Clinical Cases

A Case of Severe Asthma

shetye case july image

Asthma and then pneumonia yield to the remedy selected on the totality of symptoms.

Illustrative case No. 4

This is a case of a 10 year old girl who was brought for consultation in October 2001. She was suffering from severe asthma since the age of three and was completely dependent on bronchodilators every day. Due to constant suffering she had developed a hunch back. Also, her growth was affected and she was the smallest girl in her class.

After going through her case thoroughly we started her treatment and gradually she improved over the period of 3 years. From day one, all allopathic medicines were stopped and each acute exacerbation of asthma was taken care of only with the indicated homoeopathic remedy.

By the end of year 2005 her asthmatic attacks had reduced in frequency and intensity considerably and she had developed eruptions in the bends of her elbows. Then on the 6th of February, 2006 she came to the clinic feeling very sick. For one day she had developed high fever (102°F) with severe headache. On entering the consulting chamber the first thing she complained of was severe stomach-ache … “its paining too much !” she wailed.

Observation: she looked very ill and in great pain and discomfort. She walked in bending forward. The night before she had vomited. She told us that she was feeling extremely weak. She said, “I feel so weak that I will faint”.

She said, “I am feeling very breathless and I can’t even cough! It hurts so much”. On enquiring further, she revealed that she was scared to cough as it caused severe pain in her stomach and ribs.

Observation: as she narrated her symptoms, she looked and sounded as if in intense pain. She coughed very shallowly … as if trying to suppress the cough. She had severe body ache. Her headache was aggravated while standing. We asked her to lie down on the examination table. As she climbed onto it she almost cried in pain and complained, “Every movement is so painful!! Even this is causing me so much of pain!”

After thorough physical examination, we asked for investigations and a chest Skiagram, as we suspected pneumonia.

As the totality of symptoms was very clear we prescribed her the remedy without waiting for the investigations to come in.

Our Perception:

The first thing that was most striking to us in this case was the PAINFULNESS …. she complained of extreme pain that was characterized by worse from slightest motion. That was the grand general ruling of that presenting state … as Dr. Kent has written and we quote … ” There are generals, common, and peculiar symptoms. The General is useful in the sense of the General of an army, and the generals command all other symptoms and really controls the patient.”

She was prescribed Bryonia 30, a single minimum dose on 06th February 2006.“Bryonia has marked action on all serous membranes and the viscera they contain, causing inflammation and exudation… in this case Pneumonia. It has aversion to least motion and its effects are very painful; on coughing holds sides of chest, head … every spot in the body is painful to pressure. Also, it has physical weakness on slightest exertion. Its characteristic modalities are worse from least motion, deep breathing, touch.” (Materia Medica of Homoeopathic Medicines by Dr. S. R. Phatak)

The next day her chest Skiagram date: 07-02 2006 came in as well as the investigations. The chest Skiagram revealed left lower lobe consolidation and collapse. (07-02-2006)

Close up of the same chest Skiagram. (07-02-2006)

This case also expresses the importance of physical examination, as this little girl had come in with the complaint of her stomach hurting severely! You have to listen to what the body says and the body can never lie to a carefully observing physician.


The very next day, she started feeling better in all her complaints. Her fever, headache, stomach-ache, pain in the ribs, weakness all had reduced in intensity.

In the following 2 days she improved speedily. Her fever reached normal and on the 5th day she walked into the clinic smiling! She wanted our permission to attend school. In the next 7 days she completely recovered and a follow-up chest Skiagram was done on 20th February 2006 which showed complete healing.

Normal Chest skiagram.(20-02-2006)

The medicine was repeated in deviated doses as and when required.

About the author

Prasad Shetye & Falguni Khariwala

Dr. Prasad Shetye has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath for 14 years. His ability to dream resulted in the birth of the “Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre©” (CHRC) and that of Nyanga©” the ‘educational trust to disseminate and propagate advanced studies in Classical Homoeopathy’.  He teaches in Bombay, Pune, Goa and Nasik. At CHRC with sister Dr. Falguni, he is intensely involved in teaching a training program designed for doctors and interns in India and abroad. He and Dr. Falguni edit ’Homoeopathy First’ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre© (CHRC). He is dedicated to ‘Classical Homoeopathy’ and is very vocal against speculative homoeopathy. He is an avid admirer of Dr. Hahnemann and the way he illustrates Organon makes Organon come alive.
Dr. Falguni Khariwala has been a consulting Classical Homoeopath in practice for the last 16 years. Along with her brother Dr. Prasad Shetye, she has been invited abroad to give Seminars and under their trust ‘Nyanga’ they regularly conduct Seminars in Bombay. She was instrumental in sowing the seed of the Training Program in Classical Homoeopathy. Together with her brother, she edits ’Homoeopathy First’ the newsletter of Classical Homoeopathic Research Centre. They have written a series of seven articles that were published in Homoeopathic Links-International Journal for Classical Homoeopathy. She is very experienced also in the treatment of infants and children.  Dr. Khariwala is a Classical Hahnemannian in her thought, word and deed as far as homoeopathy and life is concerned.


    • Dear Rochelle,
      The term deviated doses pertains to the administration of the dose where the potency of each dose is gradually ascended to the next level e.g. after a 30 potency is prescribed the next dose is of the 31st potency and the next is the 32nd potency and so on, i.e. the degree of every dose is deviated some-what from the preceding and following.
      Kindly read the aphorisms in the following order. First 275, 276, 277, 278,279, … go to –> 272, … then go to –> 246, 247 and 248 … to understand this better. Master Hahnemann lucidly explains why and how it needs to be done. If you still feel it difficult kindly write back, we will send you all the explanatory notes. Yours in Homoeopathy, Dr. Prasad

      • DR PRASHAD

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