Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Coughing Up Pennies

Written by Elaine Lewis

Do any of you remember last month’s quiz? Here it is again with the answer to follow!

Hey Mom, we’re ON in Five, four, three, two and…..Cue the Quiz!

Greetings, homeopathy lovers!  Welcome to another edition of The Hpathy Quiz!  I’m Elaine Lewis and I’ll be your host for this evening….Tonight’s episode is brought to you by… Real Food That You Make Yourself!

Shana, find us a picture of real food.


This is vegetable stir-fry served over brown rice, which, of course, I made myself.  And these dishes don’t take long to make either!  Here’s what the vegetables look like in the pan:

We have tomatoes, onions, mushrooms and broccoli.  I probably added soy sauce and ginger to make it taste Chinese-y.  The important thing is NOT to over-cook the vegetables because over-cooking destroys the enzymes, which are the things in vegetables that make them good for you!  Now, why all this fuss over food in the hpathy quiz?  Because people are getting sick, by and large, because of what they’re eating (and it’s causing a lot of the behavior problems in children too)! Shana, get me a picture of what people should not be eating!


What do we have here… white bread, processed cheese, over-cooked meat filled with antibiotics, GM corn and female hormones, topped with bacon cured with cancer-causing nitrites.  In fact, this entire “meal” is constipating as there’s no fiber in it at all!

Mom, let’s not forget to report on what we did this month!

Well, since everyone is gathered around…. It’s been quite a month for all of us!  It started with a Beach Boys concert in New Jersey!

Yes, I remember, you got in a fight with Security!

Shana, they were bureaucratically enforcing meaningless rules, like where people are allowed to stand!

They just wanted you to sit in your seat!

But I couldn’t see!  Don’t ever go to see a show at the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey!

I’m sure no one will.

Shana, find me your favorite song by The Beach Boys, the one called “Forever” featuring Dennis Wilson.



If every word I said, could make you laugh, I’d talk forever….

Thanks, Shana, great song!

                            Beach Boys–Al Jardine, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Dennis Wilson, Carl Wilson


Now, if we could possibly move on to the next thing?  We also saw The Jacksons at the Borgata in Atlantic City!  Here we are in the Borgata Hotel and Casino parking garage:

We look like complete idiots!

Well, I do anyway.  Can I have a picture of The Jacksons, Michael Jackson’s brothers?


Shana, you know what my favorite song by them is?

“I Want You Back”?

You got it!  This song has the most recognizable intro in the history of popular music!  Shana, find “I Want You Back” by The Jackson 5!


The Jackson 5

That’s Michael when he was 10 years old!  He was so adorable!  Mom, you didn’t tell how we nearly missed the concert—again!

OMG!  That’s right!  The previous month we nearly missed Smokey Robinson because you came down with the flu!  What happened this time?  Oh, right, CRAMPS!  Not only did a remedy finally work at the last minute, just like before; but, it was even beyond that!  The show started at 8 p.m. and when did we leave?  7 pm!!!!  There was no way we could have made it in time!  So I did what I usually do, prayed to Daddy!  “Rick, I need the Atlantic City Expressway cleared, and I need to not get lost, and I need for the show to not start on time!”  So what happened?  The traffic melted away, I didn’t get lost and the show started as soon as we took our seats!  I am NOT kidding! 

And now we can start the Quiz. 

Who’s our patient this time?

Um…oh geez, I need a fictitious name!!!!

Oh here we go again!  What about, “Angelica Pickles”?

Shana, isn’t she a real person?

Well, since you mention it…..

OK, “Angelica Q. Pickles”!  The Hpathy Quiz is



So Elaine, yesterday when I woke up, I had a little bit of a cough that seemed to subside after I had been awake a while.  There was a slight catch when I coughed, like it wasn’t a dry cough but a little phlegm to it and when I coughed there was a distinct metallic taste, like I was coughing up pennies.

Today I am noticing I have the cough again, off and on, it is not perpetual or severe; but again, the metallic taste is there.  It is coming from my throat, when I cough.

Maybe I’m fighting a slight bronchial infection or something?  I have no congestion though, nasally. I am noticing now that even though I’ve been up for hours, I am not feeling 100% yet.  Not *nearly* as bad as last night, but I must be fighting something.  Still really sore like I slept on a bad bed, everything feels bruised, but not the internal achiness I felt last night; yawning a lot even though I got a lot of sleep; no sore throat, no diminished appetite, a couple of chills but again, not like last night at all.  Hmm… maybe I just need something for paranoia!

And my skin is really sensitive to touch, like I had a sunburn.  But I don’t.  I am super-sore like I gardened for days on end.

I would suggest that you take a dose of _________30C.

I’ll dig out the ________30C and try it.


I took it at 2:50.  By 3:10, I was noticing normal energy levels again.  My muscles still feel sore and tight but perhaps that will lessen with time.  I can’t tell if my skin is less sensitive yet.  But I am really glad about the energy levels!

I can tell that my energy feels very much improved.  A single pellet!  I noticed the energy change as I was doing stuff around the house, it wasn’t like I took __________________ and then laid down, I never laid down.

I am also feeling less anxiety on the whole.

So, that usually means it’s a bullseye — energy improved, mentals improved!


It has now been 4.5 hours since I took that dose of ______ and I have to say, feeling much, much more normal.  Some residual muscle aches but overall completely different than what I felt before. Hopefully this is the end of whatever it was.  THANKS for the suggestion!!


Totally normal now.  No more coughing, no metallic taste, no aches, no chills, good energy for dragging myself and the girls into the heat, to the library and the grocery store.


Thank you, “Angelica”!  So what remedy is this?  Write to me at [email protected] and let me know. The answer will be revealed in next month’s ezine. Bye-bye!



Rhus tox-6



Hepar sulph-2

Arsenicum alb.



So how did we do this time?  Is the caller there?

Hi Elaine!

I read the quiz and nothing came up to my head,

Same with me, nothing came to mind.

so I opened the repertory.

That’s what I had to do too.

Rubric “Throat/mucus, in throat/metallic taste” 3 remedies with 1 grade: Calc, merc, rhus-tox.

Wow.  See, I didn’t even think to use that rubric, I just went to “Taste, metallic” in Murphy’s Repertory which doesn’t narrow the choice down nearly so well as your rubric does!  So of the three, we know it can’t be Mercury, Mercury is very sick, they need to lie down; in fact, the only thing that ameliorates Mercury is rest.  We don’t sense that “Angelica” is that sick.  Calcarea, we generally don’t see as an acute remedy unless it’s the patient’s constitutional.  So, that leaves…..

…Rhus-tox because she said that she had the cough on waking and got better after being awake a while.  Overall she seems somehow restless to me like Rhus.

If my guessing is wrong I’ll come up with something else.  I have to say though, it will not be easy!

Very good, Maria, you’ve come through again!  What’s you’re batting average now, I’m sure it’s over .500!  I think you’re leading the league!


Do we have another caller?

 Elaine, it’s Ricky.  I think it’s Bromium.  There are 127 remedies under Taste, metallic!!

Yes, I know!

So how did you ever find which one?

There was a clear need to repertorize here, there was no other way.  I simply made a list of characteristic symptoms in the case–and luckily, most of them were characteristic (as opposed to common)–and then repertorized because I couldn’t see a diagnosis beyond “cold”, and I couldn’t see an essence, and I couldn’t see keynotes of a remedy, so…all I could do was repertorize.  What are our symptoms?  I chose:

metallic taste


bed feels too hard

muscles, sore

skin, sensitive

And it was surprising that the remedy that came up — one of our polychrests — had none of its famous symptoms!!!!!

What are we to make of this?  It shows how wrong we can be when we start rejecting remedies based on what we DON’T see: “It can’t be Pulsatilla, she’s not crying.”  “It can’t be Stramonium, he’s not violent.”  “It can’t be Arsenicum, there’s no anxiety.”  I mean, where is the famous Rhus tox “better from motion”?  Where is the famous Rhus tox amelioration from hot applications and hot bathing? Where is the “worse from cold/rainy weather”?  How can it be Rhus tox?

You know, I once cured a toothache with Rhus tox….  How likely was that?  What does all this mean? I think it just demonstrates that sometimes the right remedy is simply the one that covers the characteristic symptoms in the case — period, end of story!  However, I have to say, I have found on many occasions that “Yawning” is a peculiar symptom that can be found in cases of Rhus tox.

Please see repertorization below.

And now it’s time to announce our lovely winners!  Congratulations go to:

Lynda from Canada

Maria from Greece

Diderik Finne from here

Vamsi Sudha from India

Prateek Sehgal from India

Kapil Vatawani from an undisclosed location

Good show!

Thanks to all who voted, and don’t forget to try again with this month’s quiz!  See you soon!

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

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