Case Quizes Clinical Cases

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


thank you for brightening so many of my days.

Maybe you have me confused with the Dalai Lama.  That happens a lot.

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, we would have to 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:

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom. Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at 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

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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