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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Stannum is a drug that Las not many symptoms, hence it can be disposed of very quickly. Its complement is PULSATILLA.
The STANNUM patient is usually sad and lachrymose, just like Pulsatilla. Crying usually makes the patient worse. This low-spiritedness is found in the lung troubles for which Stannum is your remedy. This is rather different from the usual mental state of consumptives, who, you all know, are generally hopeful, almost to the last hour of life. Stannum is particularly indicated when they are low-spirited, hence it is rarely indicated in true tuberculosis. The woman for whom Stannum is indicated is also nervous and weak; so nervous, irritable, and weak is she, that she becomes anxious and has palpitation of the heart, even from so little exertion as giving directions concerning her household affairs. This nervous exhaustion is exhibited in various ways; it is particularly induced when the patient goes down stairs, more than when ascending. She feels as if she could not walk down stairs, or as if she had not sufficient strength in her limbs. You may see this exhaustion in another way: The patient does not complain much about walking, but on trying to sit down she fairly drops into the chair. That is not an imaginary symptom. You will meet it in uterine affections.
In the mental symptoms you may compare Stannum with NATRUM MUR., PULSATILLA, and SEPIA. Natrum mur. has a melancholy, sad, weeping mood. Consolation seems to aggravate. On trying to comfort him, he becomes enraged.
The Pulsatilla patient is of a mild, tearful, yielding disposition. She rather likes consolation. She has scanty, delayed menses, while Stannum has the opposite.
The SEPIA patient has sadness concerning her own health, while she exhibits great indifference to her family. She is easily offended and is inclined to be vehement.
In this relaxation of tissue, producing goneness or weakness, we have several remedies. First of all, when you find patients are weak from talking, compare the following remedies, COCCULUS, VERATRUM ALB., SULPHUR and CALCAREA OSTREARUM.
For the functional paralysis that may come from fatigue or from mental emotions, compare with Stannum, COCCULUS, IGNATIA, PHOSPHORUS, NATRUM MUR., and COLLINSONIA.
The Stannum patient is troubled with disordered digestion, otherwise called dyspepsia. There are nausea and vomiting in the morning, or the odor of cooking causes vomiting. This last symptom is a particularly strong indication for Stannum, especially in women. There is weak, gone feeling in the stomach, as in SEPIA; also bitter taste in the mouth. The rectum is inactive. Much urging is required to evacuate even a soft stool. The face is apt to be pale and sunken, with dark rings around the eyes. These symptoms indicate debility, with which women suffer and they are the symptoms of worms. They may call for the exhibition of Stannum when worms are present. It may be indicated even when convulsions result from the irritation of these parasites, thus placing it alongside of CINA, ARTEMISIA, etc.
Men may require Stannum when they are hypochondriacal. They have gastralgic pains which compel them to walk about for relief, and they are so weak that this exercise is very fatiguing to them. The tongue is coated yellowish.
The Stannum patient suffers from prolapsus uteri. This prolapsus so often calls for Stannum, that Dr. Richard Hughes generally finds it useful for simple prolapsus uteri. You will find, too, that under Stannum the vagina is prolapsed. These prolapsus symptoms are worse during stool. The menses are always profuse. The leucorrhcea corresponds with the prevailing character of the drug. It is yellowish or else it is clear mucus, and is always associated with unbearable weakness. The patient is so weak that she can scarcely move about. So great is the prostration, that on dressing in the morning, she has to sit down several times to rest. There is trembling of the arms and legs. The limbs feel as heavy as lead. This weakness is always worse when descending, as when going down stairs or assuming a sitting posture.
These uterine symptoms may be associated with weak or gone feeling in the chest. The patient feels so weak she can scarcely talk.
As somewhat similar to Stannum in prolapsus uteri with aggravation of symptoms during stool, you may remember PODOPHYLLUM, which has prolapsus uteri with diarrhoea. The stool is usually green and comes with a rush.
As you might expect, a patient, so thoroughly weakened as to the nervous system as is the Stannum patient, must suffer from neuralgia. The general characteristic guiding you to its use is, THE PAINS INCREASE AND DECREASE SLOWLY. They are especially liable to occur in the course of the supra-orbital nerve. With this character to the pain, we find Stannum useful in prosopalgia following intermittent fever and abuse of quinine.
In these pains that increase and decrease slowly, the nearest remedies are PLATINA and STRONTIANA CARB.
Epilepsy has been treated with Stannum, particularly when reflex from abdominal irritation as from the presence of worms in the intestinal canal. The patient has a pale face and dark rings around the eyes, and colic, which is relieved by pressing firmly on the abdomen. If the child is old enough to describe his sensations, he will complain of a sweetish taste in the mouth.
Next the action of Stannum on mucous membranes. When it is the remedy, you find that there is copious secretion from the mucous membranes. This is bland and unirritating and is yellowish or yellowish-green ; hence, it is a mucopurulent secretion. Sometimes, although not so often, this mucus is tenacious, viscid and intermixed with blood. The mucus collects very rapidly in the chest and is quite easily expectorated, with great relief to the patient. The oppression, the weakness, and the tightness of the chest are all relieved when this sputum is raised. The voice which is husky and hoarse, seems to be raised in pitch by this expectoration. Dyspnoea, too, is decidedly better after expectoration. The cough is very annoying and teasing. It is worse at night and is excited by talking and walking rapidly. The patient, in addition, complains of that weakness of the chest. It seems as if he had no strength there whatever. Dyspnoea comes on worse towards evening.
Now these are the symptoms which indicate Stannum in cases of neglected cold. They also suggest the drug in what has been very properly termed catarrhal phthisis. There is marked hectic fever. The chills come characteristically at ten o’clock in the morning. Towards evening the patient becomes flushed and hot, with aggravation of his symptoms on any exertion. At night he has profuse sweat, which is particularly worse towards four or five o’clock in the morning. Let me say here that in this hectic fever, with chill at ten o’clock in the morning, I have several times tried NATRUM MUR., but without obtaining any benefit from it.
Stannum is a remedy which you must select with great care, or it will surely disappoint you. You must have the weakness present. When you find Stannum insufficient in catarrhal phthisis, you may think of the following remedies :
SILICEA is indicated in catarrhal as well as in true tubercular phthisis when there is cough, which is increased by rapid motion. There is copious rattling of phlegm in the chest. The expectoration is more purulent than that of Stannum. There are usually vomicae in the lungs. You will find Silicea frequently indicated in the catarrhal phthisis of old people.
PHOSPHORUS must often be carefully compared with Stannum, as the two remedies are frequently misused for each other. Both have hoarseness, evening aggravation, weak chest, cough, copious sputum, hectic, etc. Phosphorus has more blood or blood-streaks, tightness across the chest, etc.
SENEGA is a drug which produces great soreness in the walls of the chest and great accumulation of clear albuminous mucus which is difficult of expectoration. These symptoms are often accompanied by pressure on the chest as though the lungs were pushed back to the spine. It is especially indicated in fat persons of lax fibre. This Senega contains SENEGIN or POLYGALIC ACID, which is identical in composition with SAPONIN, the active principle of the QUILLAYA SAPONARIA. This also produces the same kind of relaxed cold as the Senega does.
COCCUS CACTI is useful in whooping cough, with vomiting of great ropes of clear albuminous mucus. It may be useful in catarrhal phthisis when, with this ropy phlegm, there are sharp stitching pains under the clavicles.
BALSAM OF PERU is indicated in catarrhal phthisis by copious purulent expectoration. We know but little concerning this drug. We must, therefore, adopt the expedient of selecting it by a process of exclusion.
YERBA SANTA or the ERYODICTION CALIFORNICUM is indicated when there is asthmatic breathing from accumulation of mucus. There are considerable emaciation and fever.
Among other remedies with much phlegm on the chest are, ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM and TARTARICUM, CHAMOMILLA, BELLADONNA, CALCAREA OSTREARUM, CALCAREA PHOSPHORICA and IPECACUANHA (in children), LYCOPODIUM, SULPHUR, PHOSPHORUS, BALSAM OF PERU (purulent sputum) HEPAR, SCILLA, YERBA SANTA (fever, emaciation, asthma from mucus), COPAIVA (profuse greenish-gray, disgusting-smelling sputa) ; ILLICIUM ANISATUM (pus, with pain at third cartilage, RIGHT or left); PIX LIQ. (purulent sputum ; pain at left third costal cartilage); MYOSOTIS (copious sputa, emaciation, night sweat).
In pleurisy you find Stannum indicated by sharp, knife-like stitches beginning in the left axilla and extending up into the left clavicle. Sometimes, they extend from the left side down into the abdomen. They are worse from bending forward, from pressure and on inspiration.
Stannum is sometimes used in functional paralysis arising from onanism or from emotions. Sometimes persons of the weak, nervous temperament I have described, are so affected by emotions as to lose the power of motion. Here Stannum compares with STAPHISAGRIA and NATRUM MUR.