Clinical Cases

The Boy Who Played with a Spider

Homeopath Marian Booker shares a case of multiple Black Widow spider bites in a boy of twelve. Conventional treatment was not sufficient and homeopathy saved the day.

“Do you have Latrodectus mactans?”  Those were the first words my client, Brandi, said when I answered the phone on the morning of Thursday, April 28, 2022.  I replied, sort of joking, “Why?  Did someone get bit by a black widow spider?”

Suddenly, the joke was no longer funny.  Her friend’s son, whom I will call Danny, an active, slim, 12-year-old boy, had been bitten on the arm by two black widow spiders, and had been sent home, still in a very dangerous state of health after four days in the hospital.

Brandi has been studying with Paola Brown, who teaches her “Momeopaths” how to care for their family crises and acute ailments with a home kit of homeopathic medicines.  Brandi is becoming a very competent Momeopath, and on her own had found Latrodectus mactans as the medicine matching the symptoms Danny was exhibiting.

After questioning Brandi, I agreed that Lat-m was a good choice, and since the symptoms had already been going on more than four days, and were extreme, I sent Lat-m 200C to start the case, and Lat-m 1M to hold for later.

Brandi took the medicine to Danny’s mother, whom I will call Marie, with instructions on dosing.  Those were: Lat-m 200C in a half liter bottle of water, shake and sip for five days, two days gap, then Lat-m 1M, in water as before, shake and sip for two days. I arranged a Zoom call with Marie, which took place about an hour after Danny had taken his first sip of Lat-m 200C.  I’ll explain what this means.

At Allen College, we learn to dose homeopathic medicines in water, which makes the medicine more penetrating than taking a dry dose.  If it is accidentally antidoted, taking another sip will reestablish the treatment.  For the vast majority of cases, we use a single poppyseed-sized pellet, put it in a folded paper sachet containing lactose sugar, then empty that into a half-liter bottle of water.

We instruct the client to shake it before each sip, which subtly “plusses” the medicine, making it slightly different from the previous dose, so that the Vital Force keeps responding in a positive way.  We ask the client to sip from it throughout the day (refill with water if necessary) for 3, 5, 7 or maybe even 10 days, depending upon the case, then take a break from the medicine.

I give clients an adhesive bottle label (below) with these instructions on it, so they don’t accidentally throw away their medicated water.

Another important topic taught at Allen College is how to handle aggravations.   If the homeopathic medicine dosed in water causes too strong a response, we can adjust the medicine by further diluting it, using the “third bottle technique”.  This is one of the reasons to dose in water – you can adjust the dose more easily than if you use dry pellets.  “Going to the third bottle” requires two more bottles of water, and is prepared, as follows:

Open both bottles, pour out a little if they are too full.  Take about a tablespoon of the medicated water from the first bottle, put it into the second bottle.  Cap it, shake it and thump it against your hand several times, then open it and take a tablespoon from this second bottle, and put it into the third bottle.  Cap, shake, thump, and now, continue with shaking and sipping the medicine, from this third bottle.  It will very quickly calm an aggravation caused by the first bottle.

Now, back to Danny.  Though I had given instructions for five days on, two days off, two days on, I planned to keep in very close contact with Marie and change anything that needed changing.

Danny had taken a sip or two of Lat-m 200C in water in the hour before we had our first Zoom consultation at 2:30 p.m.  He had been in great pain in the hospital, and was treated with very heavy drugs:  morphine, hydrocodone + Motrin, Tylenol, Zofran (an anti-nausea drug used during chemotherapy) and Ativan (a benzodiazepine drug used to treat anxiety).

He was cold as ice.  He needed to be dressed in warm clothes with his entire body wrapped in blankets.  He would break out in a sweat, soaking all his clothes, blankets, and bedclothes, and would need to be changed into dry, warm clothes and blankets, until the next episode of drenching sweat.

He had episodes of paralysis, his eyes burned, his joints hurt, he had a rash, he couldn’t eat, he was constipated.  He was a very sick boy.  The doctors administered Ativan after three days in the hospital, and Danny began to hallucinate.

They said that black widow bites cause hallucinations, but Marie wondered why the hallucinations started only after taking Ativan.  A few minutes searching online for its side effects reveals hallucinations as one of the paradoxical reactions to Ativan.

Marie was very concerned that Danny was in such a dangerous state of health, yet the doctors released him to home.  One nurse looked into Marie’s eyes and said that she knew Marie would take very good care of Danny.  (She told me later, that she believed they had sent him home to die.)

Marie was very afraid about his condition, and didn’t believe he should be at home even though they hadn’t had much help at the hospital.  This is when Brandi started searching for help and found Latrodectus mactans.

On Thursday afternoon, I spoke with Marie on Zoom, with Danny next to her, on camera, in pajamas, with a blanket on his legs.  I asked her if she was seeing any benefit from the medicine yet, and she said no. She said, quietly, that Danny’s skin felt cold and hard, like he was dead.  She said he didn’t feel human.

She didn’t like saying this where he could hear it. We spoke for nearly an hour, but Danny never broke out in a sweat, and didn’t seem to be particularly cold.  I asked Danny why he wasn’t wrapped up in blankets, and he said he didn’t want to get them all wet.

Marie looked at him, noticed that he wasn’t wrapped up, and said, “Before, he didn’t worry about getting the blankets wet.”  This was the first hint to her that something was changing.  She wanted to show me his rash, so she pulled down the neck of his pajamas, but the rash was gone – and she said with shock, that his skin was warm!

She felt around his neck and chest, and said that he was warm and felt like a human in that area, but that further down his chest and shoulders, he still felt dead.  Marie began to hope that Danny was getting better.

Now, we began to watch Hering’s Law of Cure, in action, especially the “from the top, down” part.  That evening at 7:30, we checked in by text.  I asked how Danny was doing.  Marie said, “He says it is working.”  He didn’t feel so cold any more, was sitting with his legs and arms out of the blankets.

He could open his eyes longer because they didn’t burn as much.  He felt “human” about a quarter of the way down his forearm, not just his shoulder.  His personality was returning.  He had a bit of energy and wanted to play with his bearded dragon (that’s a lizard) for a few minutes, and had no episodes of paralysis since starting the Lat-m 200C.  Things were looking up.

Here again, my Allen College training helped me decide how to proceed.   His symptoms were clearing above, going down his body, in accordance with Hering’s Law, and his mental and emotional state were improving.  We often take scores to determine how the symptoms are progressing.

This means giving a number to how bad or good, for example, is his pain.  10 might be the worst, 1 the best.  We ask the client to describe his graph.  If it’s going up – means he is doing better, going down – doing worse, or straight line – standstill.  If the graph is going up, even a little bit, we WWW – Wait and Watch with Wisdom.  I call it “sitting on your hands”.  Let the medicine do its work.

I continued to stay in close contact with Marie, hoping for twice-daily updates if he was doing well, or more if he started to lose ground.  Marie was eight months pregnant at the time, and was experiencing full days of prodromal labor which were exhausting her.  I didn’t get all the updates I wanted, but Marie did the best she could.


Date Report Interesting comments
Fri, Apr 29,
Eyes don’t burn

Sweating reduced to hands and arms

Cold in same area as sweating

Dead body cold only in areas he says are cold

The rest of him feels human with some radiating warmth, Thank God!

No paralysis since yesterday

Stomach still hurts, not able to eat much

Hydrating well, applesauce, fruit, protein shakes

3-4 bites of solid food à pain

Bowel movement finally

Rash on torso, groin, thighs, stops at knees

No joint pain since last night

Pain level 5


Marie:  I witnessed warmth spreading down arms yesterday afternoon through the evening until he stalled on sipping his drink for a while.  The cold spread back up his arms until he started sipping again.  He is now taking responsibility for sip it himself.


He about cried when confirmed the Rx was made from black widow venom.  He looked at me like…”How could you??”  But he is sipping it on his own.

Fri, Apr 29,

11:30 pm

He took a walk today!

Was exhausted by the end

The rash was covering more of his body the more he moved

Warmth has spread into all of the right hand and most of the left


Things still looking good, even though the rash increased with motion.  WWW.
Sat, Apr 30

11 a.m.

Body is human feeling today all the way through right hand and most of the way through left fingers

Human through torso all the way through feet

Still weak and dizzyish

Stomach pain so getting food is only a bit at a time

Does tolerate liquids well

Rash all over torso, burns/itches if he accidentally scratches it

When it initially pops up it itches

Spots down his arms, between his fingers, underwear area, thighs, and inside of one foot

No burning eyes

Sweating and cold limited to the one hand LOL

No paralysis since the 28th

Energy returning, but easily fatigued

Personality is back

Still chest pain when eating or drinking.  That is not gone

The black widow bite does cause a rash.  The question is:  Was this rash suppressed by pharmaceutical drugs?


Asked if steroids were given in hospital, Marie said they didn’t mention one at all.


Tested for “a gazillion” viruses, all negative.


Here my Allen College training helped me hold still and wait – Hering’s Law again – from inside to outside – the rash is on the outside.  His graph in general was going up, so WWW.

Sun, May 1 Marie reported early Sunday morning, before Danny was awake, while I was at church:

Last night cold started creeping back in to halfway up his forearms, even though he was sipping.

Rash got much worse on hands to where there are little blisters.

He said it burned.

Felt like his hands were in fire ants.

He did get hungry Woohoo!

He had grilled cheese for lunch, chicken soup and toast for dinner, fruit salad that he mixed up himself.  So good to see that.

Was still weak and didn’t feel like he could stand for long, but did some.


This report concerned me a lot.  The rash was moving upward, the wrong direction, according to Hering.


Some things looked much worse, but he was eating solid food, and quite a lot of it.  He also prepared some of it for himself, though weak.


His graph was going down in some aspects, but going up in others.


I received this report in the morning, when I got home from church, about 11 a.m., and was rather concerned that Danny had taken a turn for the worse the previous evening.  At Allen College, we learn the situations in which two potencies of the medicine should be given, based on the teaching of Burnett.

  • When prescribing on basis of etiology
  • When prescribing for prophylaxis
  • When there is a sudden cessation of improvement:
    – drop two potencies
    – give two potencies
  • When there is a lack of reaction, to shake the system

Here, Danny had been doing well, and suddenly, Saturday night, he was losing ground, fast, and might be in very bad shape by Sunday morning.  I was trying to decide among several possibilities:

  • Was this a sudden cessation of improvement?
  • Had he inadvertently antidoted the medicine or contaminated the medicine bottle, so that it was no longer working?
  • Had the 200C done all it could, and the severity of the situation required the higher potency of Lat-m?

I was very hesitant to go higher, to Lat-m 1M, because Danny was very weak, and the 1M potency requires the body to step up and match the energy of the medicine.  There is a lot of energy in the 1M potency of a substance that is already a powerful poison in its crude state.  I didn’t want to make a serious mistake.

I sent instructions by email at about noon, to throw out the old bottle and make a new one with a new pellet of Lat-m 200C.  The fact is that I do not have Lat-m in 6C, so I couldn’t follow Burnett’s advice to the letter, i.e., go down two potencies from 200C, to 6C.  The best I could do with the situation at hand, was to try a new bottle of medicine, and arrange to get some Lat-m 30C to her sometime that day.  Marie replied shortly after getting the email.


Date Report Interesting comments
Sun, May 1

1 p.m.

Upon further evaluation this morning, his hands are clearer and both are warm!

Also his belly and chest look much better

I told her to hold off starting the fresh bottle, since she had not started it yet.  Reminded her of the importance of shaking the bottle.
Sun, May 1

2 p.m.

Will continue with the old bottle until advised.

He is eating better now.

He does have some blood blisters or broken blood vessels on his arm right where the first bite was.  Tissue damage?

Can’t get into the doctor until Tuesday 4 pm


I had been researching the effects of black widow venom since this case came to me, and learned that it is a neurotoxin and thins the blood.  This could be the reason for the blood blisters, etc.


Marie:  We are baby prepping, having contractions that come and go

Sun, May 1

11 p.m.

Danny eating more solids, drinking more fluids

Rash reducing on most of his body

Still on hands, but doesn’t look as bad as it did this morning

Color is mostly good except random times when his arms or spots on his lips or near his temples look a little blue, but it doesn’t last long

No sweating

No itching

He took a nap today and was so happy because he was finally able to sleep so well without his mind being on how bad he hurt, how cold, wet, or itchy he was.

He got good rest.

His strength is growing. Took a walk with us, was even able to get some blackberries

No paralysis

Marie had been having prodromal labor pains, 1 minute out of every five, for more than 24 hours.  She was getting exhausted, and couldn’t update often.  So, this was quite late in the day.


It’s a good report.   WWW.

Mon, May 2
1 p.m.
Danny seems to be doing well today

Everything is better

Minimal rash left on hands and he is not up to full strength or energy, but getting there

I said to have Danny finish the Lat-m 200C tomorrow, then take two days off.  Call if he gets worse before then.


Labor kept going. Marie thought she might have the baby tomorrow.

I heard from Marie again May 4.  I thought she might have delivered, but she was still pregnant.  Danny was seen by his doctor that day, and was going back for blood work, specifically a metabolic panel and liver function test, and an intravenous infusion of Vitamin C.  Danny was showing signs of nerve damage and what she called bluing of various parts.

On May 5, she reported that the Vitamin C infusion had vastly improved his skin color, he could get up from a chair and not have the room spin, and the rash finished clearing in a matter of hours after the Vitamin C infusion.

I was very happy to hear that he was getting more help, but Marie wondered if he still needed to take the Lat-m 1M.  Since we know the cause – the etiology – of Danny’s predicament, Burnett says we need two potencies, so I said we really should do it, because 1M would address the neurological component of the case.  He started the Lat-m 1M on Thursday, May 5.

Date Report Interesting comments
Thurs, May 5, 4:45 p.m. Having a little more trouble with the dizziness than yesterday afternoon.

So far everything else ok, though

I asked if the dizziness began after he started the 1M bottle, she said yes.


I considered going to the third bottle, and sent her instructions.

Thurs, May 5, 10:45 p.m. He has been taking Lat-m 1M nearly all day at 30 min apart

So far, so good.

He said it gets a little worse but not too bad, and then, much better.  Just like the other one.

Currently he is catching bugs outside with his brother and dad.

I’m not seeing too much trouble with this bottle.  Do you still want him to go to the third bottle?

It seemed that he was handling the slight aggravation, then big improvement, so I told Marie to stay with the first bottle.


Catching bugs outside?  See how he got the bites?  He just likes creepy crawly things!

This was the last report from Marie for a couple of days.  Her prodromal labor continued, and she was simply too worn out to report, since things were looking fine.

On May 7, she texted:  “Danny is doing really well.  Rash all gone. I’m impressed with how God has orchestrated help for him when I didn’t know what to do.  So happy that we have him here for his 13th birthday.  He has bounced back very nicely.  Now I’m working on putting some muscle back on him, LOL.  He did lose a lot of that.”

“I don’t know how you feel about being used.  By God.  J  I hope you have a wonderful Mother’s Day.”  I thanked her for those lovely texts, and since I’m a homeopath, I had to ask more questions.  “Do you feel like Danny is back to normal? I wonder if you see any residual effects from the Ativan.  How do you think his nervous system is doing?”

She replied:  “Pretty much OK. I don’t notice anything.  He is a bit weaker and says things are too heavy that he could normally pick up.  He lost 20 lbs. and he didn’t have any fat really to lose, so a lot of it was muscle and water.  He says he feels pretty good.  He also says he is sure that the homeopathic stuff worked.”  This is particularly gratifying for me, because this was Marie’s introduction to homeopathy.  She had never used, nor heard of, homeopathy, before this case.

Marie managed to maintain the pregnancy to full term, and had a healthy baby girl.

This will be a perfect story if Brandi continues to study and love homeopathy, and especially, if she attends Allen College to become, not just a Momeopath, but a Homeopath.

Marie sent one more text, with a message from Danny.  He said, “The hospital helped to numb the pain a little at first but none of it made me better.  If anything, it made me worse.  The other lady (referring to me) made me better.”

Dr. Subrata Banerjea, Principal of Allen College, has a saying that students will hear many times.  I use it at the end of this gratifying case.  “Glory goes to Hahnemann, for his beautiful Homeopathy”.







About the author

Marian Booker

Marian Booker, DipHom ACH; PG Hom. Marian Booker, DipHom, is a homeopath and craniosacral therapist in practice in Texas. She is a graduate and post graduate of Allen College of Homoeopathy. She continues to study with Allen College of Homeopathy in Chelmsford, England.


  • That is a long and descriptive case by Marian Booker ! A lot of learning from the way you have presented it Marian- well done and kudos. The crises and the dilemmas were well brought out, and good learning for practicing Homoeopaths. You also shared Dr Subrata’s methodology of dispensing very well ( so lot of learning for those who have not attended Allen College) Keep up the good work Marian !

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