Clinical Cases

A Small Acute That Required an Uncommon Remedy – Treating the Patient Not the Illness

Written by Ann Sorrell

A case bereavement, where the after effects required Arnica.


Female age 55, Lydia

Occupation: Office Manager, UK

Description:  stout brunette with light eyes



Lydia says for the past week she’s been very busy at work but also involved in the death proceedings of a close colleague – busy organising the deceased colleague’s family, friends, etc.

Acute complaint:

Started Wednesday afternoon and towards evening she began feeling absolutely shattered as if coming down with the ‘flu’.  She felt totally dragged down as if near collapse and had a painful ulcerated patch in the lower outer part of her left nostril, worse for touch. The bones around her eyes ached and she said it was possibly due to extra PC work, but also suspected it was the emotional strain.



She was exhausted from her steadily increasing workload over the year (2012), and she’d been deeply emotionally traumatised from the loss of her very close colleague (bereavement). Excessive stress was added as she also had to write a long report on a deadline. There’d been a sudden autumnal cold dry snap so there was a lot of ‘flu about the office. Lydia appears to be a physically and emotionally robust woman whose strength has been overtaxed recently.


Remedy: Arnica 30c



Friday: Lydia phoned from work in the morning to say she’d woken a few times Thursday night but, strangely enough, each time she woke up she’d noticed a gradual improvement generally – and also with the nasal ulceration which seemed to be diminishing. This morning she felt much better, brighter in herself, with more energy.  To her surprise the ulcer in her nose had completely gone, along with the aching pain around her eyes.

Saturday: phoned to say that yesterday around 3 pm she felt very tired again – and that the ulcer had partially returned yesterday evening after a busy day. Said she keeps poking at the ulcer to see how it’s doing.

Monday: she said the ulcer was back but not as bad as before. It itches from the moisture in her nose so she dries it with a piece of tissue paper. Because her initial response was good, I did not re-prescribe.

Wednesday:  phoned to say a large scab had come off the ulcer. And she feels so much better.

Thursday: said she was dreading the funeral but had finished the Report on time. To her delight, she said she feels one hundred percent better than last Wednesday. All her ‘flu symptoms had gone – no facial aching, no nasal ulcers – and she wasn’t as tired any more.

Reasons for choosing Arnica 30c:

M. Shock

M. Ailments from mental traumatism and grief

M. Patients who worry and exaggerate trivial symptoms (Vermeulen)

P. Influenza (Boericke)

P. Sore, lame, bruised feeling

P. Nose feels sore (Boericke)

P. Ulcers, inside nose (Kent)

P. Over-exertion (Vermeulen)


Being a busy business woman, Nux Vomica came to mind  but she wasn’t irritable or pressured enough, neither did she have the tense physique of Nux – she was more overwhelmed with the sudden shock of the loss. The aching in the bones of her face around her eyes could have been due to eye-strain (Ruta) but I thought it may have been due to an inability to cry at that point in time (Nat M, Ignatia). However, I didn’t feel she really needed to discharge her grief – she was too wound up with practical matters. I had the impression she felt duty-bound (Aurum) to sort her colleagues affairs out, and the deceased’s family seemed to expect her to take initial charge as she was a very capable individual and they were numbed by it all. However, she wanted to be let alone to deal with things, sort them out, as if there was nothing really the matter emotionally – just a bit of tiredness that was all. And it was this attitude that swayed me to successfully choose Arnica.


About the author

Ann Sorrell

Ann Sorrell is a classical homeopath and writer. She has had over 40 years’ international experience in homeopathy after training formally in Hahnemannian principles in the 1980s. Some of her books are Homeopathy for Stress, Homeopathy for Childhood Diseases and Homeopathy for Influenza. Ann is currently studying with Prof. George Vithoulkas at the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Alonissos, Greece, and is an advocate of the Academy’s academic E-learning Program of Classical Homeopathy. She is active online in the promotion and education of classical homeopathy. Further details:

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