Clinical Cases

Revisiting: “Everglades National Park” Needs Help!

Written by Elaine Lewis

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz. Revisiting: “Everglades National Park” Needs Help!

Did anyone miss our quiz from last month?  If you did, here it is again with the answer to follow:

We nearly didn’t have a case for you this month!  I waited and waited to hear from Kelly!  Surely someone in her family was sick, or a distant relative of hers, some little soccer mom friend, a neighbor, surely somebody she knew was going to get sick, it never fails; but, not this month, not yet!  I paced, I waited, I checked my watch; nothing!!!  Finally, at the 11th hour, Kelly calls in to say that her son is sick.  Well hallelujah! 

So without further ado, please welcome the slightly out of breath, yet still fabulous, Kelly Young!


(Gasp! Gasp!) I should probably say that I’m happy to be here (gasp!  gasp!), but I’d be lying!!!!!  No, it’s just that I was told I had two seconds to get down here–by Vito again!– and deliver this Peabody Award-winning case; so, here it is now, ladies and gentlemen.  Ahem!!!!!  I recieved a call Monday from my 6 year old son’s teacher saying…

Kelly, you have to pick a name.

For the teacher?

No, you need a fictitious name for the patient, your son!

Well, I could use his real name.

Kelly, his real name is boring.

It is?  What’s wrong with his real name?

He’ll never be noticed with an ordinary name.  People who are famous have exotic names like “Rock”, “Stone”, “Brook”, “River”… Do you see what I mean?

Yeah, I think I’m getting your drift….What about “Everglades National Park”?  It has all those things!

You’re right!  Brilliant! 

OK, So, my little “Everglades National Park” was not feeling well and running a fever at school. He had been outside in the cold wet weather over the previous weekend and had developed a cough but nothing else at that point.

My husband brought him home from school and monitored him for the afternoon. His fever rose to over 102 degrees, he was red-faced, hot and lethargic.

By the time I returned home, he was sweating profusely, chilly and wanted to be wrapped up. His cough was still present, he wasn’t very thirsty (though he did drink some water) and had eaten nothing all day.

The first remedy I gave made him somewhat better the next day. He had a total of three doses. But in the afternoon, his fever returned, so I gave another dose of the remedy and nothing happened! So, I tried it in a 200C, but still nothing happened! His ears were bright red and he was extremely thirsty for ice cold water.

Rethinking the case I realized I missed an important symptom- he smelled horrible! His sweat and breath were quite foul. I gave a different remedy this time in a 30C potency.  A half an hour later, I again gave a sucussed dose of __________________ and to my horror, the poor kid seemed to get worse!  His fever had risen to almost 104 degrees and I was getting really worrried!

Fortunately, (thank you Elaine!!) I realized he was aggravating!  I zapped — antidoted — with the “aggravation zapper” (see “The Aggravation Zapper” by Diane Fuller).  Things settled down quickly and his fever lowered dramatically to 101 then down to 99 then normal by bedtime!

I have yet to repeat this remedy and will only do so if I see a return of symptoms. Thank God for “zapping”! And now if you don’t mind, I’m leaving!

Bye-bye, Kelly, thanks for stopping by….So, ladies and gentlemen, I think first we have to learn from Kelly’s mistake, namely that mindlessly repeating the remedy can result in aggravations, with the result being that a new remedy is frantically looked for when you really had the right one all along.  Sometimes we do this because we’re so worried and want something to happen really fast; but, if a complaint came on slowly and you’re into day-2 already, then giving a remedy only half an hour to work seems a bit hasty.  I should think you’d want to wait at least an hour, and then you’d be looking for the child to appear more relaxed and normal in appearance as a sign that the remedy was working.  

Fourteen of you voted, and half of you picked Mercury!  This is not hard to understand, as Mercury is famous for its foul odors, especially bad breath.  Unfortunately, you picked the wrong remedy.  OK, I think we all agree that the most striking feature of the case is the horrible smell!  Here is the rubric:

Fever: putrid–ars., BAPT., crot-h., ECHI., lach., mur-ac., phos-ac., PYROG., sec.

If we add to this symptom, Mind: dullness, fever, during–you’ll see that only Baptisia covers both symptoms.

If you add, Fever: high, children, in–again, only Baptisia covers all three symptoms.

If we look at Murphy’s Materia Medica under Baptisia, we find:

” Face: Dusky, stupid. Besotted look. Dark red. … Great thirst … Dull and confused mind. Inability to think. Indifference. Ideas confused. … Discharges and exhalations fetid. Foul odor of the body, breath; of excretions, stools, sweat, urine etc. … influenza. The besotted look, bleary eyes, aching head, sore throat, pains and soreness all over the body and profound prostration. These indicate Baptisia before any other remedy.”

You might think of this remedy as Gelsemium with a great thirst; or, Gelsemium, only worse! In fact, the first remedy Kelly gave was Gelsemium, and it seemed to help at first, didn’t it?  So, if you’re seeing a case where you’re thinking, “This looks like a Gelsemium flu–lethargic, droopy, dull, dizzy with fever…but the patient is thirsty and he smells awful!”  Think of Baptisia!!!!

We were also missing two very common Mercury symptoms in this case–the famous narrow range of temperature tolerance and the excessive salivation. Kelly’s son was ameliorated from being wrapped up warmly. Mercury would have tolerated this for a few seconds but quickly would have become over-heated and thrown the covers off.  Then he would have become cold and wanted the covers back on!  That’s Mercury for you.

So, who won? We have two winners–Anonymous (again!) and Rajiv Prasad, who wrote:

Dear Elaine,

I think the answer to this month’s monthly quiz is Baptisia. It has all the symptoms of the case viz. the fever developing over a few days, the cough with fever, the thirst, burning hot and red face and ears.  Most importantly it also has the important concomitant of strong and horrible odor of the body and discharges. One could mistake this case for Belladona, but Belladona does not have horrible odor which I think is a key point in this case.

With regards

Rajiv Prasad

Brilliant, Rajiv, absolutely brilliant!!!  Congratulations to our two lovely winners!  See you next time!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom.  Elaine takes online cases. Visit her website at:  Write to her at [email protected]

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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