Clinical Cases

Adult Upper Respiratory Case

respiratory tract
Written by F Joan Macdonald

Homeopath Joan Macdonald tracks an upper respiratory case as it morphs through different remedies.

respiratory tractCase:  Female age in forties – 8/2012


Little background:

Family (3 members) in Classical homoeopathy constitutional care since 2008 when living in eastern Canada. On returning to United Kingdom remained in homoeopathic care.

Management: Throughout August, as there was a four hour time difference, and daily communication was by telephone, Skype, e-mail. Update emails were written during the night for my early morning review. I then replied in email, and we had a Skype video chat. When needing to order remedies the patient telephoned the remedy company for next day delivery. Also, on the way home from work a family member would pick up remedies.


3rd August, 2012

First signs of respiratory condition began when 7 year-old daughter had a cold. Then the mother felt ill with initial head cold and flu-like symptoms.

6th August Acute – consult e-mail

Presenting Complaint:

Head cold: moved from head, root of nose → throat → upper chest → throat

Causation, onset:  developed cold-like, flu-like symptoms, then had exposure to cold, damp rain

Duration: 2 weeks – initial head cold lasting 3 days – runny nose, sneezing

Location: 1) Nose (yellow, sticky, slimy mucous); 2) Throat (hoarseness);        3) Upper chest (rattling of mucous), cough based in upper chest

Treatment: bio-chemic tissue salts (Ferrum phos 6X), Vitamin C, Echinacea homoeopathic tincture 10 drops in 1/4 cup warm water over 15-20 minutes, 2 times a day.

Sensation: heaviness, congestion in nose, chest. Chilly – warm weather outside, but body chilly inside

Modalities: < heat, warm room; > open, fresh air

Concomitants: general weakness

Physical energy: 7/10 (10 being good)

Now prescribed:

Kali sulph 30C (2 globules) in water bottle frequently sipping for 4 days, shake before each sip


10th August – Skype

Presenting Complaint:

Respiratory: cough, non-productive, then green discharge (also nasal)

Causation: recent cold head cold, chest congestive

Duration: little over 2 weeks

Location: from head, root of nose → throat → upper chest → throat

Treatment: Last prescription – Kali sulph 30C

Sensation: cough – rough, hoarse

Modalities: < cold, damp

Concomitants: intermittently feels like vomiting; hands icy cold, although sweats profusely during night; nervous, frightened can’t get breath < lying down especially during night

Physical energy: 5/10 (10 being good)

Calendula 30C (Boericke)

  • Great disposition to take cold especially in damp weather
  • Extremely nervous, easily frightened
  • Has remarkable power to produce local exudation and makes acrid discharge healthy and free
  • Cold hands
  • Nausea in chest
  • Nose, cough green discharge. Hoarseness

Calendula 30C (2 globules) in water bottle sipping frequently through day and night

When throat very irritated – Ferrum phos 12X Tissue Salt, continue Vitamin C

12th August – non-vaccinated daughter showing sounds of a whooping cough – case was managed and resolved by consecutive remedies and her health returned in September in time to begin new school year.

12th August – Skype morning


Location: 1) Throat. 2) Stomach. 3) Upper chest

Sensation: 1) Throat sensitive – can only drink small sips, eat tiny things;         2) Stomach – nauseous, want to throw up with coughing. 3) Cough – in spasms, irritated, dry

Modalities: nausea and choking sensations, < lying down; stomach > nibbles of ginger biscuits, slices of strawberries

Concomitants: Sitting up through the night, feels she may choke lying down; cough more pronounced, deep with hoarse sound

Physical energy: 5/10 (10 being good)

Together we observed cough beginning to whoop. Drosera: hoarseness, < lying down, vomiting caused by irritation from coughing.

Drosera 30C (Boericke) – “Affects markedly respiratory organs and was pointed out by Hahnemann as the principal remedy for whooping-cough.”

Drosera 30C (2 globules) in water bottle in small sips (throat very sensitive). Shaking before each sip.

Also: irritated throat – Ferrum phos 12X Tissue Salt, Vitamin C

13th August – Skype, morning


Location: 1) Stomach 2) Mind – fear during night “may be dying

Sensation: 1) Cough – persistent, mild, non-rattly

Modalities: Stomach – nausea < lying down; > fresh air, sips of cold water, sharp lemon drink; > Sitting up through the night

Physical energy: 4-5/10 (10 being good)

Continuing on Drosera 30C, sipping frequently

However sitting up in the night – intense fear of dying. Saying: “is the hardest time of day, have a deep phobia.”

Evening – one dose of Aconite 200C (2 pellets)

Ref. Boericke: “ A state of fear, anxiety; anguish of mind and body. Physical and mental restlessness, fright, is the most characteristic manifestation.”

Update – Afternoon – Email

Now vomiting, chokey spasms. While vomiting, fear of choking predominates

Continue sipping Drosera 30C – Decide Aconite 30C rather than 1 dose of Aconite 200C – Acon 30C in water bottle sipping as needed, fear is predominate during night, also throat feels raw, burning (also Aconite).

14th August – overnight update email

Sensation: overnight – 1) Stomach: constant nausea, vomiting, clear mucous.

2) Wheezing cough, constriction in chest with times feeling of suffocation

Immediately Ipecac 30C (2 globules) in water bottle sipping frequently

Patient “loved Aconite” – would sip whenever feeling fearful – especially during night when sitting up. Would sense when one remedy was needed at specific times, and alternated remedies, tissue salts accordingly.

Wished to take in water – Kali sulph 6X Tissue Salt (night when throat dry constricted, breathing difficult) – and Ferrum phos 12X Tissue Salt (inflammation, irritation in throat becomes acute after excessive coughing), Vitamin C.

15th August – Skype, morning

Vomiting stopped – continue Ipecac 30C and Aconite 30C (for overnight)

16th August – Email, early morning

Location:  1) Throat – gagging at times, congested, left side, buzzy sensation.

2) Chest – wheezy, rattling, tickling sensation

Modalities: > sitting up all night – congestion, cough, wheezing, gagging – couldn’t breath properly. > ginger, honey tea, fresh air, cold sips

Comment: “Strange, I don’t feel poorly” 7/10 (10 being good)


Ipecac 30C finished

Increasing sensation of rattling, gagging choking, coughing. Little expectoration.

Antimonium tart 200C (2 globules) in water bottle sipping frequently

Boericke: Respiratory: “Great rattling of mucus, but very little is expectorated.”

Continue: Aconite 30C during the night, as needed complement with Ferrum phos 12X TS and Kali sulph 6X TS, Vitamin C.

17th August – Skype, morning

Daytime fine, more energy in afternoon, still mostly coughing during night.

We continued Ant tart 200C as the main leading remedy – and during night complemented with Sulphur 30C (Coughing hurts, whole lung heavy, burning sensation, during night, < lying down).

And saw GP – who didn’t notice cough “as whooping” – lungs were clear, and doctor said she should be over the worst of “this cold” – prescribed antibiotics (did not use).


Throughout August – we had daily contact, often 2 times a day, following symptoms until resolution in early September.

Observations when people have been in Classical Homoeopathy Care:

  • The extended family’s support is so helpful, especially when needing to sit up all night for easing respiratory discomfort.
  • No additional complication of drugs, especially antibiotics – symptom picture had clarity as the symptoms changed, especially locations, and what else accompanied respiratory symptoms (concomitants).
  • Have had so much practice describing Presenting Complaint (s) for: Locations, Sensations, Modalities and anything else going on (concomitants).
  • Sense when remedy is working in acute situations and experienced immediate relief. Felt remedy nearing completion of action, and when picture, symptom location changes, shifts to another site.

NOTE: A vaccinated child will often have repeated, severe congestive breathing episodes – which terrify parents. They should immediately go to emergency department if respiratory congestion is more complex than they can manage at home.

Vitamin C – Ref: The Vitamin C treatment for Whooping Cough – Suzanne Humphries, MD.  End of article – description of Whooping Cough initial stages, progression and studies, clinical information on Vitamin C.

About the author

F Joan Macdonald

F. Joan Macdonald, PGHom (UK), CCH(NA), RSHom(NA) currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Presently her cliental are mostly immigrating families that had a classical family homoeopath in their native country. She has been studying homoeopathy since 1993, having international, accredited post-graduate clinical training with the Allen College of Homoeopathy, UK. Canada She is Coordinator for Allen College post-graduate studies, and conducts a live-link discussion Study Group for USA, Allen College students, graduates. She is also a registered mentor with the North America Society of Homeopaths (NASH).


  • Good solid professional work. Thank you Ms. Macdonald It’s a pleasure to see a case worked out in a straightforward manner.

    • Mr Earl – Thank you –

      it was so helpful when the mother and family had confidence working with their family Classical homoeopath through prolonged sicknesses, and yet had wisdom, clear thinking to have their physician check respiratory system, ALSO helps when they don’t use over-the-counter, prescribed allo drugs.

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