Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Patient Answers “I Dont Know” to Everything!

Shana close up graduation

Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz.

Did anyone miss last month’s ground-breaking quiz?  Say it isn’t so!!!  OK, here it is again with the answer to follow:


Mom! It’s 2010! Time for the Quiz!

Shana close up graduation

Is it 2010 already?

Yes, come on, Mom, it’s time to get up! You know how Dr. B hates it when the quiz is late!

When will it be 2011?


Who do we have this time?

Mom, it’s not looking good. We have a kid who’s afraid of rabbits.


We have a mass murderer, but he said the police were looking for him so he left.

And you let him get away? Now what are we going to do? We’re going to have to do your dysmenorrhea case again!

Mom, again?! And what’s dysmenorrhea anyway?


Geez! People are going to think I have cramps every month!

You do!

OK, so, the problem is, I don’t remember anything about it; when was it?


Can you fill me in on what happened?

OK, Shana. You woke up with cramps, the usual cramps you have, sharp pains, you asked for the hot water bottle, we tried Viburnum, it didn’t work; we tried Kali carb because it used to work a long time ago, it didn’t work; we tried Cimicifuga on the off-chance that it would work–it didn’t; the only thing I remember that was striking to me was that you kept getting up to go to the bathroom! You must have gotten up five times if you got up once! I finally got up to look and your stools were very loose!

What else?

That was it! I got no other information from you! You answered “I don’t know” to everything I asked–the way you usually do!

So, what remedy did you give?

That’s what THEY have to figure out!

Oh, right! Ha-ha! Silly me. OK, everybody, what remedy saved the day for me? Write to [email protected] and let us know. We’ll see you here next month for the answer.





Nux v.-2




And the winner is…… (drum roll, please!) Veratrum alb.! And that’s the remedy that got the most votes, so, a lot of you weren’t fooled.

Let’s see what ezine reader Isabella had to say:

Hello and thank you for the article on acute prescribing in the January edition of which was great fun to read.

You are right, I never look at the quiz but promise that from now on I will turn to it first thing.

[Finally, a discerning ezine reader!!!]

My reply to this month’s quiz : Arsenicum

Abdomen, Pain, menses, during

Rectum, Diarrhoea, menses, during agg

Female, genitalia, Pain, sharp

Generals, Warm, applications, amel

Mind, Answering, refusing to answer


Hi Isabella, it’s great having you in our hpathy quiz family! Arsenicum
is a very good choice, actually; it came up 3rd in my repertorization:

As you can see, kali carb came up #1 but we had already tried it, so, the remedy that worked was Veratrum, which came in 2nd. For me, it was simply a case of dysmenorrhea with purging. Veratrum is famous for this purging thing. As soon as it hit me that she was making numerous trips to the bathroom for pooping, I went right with Veratrum, I didn’t even look anything up! The hot water bottle didn’t actually ameliorate, it was just a desire for it, so, I used “desires warmth”.

This is from Allen’s Keynotes under Veratrum alb:

“Dysmenorrhoea: with vomiting and purging”

So, thank God there was no vomiting but it may have come later if I hadn’t found a remedy right away.

Thanks for participating, Isabella!


“Anonymous” wrote the following:

Hi Elaine,

Here are the answers

Following Rubrics might be considered for the above acute case of dysmenorrhea

Rectum Diarrhea – menses during

Rectum Diarrhea -accompanied by painful menses

I think the remedy is Veratrum Alb, which has this peculiar symptom of painful menses accompanied by diarrhea.


Thank you, Anonymous; you are absolutely right.

Let’s see, who else do we have?  Lucio had the right answer but wanted to know if you can eliminate a remedy because of what ISN’T there?  Here’s what he says:

If I can have an “eliminative sympt”, can I have also a “eliminative absence of a sympt”?  For example, give Acon in a no-agitated patient. And how can I see the picture of the remedy if the picture show a Verat violent, with profuse sweats and so on ? (here I have only 2 sympt of my image. I can add only the fact that is normal for Verat desiring something hot on the abdomen, because he is normally so cold)….

Lucio, I don’t believe you can have an “eliminative absence” of a symptom. How often have you given Rhus tox to a patient with NO rash? Often, I would think. You mentioned Aconite in a patient with no agitation. What if all you’ve got is “ailments from cold dry winds”? That’s enough reason right there to give Aconite.

OK.  Picture of our remedy: Veratrum alb.–violent, restless, big ego, fruitless activity, haughty, deceitful, worries about losing his position–this is the constitutional Veratrum; but, we do not have a constitutional case before us!  We have an acute case. We have no mentals here! Everything is on the physical plane!

You know, when we give Belladonna for a sun headache, we don’t say, “But where’s the Belladonna delusion that bugs are crawling on the walls?” When we give Drosera for whooping cough, we don’t say, “But where’s the Drosera delusion of persecution or fear of being alone?”

The fact is, in this case, we have no mentals. So, the fact that Shana doesn’t match the mentals of Veratrum alb. doesn’t matter. If we DID have mentals in this case, then, above all else, the remedy would have to match the mentals!

If Shana had dysmenorrhea with a cross, angry disposition, we couldn’t say, “Oh! Diarrhea with menses, let’s give Veratrum!” No, whatever we chose would have to match that mental picture!  So…..because we have no mentals here, all we have to do is find a remedy known for the physical symptoms.  As you can see, Veratrum is the main remedy in the rubric, “diarrhea with menses”.  Bovista is also there in bold but, Bovista is only a 1 for Dysmenorrhea!  So…. Bye-Bye Bovista!

Lucio also asked, “Is the title itself a hint?”

No. Kids hardly ever know anything! “I don’t know”, “I don’t know” is all they ever say!  But Lucio wasn’t fooled:

But you said that “I dont know” is her USUAL answer. So I didn’t considered it.

Yay!!!  Good for you, Lucio, shows you are thinking!

So, Dr. B, I think it’s time to congratulate our winners:

Congratulations go to Janet, Sharon Lewis, Dr. Nishita Gupta, Lucio and Anonymous.

See you back here next month, gang, and thanks to everyone who voted!

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


  • Sai Ram. I enjoyed reading the quiz and the interaction with the reader. I was just wondering what combinations of Tissue Remedies would have been chosen if you had to work only with them?



  • God only knows, Swamy! To tell you the truth, cell salts are like any other remedy to me; if I see keynotes for one of them– for Nat-mur, Nat-phos, Kali phos., or whatever, in a case–I would give it without hesitating, but, I would not give the standard cell salt potency (6X). I would give a 30C or 200C. Believe me, potency does matter, especially in acutes! My first rude awakening to this fact came when I had a virus that was clearly Arsenicum, and the highest potency I had was Ars. 30X. It did nothing. I needed a 200C. Swamy, why would someone only have the cell salts? For heaven’s sake, people, get yourselves a 30C or 200C emergency kit! I got mine from; 50 remedies for roughly $80.00. That’s like $1.50 per remedy–not bad! Yes, it’s true, I started out in 1979 with nothing but the cell salts. I remember taking Ferrum phos. 6X every fifteen minutes for a cold–and it worked! Later, though, I realized Ferrum Phos 30C worked MUCH faster! So, get yourselves a home remedy kit, people, and be prepared!

  • Great article and a precise repretorisation. Thank you for sharing this and good to know that Ferrum Phos can cure the cold.

  • Yes, Yvonne, Ferrum phos. in the early stages where there are no characteristic symptoms pointing to a specific remedy. This is why I keep it by my bedside. If I wake up in the middle of the night with the sensation that I am definitely coming down with a cold? I pop a Ferrum phos. and in the morning, it’s all gone! The last time this happened, I woke up with a coughing fit! It was so extreme, I got up and got the ferrum phos 200C! In two hours, I was fine again.


Leave a Comment