Clinical Cases

A Teen with Asthma and Food Allergies Treated Constitutionally with Carcinosinum


Dr. Ranjini Venkatanathan shares a case of asthma and food allergies in a boy of 15. Carcinosin helped reduce his dependence on steroids and antibiotics. His paternal grandfather had cancer maternal grandmother had bronchitis so there was a big hereditary factor involved.

This is a case of a 15-year-old boy who does not live locally. I have never personally met him and we have always done the consultations only on video call. His mother wanted me to treat him for his long-term allergies and asthma as she is fed up of putting him on nebulizers, steroids and antibiotics all the time. Case presented ad verbatim.

(Mother talks first on video call)

He was born C section. He had some respiratory distress when he was born and he was put in an incubator. They said he was dairy intolerant, did not encourage me to breast feed him. He was on soy formula. When 6 months old he was diagnosed with asthma. When he was 3 years old, he broke out into a rash very severe after eating walnuts. They diagnosed him to have severe nut allergies. He has tried peanut cookie in the past just one bite, he threw up and seemed okay, but he had delayed allergic sensitivity, he was swelling up like a balloon after 2 hours of eating it and hospitalized. They gave him IV. He can’t eat lentils, he has hives, allergic reactions, cough, breathing difficulties. If he eats chickpeas he is very intolerant to it. I am vegetarian, and I wanted to keep him vegetarian, he falls sick if I give him any lentils. Most cookies don’t suit him, it starts with runny nose, sneezing for a few days and that turns into a terrible cough, then it becomes a barking cough. When we take him to the doctor, they say he is on the way to pneumonia as they want me to give him Pulmicort (steroid inhaler). They want to give it to him for everyday of the year. This time they have given him 400mg of prednisone orally.He can’t eat the white of an egg, very allergic to it and it leads to the runny nose and barking cough. Now I have started to give him chicken. I make him vegetable stews and soups.

He has asthma which gets worse when he has this bronchitis situation happening. 10 days ago, he took a course of antibiotics. He became better and again he started to sneeze, cough and had a fever for one-night, terrible severe barking cough, I gave him one dose of Spongia 30 but it didn’t help. The doctor gave him another dose of prednisone 400 mg, and Zithromax (antibiotic). It’s been about a week now since he finished it. It’s winter time on the East coast and anyway the flu is going around.

He is a very sensitive boy. He is studious, in the honors program in school, does his studies on his own, a very soft kid, very soft spoken. Shy, he is very kind, helpful, they gave him an award for being a kind kid in school.He is musical as well, plays the piano. He plays football. He has bouts of getting sick between the football season, he has had a lot of albuterol through his life. I give him a little nebulizer. He is on Pulmicort (corticosteroid) now, one puff morning and night to prevent asthma attacks. They have had him on Pulmicort since he was 7 years old. He was on Loritidine (anti histamine) I am not giving him the Loritidine tabs as it doesn’t really help.

He is very sensitive, He never uses a curse word. At his age in his school the other kids are using it. When I use a curse word, I feel it is penetrating his soul. He is very calm on the outside but deep inside I know it affects him. He is sensitive to criticism yes, also a little argumentative, he is quite stubborn. He will keep asking for what he wants till I give it to him. He is not always obedient, I am not comfortable to send him to the playground alone, so I walk him to a corner and watch him from there, we had an argument about that. I had put a parental control on his

phone, and ipad, he hacked into it and changed that. Now he is 24 hours on his phone, he was gaming on school nights. He is making his own servers, talking to people on the internet, and I have issues with that.

(Puts patient on line)

Nothing really. I have asthma, allergies. I am allergic to all nuts. My throat closes up and I feel I can’t breathe, usually within a minute. I carry the EpiPen. Few weeks ago caught a virus, I had a diarrhea, trouble breathing, coughing, sneezing. If I have peanuts I get hives on my skin.I like sugary stuff, salty chips, pizza. I don’t hate anything.I like both heat and cold. I am sensitive to cold more. I get asthma more in the cold. I am comfortable being out in the sun.Thirst- 9-10 cups of water a day. Mostly I don’t feel that thirsty.I am not really sure how to describe myself. My school is not really competitive, I don’t mind being on the top of the class. I go to the park for 2 hours after school, after that I do my homework and then I watch TV. My dad always asks me how much I have but I do my homework on my own.

I am neat. I keep things neat on my own.I don’t get scolded really, but I don’t think I would feel bad so much, maybe a little bit. No specific fears.I don’t have dreams that much.I always do my homework on my own from fourth grade. I am now in 8th grade.I have a small circle of friends that I am close to. They play sports in my team, honors classes- they pick you based on your abilities. We discuss sports, games.I was learning piano, I had a teacher, I play on and off.While playing football I take the nasal spray before it and then I am okay. If I run too hard and if I keep on running I feel down. The others in the team are faster than me. I end up with shortness of breath often, I am the only one who has asthma in the group.

(Mother comes back online)

He is an independent kid. He gets almost 100% for homework. Whatever he takes up and makes his mind he does it really well. Even when he started football, he wasn’t athletic, because of the asthma his running was slow, but he loved it so much, he was taking keen interest in it. His running got better, he lost some weight, and I was giving him treatment. The football did a lot of good for him, and he developed confidence in his own ability.In general, he is like any 15-year-old with a lot of energy. He will play in the park till he drops, he will run and play even when he is gasping and breathless. Only when he has bad bouts of flu or chest infections he slows down on his own. He charges into the house like a bull after coming from school and he is running to the park.In his work he is detail oriented. He has a very keen observation. He is very observant and quick thinking. Say if he is on the street he notices people and things around him.

Teachers are pleased with him. He has absences in school due to his illness that they are concerned about. He is helpful, he helped the Italian teacher with the media stuff cos he is good with computers, he is kind.

He is very defensive when criticized. He won’t acknowledge that he is in the wrong even if he is wrong, he will try to argue the point with you. He will not just take it. He will ask why, I have to give him an explanation, he still comes back with a little bit of argument. If it really makes sense to him he agrees. He is a calm, sweet kid.

He is a little sloppy around the house cos mommy is there to take care of him. With his books and things like that he is organized. He showers in the morning even in the winters.He is a little secretive that he went ahead and shaved for 2 months on his own. I had told him to wait before so that’s why he didn’t tell us.

Before this year, he would put on whatever I would put out for him to wear. Only since a year he wants to buy what is fashionable.He likes sugary candies, chips. He likes chocolate a bit, but he prefers vanilla. I never buy sugary candies. He likes kit kat, chocolate chip cookies.

Paternal grandfather had a very rare form of cancer and he died due to it. Maternal grandmother had bronchitis. Mother asthma.

He gets a fever if he has a bad chest infection. He has had fevers, sometimes it goes up to 102. When he sleeps at night, we have the heater on and I keep the windows slightly open, he keeps kicking his covers off. He prefers cold. He goes out to play with a thin jacket, and while playing he takes it off.He used to grind his teeth quite a lot in his sleep. His body twitches in his sleep.

When he gets angry, he might push something a little bit. Sometimes when very upset he shakes his head and he cries. Especially when he wants something he feels is not so unreasonable.As he is growing older he doesn’t want to involve us with anything that’s going on in school. He does not always share with us what is going on in school.When he was younger he was very open, always smiling, never seen ‘a child smiling like that’ kind of baby.


What stood out prominently in the case was the strong hereditary background. There is a family history of asthma which he developed during the first few months after birth and has been suffering since. He was

found to be lactose intolerant in the beginning days of his life and further developed multiple food allergies within the first 3 years. This early manifestation shows a strong genetic influence leading to the development of his allergic constitution and the need for a remedy which can deeply influence this case to help him long term. Also,what is striking is a teenage boy who is so sensitive to rude talk and cursing (which many teenagers use and are insensitive to). His mom says,‘When I use a curse word, I feel it penetrating his soul’! He also is extremely responsible and independent, never has to be told to do his homework, studious and the topper in class without the parents having to remind him of his schoolwork. Also,he is fond of helping people,pleasing them,he helps his teacher’s,has been awarded for being a kind kid in school.

My first remedy choice was Carcinosinum. Suitable for cases with a strong family history of cancer,diabetes or respiratory diseases like TB and asthma. They have a strong need to please everyone. They give back to the family and friends all the love and support they have received from them, always putting others need’s ahead of their own. It could be in terms of performing well in school to please their parents or being helpful to their teachers and friends in school.They are usually very responsible right from childhood, precocious children. Known to be sensitive to rudeness; affectionate and friendly. They can be artistic by nature, like music and dancing.Asthma, spasms of the bronchi are common physical manifestations of this remedy.

Remedy: Carcinosinum LM1 OD for 20 days to be had with distilled water. (Doses for acute situations, if needed after the loading doses to be taken under my supervision)

1.5 months  later Springtime

I feel better. I don’t have wheezing as much as before, 80% better. I usually get allergies at this time of the year in the spring, sneezing, my eyes get red, I haven’t had that this time.I feel I can breathe better.I started to feel better about a week into the remedy.I felt okay while playing, I was getting a little asthma while playing not as much as before. Energy is good.I don’t know about the food allergies, haven’t tried anything yet. I am still number one student in class.

Took one booster dose 3 days ago, I fell down in the playground and sprained my ankle. Next day I felt little better.

(Mother online)

He had taken antibiotics before starting Homeopathy.He had a barking cough, sneezing, and it usually happens when he is exposed to something that he is allergic to. He was bad even after the antibiotics. His chest cleared up after the Homeopathic remedy. His barking cough cleared up in the 20 days. Three days ago, he ate something in school, he had runny nose, sneezing and I gave him one dose and he got better. Earlier it would always progress to the lungs, not this time. On the same day he had the ankle sprain, he was limping and got better the next day.He can’t eat any lentils. I have raised him vegetarian, occasionally on chicken. He can’t even eat the white of the eggs.I am not giving him Pulmicort since 6 weeks; earlier he had to take it every day.

Remedy: Wait.

Use for relapses or any acute situation as and when needed, under my supervision

1.5 months later beginning of summer

I was feeling nauseous the whole day. Now I had chicken and I feel better. Last 2 days when I was in school I felt nauseous.I have been okay, just coughing occasionally. The times I coughed I took the doses, I would stop coughing with it. Coughing for 5-10 minutes. I would have taken 2-3 doses so far since the last follow up. I would take a dose at night and by next day I am better.

Maybe a month and a half ago, I had one asthma attack, it was mild. The remedy helped for it. I am better this year than last.I am not that allergic. A week ago, I had a runny nose, I don’t remember what I ate. I had it for an hour or two. I haven’t had lentils in a while for a few months. I start coughing when I take egg whites. I haven’t had peanuts forever.I still have 2 more weeks of school. We have 3 tests coming up, more relaxed now. I am still a first ranker.Earlier asthma was twice or thrice a month, every other month or so some months more than others. This time it was only twice in the past 4-5 months since we started the treatment.Energy is good. Sleep is good.I play football with my friends. I don’t have a girlfriend; my mom doesn’t want me to have one and I have obeyed her.

(Mother comes in, patient leaves)

I have avoided taking him to the doctor after starting his remedy. On Saturday he wanted to eat eggs.He is in the football league, and he came down immediately with coughing.I am unable to give him any of the lentils. He throws up eating a little bit of chickpeas too. I haven’t tried any of the lentils so far in the past 2 months. (Advised to try reintroducing some foods after another 3-4 months).

I have had to give him 3 doses in the last 10 days.I am trying to give him chicken, vegetables, fruits, I want to try fish.(Mother seems to control a lot of things. She gives him the doses, doesn’t want him to have a girlfriend, walks him to the park to play etc. Advise her it’s important that she gives him more space and let him be independent).

Remedy: Wait, no change

  • months later in summer

(Mom nudging him from back, telling him what to tell me)

Things are better, I am not having that much asthma any more. I am not coughing randomly anymore. I was running a lot, I was doing practice for my football, and after some time I had chest pain, I had to sit on the side for 15 mins, it went down a little bit and then I went back to play again. I took one dose after I got home. I think it helped a bit, it helped with the chest tightness and didn’t lead to an asthma. Asthma was only when I ran around a lot.Allergies- I had eggs, it didn’t lead to a reaction, I have had it 3 times in the past 4-5 months. I haven’t had lentils in quite a while.I am not having any of the other allergies like sneezing, runny nose. Last summer I would have runny nose, sneeze, sometimes my eyes would be red.

I took the Albuterol once. I haven’t taken Pulmicort in 5 months, since I started with you. My doctor initially didn’t understand why I was not taking it, but he is okay with me not taking it if this is working.I have my summer vacations now, I have just been playing football all the time.I was always relaxed about my exams. I got 85 in most of my tests now before the summer vacations.I had to take 4 doses since the last time I spoke with you, all the time it worked. I see improvement since the last visit. I haven’t had a major asthma attack now. Earlier, I used to have it at least 3 times a month.

(Mom comes on line, patient leaves)

The trigger he had was more exercise induced, this was last week. I gave him a dose after he came back home that night. Next day he stayed home, because of the sore muscles, not because of the dyspnea. After the remedy, I didn’t hear him coughing or wheezing, so I knew he was okay.I am trying to give him fish and chicken. The blood tests show that he is allergic to fish. I am trying to give him cod fish as the blood tests show he is not allergic to cod.He is used to eating outside with his friends in restaurants, he is quite a junk eater. He is due for his physicals.

Before we started with Homeopathy with you, he would have asthma from milk all the time. He would start wheezing and would get big bumps on his forehead, urticarial wheal. When we shifted from whole milk to 2%, he was better. If he has too much milk or cheese he has the same problem. (Suggested introducing yogurt and probiotics instead of milk).

Remedy: Wait

2 months later later – early fall

I’m doing well. Breathing got better, I used the puffer albuterol sometimes, once every 4-5 football practices, earlier I needed it almost every day. I’m faster than before.I can eat eggs now, 3 times a week, can eat the egg white too. I have tried cod and am able to eat that. I had lentil rice once a few weeks ago, nothing happened.Physicals the doctor said breathing capacity was same as earlier.I went to ninth grade, different school now, no stresses. I am still the topper in class. I haven’t used Pulmicort since we started the Homeopathy. I stopped prednisone too.I am getting chest tightness only occasionally if I run a lot. I take a puff of albuterol, that’s like maybe one every week.

(Mom comes online, patient leaves)

M- I’m worried about the risks of football, like concussions.

He is doing muscle gaining protein powders, muscle pharm. Please advise him to not do it, he doesn’t listen to me.He is drinking milk, he used to get rashes earlier but not so much now.

(Mom brings him online to talk to me. Advised against taking the protein powders as he is still too young to take them and there are no proper regulations on these products. Mentioned to him the risks of excess protein intake like renal failure, weakened bones)

P- I go to the gym and the gym owner suggested me to take it.

Remedy: Wait, No change

Went through a smooth winter. Able to eat organic eggs a few times a week without any trouble. Stopped protein supplements.

5 months later. (One year into treatment)

(In bed with a hand cast. Mom prompts him from behind to ask questions)

I broke my hand about 2 weeks ago and underwent surgery. I was running in the park and I fell hard on it, I fell on my pinky. The right hand is fractured, went to ER, and got a surgery. No pain right now, must have the cast for 2-3 weeks. I took 2 doses of the remedy after the surgery.Asthma is okay. I only get it when I exercise a lot. I was playing football every day, and I had to use albuterol only when I was over exerting. Last time I got asthma from exertion was before I hurt my hand, I took a dose of the remedy for it and it helped.I didn’t get the flu this year. I have never got the flu. (Doesn’t get any acute illnesses easily, indicates a lower level of health and a tendency to develop deep pathologies)I haven’t had any allergies yet. I would get some in the spring or fall before.I haven’t tried any new foods. Eggs are okay sometimes, I eat vegetables, chicken, soup, pasta, oatmeal, fruits.My ring finger and pinky finger are stiff, can’t move them. I have been going to school now. I haven’t been writing, will start next week. I type my assignments, not write it.

(Mom comes online)

He had broken the palm bone. I gave him the remedy the night he broke his hand, his hand was swollen like a balloon, it seemed to help with the pain and the swelling. We had to wait 2 days for the surgery. I just gave him one dose of Tylenol (pain killer), he felt better with the Homeopathic remedy. They put him on antibiotics for 5 days. His hand is still slightly swollen and blue. They have asked me to apply Bacitracin ointment on it. He is visiting his doctor tomorrow, he has stitches (I suggested Calendula ointment instead)

Stamina has improved now. Not on Pulmicort or any other steroids.

Remedy: Told to give him one dose a week for 3 weeks or until the cast is removed to help with recovery of the fracture.

2 months later

(Mom online)

He has been unwell for more than a week, has missed one week of school. Last week he ate chicken parmesan in the restaurant, there could have been sesame seeds in the bread? He didn’t feel good after that, came down with a runny nose, sneezing, and the phlegm came out from the chest also, that went on for a day, and then it turned into a croupy cough. I started him on homeopathy, have given him 3 doses as far, as you suggested. I went to his doctor since he had a chest infection, he had bad asthma, and he had wheezing in his lungs, gave Prednisone and Zithromax antibiotic and he has asked me to come back in a few days, I haven’t given him anyof those. Homeopathy was working, and it was loosening his cough. I gave him Albuterol as he was struggling to breathe. Yesterday was the third dose of his remedy. I will give him one dose tonight. He has had the nebulizer in the morning and he is doing it twice a day. Has never been so bad for all these months, this was the first time I went to the doctor after starting Homeopathy, all this while it never went to the croupy cough stage. After I gave him the 2 doses of the remedy, even though he ended with the croupy cough, it helped to loosen the phlegm. Earlier his phlegm would not loosen up, prior to Homeopathy. He has been taking the Albuterol alone, no steroids. He is much better, I sent him to school today. He had a fever the time he started with theproblem.

(Patient comes in)

Feeling better than last week. I am only coughing right now. I am not wheezing now, not having difficulty in breathing. No fever.

This year didn’t have spring allergy. Earlier I would have runny nose during spring.

M- The hand injury has healed nicely. I gave him Homeopathic doses as you suggested and that helped him to heal faster. He has started doing weight training now. His therapist was surprised that he didn’t have any pain in his injured hand.

P- I just got calluses in my hands because I was holding the bar. I am doing weights now for the football team. Not on protein powders. Hand is back to normal.Not as much asthma while playing, was using nebulizers only occasionally for it.

Remedy:  Wait.  2 months later

(Looks healthier, has a new hair style)

I am doing okay. I have taken a job this summer vacation, filing in an office.

I have been doing football, no asthma even while running. A month ago, had asthma, I was running fast and I got it, took albuterol and homeopathy. Asthma is more rare now than before Homeopathy. Have needed the nebulizer only 2-3 times in the last 2-3 months.I haven’t tried anything with the foods. Sometimes eat eggs of a specific brand which seem to be okay.The remedy is still working. Sometimes I feel it work within an hour of taking it for any problem, sometimes not so much.Earlier would get nervous if not finishing homework, now I am okay. I have vacation till September and some school homework to do for it. I am still the studious one in class, and the topper.

(Mom comes in)

He has been okay off late, since the last major infection 2 months back.

His diet is so limited, he doesn’t like to eat too much vegetarian. He likes to have an egg, an occasional egg here and there is okay, but too many eggs can cause his runny nose, sneezing, and the croupy cough. I think the doctors don’t know what is going on, I think he is having an allergic bronchitis. Food allergies haven’t gotten too much better. (Suggested to try reintroducing some foods very slowly, one at a time with long intervals)

He used to show up every 2 weeks at the doctor’s office before Homeopathy. He was given Pulmicort every day and even that would not help him. He was missing school every 2 weeks and having courses of antibiotics and prednisone to break the cough very frequently. Even his doctor says, if he has improved so much then go ahead with what you are doing. His doctor reluctantly accepted that he is doing much better now and that you are handling his case well. He has a football camp in a few weeks, a very grueling one. Has had to use the nebulizer, he was not even needing it in-between. He is using it as a preventive sometimes in his football camp.

Remedy: Wait Treatment is ongoing

This case shows how a good constitutional remedy works from inside,strengthening the body and improving the immunity gradually. To bring it to complete cure will take more time due to the nature of the case.

There has been a significant improvement in his exertional asthma; now he is able to play football with ease and without the use of much nebulizers, except for an occasional puff of Albuterol (bronchodilator). This improvement has happened over a period and each follow up his stamina has been better than the last. He has not had seasonal allergies during spring and fall after starting Carcinosin. He can now have milk and organic eggs with out much trouble, earlier any eggs(even organic) would cause an allergic reaction and bring on his asthma symptoms. He continues to be allergic to many other foods like lentils and sesame seeds. I have suggested his mom try reintroducing the things he is allergic to,one food at a time,and slowly over months to see if he able to tolerate them.

He has had only one major asthma attack where he had to be taken to the ER, in the last year and  a      half of treatment. Prior to that his ER visits were frequent. With Homeopathy he has successfully been off repeated antibiotics and steroid use. He was put on steroid inhalers for many years, continuously for months, to help control and prevent asthma attacks prior to Homeopathy. Long term steroid use is associated with many side effects especially bone loss, cataracts and stunted growth in childhood and adolescence and getting them off it can prevent many such unwanted complications. The treatment is ongoing and so far, he continues to respond well to Carcinosinum.

About the author

Ranjini Venkatanathan

Dr. Ranjini Venkatanathan has been using classical homeopathy for more than 15 years to successfully treat a wide range of cases, both acute and chronic. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery in India and has worked with well-known homeopaths in India and the USA. She is a graduate from the International Academy of Classical Homeopathy in Greece (Prof Vithoulkas’s IACH). Dr Ranjini managed her own homeopathic practice in Bangalore. She currently practices at Sunnyvale Homeopathy located in Sunnyvale, California. Since 2016, she has been working with LM potencies for treating chronic diseases. Visit her website at:

1 Comment

  • Another case spoilt because name of remedy given at beginning! Why can’t name of remedy be given at end so we can work our way through case and try to come to the correct remedy ourselves?

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