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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Aurum is a remedy of not very extensive application, but still it is well marked in its limited sphere. Its antidotes are principally HEPAR, BELLADONNA, and MERCURIUS. I am not positive that there is a complement to Aurum. Now, in studying the action of this remedy we are to, keep in mind, first, this one prominent quality, its power of producing hyperaemia; and, secondly, its action on the emotional mind more than on the intellectual.
First, let us study the hyperaemia of Aurum. We find this in every part of the body on which it may act. It affects the heart, causing increased activity of that viscus. This increased activity of the heart is indicated by increased force of the heart-stroke, just as you find in pure cardiac hypertrophy without dilatation. As a result of this increased action, the heart enlarges, and you have, secondarily, hypertrophy of the heart. Consecutive to this trouble, you have a list of symptoms that are very characteristic. The lungs are too full of blood, or hyperaemic. This condition is exhibited in this manner: The patient on attempting to walk up hill, or use any little exertion, feels as though there were a crushing weight under the sternum. He feels that if he did not stop walking the blood would burst through the chest. Aurum relieves this kind of a case very nicely. According to Kafka, Aurum muriaticum is here preferable to the metallicum.
It is here very similar to AMMONIUM CARB., which has this crushing weight on the sternum; but this remedy has more tendency to somnolence, and is better suited to venous fulness than is Aurum.
This condition of the heart necessarily causes hypersemia in other organs. We find, for instance, this tendency to rush of blood to the head aggravated by mental labor, because study always increases the amount of blood in the brain, if there is any tendency to cerebral congestion. There is a feeling of fulness in the head, accompanied with roaring in the ears. The head feels sore and bruised, and the mind is confused. Sparks or flashes of light before the eyes show pressure on the retinal vessels. The face, in extreme cases of congestion, is rather bloated, and has a glassy look. Still further evidence of the hyperaemia in the eye is displayed by the ophthalmoscope. You find a sensation in the eye as though it were being pushed out, with a certain amount of tension there. Two errors of vision may be associated with these symptoms ; either he sees double, or he suffers from what is known as half-sight. Now, these symptoms are suggestive of hyperaemia of the brain, which may occur from various causes, among the most prominent being overwork with the eyes, and persistent use of the eyes, o.r working in hot places.
Glaucoma may suggest Aurum.
In scrofulous ophthalmia, we frequently find Aurum indicated, if there are present these symptoms of congestion. The bloodvessels are very much injected; pannus is present; great vascularity being characteristic in these cases calling for Aurum. In addition, you will find profuse scalding lachrymation. The eyes are very sensitive to the touch.
Aurum may be used in cases of syphilitic iritis when the eye is decidedly worse from touch. There is a very characteristic soreness around the eye, as if in the bones. Especially is it indicated in syphilitic cases after the abuse of mercury. In retinal congestion, you should compare with Aurum, BELLADONNA, GLONOIN and SULPHUR.
In syphilitic iritis, with that sore bruised sensation around the eyes, compare ASAFOETIDA. This remedy, however, has less of that sensitiveness around the eyes. You may also compare here, MERCURIUS CORROSIVUS and NITRIC ACID.
The nose, too, is congested and has a red knobby tip, greatly disfiguring the face. This may exist as a sequel to the long indulgence in alcohol, or it may be found in children as a symptom of scrofula. If the latter is the case, it is often accompanied by the characteristic catarrh for which Aurum is the remedy.
In nasal catarrh or ozaena it is indicated when the nostrils are sore and cracked. There is foetid nasal discharge, often accompanied by caries of the nasal bones. There is ulceration of the soft parts with perforation of the nasal septum. It is especially indicated in cases of scrofulous or mercurio-syphilitic origin.
The Aurum symptoms of the ears are not very numerous but are suggestive. The ears are congested and you find roaring in the ears, as I suggested a few moments ago. Further than this, you find great sensitiveness to noises. Now, it is sometimes indicated in catarrh of the middle ear. In these cases, you note a foetid otorrhoea. In addition to this, you will very likely find the membrana tympani seriously damaged. The external auditory meatus and the mastoid process of the temporal bone become affected by direct spread of the disease. There are boring pains in the mastoid process. The trouble may progress to caries. I have already shown you illustrations of this effect of Aurum on the bones. You noticed that it was indicated in iritis with pains in the bones around the orbits ; and you know also that it affects the nasal bones, producing caries there.
In this affection of the mastoid process, NITRIC ACID is the nearest ally to the Aurum metallicum.
For simple soreness or inflammation beginning in the mastoid cells, CAPSICUM has won some laurels, but for caries of this process, AURUM, SILICEA, AND NITRIC ACID are the best remedies.
Aurum has some throat symptoms. The tonsils are apt to be red and swollen, and the parotid gland on the affected side feels sore, as if contused. The hard palate may be carious. With all this, there is a mercurial or syphilitic history. I have dwelt on these symptoms because they are those which Aurum has most frequently removed.
Eeturning to the circulatory disturbances of Aurum, we find a hyperaemia of the kidneys. This is shown in the beginning by simple increase in the amount of urine passed. By and by, the kidneys begin to undergo fatty degeneration. The urine then grows scanty and albuminous, or there may be granular or cirrhosed kidney. Aurum will not do any good in these cases, unless the renal trouble is secondary to some heart affection.
The nearest remedy pathologically to Aurum in granular kidney is PLUMBUM.
We find, too, that the genital organs are affected by this hyperaemia and there is strong tendency to erections. The testicles become inflamed, particularly the right. Aurum is especially suited to chronic orchitis, particularly when the right testicle is affected.
As another sequel to this effect of Aurum, we find hepatic congestion. The liver is swollen consecutive to cardiac disease. This hypersemia is associated with burning and cutting in the right hypochondrium. As the hyperaemia continues, the liver becomes cirrhosed or else undergoes fatty degeneration. Ascites appears. The stools are of a grayish or ashy-white color from defective amount of bile, and we have here as in almost all ailments in which Aurum is the remedy, a peculiar state of the emotional mind, a melancholy or a low-spiritedness, which I shall describe to you presently.
The lungs also are hyperaemia There is great oppression of the chest which is worse at night, particularly in the first part of the night; it is worse from prolonged exercise, from prolonged walking. The face may be purple. In extreme cases, syncope may take place.
On the female organs, we find Aurum acting powerfully, causing congestion of the uterus. The uterus becomes prolapsed from its great weight. It is enlarged from chronic congestion. This is the form of prolapsus which Aurum will cure, and no other. The ordinary remedies for prolapsus, such as Lilium or Nux vomica, cannot relieve this case, because the prolapsus is not the main characteristic. The cause of the prolapsus is the weight of the organ and not the relaxation of the ligaments or weakness of the general system.
There is another salt of gold which has been successfully substituted for Aurum metallicum in these cases, and that is AURUM MURIATICUM NATRONATUM. This has been used in the second and third potencies for prolapsed and indurated uterus.
Aurum has some very characteristic mental symptoms. In almost all cases in which it is the similimum, there is present a melancholy with disposition to weep, or with a feeling of self-condemnation, as if he was not fit to live. This feeling of self-condemnation or worthlessness may amount to despair, sometimes even taking the form of religious mania. He prays all the time. He is sure that he is going to be condemned.
He has suicidal thoughts, if he does not make actual attempts at suicide. With all this there is a great deal of mental anguish, which mental anguish is associated with praecordial distress, by which I mean distressed feeling referred to the cardiac region. In addition to the melancholy, Aurum also produces weakness of the memory. Decided anger may also be characteristic of the remedy. Any contradiction or dispute excites the patient furiously. He becomes red in the face and his pugnacity is aroused. Mental labor becomes irksome to the patient. He is very apt to suffer from headaches which are of a congestive character as has already been described.
Next, we have to study the action of Aurum on the bones. This I will dismiss in a very few words. It is useful in caries of the cranial bones, and of the bones about the nose and palate, particularly after the abuse of mercury, whether the case be syphilitic or not.