Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Nixon Cant Take the Heat


Elaine gives the answer to the May, 2011 quiz.

Is everybody ready to revisit last month’s exciting quiz?  Here it is again:


To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Nixon Cant Take The Heat


Here are the votes followed by our readers’ mail and my remarks:


1. Nat-carb.

2. Arsenicum-4

3. Belladonna

4. Gelsemium

5. Mercury

Hello again Elaine! very tricky quiz this month!

Hi Maria! Yeah, I guess it is somewhat tricky.


I noticed Arsenicum characteristics

I knew you would!

and Natrum Carbonicum also.

I am voting for Nat-c (fingers crossed! ). It has the ailments from sun and mental exertion, is worse from heat and cold, worse from exertion, worse from sweat (although in some rubrics Nat-c is grade 1 and Ars is grade 3).

I went finally for it because I would expect from Arsenicum not to be aggravated from heat!

That’s a good thought!

I hope I didn’t mess up!

Well……… ahem! Here’s the problem. It’s true that Nat-carb has ailments from the sun, and it’s true that Nat-c. has mental exertion agg., and it’s true that nat-carb is worse from heat and cold like Mercury, and it’s true that Nat-carb is in “Generals: physical exertion agg.” and it’s true that Nat-carb is found in “Perspiration agg.” but, what is Nat-carb NOT in?  The flu!!!!  And that’s what he has!!!!! 

So Nat-carb., in overdose, does not create this state! That’s the problem!

You see, it’s important to know what a person HAS (granted, not 100% of the time). I know there are people who think that when a person presents to us with an illness, we’re supposed to consider every bleeping remedy in the materia medica! But this approach is very suspect and makes it very difficult to solve cases!

When I hear that a person has either a flu or a flu-like illness, and I hear that he’s thirstless and apathetic, immediately I have a good idea what the remedy is despite having repertorized nothing! What is the remedy? You know now, don’t you? You see how easy that is? You know it can only be GELSEMIUM–why? Because I told you what he HAD!!!!  “Oh, he has the flu!  Well why didn’t you say so?”  When you know what a person HAS, and you hear a few keynotes…the case is solved!

But then, even after having gotten it that fast, we can still go back and say, “Wait a minute: Does Gelsemium have ailments from the sun?  Yes!  Does Gelsemium have aggravation from mental exertion?  Yes!  Does Gelsemium have weakness and tiredness? Yes, Yes, and Yes!!!”  In fact, we will find confirmation for Gelsemium in almost all the symptoms in the case, especially the all-important peculiar mental symptom: APATHY.  But this case shows why we have a “hierarchy of symptoms”!  What’s at the top?  Etiology.  What’s next? The name of the illness!

What if the etiology rubric (Ailments From the Sun in this case) has 91 remedies in it?  There’s no question but that this is part of the case, but when your etiology rubric is that large, go to the rubric for the state next, the diagosis, and cross the two if necessary.  What state is the person in, is it an injury?  A viral infection?  An allergy?  Is it tonsilitis?  Food poisoning?  Kidney stones?  What is it?

After all, what is an acute prescribing book, and what is it for?  It’s a collection of illnesses with the most-often prescribed remedies for each and how to differentiate among them.  If it were wrong to decide cases this way, by starting with the name of the illness, why did so many famous homeopaths write acute prescribing books–including Constantine Hering, Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and our very own Alan Schmukler?  If I see that a person has the flu, I’m immediately thinking, “What are the elements of this flu?”  Because I know what the common flu remedies are, and I know that Bryonia, for example, is thirsty and worse for least motion, and I know Arsenicum often has diarrhea as part of the case; plus, prostration, thirst for sips, restlessness and a desperate need for company; I know Eupatorium perf. has thirst and severe bone pains as if the bones were broken, Rhus tox has muscle aches that are worse from trying to lie still, but so much better from hot bathing, and Gelsemium has apathy, chills and thirstlessness; now, what does this case have?  Oh, apathy, chills and thirstlessness. Gee, I wonder what the remedy is???

Loved your salad!




Hi Elaine!

Hope you are fine,

my computer has not been working for many weeks, that’s why I could not participate in the previous quiz.


Any ways I am in a hurry, I am at my mom’s home and here is an internet problem, signals come for few minutes and leave, so I have not much time, my answer is arsenicum album, diarrhea with fever{concomitant},drinks water in frequent sips and restlessness and nervousness are the symptoms which goes towards arsenic, unfortunately I have no materia medica here and internet is annoying me,electriciy problem is also a major cause of not studying the case properly by me. So my answer is arsenic at a glance.

See you soon, and writing you again after more study at my own home, hope my computer will be running when I reach home.


Maryam from Pakistan.

Hi Maryam,

I’m glad you surfaced! How is Little Elaine Lewis doing?

Here she is now!

Revisiting: Nixon Cant Take the Heat 1

Awwwww….she’s reading the Repertory!

Little Elaine Lewis is becoming more naughty day by day.

Maryam, we cannot have Little Elaine Lewis dooting away her formative years in mindless mishegoss!

“Dooting”???? “Mishegoss”????

Uhh…don’t ask.

Well, my answer for this quiz is arsenicum album (I’m sticking with it!)

I see…… Well, I knew people would think it was Arsenicum! Yes, there are definitely symptoms of Arsenicum here; but, if you think in terms of flu remedies (and this patient sounds like he has the flu, which IS a virus, after all), what flu remedy is known for thirstlessness, chills up and down the back, and apathy (which the patient admits is the strange and peculiar symptom in the case)?

Oh Elaine I am sorry I was wrong, it seemed to me that it was arsenic!

A lot of people thought so.

but it was not completely my fault because I had nothing to study, there was no materia medica, I just looked at the case and thought is was arsenic.

You know what, Maryam? I think there’s a chronic Arsenicum layer in this case underneath the acute. That could explain these arsenicum symptoms that are pushing us in that direction!

I looked in the repertory under the rubric EXPOSURE TO SUN,and I got two most important remedies for this causation along with flu,glonine and gelsemium,then I read both and finally I get it!! It is gelsemium.

Yay!!! Yes, it is Gelsemium!

Symptoms which I collect are:
Great prostration,
General depression from heat of sun,

I think “Ailments From heat of the sun” would have been better; not really sure if he was depressed per se, though anyone with a fever and a virus would surely be depressed.

Desire to be quiet,
Apathy regarding his/her illness,

BINGO!!!!! Now THAT was the important clue! Arsenicum is NOT apathetic; I repeat, NOT apathetic; oh goodness no!!! Arsenicum is anxiety-ridden, scared, and needs constant hand-holding and reassurance that they’re not going to die!

As a rule Gels patient has no thirst(W.Boericke),

That was the other important clue.

Chilliness up and down back

Yes, very good!

Chill without thirst,along spine,
Worse when thinking of his/her ailments.

But I am not feeling good that I did not get it on first attempt.

But Maryam, now you’ll know! Better to get it wrong here in “the quiz” so you’ll get it right with “the patient”! And you’ll have lots of opportunity to get it right because I’ll bet I prescribe Gelsemium more than any other remedy! Flu-type illness with apathy and thirstlessness=Gelsemium! Next time you’ll spot it right away! What causes their apathy? It’s the semi-septic/toxic state they’re in, a kind of stupor; they’re too dull on the mental plane to do anything about what they want. They even LOOK stupid! They may want to be covered but are too dull, dizzy and dopey to do anything about it. They may want a drink but are too disinterested to ask for it or lift the glass to their lips. Their eyelids are often droopy, they look “out-of-it”, not fully present. They may be thinking to themselves, “I wish someone was here with me,” but can’t summon the energy nor the will to actually ask anyone for anything. This is the sense in which they are apathetic. And here we have the patient actually saying, “I feel strangely apathetic.” He’s actually TELLING US what’s strange in the case! It’s very rare that a patient will do this, usually you have to just figure it out for yourself. So what are the two famous apathetic remedies during a fever? Gelsemium and Baptisia. How can you tell them apart? Baptisia is thirsty!

With warm regards,
Maryam from Pakistan.


Hi Elaine,

Two remedies come to mind immediately, Belladonna and Arsenicum.

I knew a lot of people would go for Arsenicum.

As far as I know, Arsenicum does not have shivering with fever.

It’s not just shivering. It’s shivering up and down the back, which is a keynote of –Gelsemium.

Both remedies are present in every other rubric, Ars to a somewhat higher degree.

So I would go with Belladonna.


restlessness, heat during: ars(3), bell(2)

thirst, small quantities often: ars(3), bell(2)

gen., sun, sunstroke: ars(2), bell(2)

fever, chill, with: ars(3), bell(3)

talk, indisposed: ars(2), bell(2)

company desire: ars(3), bell(1)

fever, shivering with: bell(2)

fever, remittent: ars(3), bell(3)

There’s one thing, however, that you left out of your repertorization, and he says himself that it’s a strange symptom, which should make us pick up our ears: It’s APATHY. He says, “I’m strangely apathetic.” What does that make us think of, coupled with the chills up and down the back?



Diderik Finne


Sujaya Prabha says:

Prostration, less thirst, chills up and down the spine, wants to move, worse by exertion. cause-walking in the sun. I think Gelsemium fits the bill.

Wow, that was short and sweet! Let’s congratulate our winners, shall we? Sujaya Prabha and Maryam from Pakistan, who eventually figured it out after opening a book. Good for both of you!!!! See you again next month for another exciting Hpathy Quiz!

<img class=”alignleft” style=”margin: 6px;” src=”” alt=”” width=”186″ height=”170″ /><strong> Mom, what are you doing?</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>I’m taking a picture of our dinner, Shana.</strong></span>

<strong>Any particular reason?</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>Shana, you know how I’m always telling people to stop eating junk food, “corporate food”, fast food and packaged food; food made with white flour and white sugar?</strong></span>

<strong>It sounds familiar….</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>The problem is, I don’t think people know what to eat anymore! So, I’ve decided to start photographing my meals. Here we have a lovely shrimp salad<span style=”color: #ff0000;”>* </span>which I made myself!</strong></span>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><span><strong><img class=”aligncenter” src=”” alt=”” width=”350″ height=”263″ />

<strong>That’s very nice, Mom. Do I have pizza for later?</strong>

<strong><span style=”color: #0000ff;”>Shana, </span><span style=”color: #0000ff;”><em>ix-nay</em></span><span style=”color: #0000ff;”> on the </span><span style=”color: #0000ff;”><em>izza-pay</em></span><span style=”color: #0000ff;”>!</span></strong>

<strong>What??? Richard Nixon eats pizza but refuses to pay???</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>No! Didn’t you ever learn to speak Pig Latin?</strong></span>

<strong>Did I ever learn to speak like a pig in Latin????</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>This is what’s wrong with the schools today, folks! </strong></span>

<strong>Mom, let’s just start the quiz…. Who is our president, I mean <em>patient,</em> today?</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>Actually, it’s Richard Nixon. </strong></span>

<strong>I knew it! I had a premonition you were going to say that! Let me guess, it’s a <em>different</em> Richard Nixon!</strong>

<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>How did you know? OK, here we go with “Nixon Can’t Take the Heat”:</strong></span>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><span style=”text-decoration: underline;”><strong>Questionnaire</strong></span></span>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>1. Describe the complaint </strong></span>

<strong>Fever every 6-8 hours up to 101-102 deg F. Onset could be due to walking in the sun for a longer period and mental exertion.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>2. Etiology-</strong></span>

<strong>Walking in the sun.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>3. Sensation-</strong></span>

<strong>Chills with shivering up &amp; down back with the fever.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>4. Appearance – </strong></span>

<strong>Nothing stands out.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>5. Location – </strong></span>


<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>6. Modalities-What makes your complaint better or worse?</strong></span>

<strong>worse sweat, exertion. </strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>7. Concomitants (other symptoms that are “along for the ride”)-</strong></span>

<strong>Diarrhea (semi solid) fever and chills and tiredness.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>8. Discharges-</strong></span>

<strong>n/a</strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong> </strong></span>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>9. Generals-</strong></span><strong> </strong>

<strong>I am chilly, do not have much thirst, and agg: by both heat &amp; cold.</strong>

<strong>Get tired easily. </strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>10. The mentals:</strong></span><strong> </strong>

<strong>The complaint makes me worried and anxious.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>11. What have you been saying? </strong></span>

<strong>I want company, but not too much conversation.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>12. What are you doing? </strong></span>

<strong>Along with the fever there is restlessness, with pacing around, and being unable to focus on anything for very long like music or books.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>13. Describe your thirst and appetite-</strong></span>

<strong>Thirst is less, frequent sips.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>14. Fever?</strong></span><strong> </strong>

<strong>Fever 101-102 degrees F</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>15. Sweating? Describe. When does the sweating occur? Where on the body?</strong></span><strong> </strong>

<strong>Mostly on face and covered parts like chest. Usually never on legs. No particular staining.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>16. Odors? </strong></span>

<strong>When I eat meat, the flatulence and stools have an offensive smell.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>17. What is most striking, peculiar or identifying about your condition?</strong></span>

<strong>Small complaints seem to weaken me very much.</strong>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>18. Is there a diagnosis?</strong></span>

<strong>Not by an MD. Seems like a virus.</strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong> </strong></span>

<span style=”color: #ff0000;”><strong>19. Describe your energy-</strong></span>

<strong>Nervous, restless, agitated, prostrated, and also strangely apathetic. </strong>

<span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Rx</span>: Mr. Nixon, I would like you to take ____________________30C right away. Take it in a bottle of spring water 4 times a day with 5 succussions before each dose, let me know in a few hours if it’s helping.

<strong>Dear Dr. Elaine,</strong>

<strong> </strong>

<strong>Thanks very much for the ______________________30C, this has hit the spot regarding the fever, and I had a good night last night.</strong>

<strong>Sincerely yours,</strong>

<strong>Richard Nixon</strong>
<p style=”text-align: center;”><strong>___________________________________</strong></p>
<span style=”color: #0000ff;”><strong>OK, everyone, what do you think the remedy was? Write to me at <a href=”[email protected]”>[email protected]</a> and let me know. The answer will be in next month’s ezine.</strong></span>

(<strong><span style=”color: #ff0000;”>*</span> Elaine’s Shrimp Salad Recipe – </strong>Lettuce, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, chopped onions, grated raw cheddar cheese and shrimp fried (briefly) in butter and minced garlic. Ranch dressing. ) <img src=”″ alt=”” />

About the author

Elaine Lewis

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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