Clinical Cases Case Quizes

Revisiting: Stomach Flu (No Answer)

Did you try to solve last month’s quiz?

Waaaaaaah!!!!  It’s just not fair!  Its a tragedy!  If you’re wondering why Snoopy (which is supposed to be me) is crying, its because Glenn Frey of The Eagles died.

Glenn Frey of The Eagles

Shana, you’ve been crying for 3 weeks!

Well, excuuuuuse me for being heartbroken and devastated!!!  I wasn’t expecting this to happen.  I can’t imagine the Eagles without Glenn Frey.  There really is a hole in the world without him.

If you say so.  I thought maybe you were crying because Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire died.

Mom, I’m sure it is very sad; but, if you ask me, the cruelest of all sins is that a brilliant and funny man is gone.

Who, George Burns?

No, Glenn Frey!  He shouldn’t have died until he was darn good and ready.

I’ll make a note of that.

It’s not my place to decide when someone is ready to die.

It’s not?  I’ll make a note of that too.

I was only trying to make the point that he was taken away too soon.  I never knew he had so many things wrong with him such as Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Apparently the drugs he was taking for RA led to his death.  Remember when you told me they took some drug off the market a long time ago because it was killing people?

Vioxx.  I’m sure they’ve taken many drugs off the market.

They really should take RA drugs off the market, or at least ban the commercials.  I saw one on tv recently for Humira and started crying.

I know!  It startled me, I didn’t know what was wrong with you!  You started screaming, “Get it off! Get it off!”  And I was, like, “What the heck?”

It was for Rheumatoid Arthritis!


I imagine that RA drug commercials are going to trigger me in that way from now on.

I’ll try to mute the TV in advance.

Anyway, back to Mr. Frey. (and by the way, that’s pronounced “Fry”, not “Fray”) I’m glad we went to see the Eagles at the Wells Fargo Center in 2013.

Has it been that long?

I never saw Glenn’s passing coming so it’s kind of sad that my first time seeing them was my last.

How many times did you expect to see The Eagles anyway?

It was the beginning of the end.  I read that in Bossier City, Louisiana on July 29th, 2015, Glenn went up to original member Bernie Leadon, gave him a hug, and said. “This isn’t the end.”

The end of what?

I imagine he meant it wasn’t the end of Bernie playing with the current band.  Who would have imagined that six months later, Glenn would be gone?  Its just so sad that he never got to fulfill his promise to Bernie.

Maybe it’s not the end of The Eagles, and what was Bernie doing there anyway?

What do you mean what was he doing there?!  He was playing the guitar!  It’s just horrible that the Eagles had to end on such a tragic note.  I’ve seen different people say that the band cannot continue without Glenn so I don’t know what Don Henley, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmidt are going to do now.  I would like to see them honor Glenn in some way.  I guess it’s not easy finding someone who can not only sing, but, sing harmony, play the guitar and the piano too.

You know who can do all those things?  Daryl Hall!

I don’t see that happening.  The Eagles were Don Henley and Glenn Frey.  It doesn’t make any sense without Glenn.

What about Jackson Browne?

I don’t see the Eagles replacing him, OK?  I have to keep reminding myself that at least he is free from pain but its just not fair.  I had hoped to see the Eagles together at the Kennedy Center, I wanted them to record another album if Glenn hadn’t gotten so sick.  I kinda wish I had seen them before Glenn had gotten sick so maybe then his death wouldn’t have come as such a shock.


I said that I wish …

Never mind!  You are now, officially, making no sense!  We saw them in 2013.  And Glenn was fine, so, I have no idea what you’re talking about.

Well that is your problem!  By the way, can I have your copies of the Eagles’ self-titled album and “One of These Nights” on vinyl?

You’re asking me if you can “have” albums that are here?  Did you think I was going to give them to somebody else?

Well, I mean, you’re not doing anything with them, are you?

Shana!!!!  Of course you can have them, what do you think?  They’re here, aren’t they?  For God’s sake!  This is the stupidest conversation …!

Mom, do you remember why we’re having this conversation?


It’s because the leader of the Eagles has flown.

Oy vey! 

I want to play a song to honor Glenn Frey in the quiz.

We’re in the Quiz now!  Or were you planning to interrupt the case, a la “a word from our sponsor”, with “Desperado”?

I’m using my announcements to honor Glenn Frey!  I found a bunch of great videos on Youtube.  Here’s one of him doing “Desperado” in concert.

I must be psychic!

Also one of the actors from “Harry Potter” died last month.  Alan Rickman was the actor who played the Potions Professor, Severus Snape, and he died of cancer.

Finally, David Bowie died of cancer as well. 

I wasn’t really a fan of his music but I’m proud of him for confronting MTV’s Mark Goodman about why the station wouldn’t play any black artists.  David said, “I’m floored that there are no black artists on your channel.”  Good for you, David!

I never liked MTV.

You can start the Quiz now.  Why is it called “No Answer”?

Because that was the most frequent answer I got!


Dear Dr Lewis,

I filled out the questionnaire as my son “Harry” has been throwing up since 2 a.m.  He is not retaining water or food (an apple is the only thing he ate).  Please see the questionnaire for details.

Name: “Harry Henderson”

Age: 10

Male or Female: Male

Weight: 102lbs

Height: 4 feet

Date: 11/10/12

Email Address: *****


  1. Describe the complaint

“Harry” has been throwing up since Sat night.  (Our younger child, “Francisco”, had this same illness on Friday.  He settled down on Saturday.  Ate very little, but drank enough water.  Played fine.)

“Harry” ate his dinner late – a hot dog.  (Sorry.)  He slept almost immediately.  At around 2 am, he threw up all the undigested food.  Since then he has thrown up 5 times (until 7am).  The last 3 are yellowish water.  It comes from deep inside and looks like its churning his insides.

  1. Etiology–

It could be indigestion or stomach flu bug that he caught from his younger brother.  He sat down to watch TV and he said he wasn’t feeling hungry at dinner time.  Both of us were busy with chores and forgot to eat.

  1. Sensation–

It originally looked like indigestion (didn’t eat anything after lunch – 2pm).  Probably the upset stomach might have started and hence he wasn’t hungry.  From 5 am, he said he has been hungry.  He has been taking sips of water.

  1. Appearance–

A little droopy eyes, probably because of lack of sleep.

  1. Location–

No answer.

  1. Modalities–

He feels very lousy.  The vomiting is so intense that he farts while he’s doing it.  Finally, at 6am, he passed stool – his regular consistency.

He definitely was hungry.  Between 4-6 am he woke me up a few times saying that he was hungry.

At 7am he ate a small piece of apple but threw it up in 15-20 minutes.

He is thirsty, hungry.  At least, there is no aversion to food after all these 6 vomitings.

  1. Concomitants

No answer.

  1. Discharges–

Initially, undigested food, but later all were very yellowish liquid.

  1. Generals–

No answer.

  1. The mentals

No change.  He’s acting & talking normally.

  1. What have you been saying?

No answer.

  1. What are you doing?

No answer.

  1. Describe your thirst and appetite–

No answer.

  1. Fever?

No answer.

  1. Sweating?

No answer.

  1. Odors?

No answer.

  1. What is most striking, peculiar or identifying about your condition?

No answer.

  1. Is there a diagnosis?

No answer.

  1. Describe your energy–

No answer.


OK, give him a dose of ________30C and tell me what happens.

We’re back home after going to the hospital for IV as he was dehydrated.

I would say the remedy worked.  He’s been fine after that single dose.  I gave it at 10 am and after at least 15 sips of water and ice cubes, he’s still fine.

By the way, I gave it, and after 3 minutes he took couple of sips of water.

He looked more alert after the remedy.

That’s what we wanna hear!  Those words are golden to a homeopath!  So OK, everybody, what remedy was given?  Write to me at [email protected] and the right answer will appear in next month’s ezine.








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 2 am
  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 that 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 await 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 that’s 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”.  In fact 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 was 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 out of 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,



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 in these two.

Wait, are you saying that the LACK of aversion to food in this case means it can’t be Ipecac and it can’t be Arsenicum?  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 remedies 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, don’t we?  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 out.  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 no matter what, is a big mistake.

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.

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, 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!  Maria, there are absolutely nooooooooo signs of Arsenicum in this case!  (Except for the desire for sips of water.)  But there’s no prostration, no desperate need for company, no tossing and turning, no moaning and groaning…. You’ve probably seen by now that the remedy is Veratrum.  And now, it’s time to count our winners.

Mom, we don’t have any winners!

Oh.  Well, that is unfortunate.  I guess I can play my favorite song by The Eagles then: “I Can’t Tell You Why” (there are no winners):  Glenn Frey on keyboards, Timothy B. Schmidt on lead.



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

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"!


  • 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!

Leave a Comment