the age of 21, Kent undertook two postgraduate courses .He earned a Masters degree from the same institution in 1870. Kent attended the Institute of Eclectic Medicine at Cincinnati, Ohio, Kent graduated from this Institute in 1873.
In 1874, Kent married Ellen and settled in St. Louis, Missouri.
She died shortly after marriage at the tender age of 19. At 26 years of age Dr.Kent set up practice as an eclectic physician in St Louis, Missouri and soon became a distinguished member of the Eclectic National Medical Association.
Two years later he took a post as a professor of Anatomy at American College in St. Louis. In 1878, Kent’s second wife, Lucy, became ill. In spite of Lucy’s symptoms of “nervous weakness, insomnia, and anaemia” being treated by both orthodox and eclectic physicians, her condition continued to deteriorate and she was bedridden for months. On Dr.Kent’s wife’s request Dr Richard Phelan a homoeopathic physician,was called in to see Lucy. Following his prescription, she made a dramatic recovery. As a result, Kent elected to study with Phelan and changed from eclecticism to homoeopathy.
He considered homoeopathy to be the only therapy that was guided by laws and principles and the only one to address the fundamental cause of illness. He then became a student of Hahnemann’s Organon and other works of the new school, that resulted in his complete conversion to homoeopathy, In 1879 he resignation from the Eclectic Medical Association .
He was Appointment to the chair of Anatomy in the Homoeopathic Medical College of Missouri, which he held from 1881 until 1883, From 1883 to 1888 He Was the professor of Materia Medica at the Homoeopathic Medical College of St Louis, Missouri. During this period, Kent’s second wife died. Among the various professional associations of which he was a member, the more prominent of them, were the ‘Illinois State Homoeopathic Medical Society’, the ‘American Institute of Homoeopathy’ and the ‘International Hahnemannian Association’, besides which he held a honorary corresponding membership in the ‘British Homoeopathic Medical Society’.
In 1890, He became the professor of Materia Medica and Dean of the Post-Graduate School of Homœopathy at the Hahnemann Medical College (Philadelphia) He remained in that position until 1899.In 1896-Called forth to treat Clara Louis Tobey an allopath turned homoeopath.She was being treated with Lachesis repeatedly by homoeopaths in all her previous consultations and Kent cured her of the condition by proper antidotes and advised never to use Lachesis again. Dr Kent later married her and with her help completed the works of The Philosophy,The Materia Medica and The Repertory.
In 1897 Kent published his magnum opus, Repertory of the Homœopathic Materia Medica. This bacame the guidebook repertory on which much of the modern practice of homeopathy is based today Kent edited the Journal of Homeopathics from 1897 to 1903, producing seven volumes of the journal Kent moved to Chicago in 1903, where he taught at Hahnemann Medical College. Kent remained at that post until his departure in 1909 to become professor and Dean of Hering Medical College and Hospital, an institution also located in Chicago.
In November 1910, Kent was instrumental in the establishment of the Society of Homeopathicians as a means of disseminating the principles of homeopathy promulgated by Hahnemann.The group published its own journal, The Homeopathician. Kent wrote voluminously and his works were published into several non-English languages during the course of his life.He gained a significant number of adherents in India where several publishers of his work are located.
Kent died of Bright’s disease (glomerulonephritis)on June 5, 1916, in Stevensville, Montana. He was 67 years old at the time of his death.
His Contributions include The Repertory of the Homoeopathic Materia Medica (1897), Lectures on Homoeopathic Philosophy (1900), What the Doctor Needs to Know in Order to Make a Successful Prescription (1900), Lectures on Homoeopathic Materia Medica (1904), New Remedies, Clinical Cases, Lesser Writings, Aphorisms and Precepts (1926).
He advocated the use of 30, 200, 1M, 10M, 50M, CM and MM potencies made on centesimal scale. Kent introduced the doctrine of ‘Series in Degrees’ in the treatment of Chronic Diseases. He advocated High potency prescription (200C and above for chronic cases), Single remedy prescribing, Emphasis on “Mentals” and “Generals” “Wait and Watch” methodology from the 4th Edition Organon. Kents 12 observation for second prescription helping in followup cases.
Kent proved drugs like Alumina phos, Alumina silicata, Aurum ars, Aurum iod, Calcarea silicata, etc.
The influence and popularity of Kent’s interpretation of homeopathic philosophy has steadily increased around the world since his death.