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Case Study

From Our Masters Rich Heritage
Dr T K Kasiviswanathan
'Guaic / Form rufa / Rhus-tox

Case 1
Mrs WM, aged 50 years, consulted Dr J T Kent on 15-8-1910 for rheumatism with both ankles swollen. She was nearly helpless from it for over a year despite taking many drugs. Her rheumatism extended from (R) to (L) and was amel by cold but agg by heat. It was also better from rest. Her bowels were sluggish but she had strong appetite.

Dr Kent prescribed Guaiacum 10 M and after a week, her ankles were better for a month. However, her knees were lame; there were cramps in her thighs with shooting pains. By September 5th, she could tolerate a warm bath but on the September 19 follow-up, there was swelling and pain in her (R) foot and ankle. No medicine. On October 3, 1910 rheumatism was in her ankles and feet and hence Dr Kent gave her a dose of Guaiacum 50M. There was a slight agg of her symptoms followed by relief. On November 14, her rheumatism was worse again; her feet and ankles were swollen. Her hands were stiff and the knees were lame. Again Guaiacum 50 M one dose was given. Thereafter there was steady improvement but on December 10, a cramping pain was noticed in her (L) thigh. Despite giving another dose of the remedy in the same potency, there was only slight improvement and hence Guaiacum CM one dose was given on January 9, 1911. The patient was free from rheumatic in a short while thereafter and had been keeping well since then.
Dr Kent observes "This patient presented few symptoms but a strong characteristic: rheumatic pains agg from warmth and amel from cold. Three remedies have this characteristic in rheumatism: Guaiacum, Ledum and Pulsatilla. In this instance the patient was neither Ledum nor Pulsatilla. Hence Guaiacum was selected with beneficial curative results" (Dr J T Kent)

Case 2
An elderly lady limped into Dr Sunil Anand's clinic one day aided by a walking stick. She complained of acute pains, stiffness and deformities in her finger joints. In spite of her ailments, she was talking in an excited manner and she seemed to be active and independent. The pains ere sudden in onset and their location kept changing. The pains caused extreme anxiety and restlessness. She would feel very comfortable after a slight massage by the housemaid. However, her orthopedic surgeon disallowed it, which made her miserable. The knee joint was wrapped in a bandage which gave some relief. Both dry, local heat and a warm bath would give her marked relief. An associated symptom was numbness with intense formication of the affected part. The remedies prescribed did not give much relief. Her complaints were so severe that she was unable to visit the clinic and doctor had to be called home.

On his visit he found her lying in bed and despite severe pain was excited to see the doctor. There were some newspapers around. On a query, she said that she would read only the sensational news from the papers and not ordinary news. News about robberies, accidents and nexus with terrorists would get her excited and she would talk about it to those who came to visit her and caution them. This feature was not earlier noticed and in the Synthetic Repertory, the rubric which came closest to the symptom was "Excitement, bad new after" (SR Vol I 451) (18 remedies are listed with Apis, Calc, Gels, Ign and Sulphur with higher marks).

Dr Anand came across Formica-rufa listed in ordinary type. He writes "I did not know much about this drug except that it is prepared from crushed live ants. It became clear what exactly my patient wad doing. She was relaying important information that she gathered - just like an ant".
Formica-rufa is an arthritic remedy; relief after midnight and from one place to another. The deformities in the finger joints are also an indication of this remedy. The word formication comes from "formic" pertaining to ants.
She was therefore prescribed repeated doses of Formica in 30 potency and later it was her active self again in a short time. (Dr Sunil Anand)

Mr S K I, aged 50 years, consulted Dr P Sankaran on 25-4-1962 with the following history. In 1932, he had a severe attack of pneumonia. In 1945, he had bronchitis and sciatica and then in 1955 he suffered from angina pectoris. Since beginning of 1962 he was having pain in the (L) shoulder with restriction of movements. The pain was agg by raising the arm and it was amel while working. The pain wandered from joint to joint and it was worse when rising from a sitting position. He also got pain in interscapular and lumbar regions which was agg in sitting or standing position and was amel by stretching. He was also feeling weak for the last two months. He liked to sleep on the hard floor and wanted extra salt in his food.
He had condylomata and pedunculated warts on the body. 

The case was worked with the following symptoms from Boger's Synoptic Key as under:-
Motion agg (p26,392) + wandering (26,434) - Puls, Rhus-tox
+ Joints (39) - Puls, Rhus-tox
+ sitting agg - Puls, Rhus-tox
+ standing amel (27) - Puls, Rhus-tox
+ stretching amel (28) - Puls, Rhus-tox

Dr Sankaran selected Rhus-tox as the patient was amel by cold and prescribed Rhus-tox 1 M, 3 doses, followed by Sac-lac.

3-5-1962- The patient was slightly better. Dr Sankaran thought that to speed up the recovery a deeper acting antisycotic remedy was called for; because of the wandering joints pains, desire for salt and the presence of warts, he selected Thuja and it was given (3 doses of 1 M) followed by Sac-lac.
10-5-62- The patient reported that he was better in general and there was relief in the pains. Thuja 10 M one dose.
23-5-62 Thuja 10 M one dose + Sac-lac.
19-6-62 Thuja 50 M one dose.
5-7-62 The patient complained of sudden pains in the joints in left upper extremity which was amel by pressure and by lying on cold floor. Hence he was prescribed again Rhus-tox 1 M, 3 doses.
12-7-62 The patient was better and Rhus-tox 10 M was given but the patient was worse off. Hence Calc-flour 30 three doses were given (Calc-flour is a deeper acting analogue of Rhus-tox)
There was continued improvement and Calc-flour 200 was given on 28-7-62, 4-8-62 and on 11-8-62 Calc-flour 1 M was prescribed. Thereafter the patient was practically normal and stopped the treatment. After 6 months the patient reported that he was quite well.

Case 4
Mr V G, aged 37 years, consulted Dr P Sankaran on 27 Nov 1960 for the following complaints. He had headache for the last 4 years. The pain started in the shoulder or rather in the nape of neck and extending unto temples around the eye either right or left and to the vertex with soreness. There was stiffness in the neck agg while bending head forward and if he was irritated. (He had become more irritable more recently). The pain was agg by exposure to sun, seeing movies, noise and contradiction. The pain was ameliorated by pressure and bending the neck forward.
The other symptom was easy satiety with fullness in the abdomen after stool. Thirst, stool sleep, sweat etc. were reported to be normal. There was a burning sensation in soles which was agg with shoes on and in the night time. The doctor suspected arthritis and the X-ray revealed fracture."

To Dr Sankaran the case seemed to be Climicifuga and the repertorial work-out also confirmed it.
Back pain, cervical region extending to vertex (KP p901) + head pain reading agg
(p146) Calc-carb, Chel, Cimic, Glon, Sep, Sil
+ Head pain amel bending head forward (p 136) - Cimic
+ head pain amel pressure (p 145)-Cimic
+ Irritability (p 57) - Cimic
+ Back stiffness, cervical region - Cimic

He was therefore given Cimicifuga 1 M on 3-12-60. He reported some improvement. Sac-lac was given. The same remedy in the same potency was repeated as and when needed on 9/12, 16/12, 27/12, and 5/1/61. On 12/1/61 the patient reported he was completely well but pain returned on 27/1/67 and hence he was given Cimic 10 M and later 50 M on 24-2-61. CM potency one dose each was given on 18th March and 15th May 61. With these doses he got good relief and whenever there was recurrence of pain he was given Cimic30 or 1 M. Later he was prescribed 10 M one dose weekly from Nov 61 for few weeks which ameliorated his complaints. In Nov 1962 he reported that he was quite well and continued to remain so thereafter. 

1. A Rheumatic patient- Kent's Minor Writings, edited by Dr Gypser (P 712-3)
2. A case of Arthritis-Dr Sunil Anand - Homeopathic Links, 1/94
3. Osteo - arthritis- Dr P Sankaran - IJHM old issue 
4. Osteo - arthritis- Dr P Sankaran - IJHM old issue