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Case Study

 The Unfortunate Sarsaparilla 

Chetna Shukla.
` Sars.

A 26 year old girl, Miss PK approached me on 10th Nov 1993. Starting the interview, I asked her to indicate her complaints and describe herself as a person. To this she said (in patients words):-

"Three years ago I came to Bombay. Once a month I have to go to the doctor for a cold, whenever I take something cold-I get it from cold water, ice-cream, dust, Previously these caused me no problems.

I also have problem in my periods. Since Jan93 they get delayed and I have terrible pain which I cannot bear.

I get headaches especially when I do something different from routine, or when I go out in morning. I suffer from weight loss and weakness. By the time I each office, I am exhausted.

I have work tension. I lost my dad recently. My mother stays alone in Mangalore. I have a younger sister. Doctor; I am anaemic also. But also I want treatment for cold. Recently I am getting these dark circles also", pointing to the eyes.

My menses are irregular and I get terrible abdominal pains on the first day of my periods and also cramp in the legs making it difficult for me to walk. Menses come every 2 months. During menses my mood changes. I get irritated if somebody troubles me or come close to me. Irritated, I say leave me alone, I feel bugged with them.

I am short tempered. I am staying with my uncle and aunt. Now I have changed. With parents it was carefree life. I cant do whatever I want, now. My eating habits have changed. I take my time. What else! It is difficult to describe oneself!.

My friends say I am emotional and moody. If I like or love something I dont show-which is bad! But it is my way (pause)".

"I and my sister stay with uncle and Aunt. A year ago my dad expired and now I dont have that kind of freedom... I am the eldest and so the responsibility is all on me. I have to look after my mother. My sister studies in college. I shouldnt do something wrong so that she will say I can also do. I never go out to stay at friends house or stay out for a movie at night.

Uncle and Aunt do not object yet you never know their feelings. I do not like anybody talking about me. I am sensitive. Anyone says anything to me and I take it seriously. I am quiet. If I make friends, I become very close. I am not a person to go forward and talk to anybody. Among cousins they say I am proud, but I dont talk much, when father was there I used to talk to him. Why this has to happen to me? Why? (Weepy but doesnt cry) Whatever I wanted I told my dad. I was my dads pet. All this I am missing sometimes. I feel depressed. I sit and cry. I miss the security. I feel I am left all alone, I have no friends. I have nobody for whom I should live...I also think of dying.

Uncle works for a bank. He keeps touring. When he went to Calcutta he bought sarees for everybody but us. Not that I wanted one but when someone gives something you feel wanted; there is somebody to think about you.

I am scared to get married-what is the guarantee I will get along well because I am moody. So I refuse all proposals. I do not want to speak to anybody, I want to be alone. I cant eat, I have lost appetite, I eat little also, I feel full, I cant eat. I like potatoes, fried and spicy foods".

"I get dreams of work-sweeping, utensils...but this is because my servant is absent. I recently dreamt my servant has come back.

At times I get horrible dreams. I dream that I am alone and that someone is following me and I am running away from what I dont know.

I feel why God has to be so mean to me only? One after the other everybody has left. My maternal uncle died, then my father, all people whose favourite I was, they die; why?".

She also left me questioning. What remedy is she? Is she a clear case of a responsible Magnesium who feels alone, unwanted, friendless; the insecure Calc-carb, who craves for potatoes or the caged Cimicifuga.


I thought that the feeling of being unwanted and friendless was consistent with the feeling of being unfortunate. The common remedy to both of these was Sarsaparilla. Other mental attributes automatically fitted into this case like -.

  1. Morose, offended easily
  2. Quiet disposition
  3. Talk indisposed to; desire to be silent
  4. Irritability during menses and I decided to give her Sarsaparilla.


The first follow-up after 15 days was SQ
1-12-93-NO headache inspite of going to Esselworld; colds better. SL was given for a week.
8-12-93-Feels fresh, energetic even at end of day. SL continued.
22-12-93-She appeared cheerful. Sleeps well. Appetite-good. Dysmenorrhoea-mild. Dreamt that a long hand of a creature coming to catch her. "I am running and it is lengthening. She had similar dreams in the past before she changed. I am fearful of what I dont know"-the fears surfaced.
29-12-93 - Occassional headache. Sleep sound. Throat - mildly jammed. No fear. No dreams.
4-1-94-Headache for full week. Treatment Sars 30. Sprained neck IP Going to Mangalore to meet mother for 3 weeks. SL continued.
2-2-94 - LMP 9-1-94 - No dysmenorrhoea or headaches. Sleep - good. Mentally fresh.
9-2-94 - LMP 5-2-94 - no complaints.
23-2-94 - Feels sad and wept in clinic.

Treatment - Sars 200 one dose followed by SL .
21-3-94-Her maternal uncle to whom she was close, expired, Suffered from an attack of coryza. Severe dysmenorrhoea Treatment Sarsaparilla 200 one dose.

Her aunt who happens to be my patient came for treatment on 28-3-94 and said that she had agreed for marriage with a boy of their community.

6-4-94-LMP-1-4-94 dysmenorrhoea mild. Decided to marry and had her wedding date fixed. She is better both mentally and physically and does not feel the need to take any more medicine.