Clinical Cases Case Quizes

Revisiting: “Wonder Boy” Sneezes 100 Times, Uses Up 100 Tissues!

boy sneezing

Did you guess the right remedy? See answer below.

To read last month’s full case quiz. Visit – “Wonder Boy” Sneezes 100 Times, Uses Up 100 Tissues!




Rhus tox-2

Nux vomica



Hi everybody!  It seems like a landslide for Arsenicum!  Does anybody think it’s NOT Arsenicum?  OK, here comes somebody now.

Hi Elaine! This is a great case.

It is?  Hey, everybody, welcome Jan Clare to The Quiz!

Revisiting: "Wonder Boy" Sneezes 100 Times, Uses Up 100 Tissues! 1

Thanks, Elaine!  What an unexpected surprise!  Well, I think the remedy is Nux vomica.  Here are the rubrics I took that contain Nux v.:

Mind; dullness; coryza; during

Wait a minute, that rubric contains Nux vomica?  I don’t see it!  It’s not in Murphy’s….  Hold on, let me check the Complete Repertory.  Oh yeah, there it is, in bold, it’s an addition by somebody, I don’t know who.  Jan, I have to tell you, I have a problem with the Complete Repertory.  In fact, have a big problem with it, actually!  There are too many additions and they’re all in bold!

Let me give you an example. Take a rubric like “Alternating States”.  Murphy’s Repertory shows 40 remedies.  The very same rubric in the Complete:  504 remedies!  That’s right, you heard me.  Five Hundred Four remedies!  From 40 remedies in Murphy’s to 504 in the Complete Repertory!  Does that make any sense?  According to this rubric, almost any remedy you can name covers this symptom!  And you can go to almost any rubric in the Complete and see the same thing!  Here’s a rubric I picked at random: “Dreams of Water”–Murphy’s Repertory shows 50 remedies, the Complete? 191.  You see what I mean?

Meanwhile, regarding this case?  I have a suggestion for you: I think Dullness During FEVER would be a better rubric than dullness during coryza, because it’s not so much a “cold” that “Wonder Boy” has, it’s more of a flu; a flu-like virus.  I think “dullness with fever” is a closer match–but Nux v. isn’t in that rubric either.

Mind; restlessness, nervousness; coryza, during

Again, I wouldn’t call this a case of coryza, it’s much worse than that.  “Nose: coryza” is our rubric for the common cold.  Again, I believe that this is more of a flu.  And I don’t remember him being “nervous” per se.

Mind; whimpering

Head; heaviness; coryza, with

I wouldn’t bother with a symptom like this.  He has a fever and it’s very common to have a headache during a fever.  Headaches and body aches are both very common with a virus, common symptoms generally do not help us to find a homeopathic remedy.

Nose; coryza; cough; with

Again, too general, not going to help us.  There are only 6 remedies listed in Murphy’s for this rubric, all in plain type, meaning it’s not a keynote of any remedy; and the remedies themselves–just take a look at them, no one has these remedies: Justicia, Squilla, Badiaga, Psorinum… Belladonna is the only one most of us have. Do you think this is a Belladonna case?  If not, no point in taking this rubric.

Nose; sneezing; frequent; coryza, in

Nose; discharge; mucous

I don’t see that rubric.  Generally, under “Nose: discharge”, are the different kinds of discharges: bloody, foamy, grey, gluey and so on.  I would pick “Nose: discharge, copious”.  A discharge IS mucus.  The question is, what kind of discharge?  What’s characteristic about it?  Is it copious?  Scanty?  Yellow or white or thick or watery?  Is it burning or bland?

Nose; obstruction, stopped sensation; coryza; with

Mouth; white; tongue; fever, during

Stomach; thirst; coryza, during

He’s thirsty for frequent sips.  Again, “during coryza”, I think, is the wrong orientation.  We should switch to “during fever”.

Sleep; sleepiness; coryza, during

Chill; internal; coryza, during

I didn’t repertorise the red spots

As well as these symptoms, other ones pointing to Nux v. are: he’s irritable, cold, has had a LOT of drugs in the past.  And…he was at a sleepover the night before and probably didn’t get as much sleep – and we know that Nux really suffers if sleep-deprived.

Gelsemium was a thought – sleepiness and dullness made me think of it.  It also has the red nostrils, obstructed nose and frequent sneezing.

Right, I thought of Gelsemium too. But here was the trouble I had: I saw a lot of remedies I thought were possible–but they all came with a “But”!  It looks like Gelsemium BUT, he’s thirsty.  It looks like Arsenicum BUT, he doesn’t want company.  It looks like Nux vomica, BUT, he doesn’t have a dry cough, he has a loose cough!  I was despairing over ever finding a remedy.

Arsenicum came up too – he’s chilly, restless and is sipping warm drinks and the red nostrils are a clue (but then they would be red if you’ve used 100 tissues!) but he didn’t seem to need company.

Yes, exactly, didn’t need company, and wasn’t anxiety-ridden; also, no diarrhea, which usually attends an Arsenicum flu/virus.

Well, Jan, like I said, I was in despair over this case until I got to the bottom of the questionnaire and saw a keynote of a remedy!  Finding a keynote of a remedy in a case is usually a cause for celebration!  You know, when you see something “big” like this, you start from there and work your way back: does this remedy have dullness and drowsiness?  Does it have a white tongue?  Does it have irritability?  Chilliness?  Sneezing?  Moaning?  Desire for sleep?  Thirst for sips?  Yes, yes, yes, yes!  

Lesson: it is more important to find a keynote of a remedy in a case than to just make an exhaustive list of symptoms and add them all up and pick the remedy that comes out on top.  Why?  Because the Repertory is not complete — pardon the pun!  If it was, you could do that!  You could write down every symptom: chilly with fever, head feels heavy, fever with thirst for sips, etc. and the right remedy would always come up!  But our repertory is not “Complete”!  So if you find a peculiar symptom, a keynote of a remedy, an etiology…this is so much more valuable than making an exhaustive list of symptoms and repertorizing!

Anyway, what remedy do you think it is now?

Thanks for a second chance Elaine!

Don’t mention it!

I see what you mean about the Complete repertory. I might have to get Murphy’s – have never used that one.

It’s alphabetical, so much easier to use!

Well… I think the remedy is Antimonium tart

Yes, that’s it!  YAY!!!!  Good for you!!!!!

I realised that I didn’t know this remedy very well,

Oh, then it’s good we did this quiz, because this is a very important remedy that I couldn’t do without!  Did you ever “swallow wrong”?  Do you know what I mean by that?  Where water goes down the wrong pipe?  Very painful experience; well, Antimonium tart. is the remedy for that.  It’s our drowning remedy.  Also, when you keep clearing your throat and clearing your throat, over and over again, and the phlegm just keeps on coming and it never stops and you always feel like there’s more to get out, that’s Antimonium tart too.  It’s for any unwanted fluid in the lungs.

I think I would recognise the picture now.

In Hering I found, under Ant tart: great rattling of mucus….originates in upper bronchi…neither cough nor vomiting brought up phlegm

and ‘irresistible inclination to sleep with nearly all affections’

I’m glad you found that!  Yes, that was a tell-tale sign along with inability to raise mucus despite having a loose cough!  “He just wants to sleep.”  You’ll be thinking it’s Gelsemium but the patient is thirsty!   

I re-did the case focusing more on fever than coryza and Ant-t is in these rubrics:

Stomach; thirst; small quantities, for; fever, during

Right; exactly!  Look how you can mistake that for Arsenicum!   

Sleep; sleepiness; heat; during

Right, and he so clearly had that.

But it’s missing or only Grade 1 in some of the other ones that I thought were so important, such as

Mind; delirium; fever; during; heat (I missed this the first time – is this the babbling?)

That was a tough one, how to interpret the “babbling”; but, it does sound like delirium. Ant-t. is a 1 under “Mind: delirium”.

Mind; restlessness, nervousness; fever; during

He did have that initial restlessness, another reason a lot of people picked Arsenicum.

Also, to corroborate the mum’s observation, I found in Farokh Master’s book that Ant tart has ‘worse for milk’ in respiratory tract disorders.

Yes, I saw it in “milk agg.” too.

He has also observed that ‘secretions fill the bronchial tubes, but the child lacks the power to expectorate and, ‘either completely thirstless, or drinks little and often’

Right, just like Arsenicum!  Look at what Murphy has for Ant-t. under “Mind” (I’ll underline the parts that match our case). It’s quite a stunning match-up:


Great despondency.  Fear of being alone.  Fretfulness, whining and crying, before the attack of sickness.  Bad mood.  Frightened, at every trifle.  Muttering, delirium and stupor.  Stupid on awakening.

Apathy or easily annoyed, wants to be let alone.  Peevish, whining and moaning. Despairs of his recovery.  Clings to attendants.  Consciousness wanes on closing eyes.  Melancholic, complains of numerous suffering.

Thanks again, this has been such useful learning.

Yes, very useful!



Now, it is hard to ignore the fact that just about everyone voted for Arsenicum!  I know why you did, you saw that “Wonder Boy” was restless and thirsty for sips at a time.  “Aha!” you said, “It must be Arsenicum!”.  But people, the Arsenicum mentals in a flu case are unmistakable!  First of all, usually it’s a gastro-intestinal flu–meaning nausea and diarrhea are present, there’s prostration along with tossing and turning and thirst for just one sip at a time; and the mentals!  Well, the Arsenicum mentals are one of a kind! 

The patient is absolutely convinced he will die if you don’t stay with him and hold his or her hand!  I have a video for you to watch so you can see this for yourself. 

In the video, Muriel Stubbs has an Arsenicum flu!  This is an episode of “The PJ’s”.


 It’s a satire on African-American life in the big cities of America–which boils down to poverty, discrimination and neglect: lack of food markets, playgrounds for kids to play, lack of repairs to streets and buildings…  Anyway, we won’t get into that now, the main thing is that Muriel has an Arsenicum flu and her husband, Thurgood Orenthal Stubbs, tries desperately to take care of her but the needs of an Arsenicum patient are insurmountable, and Thurgood fails dramatically as a care-giver–the problem being that men are not suited for this job anyway, as their inclination is to do the bare minimum and then leave as soon as possible while the Arsenicum patient cannot bear to be left alone, and in fact, at one point, Muriel actually screams “Don’t Leave Me!” with her arms out-stretched! 

She’s been given a horn to toot if she needs anything and she’s tooting it every five minutes!  Thurgood at one point says, “If you need me, I’m just an ear-splitting blast away.”  Click below and enjoy one of my favorite TV shows, “The PJs”. 


I want to thank everyone who voted: Margaret Warden, Teodora, Riva, Maria, Salma, Miroslav and Jitka, Dr. Kausar, Elisabeth, Dr. Sayeda, Vamsi, Jayne Evans and Jan Clare.

See you back here in December!


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

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