In the chapter that refer to the stomach in Kents repertory there are pages that the doctor consults daily. I refer to the paragraphs that mention desires and aversions for food. It seems useless to say that there ought to be outlined in a repertorization only those paragraphs that refer to desires and aversions very accentuated in our patient, as when not being so, if we include them in the list of symptoms, they only contribute to confuse us. Desire and aversions are of great help to individualize and, as they are the expression of the whole system, they reach the category symptoms.
The daily consultation of those paragraphs gives material for several brief considerations.
Aversion to eggs. This is a very frequent symptom, particularly among children. Often the mothers tell us that the child hates eggs. It is strange that the repertory gives us so few remedies. Ferr. Kali sul., Nit.ac., Sul., of which the only one that reaches the privilege of italics is the first. The desire for eggs appears also in a very short paragraph of four remedies, and with only Calc. in italics; but the mentioning of this remedy as the only one, and with the highest degree, for the desire for boiled eggs, boiled eggs, and the prominent desire for soft eggs, turns this symptom into a valuable one, conducting us often to Calcarea carbonica.
Aversion for fats and rich food. A very common symptom in digestive troubles of gastric, hepatic or pancreatic origin, accompanied by insufficiency of one of the three mentioned organs. Very numerous are the nosologic entities that show that symptom; we must recall stomach cancer. It includes 34 remedies and is of great value in repertorizing.
LEt us consider the opposite symptom: Desire for fat. This is a paragraph of only five remedies that it is useful to memorize: Arsenicum, Hepar, NITRICUM AC., Nux V., and Sulphur. Desire for salted food and fat food, reduces our investigation to only two remedies: Nitricum ac., and Sulphur. If we add the paragraph desire for sweets, we must consider Sulphur, as it is the only remedy that has the three of them.
Among children it is a rule of find a well-marked desire for sweets. On account of its frequently, I believe that it loses its importance as a key-note; but, if we find a child with aversion to, or at least indifference for, sweets, we must then give it a superior place in the rank of the symptoms. The same happens with the symptom of aversion to sour things, as when it exists in a child, it must be placed as important, as it is common among children to crave for acids and sour things.
Children are in great need of calories; the physical restlessness, so natural in them putting their muscles in almost continuous movement, means a great consumption of glucose. The need of restoration of the loss of carbohydrates is manifested with that great passion of childhood for sweets. When that symptom exists among adults it becomes of great importance. Allen mentions it as a psoric one.
These considerations about combustion and the production of heat in the childs organism, reminds me of two very familiar symptoms to the homoeopath: “Desire to uncover” and “frequent thirst for small drinks.” Mothers tell us: “I cover him carefully, but as soon as he falls asleep, he throws the covers off.” We all know that it is necessary to use our parental severity to make a child dress with heavy clothes even if the weather is cold. The frequency of this symptom shall reduce its value when trying to determine the remedy.
Whichever may be the origin of a feverish condition in a child, very often we find that prominent indication for Arsenicum: frequent thirst for small drunks. Must we consider that as a guiding symptom of the same value in the child as in the adult? Arsenicum, Thuja and Natrum sulphuricum are the three medicaments that have a complementary relation among them.
Thinking of the prominent antisycotic nature of the last two, there comes to my mind the idea whether such a symptom, so prominent in ARsenicum and so frequent among children, wouldnt derive from a very accentuated sycotic taint. I believe it to be prudent to investigate sycotic antecedents of such children, and to give to these little patients, when the acuteness of their illness has banished, a very high dose of Thuja, or Natrum sulphuricum, as Arsenicum does not appear in the paragraph regarding sycosis.
There is a disconcerting paragraph in the repertory, that Allen quotes when there is a tuberculosis taint: Desire for meat. It covers twenty remedies, the majority of very little value, as only five reach the honor of italics, but that rarely appear to fulfil a repertorization. Aversion for meat appears in a paragraph that we could call ideal: eighty-eight medicaments of which many are in bold type and italics. According to Allen, this corresponds to a syphilitic taint.