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Homeopathic Casebook: A Case of Chronic Chest Infections Complicated by Aspergillus Infection and Chronic Asthma

by Dr Neil Slade(more info)

listed in homeopathy, originally published in issue 152 - November 2008

Valerie is a lively, bright, very intelligent 30 year-old who, when she came to see me, had spent the last five years hospitalized during the winter due to severe chest infections complicated by a chronic Aspergillus infection/allergy and chronic asthma. Aspergillus is a genus of moulds that can cause serious respiratory problems in people who are sensitive to it, have a respiratory weakness, or are immuno-compromised in some way.

She had suffered from asthma since childhood, but with a plethora of inhalers this was under control.  However, as soon as autumn started to change to winter, and everywhere got damper, the Aspergillus component of her condition kicked in.  She would develop a marked cough, causing her to sleep sitting up.  Breathing would become difficult, and there would be a lot of expectoration.  She would need several courses of antibiotics over the winter and, as mentioned earlier, had been hospitalized at some point each winter for the last five years.  She was on oral steroid medication, which had left her with a level of osteoporosis, as well as two types of inhaler.

She consulted me in October last year when she could feel her chest tightening and as she was starting to feel '.....mouldy'.  She did not want to spend time in hospital again, did not want repeated antibiotic prescriptions, and also wanted to get off the steroids.  Could homeopathy help?  Once I had put the brakes on her list of requests, we discussed what she could expect from the homeopathy, and how we needed to integrate this with her current medical treatment.  We both agreed that initially her chest needed strengthening, and the cycle of repeated winter chest infections needed to be broken.  At a later date we agreed to consider a process of desensitization for the Aspergillus and asthma treatment.  Before coming to see me, she had just had a routine assessment from her respiratory consultant and had mentioned using homeopathy which was met with the usual!

After full case taking and analysis, I prescribed Dulcamara 30c.  Dulcamara is a remedy made from Woody Nightshade or Bittersweet, and has a huge keynote of everything being worse for exposure to damp and cold, particularly the former.  It is also a respiratory system remedy par excellence, having a tissue affinity to the lungs.  On the mental and emotional side of things, it has great impatience and restlessness.  Valerie mentioned that when she felt particularly bad she would be restless, not being able to relax or get comfortable.  At the end of the consultation she asked how long the analysis would take, when would she get the remedy, how fast would it start to work?  At this point I asked her if impatience was one of her characteristics; she started laughing "Yes, and more so when I don't feel well".

She returned a month later and reported that whilst on the Dulcamara her chest had felt a lot better, breathing was easier, and the cough had gone.  However, when she stopped the course, her chest got a lot worse, and she had required a course of antibiotics; this was the point she was at now.  It was obvious that the remedy had not held, so I repeated it with a longer duration.

Valerie returned the next month, and repeated the same story.  Her chest got a lot better on the Dulcamara, but slipped when she stopped taking it.  However, she pointed out that her chest was not as bad as she would have expected based on previous winters.  I repeated the same remedy but at 200c instead.

The next month Valerie told me that the remedy had worked very well.  Her chest was much clearer and she felt much less 'mouldy'.  She was hardly coughing, and could sleep lying down.  In the interim she had been seeing her GP who had agreed with her request to reduce the steroids, which she had done a few weeks beforehand without any backlash.  She had also been swimming, something she had not been able to do for a while, and was unheard of over the winter.

I repeated the Dulcamara 200c and arranged to see her a month later.  In the interim she had another full assessment by her respiratory consultant.  When she came for her follow-up she was very pleased; she was breathing much more freely, her steroids had been reduced to a minimal dose with a view to stopping them, and her consultant wanted to know all about Dulcamara and what it does!  She had gone through the winter with no hospitalization and one course of antibiotics.

We are now another few months on and her chest remains good, so we are now embarking on trying to reduce her sensitivity to Aspergillus by giving her a combination of Aspergillus niger and A fumigatus at 6c, one tablet daily ongoing.  It is early days yet to see how this is working, but initial indications are good.


  1. sarah said..

    Any updates on this case please?
    Following with interest !

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About Dr Neil Slade

Dr Neil Slade  PhD LCH RSHom. Neil is a senior lecturer at two leading complementary therapy colleges and has two busy homeopathic practices. He is the Deputy Director of Pure Medicine in London's Harley Street. He regularly contributes articles to the national press, radio and television. Neil can be contacted on Tel: 01372 361669;

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