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Case Study

Low Potency-Testimony of the Clinic
Compiled by
T K Kasiviswanathan
'Nux-v / Kali-c / Puls / Puls / Sulp / Merc-viv / Phos / Podo / Carb-v / Grat / Graph / Ran-b / Myrica / Hecla-lava

We present a few cases from our rich Homoeopathic literature where the low potency of the appropriate Homoeopathic remedy brought cure in he patient.

Case 1: Bronchial Asthma
Mr W, aged 63 years, suffered from bronchial asthma, which was not responding to treatment in orthodox medicine. Dr I M Burns prescribed Ars-alb 30 on the basis of symptoms but it did not have any effect; he was asked to visit the patient urgently one evening. The patient was wrapped in blankets before a roaring fire and yet was feeling cold. He was gasping for breath and he was very irritable. On the basis of these presenting symptoms Dr Burns prescribed Nux-vom 1x 15 drops in a half a tumbler of water with instructions to take one teaspoonful to be taken every half hour until relieved and then reduce the dose to every 3 hours. The patient was relieved within an hour and by next morning all spasms had disappeared. He would take the above medicine for 2-3 weeks whenever there was a slightest sign of relapse or wheeze. He kept up like it for next 20 years and he was never seriously troubled by asthma again till his death.

Case 2: Stubborn Asthma
A retired colleague of Dr Burns used to suffer from cough. The cough would wake him up at around 5AM and will persist off and on during the day. He had tried various Homoeopathic remedies without benefit. The sputum was white, copious and a little frothy. He was prescribed Kali-carb 30 but it had little effect. When Dr Burns asked his colleague to try Puls he was skeptical. However on persuasion he took Puls 3x three times a day and after three days he reported that he was amazed by the effect of the low potency. The cough and sputum began to clear up after 24 hours and were practically absent when he reported next. His chest also remained clear.

The same remedy in the same dilution cleared a stubborn case of asthma of 14 years duration and was prescribed on the basis of nasal catarrh, greenish discharge and stuffiness of the nose; after taking Kali-carb 30, 3 doses, Puls 3x was continued for 3 months; after 2 years when there was a relapse he was given one dose of Kali-carb 30 and Puls 3x for one month which completely relieved. (Dr Burns)

Case 3: A Case Of Rheumatism
A father of a 14-year-old boy consulted Dr E B Nash for the latter’s rheumatic complaint, which did not respond to allopathic treatment. Because of the severe pain the patient could not sleep at nights. Dr Nash found the pain, swelling and suffering in the right hip. Initially the pain was in the feet and it traveled up to the knees and then the hip. Covering or warm applications did not relieve. Dr Nash prescribed Puls 4 in solution, a teaspoon to be taken every two hours and report. After 3 hours Dr E B Nash visited the house and found the grandfather of the boy walking on the veranda; the latter enquired of doctor as to whether he had given morphine and when replied no, he said that the boy went to sleep half an hour after the first dose and had not awakened as yet. In three days, the boy was completely all right. The remedy was prescribed on characteristics such as weepy disposition, changeable remedy - pains and swelling travel from joint to joint Modality is < in warm room and warm applications. (DR E B Nash)

Case 4: Diarrhea
A child, aged 12 months, had diarrhea for nearly a month. Her flesh was soft and flabby; open fontanel’s; tongue coated white at the back. She was thirsty and drank a good deal of milk and water. The diarrhea was worse in the morning, beginning about 4 AM, continuing more or less till afternoon. It was dark yellow, watery, and occasionally greenish white mucus, coming on with a gush early in the morning almost involuntarily during the day when standing. The child cried a little before bowels were moved. There was also a cough, worse on lying down at night sometimes resulting in vomit; the child slept with eyes half closed. The patient’s appearance suggested Calc-carb, which was given without any benefit. Sulphur 6 was then given, as the italicized symptoms were the characteristics of the drug. The diarrhea ceased and her health generally improved in a few days and no other remedy was needed. (Dr AE Hawkes quoted by Dr Nash)

Case 5: Pleuro Pneumonia
Mrs EK, aged 35, suffered from a severe attack of pleuro-pneumonia. Initially took Aconite and Bryonia rather routinely. No relief and she presented with the following symptoms: severe pain through the lower right chest, high fever with thirst, and profuse and persistent sweating, which did not relieve. Tongue moist flabby, showing indentations of teeth. Cough with expectoration of rusty or blood-streaked mucus. All symptoms were worse at night. Dr Nash prescribed Merc-viv 6th potency every two hours and it brought prompt relief and patient recovered fully. (DR EB Nash)

Case 6: Diarrhea
Mr VH, middle aged and very tall, suffered from profuse light-coloured, grayish white diarrhoea. It poured away from him like water from a hydrant. Every motion was followed by a very weak and gone feeling in the abdomen. Phos-acid, China and Arsenic-alb and Veratrum-alb and other remedies failed to check this diarrhea, though the quantity at each time was less. Dr Nash looked at the stools again and again on the third day and noticed little white particles looking like sago, or little lamps of tallow, floating on the surface. This along with stool coming out like a hydrant was a keynote of Phos. It was prescribed in 3rd dilution, a teaspoonful after each stool cured the patient completely. (Nash)

Case 7: Fever
Mr O aged 40, stout and of bilious temperament had to travel on business in malarial districts in USA. After he returned he was attacked with intermittent fever. The chills occurred in the morning and were very severe, continuing till 10-11 AM, when he would go to the former stage, which was very intense and this would be followed with profuse sweat. The patient after a few days became loquaciously delirious during the chill and heat. He slept heavily during perspiration. Add to these complaints was a very pronounced jaundice. The loquacity was so great that Dr Nash thought of prescribing Stramonium. If it had been typhoid fever instead of intermittent fever Dr Nash said that he would have given it. He therefore went on searching the materia medica for the similimum He found that this loquacious condition in black letters under Podophyllum in Allen’s Intermittent Fevers. (In Therapeutics of Fevers by HC Allen he writes under Podo: "Great loquacity; consciousness, but cannot talk, because he forgets words; or tries to talk continually, but forgets the words he wants to employ. Chilly on first lying down in the evening with incoherent talking during the imperfect semi-sleep. "Sleep during perspiration also appears in black type in that write-up. Dr Allen under the Analysis of the remedy in that book says "The loquacity during chill and far into heat with complete forgetfulness afterwards of all that has happened is characteristic." Dr Nash gave Podo in 12th potency and in a few days the patient was cured. (Dr Nash)

Case 8 : Raymond´s Disease
Dr SP Koppikar in his booklet "Clinical Verifications and Reflections" narrates a very peculiar case of withering away of toes and fingers. A farmer from AP noticed that the little toe of his left foot was gradually shrinking and getting withered. In course of time it fell off with a little help from a surgeon. Next year the right little toe similarly withered and fell off. He consulted good doctors but they could not arrest such deterioration. When his left ring finger started showing similar signs he was alarmed; he was informed that he was suffering from Raymond’s disease and they cannot give any assurance with medication that its spread to other fingers could be arrested. At this stage he consulted Dr Koppikar who after careful casetaking gave him Secale-cor to be used daily. He returned after 3 months and was no better. Not only was his left ring finger growing worse but the disease had spread to right fingers as well.

In the meantime Dr Koppikar had been mulling over this problem and did an extensive study of suitable remedies. He decided to try Carbo-veg. The patient was given that drug in 30th potency, two doses to be taken daily and then report at his convenience. At the next consultation after 3 months the right hand fingers were better and skin started looking normal. He was advised to continue the medicine and after four months when he showed up, it was noticed that his right hand fingers were normal and the left ring finger also looked better. He was advised to continue the medicine and after another four months the left ring finger also became normal and healthy. The patient also used to get cramps while ploughing and this complaint was also cured with that drug.

Case 9: Dr Eurastus E.Case - Constipation
A woman aged 50 was suffering from severe constipation for a long time; now she had also hemorrhoids for two weeks during the menstrual period. Her symptoms were:

  1. Constipation: difficult stool.
  2. External hemorrhoids from exertion and after stool;
  3. Biting, stinging sensation in the hemorrhoids area.
  4. During stool sensation as if the rectal membranes were torn;
  5. After stool all the nerves of the pelvis seem in a high degree of tension and the flesh of the perineum feels as it had been torn from the bones;
  6. Aching from the lumbar region down the thighs;
  7. Sleepless before midnight;
  8. Peevish disposition;
  9. Melancholy; overanxious about family affairs.

In this case the most peculiar symptom noticed was the peculiar sensation at item no 4 above. Gratiola has the symptom "wrenching pain in the coccyx", which is very similar to that of the patient. Dr Case also found the following symptoms under that remedy:

  1. Stools hard, scanty, tenacious and expelled with difficulty.
  2. Stools with protrusion of large , stinging burning tumours; varices of the rectum.
  3. Tearing in the rectum.
  4. Wrenching pain in the coccyx after stool.
  5. Bruised pain in the thigh.
  6. Late falling asleep in the evening (Allen).
  7. Peevish, capricious, constipation, ill-humour, tired of life.
  8. Melancholia; hypochondriacal affections.

Dr Case gave 12 powders of Gratiola 2c, one powder four times a day; Five weeks later the patient reported that improvement commenced at once after taking the first powder and that in 2 weeks all her symptoms including constipation were gone. She menstruated without suffering from piles as in the past. SL; There was a permanent cure.

Case 10: Dr Case - In Growing Nail
A printer aged 25 years had an in-growing nail on the right large toe. The toe was swollen and ulcerating around the margin of the nail. All the nails of hands and feet are thick and brittle. The skin on hands is very dry; in cold weather it cracks and bleeds. Slight injuries to the skin ulcerate for a long time. Foot sweats profuse and offensive.
Dr Case prescribed Graphitis 2c one powder only. The ulceration healed and the toe was free from pain. The toe did not give him any further trouble since then; his general condition also improved.
In these two cases, Dr Case prescribed a very low potency of 2c and had cured the afflictions.

Case 11: Dyspepsia
A bank cashier was a chronic dyspeptic and had consulted Dr Case for its treatment.
He had the following symptoms:
Tasteless eructations of gas; he could not say the modalities.
Painless pressure in his stomach at any and all times.
Constipation; stool every morning , but hard and dry.
Bleeding hemorrhoids, but not painful.

Sharp, stitching pains in the pectoral muscles, left side with soreness; worse from touch, motion, after eating and in damp weather and better from eructations.
Dr Case had the uncanny knack of identifying the peculiar symptom in a case and in this case he found the last mentioned symptom, which is a concomitant to the entrance complaint and was peculiar characteristic symptom of the remedy. It had of course little relevance to the dyspeptic condition of the patient.

He prescribed Ranunculous-bulbosus 2c four times a day for one week. The patient was cured.

(From Allen´s Encyclopedia - Oppression of the chest when walking and going up the hill. In the evening when walking or standing, in the open air and in the room, he experiences a pressure and tightness across the lower part of the chest, with fine stitches, which seem to be felt in the outer parts of the chest first, but then extend deep into the chest, now in the right, now in the left side of the chest; increased by moving, stooping, or taking an inspiration (eighth day). Pain and oppression of the chest (soon). Pressing-dragging pain in the chest for many days; it is rather external, and only impedes the breathing when walking. The remedy also covers eructations and dry hard stool).

Case 12: Liver Disease
In the year 1899, 30-year-old woman consulted Dr Burnett for her liver complaints. Though she seemed healthy, she had severe pains in her right side, pyrosis and some brown patches on her skin clearly implicating the liver disorder. The patient took Chelidonium Q for a month with good benefit; she was later prescribed Ignatia 1 and later Hydrastis-can Q and they also gave good relief.

Later she again came for her dyspepsia for which Dr Burnett could not find any cause though the pain was clearly traceable to the gall bladder. She was prescribed Myrica-cerif 3, five drops in a tablespoon of water for some weeks. Then the patient wrote to the doctor saying that this medicine did her great deal of good and she had lost all her pain in the right side; no indigestion and is able to walk a long distance.

Dr Burnett says that though Chelidonium and Hydrastis did much good but Myrica cured her fully.

Case 13
Mr RG, aged 38 , consulted Dr Mohammed Aleem of Chennai for the complaint of cracked skin of his face. One day when he was sleeping he experienced severe burning pain on his face and saw to his horror several cracks on his skin of his face. The cracks ran in all directions. Allopathic ointment did not do any good and next day his burning pain increased and also the cracks. He consulted the above doctor at this stage.

He was gentle in disposition but used to become violent when provoked; sensitive to criticisms and injustice done to him and others. This led to his irritability. He tried to control his anger but it would explode when a limit is reached and he used to become violent and erupt like a volcano. He felt helpless.

He was prescribed Hecla-lava 30 - tds for one week and SL for one month. When he reported for follow-up after one month the doctor could not find even a mark of the cracks earlier seen, on his face now. He reported that the burning sensation went off in 5 days of treatment and cracks and crusts disappeared in 2 weeks.
Dr Aleem points out the characteristics of this remedy based on his clinical experience as under:

Etiology: Shock, indignation and suppression of emotions and anger Mentals: generally gentle but highly irritable when provoked. Can become very violent and hurt others by verbal or physical abuse. Sensitive to criticism and admonitions and injustice. Abrupt; feeling of helplessness.

Symptoms come and go suddenly and all symptoms are violent in nature; intense burning; develops tumors, ulcers, cracks and fissures. (There is scanty information in our standard Materia Medica and it is mentioned that it produces polypoid growth commencing from the antrum of Highmore deforming face, forcing eyeball upward; destructive ulceration of nasal bones)

Dr Burns says on the use of low potencies: "I occasionally use low potencies only, in both acute and chronic conditions. Much less frequently, I use two potencies in alternation. I admit that these are almost always combinations used by my predecessor in that clinic. This may horrify some of you, but it is remarkable how well they act in some conditions. Nux-vom 3c and Chelidonium 1x have often a marked effect in deudonal ulcer. Kali-bich 3x and Hydrastis 1x are useful in alternation in chronic nasal catarrh associated with bronchitis. Bell 3x and Merc-bin-iod 3x are of value in the treatment of tonsillitis in young people."

"When I see a chronic case for the first time and have difficulty in finding the simillimum or even the constitutional remedy, I often give low potency twice a day until such time as I can get a clearer picture of the case. The patient is often given relief by this method and is encouraged to continue the treatment."

What better way to end this article than to quote Dr Nash himself from his Introduction to his booklet "Testimony of the Clinic." He says: "I used to tell my classes in the college that he who confined himself to either the high or low preparations of medicines crippled himself from doing the best possible for his patients. We do not have to restrict ourselves in the matter of pososlogy to the "demonstrable divisibility of matter", but can and should avail ourselves of the whole scale, from the crude drug to the highest of a Fincke and abide the result to the finest of all tests, the physiological. So I have selected my cases for testimony from good observers and in all potencies. ( In this booklet)"


  1. Testimony of the Clinic-Dr EB Nash
  2. The value of Low potencies by Dr Ian Mckinlay Burns from Principles of Prescribing- K N Mathur.
  3. Clinical verifications and Reflections-Dr S P Koppikar.
  4. Therapeutics of Fevers- H C Allen.
  5. Allen’s Materia-medica.
  6. Best of Burnett - compiled by Dr H L Chitkara.
  7. Some Clinical Experiences of Dr Erastus E Case.
  8. The Rhythm of Volcano, Dr Aleem, Homoeopathic Links 1/94.