Clinical Cases

A Case of Intermittent Fever

Written by Edmund Carleton

The renowned Dr. Edmund Carleton presents a case of intermittent fever with commentary (circa 1913).

An old school physician, a well known neurologist, was in Ceylon in 1896. While there he was taken sick with pernicious malarial fever. For this he was given mighty doses of quinine. Having great vitality he survived. The glands in the groins became greatly enlarged. A thrombus obstructed the right saphemous vein; he had entero-colitis. Arsenic, iron and bael fruit (cegle-marmelos) palliated the case. Later he frequently suffered from pain in the muscles, nasal catarrh, hay fever or intermittent fever. These various manifestations of sickness had a common origin, which was the suppressed pernicious fever. The patient was never long-free from one or more of them. In 1907 he asked me to prescribe for him. I reminded him of the time needed to effect a cure and expressed doubt of his persistence. He replied, “Doctor Carleton, you don’t know me. I shall stick.” I took the case. He stuck.

The nasal catarrh was fluent, worse in the morning and accompanied by pain in the occiput and desire for heat. The hay fever had the same characteristics. When either of them occurred I gave Nux vomica with success. The pain in the muscles often existed with the intermittent fever. The following entry in my case book shows how we began upon the main issue: “Yesterday, after several days of yawning and chilliness, he was chilly at ten a. m., with pain in the right groin extending to the left groin, then coldness, stretching and shivering in the back. The chill merged into fever and that into sweat, which brought relief, there being thirst during the fever only. The paroxysm lasted about two hours. I gave Natrum muriaticum cm. (Fincke).” This was repeated in two weeks. One month later the potency was changed to the millionth power according to Fincke. Two weeks after that this entry was made in my case book: “Has done very well. Now ague returns. Same medicine given.” This was repeated eight months later. Five months afterwards, in the spring of 1910, he took his last dose of the same medicine.

The cure effected, he reminded me of my promise to tell him the medicine he had taken. When told, he said: “So it was the chloride of sodium!” “Yes,” I replied, “it was common table salt, highly potentized by combined dilution and succussion. You might have taken large doses of crude salt without benefit. Why did I give you salt? My duty as a homoeopathist was plain and imperative, for the peculiar symptoms which potentized salt produces upon healthy people were similar to the peculiar symptoms of your case.”

The prescription is the crucial test of the skill and integrity of the homoeopathic physician. It should be similar to the symptoms of prodrome, chill, fever, sweat, apyrexia and whatever is singular and queer. Repetition of the dose, especially within twenty-one days, commonly has a disastrous result. It is my custom to have a good understanding with the patient at the start. He is told that the homoeopathist does not “break chills;” he cures cases, then the chills cease.

The last decade of the nineteenth century was, in that part of the world which has its centre at New York city, conspicuous in the annals of malarial fever. The claim that quinine is a specific for ague was continually proven to be false. Pure homoeopathy repeatedly demonstrated that it only is the curative for the individual patient. An occasional case of pernicious fever set all treatment at defiance. According to report, one patient died in the second chill, in spite of fifty grains of quinine given by the attending physician to prevent the chill.


From : Homoeopathy In Medicine And Surgery – Edmund Carleton, M. D., 1913

About the author

Edmund Carleton

Edmund Carleton, M.D., graduated from New York Homeopathic Medical College in 1871. He was president of IHA in 1894. He was also the author of Homeopathy in Medicine and Surgery, published by Boericke & Tafel.


    • Dear Sir,
      We, Hanemanns are really not interested in classification of malady, like maleria, flue etc.,.

      The same remedy “if indicated” can cure lot more ailments which is irrevelent to malaria or fever. I have seen the cures which is not indicated in pathoginisis of “materia madica” but remedy was homeopathic, ie., totality of constitution, Mind / Emotions / Etiologies, Sensitivites, Aversions / Cravings, Generalities, lastly the pathology which even if not persists in Materica Medica will yield to the the indicated remedy.

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