Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: What Remedy Was Dr. Martin Luther King?

Revisiting: What Remedy Was Dr. Martin Luther King?

February was Black History Month, so it seemed only fitting to honor the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by guessing what his constitutional remedy might have been! Scroll down for the answer.

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – What Remedy Was Dr. Martin Luther King?



Causticum (7)

Sulphur (2)



Well….  I had a feeling everyone would vote for Causticum….  Anyway, who wants to go first?


Hi Elaine…

Hi Neil!

Well I had a dream …

Did you know that that’s a song by Ray Charles?



Sorry, I got side-tracked.


…and the dream said “Causticum” for Martin Lither King.

Interesting dream!

It’s the first remedy I think of in fighting for justice–a cause he is most remembered for.

Well, Neil, you took the easy way out–again!  I somehow knew that everyone would go right for Causticum and not even try to come up with the elements of the case!  But, I tried to get you started, right?  Didn’t I?  Now you’re going to have to really think!

Darn, i was hoping my instinct would do the work.

Not that Causticum is a bad idea….


Is anybody else here today?  Oh look!  It’s the gang from Slovakia!


Hello Elaine and Shana,

of course, we  know, who Martin Luther King was!  We also know his famous speech “I Have a Dream”.  Hopefully we will be able to quess his constitutional remedy correctly.

OK, let’s see what you came up with.

Miroslav – Causticum.

What a surprise……..

In this case and after the last lesson I’m going no longer to speculate.  The first thing I thought about was that Martin Luther King was an intellectual fighter.

I’m glad you said that!  Yes, “intellectual” is a great rubric for him!!! 

An intellectual fighter for the rights of others, so I picked Causticum.  I persist in this choice because I was looking into the repertory and I couldn´t find any rubric associated with rhetoric, speech …

I believe you’ll find it in: “Mind: Talking, speeches, makes”.

I only know that Arg-n., Lyc., and Sil. have a lot of stage-fright, which obviously will disqualify them.  M.L.K’s  speech was a break-through in the history of racial matters.

He had to be extremely trustworthy .. .

Yes, trustworthy; unfortunately, I don’t see it in the Repertory.  The closest I could come was “Responsible”.


Jitka  – Causticum

I’m shocked!

When I read the quiz, Causticum came to my mind at first, but then I found it is often in relevant rubrics along with Sulphur.  I began to doubt a bit and I looked for help in the book: Homeopathic Psychology by Philip Bailey.  I compared both remedies and I was going back and forth between Causticum and Sulphur.  In one paragraph about Sulphur, Bailey also says that in idealism, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish Sulphur from Causticum.  Then I found out that in the rubric: IDEALISTIC and POLLITICALLY ORIENTED, typically an attribute of the fighter for equality, Causticum is there but not Sulphur, so I vote for Causticum.

Right, because Sulphur famously does not care about others!  An important element of this case is the rubric “Sympathetic, empathetic”.  Sulphur is not there!  You would have to be a sympathetic person to fight for the rights of others.  Am I right?  Martin did not care so much about himself.  In fact, one of his greatest speeches that bears this out was the eulogy he “gave” at his own funeral; please see below:


His Own Eulogy

Martin Luther King Jr.


Every now and then I guess we all think realistically about that day when we will be victimized with what is life’s final common denominator–that something we call death.


We all think about it and every now and then I think about my own death and I think about my own funeral.  And I don’t think about it in a morbid sense.  And every now and then I ask myself what it is that I would want said and I leave the word to you this morning.


If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral.  And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy tell him not to talk too long.  Every now and then I wonder what I want him to say.


Tell him not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize–that isn’t important.  Tell him not to mention that I have 300 or 400 other awards–that’s not important.  Tell him not to mention where I went to school.


I’d like somebody to mention that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others.  I’d like for somebody to say that day that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to love somebody.


I want you to say that day that I tried to be right on the [Vietnam] war question.  I want you to be able to say that day that I did try to feed the hungry.  I want you to be able to say that day that I did try in my life to clothe the naked.  I want you to say on that day that I did try in my life to visit those who were in prison.  And I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.


Yes, if you want to, say that I was a drum major.  Say that I was a drum major for justice.  Say that I was a drum major for peace.  I was a drum major for righteousness.

And all of the other shallow things will not matter.


I won’t have any money to leave behind.  But I just want to leave a committed life behind.  And that is all I want to say.  If I can help somebody as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a well song, if I can show somebody he’s traveling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.


— Martin Luther King, Jr.

(at the request of his widow, Dr. King’s last sermon was played at his funeral)




Sorry I interrupted–again, do continue.

Here are rubrics that I managed to find in Murphy´s.




– religious inclinations: caust, SULPH


– discuss, inclination,  on everything:  CAUST, sulph


– politically oriented:  caust


– idealistic :  caust


Very good choices for elements of the case, I agree with most of them; in fact, Causticum did come up very high in my  repertorization.  I was kind of surprised it didn’t come up #1 because it would appear to be the most popular answer.  But here’s what I picked for the elements of the case–and remember, you have to think very deeply about this:

  1. Courageous–he would have to be courageous to give his life for a worthy cause! Here’s a quote from him: “I submit to you that if a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”


  1. Intellectual–as Miroslav so smartly noted. He had a PhD, for heaven’s sake! Yes, his intellect….  His speeches weren’t mere rants and accusations and blaming others, but more like Shakespearean oratory.  Because of that, I picked the following rubrics:


  1. Speech, extravagant


  1. Talking, speeches, makes


  1. Talking, formal and…


  1. Perfectionist–because his speeches are nothing if not PERFECT, certainly not thrown together hastily and haphazardly, but deeply thought-out and probably fussed over for long hours.


  1. Cannot tolerate injustice! This of course is the one we think of first.


  1. Sympathy, empathy. You’d have to have sympathy and feel empathy to act on behalf of others.


  1. Political. Yes, there’s no doubt about that. Martin Luther King was one of the first leaders of any sort to speak out against the Vietnam War, for which he received a lot of criticism from other civil rights leaders.  He organized “The Poor People’s Campaign” and the last thing he did before he was assassinated was to go down to Memphis, Tennessee to give support to the garbage workers who were on strike.  (“On strike” means you walked off your job with the goal of getting a better job contract: more money and better working conditions.)  You might say that for the rich and powerful, Martin Luther King was the most dangerous man in the country!


  1. Responsibility, over-responsible. Look at all the responsibility he took on! The leader of the Civil Rights Movement, a leader of the anti-war movement and finally an organizer of The Poor People’s March.


  1. Ambitious. Look at his agenda! Was this an ambitious agenda or what?  Free the black people, stop an unjust war, lift the poor out of poverty…  Definitely ambitious.  And, maybe most importantly…


  1. Idealistic! This is a very important one–his idealistic outlook, that he could help lead the way to a perfect world–and again, there’s the Perfectionism! And lastly, of course….


  1. Religious. He was a Christian minister who studied the writings of Gandhi.


So, I repertorized all of these things and guess what remedy came out on top?  IGNATIA.  No, I am not kidding!

Revisiting: What Remedy Was Dr. Martin Luther King? 1

Hi Elaine and Shana!

Hi Maria!

First I have to say that I am a huge fan of the Muppet show!

Shana?????  Look what you’ve done now!

Especially of the 2 old men in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf!  They are brilliant!


Also of Animal and Beaker!  Sooo funny!

I like the surfer kid with the blonde hair….

But for this month’s quiz, I vote for Causticum.  If I am wrong I will try again.


Oh boy, another vote for Causticum!  But I, who actually bothered to make a list of the elements of the case, came up with a rather surprising remedy!  Did you make a list of the elements of the case?

PS: I think we should do a muppet-based quiz in the future!



Is anybody else here today?


Hey.  Misba, here. my answer is Carcinosin as I repertorised from my understanding.

That’s actually a very good choice.  Let’s look at the rubrics you chose:


  1. “Mind: discontented”.

You know, Shaqib, if a symptom makes sense, it’s not a symptom.  Back then, in 1963, in what we call “the South” (the former slave states), they were still lynching black people (hanging them from trees), and drowning them in the Mississippi River (that’s pronounced “Miss-sis-sippy”).  You would have to be “discontented” under the circumstances!  So we can’t use this as a symptom, or an element of the case.

  1. “Mind: freedom, desires freedom”.

Again, under the circumstances, anyone would desire freedom!  It makes sense.  So we can’t use it.

  1. “Mind: Hopeful”.

I picked “idealistic”, which I think is very similar.  Yes, he does have a dream of a perfect world, an ideal world, and he’s sure it will come to pass (hopeful).  Because of that, I also picked “Perfectionist”, because not only does he dream of a perfect world, but if you look at his speech, it can only be described as “Perfect”, as if he agonized over every word, every phrase, every paragraph.  So I had to pick “Perfectionist” and “Idealistic” too.

  1. “Mind: Injustice, cannot support”.

Absolutely!  Totally agree!

  1. “Mind: Justice, desire for”.

I would tend to think that the same remedies would be under 4 and 5.  My Repertory doesn’t have this rubric so I can’t check to see.  But if they have the same remedies, then by having them both in the same repertorization, you’re over-weighting those remedies, it’s like putting your thumb on the scale for them.  So, what I would probably do is either combine those two rubrics to make one larger rubric out of them or take one of them out.

  1. “Mind: Meeting of souls, sensation of”.

I don’t appear to have this rubric in my Repertory.  I’m not sure why you chose it, except that Martin was at a gathering of a lot of “souls” when he gave this speech.  If that’s what you mean, we can’t use it.  The number of people there had nothing to do with him.  He had no idea how many people were going to show up.  And I’m not even sure what this rubric means, to tell you the truth.

  1. “Mind: Religious, too occupied with religion”.

He was religious, it’s true.  I picked the rubric “religious”.  But I think you may have gone too far by picking the subrubric “too occupied with”.  It implies some sort of abnormal process.  But what you may not be aware of is that the Black Church was at the center of the Civil Rights movement, especially in the South.  Black churches were noted for their spirited singing–it was called “gospel music” or “Negro Spirituals”– and there were a lot of songs in the Civil Rights Movement that were taken from Negro Spirituals, and they would sing them as they marched and protested, and “sat-in” at segregated lunch counters; perhaps, they’d be singing this song:


“Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around, turn me around, turn me around

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me around,

I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching up to freedom land


Ain’t gonna let no jail house turn me around, turn me around, turn me around

Ain’t gonna let no jail house turn me around

I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching up to freedom land


Ain’t gonna let segregation turn me around, turn me around, turn me around

Ain’t gonna let segregation turn me around

I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching up to freedom land


Ain’t gonna let race hatred turn me around, turn me around, turn me around

Ain’t gonna let race hatred turn me around

I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching up to freedom land


Ain’t gonna let Mississippi turn me around, turn me around, turn me around

Ain’t gonna let Mississippi turn me around

I’m gonna keep on walking, keep on talking, marching up to freedom land”



They would meet in church and plan what they were going to do the next day.  Here in this video below, run it up to 1:30.  Not only will you see Martin in church, but he’s delivering one of his most memorable speeches, which I have to write out for our non-English-speaking friends:

“Deep down in our non-violent creed is the conviction that there are some things so dear, some things so precious, some things so eternally true that they’re worth dying for; and if a man happens to be 36 years old as I happen to be, and some great truth stands before the door of his life, some great opportunity to stand up for that which is right, [but] he’s afraid his home will get bombed, or he’s afraid he will lose his job, or he’s afraid he will be shot or beat down by [the police]; he may go on and live ’til he’s 80, but he’s just as dead at 36 as he would be at 80; and the cessation of breathing in his life is merely the belated announcement of an earlier death of the spirit.”



So, because the black church was right at the center of the Civil Rights Movement, we can’t use “too occupied with religion” as a symptom in this case.

  1. “Mind: Sensitive to criticism”.

I don’t see it.  Do you mean that he’s sensitive to racial hatred?  Well, again, who wouldn’t be?  If it’s “common”, we can’t use it.

  1. “Mind: Speech, enthusiastic”.

This would appear to be a good rubric, BUT, it’s very small–2 remedies, according to Murphy’s Repertory: Cannabis indica and Coffea.  To me, this is an under-populated rubric, we can’t use it.  Plus which, all black preachers speak this way, making this a “common” symptom; but of course, you probably didn’t know that.  But here’s Reverend Jesse Jackson, a close friend of Martin’s, who was there with him the day he was assassinated, giving a sermon–a speech– in church about his candidacy for the presidency in 1984.  Here he’s bemoaning that Ronald Reagan won the election in 1980 because blacks didn’t vote.  You’ll see that his speech is every bit as “enthusiastic” as Martin’s:



  1. “Mind: Speech about the future”.

I really think you’re reaching too far here.  Even though Martin does mention the future in this speech, it is basically a speech about how the Constitution of the United States, which says all these nice things about how “all men are created equal”, hasn’t lived up to its promise where black people are concerned, and so black people are here today to say “Enough!”  And this is why I chose the rubric “Courage”.  Because you can imagine how much courage it must take to stand up, look the United States Government in the face, and say: do something about segregation because we’re fed up and we’re not going to take it anymore!  That’s real courage!

  1. “Mind: Speech, repeats the same thing”.

No.  What you’re referring to here is a literary device:  “I have a dream today!  I have a dream this afternoon!”  This is poetry!  This is how black preachers talk, how they deliver their sermons.  They’re like songs, the chorus of songs, they repeat a phrase over and over again and it gets the audience shouting and clapping and standing up.  It’s not a symptom.  This rubric refers to…I actually knew somebody once who literally kept repeating the same thing over and over again and it was so annoying I finally had to tell him, “Will you stop talking?!!!!  You’re saying the same thing over and over again!!!”  Lachesis does that.

  1. “Mind: Unification, sensation of, fellow man, with his”.

I know what you’re trying to say.  That he wants all men to be brothers.  But that’s not what this rubric refers to.  I couldn’t find this in my repertory but, I’ll bet the remedies in it are essentially drug remedies: Cannabis, LSD…maybe Phosphorus, Hydrogen….  I think the rubric “Idealistic” covers what you’re trying to say, though.


So, all things considered, you didn’t have to many useful rubrics here.  Here’s what you got:

  1. Can’t support injustice
  2. Hopeful


Think about Martin:  He can’t support injustice–that’s the big one, right?  But what else?  As I said: Courage, Idealistic, Makes Speeches…but what else?  RESPONSIBLE!  Look at all the responsibility he’s taken on!  The responsibility for all black people, all poor people; and because he was an anti-war activist as well, all the people in Vietnam (a country we invaded for apparently no reason!)  So I picked the rubric, “Responsibility, over-responsible”.  This is where your Carcinosin comes in!  This and–another rubric–“Sympathetic”, and “Perfectionistic”!  There’s your Carcinosin case: Sympathy, Over-responsible and Perfectionistic–and probably “idealistic” too.  That’s why your choice of Carcinosin works.


OK, I gotta go.  Thanks again for voting!  Please come again!



Oh look, Shifa Shaikh is here!






















Shifa, I have a feeling that one of your fellow study group members has also written to me because someone named Shaqib (I hope I spelled it right) wrote to me with a strikingly similar rubric list!  And I answered him in detail, maybe he will share my email with you, but you will see it in the quiz answer anyway.  But I see you have added “intellectual” (which I totally agree with) and “religious affections” (which I totally agree with).


“Positiveness” I agree but I find it a little too general.  You know, when you think about it, almost every remedy can be “positive” about something.  Arsenicum, which we usually think of as being full of anxiety, can be very positive about how “smart” they are and how they alone have all the answers to every question!  Think about Sheldon in “The Big Bang Theory” which I did in one of my quizzes.  He’s an Arsenicum.  Very arrogant and condescending to others.  Lycopodium is the same way–very sure he has all the answers, looks down on inferiors.  Phosphorus is very positive but is easily pulled away by a negative influence.  Calc-carb is very positive but easily influenced by sad stories and bad news and so, a tendency to worry.  I just think you could make these kinds of statements about all the remedies; so, not sure how much value a rubric like “Positiveness” has.


“Revolutionist”–Martin is actually a pacifist.  In fact, he’s a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.  I don’t think “revolutionist” helps to describe him anymore than it would explain Gandhi.


“Wants to fight for helpless people” is a great rubric.  Again, that rubric is not in my repertory (Murphy’s) so I don’t know if it’s too small to be useful…but, here’s what I did:  I crossed “Fights, wants to” with “Sympathetic” (meaning, wants to fight because of sympathy for others) and only 2 remedies come up strongly and they are: Causticum and Nux vomica.  A few others come up but have low scores.


The other rubrics I talked about in detail with Shaqib.  So, I see in your repertorization that Sulphur comes out on top.  Well, what goes against Sulphur here?  Sulphur is actually very selfish with a desire to make money and is untidy in appearance.  Martin is very neatly dressed and groomed.  I actually picked the rubric “perfectionist” for him because of that and other reasons as well, like his desire to live in a “perfect world” where everyone lives in harmony.  He’s not selfish and there is no money to be had in what he’s doing.  In fact, a man with a PhD can go very far in this world.  He could lead a quiet, comfortable, middle-class life.  But that’s not what he’s chosen.


What can we say about Martin?  First there’s the obvious rubric about injustice.  “Can’t support injustice”.  What else?  He’s “idealistic”!  He has visions of a perfect world, an ideal world.  What else?  As you said, “religious”, but what else?  What’s a big one?  RESPONSIBILITY!  He’s “Over-Responsible”!  He’s taken on the responsibility for all the black people in America, all the poor people, the working people–when he was assassinated, he was in Memphis, Tennessee marching with striking garbage workers!  So, “Responsible, over-responsible” is a big part of the case, and so is the rubric “Political”.  And as you said, “Intellectual”.  You have to add “Sympathetic”, of course, because he cares!  (If you go to the rubric “Sympathetic”, Sulphur isn’t there!  But Sulphur is there as a 2 under “Selfishness”!)


So, Shifa, when I repertorized (and I may have left out a couple of things) but the remedy that came up #1 was–get ready for it……  Ignatia!  I know, really unexpected!


Oh my god!!!

It is really unexpected, just while reading the case Causticum was there on my mind because of the nature of helping others, fighting for them, providing for them.  But after repertorization Sulphur came and I had the exact same doubt, that Sulphur is selfish, will he go to such extent to help people, to fight for them?


Exactly!  What I see Sulphur doing is arguing with others about the correctness of Martin’s cause (it’s a 3 under “quarrelsome”), because he has probably read a lot about it and fancies that he could tell people a thing or two and be a real authority on the subject!  Sulphur’s a 4 under “Egotism”.  But, as to whether Sulphur would join an organization, lead it, always be where he’s supposed to be, get there on time, attend meetings and so on… I don’t see it!


But I thought lets just send it to you, as that way I will realize my mistakes.  Again “idealistic” rubric, I didn’t think of it; the “perfectionist” rubric also and the “responsibility” rubric was so obvious I couldn’t crack that but very glad I now realize it.


About the “positiveness”, did I say that rubric wasn’t in Murphy’s?  Actually, it is!  I must be losing my mind!  It’s actually, “Positiveness, Optimistic”.  I’ll tell you this, he certainly wasn’t optimistic about his chances of living!  In his last speech he said, “…I’ve been to the mountain top, and I’ve looked over and I’ve seen the Promised Land.  I may not get there with you.  But I know that as a people, will get to the Promised Land!”  He has also said, “If you haven’t found something worth dying for, you’re not fit to live!”  So, “positive”…  Was he “positive”?  He was a realist.  What he was positive about was that nothing would change if you didn’t fight for it and have courage.  “Ambitious”–that was another rubric I picked for him.

Listen, you know what?  I have a story to tell you.  It’s actually about a children’s movie called “Our Friend Martin”–a cartoon.  Here’s how it goes:  A bunch of kids were visiting Martin’s childhood home as part of a field trip from school.  The home is now a museum.  The thing is, Martin’s bedroom turns out to be magical–all due to Martin’s watch.  It enables the boys to time-travel!  It took them back in time to Martin’s childhood.  They become his friends. 

They said, “Martin, come back to the future with us, they named our school after you!  Martin Luther King Middle School.  Martin is curious, so he goes with them.  But when they get to the future, nothing is as it should be!  The school is named after Robert E. Lee and it’s segregated!  The school bus won’t pick them up, they had to walk.  They weren’t allowed to drink from the drinking fountain.

The boys were incredulous!

 “What is going on here?” one of them said. 

Martin said, “Maybe because I left the past and didn’t live my life, it changed the future.  I have to go back.”  The boys said, “No don’t go back, you don’t understand, there’s something we have to tell you!” 

“Don’t tell me,” says Martin, “everyone has a destiny.”  He goes back in time to 1968, there’s a big explosion of gunfire, and all of a sudden the future changes back to the way it was.  Robert E. Lee’s name disappears off the school, the “Whites Only” sign over the water fountain is gone…

You can see the full movie here:



I got side-tracked again, didn’t I?  Where were we?  “Positiveness”…


Yes it’s a very general rubric. But I took it because I felt while reading the case that he told that not all the fellow white people are against them, so I interpret it as a positive outlook.  But thank you for explaining how other remedy are also positive and how it differentiates with one another.  I need to learn how to differentiate BETWEEN REMEDIES!!

Yeah, about Shaqib he didn’t actually shared with me your email yet.

I guess now I have to ask him haha!!

Thank youuu soo much Elainee it’s a joyful learning experience with you always.

Looking forward for more.



Well, you know what?  This has been a very magical time for me too!  Watching all those old videos again, I feel like I’ve gone back in time myself!  I think we need to reacquaint ourselves with Martin Luther King every once in a while, so we don’t forget how great a man he was.

Thanks to all of you who voted!

See you again next time!
Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases and animal cases too!

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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