Clinical Cases

A Simple Case of Sneezing

Written by Fiona Chaff

Homeopath Fiona Chaff presents a case of chronic sneezing in a woman of 17.

A teenager aged 17 visited in December 2016, with spasmodic sneezing, which she had for 3 years, but had got worse since September after she had started college. She wanted treatment because the symptoms were interfering with her studies. Her sneezing was worst in the library in college. She suspected sensitivity to mould and she had symptoms of hay fever in May. She was using Piriton (chlofomaziprene) to suppress the symptoms and had been using it for 3 years. At first it worked well but now it only worked for a short time. She has no idea which plants might have been triggering hay fever. She felt under stress since starting college as the work was more difficult. She is a straight A student and never missed school. She was happiest outside with her horse, feeling at peace when riding with just the two of them.

Presenting Symptoms: Sneezing 6 at a time, following a tickle or itching in the mouth, on the upper palate behind the front teeth. She had a runny nose, and got white mucus in her mouth which she had to spit out. Sneezing has been constant since starting college in September 2016. Her runny nose is worse from washing her hair. She had horses since she was 8 years old, and got a new Welsh/Arab thoroughbred 3 years ago. She started taking Piriton about this time. Her father is allergic to horses and has to avoid them.


Pains down left leg, when she is riding there is no strength. There is a gradual increase in pain when not riding. There is not as much control of the leg when trying to compete. The leg feels numb, and it aches first. This is situated at the ankle, where ligaments and tendons go over the bone. She has it year round, for 3 years.

Veruccas for 3 years. They disappeared a year ago. She has one left now which is tender when it has pressure. She thinks she got them from the changing rooms at school. She has been using a proprietary medicine to freeze them off.

Some of her hair fell out and her nails became brittle over the last year.

Time Line

2000 Chicken pox 1 year

All vaccinations

2009 first rode a horse, and got a pony.

2012 Shingles summer. Menarche.

2013 reacting to hay – sneezing

2014 Veruccas – New horse

2015 BCG vaccination. Started with anti-histamines.

2016 HPV vaccination. Sister started with hay fever. GCSEs. Verrucas disappear. Some of her hair began falling out

2017 Meningitis vaccination. Started college.

Family History

Dad: has asthma, hay fever and is allergic to horses. He takes 10 minutes to react to horse saliva with urticaria. He has a fast heart, but this has not been medically verified.

Granddad: hay fever

Sister: started with hay fever last year

Mum migraines: Pain in left leg same as her daughter. Weakness when she puts weight on it

Grandmother: sinus problems at a young age

Granddad: heart problems, colon cancer

Causative factors

She has inherited susceptibility to allergies to horses and tendency to hay fever and asthma from her father. She does not react as dramatically as her father. She has inherited a leg problem from her mother. She is managing to restrict her body reaction to sneezing at the moment but symptoms are being suppressed by Piriton. Time of onset of allergies coincides with puberty, so increase in hormones may have an influence on health.   Anti-histamines have been taken on and off for 3 years, but they don’t help for long. The maintaining cause is spending time with her horse, but mentally she enjoys that time best. Vaccines may be increasing her susceptibility to horse allergy and undermining her health. She is experiencing some stress involved with change of school to college, plus exams.  She reacted to the meningitis vaccine by coughing and sneezing, then had a high temperature. This may be a good sign that her immune system is healthy.

Fever is a common side-effect of meningitis Bexco.   It contains histidine, which is used for allergic diseases. It can cause folic acid deficiency, which can manifest as muscle weakness.

Local symptoms

Tickling in the upper palate behind the front teeth before sneezing, from September, in the library, between 4 and 6pm, and in bed at night. Runny nose, worse from getting hair wet. Left leg, when she rides, no strength, gradual increase in pain. Leg numb – aches first. Ligaments and tendons year round for 2-3 years. > warmth and motion.  When horse spit goes on her skin she gets urticaria.

Repertory (Murphy)

Allergies APIS ARS RHUS TOX with hives RHUS TOX

Allergies to what they most love   nat m carc

Frequent sneezing ALL-C ARS MERC NUX V COCC-C PULS SULPH  rhus t

Paroxysmal sneezing  agar, gels, ip, kali-I, nat-m, rhus-t sabad stram sulph

Coryza watery discharge  ALL-C    ARS  EUPHR   KALI_IOD, NAT_M  PULS SABAD SULPH rhus tox

Motion amel dulc phos rhus-t nux v

Wet getting

General head BELL, puls, rhus-t, sep

Mouth itching  rhus t

Pains left leg RHUS-T, ARS euph, SULPH

On motion amel RHUS-T

Limbs numbness RHUS_T

WARTS RHUS-t, sulph  painful rhus-t

Energy drops 4-6pm rhus t

Rhus tox was appropriate according to the symptoms of the tickling in the mouth before sneezing, and the symptoms of numbness and aching in leg better from movement. Her favourite thing was to ride on her horse, which gave her great peace – better from movement and being outdoors.

Rhus tox has an affinity to tendons and ligaments, and mucous membranes. Motion limbers up, and symptoms appear on left side. Symptoms are worse at night. The more she moves the better she feels. Mucus worse from wetting hair. Symptoms are worse at night. It covers spasmodic sneezing. Rhus tox is a remedy for shingles, itching. warts, and urticaria. Symptoms are worse from restriction of movement, on going to bed and better from exercise. Symptoms include numbness of parts paralysed. Symptoms are worse from prolonged sitting (Murphy). Burning itching in mouth (Clarke) better from continued motion and change of position.

There is suppression from Piriton and freezing warts. The  side-effects of piriton (chlorphenamine) are thickening of mucus in chest or throat, with a dry mouth. Muscular weakness can arise and symptoms of nettle rash, according to The Prescribed Drug Guide.

Susceptibility to hay fever, could be eliminated in a couple of seasons.

Rhus tox 30 was prescribed daily as she had maintaining causes on a daily basis, from horses and studying in the library. Follow up was in January, a month later. She had no more sneezing after taking the Rhus tox daily. She took nothing for one month but I told her to resume taking Rhus tox if sneezing began again. As her symptoms continued to improve, Carcinosin 30 was prescribed to be taken monthly from March until May as an inter-current. This also covers the allergic tendency, and the family history of cancer, and ill effects of vaccinations. It covers hay fever, warts and prickling in palate.  It also covers pain in lower limbs > gentle exertion. <riding

At a follow up in May she just had a runny nose with hay fever. She was in the middle of exams, and had been taking Piriton again.  Euphrasia 30 given to address the symptoms, as it is a remedy for hay fever and bland discharge from nose.

She did not return for further treatment, as she felt her health had improved sufficiently.  Remedy reaction indicates that the patient is better with no aggravation. The pathology is functional and mild. The prognosis is good and the remedy usually works for several months to several years if no major antidotes disturb the organism’s balance.

About the author

Fiona Chaff

I have been using homeopathy since I was 18 and just turned 60 this year. I qualified as a homeopath in 2016, with a BSc(Hons) in Homeopathy from Middlesex University, in partnership with the Centre for Homeopathic Education in London. I studied at the Royal Homeopathic Hospital in London, now the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Care. I had a practice room in Tenbury Wells, Worcestershire, UK for 3 years and have just moved to Wrexham in North Wales to set up a new practice. I originally came from North Wales, so I am going back to where I came from. I lived in Shetland for 27 years and home-educated 4 children and used homeopathy on them and a lot of our own animals.

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