Cases in Homeopathy - Remedy Pictures in a Nutshell


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This is the beginning of a collection of cases. Cases are "the proof of the pudding" in homeopathy, and they should be a part and parcel of every remedy picture in a materia medica. The proving gives a first hint of the properties of a remedy, the real good cases of the remedy show the picture in depth, if the case is properly understood. Please see that the German and the English versions may be different, because we do not translate everything. So the two versions complement each other.

The following article was published in HOMEOPATHIC LINKS 1/2001

The Color Preference as a Homeopathic Symptom -
Indian Cases Taken Under Difficult Conditions

How the cases were taken: In spring 2000 in South India, I got the challenge to treat villagers with homeopathy under very difficult conditions in an undeveloped poor rural area. I do not speak Tamil, and most of my patients did not speak English. So you can imagine the depth of the conversation. My "interpreter", an uneducated but intelligent villager, was not reliable with his few English fragments, and so a regular homeopathic anamnesis was impossible. One could barely assess the physical status and the main organic complaints with sometimes a reliable modality. Otherwise I had to rely on my observation how the patients behaved and acted. But here our experience with the favorite color as a homeopathic symptom came to the rescue. I took written notes of 46 cases, of which 28 patients were selected for this paper, because nearly all of them confirmed the relation of color and remedy by the clinical improvement. The 18 other cases showed no improvement, and I did not want to bore the reader with them, but those who are interested can get them by email. The ratio of 64% improved or cured cases seems in itself suggestive of the validity of the postulated color/remedy relation.

The first section represents all the cases taken under normal conditions, as only these few patients spoke good English and there was sufficient time for anamnesis and repertory work. The second and third section describe increasingly more difficult conditions, and especially the third part was taking place in a one day medical camp with more than 400 patients waiting. We were four doctors, me the only homeopath. The other three were Siddha practitioners and worked quicker, but an average of 10 minutes was my minimum to find at least 3 valid symptoms for the choice of a remedy (the required minimum of 3 legs for the chair to stand, as Hering puts it) including a glance at Mac Repertory. No doubt, I relied heavily on the one leg of the color symptom, but what else to do? I was not used to such straightened circumstances and was surprised about the results, because I had expected more failures.

The uncomplicated mentality of the people was definitely helpful. In the West, many are rather brainwashed and preoccupied with so-called knowledge and all kinds of far-fetched explanations. This may overlay the choice of the favorite color, and the true color may be hidden by fancies of fashion or other distorting factors. But here, the people liked this kind of game and chose an accurate color with child-like simplicity from our color book1. Of course I would have liked to check the color after some time to verify it. A true favorite color is usually re-found from a thousand to the very hue with surprising accuracy, and sometimes it is only the second of the two colors asked which is given exactly even after years, thus indicating it as the true color. But most of the patients I saw only once and few twice, and so the checking of the color was often impossible. Even for the result of the treatment I had to rely in many cases on the inquiries of my interpreter, because he knew most of the patients and visited them afterwards in their distant villages. I made him a checklist of questions to assess the result (cured, improved, same, worse) and the time it took for the remedy to work. More details were beyond his reach regarding the short time of training I could give him. He filled out this questionnaire accurately and sent it to me to Germany. On this questionable basis I tried to form an evaluation of the results of the patients under section 3.

Is the favorite color a homeopathic symptom? We all use food modalities etc as a homeopathic symptom. Why not the color preference? There is no substantial difference between such personal characteristics. A real color preference can be taken safely as an expression of a basic feeling. There is no why with it. We just like it, sometimes for most periods of a whole lifetime. It is not pathology, but it represents a basic mood, like the rubrics "mildness", "obstinate", "hurry", etc. Such constitutional symptoms are like the particular soils on which specific good and bad plants can grow favorably. Similarly, a specific pathology may grow on a particular steady emotion, if this emotion becomes too strong, gets fixed or other things go wrong in this direction. In our practice the color preference?has proved to be a valuable symptom for the homeopathic choice of remedies, and we use it since 10 years as a keynote symptom. It is easy to get, especially with children from the age of 3-4 years onwards, and it has often pointed directly to the curative remedy. In a retrospective overview of 143 successfully treated children in our clinic, who had responded well to a single homeopathic remedy, it was found that the curative remedy was discovered in about 25% with the aid of the favorite color as a symptom. We use it like any other symptom, with some reservation and only as a pointer, keeping in mind that any symptom may mislead. But if one of the remedies indicated by the color fits the essence of the case, why not use it?

How were the colors of remedies detected? Dr. Hugbald V. Müller from Cologne discovered a unique method for the use of color in homeopathy. It was him who first attributed many remedies to a specific color. The "color of a remedy" was established purely clinical, i.e. from good cases and not from provings. The first hypothesis was that a favorite color represents an individual basic feeling. The second hypothesis was that the handwriting is another unique and direct expression of the individual, but a symptom of quite another kind (unfortunately not to be standardized so easily), and that these two together can be sufficient to determine a deep-acting remedy, if the remedy also covers the main directions of the pathology. Detailed standardized color tests plus the handwritings of thousands of patients were collected (written on unlined paper, A4 size in Germany), and very good or deeply improved cases were compared. Now these cases showed that people cured by the same remedy often revealed the same color and similar handwritings. The specific colors were then taken as new repertory rubrics, and today, if a new patient gives one or two favorite colors, we can use these rubrics and look at all the remedies indicated by them. If there is a remedy suggested, which could match the case, we can also look at the handwritings of all patients cured by this remedy. If they are of similar features, it is another strong pointer for this remedy. All in all, including our cases, an estimated number of 50.000 or more homeopathic color tests have been performed, of which perhaps 10.000 cases have become relevant for the extraction of the remedy-colors. The definite choice was made only by the best cases of similar color and handwriting, and about 3000 cured or deeply improved patients contributed to this sifting process. Up to now, about 280 remedies are well defined with a preferred color, and about 170 are under further testing. In our experience, we have verified Müller's hypotheses many times by fine cures. We have built on his experience and invented new tools to make the choice of the color easier and more reliable. Of course in the mentioned Indian cases the handwriting was not used. Here only the favorite color was applied as a symptom.

The purely clinical method of finding the color may offend those who believe in provings as the one and only basis for homeopathic knowledge. But the clinical method has given us also many valuable informations about remedies. Why not also study a remedy by comparing very good cases cured by the same? There are sometimes very good cases of nearly unproved remedies, only found out from a single rubric, their clinical reputation, their position in the periodic table, etc. Why not try to take the essence of say three such cases of the same unproved remedy as the essence of the remedy? The remedy has proved its similarity to these cases by the cure!

1   "Colors in Homeopathy" by Ulrich Welte, Narayana Verlag: a new color standard developed solely for homeopathic purposes, printed in highest color quality with 24 pure Pantone and HKS colors on an 8 color offset machine. See a detailed description under

1 Cases without time pressure and with good communication (patients speak English)
# Patient, Behavior and Type (Observation) Complaints Color Remedy Result and Comment
1.1 man 42y, talkative, lively, drastic and eager to please; bursts out with his complaints (I remember another patient of similar behaviour, a conductor of a jazz orchestra, who also responded beautifully to daph) since 30 y chronic sinu-bronchitis with headache from suppressed asthma, left ear hearing diminished; has given up many bad habits except one which he cannot control: smoking (daph); fears that things he loves will be scattered and everything goes to pieces (del. body scattered, parts separated, daph) 20 B = malachite green (daph) Daph M immediately after daph "malarial" fever for two weeks, then general improvement with light feeling, no more headache or sinusitis, hearing improved
1.2 man ca.28y, elementary school teacher, quickly angered, punishes hard (ferr), enforces discipline (ferr); "if I know I'm right I don't accept any compromise" since 2 months sneezing <9h after bath, <19 h (iod1), fluent coryza <bending head (tarent) 8 A = Rose-pink (ferr) Ferr-i M cured in 2 weeks
1.3 man 71y, tall, slender and refined, retired vice-president (aur) of a religious organization (aur), dignified (aur), depressed (aur), disillusioned and silent (aur) since 3 y monthly attacks of fatigue with soreness and fever up to 40 C (compositae Scholten), "I'm alright, leave me alone" (arn); chronic prostatitis (aur2); after prostatectomia in 1998 no more fever, but attacks of weakness and sleepiness continued; very depressed, no joy in life, fears to become a burden to sons, fears that he may die before his wife and thus she becomes a burden to family, because he cannot maintain the responsibility (stage 11) any more (aur) 22 D = dark seagreen (aur)
white (arn)
Arn M as first remedy
16 d later aur 200
after arn no effect; after aur no more attacks of fatigue, rapid improvement of mood, regains joy of life; family is astonished about the overall change in him
2 Cases without time pressure, but very limited communication (patients do not speak English)
# Patient, Behavior and Type (Observation) Complaints Color Remedy Result and Comment
2.1 man 17y, masoner; no decent manners, reckless (sulf); impatient, runs away when asked to wait a little (iod) since 3 weeks fluent coryza <7h, <19h (iod1, sulf1) 8C = primal red (sulf, iod) Sul-i 200 Cured in 5 d. Became more decent and patient in 3-4 weeks
2.2 man 65y, lazy, travelling (bar-c1) most of the time, wife has to do all work; awkwardly respectful and reverential (barium) Since weeks pain in legs and forearms on rising from sleep (morning: bar-c1). Big hernia scrotalis et umbilicalis 10 C = crimson red (~barium) Bar-c 200 Cured in 7 d. Awkwardness diminished. Herniae unchanged
2.3 man 26y, masoner, quiet, dreamy and shy (cann-i) Since 1 month knotty warts above left eyebrow, eczema of scrotum (cann-s1) 1 C = primal yellow (cann-s) Cann-s M Cured in 10 d
2.4 girl 11y, too tall for her age and obese, large limbs, bloated (sac-alb); diabetes in family (sac-alb?) Fear of darkness (sac-alb2), of father's punishment; wild anger with red staring eyes after little slaps (sensitive to reprimands, sac-alb2), very irritated when forced 20 BC = light signal green (color of sac-alb not yet known) Sac-alb M Fears and behaviour improved in 2 weeks
2.5 woman 45y, loud voice, overruling, reckless manners, but with joy, no respect (sulf) Big bleeding abscess of tooth with red growth of gums (eupi) since 1 w; pain left ear when carrying loads on head; pain heart <physical exertion, increasing since months 6 D = chestnut brown (eupi)
8 C = primal red (sulf)
Sulf M + Eupi 200 alternatingly Abscess cured in 2 d, heart and ear pains cured in 1 w
2.6 man 38y, electrician, gloomy and pessimistic (lac-d), takes carbamazepine 600 mg daily since 4 y Since 30 y migraine, vertigo and dark vision before headache, periodicity every 42 days (mag-m1); induced by family problems (mag, sil), does not defend himself (mag), no dreams (mag), agg. and aversion to milk, even to smell of milk (lac-d3) 22 C = emerald green (mag-sil)
8 C = red (lac-d?)
Mag-sil M first;
after 9 d Lac-d 200
Generally improved ten d after Lac-d, difficult to evaluate after such short period of observation
2.7 man 42y, foreman of borewell firm, quick to act, tense (rhus) Since 2 months small wound in left dorsal foot after contusion (rhus) with increasing suppuration and swelling, pain walking; mild diabetes (140 mg% fasting) 18 B = light turquoise blue (rhus-t) Rhus-t M Cured in 10 d
2.8 boy aged 5, looks like a girl, refuses to chose color, whines and crawls backward on floor in knee-elbow position (med) like a cat Since 3 m warts around mouth (med) and on nates, painful when sitting Refused to choose color Med M Better in 15 d
2.9 woman, illiterate, does not know her age, but probably 70, looks very sick and weak, dangerous condition, as if death is near Since 10 d quickly increasing pain in bones, faintness and vertigo, rapid decrease of vital powers; cough when taking sweets (spong) 15 E = midnight blue (spong) Spong 200 Cured in 10 d. The color confirmed the only valuable symptom, i.e. the cough modality
2.10 2.19 man 60y, farmer, landlord with polite dignity; brings X-ray film from 1997 Since 20 y asthma, calcified tubercular mediastinal lymphnodes (phos); severe pain in right scapula ext forward (phos) on every cough, since weeks increasing bronchitis with bloody expectoration (bright red, phos); desires fish, which amel (phos) 20 C = medium green (phos) Phos M Better in 7 days
3 Cases under time pressure (ca. 10 min per case) and very limited communication (patients do not speak English)
# Patient, Behavior and Type (Observation) Complaints Color Remedy Result and Comment
3.1 man 42y, coarse and bit slow Since 3 m pain knees and ankles, Baker cyst (tumor hollow of knee, calc-f1, tumor cystic, calc3); "blood test" in hospital was OK 9 C = primal red (~calc) Calc M Better in 7 d
3.2 man 28y, quiet, fine and delicate features (emaciation face, tab), works as farm-employee Since more than 6 months burning in stomach, pain in head and legs (polyneuritis, tab); started after abstinence (nux-v) from drinking and smoking (tab, nux-v) 15 C = ultramarine blue (tab) Nux-v M
After 7days Tab M
Better in 10 d, probably direct effect of tab
3.3 man 40y, village helper, friendly and open (phos) Diabetes since 6 months (phos), 240 mg% fasting, checked by diet, pain sacral ext. upward <sitting (phos) 21 BC = primal green (phos) Phos M Better in 4 d
3.4 young man, emaciated and exhausted; dangerous condition Since 1 month increasing perspiration at night, fever, cough, loss of weight (phos): suspected TB, X-ray recommended 21 C = signal green (phos) Phos M Cured in 8 d, did not go to hospital for diagnosis
3.5 man 23y, electrician, likes metals, especially copper and iron (ferr) Since 6 months pain cervical <bending forward, pain in back <rising from bed (from sitting, ferr-p1), pain knees ext downward (phos2) 7 A Rose-pink (ferr) Ferr-p M Cured in 7 d
3.6 man 27y, agriculture coolie Since 1 year pain in region of liver and chest (cannot work due to pain), difficulty with urination and stool; all symptoms started after straining acutely (arn) in heavy hammer work (arn) White (arn) Arn M Better after 15 d; should have got several doses instead of single dose
3.7 young lad of 16 Every wound heals very slowly (sulf3); cervical acne itching (sulf) 8/9 C = primal red (sulf) Sulf M Cured in 5 d
3.8 man 29 y Since years chronic sinusitis (cinnb1, sil4) <cold bath, <rainy season; deep cracks in heels 22 C = emerald green (close to cinnb and sil)Cinnb M + Sil M Cured in 3 d
3.9 Man 24 y, village helper, meddlesome (hyos), touches doctor (hyos) from fear of being let down, plays the fool to be the center of attention (hyos) Pain cervical in evening, nervous shivers (hyos1) with undefined fear; inguinal hernia right side; hiccough 1 C = lemon yellow (hyos) Hyos M Better in 10 d, no information about duration or nature of improvement.
3.10 man 45 y, village helper (phos) Since 5 years pain in left chest (phos3) <lifting (phos1) <lying left side (phos3), weakness after work 20 C = medium green (phos) Phos M Better in 5 d
3.11 woman 20 y, menarche with 10, already 3 children Since 10 y very weak with leucorrhea (calc3), nervous trembling when tense, desire for eggs (calc2) 9 C = cherry red (calc) Calc M Better in 15 d
3.12 girl aged 3, pushes off mother when caressed (cina2) Worms (cina3), itching with urging for stool, cough, weeps at night (cina2) Too young for color Cina M Cured in 10 d
3.13 woman 67y, begging type, lamenting, demanding pity and attention (-mur) Very weak and completely worn out (mur-ac) with chest pains, stomach pains Not asked Mur-ac M Cured in 7 d
3.14 man 24y, works in granite firm Since 3 y chronic sinusitis (a good indication for hippoz, but not mentioned in repertory) and headache 22 C = emerald green (hippoz) Hippoz 200 Cured in 10 d
3.15 man 21y, nervous and restless (ars) Since long time burning pains in stomach (ars), vomits when eating coconut; hands tremble when he sees an accident 9 A = rose-pink (ferr) Ferr-ar M
(cocos nucifera?)
Cured in 15 d; I explained him how to prepare 3rd potency of coconut milk; not very likely that he did it

Normally we do not rely so much upon the color as in these cases. The color may deceive. It may only represent a fleeting mood. And we think there may be several colors to a remedy, like a tree can have more than one main root. Take phos as an example. For long, we thought the best cases indicated red as its true color, but then the green predominated, and cases 2.19, 3.3, 3.4 and 3?16 confirm this. But if good symptoms for phos emerge in a patient who has no affinity for either green or red, we give phos anyway. Why should one become the slave of any method? Another difficult remedy was graph. Many cases indicated dark green or violet, but then the best cases gave black. Only with those who liked black the handwriting also tallied. Again it was Müller who was able to determine it, and especially in the color problem of phosphor, we only had one case to contribute.

It would be interesting if many skilled homeopaths could test their best cases for their color preference with the help of "Colors in Homeopathy", and compare if these findings can be verified. But then the color test does not mean just to give the patient the color book and let him choose. First we ask casually for a general color and observe the way in which the patient responds to the question. Or we present the complete color chart given at the end of the color book; it shows all relevant colors at a glance on one page, to give all an equal chance. Then how does the patient choose? Is it with certainty or hesitation? Women sometimes like a collection of precious stones arranged according to colors. This gem collection is also printed in the color book and can be of help when in doubt. It is good to ask for a second color preference. The aversion may also indicate the remedy sometimes. We do not rely on only one test. Better check several times after some months and see if one specific color emerges.

The handwriting is another symptom of the personality of the patient. We do not use it as graphology does. We compare it with handwritings of others who were cured by a remedy which we think may be indicated for our patient. So it is rather a confirming symptom. We look at similarities of the whole impression of the total image, the rhythm of lines, words and letters. Two years ago, we gave 4 handwritings of good zinc-cases to a skilled graphologist and asked him to give a summary of their character. He had no homeopathic knowledge, and it was funny to see him sketch a picture of Scholten's zinc idea from his book about the elements. This opens another source of knowledge about remedies. But we have not pursued this track further.

If the color method is used properly, it is at least a valuable supplement to the classical method. It can be a help in difficult cases or under difficult conditions as in the cases given above.

Ulrich Welte