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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Psorinum has been proved sufficiently to enable us to use it successfully in the treatment of disease. We find it especially indicated in constitutions which are psoric (to use Hahnemann’s word), in those who are subject to glandular and cutaneous affections, and who do not react to the apparently well-chosen remedy. For example, the remedy suited to your case is Pulsatilla. The symptoms seem to call for it. The prescription is in accord with every rule of “Institutes,” and yet relief is but transient. In such cases, you know that there is some dyscrasia underlying the disease, and this must be removed or modified before you can hope to successfully cope with the disease. Again, you are treating a case of scarlatina; your prescriptions avail nothing, and the little one dies. Many of these cases would be saved if we investigated this branch of our materia medica more thoroughly. The various constitutions or dyscrasia underlying chronic and acute affections are, indeed, very numerous. As yet, we do not know them all. We do know that one of them comes in gonorrhoea, a disease which is frightfully common, so that the constitution arising from this disease is rapidly on the increase. Now I want to tell you why it is so. It is because allopathic physicians, and many homeopaths as well, do not properly cure it. I do not believe, gonorrhoea to be a local disease. If it is not properly cured, a constitutional poison which may be transmitted to the children is developed. I know, from years of experiment and observation, that gonorrhoea is a serious difficulty, and one, too, that complicates many cases that we have to treat. The same is true of syphilis in a modified degree. Gonorrhoea seems to attack the nobler tissues, the lungs, the heart, and the nervous system, all of which are reached by syphilis only after the lapse of years.
To return from this digression: PSORINUM is to be thought of in cases similar to Sulphur, where there is a decided psoric taint, and the well-chosen remedy refuses to act. Let us look at some of the symptoms, and so note the way that Psorinum affects the tissues. It causes an eruption on the skin, and this is usually of an herpetic character, and is accompanied by great itching. This itching is intolerably worse as soon as the patient gets warm in bed. By and by, you will observe that the skin has a dirty, dingy look, as though the patient had never washed himself (which may not be the case). In some places the skin has a coarse look as though bathed in oil. The sebaceous glands secrete in excess. The eruption is especially noticed in children about the scalp. It may involve the whole scalp, but it is found characteristically from the scalp down either side of the face, involving the cheeks and ears, like tinea capitis, which it is, in fact. This eruption is, at times, moist, and oozes a matter which is quite offensive. At other times it is dry, furfuraceous, as it is then called. There is usually associated with these skin symptoms an otorrhoea which is thin, ichorous, a.d horribly offensive, having an odor like that of rotten meat. Ulcers appear on the legs, usually about the tibia or around the ankles or other joints. These ulcers have but this to characterize them, THEY ARE SLOW TO HEAL; they are indolent. I may also observe here, that the herpetic and itching eruptions just referred to are more apt to appear in the bends of joints, in the bends of the elbows, and in the popliteal spaces. The child is greatly emaciated. The entire surface of the body emits an offensive odor, which persists despite the most careful washing. This comes from the condition of the skin and from the defective action of the cutaneous glands. They do not properly eliminate, and consequently the discharges remain and undergo decomposition and give off this odor, which can never be cured until the child’s skin is cured.
In summer time, these children are very apt to have cholera infantum. There is no remedy that replaces Psorinum in its range of symptoms in this disease. The children are apt to be nervous and restless at night as a precursory symptom to the cholera infantum. They awake at night as if frightened, or they cry out during sleep; then, two or three nights afterwards, they begin with diarrhoea; the stools are profuse and watery, dark brown or even black in color, very offensive, almost putrid in odor, and are worse at night.
We also find Psorinum indicated in the bad effects of suppressed itch. This disease is produced, you know, by the itch insect. You are justified in using as a local application anything that will kill the insect but not suppress the disease. Such an application you have in OIL OF LAVENDER, which kills both the insects and their ova. When itch has been suppressed, Psorinum is an excellent remedy to redevelop it; usually, too, it will cure the disease after its redevelopment.
Psorinum is also useful when pustules or boils remain after itch has been cured by some other remedy.
There is another use which may be made of Psorinum which I have not mentioned, but which is as important as any others. Sometimes, after acute or violent diseases, we find the patient greatly prostrated. For instance, after typhoid fever; he is depressed in mind, weak in body, low-spirited, hopeless of recovery, and yet you know that there is no absolute certainty that the patient cannot get well, that there are no organic changes remaining. He has weakening night-sweats. In such cases, Psorinum is your remedy.
In such cases, you may also think of CHINA or CINCHONA which is an excellent remedy for rapid exhaustion following acute diseases, especially when there has been loss of blood, protracted or profuse diarrhoea, or profuse sweat. It is similar to Psorinum in the night-sweat; but the latter is the remedy when there is the mental state just described —this despair of recovery.
LAUROCERASUS is to be thought of when there is lack of reaction, especially in chest troubles.
CAPSICUM is indicated in lack of reaction occurring in persons of lax fibre.
OPIUM is a very superior remedy in these cases, when the patient is stupid and drowsy.
VALERIAN and AMBRA GRISEA are to be used in nervous affections when the apparently well-chosen remedy fails.
CARBO VEG. is indicated in cases of abdominal disease when there is great coldness of the body. The breath is cold; the pulse is rapid.
Psorinum is very similar, as you see, to SULPHUR. It complements that remedy. It is inimical to LACHESIS, and is antidoted by COFFEA.