As already mentioned
earlier, the selection of a homeopathic medicine
depends upon the symptoms of the patient. Taking
symptoms from the patient is a unique art. In order to
select the right and unique symptoms it is important
for a homeopathic doctor to know about various type of
symptoms. Knowledge of these symptoms also helps the
patient to understand which symptoms are more
important and have to be told to the doctor.
These are the symptoms experienced by the patient.
Only he can express these symptoms properly to the
doctor. These may include pain or other abnormal
sensations. Dr. Hahnemann gave much value to these
symptoms as they belong to the psychic and mental
sphere. They are ranked highest among all the symptoms
while evaluating them for selection of homeopathic
Objective symptoms: These
are the signs observed by the physician or the
attendants or family members. These include
physiological findings or laboratory investigations
e.g. blueness of skin, increased heart rate, abnormal
ECG or X-ray findings etc. These findings basically
help in diagnosing the disease condition.
Basic symptoms: These
are the symptoms seen in many diseases. They are those
symptoms which are observed in large number of
patients and in large number of provers (people on
whom drugs are proved) during drug proving. They are common
symptoms (like fever, vomiting, loss of appetite,
loss of weight etc.) which help in diagnosis of
disease. As these symptoms do not help in
individualization of a patient they are not helpful in
selection of a homeopathic medicine.
symptoms: These symptoms help in differential
diagnosis (i.e. distinguishing one disease from the
other) of disease. They include signs or the objective
symptoms e.g. frequent urination, frequent thirst,
feeling hungry frequently, sugar in blood, fatigue are
pathognomonic symptoms of diabetes.
symptoms: These symptoms pertain to the cause of
the disease e.g. exposure to cold air, getting wet in
rain, overexposure to heat, sudden financial or
familial loss etc.
symptoms: These symptoms are uncommon
or unique to the patient. They are found
only in few patients and in proving of few medicines
(these symptoms are very peculiar and cannot be
explained on the basis of pathology). They help in
individualizing every patient and help in
distinguishing between different medicines for e.g.
there are three patients suffering from viral fever,
one of them feels very thirsty and wants small sips of
water at frequent intervals, the second feels
thirsty and wants large quantity of water at frequent
intervals and the third patient is thirstless.
Although all three patients are suffering from the
same disease because of their unique symptoms they
will be requiring different medicines. So the first
patient will be given Arsenic album, the second
one will be given Bryonia and the third patient
will be given Pulsatilla.
These symptoms are the one that pertains to the
patient as a whole. The patient expresses these
symptoms to the doctor using ' I ' e.g. I feel
thirsty, I like salty food, I dislike coffee etc. As
these symptoms represent the state of the patient as a
whole they are of immense value in selection of
homeopathic medicine. General symptoms are of two
generals: These include the mental
symptoms of the patient e.g. fear, anger, anxiety,
depression, grief, jealousy, suspicious etc.
generals: These include the physical
symptoms referring to the body as a whole e.g.
aversions and cravings, likes and dislikes,
thirst, perspiration, urine, stool etc.
These symptoms are the one that pertains to a part
of a body. The patient expresses these symptoms to the
doctor using ' My ' e.g. My head is aching, my stomach
is burning, my eyes are watering etc. These symptoms
are of very less importance as compared to the general
Chief symptom: This
is the main complaint for which the patient has
come to the doctor.
symptoms: These are the symptoms which are present
along with the chief complaint. Although they do
not trouble the patient much, they help to
individualize a patient e.g. cold sweating on forehead
during menses, nauseating feeling with pain in
Complete symptom: In
Homeopathy a symptom is said to be complete when it
covers the following criteria's:
- Location: Although
disease is not localized to any particular area
but some part of the body may be affected more
than the rest. Location includes the area, side of
the body affected, any extension or change in site
e.g. if a person is having headache then which
area is involved (front of head, back of head, top
of head, temples), which side is involved (right
or left side or both), whether the pain is
extending to any other part (like to the nose or
the eyes or ear).
What type of sensation is felt e.g. what is the
nature of pain in head. Is it throbbing, pinching,
bursting, shooting, sensation of tight band around
the head etc.
- Modality: These
include the factors which improve (ameliorate) or
worsen (aggravate) the symptoms. For example the
headache feels better by tying a cloth around the
head or by pressing and gets worse by noise, light
symptoms: These are the symptoms
associated with the main complaint.
Making the symptom
complete with respect to location, sensation, modality
helps to individualize the patient as many people
may be suffering from same condition (e.g. headache)
but they may experience pain in different areas, have
different sensation and modalities. Thus more complete
a symptoms the more it helps in selecting a most
similar medicine for the patient.