Clinical Cases Case Quizes

Revisiting: Stomach Flu (No Answer)

Did you try to solve last month’s quiz?

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – Stomach Flu (No Answer)








OK, gather around folks! If you have an idea of what the remedy might be, please come up to the microphone.

Hi Elaine.

Hey everybody, Vamsi’s in the house!!!!

Another brain teaser from you. Hmm…will try it out. OK, Harry’s has been:

  1. Throwing up from 2am
  2. Not retaining water or food, ( Phosphorous)
  3. Undigested food and yellow water. (This is where the liver function is disrupted – Phosphorous, a great liver remedy)

Hold on, Vamsi, if you’re looking at this case as a liver problem, you’re going to go off the rails. The father has already said that Harry has a stomach flu; the younger child had the same thing the day before; so, the only rubric that concerns us here is “Influenza, stomach”. If you have Murphy’s Repertory, 3rd ed., it’s in the “Clinical” chapter. If you have the 2nd ed., it’s in the “Diseases” chapter. But, it’s not liver disease. As Robin Murphy always says, “We have to perceive what has to be cured.” It’s the wrong perception to think this is liver disease. It’s a stomach flu. If we thought it was liver disease, then Phosphorus would be a very good choice, especially because the child is thirsty for ice cold drinks, which we find out at the end when the father says that Harry was drinking water with ice; so, yes, this is an important clue to the remedy because more often than not, when someone has an upset stomach, they want warm, soothing drinks, like tea.

  1. Hungry even after Vomiting, and woke up many times for food ( Phosphorous )

Vamsi, you’re right, this is very important; but, the rubric is “Stomach: vomiting with appetite” and Phosphorus isn’t there.

  1. Thirsty and was given Ice cube at the end after the remedy, which seemed fine for Harry. ( Phosphorous )

Yes, you’re right to take note of that; but, Phosphorus isn’t the only remedy that desires ice cold drinks.

Looking at the above, I feel Harry was given Phosphorous 30. Please provide your invaluable description, for which I would be awaiting every month.

The first thing we have to do is discern what Harry has–the diagnosis–because these symptoms of vomiting and eating could also go for other things such as Worms, and we’d be in a whole separate group of remedies! So, first, knowing–or assuming–that Harry has a stomach flu means we’re only interested in remedies listed in the rubric “Clinical: influenza, stomach”, which we can take to mean a stomach virus of any kind.

Secondly, we have to look for the characteristic symptoms in the case, the “striking, strange, rare and peculiar” symptoms that will lead us to the correct remedy in the stomach flu rubric. What are they? What are the characteristic symptoms in this case? There are 3 big ones:

  1. Forcible vomiting. The father makes a big point of stressing that. Very “intense”, he says.
  2. Vomiting with appetite. Very peculiar! This is the most peculiar symptom in the case! As soon as I heard that, I said, “Oh wow! I sure hope this is in the Repertory!” It’s more typical to have an aversion to food in such a situation. This symptom is so peculiar, we are sure the remedy has to be there! As it turns out, there are only 4 remedies in that rubric, meaning that from 3,000 homeopathic remedies, we are down to 4, just by discerning what’s peculiar in the case!
  3. Desires ice water, which is not the choice of most people with an upset stomach; therefore, it’s of great interest to the homeopath!

When you put these 3 symptoms together with “stomach flu”, you come up with …



Ta-da! Veratrum alb.!

Yes Elaine, the special rubrics in this quiz truly are, “vomiting with appetite”, and “forcible vomiting”. Infact Veratrum also has

“Violent thirst for cold water and for ice.”

Absolutely! Phosphorus and Veratrum are right at the highest levels for that.

Thanks once again for your wonderful explanation.

You are soooo welcome!!!




Hello! Is the caller there? You’re on the air at

Hi Elaine. Hope you are well.

It’s Wayne from Australia, everybody!

This is in answer to the vomiting boy. Arsenicum seems to be in every symptom, although there is no burning.

Well, there doesn’t have to be burning in every arsenicum case.

Arsenicum is a good remedy when vomiting is constant and for when there is no relief. Its vomit can be yellowish and it likes small sips of water.


The etiology is not certain – could be bad food.

No, it’s pretty certain. The father said, “It could be indigestion or stomach flu he caught from his younger brother.” I think it strains credulity to suspect anything other than stomach flu since his younger brother had the same symptoms the day before.

It is for increased hunger, so I’ll say arsenicum.

What do you anticipate in an Arsenicum gastro-intestinal flu? Why don’t we like Arsenicum here? What’s missing? And what are the characteristic symptoms of this case–the striking, strange, rare and peculiar? And does Arsenicum cover them? That is the question.

Well I can see now that it’s China: Dehydration, flatulence,

OK, wait. The dehydration was from vomiting 6 times in a period of roughly 5 hours. The parents took him to the hospital for dehydration, I wouldn’t have; I would have just let him drink water, which he was able to do after the remedy. The remedy itself covered dehydration! I think they just fell back into their habits of running to the hospital with their children at the slightest provocation. Harry was fine after the remedy and looked more alert; so, problem solved as far as I’m concerned; so, I wouldn’t make an issue out of “dehydration” in this case; as in, “Aha! Dehydration! China!!!!” Also, the flatulence China is so famous for, all the father said about flatulence was, “He vomits so forcefully, it causes him to fart.” So to me, the symptom here then is not “flatulence” but “forcible vomiting”.

belching of bitter fluid,

I didn’t see that in the case at all.

frequent vomiting of undigested food, vomiting worse at night,

You know, all the vomiting details are irrelevant when you realize that he has a stomach flu, the hallmark of which is vomiting. So, naturally, at first, he will be vomiting food; ultimately, there will be no food left and only yellowish water. It’s very common, not worth making an issue over unless there is something peculiar about it.

can’t keep down fruit.

Again, he can’t keep anything down–because he has a stomach flu; so, we have to assume he would have thrown up anything he ate, he just happened to have eaten an apple. I don’t think we can make an issue out of that.

Once you get into vomiting there are a lot of remedies- easy to get lost. By the way- would you say regurgitation meant immediately?

That word wasn’t used in this case.

I see in arsenicum they have no appetite so I have overlooked this. Still I thought both children may have eaten bad food or drink.

I don’t think you would throw up 6 times if you ate something bad. Maybe 2 or three times and then you would feel better.

Murphy does have Phosphorus in summer flu under diseases, but it is of the lowest rank.

What are the characteristic symptoms in this case? What is peculiar, striking, strange? This is why you don’t have a remedy. First thing is getting the big picture. The big picture is that Harry has a stomach virus. In that context, a lot of his symptoms will be common and inevitable–like vomiting: vomiting food. vomiting yellowish water, vomiting frequently, etc. Now, what isn’t common in this case but rather, characteristic; meaning that a person could have a stomach flu and not necessarily have these particular symptoms? Does everybody with a stomach flu have thirst? No. So that is characteristic. Thirst for ice cold drinks? No, so that is characteristic. An appetite with vomiting? No!!!! So that is extremely characteristic. Forcible vomiting? No. So, there are your characteristic symptoms, that’s what needs to be repertorized–

  1. stomach flu
  2. thirst for ice cold drinks
  3. forcible vomiting
  4. vomiting with appetite

If you do that, you will find the remedy.

Oh, by the way, why can’t it be Arsenicum? No restlessness, no prostration, no chilliness, no anxiety, no fear, etc.

Thanks for voting!


Oh look, it’s the twins from Slovakia!

Mom, they’re not twins!

Hello Elaine and Shana,

Hello!!! Hello!!

After a 1 month gap in our participation in your quiz we want to try our luck again. Here are our answers:

Miroslav says: Phosphorus

I excluded Ipecac and Arsenicum as there is an absolute aversion to food.

Wait, are you saying that the LACK of aversion to food means it can’t be Ipecac and it can’t be Arsenicum, is that right? Because if so, I agree with you! Good point!

Veratrum album would probably have an intense diarrhea and also great fatigue. Phosphorus comes out as most probable remedy because of the following reasons: thirst for cold water, hunger and severe vomiting.

First of all, there’s no “severe vomiting” rubric. As for thirst and hunger, did you go to the Stomach chapter and look for a rubric that would cover “vomiting with hunger”? Or “vomiting with appetite”? Because if you went to some other chapter and looked up “appetite”, and looked up “thirst for cold drinks” and looked up “Stomach: vomiting” in the Stomach chapter, here’s what you would get:


You essentially get 6 very strong contenders and a bunch of medium-to-strong contenders, but how do you choose among them? I can’t pick any one of these with confidence. I mean, look how strong Veratrum alb is–and by the way, that was the remedy! But there must be a way of finding Veratrum without it being part of a mob! What if we took “desire for cold drinks” and “vomiting with appetite”?



Now what have we got? Only 2 remedies cover the case–Cina and Veratrum! How do we decide between the two? Well, which one is in the “stomach flu” rubric? Is Cina in the “Influenza, stomach” rubric? No; in fact, we have to assume that Cina would be showing such symptoms because of worms! We have to know what’s wrong with the patient, right? So that leaves us with Veratrum alb.

Jitka says: Bryonia

After I moved last month, my books are still packed somewhere in boxes. So, for guessing a proper remedy I used the online remedy finder of Andrew Lockie. I used these rubrics:

– Where Vomiting is Main Symptom

– Vomit Mainly Bile

– Vomit Contains Undigested Food

– Watery Vomit

– Desire for cold drinks

– Fruit aggravates symptoms

No, you went way off the rails with that one, Jitka. Anything he would have eaten would have aggravated because he had a stomach flu! It just so happened that he ate an apple. Of all the things you mentioned, “desire for cold drinks” was the only characteristic symptom you picked. Both of you missed the other two:

  1. Forcible vomiting. The father made a big point of saying that the vomiting was very intense.
  2. Vomiting with appetite–very strange! Aversion to food would be the norm. So, here we have the characteristic symptoms:



Only Veratrum covers the case!

There are repeated four remedies: Arsenicum, Bryonia, Phosphorus and Veratrum. Phosphorus which I thought it might be the right remedy is lacking in rubrics “Watery vomit” and ” Fruit Aggravates”.

See my explanation to Wayne. Again, making what is vomited important when we know the patient has a stomach flu and is going to vomit everything, is a mistake.

That is why I chose remedy Bryonia. I think Arsenicum would be more restless and Veratrum more exhausted with diarrhea.

Why don’t we like Bryonia? What do we expect to see in a Bryonia stomach flu? Tremendous nausea, worse least motion, must lie perfectly still, worse from lifting head off the pillow and tremendous headache, and again, must lie perfectly still. It would be hard to envision a Bryonia flu with no headache. OK, so that’s your lesson for the day….

Best regards Jitka


Hi Elaine and Shana!

Hi Maria, here you are at the 11th hour!

For this month’s quiz I have no better answer 😛 Ok, I have one and it is probably wrong, but I ll give it a try.

OK, I can’t wait, this better be good!

So my vote for this case is Arsenicum.


I couldn’t come up with something better. Can’t wait to read the “revisiting” 🙂

Thanks for voting anyway! And now, it’s time to count up our winners.

Mom, we don’t have any winners!

Well great, that’s just great!

Why don’t you honor Maurice White by playing something by Earth Wind & Fire?

Brilliant idea, Shana! Bye, everybody, see ya next time!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

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

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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

About the author

Shana Lewis

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"!


  • Hi Elaine and Shana – Thanks so much for posting Glenn Frey’s performance of Desperado. So sad Glenn is gone. He wasn’t just talented and handsome, he seemed to have a gentle, kind spirit.

  • Hi Linda, glad to see you’re still around! Yes, great performance of Desperado! It’s hard to believe he didn’t sing lead on the original! In fact, I think Don Henley got too many lead parts if you ask me!

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