Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: A Dark and Lonely Night in February

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz. Revisiting: A Dark and Lonely Night in February

Shana, do you think anyone remembers last month’s quiz?

Yes!  No, wait … no.  For a minute there, I thought I remembered it.

You know what this means?

Roll tape?



Shana, hold still while I take your picture!

Mom, do you have to take a picture of me every five feet?

Shana, I need to get a picture of you loading the car for Spring Break!

I look ridiculous.

You only look slightly ridiculous!

And I thought you were going to post a picture of food like you usually do!

OMG! You’re right!  Where’s my Krabby Patty?  Oh, here it is.

Let me explain:  That’s a whole wheat hamburger bun.  The hamburger is made from grass-fed beef and there are mushrooms, minced garlic and fried onions on top.

Mom, don’t give away the Krabby Patty secret recipe.

You mean I can’t tell our readers how I mix the hamburger together with raw milk, an organic egg, ketchup, chopped onions and salt and pepper?


OK, then I won’t.

Whose case do we have this month?


When were you ever sick?

Well, Shana, thanks to homeopathy, I was sick for so short a time, you’ve forgotten all about it!  It was a dark and lonely night in February….

OK, OK, we’ve heard the preview, now get to the feature….

Don’t you remember?  I was COLD!  Sooooooooo COLD!  And then the next thing I knew, I was starting to feel feverish and achy with kind of a dull left-sided headache.  I came and got into bed with you.  I was so COLD!

Yes, I remember how cold your hands and feet were!

I felt so much better when I got under the covers, and all I wanted to do was sleep—which I did.  When I got up, I said, “OMG, I have the flu!”  I took _________________200C and the next morning I was fine.  The end.

What an interesting story.

Yes, wasn’t it.

OK, if you know what remedy my mom took, write to her at [email protected]

The answer will be in next month’s ezine.  Where’s my Krabby Patty?  Oh, here it is…







Hepar sulph.


Eupatorium perf.

Nux vomica


So let’s see if anyone’s going to call in with the right answer…. Caller???  I’m listening…..

Hi Elaine

Hi Eva!

There are a few chilly flu Rx’s like Ars, Nux-v and Pulsatilla

The left-sided headache is a bit of a doozy, can’t find that in any of them.

I don’t think you are all that “tight-arsed” and driven, and if you had been grumpy you would have not been allowed into your daughter’s bed, so I’ll rule out Nux vomica.

Pulsatilla?  Well, you did look for closeness, but I would have expected you to want the window open and spend some more time moaning.

So I’ll go for Arsenicum.  You were chilly, wanted company and had cold skin.

Glad you got better so quickly anyway!

Eva…… What is our most common flu remedy?????  And now ask yourself if it’s chilly and drowsy?  I rest my case.

Nah, that would be too easy.

Yes, I thought it would be easy too, but apparently not!!!!!!  But I’ll tell you why I threw in this “easy” case, it’s almost exactly like the case from September 2011 which starts as follows:

“My wife is cold.  Right now she is wrapped up in a comforter.”  Sound familiar?  The thing was, she wanted to sleep– as I did– but the five-year-old in the house wouldn’t let her!  I was anxious to give my case because of how it might help to highlight this remedy; which, by the way, is……….?

Well, just taking the dull and chilly and the ‘flu’, it could be Gelsemium…..

Ding Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!!!!!

…blushes, goes away and hides….

Always nice hearing from Eva!

Caller?  Are you there?

Hi Elaine…

I feel it must have been HEPAR SULPH 200C as she was extremely cold and wanted to cover herself.

Yes, Hepar sulph is very cold, indeed!  BUT, here’s where you went wrong, Dr. Gupta, you didn’t go to the flu rubric in the Repertory straight away.

In Murphy’s Repertory, which is what I use because it’s completely alphabetical and very user-friendly, the rubric is under “Clinical: influenza”.  There is one remedy that’s in BOLD/underlined, meaning it’s our main flu remedy and it is…. (Ta-da!) Gelsemium! Another option would have been to open your acute prescribing book to “Influenza”, read down the list of most-often used remedies, and pick the one that seems to match best.

What we do not need to do when we know what a person has, is start from the premise that the right remedy could be any one of 3,000 remedies!  What we need to do is go to the clinical rubric in the repertory, or open up our acute prescribing book, and go to the illness or injury in question and look down the list.

Now, you mentioned Hepar; but guess what?  Hepar’s not in the flu rubric; so, we don’t even have to consider it!  I’ll just open up Alan Schmukler’s acute prescribing book (Homeopathy: an A to Z Home Handbook) and see what remedies he’s got listed for the flu.  Oh, and here they are now:




Eupatorium perf.

Rhus tox.






Nux vomica

Antimonium tart.






Well, that sounds about right.  I might add Influenzinum, as that helped me cure one episode of the flu I had.  But from this list, when I’ve had the flu, I’ve needed, at various times, Gelsemium, Arsenicum, Pyrogen and I can remember a time when I should have used Bryonia, and would have, if I could only have opened my eyes to find it!  In fact, I said, “Shana, get me Bryonia!”  So what did she bring me?  Bryonia 6C!  Mama mia; nowhere NEAR the potency I needed!  

So, OK, let’s look at this list.  Leaving the nosodes aside (we’d use a nosode if we had no characteristic symptoms to go on or when repeated attempts to find the right remedy fail), what do we know about these remedies?  What do we know about Aconite? Sudden violent onset, ailments from cold/windy weather, red face, great thirst, anxiety, restlessness…does it sound like my case?  No.

So, moving right along….Bryonia. Cases of Bryonia generally involve a very sharp or severe pain somewhere.  In the flu, we would expect a very bad headache that would be worse for the slightest movement.  Also, Bryonia tends to be dry and very thirsty with an aversion to talking/answering questions.  Does it sound like my case?  No.

So……..moving along….what about Eupatorium perf., what is Eup-perf. known for?  Such awful bone pains that it feels like the bones are breaking.  Does that sound like my case?  No.

Since no thirst was reported, we can rule out Baptisia, Phosphorus, Arsenicum, Aconite, Mercury, Bryonia and Eupatorium perf right off the bat.  Let’s just cross those off the list straight away.  With no rattling cough or respiration, let’s get rid of Antimonium tart.

With no desire to throw off the covers, let’s get rid of Sulphur and Camphora.

With no desire for open air, let’s get rid of Pulsatilla.

With no heat, high fever and congestion, let’s get rid of Belladonna.

With no sensitivity to light and noise and no irritability, let’s get rid of Nux vomica.

With no appearance of sepsis (bad odors, bed feels too hard, restlessness, etc.), let’s get rid of Pyrogen.

What are we left with?  Gelsemium, our main flu remedy!  What is Gelsemium known for?  Chilliness, drowsiness, thirstlessness…does that sound like my case?  Yes, and it should have been our first consideration!  In fact, we were looking, primarily, for a VERY chilly flu remedy, were we not?  What remedies would that have covered?





Nux vomica

Why can’t it be Arsenicum?  No anxiety, fear of death, restlessness and no thirst.

Why can’t it be Camphora?  Camphora throws the covers off.

Why can’t it be Mercury?  Mercury heats up easily and throws the covers off.

Why can’t it be Nux vomica?  No sensitivity to stimuli–light, noise, etc.

I hope you’re getting the idea now of how to approach an acute case.

Is there a caller on the line?

Hi, Elaine! Well, not many symptoms in this quiz!  Seems like Gelsemium though.  But if I am not correct, I have some alternative guesses 😛

Very good, Maria, it is Gelsemium!!!  Sleepiness, chilly, no thirst….and there you have it!

Well I am very glad!  I have to tell you how I decided; I was between Gelsemium and Nux vomica mostly for the coldness.  Nux is also better with sleep and warmth and is very cold.  But you said you were SO COLD, so which is the right remedy?  And then it hit me; I had read in an hpathy article that Gelsemium “wants to hug the fire”!  That equals with SOOOOOOO COLD, I thought!

So that is how my vote was emerged 😀

Thanks for that great description!  Why can’t it be Nux vomica?  Would Nux vomica JUST be cold and want to sleep?  We know they are very sensitive to external impressions–light, noise, odors, etc. and they are so oversensitive that they can’t be civil if the environment isn’t exactly to their liking.  But we see none of that here; no complaints about light and noise, just the cold.  In fact, Gelsemium is known for precisely the opposite, a seeming insensitivity which we call “dullness”.  And what are our famous Gelsemium words?







Who is our next caller?

Hello Elaine, it’s Dr. Anirudh Purswani.

A simple totality to your case would be

Headache, left sided, dull

Covering, desire to/ covering ameliorates

And last but not the least.. COLDNESS COLDNESS COLDNESS of practically everything which is screaming its lungs out in your case!!!!!!!

I did initially think of a Secale cor or a Camphor considering the COLDNESS, but then these 2 don’t want covering even though they’re totally cold and chilly, so that ruled out these 2.

The next set that struck me was Arsenic and Silicea, but arsenic doesn’t like covering over the head and doesn’t markedly cover the COLDNESS aspect as such so lastly we come to SILICEA, which not only covers the COLDNESS in all its magnified aspects, but also tackles the left sided headache.

So I assume you took a dose of Silicea 200 that dark and lonely night and that’s what helped you.

Hope I got it right!!!..

D’oh!  OK, at least I can see a very common mistake that people are making here.  Since you know the diagnosis, namely the flu, your first job is to do one of two things, either go to the Influenza rubric in the repertory (and God help you if you’re still using Kent’s Repertory) or open your acute prescribing book to Influenza or Flu.  There you will see what your main flu remedies are.  Is Silica there?  No.  So…..bye-bye Silica!

You see, when you know what someone has, you do not have to start from the premise that it can be any one of 3,000 remedies!  Generally, you’re having to pick from one of 10 or one in 20. And then you just go down the list and say, “Which ones are cold?”  By then, you may be down to just 4 or 5.  Then it’s easy.

We have time for one more caller.

Hi Elaine!
Yes, I do have an answer this time. Its all becoz of your innovative quizzes.
The answer is a clear GELSEMIUM.  I am confident.
# Flu
#Feverish and achy feeling
#Dull headache
#Want to sleep
#Better from covering
It can’t be Aconite as Aconite is worse from warmth.

Wow, thanks, Rabi; very well put, I could not have said it better myself!  So, Dr. B, time to announce our winners!  (Dr. B, I need the Hpathy Drum Roll, please!)  And now, the winners of the March 2012 Hpathy Quiz are………Rabi, Maria and Dr. Sebastiano Di Salvo from Italy!  Let’s hear it for all our great winners!

See you back again next month with another fantastic and amazing Hpathy Quiz!

About the author

Elaine Lewis

Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.
Elaine is a passionate homeopath, helping people offline as well as online. Contact her at [email protected]
Elaine is a graduate of Robin Murphy's Hahnemann Academy of North America and author of many articles on homeopathy including her monthly feature in the Hpathy ezine, "The Quiz". Visit her website at: and


Leave a Comment