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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The remainder of the hour we will devote to Thuja occidentalis, the last member of this group, and we will have ample time to consider it fully. The history of the introduction of this drug is a little novel. Hahnemann received in his office on one occasion a patient who complained of some symptoms about the genital organs, which were, to say the least, suspicious. There was a thick purulent discharge from the urethra, with burning oh urinating. There were also small pimples, attended with itching, about the glans penis, and some swelling of the parts. Hahnemann charged his patient with having contracted gonorrhoea. This was stoutly denied by the patient, who, by the way, was a theological student. However, on the principle prevailing in every court to consider a man innocent until he has been proved guilty, Hahnemann determined to give the young man no medicine, and directed him to report in three days. At the end of that time he came back well. Hahnemann was puzzled. He questioned the patient closely, but found no cause. The young gentleman remembered, however, that as he sauntered through a garden a few days before, he picked some leaves of the arbor vitas and chewed them. This led Hahnemann to investigate the properties of Thuja, when he discovered that the theological student had told the truth.
However, Thuja must not be immolated in sycosis, because it has other interesting actions on the system, especially upon the nervous system. While you must remember that these nervous phenomena may rest on a sycotic basis, you should also know that they may exist without the presence of any such taint. Grauvogl tells us of the hydrogenoid constitution in which the poison of gonorrhoea acts most virulently. If one with this constitution contracts the disease, he is more apt to retain the constitutional taint. This constitution may even exist independent of a sycotic taint. In its victims vaccination is most injurious. When you find a patient suffering from vaccination, the virus being pure, you may set that patient down as belonging to the hydrogenoid constitution. We have two antidotes to these bad effects of vaccination, SILICEA, which suits almost any of the symptoms, even convulsions, and THUJA, especially if diarrhoea results and the vaccine pustules are very large. It was on account of this last-named symptom that Boenninghausen recommended Thuja in variola. He gave it just so soon as the vesicles began to turn into pustules, and he claimed to have thereby prevented scarring.
But to return to a study of the action of Thuja on the nervous system. The patient exhibits a manner which is hurried and impatient. He talks hurriedly. Bis movements are unnaturally active and hurried. His temper is easily aroused. Even trifles make him angry and excited. Some of the gentler emotions are awakened. For instance, music causes weeping and trembling about the feet. There is a form of insanity or mania in which you will find Thuja the only remedy, and that is one in which there is the fixed idea in the patient’s mind, that he is made of some brittle substance, and he will not permit himself to be approached for fear that he will be broken. This is not the ANTIMONIUM CRUDUM condition. It is not an irritability of mind that drives any one and every one away, will not permit one’s self to be even looked at, but it is a symptom that comes from some fixed delusion as to his bodily composition.
Another singular characteristic of Thuja is one that was first met with in an old maid. She experienced a sensation as though a living child were in the abdomen. This symptom has suggested the use of Thuja in pseudo-cyesis.
With these symptoms of the nervous system indicating the drug in melancholia, and other forms of insanity, we find that there are many disturbances in the circulation, ebullition of blood, in other words. Still further as illustrating the action of this drug on the nervous system, we find various forms of neuralgia occurring. Thus it is indicated in the form of headache known as clavus, in which the patient has a sensation as though a nail were being driven into the vertex, or into one or the other of the frontal eminences. Thuja may also be used in neuralgia, affecting either head or face or both. The pains are of an intense stabbing character, and are well-nigh unbearable. If the patient sits up these pains almost drive him to destruction ; they may even produce unconsciousness. He, therefore, maintains the horizontal posture. The pains seem to begin about the face, about the malar bones and eyes, and go back towards the head. It is a neuralgia which reminds us of that of SPIGELIA, but which we distinguish from that of the last-named remedy by the direction of the symptoms. In Spigelia the pains begin in the back of the head and come forward.
After detailing to you these unique nervous symptoms, I pass to state the application of the drug to sycosis. Remember that these nervous phenomena may or may not have a sycotic basis. Thuja is a remedy which tends to alter the sycotic constitution, to change the soil on which this poison grows. There are two elements which make up disease, they are the elements of the disease itself, and those of the constitution in which it grows. The sycotic constitution to which I have referred, modifies every subsequent disease, and that, too, whether there be any urethral discharge or not.
In gonorrhoea, you may use Thuja when the discharge is thin and greenish, and there is scalding pain during urination. After urination, there is a sensation as if there were a drop of urine remaining behind. Warts or condylomata appear on the genitals, at the anus, about the perineum and upon mucous surfaces. I have treated one case in which the wart formed on the centre of the tongue. This was speedily cured by Thuja. These warts may have a seedy look, or they may be of a cauliflower shape. Cauliflower excrescences are especially apt to grow from the cervix uteri. In other cases, these warts are moist and ooze a glutinous fluid. Sometimes, we find ulcers about the genitals and these bear very much the appearance of chancroids. They have a dirty yellow base with hard edges. Very characteristic are such ulcers if they seem to have originated from warts. Sometimes, we note deep fissures, or furrows about the anus, on the perineum, scrotum or glans penis. These are quite deep and are covered with pus. There is sweet smelling sweat about the genital organs. The testicles are often involved, one or the other of these organs, being drawn up in consequence of contraction of the cremaster muscle. The testicle is swollen and aches as if bruised. There may be balanorrhoea, that is purulent inflammation of the inner surface of the prepuce, and of the sulcus back of the corona glandis.
In the female organs, we find the cauliflower excrescenses which I have already mentioned, fungus growths of venereal origin about the genitals, condylomata with thick green leucorrhoea corresponding to the thin greenish-yellow gleet of the male.
Again if a gonorrhoea be checked by injection, by cold or by any other influence, constitutional symptoms may arise which call for Thuja. Especially is this remedy indicated if the complication be articular rheumatism, or prostatitis. The hair becomes dry and splits at the ends, the scalp scaly and covered with dry scurf.
Thuja is even the remedy when iritis appears, especially when accompanied by condylomata on the iris. The eyelids are inflamed and have a warty look also.
Ozsena may be an additional complication. When Thuja is indicated the discharge is thick and green.
Another very common symptom indicative of a sycotic taint, for which you may use Thuja, is decay at the root of the teeth, the crowns of the teeth being apparently normal. Other symptoms worthy of mention are pustules, which have considerable resemblance to those of TARTAR EMETIC, and chilliness during urination, nervousness and restlessness during both night and day.
I propose now to devote the remaining moments of the hour to the consideration of the remedies similar to Thuja in the above mentioned conditions. One of the nearest allies to Thuja is PULSATILLA, in that it has ozsena with thick greenish discharge. In gleet, also, the remedies have the same discharge, it being thicker under Pulsatilla. Then, too, gonorrhoeal rheumatism, orchitis and prostatitis, are just as characteristic of Pulsatilla as of Thuja.
KALI BICHROMICUM is useful in ozsena occurring in sycotic constitutions, the discharge being yellowish or more often greenish. The nose feels unnaturally dry. Dark greenish plugs are hawked up from the postnasal space.
NITRIC ACID resembles Thuja in the condylomata or warts. It is also of use in ulcers, when they are ragged in outline, and in enlarged tonsils, whether these affections be of syphilitic or of gonorrhoeal origin.
Nitric acid also has moist fissure at the anus which is present, as you know, under Thuja, balanorrhoea and thin greenish leucorrhoea. Nitric acid has, however, to distinguish it from Thuja, more aching pains in the bones, especially in those localities devoid of muscular-tissue covering as along the tibia, and over the sternum and cranium.
STAPHYSAGRIA suits long filiform condylomata. The system generally is depraved as shown in the sallowness of the face, the dark rings about the eyes, the spongy gums, the yellowish white skin, and the great debility. It is especially indicated when there has been previous mercurialization. There is generally induration of one or the other testicle.
I would like to mention here JACARANDA. This is a South American plant that was first proved by Muir. It is an excellent remedy for balanorrhoea, and for red chancroid or chancroid-like sores about the penis. It has been proved conclusively to be a good remedy.
CORALLIUM RUBRUM IS an excellent remedy for chancre-like sores that are very red.
MERCURIUS resembles Thuja in the iritis, in the balanorrhoea, and in the green urethral discharge and in the rheumatism. The difference lies here: In Mercurius, sweating aggravates the symptoms, as does also the warmth of the bed. Thuja has this symptom which is not often met with, but which saved a life for Bcenninghausen, namely uncovered parts of the body only, sweat.
SABINA is useful for condylomata which itch and burn, especially in women.
EUPHRASIA is called for when the condylomata are large and look like a cock’s comb.
CINNABARIS is an excellent remedy when there is a combination of syphilis and sycosis. The figwarts are apt to be fan-shaped. There is a great deal of itching, especially about the joints.
The complement of Thuja in these sycotic troubles is NATRUM SULPH.
SARSAPARILLA is indicated when a sycotic eruption consisting of little spots scarcely raised above the skin, often scaling a little, but looking like the roseola of syphilis, and itching intolerably, and worse in the spring; also when a moist eruption appears on the scalp, the pus from which causes inflammation of any part which it touches. Sycotic headache is found under Sarsaparilla. The pain begins in the back of the head, and comes forward and settles at the root of the nose, with swelling of the nose; moist eruption about the genitals, or between the scrotum and the thighs.
PETROLEUM also has this last named symptom; and in addition another, namely; membranous shreds about the anus.