Tarantula, besides causing cramps of the circular fibres of the heart, like Cactus, Iodine, Kali C., Lachesis and Digitalis, differs from them in producing contractions of the spiral fibres….

THE translation of Tarantula from the Spanish of Nunez, received so severe a criticism from Dr. S.A..Jones, that professional opinion may vary as to its efficacy. Dr. Lilienthal’s kind reply must do much in its favour, and a thorough study of the provings can not but exhibit how beautifully each part harmonizes with every other; a sure test of the truth of the whole.

As a mite on the side of confirmation, I venture to subjoin the following case;

Mrs. C., aged 40, long under treatment for “Irritable Spine” and its consecutive troubles. After a fruitless trial of Conium, cimicifuga, Nat. Mur., Sepia, etc. Tarantula 30 was employed, indicated by excessive hyperaesthesia; the least excitement irritates, to be followed ennui and sadness; slight touch along the spine provoked spasmodic pains in the chest, and indescribable distress in the cardiac region; at times the heart feels, as if twisted over (spiral fibres). On the third day, there appeared an intense headache, as though thousands of needles were pricking into the brain; the body burned all over. Headache was better by rubbing the head against the pillow; she trembled so, she could hardly talk. On the following day her menses appeared without her usual suffering and a leucorrhoea of years duration, disappeared (I can scarcely think permanently since so suddenly). The spinal and heart symptoms, however, gradually ceased, leaving no apparent structural changes. How permanent these effects will be, time only can decide.

It is worthy of remark, that Tarantula, besides causing cramps of the circular fibres of the heart, like Cactus, Iodine, Kali C., Lachesis and Digitalis, differs from them in producing contractions of the spiral fibres. Herein it stands almost alone. These spiral fibres end in the columnae carneae and hence influence the capillary muscles thus causing the murmurs spoken of in the chronic symptoms.

The symptoms of the aorta, distension, sensation, as if torn or squeezed or stretched or bursting, remind one of Aortitis. Dr. Bright found extreme sensitiveness of the surface, as prominent in aortal inflammation, and we find this especially over the left chest and down the left arm, in the proving of Tarantula.

If rheumatism is checked by putting the extremities in cold water and there follow, panting respiration, anxiety, cramps in the heart or twisting pains; pulse full, hard, frequent; and especially if the aorta feels full, tense, stretched, with stitching pains, morning and night, cold extremities, Tarantula may do more than Veratrum V., Lachesis or Belladonna.

In regard to the relief the patient experienced from rubbing her head against the pillow, we see here expressed one of the most characteristic indications for the medicine. The termini of the nerves become so irritated, that some kind of friction is resorted to, in order to obtain relief. All through the proving, we find this irritation, varying with the part affected; “must move hands or legs; must rub head against something; must roll something between the fingers; must put fingers in mouth etc.”.

The mode of “working off” over-excited nervous states, will often give us accurate indications for medicines. For example,

Belladonna drinks hastily; tears his breasts.

Veratrum tears his clothes.

E. A. Farrington
E. A. Farrington (1847-1885) was born in Williamsburg, NY, on January 1, 1847. He began his study of medicine under the preceptorship of his brother, Harvey W. Farrington, MD. In 1866 he graduated from the Homoeopathic 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. Books by Ernest Farrington: Clinical Materia Medica, Comparative Materia Medica, Lesser Writings With Therapeutic Hints.