Clinical Cases

A Case of Covid Pneumonia

Written by Chanda Shah

Dr. Chanda Shah treats a woman of 56 for COVID pneumonia. Wakes to get breath, aggravation after sleep, stabbing pain, respiration difficult lying down and squeezing chest pain were among the symptoms leading to the simillimum.

On April 4, 2020 a 56-year-old American female contacted me on WhatsApp, saying she had covid pneumonia. She asked if I could help her with homoeopathic medicine. She messaged back saying that she is unable to talk, as she is very breathless. She said she would send me an email explaining her symptoms.

Following is her email verbatim.

“I started with itchy eyes and sore throat on March 12th which seemed to be


From March 16th has a feeling of a lump in my throat which was stuck and couldn’t bring it down. Took 1 dose of Mucinex for it as per the doctor here. Next day I got loose motions just for a day and I had taken only probiotic for it. I had a slight cough, no phlegm, was never a very bad cough.

On March 20th I developed low grade fever with chills. Fever never went over 101. I had taken a course of azithromycin starting that Sunday as dr had said we need to rule out bacterial infection. Did a 5 day course of that.

I was still not feeling good and went for Covid test on 23rd. It came bsck positive on 26th. They do flu and strep swab also which was negative. I was fever free from 26th March. From 30th March I was feeling better overall so started doing routine activities at home. Was able to manage okay, also couple of days I went and walked for a few minutes in backyard.

Since last Sunday 5th April I walked for a few minutes and got very heavy breathing. Since then feeling more shortness of breath when climbing stairs or when lying down. Sitting at rest was okay. Since yesterday climbing stairs and talking after that, I become nearly out of breath, or talking on the phone for more than 10-15 minutes.

Current symptoms: Constant heaviness in chest, feel a tightness, become breathless when climbing stairs or talking. When at rest I still have the heaviness in chest but not breathless. Night lying down is very uncomfortable. Since yesterday also pain right upper back, kind of a stabbing pain. O2 levels 97%, pulse fluctuates between 70 to 85 at different times of the day.

BP was high yesterday 168/96 in spite of medication. Lot of anxiety built up, keep thinking how to manage it, what to do, haven’t been sleeping more than 3-4 hrs since two weeks. Get up from sleep every 45 minutes to an hour breathing really fast. Then cannot fall back to sleep.

Takes me a couple of hrs to fall back to sleep. Today persistent pain in right side of upper back too. When I am uncomfortable, I start getting a few burps too –feel that may be due to anxiety. Have been doing deep breathing, steam, hot water etc.

I think now knowing I have pneumonia triggered more anxiety as I thought I was improving last week. Thirst and appetite is normal; maybe thirst is a little more or I am constantly drinking more warm water.

So right now tightness in chest, heaviness and shortness of breath along with pain in back is main symptom and lack of sleep. I really think I need to rest and sleep better which would help. Not able to focus thoughts on anything. Feeling extreme stress and anxiety levels. Also worried a lot about family.

I was not clear about her symptoms. So, I asked her a few more  questions on

WhatsApp. This is what she said:

“I am not comfortable lying down. Sleep in upright position. Pain in the back <lying on rt side. I get up every few minutes breathing very fast.

Unable to focus on anything.

Lot of anxiety, especially about health of family.

Craving for warm water”.

This patient is in the U.S. where homoeopathic medicines are not available easily. She had Arsenic album 200 with her. I told her to take few doses. In the meantime, I tried to locate some pharmacies there.

After 2 doses of Arsenic Album 200, she got more breathless. Her husband called the ambulance. Paramedics came and checked her O2 levels. As it was 97, they advised her to stay at home as hospitals were full.

On April 4-2020 she said:

“Dyspnoea has increased. Someone is squeezing the middle of my chest. There is choking & constriction in chest. Feel somebody has put a knife in my chest. There is lump in throat, I can’t swallow. I have urge to drink warm water, so that I can swallow.  I am belching continuously and it affects my breathing. I am sleeping in a chair”.


Now the picture got clear & I selected the following rubrics:

  • Chest inflammation, lungs pneumonia right
  • Chest inflammation. Lungs pneumonia, apex, upper right
  • Respiration difficult <ascending, talking
  • Generalities, pain stabbing
  • Chest heaviness, choking, constricting
  • Respiration difficult <lying down, eructations
  • Respiration difficult >sitting, eructations
  • Chest pain, squeezing
  • Desire for warm drinks
  • Throat lump <swallowing
  • Sleep, waking, breath wakes to get

I decided to give Lachesis to the patient based on:  

Allens Keynotes: All symptoms <after sleep or agg wakes him from sleep. As soon as he falls asleep, the breathing stops (Am-c, Grind, Lac-can, Op).

Boericke: Sensation of suffocation & strangulation on lying down. feels he must take a deep breath.

Borland’s Pneumonia: With chest involvement, they always have a horrible feeling of fullness in the chest just behind the sternum. With respiratory distress patient always have a horrible choking sensation. They get acute stabbing pains.

April 7th  Radiological study concluded she had covid pneumonia  (below) 


Lachesis 200 TDS on April 11-2020 . (Camphora 1M as prophylactic for rest of the family. They had tested negative).

On April 12th, 2020:  Patient was 30-40 % better. She had tightness in chest, got up in the middle of the night, but was able to fall asleep soon. Appetite good. Heaviness in chest is there.

Advised to continue Lachesis TDS.

April 13 -2020    Sleeping better. Heaviness and constriction have reduced, but it increases on waking. First time she spoke to me on phone. Heaviness increased after climbing stairs.

Continue Lachesis BD.

April 14, 2020  Couldn’t sleep well, woke up every hour due to fast breathing.

Lachesis TDS

April 15 & 16, 2020 60-70 % better. Sleeping well. Tightness in chest is less. Pain on right side of upper back persisting.

Went up and down a flight of stairs 7-8 times.

Did not take Lachesis for these 2 days.

April 17- 4  -2020:   Again, got tightness in chest & heavy breathing, <talking on phone for 15 min. Got news that friend’s husband died of covid. Advised to take one dose of Lachesis 200. 

April 18  and onwards : Feeling fine. Started cooking at home. Started doing office work from April 4-20.

Let me emphasize that from the time she started homoeopathic treatment (on April 11, 2020), she didn’t take any other medicine whatsoever. She had taken azithromycin from 20th to 25th March.

I spoke to her on April 24th.  She is very busy cooking and doing office work and managing well. She said she is 90 % better. A little tiredness remains as she is working a lot.

About the author

Chanda Shah

Dr Chanda Shah has done L.C.E.H from CMP Homoeopathic Medical College, Mumbai, India in 1985. In 2004, she did a Certificate course in Food and Nutrition from Sophia College in Mumbai. Thereafter she was teaching “Basics in Human Physiology” at Sophia College for five years. Later in 2006, she did her M.D. in Homoeopathy. She has her private practice near Grant road (west) in Mumbai.


  • Great presentation ! Thank you for taking time and sharing your experience. Stay well and safe.

  • Appreciation for posting your case. I would have liked to know what questions and how you posed them to pt. Best wishes.

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