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olar symptoms are symptoms with opposite values, like modalities and aversions/desires for food. These symptoms are useful in homeopathic practice, and they are present in many patients (high prevalence). This high prevalence caused misleading entries in the repertory. An example: the medicine Natrium muriaticum (Nat-m.) is mentioned in the repertory-rubric ‘desire salt’ in bold type, but also in the repertory-rubric ‘aversion salt’, in italics. This is due to statistical variance: the average Nat-m. patient has a desire for salt, so, desire for salt is an indication for Nat-m. But, because Nat-m. is so frequently prescribed, there will be patients with aversion to salt because of statistical variance. Nevertheless, ‘aversion salt’ is not an indication for Nat-m.

Statistical variance means that most symptoms have varying intensities.  People can be cold-blooded or warm-blooded in various degrees, while most people are neutral in this respect. This is shown in the following graph.

A medicine that is neutral considering temperature, will have as many cold-blooded as warm-blooded patients, due to statistical variance. In the ‘old’ system of the repertory the medicine will appear in both rubrics, in bold type if the medicine is frequently prescribed.

A successful way of dealing with polar symptoms is Polarity Analysis (PA), that subtracts opposite rubrics from each other. So, if Nat-m. is in italics (grade 2) in ‘aversion salt’ and bold (grade 3) in ‘desire salt’, the resulting value is 1 in ‘desire salt’. One could question if that is correct.

The proper way to investigate this is prognostic factor research.  This kind of symptoms can easily be assessed by a questionnaires as shown here:

Such a questionnaire can be filled in by every new patient. Eventually groups of patients are identified that respond well to specific medicines, LR values for these symptoms and medicines can be calculated.

Another, more sofisticated, statistical analysis is multivariate analysis to discriminate between specific medicines. Below Discriminate Analysis is performed between the medicines Bryonia, Hepar sulphuris and a control group. The Bryonia patient is worse when going to sleep, while the Hepar sulphuris patient is indifferent in this respect. Discriminant Analysis gives us the opportunity to find the most discriminant symptoms between medicines.

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