Clinical Cases

A Sub Acute Case of Coughing

Homeopath Carmen Mueller-Nigg solves a case of chronic cough in a young boy.

In January 2011 a 13 year old boy complained about an irritating cough lasting two weeks and turning even worse within the last three days.

I asked him what happened. While coughing continuously he answered that three days ago he was badly surprised by a test in school. He felt very angry about it and was scared about the result. Prior to that there was nothing particular that would have bothered him.

Summary of the further conversation:

  • he is coughing the whole day, indoors and outdoors
  • no pain yet
  • no expectoration
  • aggravate (<) through talking, being questioned, auscultation, being outdoors in the cold air
  • ameliorates (>) through lying on the back, during the night, warm drinks, in the car
  • shy, reticent during consultation
  • little appetite

Auscultation without pathological findings.

Now I wondered about the nights. He answered that the nights are no problem at all. I repeated “really, no problems while lying down?” He confirmed and added that as soon as he lies down he is doing fine. This was an important detail! Usually coughing gets worse on lying and/or some time during the night, but not in every case.  And, it has to be considered whether the lying makes it better or being covered and therefore the warmth ameliorates the complaint.

To test his statement I asked him to lie down. As soon as his head touched the pillow of the examination couch the coughing stopped. While he was lying he was easily able to speak. As soon as he sat up, the coughing started again. I let him do that three times – which was uncomfortable for him, but important for me! It definitively lead me to the remedy Manganum C200, 2 doses to be taken within 15 minutes.

Two hours after the consultation his mother called to give feedback:

Already on the way back home (in the car) his coughing was considerably better. Arrived at home he immediately cooked something by himself and ate a big portion. During cooking he realized that his cough had gone since he left the car.

Three months later he still was without cough.

Differential diagnosis:

Manganum belongs to the transition metals and is being used in the metal industry. It is a seldom prescribed remedy in homeopathy treatment. It was interesting to discover the key symptom “coughing with strong amelioration through lying down” so precisely in a sub- acute case. His personality also covered the aspects of aggravation through being questioned, from talking and his being a shy type.


Rubrics Remedies Why not?
coughing> lying on the back Acon, Bry, Lyc, Mang AconBry



  • only in acute cases (within 24 hours)


< lying, such a strong pain that he avoids moving


< 4 p.m. until midnight, > after midnight

does not admit that he felt angry (test)

Coughing> warm drinks Ars, Hep, Lyc, Nux-v, Rhus-t, Sil, Spong Ars










Sil, Spong

<< lying flat, < during night and especially at midnight,
> lying with head upmoaning all the timerather being used in productive cough and < lying 

< during nights, lying

easily irritable


< lying on back, after midnight

> after getting up in the morning


< lying

Coughing< talking Bell, Caust, Cupr, Dros, Hep, Phos, Rumx, Spong, Stann, Tub Bell
































rather being used in the acute phase and combined with painvery irritable< during nights


> drinking cold water

> after midnight


> drinking cold water

> rubbing the chest

> prone position

< during nights


< as soon as head touches the pillow, nights

< resting


< as soon as head touches the pillow

< days and nights

> head up


rather being used in productive coughs


shy but friendly, open minded

coughing < lying on the back

> prone position or on right side


< lying, > head up


has a particular weakness in the chest so that he’s almost unable to talk.

< warm drinks


coughing all night without waking up. Very sensitive to cold air but desire for fresh air.




About the author

Carmen Mueller-Nigg

Carmen Mueller-Nigg has worked in the personnel department of an international non profit organization. From 2003 until 2007 she trained at the SHI Homeopathic College and graduated in 2007. Since then she practices at the SHI clinic in a team of 11 homeopaths under the supervision of Dr. Mohinder Singh Jus. Additionally she supervises students during their practical training in the SHI clinic.


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