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

Revisiting: Everything Above My Shoulders Is Not Good!

Elaine Lewis analyzes last month’s quiz and the answer is …….!

Shana, what are we doing?

I don’t know Mom, don’t you have a report to give on the latest news before we start the quiz?  Has anybody died this month?

Jimmy Jones.

Jimmy Jones?

Exactly.  He did “Handyman”.

So did James Taylor!

And for once I have to agree that he did a great job!

Shana, find me “Handy Man” by Jimmy Jones.


And now find me James Taylor’s version.


I love James Taylor!

Don’t remind me!  You bought an album by him today that we already had!!!!!

Who’s in the quiz this month?  Do we need a fictitious name?  How about…..”Carly Simon”?

Wasn’t she married to James Taylor?

Um… then what about “Marly Simon”!

OK, in the interest of moving forward, this is the case of “Marly Simon”–and “Marly” is suffering from some sort of virus resulting in a sinus infection and dryness on all levels!  Here’s the questionnaire:


1. Describe the complaint or complaints in your own words in as much detail as you can. Don’t forget to include the onset (did the complaint come on suddenly or gradually)?

I am currently having a lot of cold in the head. Everything above my shoulders does not seem good. Now the cold seems to have gone to my right side. My right sinus (next to my nose) is paining. My forehead, eyes, eyebrows, between eyes at top of nose is paining. My head also does not feel nice. My head on my right is paining, top and back too, where head meets neck. Temples too. Today my throat is paining too, both sides, especially on my right. Side and back of neck hurting too, more on right.

My nose has become very dry (started in the night). I cannot breathe at all. My lips are getting dry because I am breathing through my mouth, especially when I lie down. When I move or I’m up and moving, my left nostril will open and I can breathe some, but it seems difficult since my nose is so dry. The nose, sinuses and throat seem inflamed, like they are swollen, like I feel constricted.

Ears are making a sound when I swallow. Left makes more sound. I realized today they were actually blocked. When I yawn they open up for some time.

My nose is not dripping. My sinus seems stuffed, but not even a single drop comes out. I feel there must be mucous building up at the back of my throat/tongue.

Today in the afternoon I suddenly started coughing. It was dry cough- no mucous, but I couldn’t stop coughing. Throat felt very dry.

Onset: The way I remember it- before I went to pick up the older one from daycare- I was fine. I was there for 15-20 mins in their backyard. When I came back I felt I am coming down with something. Not sure if it was some allergens in the outside or I touched a very germ filled door knob. I didn’t touch anything else in the daycare that day.

2. Etiology–this means the CAUSE, if you know it.

Before I went to pick up older one from daycare I was fine. I was there for 15-20 mins in their backyard. When I came back I felt I am coming down with something. Not sure, if it was some allergens in the outside or I touched a very germ filled door knob. I didn’t touch anything else in the daycare that day.

3. Sensation–describe the pain or other feeling you have.


4. Appearance– anything remarkable? Red skin, droopy eyes,etc.?

Eyes look like when you have a cold-tired and very slightly red

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

Above shoulders-neck, throat, face, nose, head

6. Modalities–What makes your complaint better or worse?

Better: when I drink hot beverage, put warm water on my face (sinus) press my forehead, eyebrows, top of nose feels good. I feel like massaging the sides of my neck. Feel like pressing right temple

7. Concomitants (other symptoms that are “along for the ride”)

Flu symptoms seem to have gone. No flu-like body pain today.

I feel like stretching my scalp and my brain, like you would stretch your body when you wake up. I feel like closing my eyes tightly and then open them- every now and then

8. Discharges–

No discharge from nose– everything seems inflamed. There could be a tiny bit of discharge inside but nothing comes out, so don’t know.

5 pm- just saw discharge from throat

9. Generals–these are all the symptoms that begin with the word “I”.

I am feeling quite thirsty. My throat feels dry

10. The mentals: Is the complaint changing you mentally and emotionally?

I think I am getting very short tempered and weepy at times

11. What have you been saying?

Don’t make noise. I don’t want any TV sound. Prefer if people don’t talk, because even that sounds loud. Don’t like listening to my own self talk too.

12. What are you doing?

Would have liked to lie down and rest. Have been sighing automatically once in a while.

13. Describe your thirst and appetite

I am feeling quite thirsty. My throat feels dry.

Like warm beverages. Appetite as usual-feeling hungry, etc

14. Fever?

No fever as of now. But body still does not feel normal. Tired I guess

15. Sweating?

Right now do not remember sweating

16. Odors?


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

Seems inflammation in nose. Very dry nose, nose blocked but no discharge, ears making sound; throat pain. Mucous just starting in throat. Fear it may get to sore throat.

18. Is there a diagnosis?

I think I had flu symptoms. Fever with cold. Fever symptoms gone. Cold increased to sinus and throat pain also started.

19. Describe your energy. Weepy at times. Getting short tempered. Getting irritated with noise


Rx: _________________30C, 2 pellets in a disposable cup of water, one sip.

Later that night:

I did take the ______________________. My headache is much better. The rest is still there. Will take another dose before sleeping and will drop you a note in the morning


I did another dose of ______________________ in the night, it did help me. The cold is still there, however the sinus pressure in the head and nose has reduced a lot. And the dryness also reduced.


So, everybody, if you can guess which remedy “Marly Simon” took, write to me at : [email protected] and let me know!  The answer will be in the September ezine (and Shana will be back in college. Where has the summer gone?)  And now we will conclude with The Happenings and their big hit, “See You In September”!  Bye-Bye, so long, farewell….




Nux vomica-2




Kali Bichromicum-2



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

Hi Elaine!

Hi Maria!

I have to say I am struggling to decide between 3 remedies!  Bry, Nux and Natrum mur.

OK, I can see where you’re coming from.  Bryonia and Nat-mur both have dryness and Nux. v. is short-tempered.  But I will tell you something right off the bat.  A very important symptom in this case is Warm drinks and Warm applications amel. and that does not go for Nat-mur.  So, I would strike that off the list immediately.  Now, if we look up Warm applications amel., Nux v. isn’t there and Bryonia is only a 1.  So, that leaves Bryonia hanging on only by a thread!  Oh yeah, those modalities are really important (things that make the complaint better or worse).  Robin Murphy always says, “Never go against the modalities.”  In other words, don’t give a “better cold” remedy to a person who’s “better warmth”.  So, the modalities don’t suit Nat-mur, less so Bryonia, and lesser still Nux v.

Also, Maria, we have a right-sided case.  That’s another thing we’ll have to repertorize, as well as the aforementioned better warm drinks and better warm applications.

I cannot open the repertory to confirm some symptoms, so I hope I won’t make a big mess.  Here it is:

Bryonia because of the marked dryness,

The rubric I chose was, “Nose: coryza, discharge, without, dry”.  Translation: “a dry cold”.  I hope everybody knows that the rubric for the common cold is “Nose, coryza”—yes, I know; I wish the repertories would update that to “Nose: cold, common cold (see ‘coryza’)”.

the pressure amelioration, irritability from noise, right sided complaints

Oh good, you saw that too.  And the worse from noise, yes, that’s another characteristic symptom that has to be repertorized.

desire to rest.

I didn’t bother with that because it’s common.

But I hesitate because of the warmth ameliorating the patient, for which Nux is more suitable

Yes, you’d think so; but, apparently they don’t desire warm applications, like hot compresses, etc. It was missing from that rubric.  Nux v. is also not well-represented in the “pressure amel.” rubric.

along with the irritability, the firm pressure and the marked stuffed nose.

On the other hand the patient is weepy also, so here comes the nat-m,

Is nat-mur weepy?  I don’t know…..It’s a 4 under “Cannot cry, though sad”, which means it’s bold/underlined for that.

and Nat-mur also has irritability from noise, talking etc but it is worse from heat/warmth.

Aha!  So you did see that!

The symptom that strikes me is the desire for closing eyes tightly.

Except there’s no rubric “desires to close eyes tightly”, so, I don’t know what to do with that symptom.

This is kind of pressure isn’t it?  Bry is famous for it and it is also a very dry remedy and the patient would like to rest.  But I feel I can not overlook the warm application amelioration.

Yes, definitely, you cannot overlook “Warm applications amel”!

So I am voting for Nux-v, but if I am totally wrong I will try again to guess 🙂

Good!  Because you are totally wrong!  Now, I will give you a clue.  Basically, this case, to me, was a lot like last month’s quiz in that I couldn’t make heads nor tails out of it until I repertorized!  Here’s what I used:

aversion to noise

better hot applications

better warm drinks

right sided complaints

coryza without discharge…

but!  There is ONE teeny, tiny peculiar mental symptom which, if you can find it, helps confirm the remedy.  What do you think now?

Arsenicum comes to mind, which I ruled out in the first place because it lacked the pressure amelioration.

How important was that, really?  Most people with headaches rub their heads and press their heads, I didn’t pay any attention to that, even though Arsenicum is in the rubric “Headaches: rubbing amel”.

If she was averse to pressure, or if pressure aggravated, that would have been very peculiar and I would surely have used the rubric “Headaches: pressure agg.”

The germ fear struck me, about touching only the door knob, which shows that she has an issue with germs.

That’s it!  That’s it!!!!!  Yes, it’s Arsenicum!  Yes, that’s the clue that makes us sit up and say, “What?” And then if you work your way back from that and say, “Is Arsenicum right-sided?”  Yes!  “Is Arsenicum better for warm drinks?”  Yes!  “Is Arsenicum better for warm applications?”  Yes!

So, there you have it; yes, it is Arsenicum!  “Mind: fear, germs, contamination” is a small rubric–15 remedies (Murphy’s Repertory)—and Arsenicum is listed for that in BOLD!  Other remedies in bold are: Calc, Sulph and Thuja.  None of those three covers the rest of the case though.  Sensitivity to noise, another good mental symptom, does not list Thuja and lists Sulphur only as a 1.  Sulphur, though, is not better for warm applications and Calcarea is not better for warm drinks; so, it’s Arsenicum all the way!

Also I wasn’t sure if it was a dry remedy so I kicked it out 😛

Arsenicum is a 2 under “Nose: coryza, discharge, without, dry”; so, it covers that too.

I was looking for an intense dry, pressure and warmth amel. remedy – which magnesia-phos is perfect, but she lacks irritability, noise agg.etc.  I thought that the pressure is very significant modality also.

No, not when you have a headache.  Think about it.  People, when they have a headache, are always pressing their forehead, pinching the root of their nose, pressing their temples, massaging their temples, etc.  You can’t make a big deal out of that.  What was more important was the desire for warm drinks and warm applications.  This is not so common.  In fact, if you had to guess what a headache sufferer would put on his head, you’d probably guess an ice bag!  And because the desire for warmth was so prevalent, seen in more than just one area, it became even more important in terms of the remedy needing to cover that.

So my second guess is Arsenicum.  If not I will try again 🙂

No, you nailed it this time, Maria!

Oh great!!!!!!  I am very happy!  You see I almost never have headaches

I wish I could say that…..

so I over-valued pressure amelioration.  I did not know that it is so common.  Great quiz again!  I will be more careful when I rule out a remedy :)))

I also read “Shana’s Vaccination Exemption Letter” ( –Well said!!!  Here in Greece you have the right to deny vaccination BUT you have no right to go to school or children’s summer camps.


I will write you soon about my progress with my back because I think I am gonna need your advice again!

 Good!  OK, I think we have another caller on the line…It’s my soul brother Peter from Wales!

Hi Elaine!  My vote is for Ars alb – noises in ear on swallowing; better from warm applications and pressure; desires warm drinks; sighing; irritability from noise; fear of contagion (germs on doorknob, allergens in the backyard); dryness of mucus membranes; inflammation of sinuses

Way to go, Peter!  I see you caught that whole fear of germs thing too!  Good for you!  Here’s my repertorization: (see below)


So, let’s congratulate our winners shall we?

Peter Dunseith from the UK and Bhuvijain who said he had the exact same virus himself and cured it with Arsenicum!  Wow!  OK, good going you guys; see you back here next month, and thanks to all of you who took part in The 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


  • hmm, she just made a comment that she might have touched a door-knob with microbes. I do it all the time. That doesn’t make me a mysophobiac. It might be a very casual. Secondly, she says that she would like to lie down and rest. This is not the characteristics of Ars. Alb. Typical Ars. Alb patients are very restless and cannot stay still. Thirdly, Ars.Alb patients strongly desire company ; people around due to insecurity. That is not in here as well (instead she wants to be quiet…)

    • She has a fear of germs; or, we can just say a “consciousness” of germs, an awareness of germs. All of it points to Arsenicum. I give no thought to doorknobs or that there might be germs lurking on them–even though, clearly, there are. So it was interesting to me that she made the comment about the doorknob. Obviously, Peter thought so too. Now, you don’t need the entire mental picture of a remedy in order to prescribe it. But notice that Arsenicum does have, “Crying with the pain”. You said, “Why would she want to lie down when Ars. is restless?” Arsenicum is also quite weak, exhausted, and does need to lie down; though, once down, they may toss and turn fretfully. However, mothers with small children, like this lady, rarely get to indulge themselves when they’re sick! They have to just keep going! This is no doubt why she’s so irritable, because she has to keep tending to children while she’s sick when she really needs to lie down. Everything changes when there’s children in the house. You don’t get to see a lot of what you’d expect from a remedy picture because the patient is forced to do things he or she would prefer not to do. And she may want company to wait on her and help her, but the husband is at work and children are totally self-centered and offer no “company” at all.

      • I think every healthy human has a “normal” fear of germs. This is quite natural. If she normally cleans her hands 3 times a day, but suddenly starts to wash 10 times a day, it is an indicator of Ars.Alb. If she normally changes her clothes 2 times a day, but starts to change clothes 7 times, its time to think of Ars. I do not agree from the case that you have presented, that I would conclude she has a fear for germs more than what she normally has. One has to clearly distinguish this or it will lead to wrong conclusions. Also it should be remembered that amoleration of symptoms does not indicate a correct remedy. This happens even if you give a “close enough” remedy. But this will lead to homeopathic suppression where the disease force is driven deeper and turns the acute to chronic.

        • Dear God of small things,
          No, every healthy human being does not have a fear of germs. If germs could really harm us, we’d have to live in a plastic bubble. There are actually more germs in our bodies than there are cells! Oh yes, that’s true! The problem comes when we let ourselves get run-down, take drugs, eat junk food, get vaccinated, smoke, drink to excess…then we open ourselves up to opportunistic infective agents. I’m reminded of an experiment that was done showing that children who were exposed to the most germs, including being licked by the pet dog, etc., had stronger immune systems than the children who were pampered with over-zealous germ-proofing. Now, the other thing I notice about you, God of small things, is that you like to argue! I’ve seen your posts on other quizzes, you love to find fault with my remedy choices. Arsenicums love to argue, they also have a fear of germs. I therefore recommend Arsenicum for you. Thanks for posting and reading the quiz answer.

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