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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Spigelia is a member of the order Loganiaceae. To understand it as a remedy is not a difficult thing to do, if we start with the idea that it acts on the nerves as a neuralgic remedy, having as a grand characteristic, neuralgia. Associated with these neuralgic symptoms we almost always find symptoms sympathetic from the head, whether these be neuralgic or not. Mentally, we find the patient exhibiting fear, anxiety, forebodings, as though something was about to happen. This is a very common symptom with nervous neuralgic men and women, especially those whose nerves are very much weakened. Another symptom which sometimes appears is fearfulness of pointed things ; for instance, the patient is afraid of pins. There is often, also, praecordial anguish.
The neuralgia itself, if it involve the head, begins in the occiput and comes forward and settles over the left eye. It may also involve (he cheeks, especially the left. It also has burning, jerking, tearing pains, worse from any noise, or from any jarring of the body. They are usually worse, too, in change of weather, especially in stormy weather. At the acme of the pain there is usually bilious vomiting. The period of exacerbation is quite marked. The pain begins in the morning with the sun, increases during the day, and diminishes toward evening.
We often find Spigelia indicated in sick-headache when the patient can bear neither noise nor jarring of the body.
Spigelia is our mainstay in ciliary neuralgia. This may be in either eye, more frequently, however, in the left. The eye symptoms are the following: There may be photophobia from slight retinitis; sharp stabbing pains in the eye, or radiating from the eye. The supraorbital region is tender to touch. The eye-ball feels swollen as if too large for the orbit. Associated with these symptoms are lachrymation and coryza.
Three remedies are here to be compared with Spigelia. The first of them is MEZEREUM. This is useful in ciliary neuralgia. The pains radiate and shoot downward. There is a cold feeling in the eye as though a stream of cold air was blowing on the eye. It is especially indicated when the bones are involved, especially after the abuse of mercury.
Another remedy is THUJA. This is useful in ciliary neuralgia. Like Mezereum it has cold feeling in the eye, but the pains take the opposite direction, they go upward and backward.
Still another remedy to be thought of is CEDRON.
Spigelia is a valuable heart remedy. It is to be thought of when there are sharp stitching pains referred to the left chest, and shooting into the arm and neck ; when on placing the hand over the heart there is a peculiar purring feeling. The patient is worse from the slightest motion of hands or arms. He cannot lie down. The pulse is not synchronous with the heart.
Spigelia may be used in worms. It causes the following symptoms: Strabismus from abdominal irritation, jerking over the eyes, paleness of the face, with blue rings around the eyes. The patient feels faint and nauseated on awaking in the morning when there is hunger, which is relieved by breakfast; colic worse about the navel; stool consisting of mucus, faeces, and worms.