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A wee case study
CHOKING COUGH with gagging, retching, and vomiting of stringy white mucous since five days with 39° fever in a 10 month old, breast fed, baby boy.
First appointment March 2018, Western Australia.
Possible causation Air travel.
Modalities <Lying flat; 8-9pm; First thing in the morning. >Outside.
Extension to other parts Obstructed nose with rumbling sound which worsens when crying and coughing. Aversion to solid foods since cough developed.
Medications and vaccinations Nil.
Other Sudden fiery red cervical rash at 7moths of age when fish was introduced.
Diseases in the family Paternal – Asthma.
Mental and emotional symptoms A happy baby who loves to interact, play, & chat.
Conclusion A strong paternal history of asthma combined with birth by caesarean – which is known to delay or impair foetal lung fluid clearance (Khasawneh et al., 2020) - appears to have set up increased susceptibility to respiratory complaints (Vithoulkas, 2017) in this wee boy, which, after travel by plane, resulted in development of a choking cough. This may be further understood when we consider the lungs as critical to countering and balancing the physiological responses induced by exposure to high altitude (Ahmad et al., 2015).
Repertorization of symptoms
Figure 1 (Vithoulkas Compass, 2023)
Differentiation of remedies
COCCUS CACTI Paroxysmal coughs associated with retching or vomiting producing a thick, ropy mucous <6am or 1130pm. Choking cough. > open air (Morrison, 1993).
KALI BICHROMATUM Ropy, tenacious, gelatinous, copious, long, stringy yellow or yellowish-green expectoration (Vithoulkas, 2021).
Remedy Coccus cacti
Regimen One dose to begin.
Characteristic symptoms “…striking, singular, uncommon and peculiar signs and symptoms… chiefly and solely to be kept in view; for it is more particularly these that very similar ones in the list of symptoms of the selected medicine must correspond to…” (Hahnemann, 2005. §153), were the focus for this prescription.
Reaction Mum followed up the next day ’he instantly threw up a whole lot of phlegm and has not vomited since.' His fever had broken, and 'a slight random chesty cough' resulting in ‘crying but no retching, gagging, or vomiting mucous’ remained – a clear and quick initial aggravation of the main physical complaint resulting in amelioration (Vithoulkas, 2017).
For your interest, over the ensuing five years’ this boy has received Tuberculinum chronic nocturnal cough with destructive behaviours (June 2019; 2021), Pulsatilla lingering morning cough with weeping (Aug 2019) and Calcarea carbonica for lack of confidence and strong, overwhelming fears (2022; 2023).
Multiple peer-reviewed studies of homeopathy and Upper Respiratory Tract Infection (URTI) associated symptoms of cough, pharyngitis, tonsillitis, otitis media, acute sinusitis, etc., find positive overall results with faster resolution, reduced use of antibiotics, and possible prophylactic and longer-term benefits (Fixsen, 2018). In primary care, homeopathic treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints has been shown as not inferior to conventional treatment (Haidvogl et al., 2007), however Cochrane review finds no evidence to support the efficacy of homeopathic medicinal products in acute paediatric respiratory tract infections (Hawke et al., 2022).
Figure 2 Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: a comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting PMID:17335565
Ahmad et al., 2015. The proteome of Hypobaric Induced Hypoxic Lung: Insights from Temporal Proteomic Profiling for Biomarker Discovery. Scientific Reports [online] May 29;5:10681. Erratum in: Sci Rep. 2022 Feb 1;12(1):1981. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26022216/
Fixsen A. 2018. Homeopathy in the Age of Antimicrobial Resistance: Is It a Viable Treatment for Upper Respiratory Tract Infections? Homeopathy. May;107(2):99-114. Feb 5. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29767829/
Hahnemann, S. 2005. Organon of Medicine. Sixth edition. Translated from German by W. Boericke. New Delhi. Indian Books & Periodicals Publishers. (Originally published in 1842).
Haidvogl et al., 2007. Homeopathic and conventional treatment for acute respiratory and ear complaints: a comparative study on outcome in the primary care setting. BMC Complement Altern Med. Mar 2;7:7. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17335565/
Hawke et al., 2022. Homeopathic medicinal products for preventing and treating acute respiratory tract infections in children. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. Dec 13;12(12):CD005974. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/36511520/
Khasawneh et al., 2020. The impact of cesarean section on neonatal outcomes at a university-based tertiary hospital in Jordan. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth [online]. Jun 1;20(1):335. Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/32487165/
Morrison, R. 1993. Desktop Guide to Keynotes and Confirmatory Symptoms. Grass Valley. Hahnemann Clinic Publishing.
Vithoulkas, G. 2017. Levels of Health, The second volume of the Science of Homeopathy, revised edition. Alonissos: International Academy of Classical Homeopathy.
Vithoulkas, G. 2021. Materia Medica Viva: Volume 13. Alonissos, Greece, International Academy of Classical Homeopathy.
Vithoulkas Compass, 2023. Vithoulkas Compass Homeopathy Software [computer program]. Greece.