Materia Medica Course on Shameless Remedies with Dr Manish Bhatia
Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Bad Cold!

symptoms of flu

Scroll down to see the Quiz Answer!

Hi Mom!

Hello Miss Shana!

I guess we should begin with the Death Report.

I don’t know if I want to hear this…

Robert Guillaume, star of “Soap” and “Benson”, died last month.

Oh no!  Not “Benson”!  Such a nice man and a super talent!

I remember him from the Shari Lewis Passover special.  I also remember him as “Rafiki” from Disney’s “The Lion King”.  Here is a lovely video I found (which is apparently from “Benson”) of Robert Guillaume singing with Gladys Knight and the Pips.

Really?  Gladys Knight and the Pips?????  I love them!

Bravo!  Bravo!  Encore!  What a voice!  I can’t believe he didn’t have a singing career!

He sang “Let my People Go” in the Shari Lewis Passover special and he sang as “Rafiki” in Lion King 2 (“Simba’s Pride”), but I had no idea he had such a beautiful voice. 

Neither did I!

Sad that such a great man had to leave us.

I agree!  So sad!

Also, apparently in January, Antenna TV will be showing reruns of either “Soap” or “Benson”.

I’ll be watching!

Mom, you might want to sit down for this next one.

Uh-oh, who is it?

It’s “Fats” Domino.

No way!!!!!!!!!!!!! Say it isn’t so!!!!!

Mom!  You’re acting like I did when Glenn Frey died!

Good grief!  Glenn Frey again????

Well, it’s still a sin.  It wasn’t his time.  Besides, did I mention that “Fats” Domino was 89?  It might have been his time.  I mean Robert Guillaume was 89 too.  Anyway, Since “Fats” was from New Orleans, I thought we should play “Walkin’ to New Orleans”, unless you have a better idea.

No, I have no better ideas!  But, maybe it would be appropriate to play “My Blue Heaven”, since that’s where he is now.

Good-bye, Fats, thanks for all the great songs!

I still have another announcement to make!

What is it?

The 20th anniversary of the Bee Gees “One Night Only” concert.

Shana, half our audience just left!

But we gained Marian!


She answered one of our quizzes and said she’s a Bee Gees fan.

Oh!  You mean one person is still with us?  Well that’s different.  Never mind!

Here is a song that I think pretty much describes the Bee Gees legacy (at least to me).  It’s “Immortality” featuring Canadian singer Celine Dion, written for her by Barry, Robin, and Maurice Gibb.

I don’t like it!

Mom!  You are entirely too judgmental!

It’s boring and pretentious!

It is not pretentious!  And if I may make my point…

You know how people say there will never be another Bee Gees?

No.  Do people say that?

Well, it happens to be true and I personally think Barry and his brothers are immortal through their music.  Whenever I listen to a Bee Gees song, watch a video on youtube or one of the many documentaries we have, it’s like Robin and Maurice never left us.  One of the lines to the song is, “We Don’t say Goodbye”; so, it kind of fits the sentiment that any person who has left us is never truly gone because of the art they leave behind; so, when you listen to Fats Domino or watch “Benson” or the “Shari Lewis Passover Special”, its like they’ve never gone.  Or something like that. (Find a way to clean that up.)

Well, assuming that anyone is still here….  I think that’s a beautiful sentiment, Shana; and there’s nothing to clean up, really.

You mean I didn’t talk too long?  Anyway, maybe we should start the quiz.  Who’s in the quiz this month?

It’s Hillary E. Clinton.

Mom!  It’s Hillary R. Clinton!

No, no, not that Hillary!  This Hillary!


Hi Elaine,

I’d been feeling tired for a few days and woke up irritable with a fever blister on my left upper lip on Friday (often an indication that I’m getting sick).  Yesterday I had several sneezing fits and woke up with a headache, tried Belladonna but it didn’t take care of it.  Today I woke up with a full blown cold—stuffy, runny nose and sinus congestion; all-over headache that feels like there’s pressure from too much mucus; achy all over, especially my neck, thigh and upper arm muscles, and hands and feet; sore throat and occasional cough, probably from having to breathe through my mouth.  I alternate between feeling too hot and too cold, although my head always seems warm.  I’ve also had a few dizzy spells from moving, most notably while rolling over in bed.  I’ve had spells of feeling really thirsty, too.  I just don’t want to move or do anything.

Hope this is enough info….

(BTW, the Sulphur still seems to be working well and I now have both the 1M and 10M Sulphur.)

Hillary E. Clinton


Hillary, going back and forth between too hot and too cold is usually Mercurius.  Give that a try and if it doesn’t work, fill out the questionnaire.


I don’t think the Mercurius is helping.  My head is massively stopped up, my nose is running like crazy, and I’m still having occasional sneezing fits.  I’m still alternating hot and cold.  My nasal discharge tastes salty, if that means anything (surprising, since I don’t eat much salt).



OK, you better fill out the Questionnaire then.

I’m really irritable when I have to do anything (like fill out this questionnaire 🙂

Name: “Hillary E. Clinton”
Age: 63
Male or Female:F
Height: 5’6”
Date: 11/14/17
Email Address: ****

  1. Describe the complaint or complaints in your own words.

Bad cold.  My head is completely stopped up and my head hurts as if it’s too big for my skull.  My facial bones feel as if someone is pounding them with a hammer.  I ache all over, particularly in the muscles in my upper arms and thighs and bones in my hands and feet.  I’m having occasional dramatic sneezing fits —lots of loud sneezing then no more sneezing for hours.  I’m having coughing fits due to dryness in my throat, which I think is from having to breathe through my mouth due to nasal congestion.  Yesterday I had an extremely runny nose and went through a half dozen tissues in an hour.  Today my nose is stopped up and only occasionally running.  I go back and forth between being hot for a while—and throwing off covers or clothes—and being cold for a while, although my forehead always seems to be hot.
It came on gradually.  I was tired last week and I found myself struggling to exercise because I was so tired. By Friday I was feeling really irritable and I woke up that day with a fever blister, which is often an indication that I’m coming down with a cold or flu.  I look old and tired.  I have cracks coming out from the sides of my mouth (45 degrees downward)

2. Etiology–

I think it was from fatigue, possibly from the Sulphur homeopathic remedy, probably from over-exercising for how tired I was.  You’ve told me if I get tired from a remedy to rest, but I tried to push past my fatigue and exercise anyway.

3. Sensation–

I feel as if someone is pounding a hammer against my facial bones.  I feel a bit lightheaded and dizzy when I move around.

  1. Location–where on the body is your complaint located?

All over but most dramatic is the facial bone pain.

5. Modalities and Concomitants:

Modalities–Lying down makes me feel better.  Being in a dark room makes me feel better.  Drinking a lot of water makes me feel better.  Light reading makes me feel better.  Heat on my neck and low back makes me feel better.  Sitting up and walking around makes me feel worse.  Interacting with people makes me feel worse.  Being touched (by human or cat) makes me feel worse.  Doing nothing makes me feel better

Concomitants–Dizziness, dull-headedness, irritability.  Jaw pain, mildly constipated.  Occasionally itchy ear canals.

6. Discharges–I have an off-and-on runny nose with a clear, watery discharge (kinda salty).

7. Generals–I’m hot for a while and cold for a while.  It takes me a long time to figure out what to eat because nothing appeals to me.  I want to be left alone.  I want something sweet but I don’t know what.  I don’t want to do anything.  Nothing appeals to me.

8. The mentals:

Irritable, dull, indifferent, don’t feel like listening.

9. What have you been saying?

“I don’t want to be touched.”

10. What are you doing?

Lying down, sleeping a lot, reading, avoiding my husband.

11. Describe your thirst and appetite–

Thirsty, drinking a lot of room temperature water.  Nothing really tastes good, so I can’t decide what to eat.  I just fix the easiest thing and it doesn’t taste all that good.

12. Fever?

Don’t know.  I don’t take my temperature.

13. Sweating?

When I have a hot spell I sweat, mostly under my arms and on my chest.  No noticeable odor.

14. Odors?


15. What is most striking, peculiar or identifying about your condition?

How much my face hurts!  How irritable I am!

16. Is there a diagnosis?


17. Describe your energy–

Dull, dopey, stupid, lazy.

18. What does your tongue look like?

Red, cracks down the middle of the tongue, indentations from the teeth on the front of the tongue. No coating.

19. If you have a cough, please tell what it sounds like–

Dry cough that hurts, fuzzy sound


Hillary, I repertorized the case and ___________________ came up #1.

Hi, Elaine. It’s hard to tell if ____________________ did anything.  My nose and head are much less congested, I have a less severe headache centered at the base of my skull.  My face doesn’t hurt anymore…Oh, definitely less thirsty, less irritable, less irritated by light.  D’oh.  I guess it is working!

OK, everybody, what do you think the remedy was?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know, the answer will be in next month’s ezine.  Bye-bye!







Nux vomica

Actea Racemosa



Everyone seems to like Bryonia and Nat-mur!  Is there a Bryonia/Nat-mur voter willing to share his story?

Hi Elaine

Hi Neil.

This months quiz answer regarding the cold remedy seems like a toss up between Bryonia and Natrum mur to me.

Well, a lot of people agree with you.

There’s the irritability, which she keeps repeating, the desire not to be touched which is very much the ‘leave me alone’ nature of Bryonia.  Then there’s dryness of the throat with large thirst for tepid drinks and the worse from movement ….all add up to Bryonia for me.  However, there is fever blister on lip and cracks on lips and a salty watery discharge and waking with hammering headache which could point to Natrum mur as does the aggravation from interference but all in all, I plump for Bryonia


Neil Mayor

Well, if I had known you were going to plump… I’d have baked a cake.  Never mind, that didn’t make any sense!  Yes, “irritability” and “wanting to be alone” can certainly sound like it goes for either Nat-mur or Bryonia.  So here’s the problem.  It sounds like “Hillary” has some sort of flu-like virus, does it not?  She even had a fever blister to point us in that direction and she appears to have a fever.  If I go to the Influenza rubric in Murphy’s Repertory, Nat-mur’s not there!  You know, the first thing you have to do is discern what a person “has”, because symptoms cover lots of conditions, and the remedy has to be something that can “cause”, in overdose, what it is you want to cure, right?  So, we have to figure out what Hillary’s diagnosis might be, and to me it looks more like a flu than a cold (or “coryza”, as they say in the Repertory)–the muscle aches, the headache, chills alternating with heat and so on don’t suggest “coryza” to me.  So if we’re between Bryonia and Nat-mur, and Nat-mur’s not in the “Influenza” rubric,  I’m going to eliminate Nat-mur and move over to Bryonia.

Bryonia is irritable, for sure.  What’s the reason for Bryonia’s irritability?  It’s because they are “worse least motion”!  You find them in bed lying in one position, not moving; because whatever is wrong with them is made worse by the slightest movement, which includes deep breathing, even talking, even lifting their head off the pillow.  Every time you come in to ask them a question, you’re making them worse because they have to answer you, which involves movement, it involves taking a deep breath!  That’s why they want you out of their room!  Usually with a Bryonia flu, they either have a VERY bad headache, or they have VERY bad nausea and in either case, they can’t bear to move.  Bryonia is a Very Sick Patient!

Our patient, Hillary, however, is definitely not worse for least motion!  She, in fact, is reading!  Reading!!!!  She says reading is something she’s doing to help herself feel better.  She’s also cooking, even though nothing tastes good to her.  She’s probably lost her sense of smell and taste; but you can see that even though she’s got a lot of unpleasant, really awful, symptoms, she’s not as sick as Bryonia who is confined to bed!  If you walk into a patient’s house and you find her in the kitchen cooking, you can scratch Bryonia off your list!  In fact, this is why “What are you doing?” is in my Acute Case Questionnaire, a very important question.

What’s the other remedy we usually think of when someone says they’re irritable and doesn’t want anyone bothering them?  I hope you’re thinking of Nux vomica.

I happen to know that Nux vomica is a sneezer!  I saw that one of her symptoms was that she had extensive violent attacks of sneezing and then no more sneezing again for hours!  Finding this peculiar, I checked the Repertory to see if I could find that: “Nose, sneezing, paroxysmal, prolonged attacks”; there was only one remedy–Nux vomica!  How do you like that?!

So I asked myself, “Is Nux vomica irritable?”  Yes!  “Does Nux vomica have face pain?”  Yes, it’s in bold for that.  “Does Nux vomica have aversion to company?”  Yes, it’s in bold for that too.  In fact, I repertorized every symptom in her case and Nux vomica came out #1.

So, I guess the lesson here is, your remedy has to cover the big picture first before covering the little picture.  In other words, first we need a remedy for a fever/virus–a flu-like illness.  Then we need to find the fever/virus remedy that’s irritable, has sneezing fits, face pain and aversion to company, etc.  Does Bryonia have paroxysmal sneezing fits?  No.

So I guess that about sums it up.  Thanks for voting, Neil, be sure to try again with this month’s quiz!

Is there another Bryonia voter here, per chance?  Oh look, it’s Dr. Mukesh Patel…


Hi mam,

Hi Dr. Patel.

I’m not sure about my remedy…

OK, well, I guess we can all go home then.  Bye, see you next year!

but I’m telling you my thought process….

Oh, well that’s different.  Never mind!  Everybody come back!

I took the big picture from disease from Murphy

That’s good, we need to get the big picture first!


I agree with you that her sinuses are involved and causing the face pain!  But I think there’s an even bigger picture than that.  Remember?  She had a fever blister?  She’s got fever alternating with chills.  She says, “I’m hot, then I’m cold, then I’m hot again.”  It looks like the flu to me.

You said, if mentals prevail, then take the remedy, so I added:


Right, she does say that; but when asked “what’s most striking about your case”, she says, “How irritable I am and how much my face hurts!”


Right, that’s just another example of irritability.

then I opted for Bryonia as she wants to lie down and is thirsty, I’m not sure I’m right.

Actually, a sick person saying they want to lie down is common and we probably can’t make too much out of that fact alone.  The thing with Bryonia lying down is HOW they’re lying.  Bryonia lies down and doesn’t move!  Bryonia lies perfectly still!  Our patient Hillary lies down and READS!  Remember?  Bryonia would never do that.  They couldn’t bear to be flipping pages and moving their eyes, that’s because the least motion makes Bryonia worse.

When I hear a patient say, “I’m irritable!” my first thought is Nux vomica!  Then, all I have to do is ask myself, “Does Nux vomica cover anything else in this case?”  As it turns out, it covers everything in the case: the sneezing attacks, the face pain, the fever alternating with chills, the aversion to company and aversion to being touched.  So, yes, in fact, the remedy was Nux vomica.

Oh my God.

You wont believe I got Nux vomica in the first place… but by different rubrics….

  1. Nose: obstruction, breathes through the mouth
  2. Influenza

Those are good selections, but, please read my article on picking rubrics in a case:

I have a problem with the rubric, “Nose, obstruction, breathes through mouth”, because there are roughly 7 remedies in that rubric and they’re all in plain type, meaning it’s not a big feature, or keynote, of any of them!  So, to my way of thinking, you really only have 1 reliable rubric–influenza.  And that’s not enough to solve this case.



thanks for this, I will read that link.


You are so welcome, thanks for dropping by!  Hmm….I think I see Sarah Q from Jordan off in the distance….


Happy Thanksgiving Elaine!

Thanks! I guess there’s not much of a thanksgiving there in Jordan.

I am thankful for your efforts month after month; you make learning homeopathy so much more fun.

But, this one was not so fun.

I hate figuring out colds, I tend to frustrate myself with repetitive failures when I try and figure out my kids and my own colds, eventually it sort of solves itself, and I am left wondering what went wrong.  But if its from you Elaine, I can’t say no.

So I repertorized this one (yes, Boenninghausen again)


focusing mainly on facial pain and the modalities.  I did add in that reading ameliorates (srp) but that didn’t help much at all.  What did come up real strong was ARNICA.  It was number one.  Also the fact that she didn’t want anyone to touch her.

Why?  Why does Arnica not want to be touched?  They’re very guarded because they’ve been injured and they’re very afraid you’re going to re-injure them or make them worse.  “Just leave me alone!”  is what they’re thinking.  “I’ll be fine, OK?  Just don’t make me do anything!  Leave me alone, I’m fine!”

Why does our patient, “Hillary E. Clinton”, not want to be touched?  She says so herself: “I’m irritable!”  She says it’s the most striking thing about her case!  That and the face pain.  She’s irritable.  She also says she aches all over, which means she has the flu (more than likely), so we have to ask ourselves, which of the common flu remedies is irritable?  See how easy that was?  

Wait!  Also this:

From Allen’s provings, i.e. The Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica in the face in Arnica “Throbbing and pinching […] as if two hammers beat against each other, crushing the flesh”, she said something similar— “I feel as if someone is pounding a hammer against my facial bones.”

You’re right.  Arnica does have hammering pain. “Generals: hammering pain”.  Arnica’s a 2.  There are no 3’s.  But do you remember my article, “Repertory Round-Up part-4”?  Remember I talked about the Hierarchy of Symptoms and that you should think about it as a chest of drawers with the mentals being near the top?  This is why the mentals over-rule everything else in the case.  When you pull out a drawer to see what remedies are inside, all the other drawers underneath it disappear!  So “hammering pain”, a local symptom, meaning it’s in the “bottom drawer”, becomes irrelevant!  Your only question should be, “What does the patient have, and which of those remedies is irritable?”  Here’s the article, read it again, as should all of you:

Tidbits 50–Repertory Round-Up, Part-4

So, this is so important that I’m going to say it again:  What does the patient have?  What’s wrong with her?  What’s her diagnosis?  Then, what’s the rubric for that?  Then, which of the remedies in that rubric cover her mental state?  Now, having said that, a clear ETIOLOGY can over-rule all of this!  Since you mention Arnica, that’s a perfect example: “Ailments from blunt trauma”–Arnica!  We don’t have to know anything else!  Just give Arnica!  She may have a craving for salt, it doesn’t matter; just give Arnica!  But there is no etiology in this case, which means that the MENTALS rise to the top!   

Allen’s: “Skin more moist than usual, on the chest and inner surface of the arms”

Hillary: “I sweat, mostly under my arms and on my chest.”

Hillary’s sweating because she has a fever.  It’s common.  We shouldn’t make too much of that except that it would probably eliminate “dry fever” remedies like Belladonna.

Allen’s: “Shivering over the whole body and the head, at the same time heat in the head and redness and heat in the face”

Hillary: “I alternate between feeling too hot and too cold, although my head always seems warm.”

The rubric is “Fevers: alternating fever with chills”.  Arnica is only a 1.  There are lots of 3’s.  Do you have Murphy’s Repertory?  You wouldn’t want to pick a 1 over a 3.

Allen’s: “Weakness, weariness, sensation as of being bruised; these symptoms oblige him to lie down.”

Hillary: “Fatigue” & “I ache all over”…

This should have told you that “Hillary” has the flu.  You should be looking for a flu remedy that matches her mentals, because remember the Hierarchy of Symptoms?  The symptom at the top of the hierarchy (usually the “Mentals”) over-rules what’s at the bottom.  So if she’s got a “mental”, the remedy that matches that can “win”, even if it doesn’t cover the local symptoms at the bottom.

…particularly in the muscles in my upper arms and thighs” & “Lying down makes me feel better.”

Allen’s: “Hydroa on the lips.”

Hillary: “I woke up that day with a fever blister”

The rubric is, “Mouth: fever blister, lips”.  Arnica’s not there.  If we go to the Herpes Simplex rubric, there are 206 remedies, Arnica is there as a 1.

Allen’s: “Frequent sneezing”

Hillary: “occasional dramatic sneezing fits —lots of loud sneezing”

Right, but Hillary doesn’t have “frequent sneezing” at all.  She has rare but dramatic sneezing; in other words, sneezing attacks.  The rubric is “Nose: sneezing, paroxysmal”.  Arnica isn’t there.

Here is your mistake.  You’ve spent a lot of time looking up details before finding the BIG Picture!  The big picture is: the patient more than likely has the flu–though she thinks it’s a bad cold, a really bad cold.  But the body aches, headache and chills and fever suggest that it’s more than likely the flu.

What are our common flu remedies?




Nux vomica


Rhus tox



Eupatorium perf.






Now, chances are really good that one of these remedies is the right one.  Of these remedies, which ones are irritable?  That’s our only question!  Of those that are irritable, which ones have sneezing fits?  Boom!  Case is closed!

I was kind of thinking Nux vomica at first, when I first read through it, mostly ’cause of the face pain and Nux V is a major sinus remedy plus the irritability of course.

YES, IT’S NUX VOMICA!  So easy!  Look at how difficult you made this case!  Here’s how I saw it:  I need a flu remedy with violent sneezing.  Nux v. is famous for that!  So I asked myself, “Is Nux v. irritable?”  Ha!  What a question!  Is the Pope Catholic?

But I felt it couldn’t be Nux vomica because she said she was worse for sitting and if it was Nux vomica, she’d have been better for sitting.

OK, Sarah, remember how I’m always telling people to THINK?  For example, in that case of Vertigo where Gabi said she was “worse company” but it turned out that the only “company” there was her kids?  And they weren’t helping her at all?  Maybe she wouldn’t have been worse company if someone offered to help her.

We can’t always take things at face value, we have to be discerning.  “Hillary” was better lying down in bed, where she spent most of her time.  Now, if you’re better lying down–for which Nux vomica is a 3– and you have to sit up all of a sudden, what’s going to happen when you sit up?  You can probably imagine that having to get out of your comfort position is going to make you feel worse, maybe make your head hurt worse, that’s why sitting makes her feel worse, because she spends most of her time lying down.  And then moving about makes her feel worst of all.  Now, you can be sure, that if she goes from moving about to sitting, that will make her feel better, and from sitting to lying down, better still!  So, this is the context then in which she is “worse sitting”.

This is the trouble with “programs” and “methods” that can’t think, can’t exercise judgement.

Homeopaths have a motto of sorts and it is: “Always ask why!”

You might think something is obvious. “She’s worse sitting, she said so!”  So, therefore, what?  She’d rather be moving, walking around, like Rhus tox?  No!  She’d rather be lying down!  So then she’s only worse sitting because it means she’s no longer lying!

Perhaps what she really meant to say was, “Worse on rising up.”  There’s actually a rubric for that: “Generals: rising up, body, agg.”  Nux vomica is a 3 for that!  So, for heaven’s sake, THINK, people; THINK!

Are there anymore Nat-mur voters here?


Hi Elaine,

Hi Sebastiano from Italy!

my answer is natrum muriaticum.

I see, but here’s the problem with that.  You’re going about it backwards.  You’re supposed to get the Big Picture first, and the smaller picture later.  It’s like this:  If your cow is missing, and you try to find her by asking everyone in Italy if they’ve seen your brown cow with a white spot in the middle of her forehead, it will take you forever to find her!  But if you can call all the dairy farms and out which one the cow thief sold her to, then you only have to pick her out among maybe 20 or 30 cows using her characteristic (strange/rare/peculiar) markings!  So the first thing to do, then, is find the farm, do a search of the farms!  Look for a farm, don’t look in movie theaters and restaurants and don’t ask random people on the street!  Maybe Italy has only 3 dairy farms!  It’s so much easier now!  So in other words, we have to find out what illness Hillary has, because the illness is the farm, and the remedy is the cow.  The illness is the primary rubric.  What illness does “Hillary E. Clinton” have?  She has a flu-like illness!  She says she’s got heat alternating with cold (chills and fever), she’s got muscle aches and she’s got a headache, plus there are the usual common symptoms.  So, we ask ourselves, what flu remedy is irritable, has sneezing fits, face pain and the other characteristic symptoms of the case?  Well, it’s not Nat-mur because Nat-mur isn’t in the farm— the influenza rubric!  See?  We can eliminate Nat-mur right away!  Nat-mur’s not even a cow!  We’re only looking for cows–something you’d find on a farm.  It’s like, when a person is injured, we’re only interested in injury remedies!  We’re thinking, “Is it Arnica?  Hypericum?  Bryonia?  Rhus tox?  Ruta?”  Oh, she doesn’t want to be touched, it must be Nat-mur!  No, Nat-mur is not an injury remedy!  Right?  See?  But if we had a case of DEPRESSION with aversion to company and an aversion to being touched, then Nat-mur would be our first consideration!  So, Big Picture first!  Big to small, big to small.

You can’t make salty-tasting nasal discharge more important than the mental/emotionals in the case.  She’s irritable, has an aversion to company, doesn’t want to be touched, prefers a dark room… What flu remedy does that sound like?  It sounds like Nux vomica to me–our famous irritable, over-sensitive remedy!  Then I ask myself, “Does Nux v. have sneezing fits?”  Yes. “Does it have face pain?”  Yes.  “Does it have a painful cough?”  Yes.  “Is it better lying down?”  Yes.  “Better in the dark?”  Yes.  “Worse while walking?”  Yes, yes, yes!

Read Tidbits 50 on how to pick rubrics in a case:

Thank You very much for your quiz and tidbits.

You’re welcome!  Thanks for voting!

Sebastiano Di Salvo, Italy


I see the gang from Slovakia is here!

Hello Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!

I think it’s a high time to send our solutions on the November Quiz.

Sounds like a good idea!

Miroslav wrote:

I think it could be Actea racemosa: the feeling of an enlarged head, a salty discharge from a nose, a severe pain of the bones of the face, amelioration by heat, except of the head ..

Jitka- Natrum mur.

I´m going also to try to answer next of your tricky questions.  In the last quiz about painful teeth, my first thought was that it could be Hecla Lava, but I tried to fit all symptoms to the right remedy until I was misled to incorrect solution.  So I decided that this time I will try to rely on my first impression. And my first impression was that it could be Natrum mur.  To facilitate repertorization I do not have RADAR, so I had to compare some of the symptoms in Murphy´s, and it’s quite difficult to compare English symptoms with foreign translation.  I also thought about Bryonia, but Natrum seems more similar to your case.

Natrum mur:

Running or blocked nose

Hammer beating pain in the head

Violent sneezing


fever blister


Facial bone pain

Salty taste


I couldn´t find:

Cold alternates heat

Best regards Jitka

Dear Jitka,

Yes, heat alternates with cold, that was a hard one for me too!  I finally settled on: “Fevers: alternating, fever with chills”.  And this was an important rubric for me because it suggested that what Hillary E. Clinton was calling a “bad cold” was really the flu–or something like it.  Now, here’s the mistake you and Miroslav made: you focused almost entirely on the symptoms when the first thing you need to do is figure out what the patient “has”.  It’s like this, you could ask me how to get from Main Street to Broadway, but you would first have to tell me what CITY you were in!  Because just about every city in the country has a Main Street and a Broadway.  And similarly, numerous illnesses have headaches, stuffy noses, etc…. I need to hear the city first, street names second.  And then, you know, if you found out what illness the person had, it might turn out that the symptoms you picked, or thought were so important, were actually common for that disease; and therefore, irrelevant!  If they’re common, we can’t use them!

So, even though our patient says she has a bad cold, we listen to the symptoms and we say, “I don’t think so; you’ve got the flu!  You’ve got chills and fever, muscle aches and a headache.  No, that’s the flu!”  So now, we’re not in the “Coryza (common cold)” rubric anymore, we’re in the “Influenza” rubric!  And P.S., I have to say, that in Murphy’s, 3rd ed., the Influenza rubric is in the “Clinical” chapter, and in the 2nd ed., it’s in the “Diseases” chapter.  Kent’s Repertory does not have a rubric for the flu!  If Kent’s Repertory is all you have, you’re at a terrible disadvantage.  So, our first question in looking at our flu remedies (which don’t include Actea and Nat-mur, by the way) is, which ones are irritable?  Because you know, if a case has a mental concomitant, the remedy has to match that!  So, which flu remedies are irritable and have an aversion to company?  Bryonia and Nux vomica!  So which one is it?

Thank you for the example of streets and cities!  I hope that I will always remember it from now on.  Now I’m voting for Bryonia.  At the first time I was hesitant to the last moment whether I´ll decide for Natrum muriaticum or Bryonia.  Also  Nux v. was a big candidate for me in this case because I thought it is a complementary remedy to Sulphur.

Yes, Jitka, yes!  Very good!  I was wondering if anybody would pick up on that!  Yes, Sulphur constitutions have Nux vomica acutes, very insightful, you get extra points for that!

But now I found Bryonia in the rubric:  “Influenza, pain in the limbs, during“, so it is Bryonia.

But see, “pain in the limbs” is something you’d find in almost any case of the flu, it’s common; this is how we know she has the flu.  And the fever alternating with chills is the other clue.  Now, why can’t it be Bryonia?

Is it the right answer if I say it can’t be Bryonia because Bryonia is not complementary remedy to Sulphur?

No, that’s not a good answer because there’s no rule that says if you have an acute, the remedy will inevitably be the complementary remedy.  For instance, our most common flu remedy is Gelsemium.  What is Gelsemium a complement to?  I don’t even know!

I’ll give you another chance to guess why Hillary’s remedy can’t be Bryonia.

I knew you would not be happy with my answer, nor was I.  It was such a response as if “A drowning man will clutch at a straw”.  But I could not figure out why it couldn’t be Bryonia when many symptoms suit to a picture of this remedy.  I’ve read the whole case again and probably there is a “dog buried” that Hillary says:  Heat on my neck and low back makes me feel better but the patient Bryonia is worse from a warm room, worse from too much clothing, worse from the warmth of the bed.  If this is not an issue of the whole case, then I´ll give up, I’ll wait for your review.

A Bryonia case has extreme, severe symptoms.  Usually it’s pain but it can be nausea too.  The symptoms are so extreme that the patient can’t do anything!  He can’t lift his head off the pillow or rise up!  He can’t move his eyes.  He can’t take a deep breath.  Moving even slightly makes his symptoms worse.  This is why they have “aversion to answer”, because to answer, you have to take a deep breath and that’s more “movement” than Bryonia can stand!  You can see how extreme these cases are.  But our patient is up cooking in the kitchen and reading!  Would a Bryonia patient be doing either one of those things?  That’s why you have to reject Bryonia, even though Bryonia is irritable, averse to company and thirsty like our patient.

I have time for one last contestant!


Hi Elaine and Shana!

Hi Maria!

I am not sure what to vote for this month.

Good.  Class dismissed!

Wait!  I’m still thinking!  It seems like a Bryonia or a Nux-v cold.

But the patient likes the warm application on neck and back.

On the other hand Nux has Chill alternating with heat during a cold like this but it doesn’t cover the thirst.

I don’t have a repertory in my laptop available.

I will vote for Nux vomica but I am not sure.

I will try again If I am wrong.

You’re not wrong so don’t try again!

Really?  Wow, I thought I was wrong.  Great!

I had faith that you would get it right!  Fantastic the way you found that rubric “chill alternating with heat”.

Oh, I forgot to tell you, when I was reading the quiz I was impressed by the patient’s desire to read.  You have a fever or a cold with all these complaints and you want to read???

She did say “light reading amel.”, but still, I take your point!

It is kind of strange!  Apparently, it is in the repertory Mind/desire to read and nux is a 1 under it.  Go figure! 😛

Wow!  Thanks, Maria!  I didn’t even think to look there!  That does explain a lot!

Thank you!


Time to congratulate our winner–Maria from Greece!  And honorable mention to Jitka for observing that if Hillary’s constitution is Sulphur, the remedy could be its complement, Nux vomica.  Nice going, Jitka!

I’ll see everybody back here again next year!  Happy New Year everyone!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases! Write to her at [email protected]

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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

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!

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