As no one person can carry all the symptoms of all the remedies in his mind, a concordance or index is needed. We term a symptom index a repertory. There are about half a hundred of these, general or special, based on different systems of studying the case. The two most vital to know are the basic ones of the two main methods, the Kent Repertory and the Boenninghausen.
The Kent repertory : its construction
The Kent Repertory is a compilation of materia medica, certain prior repertories, such as Lippe’s, and clinical symptoms verified. In order to successfully search in the Kent Repertory or the symptoms of your case as evaluated in accordance with our last lecture you must be thoroughly familiar with the plan of the book, its rationale, and also its inconsistencies. The plan of the book is to work from generals to particulars, a general rubric first in most instances. The book is based on anatomical divisions, (see Table of Contents, p. VII), with certain exceptions such as the first section on MIND; the last one GENERALITIES; discharges, such as STOOL, SWEAT, URINE and EXPECTORATION, which appear as separate sections next to the anatomical region producing them; and certain general conditions, such as VERTIGO, COUGH, SLEEP, CHILL and FEVER, which are also separate. Under each anatomical section the rubrics run in alphabetical order regardless of whether they are pathology, sensations, modalities, or objective symptoms (such as “bores head in pillow”, page 108). Each such main heading is following by modifiers, (if there be such) in the order following : Tie, circumstances in alphabetical order extensions (the point from which a symptom extends is the one under which it will be found, not the point to which it extends), location with its time, circumstance and extension modifiers, and lastly, sensation with its modifiers. For instance, the main section HEAD is anatomical, but under that you will not find under the sensation in the occiput, as for instance, Coldness or Pain, Occiput, in.
It is to be noted that certain anatomical regions have no corresponding section in this Repertory, for instance, NECK, which is found under THROAT, EXTERNAL THROAT, and BACK. EXTERNAL THROAT contains the rubrics pertaining to the anterior neck, such as goitre, glands, torticollis, etc., and BACK contains nape and posterior cervical region. Furthermore lungs, heart, aorta, axillary glands, breast and milk appear under CHEST; posterior chest appears under BACK; pulse under GENERALITIES; head sinuses are divided between NOSE and FACE; salivary glands are found under FACE instead of under THROAT; lips under FACE instead of under THROAT, MOUTH; oesophagus is found under STOMACH; and liver under ABDOMEN. There is no section for the circulatory, glandular or nervous systems, as this book is not based on systems, (Boericke’s Repertory is in part), but the parts of these systems are found scattered throughout the book under allied anatomical headings. Many symptoms which one would expect to find under the nervous system appear under GENERALITIES as they indicate a tendency of the whole organism, such as Analgesia, Chorea, Convulsions, Paralysis, Trembling, etc. Twitching of the parts appears under the anatomical part, such as FACE, EXTREMITIES. Nervous symptoms having to do with the spine appear under BACK, such as Opisthotonos. Meningitis appears in two places, under HEAD, Inflammation, meninges of, and BACK, inflammation, cord, membranes of.
Similar or allied rubrics often appear in two or more different places, as for instance; Dysmenorrhoea under GENITALIA, FEMALE, Menses painful; ABDOMEN, pain, cramping, bearing down, cutting, menses, during; ABDOMEN, Pain, hypogastrium, in, menses, during; and ABDOMEN, Pain, menses, during.
It must be noted that many rubrics which appear as particulars under the the proper anatomical sections or main headings also appear in the last section, GENERALITIES, in their relation to the body as a whole, for instance, under GENERALITIES, Menses, comes aggravation or amelioration of the whole person before, during or after menses, while under GENITALIA FEMALE appear the type and circumstances of the menses, or, so to speak, the particulars. Similarly under GENERALIIES, Perspiration, appears amelioration or aggravation of the body as a whole from sweat, whereas under the section PERSPIRATION are given the quality, occurrence and modalities of the discharge itself. Sweat of any special part is found under the anatomical section in which the part is located, such as, ABDOMEN, Perspiration on. Perspiration of the scalp is not under HEAD, scalp perspiration of, but under HEAD, Perspiration, scalp of, General amelioration by, or distress from, the act of eating appears under GENERALITIES, Eating; and under GENERALITIES, Food, are the aggravations and ameliorations from the different articles of food, but under the section STOAMCH, aversions and desires for special articles of food appear.
Pathological diagnoses are found frequently in GENERALITIES and occasionally as headings under other sections but more often as subheadings, under the the condition involved, for instance, pleurisy is found under CHEST, Inflammation, pleura of, and appendicitis under ABDOMEN, inflammation, appendicitis. On the other hand empyema is found under CHEST, Empyema, directly, and goitre under EXTERNAL THROAT, Goitre. Certain pathological states which are symptoms rather than diseases, such as chorea, Convulsions, Cyanosis, Dropsy, etc., appear under GENERALITIES. Objective symptoms are scattered all through the book an are often small unclassified rubrics, such as Brittle Nails, Gestures under MIND, Biting under MIND, and red lips under FACE, Discoloration, red lips.