Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: A Mrs. Rosie O’Donnell from Fort Lynn, New Jersey Writes…

Did you guess which homeopathic remedy Rosie needed?

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – A Mrs. Rosie O’Donnell from Fort Lynn, New Jersey Writes…









OK, is anybody here?  

Hello Elaine!

Hello Sarah!

Did you miss me?

Of course!  I miss all my readers, especially Maria who hasn’t been here in 2 months! 

So about Rosie,


I did this one carefully.

Well, this might not be easy, just warning you….

At first I thought of Pulsatilla–changeable stool, wandering pains…  But the cold feet didn’t match, Pulsatilla has hot feet.  Also Pulsatilla doesn’t have an aversion to cheese, apparently.  Then I tried to just focus on the odd things: aversion to cheese, hangnails and cold feet in bed.

That was a good decision, to find out what’s most peculiar and characteristic.  But I wouldn’t call hangnails and cold feet peculiar.  They’re rather common.

That pointed to Silica.

Right; it pointed to Silica because you decided to go with fingernails and cold feet, but they’re not important.  I’ll bet every other person we meet has hangnails and cold feet.  Maybe not so many with cold feet in Jordan, though!

Silica also has insomnia after 2am, forgetfulness, wandering achy and sharp pains, changable stool, cold feet in bed.  So I say Silica!  (Oh I hope I am right!)

Would that you were!  You were on the right track when you decided to go for what was peculiar.  That’s what I did.  But the only peculiar symptom you picked was a newly acquired Aversion to Cheese.  What else was peculiar?  What about crying all day?  Isn’t that peculiar?  Who does that?  So what I decided to do was go to the “aversion to cheese” rubric, since it was reliable, clear and recent — and you know, according to Hering’s Law, “healing takes place in reverse order”; so, a RECENT symptom is very valuable to us; plus, I knew the rubric would be reasonably small and easy to work with, and what I wanted to see was if there were any remedies in that rubric that would strike me as being “criers”; and lo and behold, there was–Ignatia!  How do you like that?  

But, interestingly, Ignatia is in bold for stabbing pains as well, and it showed up as a 1 in other rubrics like “confusion”, “anxiety”, “forgetful”, “concentration difficult”, “incoordination”, etc.  But, anyway, there you have it, Ignatia.

Again, defeated by Ignatia!  And after reading your article too.

Which one?

I was thinking Ignatia needed to be a little out of control,

You can’t get more out of control than crying all day for nothing!

Rosie seemed mild.

Yes. Mildly crying all day for nothing.

Was it that we wanted a strong rubric for the main complaint, ie the weeping and anxiety?  I actually did a full repertorization of all the symptoms

There is no rule that says that by adding up all the symptoms in a case, the remedy that comes out on top will be the automatic winner.  People think that’s true, but clearly, Hahnemann said in aph. 153, that “in this quest for a homeopathically specific remedy…the more striking, strange, rare and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms in the case are almost exclusively the ones to which close attention should be given… these above all must correspond to the symptom list of the medicine being sought.”

So, what is our job then?  It’s to match the most characteristic symptoms in the case, not every symptom in the case!  The most reliable symptom in Rosie’s case was “aversion to cheese” because it was RECENT and it was not typical of her to have an aversion to cheese; so, this was really a stand-out symptom!  Then, what else is peculiar about her?  She’s been crying all day!  That is really weird!  So you go to the “cheese, aversion” rubric, which you know is gonna be small, and ask yourself, “Are there any emotional remedies here?”  And the only possibility was Ignatia!  So easy!

Why don’t we do a complete repertorization?  Because there is no reason to believe that you’re going to find Ignatia under all these varied, numerous and never-ending  symptoms in her case!  Look at all of them!  Bloating, ringing in the ear, stabbing pains, clumsiness, liver soreness, changeable stool…on and on…so many symptoms it could make your head spin!  What is the likelihood that you’re going to find Ignatia under all of them, handed to you on a silver platter?  Not very likely!  And the reason is, as I have said many times, all the symptoms of a given remedy haven’t been entered into the Repertory, nor even been determined!  We don’t know everything there is to know about a remedy!  The Repertory is so incomplete and problematic, you can’t approach a case from the standpoint that you’re going to write down everything the patient says, translate it all into rubrics, and the remedy that comes out on top will be the winner!

You know, I actually tried that!  And like you, I came up with Silica!!!!  But then you have to ask yourself, is Silica a crier?  No.  Silica would not spend the whole day crying for no reason.  You didn’t ask yourself, “What is striking about this patient?”  Two things: aversion to cheese because she normally likes it, and non-stop crying.  She cried all day, for heaven’s sake!  But look at what Ignatia got rid of: the ringing in the ear, the stitching pain, the soreness in the liver, the forgetfulness….Ignatia isn’t even listed for tinnitus!  It was only a 1 for forgetfulness….So, like I said, the case is most likely not going to be handed to you neatly on a silver platter–though that has been known to happen to me, so I don’t want you to think it never happens.  But on the same token, it was a very easy case from the standpoint of paragraph 153 of The Organon!

I ended up with so many choices I decided to do just the strange/rare/peculiars.

Right, but you picked symptoms that weren’t peculiar!  When you think of peculiars, you’ve gotta be thinking of the mentals first, because the mentals are at the top of the hierarchy of symptoms, the physicals are at the bottom; so, the mentals are going to over-ride the physicals!  This is why homeopaths are always spending so much time trying to find out what mental symptoms a patient has, because they know they’re going to over-rule everything else in the case–all things being equal.  So the crying is more important and over-rules, the hang-nails, the cold feet, the stabbing pains, the ringing in the ear, the liver soreness, etc.

I wish I saved the larger repretorization, will have to see how Ignatia stands in that one.

No, I think that would be a waste of time.  I tried that, and Ignatia showed up in a lot of the rubrics, but only as a 1.

Thanks Elaine.  That helps a lot. I do remember that she even mentioned that all of her symptoms were not new with the exception of the cheese aversion.  I thought at that point how could I possibly make a case analysis just on aversion to cheese, you need at least a couple more.  Now I see, mentals first then physicals.

As a rule, unless the physicals are peculiar or a keynote of a remedy….(I’ll probably have to write an article on that too, I guess.  I should probably make it this month’s “Tidbits”.)

I have read your “Kitchen Sink” article so many times, but its one of the best,

It is?  Well, with a title like that, how could it not be?

Going to read through it again today. It is a gem.

If it’s that good, maybe I should read it!

The kitchen sink article is my favorite:

Also you were asking which Ignatia article, I was referring to, it was this one:

Oh, right!!!!

Thank you Elaine, I really appreciate your help.

You’re welcome!  And now, I want to thank everyone else who voted: Kelly Phillipson, Neil Mayor, Miroslav and Jitka and Wayne from Australia who has a request for Shana:  “Please play ‘Wichita Lineman’ by Glen Campbell!”  Here it is, Wayne!


See you next time!   


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

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

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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

About the author

Shana Lewis

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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