Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Mommy, Are You Coming Home?

Written by Elaine Lewis

Kelly kicks off a long run of presiding over the Quiz! She has a large family, and lucky for us, they’re almost always sick or injured!

Take your seats, class and please welcome our dear friend Kelly Young!


As you know, last month’s quiz involved Kelly’s son who had a virus of some sort.  Let’s revisit the case to refresh our memories.  Take it away, Kelly!

Recently, my six year old came home from school with a dry cough and a clear runny nose; ordinarily, this would not have been a big concern, but I was out of town for the next three days and my parents were baby sitting.

There had been a change in temperature from very cold (0 degrees) to more moderate (30 degree) temperatures.

Though not unusual for my son to develop a cough or cold during these changes in temperature, all three of my children had just recently gotten over a similar illness, so this added to my concern.

The cough was joined by a fever the next day that eventually went up to 102.7.  My son was lethargic, chilly, hoarse, and wanting cold water which was unusual for him.

He was up coughing the previous night, tossing about and restless.  He had darkish circles under his eyes and his eyelids were puffy and half closed.  His face was pale and his cough became worse when he talked, exploding out of his mouth at times.

I spoke with my son on the phone and he sounded so sad and unwell.  He said, “I feel very bad mommy, are you coming home?”  Well, I almost did!

My mom, being a retired teacher, was very good at accumulating and reporting facts and observations.  Based on these, I told her to give my son a 30c potency of the indicated remedy, in water, and to be sure to shake the bottle before each dose—which would be a swallow.  She gave a total of 3 doses every hour that evening and was amazed to find the fever almost gone and my son well the next morning!


Thanks, Kelly.  OK, so, how did we do?  Roughly 25 of you wrote in with your votes, and here they are now:

Rhus tox, Nat-mur, Causticum, Rumex (3), Phosphorus (7), Gelsemium (2), Arsenicum, Aconite (4), Silica, Chamomilla, Capsicum, Bryonia and Apis.

And the winner is …. Marsha Karzmer, Clare Thornley, Dr. Sridevi Singaram, Cheekala Sujatha, Irene Rutter, Nooshin Azadi and Claude Lainesse for “Phosphorus, Phosphorus!”  Accepting the award in India is Cheekala Sujatha:

“Thank you!  At the outset, I am thrilled to note that I have hit the bull’s eye in my very first attempt! In the case, the symptoms of wanting cold water, cough worse talking, and change of weather aggravates are important peculiar rubrics that point us to the remedy, and if we look into it, it covers all the other symptoms like oedema of the eyelids, restlessness, chilly, hoarse, pale face, etc. as well.  I am a housewife and a mother of two young children.  I am an Indian living in Kuwait.  I have a Bachelor’s degree in Electronics and a Masters Diploma in Computers.  I am a novice in homeopathy, but I have a great passion for it and my life’s ambition is to master it and serve the poorest of the poor in India.”


I probably couldn’t have said it better, but I’ll try!  Here’s the key rubric in this case that practically solves it itself: From Murphy’s Repertory–

Food: cold drinks, water, desires fever, during (Desires cold drinks during fever)

There are only three remedies!  Bryonia (and we know it can’t be Bryonia because the patient is restless and Bryonia prefers to lie still), Phosphorus and Tuberculinum.  Tuberculinum simply does not cover the case.  I repertorized the following:

Cough: dry, cough fever, during

Larynx: hoarse, coryza during

Fever: thirst with

Mind: dullness, fever during

Cough: talking agg.

Eyes: discoloration, blue circles

Food: cold drinks, water, desires fever, during

Environment: weather, change of, agg.

Mind: restlessness, fever, during

Phosphorus came up #1. Tuberculinum wasn’t even in the top 20.  As a matter of fact, when you see thirst for ice cold drinks in any acute case, think of Phosphorus right away.  It’s the main remedy for that.  It’s not the only remedy, though.  Veratrum alb. is a possibility if there’s great prostration, diarrhea and/or vomiting plus cold perspiration.  In Phosphorus, you frequently see chest symptoms—coughing, bronchitis, pneumonia, colds that go to the chest.  Arsenicum has thirst for cold drinks, but only for sips at a time, which is to say, the Arsenicum person might take one sip and put the cup down.  Arsenicum is also quite prostrated and will probably have diarrhea with the fever.  I ignored the “wanting mom to come home” part of the case because it’s common.  Any child under the circumstances would want his mother to come home.  However, if he had been indifferent to his mother’s whereabouts, not caring, this would be very significant, possibly leading to a consideration for Gelsemium or Baptisia.  OK, gang, now go to this month’s quiz, and I’ll see you back here in April!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

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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