Clinical Cases

The Vacation from Hell

Written by Diderik Finne

An unexpected remedy cures a case of nausea.

Hal is a middle-aged, married, Caucasian man of Dutch/English ancestry.  His wife called one Sunday morning to tell me he had persistent nausea since waking around 7am.  The wife takes care of the whole family homeopathically and is my usual contact.

He has frequent loose bowel movements. He is resisting the urge to vomit. He feels wiped out. No chills or fever; facial coloration normal.

Last night he had seared tuna tacos for dinner. The tuna was a bit raw on the inside.  His wife had the same thing and did not suffer any ill effects.  Hal did not sleep well.  “The bed was too narrow,” he says, meaning that his wife’s movements kept him awake.  At home they have a wider bed.

Despite the nausea his appetite and thirst are normal.  Breakfast settled his stomach temporarily, but the nausea returned.


Rx _____________ 6C (the only potency available), one dose

Follow-up: He lay down to take a nap.  As he was lying there, the nausea faded away. When he awoke the nausea was gone.  He went out with his family to visit the Space Museum.

A phone call the next day and a week later confirmed that he is well.


The rubrics, “Nausea > eating” and “Loose stools” are objective and trustworthy.  The rubric, “Nausea, constant” is a bit problematic because the nausea only started a few hours before. I would use this rubric only if there was constant nausea for several days.  It is too soon to know if it is applicable.  Likewise, “Nausea with hunger in the morning” is too restrictive.  He has a normal appetite; in other words, his appetite is unaffected by the nausea.  Perhaps he would also eat lunch and dinner.  The appetite is certainly not increased.

So that leaves two reliable rubrics and quite a few remedies.  Is there any way to narrow the field?

If the nausea is from food poisoning, the routine remedy would be Arsenicum.  Against Arsenicum is the absence of any anxiety or restlessness.  Arsenicum’s nausea is not ameliorated by eating.

Phosphorus is another likely choice.  Against Phosphorus is the absence of pronounced thirst.

The key to this case actually comes from my own experience.  I was visiting my parents one time and ate some moldy soup stock.  The result was constant nausea for many days.  In my case, there was also constipation and loss of appetite.  I tried many remedies, including Arsenicum, Phosphorus and Ipecacuanha.

Finally, I just took the symptom, “sudden collapse of vitality,” and gave Aconitum.  This remedy cured me.

Since then I have used Aconitum several times for nausea and other symptoms appearing suddenly after eating strange foods or simply being in a foreign environment.  In my understanding, Aconitum has an inner sensitivity and vulnerability to environmental change.  In Sankaran’s sensation method, Aconitum is the remedy for acute effects of vexation.

According to Grant Bentley, Aconitum is a tubercular remedy, i.e., a combination of psoric and syphilitic characteristics.  The tubercular constitution appears perfectly healthy under favorable circumstances but is susceptible to collapse under stress.  All the people to whom I have given Aconitum were, broadly speaking, tubercular.

Aconitum is certainly not the first or even fifth remedy one would think of for acute nausea.  But in this case, it fit the bill.

About the author

Diderik Finne

Diderik Finne RSHom has been in homeopathic practice for twenty years, first in New York City and now in Annandale, Virginia. He served as head of the Case Review Committee for the Council for Homeopathic Certification (North America) for six years. He is also a licensed acupuncturist but currently focuses exclusively on homeopathy. He has published five previous cases in Hpathy. Website:

1 Comment

  • Sometimes life is stranger than fiction. About 8 months after the above incident ocurred, the patient was again traveling with his family, and his wife had a sudden onset of nausea! She prescribed Aconitum for herself and experienced the same quick relief.

    I should note that in both cases Aconitum served only as an acute remedy; it did not address any constitutional issues.

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