Clinical Cases

Revisiting: Stuffed Up For A Month!

another picture of Shana close up

Revisiting: Stuffed Up For A Month!. Elaine gives the answer to last month’s quiz.

And once again, for those of you who missed last
month’s quiz… Scroll down past “votes”:



Rhus tox-4
Nux v.-3
Nitric ac.

I am going to enlarge the parts of the mother’s narrative that comprise
the case:

My daughter Theodora is a very healthy and happy baby. She was born
full term, at 7.03 pounds and 20″. She is exclusively breastfed.
She is not vaccinated nor she will be. She never took any medication.
For her nose I am using saline drops and a bulb syringe but I am
not getting much out. The congestion is in the back of her nose.
She is congested at night
, which interferes with feedings

and rarely during the day, never outside or during a hot
. She is sleeping in bed with me, and I run a humidifier

in the room. I have no idea what the cause of the congestion might
be, but I have the same problem during the cold season.
I took her to the doctor and she told me that the baby’s breathing
passages are very small and is very common for them to be congested.
The doctor couldn’t find anything wrong with her but did suggest
to put her on antibiotics in case the problem doesn’t go away in
2 weeks. Of course I didn’t agree with that.
Theodora has no other problems and her behaviour didn’t change at
all since she got the nose problem. She is drooling a lot and chewing
on her fingers so I am thinking she might be teething but I don’t
see any connection between this and the nasal congestion. I am waiting
for your suggestions!
I forgot to mention that during the day Theodora is congested
when she wakes up from her naps

So, our rubrics, then, have to be:

night time aggravates
outside air ameliorates
hot bathing ameliorates
worse after sleep

cold season or winter aggravates

(the mom said she has the same problem every winter, so I’m assuming
she’s either passed this trait on to her baby or the baby is just,
coincidently, worse from cold weather)

I repertorized the above rubrics and Rhus tox came out the winner! But,
I have to tell you, as soon as I heard “hot bathing ameliorates”,
I IMMEDIATELY thought of Rhus tox! Then I looked back at the other
symptoms in the case to see if they supported Rhus tox and here’s
what I found: Open air amel., worse after sleep, ailments from cold
weather, worse at night–ALL go for Rhus tox!

Note the similarity with the other Rhus tox quiz we had recently,
“Cold Gone Bad”. If you recall, ALL the patient’s symptoms
were better in a hot shower! Every time I see this, my first thought
is always Rhus tox. Similarly, whenever you have an itchy skin rash,
and hot applications ameliorate, your first thought should be Rhus
tox. Kent says:

Large blisters form upon the skin either with or without
erysipelas. The incessant itching is sometimes relieved by “scalding”
the parts, as it is called by some who are poisoned with Rhus,
by “scalding” with water as hot as it is possible to
bathe the parts in.

So, whenever you see this modality, better from hot bathing, think
of Rhus tox right away. A lot of you made the mistake
of repertorizing “bathing amel.” when it was actually
HOT bathing that ameliorated. Let’s see what some of our readers
had to say:

Hi Elaine,

Now, I am going to jump right in and say–
Rhus Tox.
I figure if a warm shower ameliorates in Rhus tox, a warm bath should be similar.  Also, it’s got the obstructed nose (Kent) and the sleep aggravation.  It’s not Pulsatilla because although that has the outdoors amelioration, Pulsatilla would not like getting in a warm bath.  Also, the aggravation was restlessness, which could be a rhus tox aggravation.–

Eva the Picklet


Impressed, I asked Eva where she learned homeopathy. Here’s
what she said:

Oh, it was from this funny lady, who’s got
a thing about music. I think she’s some sort of rock chick in the
States somewhere.

Too bad Eva didn’t condescend to say which Rock Chick from the States!

Katie writes:

Rhus tox.
Congested at night and when wakes up from naps, but not congested
later in the day or when outside – which I take to me she is better
from motion, worse from lying still
Restless at night (aggravation)
Better from heat
Happy Thanksgiving!–Katie

Rajiv writes:

Dear Elaine,

Its after a long time i am trying to solve
a hpathy quiz which i love as one of the best features of the ezine.

That is so true…

Have been very busy these days with my mainstream
career of a Management teacher. I hope you remember me as a reader
who had won quite a few of these quizzes a few years ago and was
an active participant on the hpathy forum.

Really?  Is that sooooooooo…..

I think the remedy given to the baby was
Rhus Tox. All the main symptoms and modalities of a Rhus Tox cold
are there.

Stuffed up nose,
– aggravated by rest (worse during night or early morning when the
baby is at rest or has had rest)
– ameliorated during the day and outside (presumably because of
– better by warm bath (a classic keynote symptom of a Rhus Tox cold)

What do you say?

I’m sorry I wasn’t paying attention.  Oh!  Rhus tox?  Yes!  Absolutely!

With warm regards,

Rajiv Prasad

Post script: I love all your articles and
insights into homeopathy. I also admire your wonderful, lively and
compassionate spirit.

And do you know what I admire about you, Rajiv?  You actually wrote out the word “Post script”!  Wow, that is really special! 

And, finally, we have Dr. Diderik Finne:

Dear Elaine,
I would suggest Rhus-t for this baby’s sinus congestion.
There are three modalities in this case:
1) worse at night
2) better open air
3) better from hot bathing
Since the third modality is the smallest rubric, it is easiest to
start from there: anac, Ars, Hep, Rhust-t, Sil, Thuja
Sil is missing from open air amel, so that leaves five. For Ars
we would expect to see some anxiety and restlessness. For Hep, we
would expect some over-sensitiveness. That leaves anac and Rhus-t,
both in the same family, with Rhus being far more likely.
Just for the record, if I am correct, I could really use a new Synthesis

(Hint-hint, Dr. B, are you listening????)
Dr. Diderik Finne

OK, so, congratulations go to our 4 distinguished winners: Eva,
Katie, Rajiv and Dr. Finne
. (Hopefully, our exciting prizes
will be back in January….) and thanks to all who participated;
do try again with this month’s quiz!

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