Clinical Cases

Spina Bifida in a Three Year Old Boy

spina bifida

Homeopath Spero Latchis, founder of Shantideva Homeopathic Research Initiative, presents a case of Spina Bifida in a three year old boy.

I work in a charitable clinic in a small remote village in Northern India.  Most patients just show up at our door without any appointment. This is one such case. Lecia Cornett and Pierre Vuilleumier are two homeopaths who were visiting the clinic at the time of this case.

A young mother came with her 31/2 year old son Bapil, who was screaming and did not want to come inside the clinic. He seemed terrified of us. The first thing we noticed was that he could not walk by himself. He needed to hold someone’s hand, and even then his gait was very slow and clumsy and he would fall easily. In fact simply standing was difficult.  His head was disproportionally large and his legs very thin and wobbly. He was very restless, crying and his face was red.

When we asked what the problem was his mother showed us a 2 inch diameter round mass of scar tissue on the lower lumbar/upper sacral area of his spine. Lisa immediately identified the scar tissue as evidence of Spina Bifida. The mother was not able to say much about her son’s condition or about his behavior or nature. We had mostly our only observations to go on.  I asked, “Is your son afraid of only doctors or of all strangers.?  She said “both.” Then I asked if his feet were sweaty and she said “yes.”  She also offered that he does not like sweets. There was not much more information coming from the mother.


  1. Head: large
  2. Generalities: Spinal Bifida
  3. Mind: fear strangers
  4. Extremities: emaciation lower limbs.
  5. Extremities: perspiration feet
  6. Generalities: Sweets: aversion to.

One thing that I have learned working in this clinic is not to waste time on cases where there is a scarcity of “deep” information.  Often in this practice there are few clear mental and emotional symptoms. My training as a homeopath is to always try to understand the patient’s overall “state”, however when such information is not forthcoming, I try to use whatever I have.  I just prescribe, and trust that better prescriptions will follow in the future.  In this case I felt I had enough information to make a reasonably good prescription. We saw the patient for fifteen minutes. If the parents were going to commit to homeopathy for this child they would need to come regularly.  I told them that they would probably not notice any improvement in the next month but to bring him again at that time.

5-14-15   I prescribed Baryta carb 30c, 5 cup method, teaspoon twice a day for the next month.

6-8-15    First follow up. Bapil was still afraid to enter clinic, but seemed less fearful of us outside the clinic. His mother said he is walking a bit better and that his scar tissue is smaller. I could not visibly confirm either of these changes.

Prescription: Continue with Baryta Carb 30c  5 cup method  5 drops two times a day.

6-22-15   The patient is still afraid to enter the clinic, but does seem to be walking a bit better with the help of someone’s hand. He is talking now when around the clinic, but most of it is not understandable.

Prescription  Baryta Carb 200c  5 cup method  5 drops once a day.

8-11-15    Bapil’s mother reports that he is walking much better now. His mother says that he gets lots of sweat on his head and body. For the first time I can perceive a noticeable change in his confidence and strength. He still has difficulty walking, but is clearly getting better.

Prescription: Baryta Carb 200c  5 cup method  5 drops two times a day.

9-23-15   Bapil is a bit better. His mother reports that he is walking alone even better now, and that his fear of strangers is much less. He entered the clinic willingly and did not cry or show any fear. His confidence level appears greater. He does not cling to his mother in our presence.

Prescription: Baryta carb 200c 5 cup method  5 drops two times a day

11-9-15   Today Bapil was a different person. He walked into the clinic without holding his mother’s hand. He went right up to the chair, climbed in and looked me right in the eye with a big smile. He then began to speak and doodle on a piece of paper. He spoke continually of ghosts, not with fear, but with laughter. He drew many pictures of tiny ghosts and just kept saying “ghost, ghost, ghost” over and over. He engaged me completely and was full of confidence and smiles.

I was really shocked at the change and asked his mother to tell me more about him. She said that he was now not at all afraid of strangers and was playing more easily with the other children.  In fact, she said that he was now very open, outgoing and friendly with everyone. He had been talking a lot, and wanting to travel in the car. He was now strongly afraid of thunder and startles when he hears it. She reported that he perspires heavily when teased, and that his breath was offensive.

Although he was clearly much better, I could not justify continuing with Baryta carb. I clearly perceived a phosphorus element in the case and decided to prescribe Baryta phos. However we did not have that remedy in our pharmacy and could not get it for at least 3 weeks. I decided to prescribe Calc phos in low potency to see if it would  help, and to buy some time until the Baryta phos arrived.

Prescription:   Calcarea Phosphorica  6c  5 cup method five drops daily.

Jan 21  Bapil was walking much better than the last time. He was still speaking a lot, very friendly and less restless than last time, His fear of lightening was still  very strong and he demands bananas. He has much perspiration on his whole body, but mainly on his head .  His mother says he is obstinate.  I decided to continue with the Calc phos, but at a higher potency as it was helping.

Prescription calc phos 30  5 drops once a day 5cup method

March 5th   Bapil continues to improve, in most areas. His excessive fears are completely gone. He is extremely open and friendly, and his walking has improved dramatically. He can now walk on his own continually and is even trying to run. He climbs stairs on his own and does not hold on to things or people when he walks or climbs. His legs are stronger, although still visibly emaciated. He speaks continually and does not want to leave the clinic. It is now clear that whatever happens in the future he will at least be able to walk well enough to get around by himself in his adult life. He may never be a sports hero, but he will do alright. Of course there is more time for him to heal even further.

Although he is getting stronger physically and more open and outgoing, I still feel that his mental/ emotional state is not mature enough. He is very silly for his age, and does not act with the maturity of a 4 1/2 year old. For example he just draws tiny ghosts over and over and does not seem to really listen or interact in ways that are appropriate for his age. He is open and present but not exactly listening and communicating accurately. I feel it is time to give the Baryta Phosphorus

Prescription  Baryta Phos  30c  5 cup method,   5 drops once daily

To find out how Bapil does in the future, visit our website at   We will post the ongoing follow up reports.

Editor’s Note:  Shantideva Homeopathic Research Initiative (SHRI) opened a charitable clinic in Bir, Himachal Pradesh in September of 2010. Over the last four years, SHRI Free Clinic has treated over 3000 new patients and has become a valuable asset to our Tibetan refugee & rural Indian communities. In December of 2014, SHRI Free Clinic moved to the small village of Kotli.  You can learn more about the clinic at:    and watch a video about their work:

About the author

Spero Latchis

Spero Latchis DHom originally studied with Julian Jonas, then with the School of Homeopathy in Gloucestershire, UK. His further studies were with Massimo Mangialavori and the Bombay homeopaths, under Rajan Sankaran. He traveled to India each fall, to attend Dr. Sankaran’s seminars and work privately in local clinics. Spero has taught in Japan, Canada and the U.S. In 2010, he and his partner Robin Jameson opened Shantideva Homeopathic Research Initiative (SHRI) in Bir, Himachal Pradesh. SHRI Free Clinic has now served over 3,000 Indian residents and Tibetan refugees. Since 2010, Spero has focused on the classical teachings, including Herring, Farrington, and of course Hahnemann. He continues to practice Tibetan Buddhism, a passion that began in 1977. He is an avid, amateur organic farmer and constructed a green house, animal barn, irrigation system & AACT (Actively Aerated Compost Tea) machine, all from locally available parts and tools. He spends his weekends working on the farm. He has a weakness for Kashmiri carpets and classic, Japanese films.


  • Thank you for the wonderful case! Can you tell me what the five cup method is? Also, are you doing succussions before each liquid dose as per The Organon aph. 247? Also, I’m concerned that so many doses were give daily, even in high potency. Granted, it doesn’t seem to have hurt the child in any way but in general, according to the Organon, Hahnemann warns against overly-aggressive dosing in aphorism 246:

    aph. 246, 6th ed.:

    “Every perceptibly progressive and strikingly increasing amelioration during treatment is a condition which, as long as it lasts, completely precludes every repetition of the administration of any medicine whatsoever…”

    In other words, you’d have to tell your patient, “If at any time you observe a striking improvement, stop dosing and wait and see if this improvement continues; but, if the case starts to relapse, resume the dosing as before.” This is to prevent aggravations and provings. I get an awful lot of patients who are proving remedies prescribed by other homeopaths who have simply stopped responding to the patent’s phone calls because, quite frankly, these patients are seen as anomalies and “pests”. However, it is our responsibility to guard against causing suffering to patients caused by overly-aggressive prescribing.

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