A Very Sneezy Case
Joseph Kellerstein, DC, ND
Amir is an active, 23-year-old university student. I first met him in 2006, after treating his father and brother. He came to my office recently with a list prepared by himself and his father, who had been a homeopath back home in India. Amir had been suffering severely from allergies since 2003.
The list read:
- Sneezing very hard
- Running nose
- Blocked nasal passage, especially at night
- Aggravation in cold air (It’s nice when they prepare the modalities!)
- Chemical food (bad)
- Bakery food (bad)
- Loose stools
- Surgery for undescended testicle
- Urination at bedtime after drinking
- Improved allergy symptoms after drinking lemon juice (We can all learn something from our patients’ experiences)
- Dry throat after eating above foods
- Cannot digest dark green vegetables at all
- Worse waking in the morning
- Eyes itch end of July and August
- Once had an attack when throat was totally blocked, similar to asthma
Upon discussion with Amir, it seemed he had indeed been suffering severe flu-like symptoms related to allergies since 2003. All bakery items aggravated terribly. The sneezing was very strong. He reported: “It shakes me.” There was tearing and pain on sneezing. His nose would run, especially in the morning at 5 a.m. The discharge was clear and ran from the left nostril. At night his nose blocked up. The latter was worse in cool air and better in a warm room.
If he dared to eat dark green vegetables, he was sure to get diarrhea. The allergies were definitely most uncomfortable in August.
Upon further questioning regarding the modalities of the sneezing and coryza, Amir remarked that any sudden temperature change was sure to aggravate the allergies in that time frame. I asked what kind of temperature change. The answer: warm to cold.
His thirst at night was definitely unquenchable. If he failed to drink adequately and the throat remained at all dry, he felt as if he was choking. Wind or cold air would cause his nose to run.
For sleep, he required a warm room with no air movement. For example, if a fan was on, his nose would immediately block.
The past 6 months or so there had been a scalp eruption, which discharged a yellow fluid that dries and crusts over.
Once the interview was over, the father took me aside and described Amir as a wonderful young man who was kind, sweet and always obedient to his parents.
The father observed that his son was worse from cold bathing (swimming) and that Amir might often talk to himself.
Looking at Rubric 1, you could be struck by the numerical superiority of the frontrunners, but hey … this isn’t a horse race. In the typical case of Arsenicum, we would like some evidence of anxiety with restlessness, or at least some anxiety in a very chilly patient. No such luck. With Nux, we might like to see an efficient, impatient, irritable person who is very sensitive to draft and easily chilled in general. The cold aggravates the complaint, but not so much the person. Silica, well there is not really the chilliness or the sweat.
OK, enough of that. What are the characterizing elements of this person suffering allergy? I chose the items in Rubric 2.
Dulcamara? What is this? Let’s look at some materia medica. From Hering: “Nostrils entirely filled up, preventing breathing through nose, constant sneezing, profuse discharge of water from nose and eyes, worse in open air, better in closed room.”
Kent has something for us, too: “The Dulcamara patient is disturbed by every change in the weather, from warm to cold … He is worse evening and night and during rest.”
Our patient noted an immediate improvement (well, maybe after a week or so) and has needed occasional re-dosing, but it was a spectacular difference. I love homeopathy.
Joe Kellerstein, DC, ND graduated as a chiropractor in 1980 and as an ND in 1984. He graduated with a specialty in homeopathy from the Canadian Academy for Homeopathy, and subsequently lectured there for two years. He also lectured in homeopathy for several years at CCNM; for eight years at the Toronto School of Homeopathic Medicine; and for two years at the British Institute for Homeopathy. Dr. Kellerstein’s mission is the exploration of natural medicine in a holistic context, especially homeopathy and facilitating the experience of healing in clients.