Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Claire’s Daughter Gets a Virus–Suddenly

Did you try to come up with a remedy for last month’s acute Quiz?

Mom, its time for the quiz.

And once again, we’re late!

That could be because of our trip to the Virginia border, which brings me right to this month’s Report!  My cousin Jon got married on September 6th, so we visited lovely Maryland.

Was it lovely?  I hadn’t noticed.  We did see a bunch of cows though.  Where are all the pictures we took?

I sent them to you, remember?

Oh, those pictures!

wedding edited

view from behind wedding 2

We met members of Jon’s band–Kurt and Tommy–at the reception.

Yes, and a boy asked you to dance, three times!  And I was complimented on my Bee Gees t-shirt!

Yes, and here’s the thing, Mom, it doesn’t fit you anymore.  Can I have it?

You might as well, you have all the rest of my clothes.  Can we start the quiz now?

What is the quiz this time?

Claire’s daughter gets a virus–suddenly.

Is that going to be the title?

Good idea, Shana, where would the Quiz be without you?  So let’s bring out Claire, shall we?  And now, heeeeeeeeeeere’s Claire!


Strange “acute” happened last night, Elaine.  Everyone was fine, “Matilda” got emotionally upset about something and wandered off to another part of the house.  Then she came back to me and wanted a hug; she sat quietly for a while as I was doing something, and then told me she all of a sudden had a headache!

Because of her usual disposition, I thought I would try Pulsatilla because there were no other symptoms.  It did nothing.  Then, she said she still had a headache but now also felt nauseated!  Her face felt a little warm.  I gave Ipecac, which did nothing.  Not sure what to do next; I asked her, “Did you have a little headache and it got bigger?  Or did you just suddenly have a hurting head?”  She said it was sudden.

I checked her eyes.  Pupils not dilated, no glassy appearance.  Hands and feet not cold. She sat on my lap, seemed a little scared.  I decided to give her _______________. Within a minute of a dry dose of 30c, she threw up.  The nausea was now gone, and the headache was fading and gone entirely by a few minutes past the remedy; she was back to her usual playful, silly self, normal temperature as well.

I don’t know if I stopped a virus from blooming, or what that was exactly, but, I was so happy to have resolved it in minutes!  She is fine today, as is everyone else.


OK, everybody!  This is what homeopathy is all about, isn’t it?  Seizing a threat and sending it on its way before it can do any damage.  This is why we should all have a 30C Homeopathy Emergency Kit in our homes!

remedy kit 2

What was the remedy Claire gave?   






Nux vomica

OK, who wants to be first this time?


Hello Elaine & Shana,

Hello Wayne from Australia!

Seems like this girl had an emotional upset and she needed consolation or she was fearful.
Most probable remedies would be Phosphorus, Nat Mur or Ignatia.
A sudden headache has Ignatia, as does headache with nausea, only very weakly.
Phosphorus runs through the rest and could probably be given with effect.
It is not Belladonna, no dilation of the pupils.  A slight fever is strongly Phosphorus, with Ipecac less so.
Ignatia is worse for consolation, although the headache is sudden.
All slightly confusing.  I will go for Phosphorus.

Well, Wayne, the key to this case was the word “sudden”.  I’m thinking this could be the first signs of a stomach flu or gastro-intestinal virus of some sort.  We have two main remedies for “sudden onset”–Aconite and Belladonna.  Thinking it might be Belladonna, Claire looked to see if there were dilated pupils or glassy eyes or cold extremities.  Finding nothing of the sort, she went to our other sudden onset remedy, Aconite, which was confirmed by the child’s fearfulness, and she was right.  

The point of this quiz was to show how “onset” can be the deciding factor in a case, it’s right near the top of our “hierarchy of symptoms”, something I wrote about in a previous article:

Here’s an excerpt from that article:

This is the value in having a hierarchy of symptoms because…knowing that you will most likely NOT be able to match every symptom in the case with the same remedy, you will at least know to match what’s at the top of the hierarchy and be successful.

We’re more concerned that the remedy match what’s at the top–usually the mental and emotional symptoms–than what’s at the very bottom, which are usually the local physical symptoms.

In this context, the remedy that matches the Generals would be of more value, more likely to cure, than the remedy that matches only the Particulars. The Generals are the symptoms that start with the word, “I” or “I’m”: “I want air!” “I want to go home!” “I’m thirsty!” “I want to be left alone,” and so on.  The local symptoms start with “MY”: “My nose is stopped up!” “My eye itches.”

Even higher than the mental/emotionals in the hierarchy is the Etiology (the cause) …!

Now, since I brought it up, here is the standard hierarchy:

  1. Etiology (“Ailments From” or “Never Well Since” a certain trauma, event or illnesss)
  2. Diagnosis (the name of the condition: Measles? PMS? Arthritis? Gallstones?) Some of you are going to say, “Isn’t that allopathy?” If I don’t know what you have, if I don’t know the name of your illness, I won’t know which chapter of the Repertory to look in!

You can have a rash, for example, but what’s it from? Is it an allergy? Is it the measles? Is it poison ivy? … Knowing the answer to this will tell me what the primary rubric is; so, having a diagnosis is basic.  Now, keep in mind, you don’t always need a doctor to acquire this information, sometimes what’s wrong with a person is quite obvious; but, you do have to ask your patient, and if he says, “I don’t know, I don’t know what’s wrong with me,” ask him, “When did it start?  What were you doing that day or around that time?  Re-trace your steps, give me the run-down.”

  1. Onset (sudden or gradual?)

A sudden onset might trump everything in the case and lead to an immediate consideration of Aconite or Belladonna and maybe even Baptisia in septic states.

  1. Delusions and Strange/Rare and Peculiar symptoms
  2. Mentals (symptoms like confusion, forgetfulness, poor concentration, stupor.)
  3. Emotionals (fear, crying, yelling, whining, making demands, throwing things, etc.)
  4. Physical Generals (“I’m thirsty”, “I’m cold”, “I want to sleep”, “I’m nauseous”, “I want ice”, “I want the lights out”, etc.)
  5. Local symptoms (“My leg hurts”, “My eye itches”, “My throat is sore”, “My nose is stopped up.”)



OK, so in this case, we knew we had “sudden onset”, meaning that from 3,000 remedies, we were down to 3!  We eliminated Belladonna, there was no sign of sepsis so, no to Baptisia, and that left us with Aconite.  Easy case!  Who else is here today?

Hi Elaine!

Oh look!  It’s Maryam from Pakistan!

Hope you are good.  My vote for this month’s quiz is Aconite.

You’re right!!!!

She got a sudden headache, and she is scared.


And I have noticed one more thing that pupils are not dilated, hands and feet are not cold which differentiate it from belladonna.

Right again!


Maryam from Pakistan.


Thanks again, Maryam! Do we have a caller on the line?  Speak up, caller.  You’re on the air at!

Hi Elaine,

Hi Anurag!

For this month’s quiz, my answer is Gelsemium!

The sudden onset of Headache marked with nausea and fear indicates this remedy.

Thanks to confirm!



Anurag, Gelsemium is NOT in the “sudden onset” rubric.  In Murphy’s 3rd ed., you’d go to the Clinical chapter, and then go alphabetically to “Diseases, general, Complaints and Symptoms, sudden manifestations” and the 2 remedies in bold are: Aconite and Belladonna.  Gelsemium’s not there.  Meanwhile, as this is a 7 year old child, and children aren’t prone to getting headaches the way adults are, I would look at this more as the beginning of a virus similar to the flu; and therefore, I wouldn’t bother with the headache chapter, as headache is a common virus symptom; if you think of this only as a headache, it can be misleading–even though the correct remedy was listed under “Headaches, sudden”, just not in the highest degree.  Our two main remedies for sudden onset of a virus are Aconite and Belladonna; so, Claire checked for Belladonna confirmatories and found nothing, so, she gave the other sudden onset remedy and it worked!

Yes!  I agree with you.  I was not sure about Gelsemium either.

I believe Gelsemium is known for slow onset.  Look at “Generals: pain, appear gradually, the pains”–only two remedies in bold: Gelsemium and Conium, Ignatia is in italics.  All the rest plain type.

I wanted to write Belladonna instead.  If Belladonna symptoms not there, Aconite is a good choice for sudden onset of symptoms (I dropped it when Claire mentions “Hands and feet not cold”).

Thanks for voting!


Who do we have next?  Oh look!  It’s our friends Miroslav and Jitka!

Hello Elaine and Shana, we hope that we are not too late with our responses to the September quiz.

No, not late at all!

We have read carefully your article “Acute vs chronic remedies, the hierarchy of symptoms and the kitchen sink”.

Catchy little title, isn’t it?  You should have no problem with this quiz at all then.

Now you can see whether it was useful for one of us..:)

OK, let’s see!

Miroslav says: Nux vomica


After a short repertorization I picked Nux-v. :

There was actually no need to repertorize this case.

Rubrics :

Mind, being held, amel.

No, no, no, no, no.  All children want to be held, it’s common, and we don’t repertorize common symptoms.  She’s 7 years old, so it means nothing.  If she was indifferent to being comforted and held while sick, that would be very striking and we would surely want the remedy to cover that.

Headaches, agitated, emotional, after

No, look, here’s the problem.  Kids get upset all the time, at least 10 times a day, it doesn’t mean anything unless it’s extreme.  Also, 7-year-olds don’t get headaches like adults do.  If a child reports having a headache, you have to wonder or consider the possibility that she’s coming down with a virus and maybe even the flu.  Claire did say that “Matilda” felt “warm”.  And then when she said it’s now taking on another symptom–nausea–all the more reason to suspect a virus!  So what we really have here, then, is a sudden onset of a virus, possibly a stomach flu.

Headache, vomiting with headache

No, no, no, I knew someone would get tripped up by that!  This is not a case of headache with vomiting.  In fact, vomiting isn’t part of the case at all!  The vomiting didn’t occur until after the remedy was given, and you do know that the right remedy typically leads to discharging, right?  In fact, here’s another quiz where the same thing happened, headache followed by vomiting after the right remedy was given:

It would be very useful for you to look at it.  So, the vomiting is caused by the remedy (or the case resolving) it signals the end of the case, and after that, everything is over and done with and all is well!  If vomiting had been part of the case, it would have just led to more vomiting, not a cure!  Can you see that?  Unless it is just a case of bad food or water, in which instance vomiting once MIGHT conceivably end the case.  But, to feel so well after vomiting once, suggests a remedy caused it, signaling the end of the case as per Hering’s Law.

Headaches, stomach headache

Stomach, vomiting improves – (MM Phatak)

Mind, confusion, mental confusion

No, none of this matters, and I don’t even think mental confusion was part of the case.  You told me you read my article on the hierarchy of symptoms but you made the same mistake as the example given at the end where a sun headache seems to be Sulphur, looking only at the symptoms at the bottom of the hierarchy–the local symptoms; but, if one starts at the top of the hierarchy, the remedy is Belladonna.

In the case of “Matilda”, you started at the bottom and repertorized local symptoms, ignoring “sudden onset” and the two essential remedies that cover it–Belladonna and Aconite!  And since “onset” is at or near the top of the hierarchy, the remedy has to be one of those two!

Look, it’s like this, if the 2 of us are playing cards, and I’ve got a Queen, and all you’ve got is a 3, 5 and 9, all your cards are irrelevant, my Queen wins!  Do you see that?  Does everybody see that?  All those low cards mean nothing!  The high card wins!  The high card here is “sudden onset”.

So Claire tried to confirm Belladonna by checking for dilated pupils, glassy eyes and cold extremities and none were there; so, with Belladonna eliminated, there was only Aconite left standing.  So Aconite wins.  All those other “symptoms” in the case were like “low cards”!

Here’s the thing, people, it is hardly ever that you have an illness where the proposed remedy covers everything–the locals, the generals, the mentals, the peculiars, the onset, the etiology….etc.  So, knowing that your remedy’s probably not going to cover everything, what MUST it cover?  The TOP of the hierarchy!  Why look for other remedies when your case has “sudden onset” and you know there are only 2 sudden onset remedies?  Why repertorize when you know it’s either Aconite or Belladonna?  All you have to do is confirm or eliminate Belladonna!  Here’s one good way to differentiate between the 2:  Aconite is thirsty, Belladonna is not.

Some people made the mistake of making “sudden onset” just one in a sea of many rubrics chosen for the case, such as: 1. headache, 2. sudden onset, 3. nausea, and then repertorizing to see which remedy covers all three!  No, the hierarchy of symptoms nullifies that approach.

Jitka says: Phosphorus

Oops, sorry, it’s not Phosphorus.

Mind, sensitive; children– PHOSPHORUS

No, we actually know nothing about “Matilda’s” sensitivity to make that judgement.

Mind, agitated, excited children in– 2/phosphorus

No, no, no, you’re assuming information not in evidence.  In fact, she was sitting rather quietly in her mother’s lap.

Mind; emotions; becomes ill after strong emotions– 2/phosphorus

There was no evidence of “strong” emotions.  Kids are emotional anyway.  Imagine if they got sick every time they became moderately emotional, they’d be sick all the time!

Mind; fear; groundless– 2 phosphorus

No, she didn’t have groundless fear, she was afraid because she didn’t feel well.

Mind: fear in children, night– PHOSPHORUS

This isn’t a case of fear at night in a child, it’s fear when sick; or, in repertory language, “anxiety about health”.

Mind, being held; desires– PHOSPHORUS

It’s common in children to want their mothers to hold them when they’re sick, so, we don’t pay much attention to that.

Headache, agitation, emotions, after– PHOSPHORUS

You know, the whole “emotional” so-called etiology in the case was too vague to draw any conclusions from so I just ignored it.

Headaches, nausea, during– 2/phosphorus

Well, again, go back and read my remarks to Miroslav.  I can see that this was a very important quiz because people need to learn about the hierarchy of symptoms AND being much more careful in discerning what’s a symptom and what’s normal.

Elaine, I actually thought it was Aconite but I thought that would be too easy.


Best regards, Jitka


We have time for one last contestant.  Go ahead, caller, you’re on the air at!

Hi Elaine and Shana, my vote for this month’s quiz is Aconite.  Mostly for the sudden onset and the scared look.  I couldn’t come up with something better, maybe I missed something as usual.  I’ll try again if I am wrong.

No, Maria, you are not wrong!  I repeat, you are not wrong!

Wow, it’s been a while since I voted correctly 😛

Actually, this is exactly how I saw it: sudden onset, scared.  Aconite.

Did we learn about the hierarchy of symptoms today?  That was the importance of the quiz.

And now it’s time to give a shout-out to our winners!  Congratulations go to……

Dr. Salma Afroz


Maryam from Pakistan

Dr. Saroj from Mumbai


Bye-bye, see you again next time for another fabulous Hpathy Quiz!!!!

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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