Clinical Cases

How to Understand a Person by Example of an Arsenic Case

Written by Ghanshyam Kalathia

Dr. Ghanshyam Kalathia gives a sample case to illustrate how to analyze a case both traditionally and using periodic table.

Dear friends and colleagues, I’m glad to share with you whatever I have learned and witnessed in my personal development the last three years.  I’ve experienced much in-depth understanding and lot of learning which is impossible to complete in one article, I’ve decided to publish one article in each month for twelve months. Let us journey together in the vast field of homeopathy.

In these twelve articles I’m going to share with you my personal experience in how to produce consistent results and to be confident in your prescriptions. These findings are a portion of my online course “A Systematic Approach In Homeopathy” [1]” which has already been very successful.

Overview of our journey:

The main focus here is how to understand the case. We understand the case in various ways, for example:  How does he behave with us and with others? What is his manner of speaking? Does he speak rapidly, slowly, loudly, vividly, energetically, dully, placidly, plainly or in a sophisticated manner? Does he animate a lot, which reflects the pace as well as the basic personality of the person. What is his emphasis during his narration? Which words does he choose to describe the issues? What is the most sensitive issue in his life? What is the very obvious thing in the case? How do we extract peculiars from casual conversation?

In short we have to understand who the person is sitting in front of us. Once we   understand this in the case, then our second goal is how to find the exact remedy to match what we understand.  What remedy matches what is very peculiar in the case? We grasp this from the materia medica,  the repertory and from our systematic understanding of kingdoms and miasms.

Generally the most common mistake is to try to find the match from the very beginning. We obtain one clue and then we try to find our medicine! By our habit of prematurely reaching for a remedy we not only strangulate the natural flow of the case, but also seek out something familiar, rather than finding what is peculiar to the case.

Let’s try to understand this from example of one case…


This is a case of a man who had complained of urticaria.

As you read this, try to note peculiar words, expressions and anything which is very prominent for the case.

D: Tell me about your problems.

P: I have this kind of rash since two years. It comes sometime and it goes automatically. Initially I got so tense about it and visited so many doctors for it and finally one doctor suggest me to observe if there is some food products that might cause this kind of rash. So then I observe that it happens whenever I eat curd (yoghurt), so I put off all milk products, except I take only tea once in a day in the morning.



(Here I note one modality: aggravation by yoghurt and note one personality hint : that he is very-very fastidiouos.

D: Tell me more about the rashes.

P: Whenever it comes you cannot resist scratching them. Doctor suggest, so not only about food items but also for everything I try to observe about it and I found it comes every time at evening 7 pm and stays hardly for half an hour and sometimes stay longer, but mostly goes away after 10 pm. As I enter the room and remove my cloths then it starts. So mostly whenever it occurs I wear some extra cloths or envelop myself completely then it goes very fast. When it happens then I have to touch even water to my body. If I wash my face or legs or hands then it terrifically aggravates and I need comb to scratch them. Even in the morning I never dare to take a bath by cold water, for then immediately I have rashes. Even in very hot summer days also I need hot water for bath. In short whenever my body comes in contact with cold things or open air then I have the rashes.

(Some more peculiar symptoms like… evening aggravation, open air aggravation, becoming cold aggravation and covering amelioration)


D: Explain more how this bothers you.

P: I cannot concentrate on anything, can’t watch TV when I have rashes and just think about how to get read of it. I do all sorts of things to be free from scratching the skin. I try to control it but I never get succeed. I never take foods which are unhygienic and unhealthy.  I never eat outside and always eat according to my diet plan. I’m very serious about foods and exercise not only for me but for my entire family. I insist that all live life according to hygienic way and try to do all activities which maintain health.

(There are certain things which we can understand from his expressions. We previously noted his fastidious quality becomes more obvious and we obtain the exact quality of fastidiousness. He is only fastidious for food and diet and further he confirms why he is doing this much to food and diet? He wants to maintain his health. Another important thing is we understand also his desperation to get rid of the rashes which is he try to control it is exactly look like cancer way of coping.)

D: Okay, Now tell about you in general?

P: I’m Mr. D, living in Kishkindha Society, I’m married and I have two kids. I do job in one of the best pharmaceutical company in our city. I like south Indian dishes which I believe never harm your body and very easy to digest them. I love my family so I’m taking care about them all especially about their health. We all together do yoga in every morning, even my two year old son also like “Kapal Bhati- and Anulom-vilom” (Breathing exercise). I have interest to watch TV whenever I find free time. I like to watch all health related programs and I never miss them.

(Here I note down his typical talking style… he talks as if he is giving me statistical overview of himself. For example I’m Mr. D, I live here, I have wife, I have kids etc… this is a typical talking pattern of mineral kingdom patients. Most important hint here is he again comes on to the same topic related to health which indicates “His worries for health” is a most prominent issue in the case. We called it centre of the case. One more thing for health issues, he is not only worried for himself but also for the health of his family!)

D: Tell more about ‘Health related Programs”?

P: They show us how to live life healthy. “Health is wealth”. How to maintain body? How to be fresh all the time? What we have to do for precocious steps to not become sick?  How environment affect our body? How much our body is delicate and not resists the adversities? How much food is good? Which kind of food is best for body? How much you have to drink? These all kind of interesting things I try to learn from these TV Programs.

(This is another point by which we decide for the centre of the case. Something which runs again and again and we can see same thing in different area of the life as well as different time zone. Here again we see the same emphasis on issue of health in his interest and hobby too!)

D: Talk about “Health is Wealth”?

P: We see in our society 90% people’s problems are health related. If we maintain our body fit then we are able to live good quality of life. If you take precaution since beginning then you can able to live your life with minimum of problems, that’s why you have to take care for food and drinks and have to do regular exercises.  Once you lost your health then nobody can save it. Doctors just advice you but health is in your hand.

D: Once you lost health then what happen?

P: You might lose everything. You are not able to do your work with full potentiality. You lost your interest in everything. You cannot control then anything regarding your life, everything gets spoiled very slowly but steadily. If you lose health then you might have to face lot of issues in your family also. Once you lose little health then it goes slowly from your hand and then nothing can in your hand, so slowly you become victim of big sickness like cancer or Blood pressure or heart attack. Finally there is nothing in perfect in your life, everything become chaotic.

(Some points become clearer like he has fear of losing health. Also, if he lost his health then it would also affect his family and after loss of his health everything would become chaotic.)

D: What is the perfect life?

P: Everything is in their proper place, like your hairs are black or according to your health, face and skin is according to age, your bones and other internal organs are regular in their function. Perfect BP and perfect pulse and there is nothing usual in your blood reports. If anything is improper then you become victim of sickness. You need everything should be perfect and in their limit. If you cross the limit then things goes out of your reach then nothing can control them, that’s why I usually visit doctors whenever I feel there is even little problem in me. Even I feel little pain in my head then I do not go at my home but directly go to doctor.

(Here we obtain something beyond the the “Health issue”: “You should be perfect and proper for maintaining health and if anything goes out of proper place then nobody can control it. He cannot rest when things are slightly out of the place for e.g. , a headache and he directly goes to doctor before even reaching home!)

D: Okay, now talk about your dreams?

P: Since long-long time I didn’t have any dream.

D: Talk about your childhood?

P: I use to be perfect since childhood. I try to live my life with “Zero” mistakes and I believe my family and my wife like this attitude so much.


We’ve discussed everything step by step in the case taking so there is no need to analyze the case, but I wish to make you aware how to analyze any case in general.

As we saw earlier, we have to understand the person as a whole and second, to note down the peculiarities of the case. These two ways of understanding and collecting information have two aspects to them:  (1) Something related to the centre of the case and (2) something related to periphery (Periphery means those are general qualities and peculiar symptoms of the case which are very important and peculiar, but not belonging to the centre). With the help of the centre we decide the medicine and with the help of periphery we confirm the medicine.

Now our second target is to find the “EXACT MATCH”. For finding correct medicine we need to use different approaches but two main approaches are…

(1)   Traditional way: Use of repertory and materia medica

(2)   Systematic way: Use of understanding of kingdom and maism

For our case we try to apply first the traditional method:

(A) Traditional approach for centre:

We already know the Centre of the case is “Worry for loss of health” so now we need to see how to find correct correlation from materia medica as well as repertory for this issue.

I select the following rubrics…

  • MIND – ANXIETY – health, about
  • MIND – REST – cannot, when things are not in proper place

Repertory chart:


Medicine that comes up is Arsenicum album, so now we need to confirm this medicine with the help of periphery information.

(B) Traditional approach for Periphery:

Here we have some physical general and physical particular symptoms for which we can select some rubrics and if the same medicine comes in it, then we become sure for our previously selected medicine.


Repertory charts:



(2) Systematic way: Use of understanding of kingdom and maism

(a) Kingdom: Mineral Kingdom

Earlier we showed that his talking pattern is the mineral kind and his main emphasis is for losing health and finally, lost every material thing which is the way any mineral case is unfolded. In the minerals they have issues of losing something or lacking something or maintaining something. So mineral kingdom is very obvious in the case.


(b) Sub-kingdom: Ferrum series

We understand during the discussion that he is specifically worried for health and health of family. The second thing he worries about is if he lost his health then his family also has problems, which is indication of ferrum series in the periodic system. His issue is losing something which indicates right side of periodic system.


(c) Miasm: Cancer miasm

He perceives as if he lost his health then there’s no way he gets recovered from it and life becomes chaotic, which clearly points out the cancer miasm. So, Arsenic is the medicine from ferrum line, medicine from right side of periodic system and also belongs to cancer miasm. So now we become 100% sure for our selection.


Prescription: Arsenic alb 200c


Conclusion: He requires 3 doses of Arsenic album and within 5 months all his complaints were gone, and till now after 2 years he had no urticarial rashes. His wife is also my patient so I ask her…”Did you notice any changes in him?” and she mentions this… “He gets changed completely. Before he is very-very conscious for minutest things but now he learns how to let go the things.” So this indicates that not only urticaria is gone but also his state is altered which we call holistic cure.



(1) Systematic approach in homeopathy- modern interpretation, online webinar base course.

(2) Complete Repertory, browser version 2013

About the author

Ghanshyam Kalathia

Dr. Ghanshyam Kalathia, is a practicing homeopath with a busy local as well as online clinic based in Ahmadabad/India. His articles and cases have appeared in world various journals including Homeopathic Links, Homeopathy International UK, Similia-Australia, and He passionately teaches students from all over the world with his current four international video master courses and his “Journey with Dr. Kalathia Series”. His systematic approach regarding the understanding of case studies merges the spiritual and practical aspects of homeopathy into a synergy of true and lasting healing. He is well known teacher and mentor for Indian as well as western homeopaths. He is the first person to explore kingdom sarcodes in-depth. His work includes the study of mammals and birds. He is author of the book “Invertebrates in Homeopathy”.
His published articles are available at and and homeopathic software like “Radar Opus” and “Synergy homeopathic software” (Formerly known as mac-repertory)


  • Nice to learn something more of this wonderful Тeacher. I look forward to his other articles. I wish him much success:)

  • Thank you Dr K the whole system so beautifully explained as always – i’m looking for ward to the rest of your articles.

  • Dr. Kalathia,
    Thank you for a nice case sharing. I have a question; If instead of warmth, if the patient ameliorates with cold, will the medicine change? If yes then which rmedy will be suitable?


    • Dear Mubarak…

      During our selection of medicine “everything is important” but generally we look and try to understand the entire case holistically rather then one symptom or hot chilly of the person and this is the reason of this article. i try to convey that how to create whole picture of the case and for that we select the medicine according to central theme and other characteristics is only for conformation. this is the biggest question with we all during analysis, which symptom or theme or key-note or essence is most important and which is less important. So, if we try to understand the whole case rather then looking for specific symptom then we have more deeper and broader understanding of the case have exact match in our hand.

      Mubarak, my friend, so many things to share with you but everything in one article is not possible so, have journey together for twelve relevant but touches each facets of our art of our science.

    • Excellent question, but need very big answer, and need two-three articles on “How to use repertory and which repertory on when.” Wait, we will discuss when we have articles on “Artistic use of different repertories”.


    • Thank you, Renebella…

      Yes, have beautiful journey of twelve articles on each issue of portal.

  • Respected Dr. Kalathia: You have conveyed in this case written with well chosen brevity – a lot of wisdom. Thank you. Congratulations on arriving at the right remedy by choosing a few but relevant rubrics.
    I am trying to understand more of this case. Were more keynotes seen in this case that in your experienced eyes were very obvious that you didn’t include them in your case analysis. Such as, was the patient impeccably dressed, was he thin, was he thirsty, was he restless, did he arrive on time very punctually for the appt, did he have mid-night aggravation, did he dislike cold food/drink, was he warmly dressed when he came into your clinic, was he tightfisted over money at payment time, did he fear being robbed financially etc. I know it is important to match what the patient displays to the Materia Medica and not match all the rubrics in the Medica to the patient. But at the same time I am curious if he displayed at least some of the key-notes so characteristic of ARS ALB. Also was there any reason you did not give much weightage to Kali Ars which has a lot of skin/itching/eczema troubles. Thank You

    • Dear PGJ (Better to have full name so we can create excellent communication, because nobody remember PGJ but nobody can forget Manish Bhatiya, because of his full name!! 😉 )

      I understand your question very well. it’s really excellent question. i appreciate your inquisitiveness. this is another biggest problem we are facing in case taking, generally we try to extract from patient those things which are suitable to us. (I also made the same mistake, so don’t take it personally…) In this article i wish to convey the same thing with all of us that we are just driver of the case where our duty is to drive person from where to go and what way he has to follow, but we are not manipulator. In our cases what we do, once we convinced or see a theme of any remedy for example pulsatilla lady who cries out easily in 2-3 incidences then we try to find those things only which are relevant to puls, which is extremely dangerous in case taking. You try to understand a person open minded rather then fix to some key-notes or themes or essence, is the biggest learning in this article rather then what medicine i prescribe. in one sentence i will say “We try to find arsenic from the case not case from whole arsenic” Each remedy has 1000 or may be more key-notes and symptoms but it’s not important to have all in the case, but whatever have in the case that must be matched with our selected medicine… Am I right or wrong?

      I really enjoy your questions and it brings crux of learning and sharing, so hope have more questions and will try to learn our beautiful science together each time.

      (Positive criticism is part of discussion, and i like it so much. nothing is related to personal intention, and our science is so wast that we have more then thousand approaches and beauty is that through all approaches we receive good results. I believe in to take best from all and practice your own way.)

  • Thank You Doctor…..and my name is Philip Joseph..Appreciate your explanation. The reason I asked the question is that I often hear that Classical, Key-notes, Sensation, Facial Analysis and various methods can be used to validate & integrate with each other. (Almost like all homeopathic roads should lead to Rome-Similimmum). So my question was more meant for post-remedy-choice. Using the method you used, and solely depending on the patient to guide you, you arrived at ARS. And after that, I was wondering, in looking back at that case, did you notice that he also exhibited many key-note symptoms of ARS. This would help in validation after the consultation and will confirm that Sensation method arrived at the same destination that other practioners travel. Then there will be greater consistency in methods used by all of us. Just a thought of mine. Thanks!, Philip Joseph

    • Yes, Philip totally agree with you and i believe as much as you have various approaches you have better results, so off course anybody can use key-note method to this case and conform the medicine. One method or approach supporting other and the way make us more confident in our prescription. I really like your thinking pattern.

      Good luck!
      Dr. Kalathia

  • Many thanks Dr.Kalathia,your presentation is nice,given detail ,used easy language.I think u emphasized
    on mental symptoms.I am waiting for your next presentation


  • This case was so interesting! Thank you very much, especially for the analyze part.

    I got a similar case with a patient. She is 65 years old, very active in her religious community, eats only vegetarian (Germans are rarely vegans) and she complaint of hay fever.

    But when I analyze her case I was hit by some of her religious ideas. She thought to be chosen by God for a special mission. Also she behaved all time in a manner that makes it difficult to show some respect to her and on the other way she demand a lot of respect from others. She preached not only to people of other faiths, but also to their own denomination. All in all I noticed that she got a big problem with her big ego.

    I gave her Sulphur C100.000 and the hay fever vanished in a week. A month later a friend of mine asked me what happened to her, because she is now so nice and friendly and does not pretend to be so perfect anymore. Her attitude to criticize other members of her faith stopped and she became so lovely.

    Well, I believe that most people are nice people, but there is this other “person” which we call illness and we are tricked to believe that they are how they are. Thanks to homeopathy we learn that human nature is much better that the superficial appearance.

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