To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Flu Threatens to Wash Up Plans for the Beach
And the winner is…….(envelope please!) Gelsemium!!!!!!!
Why can’t it be Nat-mur? Everyone thought it was nat-mur (craves salty and wants to be alone). Problem is, nat-mur isn’t a flu remedy! I was having to explain the same thing to Sujatha just a few days ago. Here’s what I said:
Sujatha, it is like this. For every major or common illness, like the flu, or measles, etc., we have what’s known as a “differential”. A “differential” is a list of remedies which commonly treats that ailment. A flu differential would look something like this:
Hopefully I haven’t forgotten any of the main ones; but, the question then becomes, how do you differentiate one remedy from the next? The answer is by learning the keynotes of the remedies. Keynotes are the things that a remedy is FAMOUS for:
Gelsemium is famous for the four d’s: Droopy, Drowsy, Dizzy and Dull. Also, thirstlessness, chills in the spine area, and APATHY! The Gelsemium person just does not care and may seem trembly, shaky, weak-kneed and stuporous.
Eupatorium perf feels like all his bones are broken, he is also thirsty.
Arsenicum’s keynotes are: thirst for sips at a time, ANXIETY, need for company/hand-holders/constant reassurance, restlessness, fear of death, chilliness, diarrhea, weakness and prostration.
Nux v. patients are irritable and impatient, usually have a stomach flu and are very chilly.
Baptisia is a Gelsemium with thirst. Baptisia also has very bad odors.
Bryonia has a very bad headache and unlike arsenicum which is restless, simply cannot move without feeling worse; so, he lies perfectly still and will not answer questions. He is very thirsty and will drink a glass of water down.
Arnica feels as if hit by a truck, very sore, and the bed feels too hard.
Pyrogen also feels the bed is too hard, can’t get comfortable; also has bad odors.
Rhus tox feels the need to move and stretch, is worse for lying still. May say he feels soooo much better after a hot shower.
Mercury is famous for excessive salivation/drooling, sweating, bad breath, and NARROW RANGE OF TEMPERATURE TOLERANCE, which means the Mercury patient is constantly throwing the covers off and putting them back on! Despite the salivation, they are thirsty.
When the symptoms don’t seem to point to any remedy in particular, or you’ve tried a number of them with no results, go for the nosodes–Influenzinum and Oscillococcinum. Basically, having an acute prescribing book would be ideal for such times, and going alphabetically to your illness, going down the list, and seeing which remedy best matches you.
And so, hopefully, you can see here that we do not repertorize a flu case, because we are NOT starting from the premise that it could be any one of 3,000 remedies; we are starting from the premise that it is probably one of a possible 10 or 15 remedies! And all we need to do is look for the famous symptoms of the remedy in the case, and voila! we’re done.
Sujatha then asked where she could find a collection of differentials for various ailments. These are to be found in our acute prescribing books, of which there are many; but, our own hpathy ezine editor, Alan Schmukler, has written one (Homeopathy an A to Z Home Handbook). If you go alphabetically to “flu”, here’s what Alan says under Gelsemium:
“Looks drowsy or intoxicated with drooping eyelids and flushed face. Limbs feel heavy WANTS TO BE LEFT ALONE. Chills up and down the back. No thirst during the fever. Pain in the eyeballs or the back of the head. Pulse slow.”
So, you can see what happened. People saw “wants to be alone” in the case and went right to nat-mur when they should have gone right to “the flu” in their Repertory or acute prescribing book. Do you see that? Let me explain it this way: Let’s say you want to visit somebody who lives in the United States. All you know is that the person lives on Main Street so you go to MapQuest and look up Main Street. Is that smart? Does that make any sense? Do you have any idea how many cities in the US have a “Main Street”? What do you have to know first? The state the person lives in, like Florida–and then the city, like Miami! NOW you can look up Main Street! At the end!
This is why we have a hierarchy of symptoms which I always talk about. Right at the top of the hierarchy should be “What do you have? What is wrong with you?” If you don’t know what you have, you won’t know what chapter of the repertory to look in (“Florida”) or what the primary rubric might be (“Miami”). Similarly, you won’t know what topic to look under in your acute prescribing book.
If the patient’s complaint was “Depression” instead of “Flu”, then Nat-mur would surely be right there at the top, and “wants to be alone” would be a great differentiating sub-rubric; you’d know it wasn’t Phosphorus or Arsenicum or Pulsatilla for sure!
Now, regarding the other remedies you voted for….
Why can’t it be Bryonia? The patient is thirstless.
Why can’t it be Eup-perf.? The patient is thirstless.
Why can’t it be Arsenicum? The patient is thirstless.
Why can’t it be Mercury? The patient is thirstless.
Do you see how easy it is to work with a differential?
Here’s what one of our winners, Dr. Gupta, had to say:
I think I am too late to reply this time….I am sorry for that.
Anywayz I think GELSEMIUM 200C is the apt remedy as this case presents all the symptoms of gels. Right from the beginning it is pointing towards gels……….firstly gels is a great flu remedy………then dullness in mind………..no thirst………….gradual onset………..tiredness with broken feeling……….droopy eyes……..worse warmth……….everything as per me is pointing towards gelsemium…………….hope I am correct, fingers crossed!!!!!
So now let’s congratulate our winners:
Maria Theodorou from Greece, and Dr. Nishita Gupta, from…. I’m guessing India. See you all again next time!!!!!