E. A. Farrington was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. In 1866 he graduated from the Homeopathic Medical College of Pennsylvania. In 1867 he entered the Hahnemann Medical College, graduating in 1868. He entered practice immediately after his graduation, establishing himself on Mount Vernon Street.
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Aranea was suggested by Grauvogl as one of the remedies for what he called the hydrogenoid constitution, this being a constitution which could not tolerate moisture. Under Aranea, all the symptoms are worse during damp weather or from dwelling in damp localities. Especially is this true with what we may call chronic intermittent fever, for which Aranea is the remedy when the symptoms are aggravated during every change to damp weather. The patient may feel very comfortable on a sunny day, but as soon as it becomes damp then he gets sick. During this aggravation, he complains of chilliness, followed by little or no fever. The chill is apt to be typical, occurring at the same hour every other day, every week, or at some regular period. You find also that the spleen is enlarged and the patient is subject to haemorrhages. The patient may or may not have been previously treated with quinine.
CINCHONA and CHININUM SULPHURICUM are both very similar to Aranea diadema in the periodical return of symptoms. They are both indicated in cases of swollen spleen, and of ague from living in damp places, etc.
CEDRON, of which it has been asserted that it will relieve the bite of the rattlesnake and modify hydrophobia, may also be regarded as an analogue of Aranea diadema and of the spider poisons generally. It is said to act best in nervous, excitable and even voluptuous patients, especially females. The febrile and neuralgic symptoms return with clock-like regularity. It is used in ague contracted in warm countries, or in low, marshy land, in which latter respect it offers some similarity to Aranea. But the former remedy has won favor mainly in hot climates, while the latter works well in chills contracted in cold and wet localities. The chill predominates, heat being slight or wanting. In Cedron, on the contrary, there is congestion to the head, flying heat in the face alternating with chill, and dry heat, with full, quick pulse.
Aranea also cures diarrhoea, and these patients are often troubled with this disorder. The stools are watery, and are associated with great rumbling in the bowels, as if considerable fermentation were going on within. The sleep is restless, and the patient, on awaking, has a symptom which is quite common to all medicines that affect the cerebrospinal nerves, and that is, SOME PART OF THE BODY FEELS AS IF IT WERE SWOLLEN. For example, on awaking from sleep, the arms or hands feel as if they were enormously large, far larger than natural.
Aranea is useful in toothache, especially worse in damp weather, and also as soon as the patient gets into bed. Here it reminds you of Mercurius.
There is a symptom of Aranea which I have not had the opportunity of observing in practice, and that is numbness of the parts supplied by the ulnar nerve.
Aranea also attacks the bones. It is especially indicated in disease of the os calcis, when the patient complains of boring, digging pain in that bone. This may be due to a simple periostitis, or it may be associated with caries. Sometimes there is a sensation as if the bones felt like ice. This is purely subjective.