Homeopathy Papers

Questions Patients Ask Part-6

questions patients ask

Elaine answers questions about homeopathic vaccinations, the “sensation method” and more.

Homeopathic Vaccinations



Dear Elaine,

I would very much like to be able to have access to the full spectrum of homeopathic vaccinations in some sort of a kit.  Do you have any suggestions?  My daughter who is currently 2 years old, was breast fed for over a year and now consumes raw milk daily, has never been sick other than a minor brief fever while teething and then again when she was acclimating to the local pollen.  I would never vaccinate her nor my unborn child, so I would like to introduce their immune systems to what they need to help them be more fit for the onslaught of unhealthy individuals potentially carrying bad illness with them.  Please let me know if you can help…



Before I answer your question, Brian, it reminds me that a large group of people in this country have started a “Green Our Vaccines” movement–in other words, “Make our vaccines safe!”  So let me address that first.  The truth is, vaccines cannot be made safe!  Do you know why?  You can’t grow these things, these viruses, in a sterile environment!  In fact, this is a perfect metaphor for what really causes these diseases in the first place–filth!–and, by corollary, what the real prevention is–sanitation, proper diet and hygiene!

You can’t take a sterile, harmless medium, plop a virus in it, and expect it to grow, it won’t happen!  And here’s the other problem, they grow these viruses in animals, and because of that, the virus is impossible to isolate, to separate from the animal itself!  So, inevitably, part of the animal comes with the vaccine, and any issues the animal had, such as viruses, diseases and who-knows-what else.  So, now that you’ve got “animal stuff” in your bloodstream, what happens next?  Your immune system goes nuts because it’s foreign!  You know that transplanted organs present a problem because the immune system attacks them, right?  Well, why isn’t this a concern as well?  It’s the same issue, foreign tissue in the body putting the immune system on constant mobilization.  Now, I know what Brian is saying:  “Can’t we make homeopathic remedies out of the vaccines?  Won’t that solve the whole problem?”

Yes, we make remedies out of vaccines but that’s usually to antidote the damage the vaccine has caused.  But you’re suggesting we give them as vaccine substitutes to prevent diseases like Measles, Mumps, etc.  Every one of these diseases can be treated with homeopathic remedies, and for centuries we’ve been doing just that!  Has anybody read Dorothy Shepherd’s Homeopathy In Epidemic Disease?  Here’s an excerpt:

“In another private school, a child came back after the holidays with a fully developed whooping cough….All 12 of the children in her class were infected.  The headmistress, on my advice, gave Pertussin 30C every four hours, and the children had the mildest attack of whooping cough she had ever seen. They enjoyed being ill, playing all the time in the orchard instead of having lessons.” (page 67)

Not only can we treat these diseases, but if we know an outbreak is coming, we can give the nosode in advance.  We can give Influenzinum or Oscillococcinum at the start of flu season.  But if a disease is out of the population, Brian, why would we be giving preventive remedies for it?  That’s just bizarre!  Are you planning to give your daughter Belladonna to prevent Scarlet Fever?  Of course not!

If there’s no whooping cough going around, why give your child Pertussin 200C?  It’s like giving any remedy for no reason; why would you do it?  “Well, I just gave my daughter Tuberculinum 200C in case she ever gets Tuberculosis….”  You see how absurd it is?  What about the Plague, do we need a remedy for that?  What about West Nile Virus?  What about Dengue Fever?  What about Malaria?  Do we need a remedy for every Virus in the world?  You mean to say that if we don’t give a remedy in advance, we’re going to wind up with all these viruses?  We’re not?  Then why do we think we’re going to wind up with the Measles?

Now, here’s the reality: When your child starts school or daycare, she will be exposed to a germ cocktail the likes of which you have never seen, take it from one who knows!  It’s not whooping cough and measles you need to fear, it’s the kindergarten viruses, some of which will seem like exotic diseases from Africa!  I caught everything Shana came home from school with.  I was never so sick in my life as I was when Shana started pre-K!  And then, just six months ago, two little kids came over to my house (thanks to their charming parents!) and I was told the next day that they were sick, and then a week later, I came down with some weird flu-like thing that was totally bizarre and completely awful!  After that, I made an announcement, “No more little kids in my house!”

So, this is what you’re up against–it’s not polio and diphtheria….it’s real life viruses that will knock you right off your feet!  Isn’t it odd that your doctor isn’t concerned about these in the least?  Why is such a fuss being made about measles, mumps and rubella?  Are they deadly?  No!  I’ve had two of those.  Plus chicken pox.  There’s no logic to what the medical profession is doing.  Anyway, we’re homeopaths and we know how to cure these things!  

Will you be ready with your homeopathic remedy kit and your acute prescribing book when some virus comes along?  Do you even have a remedy kit?  Do you have all the potencies you’re going to need?  If not, get them now: www.a2zhomeopathy.com and buy an acute prescribing book too while you’re at it, because one is not much good without the other!

As for vaccinations?  Every state has exemptions written into the law–medical, religious and philosophical. Just do a Google search for, “Vaccine exemptions for Pennsylvania” (or wherever you live).  Usually you just have to submit a written statement to the school, such as, “In accordance with the vaccination laws of Pennsylvania, section A, subsection B, which state that this law does not pertain in the case of objection in writing on religious grounds, I hereby object in writing on religious grounds. Sincerely, Joe Schmo, parent of Kathleen Schmo.”


Confusing Case



Elaine, if a patient comes to me with physical symptoms of one remedy and mental symptoms of another remedy, then what should I do? Do I find the cause and find the mental symptoms that are related to the disease? Would I prefer the mental remedy if related to the disease? Or give the physical remedy first?

Maryam from Pakistan


Maryam, your question is making me dizzy.  But this actually happens all the time.  A patient has a physical complaint, which is probably why he came in the first place, but then there’s the “personality” who has the complaint!  That person is of a certain type, a certain character, when he’s NOT sick.  Well, quite frankly, if I come to you with knee pain, and you start asking me about my childhood, I’m going to think you’re not paying attention to what’s wrong with me!  If I injured my knee and can’t walk, you have to start asking me about my knee pain.  After you’ve done all that, you might decide to give Arnica or Bryonia or Rhus tox or Ruta or Apis, etc.  When the knee has stopped hurting, you can then give the remedy that matches my personality if I’ve bothered to stick around for that (chances are I won’t Maryam, nothing personal).

Now, on the other hand, if the knee pain is chronic and a mental issue has just come up, then the mental state gets treated first and the knee pain gets treated after.  How’s that?


The Sensation Method



Elaine, I wonder if you would allow me to discuss and request your valued opinion on …how the following helps Homeopathy:  Dr Rajan Sankaran’s philosphy based on ‘The Sensations in Homeopathy’ and subsequent classification into Kingdoms i.e Plant Animal and Mineral .. in total twelve books.
Many thanks …Ravi


Dear Ravi,

I’ve read most of Sankaran’s books.  They are, needless to say, very interesting, very long, very expensive… But seriously, he’s provided a lot of insightful information on materia medica and case-taking.  However, I must say, I am not happy about what’s happened to acute prescribing in all of this. There is apparently no need for it anymore because, we are told by the Sensation Method, the “constitutional” remedy will cure the whole case, even the acute!  You are therefore supposed to “use” the acute complaint to “enter” the case–the “real” case–which is not the acute case at all!

If a person says, “I’ve got hives, and they itch really bad,” instead of quickly discerning that this is an Apis case due to “worse heat” and the allergic etiology, the sensation method argues that you should instead take the patient on an exploration of his inner being by getting him to speak freely about what it means for him to have hives!  If he has intense itching, explore what that’s like for him!  What do these hives truly mean?  In Sankaran’s book, The Other Song, a hives patient says the itch “…is like a punch!”  So based on that, the patient got Apis!  What???  Oh yeah, listen, even Sankaran admits that the opportunities to pursue false leads in this method are endless!  Not to mention the fact, did you know that Sankaran makes his patients fill out a very long questionnaire?  So even before the patient is seen, Sankaran already knows the sensation, location, modalities, concomitants, etiology, etc., but, no one reading his books knows that!  So, I mean, I could appear to be brilliant too if I had a questionnaire to go on before the patient sits down!  

But, the Sensation followers tell me, “Oh, Sankaran doesn’t read the questionnaire, it’s just a formality.”  Really?  Do you have any idea how long that questionnaire is?  And nobody reads it?!  

For me, a case of hives means you ask: What are the modalities?  What is the etiology?  What does it look like?  No one asked this patient if the hives were better or worse for cold applications!  This is the most important question in the case, because “better cold” means Apis (which is what was given), and that would have marked the end of the appointment!  Instead, we had a two hour confusing case with false leads, like “The hives are like a punch!”  

This should be a 5 minute case!  Read my Apis case, “Attacked by Almonds”:

Revisiting: Attacked By Almonds!


I’m surprised this Apis case even made it into his book because most Sensation cases are about remedies I’ve never heard of!  I often say to myself as I’m reading, “Don’t you people ever get an Arsenicum case?”  Apparently, not; that’s what you’d have to conclude if you read his books!  They get “Pig’s Blood” cases and “Atrax robustus” cases; but, this time I finally got my wish, a common remedy – an Apis case – but arrived at in a totally bizarre manner, in a way that you could never replicate or teach!  In other words, what should have been an easy acute case was drawn out at the risk of never finding the remedy!  I would submit to you that he knew the remedy all along because he read the questionnaire!  This was why he kept saying to the patient over and over again, “But what about insects?!”  (Apis is the honey bee.)

If you want a book to read, make it:  Homeopathic Medicine in the Home by Jonathan Breslow.  It’s only $30.00 and you’ll learn how to solve practical cases–like allergic reactions.

Kingdoms.  Here’s the problem.  There are plants that act like animals!  Some of them even bark and growl!  Belladonna barks.  Nux vomica is very aggressive and competitive and wants to come in first all the time; Anacardium would just as soon kill you as look at you and I just had a Hyoscyamus child who charged and leapt at people–these are all plants!  Now, here’s another problem; lest we should forget, WE’RE ALL ANIMALS, and we’re all going to exhibit animal behavior to some degree.  I have heard people say things like, “I think it’s an animal remedy because she’s showing concern for her children.”  OMG.  

I’m a very tolerant person.  But people have to learn to do acute prescribing; it is ludicrous if students are being taught that if someone comes in with hives, you have to take a 2 hour case, risk following false leads, and maybe never help that person at all!



Can Water Potencies Be Taken Daily?



I thought that in a chronic case, water potencies could be taken on a regular basis, even without acute need (Got that from Dr. Luc De Schepper, but with LM’s).



No, absolutely not.   I know that people think LM’s can be taken every day; but, the operant word here is CAN–if needed.  See below:

1. First dose of a remedy: Always wait 24 hours to make sure there’s going to be no aggravation.

2. Typical, standard dosing schedule:

6C, three times a day;

9C: twice a day;

12C: once or twice a day;

15C: once a day;

30C: once a day or as needed;

LM/1 once a day;

200C: one dose and wait–could possibly last a month or even longer,

same with all high potencies.

Number of succussions before each dose: 5.

3. However, having said all that, here are the “buts”:

Any striking improvement precludes further dosing!  Repeat only at the first sign of relapse.

4. If there’s an aggravation, stop the remedy.  If the aggravation is unbearable, do “the aggravation zapper” (https://hpathy.com/homeopathy-papers/the-aggravation-zapper/).  An improvement may follow the aggravation.  If it does, and knowing you aggravated the last time, take the next dose, when needed, in the third cup after 2 succussions of the bottle.

What do I mean by “the 3rd cup” (or second cup or fifth cup, etc.?)

Instead of dosing directly from the bottle, succuss your bottle as always but then fill up a disposable cup with water, add a capful from your remedy bottle to the cup, dump 90% of it out, refill with water, dump out again, refill and stop after the third time; now, take a sip from the cup–the 3rd cup.

So, the answer is YES, you can take water doses every day–depending on the potency, depending on the response to the previous dose and depending on the intensity of the complaint.

I have a client right now who has to take a 1M every other day–but we started the case with 9C!  We got up to 1M because that’s where the patient’s response to the remedy and the intensity of the complaint led us!  That’s when we really got results, at 1M.  It wasn’t a theory I had!  We adapted to the patient’s needs.  His body told us what to do.  And we quickly determined that the complaint was way too intense for anything lower than a 1M.  You do what has to be done to get the case under control, then you back off; you don’t keep going full tilt once you’ve gotten the case under control.  It’s like once you know you’re going to make it to the airport on time, you can slow down!


 Inter-current Prescribing & What Happens After Taking A Remedy



Can you summarize your case management in acute and chronic cases (if different)?


Besides what I already said?  The only thing I would add is, in chronic cases, if you get an acute–an injury, a virus, a fright, etc.–stop taking your chronic remedy!

Take the case of the acute and treat that (Aconite 200C, for example, for a fright).  When you’re back to normal, and the chronic case is still in evidence, go back on your chronic remedy.

One might ask: How do you know your “acute” isn’t a “return of old symptoms”?  Ask yourself, “Is this like that bladder infection I had a year ago that I took an antibiotic for?”  If so, your choices are to do nothing and it might go away all by itself in a short time; or, if you don’t think you can stand waiting, take the case of the bladder infection, stop the chronic remedy, give the cystitis remedy–Cantharis, Nux v., Sarsaparilla, Sepia, etc.–and when the symptoms are gone, see if you still need your chronic remedy.  If you do, go back on it.

Again, as previously stated, a striking improvement precludes further dosing.  Dose again at the first sign of relapse.

Potencies will and do wear off!  Be ready with the next potency for this inevitability. I don’t know how many people have said to me, “Homeopathy didn’t work, I tried it!” when all that happened was, their potency wore off!  You have to expect this!

The development of proving symptoms usually means you are done with your chronic remedy or you are over-dosing, so stop taking it.

If you’re experiencing “exteriorization” (the disorder moving out of the mental plane and onto the physical plane), how do you know that that’s what it is, and not an acute of some sort?  You’ll know it’s exteriorization because you will  feel better mentally and emotionally or at a deeper physical level!  After the right remedy, you should feel a lifting of the spirits, and a sense of calm (the things we call “the signs of health”).  If this happens, ignore everything else!  We are now focused on that lifting of the spirits and that sense of feeling “centered”.  If that starts to relapse, that’s when we’d want you to redose.  Don’t keep dosing if you’re experiencing “the signs of health”–unless you start to relapse.

We expect discharging, of one sort or another, after a remedy. Again, if you sense an improvement at a deeper level, ignore the discharging!  It could be crying.  It could be a runny nose or a skin rash.  Just expect it and do nothing, it will go away.  You will surely feel better after the discharging!  However, in “The Aggravation Zapper”, Diane Fuller gives an example of a case where the discharging (diarrhea) went on and on so Diane zapped the remedy (Phosphorus) and the diarrhea stopped; but the good news was, the good work the remedy was doing continued on despite the “zapping”.

In acutes?  The thing to remember is, you may need a high potency depending on how serious the situation is, and it may need to be repeated often. Always have the remedy in water and succuss five times before each dose.  Also, you may need more than one remedy.  A Gelsemium flu may change to Belladonna after you give Gelsemium.  Belladonna is a healthier state than Gelsemium.  I once saw a Bryonia flu change to Phosphorus after Bryonia was given.  Usually one remedy is all you need; but, you never know, so, be prepared and don’t just blindly keep giving a remedy when you see that the case has changed into something else!

So, I’m running out of steam here, I hope that’s something of an answer for you.

Asthma Case:  Make A Remedy Out Of An Inhaler?



I have a 45 yr. male asthmatic patient addicted to his inhaler which he takes 1X/day. I tried to make him his own Rx from the inhaler but the inhaler is enclosed and the only way to get it out is by inhaling strongly by mouth. There is no leakage available for the sample to make the Rx.


What if he inhaled, immediately swished water in his mouth, and spit in a cup; do you think the medicine would be in the saliva?  Also, check at www.Ainsworths.com, they sell potentized prescription drugs!

Now, I assume you mean that when he stops using his inhaler, he has an asthma attack.  Have you tried finding a remedy for the kind of attack he has?

Questioner: Asthma/constant runny nose/phlegm (green/white/yellow), wet cough…inhaler either at 4 pm or 10 pm (one time).  Appetite good, thin, sleep good, not tired…delightful man.

Is this your “case”?  There’s no case here!  There’s nothing here to prescribe on.  What’s the sensation? Where are the modalities?  One way to get modalities is to ask, “What does this attack make you do?” Let me give you an example of an asthma case-taking:

“Dear patient, you have asthma, tell me about your asthma attacks. What does the attack make you do?”

“I have to sit up and lean forward, I have to have cold water!  I have to open all the windows!  I have to turn on the fan!  I have to stand in front of the air conditioner!”

“What’s the sensation?”

“It feels like I’m choking!  It feels like there’s a weight on my chest.  If I cough up mucus I feel better.”

“What does the mucus look like?”

“It’s long and stringy.”

“How long has it been going on?  What was the initial cause?”

“It started after I used an ointment to suppress a fungal rash.”

“What will bring an attack on?”

“Rainy weather!”

“What’s the time modality?”

“Every night at 3 A.M.”

“Any concomitants?”

“My nose starts running.”

Read my article, “Acute Prescribing in Homeopathy” it might help you find a remedy for this patient’s asthma attacks so that you won’t need to potentize his inhaler:

Acute Prescribing in Homeopathy–Even You Can Learn to Do It!



Why You Shouldn’t Suppress Skin Eruptions



I’ve got genital herpes; and, quite frankly, I can’t figure out how the swollen, hard, red lumps that start bleeding and make me feel crazy with burning pain are something my immune system is doing for my benefit!  Please explain.


Let’s take the example of syphilis.  What’s the chancre sore for, why is it there?  Why does the body do that, create such a thing?  To answer my own question, the body actually consigns the disease, which is system-wide, to that sore, to keep the disease away from the vital organs.  And the same thing can be said for any eruption or growth for whatever reason.  Here is an excerpt from Hahnemann’s Chronic Diseases, with my “translation” interspersed in italics:

And now, heeeeeeeeeeere’s Hahnemann!

The chancre appears, after an impure coition, usually between the seventh and fourteenth day, rarely sooner or later, mostly on the member infected with the miasma, first as a little pustule, which changes into an impure ulcer with raised borders and stinging pains, which if not cured remains standing on the same place during man’s lifetime, only increasing with the years, while the secondary symptoms of the venereal disease, syphilis, cannot break out as long as it exists.

The sore appears one or two weeks after sex with an infected partner.  The sore will never go away on its own.  As long as it is there untouched, syphilis cannot break out in the body.  It’s as if the sore is a form of protection!

In order to help in such a case, the Allopathic physician destroys this chancre,

The doctor, who’s an idiot, does not realize the sore is there for protection and attempts to remove it….

by means of corroding, cauterizing and desiccating substances, wrongly conceiving it to be a sore arising merely from without through a local infection,

The doctor thinks the sore originated from without, not from within….

thus holding it to be a merely local ulcer, such also is it declared to be in their writings. They falsely suppose, that when it appears, no internal venereal disease is as yet to be thought of…

The doctor thinks that if he works fast and gets rid of this sore, the disease won’t spread to the rest of the body!

When locally exterminating the chancre, they suppose that they remove all the venereal disease from the patient at once, if only he will not permit this ulcer to remain too long in its place, so that the absorbent vessels do not get time to transfer the poison into the internal organism, and so cause by delay a general infection of the system with syphilis.  They evidently do not know, that the venereal infection of the whole body commenced with the very moment of the impure coition, and was already completed before the appearance of the chancre.

The doctor does not know that at the very moment of intercourse, syphilis permeated the whole body, even before the appearance of the sore!

The Allopathic doctor destroys, in his blindness, through local applications, the vicarious external symptom (the chancre ulcer), which kind nature intended for the alleviation of the internal extensive venereal general disease;

The sore is put there by the body itself–a consignment of the disease to the surface, away from the vital organs.  It is the vicarious expression of the disease.  It’s as if the body were able to bundle up the disease, put it in a trash bag, and plop it on the surface of the skin.  As long as no one messes with it, the person will be fine!

…and so he inexorably compels the organism to replace the destroyed first substitute of the internal venereal malady (the chancre) by a far more painful substitute, the bubo, which hastens onward to suppuration; and when the Allopath, as is usually the case, also drives out this bubo through his injurious treatment, then nature finds itself compelled to develop the internal malady through far more troublesome secondary ailments, through the outbreak of the whole chronic syphilis, and nature accomplishes this, though slowly, (frequently not before several months have elapsed), but with unfailing certainty.  Instead of assisting, therefore, the Allopath does injury.

But, as we all know, skin eruptions are NEVER allowed to stay where they are in allopathic medicine!  Doctors are very freaked out by skin eruptions, they MUST get rid of them–whether by creams or ointments, or cauterizing or freezing or surgery!  The immune system now is in a panic, what to do?  The eruption has been removed, what does the body do with the syphilis now?  Well, it swells up a gland and this is called a “bubo”.  Needless to say, the doctor gets rid of that too, and now the patient really DOES have syphilis, at long last!

I have never, in my practice of more than fifty years, seen any trace of the venereal disease break out, so long as the chancre remained untouched in its place, even if this were a space of several years (for it never passes away of itself), and even when it had largely increased in its place, as is natural in time with the internal augmentation of the venereal disorder, which increase takes place in time in every chronic miasma.

The disease never breaks out if you leave the sore alone, even though the sore gets bigger and bigger over time, it doesn’t matter. (Hopefully you can see that the body isn’t as arbitrary with what it does as you might have thought.)



What’s Homeopathic Tylenol?



Can you tell me what to take instead of Tylenol, which causes me to break out in a rash?  Which remedy should I take?


I wish there was a one-word answer to this question!  The allopaths have it easy.  Tylenol is the answer to every question!  In homeopapthy, we prescribe based on seeing a “remedy picture”.  To see a remedy picture, the patient must talk to the homeopath in “complete symptoms“.

A complete symptom is the symptom with its corresponding sensation, location, modalities and concomitants.

1. You have to describe what the symptom feels like (sensation).  Is it a sharp pain?  Is it a dull pain?  Or does it cut like a knife?

2. Where is it located?  Does it start on the left and move to the right?  Is it an itch that as soon as you scratch it, it moves somewhere else?  Are all your complaints on the right side?

3. Modalities are the things that exert an influence on the case.  For example, cold air might make you worse, fresh air might make you better, hot bathing might make you better, exertion might make you worse, cold drinks might make you better and so on.

4. Concomitants are symptoms that may or may not be troublesome but they’re nevertheless along for the ride!  For example, we just heard about an asthma patient who had, as a concomitant, a runny nose.

Sometimes, a person will have trouble thinking of anything that makes their complaint better, so then I always ask, “What is the complaint making you do?”  For example, the patient might say, “I’m walking bent over all the time,” or, “I’ve got an ice pack on my head,” or, “I’m on the phone to everybody I know asking for support and reassurance,” so; this person then is “better doubled over”, “better cold compresses”, and “better company, better sympathy, better consolation”.

So, an example of what you would say to a homeopath is:

“I have a fever.  It might be the flu [diagnosis], I don’t know.  I’m feeling very dizzy and dull [sensation], all I want to do is sleep [concomitant].  I’m feeling really apathetic [concomitant].  I’m cold but the blanket’s on the floor–it fell off of me.  I could reach for it but I don’t [concomitant–apathy].  I’m very pale and weak [concomitant, sensation].  Legs feel trembly [concomitant. sensation].  I have a headache, it’s in my whole head but especially the back of my head [concomitant and location].  I don’t want company I just want to be alone [modality–better alone].  I’m cold! [concomitant]  I have chills up and down my back. [concomitant, sensation, location]”

This is the remedy picture of Gelsemium, which is homeopathic yellow jasmine. Gelsemium 200C will clear up this whole case!  If you can put your complaint into “complete symptoms” (which, again, is the name of the complaint–flu, etc.–with its sensation, location modalities and concomitants), you can find the right remedy.

Hear ye, hear ye; there is NO homeopathic Tylenol-substitute!

Every case is different and gets a different remedy, even when they all have the same diagnosis because the next person who walks in with a flu, instead of being apathetic, might be extremely anxiety-ridden and restless!  So, Gelsemium would not do there at all!  Gelsemium is sleepy, apathetic, dull, wants to be alone, is chilly, weak, thirstless and trembly.  We look for remedy pictures.  Learn to talk in “complete symptoms”.  Remember…

Name of complaint/diagnosis along with:







How Important Is Etiology In Cracking A Case?



Which is your favorite tool in tracing and “cracking” the patient’s case?



My favorite tool in cracking the case?  It would have to be etiology.  Etiology means the cause.  Another way of saying this is, “What happened?”  In fact, we have an expression in homeopathy:  “etiology over-rules symptomatology”!  Here’s an example.

Let’s say I’m looking through a telescope and I see grass and leaves and dirt and stones.  What am I looking at?  You’re not going to know unless I pull back and get the Big Picture!  I could be zero-ing in on the Rainforest, or a farm in Kansas–the same components, but two entirely different places!  Here’s another example:

You walk into a room.  There are two bodies unconscious on the floor.  Do they get the same remedy because the symptoms seem to be the same?  A witness tells us that the first person became unconscious when he was struck by lightning.  The second person became unconscious when a heavy object fell on his head.  The first person gets Phosphorus (ailments from electricity), the second person gets Arnica (ailments from blunt trauma).  They share the same symptoms, but they need different remedies.  Why?  The etiology is different!

Then, there are keynotes.  If the etiology rubric is too large, you’re going to need to cross it with one or more keynotes to pin a remedy down.  What are keynotes? They’re the peculiar symptoms that a remedy is known for.  Is runny nose a keynote? Is fever a keynote?  Is loss of appetite a keynote?  Is pain a keynote?  NO!  Every remedy has these things!  A keynote is something individual, identifying, something peculiar.  So, let’s look at Hyoscyamus for example.  Did you know that Hyoscyamus has a tremendous thirst but if you offer them water, they won’t drink?  Wow!  How peculiar is that?  They might take one sip but that’s it.  Thirst with aversion to water!  “Ain’t That Peculiar” as Marvin Gaye used to say?


So, in cracking the case:  What’s wrong (diagnosis), what happened (etiology) and what’s peculiar (keynotes of remedies) should get you off and running!


Elaine Lewis, D.Hom., C.Hom.

Elaine takes online cases.  Write to her [email protected]

Visit her website: elaineLewis.hpathy.com

About the author

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:
https://elainelewis.hpathy.com/ and TheSilhouettes.org


  • Dear Elaine,

    I wish I had the guts to say in public what you have written about Sankaran’s Sensation prescribing. My thoughts exactly. If I could ever bully THE sensation out of the patient I wouldn’t know what remedy to give because as you quite rightly say he doesn’t use the tried and true remedies that we have used for years but new unknown ones, especially in the plant kingdom.

    • Dear Elaine and Rochelle,
      The Sensation method is a tool, not a replacement for a solid foundation in homeopathic knowledge. We forget that Sankaran has a very deep knowledge of materia medica and clinical prescribing. I have found his process of teaching his method to be far superior to many master teachers, including the old masters. This is in part due to his clear understanding of what the method is (it’s not just a flight of fancy), as well as the many case examples given with clear outcomes, presented in such a way as to be educational. As a result, yes the books are long, and yes they may be expensive. As for not using standard remedies – did you miss the cases of Nux vom, Ignatia, Pulsatilla, Aurum, Alumina, Gels, Cyclamen, Staphysagria etc?
      The example of Apis for hives is not to show how powerful the system is that you can solve a difficult case. I am sure Sankaran is quite aware of the classic Apis pathology. It is more a useful example which explains the process to show how it applies and how even acute conditions can reveal deeper information. Apis and hives are both well known to most homeopaths, so this example bypasses the need to first educate the reader about either. In acute prescribing, one should always look at the deeper picture, if not at the first consult, definitely on follow-up, because you need to make sure the condition is not suppressed. Even Hahnemann said this (if you treat the acute miasm, then after you must look at the chronic miasm e.g. psora). BUT, by your own admission Elaine, you probably wouldn’t go back. So the problem with acute prescribing is it could become a quick fix. And Apis is not the only remedy for hives better cold application. (Puls could be hives better cold application etc.)
      We should also bear in mind that many of the cases that Sankaran uses (from his and others case books) are patients who have not responded to conventionally thought out remedies, by homeopaths who do have the in-depth knowledge of acute prescribing. It is not as if one uses the Sensation method and forgoes all else. That is naive to think so.
      Finally, Elaine – I find it interesting that you immediately promote Jonathan Breslow’s book. On his website :
      “He has practiced Classical Homeopathic Medicine for the last 26 years, and has studied extensively with international teachers in the U. S. and Greece, and has interned in India. Notably, he has been studying advanced homeopathy with Dr. Rajan Sankaran since 1992.”


  • Very informative article. i’ve been using potencies by diluting in water, and as many doses are taken as per requirement of the case.
    sometimes when my medicine stock is exhausted and the replenishment of the stock is late, in that case I just fill the vial with plane globules and give a good shake, it works as the same medicine and the same potency. give a try…

    • Saifuddin, let me make sure I understand you. You’re saying if your pellet vial of a remedy is getting low, you add more blank pellets, shake up the vial, and in doing so, all the blank pellets become medicated, is that right?

  • Hi! what should we do if a constitutional remedy is an antidote to an acute remedy? or vice versa. —shall we antidote the acute remedy to start the constitutional remedy again.

    • Hi Usman, let’s take your first question: what to do if the constitutional is listed as an antidote to the acute remedy you just gave. First of all, you’re supposed to stop the chronic remedy if you develop an acute. Let’s say a bee sting. You have a bee sting, it’s swelling up, it’s better cold applications so, you take a dose of Apis 30C. It’s half a day later, the swelling has gone down and the pain has stopped. Now you ask yourself, “Do I still have a chronic case?” Yes, you do. So, let’s say you’re on Ledum 12C daily for Lyme disease. You worry that since Ledum is listed as an antidote to Apis that maybe you shouldn’t take it. But, the acute is over! So it’s a non-issue! If it were a long-lasting acute, you shouldn’t be on your chronic remedy anyway–antidoting or not antidoting!

      Now, you ask what if the acute remedy is listed as an antidote to the chronic remedy? Well, Usman, it will only antidote the last dose you took, and you’re going to repeat it again anyway if you’re on low daily potencies, or an as-needed potency like 30C. But, indeed, this is the problem with prescribing one-dose-high-and-wait! Because, indeed, what if you took Ledum 200C for Lyme disease and then you were stung by a wasp or bee? You’d have to take Apis 200 and what would that do to your Ledum case, was it antidoted? Who knows! That’s why this dosing method (4th ed. Organon prescribing) is very problematic!

  • India is a “filthy” place; cholera and diarrhea are rampant. But wonder of wonders..NO POLIO anymore people..good news..India has eradicated polio.Thanks to the aggressive polio vaccination campaign, India’s children dont have to suffer from this dreaded disease. And those children who get the vaccines do not get Autism as in Western countries for some reason. They also do not fall dead due to “immune system going nuts”. So Elaine’s theory of “filth” does not hold water.Sorry about that.

  • Dexter, I’m playing a video for rebuttal:

    “Vaccine Zombie” by the Health Ranger

    Oh, and here’s one of the comments at the bottom of that video:

    Posted 8/29/2010 Vaccines contain mercury, MSG, formaldehyde, aluminum, phenol, just to name a few “goodies.” Oh, yes, there’s more: vaccines are grown from animal parts and even cells from aborted fetuses! Furthermore, vaccines have never been tested accurately for safety and no one—not even the manufacturer—can guarantee its effectiveness—or danger! Need I say more?

  • In response to your answer: I hope you (and we) agree that it is clinical evidence that is more important that various hypothesis. In India, polio vaccines have been a success, and is an “observed” and irrefutable fact. Further, it is clinical evidence that hundreds of millions of children are not poisoned or have fallen ill due to “mercury, MSG, Formaldehyde, Aluminium, Phenol, pasteurised milk”, and all the “junk” you can think of. Instead of straw man attack, you should point to the readers why polio vaccines have been a failure in India to justify your statements in a very concrete manner (I see it also as your moral responsibility that you acceept this challenge). I expect not another straw man attack, but a clear and to-the-point answer to the question and enlighten the homeopath community.

    • You are wondering “Where are all the children injured by vaccines?”. The National Vaccine Compensation Program has paid out over a billion dollars to parents of children injured or killed by vaccines. Thousands of parents are spending a lifetime caring for injured children who were normal until the day they were vaccinated.
      Everyone is entitled to their your own opinion, but not their own facts. Mercury is an acknowledged neurotoxin. We must ask ourselves what kind of person would defend putting it in a baby’s veins?

  • Vaccines in early India and china: The earliest documented examples of vaccination are from India and China in the 17th century, where vaccination with powdered scabs from people infected with smallpox was used to protect against the disease. Smallpox used to be a common disease throughout the world and 20% to 30% of infected persons died from the disease. Smallpox was responsible for 8% to 20% of all deaths in several European countries in the 18th century. The tradition of inoculation may have originated in India in 1000 BCE. The mention of inoculation in the Sact’eya Grantham, an Ayurvedic text, was noted by the French scholar Henri Marie Husson in the journal Dictionaire des sciences me`dicales. Almroth Wright, the professor of pathology at Netley, further helped shape the future of vaccination by conducting limited experiments on the professional staff at Netly, including himself. The outcome of these experiments resulted in further development of vaccination in Europe. From wikipedia

  • I can’t thank you enough for your articles. I’ve studied homeopathy for a number of years, but never fail to learn (and unlearn my bad habits) from your writings. I’m especially grateful for you comments about the importance of acute prescribing. Relieving people of their pain quickly and gently is the best introduction to homeopathy – often the only one. Many thanks from an ardent fan.

  • @Alan: India has one of the largest immunization programs in the world. In India, under Universal Immunization Programme (UIP) vaccines
    for six vaccine-preventable diseases (tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis
    (whooping cough), tetanus, poliomyelitis, and measles) are available for
    free of cost to all. It was introduced in 1985. 75 %, 58 %, 57 % and 56 % of the children age 12-23 months received the BCG vaccine, three doses of DPT, Polio and Measles vaccine respectively. About 250 million to 300 million immunization injections are given in India every year. I have yet to hear a court case/settlement demanding compensation in India. WHY?
    @Elaine: Still no satisfactory answer from you!

    • I live in the U.S. and can only speak for the situation there, which I’ve done…and to which you have not responded. Since you are defending vaccination, I ask again .. “Mercury is a neurotoxin. What sort of person would defend injecting it into a baby’s veins?”

      • I read the report. Most of the claims are for anaphylaxis reaction after administering the vaccine. Some studies conclude: Vaccine components that may cause allergic reactions include the vaccine antigen (eg, tetanus toxoid14), animal protein (eg, gelatin8), and antibiotics (eg, neomycin17). A report of anaphylaxis after hepatitis B vaccination suggests that latex used in vial stoppers and syringe plungers may also be a cause of vaccine-associated anaphylaxis. There is no mercury or heavy metals involved as you suggest. The rate of these incident is ~1 in a million vaccine doses, which to me seems an acceptable risk. Most of these incidents are also not fatal. Of course, the manufacturer may have to hand out pretty sums to avoid further court proceedings for these rare incidents.

  • @Alan, I am not defending nor refuting vaccination (at this moment). I see clinically that vaccines have decreased disease incidents while having negligble impact on other health variables, so have hundreds of millions of others (in India and at avrious other third. I do not care what is or not inside it, as long as I have benefits and no adverse affects. I do not have to care how homeopathy functions intrinsically for an effect, do I? Does it function as a “spiritual medicine”, or as quantum dots or nano particles or even placebo..Who cares?
    Secondly, I am also not aware of situation in the US, and I know that they are hyper-reactive (in a positive way) to health concerns. I know only of the situation in India and so I speak of it.

  • Dexter, as I said, we homeopaths are the original like-cures-like people. We already know how to treat these diseases. Polio can be treated with Gelsemium or Lathyrus. As I cited in my article, whooping cough can be treated with Pertussin 30C. There is not a single epidemic disease that cannot or has not been treated successfully with homeopathy and no one is ever put at risk.

    In vaccinating, modern medicine is pathetically trying to do homeopathy–but badly! Why would we be trying to imitate people who are trying to imitate us?

  • And P.S., Mercury is listed as “Thimerosal” in vaccines. Because so many have objected to it, it has been replaced in some vaccines by aluminum, another neurotoxin.

    And you keep saying, “In India, I haven’t heard of a single adverse reaction to vaccinations.” Well, it’s not something you’re going to “hear” about. It’s not going to be broadcast on the news. No one “hears” about it here either! You have to get Dr. Mercola’s Newsletter (www.mercola.com) or the newsletter from http://www.naturalnews.com to hear about these things. You’re not going to find it up on billboards or in the newspaper. For all I know, medical reporting of adverse reactions might be even worse in India than it is here in the United States! All adverse drug reactions are under-reported. The hospitals don’t want to be sued. The drug companies don’t want to be sued; so, there’s a conspiracy of silence here.

    There is nothing quite so bizarre as a homeopath defending badly done (allopathic) homeopathy! It’s as if we don’t know even know what it is that we do, and we certainly know nothing about our own history and our own record in treating these very diseases.

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