Case Quizes Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Sharp Pains In My Stomach—Help!

Food poisoning? Most likely. Did you guess the right remedy?

Mom, it’s time for the Hpathy Quiz once again.

Weren’t we just here a month ago?

Mom, I’m afraid we don’t have time right now for your “humor”.  We have quite a Death Report to get out; but, I also have announcements to make.

I was afraid of that.

In a rather interesting turn of events, Bernie Taupin, known for writing the songs made famous by Elton John…


…has written a memoir.  Did you have to scream?

Why does Elton John have to be in every episode of the Hpathy Quiz?

Only on an as-needed basis!  Bernie is a famously private person and no one has ever heard his side of the story …

That’s because no one cares!

Well, I’m excited to read it!

OK, Shana.  I’ll expect to have your book report on my desk by October 1st!

A book report????  I’ll think about it.  And P.S., you don’t have a desk!  In other music news, The Rolling Stones…

Oh no, not the Rolling Stones again!

…apparently have a new album coming out next month.

When does it end????

From what I’ve read, it seems to contain the last studio work from drummer Charlie Watts (who died in 2021).  According to Keith Richards, Charlie apparently had cancer.  Their new drummer is  Steve Jordan from the Saturday Night Live and David Letterman Show bands.  He’s also a side man who’s done lots of studio work, which includes “Still Waters” (1997) for the Bee Gees and “New Moon Shine” (1991) for James Taylor.

Aaaah!  I knew it!  I knew it!  I was wondering how you would work James Taylor needlessly into this article!

To conclude, The Stones’ former bass player, Bill Wyman, now 86, was also involved.  He was with the Stones from the beginning in 1962 to 1993 (a year after I was born), so it’s kind of historical.

If not hysterical.  By the way, what are we talking about?

The new Stones album!!!  Other musicians of note who provided studio work for the new album were Elton John…

Of course…

…Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

Now, for my next announcement:  My mom has been invited back to lecture at Mary Wunder’s Homeopathy Study Group in Plymouth Meeting for the middle of October.

How do I get into these things?!

Mom, you have to get out more!

I don’t think so!  I think the longer I stay in the better!

And besides Mary thinks you have more Homeopathy-related wisdom to share.

She’s wrong.

She’s not wrong!

What am I going to say?

Mom, you can think about that while I start The Death Report!  I am sad to announce that Larry Chance of The Earls

has passed away at 82 of lung cancer.  He is best known for the Doo-Wop classic, “Remember Then”.

Oop-shoo shang-a-lang-a chicka bop

Oop-shoo shanga-a-lang-a chicka bop

 That’s enough, Mom!

We saw The Earls on one of TJ Lubinsky’s shows after Larry’s bout with throat cancer, that was when The Earls came out and sang

“I Believe”

So sad.  RIP, Larry; your great voice will be remembered—then, and always.

In August, Bobby Eli, founding member of MFSB (the studio band for Gamble and Huff’s Philadelphia International Records), died at 77.

Oh geez, so young!

A bit of background, as told by, if you will indulge me:

“The Philadelphia International Records house band, MFSB (“Mother Father Sister Brother”), was a multicultural R&B ensemble based at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios.  They played the music and occasionally sang backup with many soloists and groups, including Billy Paul, the O’Jays, The Spinners, and The Stylistics.  Founding members were Pianist/composer Leon Huff; Pianist/composer Thom Bell; Guitarist/composer Roland L. Chambers III; Percussionist Karl L. Chambers; Guitarist/composer Bobby Eli; Percussionist Quinton Joseph; Bassist/composer Ron Baker; Guitarist Norman Harris; Guitarist Thomas Joshua Tindall; and Vibist/composer Vincent Montana Jr.  These stellar musicians were a vital part of the Gamble and Huff and Thom Bell production team at Philadelphia International Records and were responsible for what would be known as the Philadelphia Sound.”

Apparently his death made the headline of The Philadelphia Inquirer:

Bobby Eli, guitarist, songwriter, and unsung hero of the Sound of Philadelphia, has died

The multi-instrumentalist was a founding member of the house band for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff’s Philadelphia International Records, and wrote hits for Blue Magic, Major Harris and others.


Anything that came out of Philadelphia International Records has Bobby Eli’s stamp all over it, so that would include anything by The O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, anything produced by Thom Bell and therefore, anything by The Spinners, The Trammps…. McFadden and Whitehead’s iconic hit, “Ain’t No Stoppin’ Us Now”, “Sideshow” by Blue Magic, which Bobby wrote; “This Time Baby” by Jackie Moore, which he produced….

In fact, let’s play that now, it’s a Disco Classic!

So, here’s my Bobby Eli story.  Rick and I were walking down 18th Street near Chestnut one day when Rick stopped to talk to someone and he looked exactly like this, he even was wearing the same blue hat!

And Rick says, “Elaine, this is Bobby Eli.”

And I said, “You know Bobby Eli???!!!!”  And then I probably said something stupid like, “You’re great!!”

Now, of all the pictures of Bobby Eli I could have picked out, do you know why I picked this one?  Because that’s my neighborhood!!!!  I’m not kidding!!!!

Yeah, you’re right; those are the apartments!  I wonder if that’s where he lived!  Oh, and by the way, Mom, it turns out Jackie Moore (and that’s not Jackie Moore in the picture, by the way) died in November of 2019 at 73, but I can’t remember if we mentioned it.

No, we didn’t.

Maybe we should play her hit from 1968, “Dear John”.  This might be the only video of Jackie Moore in existence!

I love this song!  This is what we call a “lost 45”, it’s just fallen off the radar screen for some reason that makes no sense; but, thanks to Philly DJ, Hy Lit, we have this video.

HY LIT WIBG-AM Philadelphia 1967 "most handsome dj in the world" clipping w/pix | #218275805

Another well known song in the Sound of Philadelphia category is, of course, “Disco Inferno” by the Trammps which famously appeared on the soundtrack of “Saturday Night Fever”

and Bobby Eli plays guitar on the record and the song was recorded at Sigma Sound Studios, where all these songs were recorded.  Of course I had no clue about this for some reason, but “Sigma Sound Studios” is now in the Philadelphia Register of Historic Places where it rightly belongs.  Apparently, the building itself closed in 2014 and in 2015 a historic marker was placed there.  You know those blue signs around the city that look like this?

From l to r, Earl Young of The Trammps and Joe Tarsia, who engineered all the songs recorded at Sigma Sound.

Another Sound of Philadelphia contribution that must be acknowledged is “Sideshow” by Blue Magic.  You see how the historical marker mentions The Stylistics?  Blue Magic was a Stylistics sound-alike group that recorded in the same studio.  Bobby Eli wrote “Sideshow” and it was produced by Trammps member, Norman Harris.  One of Blue Magic’s members, Keith “Duke” Beaton (tenor and founding member), actually died this year in January at age 72.  The bass singer, Richard Pratt (aged 69), died last year as well.  Also, while reading about the group I learned a new thing.  Blue Magic sang background vocals on a Rolling Stones


song called “If You Really Want to Be My Friend” (album track from 1974’s “It’s Only Rock N Roll” ), I thought was worth mentioning because we know the Stones were “closet R&B”.  And while we’re on the topic of Blue Magic, they’re the ones who did “Look Me Up”!  That’s the song you keep complaining that Benny Mardones lifted for his song “Into The Night”! 

He didn’t fool me!

“Look Me Up” was written by Norman Harris. 

Norman Harris - The Harris Machine | Releases | Discogs

And speaking of Blue Magic, shouldn’t we play “Let The Sideshow Begin”, written by Bobby Eli?

Mom, it’s just “Sideshow”!

You know, we could be here all day and still not adequately give Bobby Eli all the credit he is due!

Hear, hear!

We should probably start the Quiz.

Who’s in the Quiz this month?

Quiche L’Oraine.


Quiche L’Oraine!

Isn’t that a French dish made with eggs, cream and bacon as a pie?

Shana, you’re thinking of Quiche Lorraine!  This is Quiche L’Oraine!

Oh, sure it is!  Well excuuuuse me!!!!!  What is wrong with her?

She ate at Panera’s.  When will people learn to stay at home and cook dinner from scratch?

I don’t know, Mom; but, isn’t that what you should be doing now?

I’m getting to that!  And now, presenting…. The one and only….

Mom, just get on with it….

Quiche L’Oraine!!!!!

Good grief.



I’m in severe stomach pain.  I’m pretty sure this is food poisoning.  I have diarrhea…. sharp pains in my stomach…. help!!!!

Hi Quiche, sorry to hear you’re so ill; the remedy is _________.

Thank you, Elaine!!  I’ve taken it twice and it seems to be helping.  Everything I looked up online failed to mention _________. 😩😤

I’m so thankful for you!  I never want this to happen ever again.

I had soup and a sandwich from Panera.

Never again!!!!!


Who knows what the remedy is?  Write to me at [email protected] and tell me.  The answer will be in the October ezine!  Bye, see you then!






Who will be going first this time?  (It looks like a blow-out for Arsenicum!)

Hi Elaine,

Hi Edina!

My first thought is Arsenicum.  But let’s see.  For this one we know the etiology.  In Murphy we find food poisoning in the food section.  Three remedies are underlined. ARS, CARB-V, CHINA.

Well now, remember, Edina, “Quiche” said, “The remedy you gave me wasn’t listed in any of the material I read online!”  It would be hard to look up “food poisoning” and not find Arsenicum there, right?  So, automatically I’d be thinking, “Hmm…..must be something else…..”

ARS. and China have diarrhea, but China is said to have painless diarrhea and much bloating and weakness due to fluid loss…

China is also likely to have chills as well as flatulence that does not relieve.

The client doesn’t mention bloating, belching, flatulence, weakness, only sharp pain and diarrhea.

Other remedies in capital letters: BOTUL, chin-ar, coloc, ip, nat-p, nux-v.  Their keynotes are different.  Although I don’t know anything about chin-ars, I would not think it would be your first choice based only 2 symptoms.

I’ll stick with Arsenicum album.  Dr. Luc says it’s the best indicated remedy for food poisoning.

Comes with stomach pain, diarrhea with or without vomiting.

Edina, even though it seems like Arsenicum would be the perfect choice, the words “severe”, “sharp” and “pains” mean only one thing to me: Bryonia!

In a Bryonia case, there is always a severe pain.  It could be a headache, a sprained ankle; it could be appendicitis, it could be a broken bone; but whatever it is, it is severe.  Occasionally, it’s not pain, it’s nausea; but, again, it’s severe!  Here’s another food poisoning Bryonia case you might want to see—and everyone should see this:

Revisiting: New Years Eve Party Crashes!

Is anybody else here?  Oh look, it’s Pam!


I found the Quiz and read it and immediately came up with my answer….but then I thought OMG, this must be a verrrrrrry tricky Quiz!  No way Elaine’s quiz could ever be this easy!  Lol.

Listen, there is no rhyme or reason to my quizzes.  Some are admittedly hard.  Other times I think, “Gee, everybody’s going to know this!”  And then nobody does!

Since you say it is pretty easy, I will give you my PRELIMINARY answer.  LOL.  So…… PUH-LEEEEEZE DO NOT GIVE ME THE ANSWER IF MINE IS INCORRECT!  Just tell me I am wrong, and I will try to figure it out. 👍  Repeating….DO NOT NOT NOT GIVE ME THE ANSWER!

My PRELIMINARY answer …….

Oy vey….

is ARSENICUM ALBUM… the remedy for FOOD Poisoning!  I always keep this remedy in my handbag whenever we go out to eat….just in case!

As well you should!  And I have Arsenicum with me at all times!  (Along with the rest of the remedies in my Emergency Kit!)

Am I correct?



Oy vey.

IF MINE IS AGAIN INCORRECT!  I will keep trying to figure it out!****

I was afraid of that.

NO to Arsenicum Album?  Sheesh.  It IS THE remedy known for FOOD POISONING though, right?

Yes, it is.  The words she’s using, however, don’t go with Arsenicum.  Think about it, what would Arsenicum say?  Perhaps something like, “Elaine, I am so scared, help!  I am so sick!  Nausea, diarrhea.  Food poisoning.  Please get back to me!”  (“Generals: sick feeling”—Arsenicum is in Bold.)

Now, it is completely true and conceivable that you can have ailments from bad food and water without any of the typical Arsenicum symptoms and it will still work!  Absolutely!  But even having said that, the words that the patient is using are not Arsenicum words, not what I’d expect to hear from an Arsenicum patient.  You know how you’ve heard me say, “That’s a Belladonna word,” or, “That’s a Rhus tox word” etc.?  Well, that’s how I came up with the remedy, I heard “remedy words” so I went with it, figuring if I was wrong, I would then take a detailed case.

I knew this was a twisty, tricky Quiz!

No, it just means that you don’t know this remedy’s “words”.  But I’m sure I’ve talked about it a number of times.

Well, the patient does NOT say very much!

True, but it’s also about what she’s not saying!

She has diarrhea and sharp stomach pains.

She said she has:

-Severe stomach pain

-Sharp pains


-And she is pretty sure it is food poisoning.

You always say to go by what the patient says!  Which is what I did.

If it is not Ars Alb, which, yeah, I know, has burning pains…. then I guess it is COLOCYNTHIS? 🤔

Colocynth is always bending over double with pains.  She doesn’t mention that, which is why I continue to say that’s it’s also about what a person is not saying.

I mean, ARS, CHEL, and COLOCYNTHIS are the ONLY remedies mentioned in Murphy 4th Ed, pg 1959 for STOMACH, sharp pains! There are no-sub rubrics for diarrhea!

But oddly enough, this remedy that I chose is in the food poisoning rubric.

So, I then went to p2184 DIARRHEA, and colocynth AND chelidonium are in lowercase, BUT ARS ALB IS IN CAPS.  SO…..WHY was my ARS ALB answer wrong?  You said to go with what appears the most in rubrics fitting the case.

It’s what’s NOT there, Pam, which you would expect to find in an Arsenicum food poisoning case: Desperation, Fear, Prostration, Panic, Anxiety; and no mention of nausea….

It’s obvious: whichever remedy covers the most symptoms in the case is the one you should go with; BUT….. we all know…..that there are exceptions, like, if there’s an etiology, like “ailments from blunt trauma”, we don’t have to know anything else!

There ya go!

If there’s a keynote of a remedy, we don’t have to know anything else!

Now you’re talkin’!

If there’s a strange/rare and peculiar, we don’t have to know anything else!

Exactly!  So, what we have here, I would suggest, are remedy keynotes; and as Robin Murphy always said, “When you see keynotes of a remedy, give the remedy!”

She does NOT mention gas pain, so I cannot conclude Nux or Lyc might help — besides which, both of those aid with constipation, but she has diarrhea.  You said to go by what the patient says, and not to assume.  She says nothing much, really.

Exactly, so a lot has to do with what she’s not saying.

I don’t know if she had fatty food, so I ruled out PULS, which IS listed on p1928  STOMACH, diarrhea, general — as is IP (but patient did not mention nausea or vomiting).

So, of course, if my remedy selection had failed, then I would have had to ask all these questions:  Was it a fatty meal?  Was it seafood, shellfish…what was it?  Do you have gas, bloating; what are the concomitants?  What are the modalities?


RUBRIC A: p2186

There is a SUB rubric for:    DIARRHEA, diet, indiscretion, in eating, after the slightest:

AND…..ARS ALB is listed in caps!  There are a few others listed in caps too, but those are NOT listed under the SHARP STOMACH PAINS rubric. Those are: ALOE,  CHIN,, NAT-C, NUX V, PHOS, and PULS.. SO WHY is my guess of ARS ALB wrong?


ANOTHER DIARRHEA sub rubric on the same page, is:

DIARRHEA, eating, after:

And listed here in CAPS, is ARS ALB!  There are several others in CAPS, but aside from ARS ALB, ONLY COLOCYNTH appears in at least one other rubric in caps.

So my guess now is…… COLOCYNTHIS! 👍

However, you have never had this remedy in previous quizzes, at least any that I have read, so…..I am guessing I am again incorrect! Aaaarrrrgggh!

Shana had Colocynth menstrual cramps once and I knew it because I saw her bent over double; so, like Robin Murphy always says, “If you see a keynote of a remedy, give the remedy!”  Remember in “Repertory Round-Up part 4” where I asked: What Is A Characteristic Symptom?  Do you remember what was on that list?  “Keynotes of Remedies”.

I find the rubrics VERY confusing!  What is the difference between RUBRIC A and RUBRIC B, which I mentioned above?  They seem the same yet the remedies mentioned are different!

They’re not the same.  One is saying that the patient can’t accommodate even the slightest indiscretion in eating!  He would have to be on a very strict diet just to get through the day!  (“I can’t eat this, I can’t eat that…”)  The other rubric says eating anything leads to diarrhea!  The latter sounds like an acute case, maybe an intestinal flu, and the former appears more chronic, like maybe a case of Crohn’s or Colitis.

Ok….so I give up.  I still feel ARSENICUM  should have been the correct answer, but now I will say COLOCYNTHIS is the remedy she needed.

Btw, I have taken ARS ALB on an occasion when something I ate gave me stomach pains and diarrhea, and even though I had no burning symptoms, ARS ALB fixed the issue immediately.  So, couldn’t it be that more than ONE remedy may work for a given issue?

Yes, I suppose that could be true; but, I would have to assume that since the patient acknowledged that she had been searching online for remedies for food poisoning, she would HAD to have come across Arsenicum and probably took it!

Thanks for voting, Pam.


Shana votes for Bryonia.  And don’t look now, but the Gang From Slovakia is here!


Hi Elaine and Shana,

Hello Miroslav and Jitka!

We send our answers to your short and easy September quiz.


Miroslav answers that it can only be Arsenicum alb.

Jitka says:

Food poisoning: the first thing that comes to my mind is Arsenicum alb .

Jitka, everybody thinks it’s Arsenicum, the go-to remedy for food poisoning.  But, she doesn’t appear to be scared and she doesn’t report any nausea.  She just says “severe sharp pains.”  Now, those are “remedy words”.  That’s why I had no questions for her!  What do you think now?

We send our corrected answers.


It could be Pulsatilla.  She has problems with heavy and fatty food.

She does?  Or are you saying Pulsatilla does.  Yes, it’s true, Pulsatilla has ailments from fatty, rich food.

However, I don’t know if it was really food poisoning, that’s what the patient says… Maybe Arsenicum would rather throw up and here she had sharp stomach pains and diarrhea, which could be Pulsatilla.  So this is the correction of mine, I can´t wait to see what kind of remedy it was.


This time I will try to vote for Colocynthis, I found information that Colocynthis is considered for food poisoning, when marked abdominal cramps are present.

For me to prescribe Colocynth, Jitka, I would have to have heard her say, “I’m bent over double with pain, help!!!” since that’s the keynote of Colocynth.

I guess I should give you the answer.

“Severe sharp pains” = Bryonia.

I think I see Maria all the way from Greece!


Hi Elaine and Shana!

Hi Maria!!!!

My vote goes to Arsenicum.  If I am wrong I will try again 🙂

You seem to be wrong.

Ok my second vote goes to Nux V.

A good guess, but wrong.

OK, my third guess is for Podophyllum!

Another great guess, but, the big tell-tale sign of Podophyllum is yellow diarrhea.

OK, my last vote goes to Colocynthis.  It is in bold under sharp pain along with Arsenicum and I have already voted for Arsenicum.

In the absence of hearing the patient say, “I am doubled over with pain,” I couldn’t have prescribed Colocynth.

I have run out of ideas 🙂

You’re going to kick yourself when I tell you what the answer is:  Bryonia!  At the heart of any Bryonia case is a very sharp pain (or pains).

Alright, who gets the Gold Star for this month?

OMG!  It’s Shana!!!!!

That’s very nice, Mom, but, shouldn’t you be cooking breakfast?

Here’s your gold star!  (Yeesh!  What a crabby baby!)

OK, that’s it for September, everybody!  See you back here again in October!

Mom, it’s already October!

But this is the September Quiz!  Aaaaah!!!!!!!


Elaine Lewis, DHom, CHom

Elaine takes online cases. Write to her at [email protected]

Visit her website:

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

About the author

Shana Lewis

Shana spices up the Hpathy Quiz with her timely announcements and reviews on the latest in pop culture. Her vast knowledge of music before her time has inspired the nickname: "Shanapedia"!


  • Well, I learn something new every time I read one of your quizzes, Elaine! So interesting that it’s Bryonia due to the sharp pains. I’ll (at least try) to remember that! Please thank Pam for me for her attempts and questions as to why one remedy was correct and not another. Her questions were very helpful!

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