Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: “Hurt So Bad” (Homeopathy Cures Really Bad Headache!)

Did you guess the right answer? What remedy cured this child’s case?

Welcome all Hpathy viewers to another great and fabulous Hpathy Quiz!  A random case from my files will be presented and you, the audience, will be asked to guess the remedy.  But first, I see my daughter, Shana, is here with her timely announcements!  Take it away, Shana!

First of all, happy birthday to me.  I turn 25 April 22nd.

Yay!!!!  (Stop getting older!)

Mom, what I’m about to say next is very important.

Uh-oh.  That can only mean one thing.

James Taylor…

Aaaaaaaah!!!!!!!  I knew it!

…with special guest Bonnie Raitt, is doing a show at the Wells Fargo Center on July 9th.

OK! OK!  But do we have to talk about it now?

I managed to get a floor seat in section 2.

Oh, section 2….

I was so happy!  I could die happy if I could see James Taylor with special guest Elton John on a U.S tour.

Are you going to die soon?  What will The Quiz look like without you?  It would be so short!

Mom, it’s just an expression.


The quiz will be just as pointless as it’s always been.

You mean this section of the Quiz, right?

Anyway I hear Elton John is planning to retire in a couple of years

so seeing those two together would just be amazing.

I’ll let them know.  Is there anything else?

And speaking of Paul McCartney…

we saw yet another one of Scott Freiman’s Beatles lectures!

Don’t remind me!  The guy who sat next to us coughed the entire time!

Mom, I’m not talking about “Deconstructing The White Album”!  This is the OTHER Scott Freiman movie–“Deconstructing Revolver”, remember?  I had to tell Scott on Facebook that Wilson Pickett was NOT on Stax;

although, according to wikipedia, he was.

Why do we believe anything Wikipedia says?

I also dragged you to Bryn Mawr to see “Deconstructing the White Album.”

Yes, that’s where we were attacked by the “cougher”!  I think we both got sick after that.  And now for the quiz, God willing!

And our patient this month is the lovely and talented… Shana Lewis!

Mom, I don’t want to be the patient again!  It seems like I’m always the patient!

You are not always the patient!

But what about Claire’s daughter, the one with the headache?

Well thanks a lot, Shana!  Now no one will know what you took for your cough!

OK, so now, Heeeeeere’s Claire!

Hi Elaine, are you still up?  “Molly” has a vicious frontal headache!  It’s the root of nose straight up to the hairline.

It’s causing her to cry and weep and she even fell asleep on the floor, despairing.  It’s better cold applications and she feels tension in the back of her neck and wanted a cold wash cloth on it.

I tried many things — Puls, Nat-mur, Calc carb, Belladonna, Aconite, Silica, Spigelia, Ignatia…..Trying Arsenicum now b/c she just said she feels afraid.  She says she felt like she did with the night terror she had.  When she first said this I gave Stramonium, but that has not made an impact on her headache at all.  Whimpering and sobbing.  Taking Ars. now.

She keeps her eyes closed, won’t look at me.  Tried Gelsemium already.

She said it came on before dinner; she has been hungrier than usual the past few days.  She ate dinner though, said nothing of the headache, probably thought it would go away when she ate.  She had whole grain pancakes.  We went to the store to pick up more milk and once we got back she started telling me about the headache.

One of the things she said before she fell asleep was that she just felt like she will never get better (despair of recovery?) so I considered this as part of her emotional state too.

Waiting to see if Ars-alb. does anything. Any thoughts?

Yes, try ________________________.


Next day….

Elaine, thanks for recommending _____________________.

Wow, so __________________ really worked?  Yay!!!

— that was the first time any of us have used ______________ and had it work!


And it worked nearly instantly to put her back to sleep comfortably,

No way!  Then that was it for sure!

It was at 5 am, and she slept until I finally got her up around 12:30, looking rested.

Belladonna was one of the first I had tried b/c it really looked like the Belladonna headaches she has had in the past, just moaning, writhing around, crying, can’t take it.  I almost wonder, given its location (root of the nose upward) if it was sinus related?  Or a seasonal type migraine?  She doesn’t have any allergies per se, but for instance Monday in the store she kept itching her nose and feeling like it was ticklish; she gets sensitivity in her nose (stuffy, or ticklish, or itchy) when we are in certain parts of the store sometimes, like near the laundry detergent aisle.

OMG!  The detergent aisle is the Aisle Of Death!  I hold my breath in the detergent aisle, run to whatever I’m trying to get and run out as fast as I can!

I had _____________________ in the “roster” of next things to try when Arsenicum caused her to fall asleep around midnight and I thought we were done.  Instead she woke up five hours later saying that it hadn’t really worked — which I guess would mean she fell asleep exhausted from the pain, not relieved from it.  Or that Arsenicum relieved partially?


Thanks for the recommendation of _______________!!

You were lucky I was still awake!  I was exhausted from taking care of Shana’s cold and falling asleep at the computer; I couldn’t keep my eyes open!  What potency did you give?



So listen, everybody, what do you think the remedy was?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know.  The answer will be in next month’s ezine; and oh, Shana, is there any song about headaches we can go out with?

“Hurt So Bad” by Little Anthony and the Imperials!

Of course!  That makes perfect sense!  










So how did we do this time?  First of all, an important announcement!  We have a new Quiz participant with us today; so, let’s hear it for…Sarah from Jordan!!!

Hi Elaine,

I am a huge fan of all of your material on hpathy.

You are?????  Wow!!!

I love your writing style and material.  It’s very useful now that I am getting to know the ropes.

It is?????

Currently I’m a student and my study routine is to read one of your articles before I start my day,

Really???  I’m so honored!

Thank you for brightening so many of my days.

Maybe you have me confused with the Dalai Lama.

So about the quiz,

Oh yes, the quiz!

there are three unusual symptoms.  The first is the headache from the pain location and extension:

Yes, that is very unusual!

“a vicious frontal headache

“Headaches, violent”

[extending from] the root of nose straight up to the hairline.”

Nose; pain; root; extending to; upward: acon act-sp agar, chin citl-l clem, ferr-i hep, KALI-BI kiss mag-c, merc MEZ nat-m nicc ozon raph sabal scorp

Well….see….you’re in the wrong chapter; because she doesn’t have a nose pain.  She has a headache in her forehead that starts just above her nose and extends to her hairline in a straight line.  So…we could start by going to the “Headaches” chapter (using Murphy’s Repertory) and go to “forehead”, and scroll down from there and look at the sub-rubrics, and in scrolling down we see “above eyes”; do you see that?  And if we look at the sub-rubrics under that, we eventually come to, “narrow line, in a”.  How do you like that?  In other words, Headache, forehead, in a narrow line above the eyes. That’s pretty darn close to what our patient said, wouldn’t you say?  The root of the nose is even with the eyes. And guess what?  There’s only one remedy posted for that: Bryonia!  Does Bryonia have violent headaches?  You bet!  Is Bryonia better for cold applications?  Yes.  Is it under Despair of Recovery?  The fact is, Bryonia covers everything in the case!

The second was how she was dealing with the pain:
“It’s causing her to cry and weep”

Mind; weeping, tearful mood; sobbing; pain, during:
mag-p, MEZ, ZINC

Actually, you should stay in the “Headaches” chapter if at all possible.  There’s a rubric, “Headaches: cry out, pain, in, compels one to”, and Bryonia is there.

And the third was her unusual hunger leading up to the event:

“she has been hungrier than usual the past few days”

Right, but, we don’t know if that had anything to do with the headache at all.  If Claire had said, “Molly’s been eating non-stop all day long and now she’s got a headache!” then we would surely need to find a rubric for that; but, we don’t even know how much Molly ate that day, we have no information, except that Claire thought that Molly probably felt that if she ate something, maybe her headache would go away, but, that’s all we know.

Stomach; appetite; increased, hunger in general; sickness, before paroxysms of: bry CALC, HYOS, nux-v, phos, psor, sep

The other symptoms, cool applications, closing eyes, fear, despair of recovery, exhaustion, are all understandable symptoms given the severity of her headache and also the time of day (it was time to sleep).

Right.  Fear, perhaps; but, Stramonium was tried and Arsenicum was tried.

Tension of her neck might be important or might be the result of sleeping on the floor.  I guess I should include it too:

Neck; tension; headache, during: LACH

OK, you used the Complete Repertory, didn’t you?  That rubric isn’t in any other repertory, so, already I’m suspicious; secondly, it contains only one remedy–Lachesis–and it’s in BOLD; so, you would have to believe that it’s some sort of Lachesis keynote and the logical choice if you’ve got a tense neck during headache; but, stay with The Complete Repertory for the moment and go to “Neck, tension” and what do you find?  Lachesis is only a 1. That’s right, a 1, meaning it’s not very strong for “Neck, tension” at all!  And, there are many well-known headache remedies in that rubric that are in BOLD!!!  Remedies like Bryonia, Glonoine, Nat-mur, Silica…so, given that, why aren’t these remedies listed under “Neck: tension, headache, during”?  See what I mean?  See how you have to always be thinking while repertorizing?

So, I’m always talking about how the Repertory is “incomplete”, especially the “Complete”, which seems to have found many ways of confusing us, and I’ve discussed this many times in other quiz answers; so, I can’t put any stock in “Neck, tension, headache during–LACH”. 

Mezereum is the only remedy that comes up twice, in our first two, most significant, rubrics.  So my guess is Mezereum!

If I go to “Headaches: forehead”, with over 250 remedies, Mez. is only a 1, and there are many 3’s, including Belladonna, Bryonia, Nat-mur, Arsenicum, Pulsatilla, Ignatia, Hepar, Nux vomica and others; you would have to have a REALLY compelling reason to ignore all the 3’s and go with a remedy that was only a 1 in this rubric.  What would this headache have to have to fit for Mezereum?  Maybe if eczema with intolerable itching was a concomitant, maybe then we would make Mezereum our first choice.

From Lockie’s Encyclopedia of Homeopathy, Mez is for “neuralgic pains around the teeth or face”, which is what she had, I think.

I think you’re grasping at straws now.

Also symptoms are “better for open air; for eating”.

It’s not in the case, I looked, there’s no mention that the headache was better for eating or open air.

Wait a second!  “Better for eating”, she had an amelioration of sorts during dinner.

No, she didn’t, there’s no mention of that.

“She said it came on before dinner… she ate dinner though, said nothing of the headache”  Then they went shopping, “and once we got back she started telling me about the headache.”

“Symptoms worse at night;” and the pain started towards the evening and into the night.
Could it really be mezereum?


There’s hope!

Not really.

Thanks Elaine!  Keep up the great work!

Since you start off every day with one of my articles, I am recommending “Repertory Round-up, Part 2” to help you make fewer mistakes with the next quiz.

Tidbits 42: Repertory Round-up, Part-2

Now, don’t forget to come back again next month!!!!!

Thank you Elaine,

I think that has been the best constructive criticism I have had on my case taking ever. Truly invaluable!

Studying at Caduceus with Willa Keizer 4 months now, because I live overseas, in Jordan,

I need an online program and Caduceus works nicely.  It is just not so interactive as other courses (because I am so remote).  So between attempting to treat my family and friends (i.e. gaining experience by failing) and reading your articles and others I am able to beef up my education and have a little fun.
I will read “Repertory Round Up, part 2” first thing tomorrow morning.  And I am off to bed.  Have great day Elaine, looking forward to next month.

Thanks again, Sarah!  Here is my repertorization.  My rubrics are: 1. Despair of recovery, 2. Headaches: cry out, pains compel one to, 3. Headaches: forehead, pain, eyes, above, narrow line, in a.  4. Generals: cold applications amel.  5. Neck: tension.  Only Bryonia covers the whole case.


I’m sensing Dr. Choudhary from India is here!

Hi Elaine,

Nice case, quite challenging one I must say after seeing the list of all those remedies already been given to patient.

I considered following rubrics from Kent’s repertory-

  1. Mind, Despair, Recovery
  2. Head, pain, headache in gen., eating after, amel.

Why does everyone think that?  No, read more carefully, she was not better after eating; Claire THOUGHT that Molly THOUGHT that if she ate something, she would be better, but she wasn’t.

  1. Head, pain, headache in gen., closing eyes, amel.

No, there’s no evidence that she felt better on closing the eyes.  We only know that the pain was so bad, she couldn’t bear to open her eyes.  This is quite common in headaches, that the eyes are affected, that light is intolerable and patient wants to lie in a dark room; reading is intolerable, focusing on any object is too painful so patient closes her eyes; quite common, not worth repertorzing.

  1. Head, pain, headache in gen, cold app. amel.
  2. Head, pain, headache in gen,cry out, pains compel one to.
  3. Stomach, appetite, increased (hunger in gen)

That’s not part of the case.  That’s how she was BEFORE the headache.  All she had to eat during the headache was her regular dinner, we don’t even know how much she ate.

  1. Mind, weeping, tearful mood, headache with

A better rubric would be “Headaches: cry out, pain compels one to” and, hey, you already selected that one, good for you!  So, why did you go back and select another rubric meaning the same thing?  You could opt for combining the two rubrics; but, you can’t put them one after the other because you’d be skewing the repertorization toward the crying remedies, giving them too much weight.

This gives, Sep.-12/6 , Ars- 10/4 , Calc- 10/4, Psor. – 8/4.

I give my vote to Sepia, as it covers some of the peculiar symptoms like headache relieved by eating, headache amel on closing eyes, and it further gets confirmed by tickling in nose of patient on going to laundry area of store.

That whole store laundry aisle thing, just forget about it.  The whole aisle is toxic, so, I wouldn’t count any reaction of the nose to that aisle as being instructive in any way.  You actually missed the symptom that was genuinely peculiar: “Headache in a straight line above the nose on the forehead”.  Here is the rubric:

Headaches: forehead, eyes, above, narrow line, in a–Bryonia.

Bryonia is the only remedy!  Also, I have to tell you that before even finding that rubric, when I heard that the headache was so bad that the patient couldn’t even open her eyes, I immediately suspected Bryonia.

What people have to understand about Bryonia is that Bryonia has really bad pains!  For example, when you hear about a flu where the headache is especially bad?  You should think of Bryonia right away.

Anyway, so here’s our case:

Headaches: forehead, eyes, above, narrow line, in a

Headaches: cry out in pain, compels one to

Headaches: cold applications amel.

Neck: tension

Mind: despair of recovery

You might want to read “Repertory Round-up part -2” where I go into some of the common mistakes people make when repertorizing:

Tidbits 42: Repertory Round-up, Part-2

Thanks for voting!  I think I see Maria off in the distance…


Hi Elaine and Shana!

Hi Maria!!!

For this month’s quiz I vote for Aconitum.

If I am wrong I will try again as usual 🙂

You’re wrong so try again!  I know why you voted for Aconite, because she said she was afraid and Stramonium had already been tried.  It’s a reasonable choice.  But remember, our 4 questions: “Sensation, Location, Modalities, Concomitants”.  Oh, and Etiology too; though I don’t think we have an etiology here.  But, maybe if you could tell me what those four things are?

Oh I see now that she already had tried Aconite too!  I totally missed it!

Oh!  Then so did I.

Look, my first choice was Phosphorus but I thought that I read that she tried it.  Now I see it is not tried.  I must have my vision checked…

I don’t know if it is correct, but under:

Food/appetite/increased/ during headache

No, no, no, her appetite was increased before the headache even started!  Claire said, “She has been hungrier than usual the past few days.”  It was just one of those superfluous things that people throw in — what I call “clutter”– because it doesn’t amount to anything, it doesn’t tell us anything about the headache.  It’s not like the mother said, “Despite having a headache, Molly was really hungry!”  No, we don’t even know whether she ate a lot for dinner that night, or just an average amount or less than usual, we didn’t get any information about that.

PHOS is a 3.  But I can’t be sure if it is related to the headache.

Cold applications amel


It’s much more than whimpering.  She’s crying out in pain.  Remember, the mother said it was “a vicious headache”.

Despair of recovery
Headache, violent

The fear is strange, but under Fear, during pains is Acon, Ars, Carc.

There’s fear during pains and fear OF the pains!  Two separate rubrics that should be combined because they mean almost the same thing.

But under fear, of the pains phos is present.  I am not sure of this rubric though.
PS I thought of Glonoinum too.  It is present under Headache/forehead/frontal/root of nose.
It is also known for violent headaches and amelioration from cold applications.  Lacks the mentals though…

Still, it’s a good thought because they are better for cold.

OK, before I even knew anything, I just heard “vicious headache” and I blurted out “Bryonia!”

Bryonia has terrible headaches!  In Bryonia illnesses, there’s usually a very bad pain!  Remember the quiz we had about the woman with food poisoning after the New Years Eve party, stomach pain, who couldn’t find a position where she was not in pain?  That was Bryonia!  And it’s in the rubric “Headaches, cry out, pain compels her to”.  And also, not being able to open her eyes is sooo Bryonia!  I mean, most people have photophobia during a headache but are still able to open their eyes if they have to, but to not even be able to open your eyes, that’s Bryonia!

Anyway, you came so close to finding the “strange/rare/peculiar” symptom in the Repertory.  It was the Location: headache, forehead, above the eyes in a straight line–Bryonia is the only remedy listed!  Here’s the exact rubric: “Forehead, headaches, pain, eyes, above, narrow line, in a”.

So, if you know anything about the “hierarchy of symptoms”, “strange, rare and peculiar” beats out even the mentals!  So it doesn’t matter that you couldn’t find Bryonia under “fear” (but actually, Bryonia is there under Mind: fear, pains, of the”) but even if it weren’t, you know that whatever is highest in the hierarchy over-shadows everything that’s down below it, right?  But luckily, Bryonia covers the whole case, including cold applications amel. and despair of recovery.  Anyway, so, long story short, it was Bryonia!

Wow! I missed the narrow line rubric in repertory.  I was thinking above nose mostly. I am amazed you found the remedy so easily!  Great quiz Elaine!  Thank you!

I actually found it just based on hearing it was a “vicious” headache and that Belladonna had already been tried.  But, yeah, that’s a pretty amazing rubric!  Can’t believe I found it!

I loved your tidbits article about coughs!  Very useful with these spring viruses etc.

Thank you!

You’re welcome.


Well, look; I’m really starting to repeat myself now; so, if I didn’t get to you, please don’t be too disappointed.  I will just thank all the people who voted and hope that everyone votes again in this month’s quiz!  Do you know what this case proves?  What The Marvelows said in 1967:

“Everything’s gonna be alright–when the morning comes…”

So true–if you know homeopathy!

See you next time!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!

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