Excerpted from a presentation at “Renaissance in Health ’92: The Next
Generation”, 35th Annual Naturopathic Physicians Convention, May 16, 1992 in
Three Cases of Life Transformations Through Homeopathy
The following cases are vignettes of three patients whose lives changed
dramatically after homeopathic treatment. We included fewer details about
each case than usual, but focused more on the most deeply limiting problem of
each individual, and on his or her subsequent life transormation.
Whatoriginally drew us to naturopathy and homeopathy was our hope of
facilitating and witnessing such transformations as these .
Case 1. Cerebral Palsy and Spastic Quadriplegia in a Microencephalic, Blind,
Elizabeth’s foster mother first brought her in to us when she was two
years and four months old and had been in the foster home for three months.
During the entire interview, the child lay on the floor on her back, with her
arms moving spastically (3).
Elizabeth’s mother was a cocaine and alcohol abuser. Both parents were
Hispanic. Elizabeth was removed from her parents’ home at the age of one year
due to domestic violence. Her mother “hit the streets” four months later and
had not been heard from since. Elizabeth had a normal younger sister, who was
also in foster care. Their mother took drugs throughout both pregnancies.
Elizabeth was fed only 2% milk until three months before we saw her,
after she arrived at her current foster home. Before that time, she was in
another foster home with a foster mother who hated her, but kept her for the
money. While there, she was malnourished and weighed only 19 pounds. During
the past three months prior to her first visit to us, she had gained three
According to the new foster mother’s account, Elizabeth was “in her
own world”. She would plug her ears with her fingers (3) and roll her head
from side to side (3) . She was extremely averse to being touched or moved (3)
. She was terrified of water (3) and screamed when she was bathed (3). She
was also terrified of having her diaper changed (3). Elizabeth loved music (2)
and noise (2) . She would stop crying when her foster mother sang to her.
Elizabeth did not walk, crawl, or sit (all 3’s). She was reportedly deaf
and blind, but the foster mother wasn’t sure this was true. She hummed and sang
to herself all the time (3). She licked and touched everything (3). She
stiffened her body (2). She slammed her head against the mattress to fall
asleep (3) . She never stopped moving her arms (3) unless she was asleep. She
was still diagnosed as quadriplegic. Her hand motions were considered to be a
spastic phenomenon. Her eyeballs moved in different directions (2).
Case 2. Obsessive Jealousy.
Ed, age 50, presented with tremendous anguish (3) due to incessant and
irrational jealousy (3) over his wife. He had been married for 15 years. When
he met his wife, she told him that she had been engaged for two years
previously. Now, many years later, It tortured Ed to think that another man had
touched or kissed her (3) . No amount of reassurances on her part were enough.
He knew intellectually that she had never slept with her former fiance, yet
when she told him so, he accused her of lying to him. He threatened to divorce
her, though he loved her deeply. [He wept at times uncontrollably during the
interview.] Ed was very charming, intense, and heartfelt during the
interview, an extremely likeable person with a winning personality.
They had two chldren, both in their teens. He used to fly into jealous
rages, but now was no longer violent and had learned to control his temper. He
used to drink heavily, but now abstained. He always had high sexual energy (3).
He had a history of depression and used to pray that his car would crash, but
feared he would go to hell if he killed himself. He was terribly afraid of
Ed had a great sensation of pressure in his throat (3) and had choked many
times (2). He had frequent severe heartburn (3) . He was terrified of drowning
(3), choking (3), and snakes (3). His sleep was terrible (3). Every time he
went to sleep, he felt tormented by jealousy (3) and as if his stomach were
tied in knots (2).
Case 3. Bulimia and Shame
Carol, age 27, came in because of her eating disorder. She and her twin
sister had decided to become partners in anorexia. Carol always prided herself
on being thin. She had gone down from 163 to 65 pounds in the past. She kept
telling herself, “If I lose more weight, people will love me more.” She became
bulimic and took diuretics. Her extreme weight loss resulted in two
hospitalizations. Carol was put on antidepressants, but still suffered from
mood swings, irritability, intense low periods, impatience, and irritability.
She lamented that she repeatedly poured her heart and soul into relationships
with men in an effort to gain her father’s love. She tried her best to win
others’ approval, and lost herself in the process.
When Carol was asked about her self image, she shared her tremendous
shame (3) about a birthmark on her face that she had first appeared at two
months of age. Despite having many good friends, good grades, and supportive
parents, she was always terribly self-conscious and painfully shy. Although
her birthmark was barely noticeable to others, it ruled her life. A tape
inside of her constantly replayed the message, “What would people think if they
found out about my face?” She developed the habit of sleeping on her right
side to cover her birthmark while she slept. Although she was an excellent
school teacher, she was always regretful that the children would have to look
at her face.
In addition to the shame about her birthmark, Carol was raised in a
conservative Catholic family where sex and masturbation were considered
sinful. Her mother always admonished her, “Don’t put your hands down there.
It’s a dirty place.” and “We don’t talk about those things.” She had no
lasting relationships, although marriage was her dream. She couldn’t conceive
of a man wanting to spend his life with her, having to look at her birthmark
Now, study these cases, then turn to page _____ for the case
l. Elizabeth: We had absolutely no idea how much homeopathy could help
Elizabeth, given her profound, inherited pathology. But, since homeopathy will
stimulate the vital force to heal the organism to the greatest extent possible,
we had no second thoughts about whether or not to prescribe for her. We first
gave the child a dose of Tarentula hispanica (made from the Spanish Spider)
1M without success. Our first thought was Tarentula because of Elizabeth’s
constant activity, her love of music, restlessness, head banging, and
paralysis of the lower extremities.
Six weeks later, Elizabeth’s foster mother reported no change. WeI
restudied the case, and used all of the following rubrics in Kent’s Repertory :
“Extremities; PARALYSIS; Lower”, “Head; MOTIONS; of; rolling head”, “Mind;
HYDROPHOBIA”, “Mind; MUSIC; amel.”, “Mind; SINGING”, “Mind; STRIKING; head,
his”, “Extremities; RESTLESSNESS”, “Eye: MOVEMENT, eyeballs; rolling”, “Mind;
ABSORBED”, and “Mind; DAY-DREAMING”. The remedy which scored the highest in the
repertorization was Stramonium (Thorn-apple). Stramonium scored higher
Tarentula in the repertorization.Stramonium is also a remedy which can be
useful for victims of violence of all kinds, including the type of violence
which Elizabeth was likely to have experienced prenatally and as an infant.
Stramonium is also used for the after effects of the violence of a difficult
childbirth, and physical , verbal, or sexual abuse.
Five weeks after the Stramonium was given, the foster mother reported to
us that there were changes. Elizabeth was no longer averse to being touched.
She now wanted to be rocked, held, and thrown up in the air. She loved to play
with water now, but she still screamed while being bathed. She had begun to
crawl. She no longer slammed her head against the mattress. She loved rock and
roll and any music with a rhythmic beat and a vibration, such as calypso. She
moved her hands with the music. Elizabeth still plugged her right ear with her
finger, olled her head and eyes, and was unable to get into a sitting position
or to bend her torso. The foster mother called three days later to say that
Elizabeth had crawled five feet across the living room. Four months later, she
was making some vocal sounds and could crawl on her stomach using her arms.
Nine and a half months after the dose of Stramonium 1M, we received the
following report. Elizabeth’s head size was now just over normal. She no longer
carried the diagnoses of cerebral palsy or quadriplegia. She now had full use
of her arms and had been actively crawling for the past seven weeks. She was
still blind and had a 70% hearing impairment. She was making some audible
sounds. She now had head control, whereas before she did not. She could hold
her head up and sit in a high chair. She continued to be mildly retarded, but
was doing well in a special education class in the public school system.
2. Ed: We gave Ed one dose of Lachesis 200c. Lachesis fit extremely
well a number of symptoms in the case: extreme jealousy, fear of snakes,
pressure in the throat, sensation of choking , general intensity, high sexual
energy, fits of anger, and sentimentality. There was a definite improvement. He
felt more romantic with his wife. He felt much more spiritually in tune with
himself. His heartburn was 70% better. His sleep was 30-40% improved. He was
much more patient and didn’t feel as guilty. People told him he was doing
great. His jealousy was somewhat less.
After a couple of months he felt that his symptoms began to relapse. He
again felt tortured by memories of his wife’s past relationship. His insomnia
had returned. We gave him a dose of Lachesis 1M. Ed had a partial response to
the second dose of Lachesis. We began to suspect that the remedy was close,
but not the best choice (in homeopathic terms, the simila rather than the
We restudied his case and used the following rubrics: “Mind; DELUSIONS;
wife; is faithless”, “Mind; DELUSIONS; die; thought he was about to”, “MIND;
CLAIRVOYANCE”, “Mind; ANGUISH”, “Nose, EPISTAXIS”, “Throat; CHOKING,
constricting”, “Throat, PAIN, pressing”, “Mind; FEAR; suffocation, of”, “Male;
PASSION, sexual; excessive”, “Mind; LOQUACITY”, “Mind; COMPANY; desire for:,
“Mind, JEALOUSY”, “Mind, FEAR, high places”, “Stomach; DESIRES; fish”,
“Stomach; DESIRES; salty things”, and “Back; PAIN; Backache; Dorsal region”.
Some of these symptoms were found in the complete case, but not in the summary
presented in this article. and
We prescribed Hyoscyamus (Henbane) 30c, again one dose. Hyoscyamus is
known, along with Lachesis, to be a prominent remedy for jealousy, and also fit
most of his other symptoms just as well as Lachesis. In fact, we were amazed
at how both of these remedies covered the case so beautifully. Phosphorus also
came up very high in the repertorization, and and may be needed by later by
Ed because of his charming, sympathetic nature, and his personal and family
history of tuberculosis.
Ed’s response to the Hyoscyamus was much deeper and long-lasting than to
Lachesis . His sleep was much better. The jealous thoughts, if they came, were
much easier to discard. His mind felt clearer. Everything was more in focus. He
was now convinced that his thought about his wife having slept with the other
man was really his own delusion. He now felt that the rocks which were covering
him were gone.
He did wonderfully until about three months later when he was served
coffee ice cream without knowing it. He dreamt just before that he was going to
antidote his remedy. He had a terrible stomach ache right after eating the ice
cream. His heartburn was worse since then and he felt more impatient again.
Jealousy was not a problem. His creativity was “fantastic”. He felt he had
experienced “an awakening ” since the remedy. “I feel love in my heart. I am
able to change my material desires into compassion. I’ve never been like this
before in my life. I have a sense of tranquility. I understand things I never
understood before. When women approach me now, I feel sorry for them rather
than considering it an opportunity to take advantage of them.” At that time,
we gave Ed one dose of Hyoscyamus 200c. He has done extremely well since
3. Carol: Due to her profound shame and feeling of ugliness, we gave Carol
Thuja (Arbor vitae).
The essence of the remedy Thuja is one in which the person feels a profound
sense of shame and ugliness. This shame may stem from a deep, dark secret such
as sexual abuse or a family history of alcoholism, or result from an
embarassment. It is common, in such cases, to see a history of poor
self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, anorexia, bulimia, , and other
self-destructive behaviors. The source of shame may seem trivial or
superficial to others (Carol’s birthmark was hardly noticeable to us), but is a
very real cause of profound suffering for the individual . Due to their shame,
they tend to isolate themselves from the world and may feel a lifelong sense of
alienation from others.
We first gave Carol Thuja 30c daily, rather than a single dose of a 200c
or 1M, because she was still on antidepressants. She began, over a period of
several months, to feel more attractive and better about herself. We then gave
her one dose of Thuja 200c. Her self- esteem continued to improve steadily.
Within six months she met a man with whom she shared a deep love and rapport
and they married six months later. Her bulimia had not stopped entirely, but
had lessened. She has not needed further homeopathic treatment.
In each of these cases, a profound shift, or transformation occurred in
the individual. After homeopathic treatment, they each had an expanded range
of potential and possibility in their lives. For Elizabeth, this meant being
more in touch with and functional in the world and having more physical
mobility. Although she would always be developmentally disabled, her range of
capacity was much increased. In Ed’s case, he was freed rom the irrational
jealousy which was crippling his marriage and severely limiting his creativity
and inner peace. Carol , finally able to accept herself, was able to attract
the loving relationship she always wanted. These are the kinds of
transformation that make both the homeopath and thepatient feel deeply
Drs. Judyth Reichenberg-Ullman and Robert Ullman are board-certified diplomates
of the Homeopathic Academy of Naturopathic Physicians. They have a private
practice in Seattle, Washington and can be reached at The Northwest Center for
Holistic Medicine, 4072 9th Ave., N.E., Seattle, WA. 98105. (206) 547-9665.