Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: I Am Not Sick

Revisiting: I Am Not Sick 1

This poor girl’s nose is completely blocked! Read her case and try and guess which homeopathic remedy cured the case.

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – I Am Not Sick



Antimonium tart







Hello!!!!  Who would like to go first today?

Hello Elaine.

Hello, Shaqib.

My answer for this month’s quiz is Sabadilla bcoz of following symptoms:

  1. Ailments/from cold thing

Do you mean to say cold things, like the fact that cold drinks made her worse?  But that’s a “modality”, it’s not “ailments from”.

2.left sided affections

3.wants warm things

4.nose stopped up unable to breathe

With over 250 remedies in the “Nose: obstruction” rubric, it’s not going to help us much.

5.mouth remains open

That’s because her nose is stopped up and she can’t breathe through her nose.  If a symptom makes sense, it’s not a symptom.

6.desire spicy things, sweet taste

The mother said that if a food has a sweetness to it, however small, her child is able to discern it.  When the child could no longer discern the sweetness in her apple, it was clear that her taste buds were off, or that she had lost her sense of taste which often happens during a cold.  That rubric is in the Nose chapter: “Smell diminished, taste and smell”.

As far as “desires spicy” is concerned, I don’t know if we can use that.  She’s Indian.  Liking spicy food is common among Indians.

So, it’s true that Sabadilla loves hot food and hot drinks.  But, Sabadilla is our hay fever remedy, our allergic remedy:  “Nose runs like a faucet with attacks of sneezing.”  Eyes run too.  But Morgana’s nose is completely stopped up, just the opposite.  It tends to make us not want to use Sabadilla.

OK, so, as usual, we have to see which symptom or symptoms in the case are the most: striking, strange, rare or peculiar.  So what catches my eye is the black tongue, which I found strange, and then, the amelioration from hot drinks and steam was very striking, as I saw it.

Now, when I hear that a person is better from hot drinks and steam, my first thought is Rhus tox!  So now my only question is, “Is Rhus tox in the ‘black tongue’ rubric?”  And yes it is!!!  Now all I have to do is look to see if anything else in this case goes for Rhus tox, and, yes, it does!  She’s better for exercise, she’s better outdoors, worse in the house.  You know, a lot of our cases are solved on modalities: better this and worse that.

The steam was a big clue for me.  If it was just better hot drinks, it might have gone for Lycopodium, or Nux vomica or Arsenicum.  But steam is not something you drink.  And what I always say to people is, “Whenever you hear that a person is better in the hot shower, think of Rhus tox right away!”  Steam is what we associate with a hot shower.  Isn’t it a fact that the bathroom gets all steamed-up when the shower is on?  And the mother said, “Steam is great!”  That’s a keynote of Rhus tox!

So, yes, the remedy was Rhus tox.

Thanks for voting!


Dear Elaine and Shana,


Are you fine?

Thanks, Salma! I’m really late in replying, sorry for that!

It seems like a difficult quiz.  According to my repertorization, Lycopodium is the remedy.  Am I right?

I can’t blame you for picking Lycopodium, she did say the problem started on the right and moved to the left.  And there was really a lot of information in this quiz that could have you running in all directions!  But when I saw the modalities, finally I got some clarity!  What does this sound like to you:


 Warm steam felt great.  She loved hot drinks even water she preferred hot.  Better outside, better exercise.

 Rhus tox.


Omg!!!!!!  It was a Rhus tox case!!!!  How complicated a face it had.

I think that’s because Lachesis, her constitutional remedy, which her mother gave her, took away a lot of her symptoms so that by the time I saw the case, she was very much improved, had gotten her energy back and her appetite, and was no longer being rude and bossy, but she still had that blocked nose!  If you’ll remember, Lachesis opened up her nose for an hour, then it went right back to being closed!  So the modalities, then, were for the nose blockage, which had pretty clear Rhus tox modalities: better steam, better hot drinks, better outside, worse inside, better exercise.


Hi Elaine,

Hi Wayne, sorry I kept you waiting this month!

I think the remedy is Pulsatilla.


  1. Mind: Well, general; says he is , when very sick

OK, you know what?  This is tricky.  I was afraid this would throw people off.  I was hoping someone would notice that her constitutional remedy was Lachesis!  The mother said that as soon as she gave her daughter Lachesis, she brightened up, became cheerful and chatty, the color came back to her face, her appetite came back, her taste buds returned to normal… and even the nose opened up (but only for an hour).

(So, let this be a lesson to all those who think that the Constitutional Remedy will cure any and all acutes, and that every acute should be approached for this purpose; namely, as a means to uncover the patient’s constitutional remedy!)

And the thing with Lachesis is, Jeremy Sherr has added it to the rubric, “Says she is well when she is very sick.”  Or, as is sometimes stated, “I’m fine!  No, really; I’m fine!”  And, you know, Lachesis may also have been responsible for the “black tongue” which I considered very peculiar.  The mother reported that the black area had lessened after the Lachesis dose.

  1. Mind: Optimistic

This is after Lachesis.

  1. Mind Abandoned, forsaken feelings

This is because her friends are no longer in her class.  That would make anyone feel abandoned.  Remember, if a symptom makes sense, it’s not a symptom.

  1. Mouth: Breath; general odour putrid
  2. Food: hot food general; amel
  3. Food: Hot drink, general; desires,
  4. Nose: Inflammation

Is that even in the Repertory?  I think you mean Nose: obstruction.

  1. Mucous: Yellow
  2. Tongue : Black
  3. Mouth: Lips cracked

There are several mentals one being he thinks he is well when he is sick – a rare one.

Right, and now we know Lachesis should be added to that rubric.  Ten years ago, I did a Quiz called:

“I’m Fine!  No, Really”.

And in the quiz answer, Dr. Wequar Ali Khan wrote:

Dr Elaine,

The expression “I AM FINE” is found in the following medicines.  Names of the author are written against the medicine:







Dr. Wequar Ali Khan

So, very important information!  Her constitutional remedy, Lachesis, is most likely responsible for our quiz title, “I Am Not Sick”.

Other remedies that apply are Arsenic and Mercurius.

The mentals did not suit arsenic nor Mercurius.

You know, after she was given Lachesis, there really weren’t any mentals left, were there?  You know what I found in the modalities?  A perfect picture of Rhus tox:  Better steam, better hot drinks, better outside, better exercise.  So, I gave her Rhus tox, and her nose opened up!  You would be surprised how often we pick a remedy based on the modalities!  (Better this, worse that!)

She has yellow mucous, likes the out doors and I thought the etiology may have revolved around abandoned, forsaken feelings.

Yes, I know, Pulsatilla has that; but, the thing is, she really was abandoned!  I can just imagine how awful… it’s like when you’re at summer camp, and you’ve made friends with everyone in your bunk or cabin, and then next summer, you’re expecting to be reunited with them, but they’re all moved to another bunk, but not you, you’re put somewhere else where you know no one!  How devastating!  So, when a symptom is expected, or “normal”, it’s not a symptom at all; we can’t use it.


Hello Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!  Sorry I kept you waiting!

We wish you all the best in the new year, good health and further success in your work.

Thank you!

Here are our answers to last year’s last quiz:

Miroslav votes for Lycopodium:

At first I was convinced that salivation at night, black tongue and unpleasant bad breath were heading for Mercurius.  But the symptoms moved from the right to the left, stuffy nose, big desire for sweets and hot drinks point to Lycopodium, which also has an accumulation of saliva in the mouth, bad breath and black tongue.  So I vote for Lycopodium.

I can see that if you think the child has a desire for sweets, it would confirm Lycopodium, but, she didn’t have a desire for sweets.  The mother was merely saying that the child’s sense of taste was off, which often happens in a cold.  She could no longer taste sweetness, even in fruit.  So we can’t make anything significant out of her lost of taste.

Jitka votes for Lycopodium:

At first reading, I immediately thought of Lycopodium due to the shift of complaints from the right to left.  I was a little confused by the black tongue and salivation, for which is the most famous Mercurius.  I also hesitated a little about the girl´s emotional state, because of the sadness of losing friends and peeling skin and a fissure on lips, sleeping with open mouth and  I was  thinking about Natrum mur.  Just to be sure, I read description  of these three remedies in MM and I think the picture of Lycopodium is sitting in this case as ” a buttock on a potty.”

The following symptoms convinced me:

symptoms characteristically run from right to left,

Nose stopped up

nose, obstruction

mouth, salivation

better, warm drinks.

throat and stomach which are better from warm drinks

face – dropping of lower jaw,

craves everything warm.

cold extremities.

tongue dry, black, cracked,

bad odor from mouth.

desire for sweet things.

likes to take food and drink hot.

Well, Miroslav and Jitka, I was hoping people would notice that Lachesis was the child’s constitutional remedy, that’s why the mother gave it to her.  And after it, a lot of her symptoms went away, but she was left with the stuffy nose.  The modalities of the stuffy nose went very clearly for one particular remedy, and that remedy is…………. Rhus tox!

better steam

better hot drinks

better exercise

better outdoors

worse in the house

If you fail to discern that Lachesis was her constitutional remedy and that that’s the reason most of her symptoms went away, you’re going to think this is a very long case with a lot of twists and turns and a lot of information when in reality, all we really had were the very few–but clear–modalities of Rhus tox.

No winners this time; but, don’t let that stop you!  Try this month’s quiz, and we’ll see you back here again next month!

Happy New Year, Quiz Audience!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases and animal cases too!

Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

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 [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


  • My problem with this case and most of the cases posted by Ms. Lewis is they perpetuate the assumption that there is one and only one remedy for a given complaint. Epistemologically this is a decidedly unprovable assumption. In terms of Karl Popper’s notion of “falsifiability” there is no way to disprove this(or prove it). While the Rhus tox may have resolved this patient’s acute, we can never know if Lycopodium or any other of these remedies might have done so and perhaps even more effectively. A recent article in H’pathy, “The Sacred Cows of Homeopathy,” addresses just this conceit. The authors present one of our “sacred cows” in the following terms, “A cured case is proof of the rightness (the homeopathicity) of the remedy given, confirming the specific remedy chosen and its curative powers in that situation.” And as Bhatia et al point out, “To protect this sacred cow is to ignore all theories of knowledge offered by contemporary science and epistemology, as well as logic. The “confirmation” that it offers leaves room for neither criticism nor self-criticism. Without the possibility of falsification there can be no such thing as valid confirmation. To think otherwise is to part ways with science.” And the other element of this argument (that we are seeing the “similimum” for this acute complaint act curatively) that I find unfortunate is that it seems to suggest that only very clever people will get the one and only “right” remedy. I fear this has the effect of discouraging beginners from trying their hand at this business by making it seem so demanding and difficult. Wouldn’t it be preferable to present a case where a good remedy is found by saying this appeared to work well without seeming to suggest this is the only way this case could possibly have been solved?

  • So what is your point, Tim? That because there might be more than one correct remedy in a case, we shouldn’t prescribe at all? When I present a quiz, I don’t just show the answer, I explain how I came up with it so that others can learn. What I don’t like is when people present a case with a very confusing or inadequate explanation as to how the case was solved; sometimes, they give no explanation at all. But that’s not what I do, and if you’ve read as many of my cases as you say, you would know that. You’re always free to write in and say, “Why didn’t you pick Lycopodium?” Or, “Why did you ignore the ‘stringy/ropy mucus’ clue to Kali bich?” I’m always happy to answer legitimate and sensible questions. But, frankly, you just seem to have it in for anybody who cures a case.

    • No, Elaine, my argument never once addressed the legitimacy of your argument for Rhus nor did it suggest it wasn’t a cured case. Rather, I am suggesting the notion of a “winner” perpetuates the idea of one remedy and one remedy only. And we do not have any epistemological basis for that idea in homeopathy. Further, as someone who taught for many years I always try to evaluate how any approach might empower(or alienate) a learner. To turn finding the “right” remedy into a contest can have the effect of intimidating people new to the art. When I look around at the extraordinarily low numbers of new homeopaths over the last several decades, I often suspect it has to do with how we teach people the subtleties of this remarkable art. So often our schools are built around the “brilliant homeopath” who presents case after case of his astonishing cures without explaining all the failures that allowed him to reach his level of success. I saw students who would marvel at the amazing cures effected by the brilliant homeopath and then quietly give up their own ambitions, assuming they could never possibly emulate their idol. Perhaps my favorite case ever is in Jan Scholten’s Elements. In it he gives a case of Lithium fluoratum. But in his discussion he lists the dozens of remedies he gave unsuccessfully before he finally found one that worked. I used to read that case to all my classes and remind them that Scholten was arguably one of the best homeopaths on the planet and despite that fact he not only struggled like any one of us ordinary mortals, but he was honest enough to admit it.

  • Tim, I know what you mean by “the brilliant homeopath”. This is the person who has fashioned a “new way” of doing homeopathy that the majority of us invariably feel “left out” of. We could never have solved this case, or that case. Little by little, it leaks out that the “brilliant homeopath” has many failures. Luckily, I am not a brilliant homeopath. I am only trying to teach people how to solve an acute case. And PS, people like to try and guess the remedy.

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