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Case Study

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Kasivishwanathan T K.
` Agar / Thuj / Rhus-t.

That Odd Symptom

In his Organon, Aphorism 153, Dr.Hahnemann said in "this search for a Homoeopathic specific remedy, the more striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar (characteristic) signs and symptoms of the case of the disease are chiefly and most solely to be kept in view".

That odd symptom which leads to the similimum is got from observation or during interview.

Some of the cases from our vast literature where the prescription was based on that odd symptom are presented below:-

CASE 1: Cough followed by sneezing

The lady was obviously feeling very low in spirits and depressed. Her chief troubles were utter exhaustion, periodic sore throats and indigestion relieved by eating. There was a feeling of trembling in stomach, with constipation and nightly aggravation. During daytime she felt as though her organs were almost paralyzed and she felt better at night. She was also very jealous of her husband.

As these symptoms gave a fairly good picture of Lachesis, Dr. Eric F W Powell was about to give her a dose of Lachesis 1M. As the patient was conversant with Homoeopathy, she inquired as to what was being prescribed and in what potency. When informed of the remedy, she said "that is what Dr X (a Homoeopath) gave me and it did not help me at all". She said that Doctor also was a high potency man. Dr. Powell therefore thought his selection of Lachesis was wrong.

While talking with the doctor, she coughed two or three times and each little cough was followed by a sneeze. After searching in a detailed repertory. Dr. Powell prescribed Agaricus 200 3 doses, as that remedy covered her other symptoms as well. After initial aggravation, the patient improved in all her symptoms. Kents Repertory pg 804 contains this rubric - Cough, sneezing ends in - AGAR, Arg-n, Rad, Bell., bry, caps, carb-v, cina, hep, lyc, psor, sang. Squil, Sulph.

T.F. Allens Handbook on Agaricus says - "Violent and isolated attacks of cough ending with repeated sneezing. Violent during the day; in morning, also on awaking; at noon with repeated sneezing".

CASE 2: Sweating on uncovered parts only

The patient had an obstinate attack of constipation, which for seven days resisted all medicines like castor oil, injections etc. He was in great pain and it was in the lower umbilical region and was intense in all lower parts of the abdomen. The mans face was covered with sweat and his hands were moist but his body was dry. Dr. George prescribed Thuja high based on the last mentioned symptom. While the previous day was all despair and confusion, next day was one of cheer and happiness as his constipation and pain were relieved dramatically.

(This article was published as far back as 1904 in the Medical Advance and was reproduced in Oct 1963 issue of the Homoeopathic World published in UK. The other peculiar symptom, of Thuja the disposition to leave sentences unfinished in conversation "commences every sentence anew without ability to finish may also be noted. Synthetic Repertory pg 938 - Finish sentence, cannot - Ars, Can-i, lach, med, thuj. The exact proved symptom appears as a rubric in Knerrs Repertory p. 75 under Talking.)

CASE 3: Burning Palm

An otherwise healthy woman consulted Dr. Hesse for what she termed as a trifling ailment but which made her desperate. She complained of burning in the palm of her right hand with a sensation as if she kept her hand in boiling water. It was aggravated by rest, in the cold, by holding cold objects and greatly in cold water and after midnight till morning. Relief was felt by letting the palm hang down, by motion, warmth and in hot water. At about 3 pm, the hand and whole forearm burns. She has to get up and run about. The hand felt paralyzed and as if asleep for hours. She is obliged to hold something light in her hand.

Dr. Hesse initially prescribed Ars-alb, twice a day. There was no change. So, Rhus-tox 3x twice a day was prescribed and after three days the pain became unbearable. Dr. Hesse gave Rhus-tox 200 daily one dose for 2 days. The pain was relieved after two days. Patient slept better. After a week Rhus-tox 30 one dose; there was great improvement. She could work with her hand even in cold water.

Dr. S. Lilienthal while commenting on this case stated "The selection of Rhus Tox was a splendid one, as it is our great antiparalyticum; the burning of the palm shows the paretic state of the vaso motors supplying it. Just let one try to hold a piece of ice in the hand and he will feel that icy coldness at first produced by the contraction of vasomotors and after a while a burning sensation produced by paretic dilation of the vasomotors and increased flow of blood!


  1. That Odd Symptom - by Eric F W Powell in The Homoeopathic World, Dec 1962.
  2. Three Important Thuja Symptoms - in the Homoeopathic World, Oct. 1963.
  3. Clinical Medicine - in The Homoeopathic Heritage, July 1988.
  4. Kents and Knerrs Repertories.