Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Plooh Got The Flu

flu season ahead

Yes, it’s another flu case! Did you guess the right remedy? Scroll down for the answer.

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Plooh Got The Flu










Gee, I guess just about everyone got it right!


Hi Elaine!

Hi, Sarah Q!

Happy spring! I hope things are warming up in your corner of the world.

Bite your tongue!  It’s positively hot here!

So this one had some pretty cool strange/rare/peculiars in it, the eye symptoms were odd.

Sarah, the eye symptoms were basically the whole case!  Eyes, sharp pain, worse motion, worse pressure, worse touch; Eyes, photophobia…  Do you see what I mean?

With that in mind I repertorized and came up either with Bryonia or Nat Mur.

Now, why can’t it be Nat-mur?  Go back and look at the hierarchy of symptoms article again (Repertory Round-up, part 4)

and tell me what’s #2 in the hierarchy of symptoms.  “Diagnosis”!  Right?  What’s the diagnosis?  Flu, or influenza.  Is Nat-mur in the flu rubric?  No!  So Nat-mur’s out even before the horses are out of the stable!  But wait, are you using a repertory without a flu rubric again?????

Morrison says about Bryonia, “Headache aggravated by motion, even of the eyes.”  But he also says about Nat Mur, “The child has a strong need for affection,” and Plooh was clingy and wanting affection, like a pulsatilla.

Well, here’s the problem, Sarah; Plooh is a child.  It’s normal for kids to want affection and reassurance from their parents when they’re sick.  We’re not interested in any symptom that’s “normal”.  Again, you should read “Repertory Round-Up, part 4” again, read what constitutes a “characteristic symptom”.  It’s not “characteristic” if it’s normal or expected.  As far as Morrison’s book is concerned, go back and read it again.  He says the Nat-mur child has a strong need for affection BUT, they can’t accept it when offered! 

You were right about Morrison, Elaine; to quote: “The child has a strong need for affection and is overly vulnerable.  Like the adult, the child prefers to be alone with his griefs and will shrug off his parents consoling hug.”  Yes there it is.  I can’t believe I didn’t see that.  I think I must have just read the first sentence and not even read anything else after that.  How embarrassing to be so careless.  All goes back to knowing materia medica.

So true.  This is what Nat-mur is famous for, it’s why they’re “worse consolation”, because they don’t know how to accept sympathy and affection, it makes them uncomfortable.  They’re the opposite of Pulsatilla who wants consolation and is better for it.

Thanks for pointing that out Elaine.

One hugs you, the other one pushes you off or turns away.  I love Misha Norland’s description of Nat-mur: “The mother of a nat-mur baby that’s crying will say, ‘I don’t know what I’m going to do with this child!  I try to pick it up and it’s all spikes and thorns!'”

Both Bryonia and Nat-mur have thirst, photophobia, throbbing headaches, and are worse from the sun.  But Nat Mur has the watery eyes and nose…

But again, is watery eyes and nose remarkable in a flu case?  Can we call this a “characteristic symptom”?  It seems we can’t go back and re-read “Repertory Round-Up, Part 4” enough times!

I am going to say Nat Mur, and my second choice would be Bryonia.  Thanks Elaine.

OK, hold on!!!  I’m having second thoughts!!!!  I have been thinking about this and reading Materia Medica, and I think Bryonia should be my first choice.

I think so too!

The headache, agg. from eye movement is a keynote of Bryonia.

Yes, exactly!

So it should be my first choice.

Yes, absolutely!  Here’s my repertorization.  You can see only Bryonia covers the whole case:

Revisiting: Plooh Got The Flu 1


Thanks Elaine,



Is anybody else here today?


Thank you Elaine for a wonderful quiz. I think the remedy is Bryonia.  It covers the light agg, slight touch on eyes agg., Movements of eyes agg.

Although I am not sure about the smacking of lips; only remedy given in complete repertory was Amyl. nit.  I am not sure if I am right but I am gonna vote for Bryonia.



You are perfectly right! 


Oh look, it’s Dr. Salma Afroz!


Hello dear Elaine and Shana!

Hello Dr. Afroz!

In this case i took the rubrics:

Clinical, Influenza:

Mind, Caressed, being, desire to be:

No, Salma, he’s just a kid.  All kids want hugs from their parents, especially when they’re sick; so, that rubric will just lead us astray.

Mind, moaning

Headache, fever with:

Well….headache and fever are common flu symptoms, they’re in every case of the flu; so, your selection of “Clinical, Influenza” covers that.  It covers all common flu symptoms.

Generals, light, daylight agg:

No, take “Eyes: photophobia” instead.

Generals, chilly

Eye, Sharp pain, turning eye on:

As i found etiology is not specific here.  Is there any?


So mentals come on top.

We don’t really have any mentals.  Moaning and groaning, maybe.

With all of the above, I will vote for Arsenicum again.  If I am wrong, shall try again.

Why did you vote for Arsenicum?  As Hahnemann would say, what’s most striking about this case?

YES you are right. I go wrong direction always.  Most striking was his eye complaint.

Yes.  Anything that causes the patient to scream would almost have to be the most striking.

Eye pain was aggravating with least movement.  He was thirsty.

And there were references to dryness also.

Then is it Bryonia?


Thanks for your great teachings.

You’re welcome.


Dhaka, Bangladesh



Hi Elaine ,

Hi Neil!

The remedy i’m thinking off this month is Bryonia.

You are right!

namely because of the pain on moving the eyes,


even the pupils in bright light, and the sharp pains on moving which makes the patient cry out. There is also thirst which appears to come and go and for room temp water, not hot or very cold.  The only thing that doesn’t seem to fit to me is the mentals as the patient does not seem to be the irritable type I think of in Bryonia.

Neil, there were no mentals in this case that were outstanding.  The child wanted hugs from his mother; but, what child doesn’t?  Every case doesn’t necessarily have mentals; so, you just ignore the mental picture of the remedy if it matches the physical symptoms in the case.  BUT, if the case DID have mentals, we would surely want our remedy to match them.  But you have to ask to make sure the so-called mentals are really part of the case and not just the child being a child. 

I would also add that Bryonia is only “irritable” because he’s worse movement, and every time you try to engage him in conversation, you’re forcing him to move, which makes him worse, and therefore, irritable. 

Nux vomica is irritable because his nerves are frayed.  Noises are too loud, lights are too bright, odors are too extreme; everything seems to touch a raw nerve with Nux vomica.

Ignatia is irritable because their emotions are unstable.  One minute they’re angry, the next minute they’re crying, then they’re laughing, then they’re whining.  People aren’t sure how to act around Ignatia, what to say; they never know what will set them off from one minute to the next.  

Arsenicum is irritable when things are out of place.  Something’s been moved, a picture is crooked, and so on; and they are very judgmental and critical, feeling very superior to others, feeling they are surrounded by incompetents and morons; so, they may seem to be irritated by everything that is going on around them, people are making mistakes left and right, according to Arsenicum.  They’re perfectionists, and they like to argue, and the only way to stop them is to say, “Yes, you’re right!” 

Chamomilla is irritable because of extreme pain.  It could be an earache, it could be labor pain. 

Anyway, there are roughly 300 remedies listed under “irritable”, so, it pretty much means that every remedy is irritable!  So it’s not enough to say “irritable” and that’s gonna tell you what the remedy is, or that the remedy is Bryonia!  You have to describe the irritability, what is the reason for it, what is the person saying or doing, what’s wrong with him?  When I once visited my mother in the hospital, she was complaining that there was a band aid wrapper on the floor!  The inference was that some hospital worker was so stupid as to not know that a band aid wrapper does not belong on the floor!  I gave her Arsenicum 200C (perfectionism, critical/judgmental) and immediately without a moment’s hesitation she changed to a sunny disposition!  Anyway, thanks Neil!




Hello, Shifa Shaikh!




You are correct! 


Oh look, it’s the gang from Slovakia!


Hello Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!

we send our answers to the March quiz.  We missed last month because I was sick.

Did you ever consider seeing a homeopath?

Plooh got the flu


I first thought about Gels. because of eyes – tired, pain, paleness and finally it is in rubric ” the flu”, but Gels. would probably be more passive, he wouldn´t want drinking at all.

Right, Gels. is thirstless.

Then I thought about  Bryonia, because of the severe pain, he is sensitive to light, the boy is thirsty, not for warm water and he is hungry after the flu.

Well, hungry after the flu isn’t much of a symptom.  Hungry during the flu would have been very peculiar and we would have wanted a rubric for that.

In addition, the movements of the eyes make things worse.

I’d choose Bryonia.


Actually I have no answer.

OK, that about wraps it up!

There were 4 striking symptoms

(I guess we’re not wrapping it up!)

-hungry after fever,

No, that’s like saying, “When I’m fine, I’m hungry.”  Who isn’t?  Just ignore that.  Just because a patient says something, doesn’t mean it’s important.

-painful eyes when moving

-strong photophobia

-he wanted cuddling

No; remember, he’s a kid!  They all want to be cuddled–by their parents, or their mothers anyway!  If he didn’t, that would surely raise a red flag and we would want a rubric for that like “aversion to being touched”, etc.

The most marked symptoms were eyes, pain while moving and strong photophobia.  Bryonia and Rhus tox were strong candidates, but mental symptoms that he played and watched TV and was clingy, it didn´t fit to those two remedies. They were symptoms more for Pulsatila, but he wasn´t thirstless and weepy.

Playing and watching TV are normal things that kids do and therefore I don’t think we can extract much information from that.

I compared all remedies in the rubric ” flu”, even a small Calc carb because I found an information that calc is “clingy in the illness” but I couldn´t find a relevant rubric in MM.  I also found in an online repertory these rubrics for Calc. c.

-WORSE, from exertion, mental or physical; ascending; cold in every form; (etiology?) water, washing, moist air, wet weather; during full moon; standing.

-Great photophobia and dazzling from too strong a light.

-Sensitiveness to light; photophobia.

-The sunlight hurts the eye and causes headache,

But this reasoning is far-fetched.  Calc-carb is not the usual remedy for a patient with the flu.  Since I could think of nothing, I´d rather wait for the right answer in your review.

But Jitka!  There is your patient in front of you, it’s Miroslav!  He is suffering from the flu!  You will have to help him!  What will you do?   

I slightly supposed that Miroslav was right because Bryonia has the most striking pain of eyes among all flu remedies.  Nevertheless, I didn´t want to give up the idea that “mind” and “peculiars” were superior to “physicals”.

Whoa, wait a minute!!!!  Not being able to move the eyes without pain is VERY peculiar!  And remember, in Paragraph 153, Hahnemann says “the most STRIKING, STRANGE, RARE and PECULIAR (characteristic) symptoms…” and what’s more “striking” than a person who’s screaming every time they move their eyes?  In every Bryonia case, there is some terrible sharp pain.  It could be a headache, it could be appendicitis, it could be gallstone colic, it could be a broken rib or broken arm, or a sprained ankle…and movement makes it worse, or movement causes the pain such that you dare not move.  It could also be nausea that’s worse by the slightest movement.  They can’t even lift their head off the pillow.  And not being able to move the eyes is very typical for Bryonia.  So, if something is making the person scream, that is the most striking part of the case!  So yes, it was Bryonia!

I didn´t  know how old Plooh was, but he hiked a long trip with his backpack.

He’s probably in the Boy Scouts.

I thought he was at least 11-12 years old.  So it seemed strange to me that he was clingy to his mother.

Still a kid.  Not a teenager yet.  An in-between age, could go either way.

That he was hungry after fever was also strange to me, because according to my experiences when I was kid and my children were little and my grandsons, they have never been hungry during illness, neither after fever. So, apparently, my subjective experiences affects my objective judgments…

I think if he had been hungry during the fever, which is really unusual, that would have been very striking.  Hungry with no fever is less striking.  There is a rubric in Murphy’s Repertory– “Food: Appetite increased, fever, after”.  There are 6 remedies.  All in plain type except for Cina and Cimex.  None of them are flu remedies that I know of: Cina, Dulcamara, Staphysagria, Ignatia, Eupatorium purpureum, Cimex.  So, this rubric is not helpful.  However, if he were hungry during the fever, that would really have made Phosphorus stand out, as it’s in Bold!  Anyway, Congratulations to you both for correctly guessing Bryonia!

So…I think it’s time now for us to congratulate our winners!  Who were they?  Well…there’s Miroslav and Jitka, Neil, Shifa Shaikh, Sarah Q. and Dr. Abhishek Choudhary.  Good going, everybody!  

And now, on to this month’s quiz–it’s Plooh’s brother Pliglet; and he has the flu too!


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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