We feel after persual of some Homoeopathic literature that a certain stimulus may be given to the more enthusiastic study of our materia medica, if we publish a series of questions formulated by Farrington some fifty years ago…

(The following questions were formulated by the late Dr.E.A. Farrington and published by him without answers, in pamphlet from, in January, 1876.)


The time is ripe and has long since been ripe for us as Homoeopaths to take to ourselves somewhat of the enthusiasm of our foregoers in or Materia Medica. A world-renowned surgeon has taken a strong step for the establishment of at least the plausibility of our method of therapy. Harvey Cushing, in the Cameron Prize Lectures, delivered in 1925 at Edinburgh, says:

“And now that the smoke of battle has cleared and we no longer hear the barrage of the shot gun prescriptions of our predecessors, we many even salute the infinitesimal Hahnemann and look upon Osler’s contempt for most drugs as indirectly a great benefaction of practical therapeutics”

Let us avail ourselves of our heritage. That sincere but based antagonist of Homoeopathy, Oliver Wendell Holmes, in a lecture before the Harvard Medical School, once said;

“I firmly believe that if the whole Materia Medica could be sunk to the bottom of the sea, it would be all the better for mankind and all the worse for fishes”.

We admire Holmes, both as a physician and a literateur. We disagree with him in the use of the word “whole” instead of the word “much”. Had the latter word been used we would have been in hearty accord. We feel after persual of some Homoeopathic literature that a certain stimulus may be given to the more enthusiastic study of our materia medica, if we publish a series of questions formulated by Farrington some fifty years ago and answer the questions from certain symptoms confirmed with accord by Hahnemann, Hering, Lippe, and the elder Raue and Korndoerfer.




Section 1.

1. What changes are made in the Blood by Lachesis?

High grade hemolysis and anti-coagulant action. Indicative symptomatology : Haemorrhagic diathesis.

Blood dark, non-coagulable; small wounds bleed much.

2. What changes are made in the Blood by Apis?

Indicative symptomatology; Phlebitis, ecchymotic spots, varicose veins, dropsies.

3. What changes are made in Serous Membrane by Bryonia? Inflammations (dry).

Indicative symptomatology : Tearing stitch-like pain in chest in the region of diaphragm and various joints.

4. What changes are made in the Skin by Rhus Tox.?

Inflammation-Vesicular, macular, papular, pustular lesions.

Indicative symptomatology : Intolerable itching, red measly rash all over body. Urticaria, ivy-poisoning, Pemphigus.

5. What changes are made in Capillaries by Hamamelis?

Relaxation of capillary circulation (venous). Venous congestion. Passive haemorrhage.

Indicative symptomatology : Venous haemorrhage from all orifices of the body. Varicose veins.

6. What changes are made in Buccal Mucous Membrane by Arum Tri.?


Indicative symptomatology : Excessive acrid saliva; buccal cavity raw, sore, bleeding.

7. What changes are made in Mucous Membranes by Lycopodium?

Catarrhal inflammation.

Indicative symptomatology : Over-sensitiveness to hearing and smell. Mouth and tongue dry, without thirst. Bitter taste in morning.

8. What changes are made in Mammary Glands by Conium?

Inflammation and tumefaction.

Indicative symptomatology : Tumors of mammae, with piercing pain worse at night; gland abnormally tender.

9. What changes are made in the Urine by Bryonia?

Renal inflammation (complicating acute infectious disease, Scarlet Fever).

Indicative symptomatology : Urine loaded with albumin. Face bloated below the eyes; burning in the urethra when not urinating.

10. What changes are made in the Glands by Mercury? Inflammation, with or without suppuration.

11. What changes are made in the Skin by Arsenic?

Anaemic appearance, pasty; later, yellow and scaly. Dryness, burning, itching, inflammation and ulcerated; associated with the appearance of petechiae. Indicative symptomatology : Herpetic eruption, itching and burning. Petechiae. Blue spots. Urticaria.

12. What changes are made in the Throat by Belladonna?

Acute inflammation.

Indicative symptomatology : Dryness of the mucous membrane. Feeling as if, throat were too narrow for deglutition. Tearing pain, worse when swallowing liquids. Liquids may be regurgitated through the nose.

13. What changes are made in the Nails by Graphites? Finger-nails black, rough, matrix inflamed, with soreness, throbbing and numbness. FInger-nails thick and deformed. In- growing Toe-nails.

14. What changes are made in the Intestines by Veratrum Album?

COndition simulating high grade acute inflammation. Indicative symptomatology : Stools-watery, greenish, mixed with flakes. Gushing, profuse rice-water discharges. Colic; cutting as from knives. Cholera Morbus, worse at night, cold sweat on the forehead. VOmiting and purging at the same time; after fruits.

15. What changes are made in the Stomach by Kreosote?

What symptomatology seems to indicate it might be called for in ulcers and malignant conditions.

Indicative symptomatology : Corrosive fetid ichorous discharges from mucous membrane; vitality greatly depressed. Rapid emaciation. Vomiting. Tension over stomach; tight clothes intolerable.

16. What changes are made in the Lungs by Phosphorus?

would seem to be associated with congestions and even specific inflammations. Haemorrhagic diathesis. There appear no symptoms confirmed by Hering, Raue and Lippe, as a group, although the following have been confirmed individually by Korndoerfer, Sr., and others.

Indicative symptomatology : worse lying on the left chest, better when lying on the right side. Heaviness of the chest, as if weight were lying upon it. Congestion of the chest; oppression; anxiety; worse from emotion. Pain between scapula.

17. What changes are made in the Nerves by Hypericum?

Injury to parts rich in sensory nerves, especially fingers, toes and matrices. Lacerations, when intolerable pain shows nerves are severely involved.

18. What changes are made in Cellular Tissue by Apocynum?

Oedema and Dropsy.

19. What changes are made in Peristaltic Action by Asafoetida? Increased peristalsis. Flatus passing upwards, none down. Offensive eructations. Constipation.

20. What changes are made in Structure of Tongue by Muriatic Acid?

Inflammation even to ulceration. Indicative symptomatology : Taste acrid, putrid, like rotten eggs, with ptyalism. Tongue sore, bluish; ulcers with black bases and blisters. Tongue dwindles. looks shrunken.

21. What changes are made in Heart Muscle by Coffea?

No organic changes, but functional. Indicative symptomatology : Palpitation Violent, irregular with trembling of the limbs.

22. What changes are made in Spine by Strychnine?

Strychnia has a stimulating effect on the central nervous system, but especially upon the motor tracts of the spinal cord. In over- doses it increases the nervous reflexes, and causes nervous irritability and sleeplessness. In toxic dose in causes tetanic spasms and opisthotonos.

23. What changes are made in Heart by Digitalis?

Inhibition of heart action through irritation of pneumogastric nerve. Indicative symptomatology : Pulse small, irregular, slow. Feels that heart would stop beating if he moves.

24. What changes are made in Mucous Secretion by Pulsatilla?

Catarrhal inflammation. Indicative symptomatology : Discharge bland, white, yellowish-green, thick.

25. What changes are made in the Teeth by Fluoric Acid? Rapid Caries. Fistula Dentalis. Indicative symptomatology : Teeth exquisitely sensitive to touch.

26. What changes are made in the Bones by Silicea?

Inflammation, swelling, suppuration and Necrosis.

27. What changes are made in Cartilages by Silicea?

Inflammation, especially of the knees. Indicative symptomatology : Fibrous parts of joints, especially of the knees, inflamed.

28. What changes are made in the Blood by Arsenic? Anaemia. Indicative symptomatology : The skin, nervous symptoms and general condition of the patient all suggest this. Skin pale, pasty-like. Anaemia.

29. What changes are made in functions of Mucous Membrane by Allium Cepa?

Acute catarrhal inflammation with profuse secretion from eyes and upper respiratory tract. Indicative symptomatology : Profuse bland lachrymation. Constant sneezing, with profuse acrid coryza. Fluid coryza, headache, lachrymation, cough, thirst, loss of appetite, fever, worse in the evening. Profuse acrid watery discharge from nose with bland lachrymation.

30. What changes are made in functions of Spine by Cocculus?

Paralytic weakness of motor nerves of the spine (and sensory). Indicative symptomatology : Paresthesia of the hands and arms. Lower limbs nearly paralyzed. Paralysis of the limbs. Symptoms are more suggestive of functional, rather than organic changes.

31. What changes are made in Nutrition by Iodine?

Improper assimilation of food. Indicative symptomatology : Emaciation with good appetite. Cachectic condition, profound debility and great emaciation. Eats freely, but loses weight all the time.

32. What changes are made in Mucous Secretions by Natrum Muriaticum?

Hyper-secretion; secretions are altered in quantity; character remains mostly moral; pus may be found. Indicative symptomatology : Catarrh, when secretion is clear. Loss of smell. Nose sore; interior of the alae nasi swollen.

33. What changes are made in Portal Circulation by Sulphur?

Congestion of single parts or any organ, more especially at the climaxis. “Scrofulous” diathesis; subject to venous congestion, especially of the genital system. Chronic alcoholism: dropsy and ailments of drunkards. Frequent desire for stool (more marked than in Nux Vomica), constipation or early morning diarrhoea-haemorrhoids.

34. What changes are made in Cerebrum by Opium?

Congestion: inflammation: Apoplexy.

Indicative symptomatology: Delirious talking. Eyes wide open, face red, puffed up. Thinks she is not at home. Imagine parts of the body are large.

35. What changes are made in functions of Nerves by Phosphorus?

Nervous asthenia: lowered vitality; mental hyperactivity; hallucinations.

Indicative symptomatology: Over-sensitiveness to external impressions; fears loss of reason; restless, fidgety, moves continuously cannot sit or stand still a moment. Excitable, easily angered and vehement, from which he suffers. Mind over- active.

36. What changes are made in Nutrition by Ferrum?

Mal-assimilation; wasting due to haemorrhage, etc. Chlorosis, Anaemia.

Indicative symptomatology: Extreme paleness of the face, lips, tongue and mucous membrane of the mouth. Weakly persons with fiery red face. Least exertion or emotion causes flushing of the face.

37. What changes are made in Skin by Graphites?

Chronic inflammation; pruritis; fissure-vesicles; pustules; ulcerations.

Indicative symptomatology: Cracks and fissures at the end of fingers, nipples, labial commissure, anus and between toes. Unhealthy skin. Every injury suppurates. Old cicatrices. Unhealthy skin. Chronic Erysipelas. Eczema, in the hollow of the knees; finger-nails thick and chippled. Finger-nails black, rough, matrix inflamed. sore, throbbing, numbness; no suppuration.

38. What changes are made in Spinal Circulation by Belladonna?


Indicative symptomatology: Loss of co-ordination of muscles of both upper and lower extremities, very like the heaviness and helplessness of movement observed in the first stages of Progressive Paralysis of the Insane.

39. What changes are made in Color of Skin by Argentum Nitricum?

Indicative symptomatology: Skin blue, gray violet, bronze color to a real black. Skin brown, tense, hard.

40. What changes are made in urine by Lycopodium?

Haematuria, from gravel and chronic catarrh. Red, sandy, sediment in the Urine. Foamy urine.

41. What changes are made in Connective Tissue by Silicea?

Stimulates fibrosis and cicatrization in chronic suppurative inflammations.

42. What changes are made in the Solar Plexus by Carbo. Veg?

Farrington attributed the abdominal symptomatology of Carbo. Veg. to a hypothetic action on the solar plexus. His indicative symptomatology was as follows; Indigestion of low type, especially cases resulting from debauchery, indulgence in table luxuries and from bad effects of wines and liquors and all kinds of dissipation. In the bad effects of dissipation, it was held to be indicated by headache, especially in the morning when awakening from sleep; dull headache referred to the back part of the head with a great confusion of mind; humming or buzzing in the head; aggravation in the warm room, pain going from the occiput into the head and into the eyes, giving a dull heavy aching in that locality. Nausea and weakness referred to the stomach, usually a burning sort of distress referred to the epigastrium; unable to take milk because it produces flatulence; stomach feels heavy; flatus; belching and borborygmi, both offensive. Constipation with flatulence, which are aggravated after every spree. Morning diarrhoea with stool which is watery and thin; peevish, easily angry. Vertigo, reflex from gastric disturbance; worse after a debauch.

43. What changes are made in Skin by Petroleum?

Inflammation. Intertrigo, Eczema.

Indicative symptomatology: Humid soreness behind the ears, Eczema. Skin hard, rough, cracked, tips of the fingers rough. Deep rhagades on hand; thick crusts worse during Winter. Hot swelling of the soles of the feet. Feet tender, bathed in a foul-smelling sweat. Ulcers, stinging pains. Ulcers heal slowly.

44. What changes are made in Mucous Secretion by Kali Bich?

Inflammation of mucous membrane with plastic exudate; pseudo- membrane: excessive activity of glands and profuse secretion of mucus. The excessive secretion is converted rapidly into a fibrous exudate -and formation of a so-called false membrane.

Indicative symptomatology: Tickling as from a hair high up in nose. Pressing pain at the root of the nose. Discharge of large quantities of mucus from nose when blown. Stitches in the right side, and a sensation, as if, two loose bones rubbed against each other. Scabs on septum-ulcerations of the septum.

45. What changes are made in Cicatrices by Graphites?

Graphites has an excellent effect in reducing or even removing cicatricial tissue. This therapeutic use of the remedy originated in an observation that workers in graphite experienced very ready healing of wounds on the hands, and cicatricial contraction of the eyelids following wounds and surgical operations Graphites may also be used successfully for the absorption of indurated surfaces.

46. What changes are made in the Urine by Benzoic Acid?

Strong odor like horse-urine (hippuric acid).

Indicative symptomatology: Urine when passing is hot and has strong, pungent, fetid odor. Urine high coloured; increased specific gravity; hot, scalding. Ammoniacal and very offensive. Enuresis Nocturna of children.

47. What changes are made in the Larynx by Bromine?

Inflammation, and formation of exudate.

Indicative symptomatology; Cold sensation in larynx: Cold feeling when inspiring. Asthma worse during the night. Rattling of mucus long before it can be expectorated. Wheezing and panting, with violent cough. Difficult expectoration of tough, stringy mucus. Membranous Croup. Cough, worse, on dressing better on getting warm in bed. The peculiarity of this discharge is its thick, stringy nature, and difficulty of detachment. It stretches out into long strings.

48. What changes are made in the Blood by Cinchona?

The specific action of Cinchona (Quinine) on the blood with the exception of its specific anti-plasmodium malariae destructive action is rather poorly developed. Indicative symptomatology: Haemorrhages from the mouth, nose, lungs, and bowels, with a longing for sour things. Metrorrhagic dark blood.

49. What changes are made in Nutrition by Natrum Mur.?

Mal-nutrition. Emaciation.

Indicative symptomatology: Emaciation even when living well, great weakness, relaxation of all bodily and physical powers from least exertion.

50.What changes are made in Bones by Aurum?

Exostosis of bones in skull and other bones.

Indicative symptomatology: Boring pains in bones; especially after the administration of Mercury. Pains driving to desperation. Pains wander from joint to joint. Tearing pains in the meta-tarsal joints. Laming twinges in toes of the right foot.

51. What changes are made in the Blood by Pulsatilla?

Haemorrhages. Blood dark easily co-agulating. Pulsatilla is an invaluable remedy in Anaemias, but is indicated more for the collateral symptoms than by reason of Anaemia producing action per se. Chlorosis is a particular sphere, the symptoms of which it presents of a characteristic degree; chlorotic or anaemic women, always complaining of sensations as of chills, and yet find relief for their ill-feelings in the open air and cannot tolerate a warm room. Pains are associated with chilliness. Chlorosis, after failure of Iron. Late and scanty menstruation. Fickle appetite, and especially for indigestible articles, as pickles.

52. What changes are made in Functions of Nerves by Caulophyllum?

Hysterical and epileptiform spasms at puberty; with menstrual irregularities, especially in hysterical females.

53. What changes are made in Spinal Cord by Conium?

In poisoning cases, Conium produces a progressing Paralysis, starting from below and proceeding upwards, without loss of consciousness. Associated symptoms are prickling sensations in the muscles, pain in the head, twitching and tremors together with stiffness and rigidity of some of the muscles. Movements weak and unsteady, gait staggering. Nausea and occasionally vomiting with profuse salivation. Deglutition difficult. Respiration at first accelerated, later becoming slow and labored, weak and irregular and finally ceasing.

NOTE: Seguin utilized the depresso-motor effect of Conium in the treatment of obstinate tics, but it seems to have produced little permanent good effects.

54. What changes are mad in Functions of Nerves by Gelsemium?

Motor Paralysis.

Indicative symptomatology: Complete relaxation and prostration of whole muscular system. Great weakness and trembling of the tongue, hands, legs and entire body.

55. What changes are made in Nutrition by Calcarea?

The apparent changes in Calcium and general mineral metabolism.

Indicative symptomatology: Bone-swelling, softenings and curvature. Caries. Stinging pains.

56. What changes are made in the Portal Circulation by Nux Vomica?

Nux Vomica produces congestion of the portal circulation as indicated by its beneficial influence over hepatic and gastric disturbances arising from the excessive use of alcoholics, highly-seasoned foods and the use of purgative medicines. The liver is often found to be swollen and hard and sensitive to the pressure of the clothing.

57. What is the action of Calcarea Phosphorica in Fractures of Bones?

It has been noted that where bones have suture or joint, there Calcarea Phosphoric has an action. It causes pain along the sagittal suture, and again at the sacro-iliac symphyses. In the case of fractures we may assume that there is an artificial joint for the time being. And so we reason that with delayed union Calcarea Phosphorica may be a remedy, and clinically we get results. It promotes union in delayed healing of fractures, especially in a person of the Calcarea Phosphorica-constitution.

58. What changes are produced in the urine by Colchicum?

The urine is made dark and turbid; in some cases, it is almost black from admixture of altered blood. It is highly albuminous.

59. What changes are made in the Larynx by Iodine?

Iodine produces an inflammation of the larynx, either specific or non-specific, including Diphtheria, syphilitic or tuberculous. The indications are hoarseness lasting all day; phlegm in small quantities and touch; constant hemming and hawking; dry morning cough from tickling of the larynx.


1. When is Cactus the Remedy in Heart Affections?

Cactus is indicated in the so-called cardiac neuroses (Angina Pectoris) and in cardiac hypertrophy. Its special characteristic symptoms is a sensation of constriction about the heart.

2. When is Ipecac the Remedy in Cough?

In the bronchial catarrhs of infants and chubby children; cough with inclination to vomit; constant coughing without expectoration, though chest is apparently full of mucus; cough, with strangling; with much accumulation of mucus in the chest; cough with gagging and vomiting.

3. When is Chelidonium the Remedy in Capillary Bronchitis?

Capillary Bronchitis following Measles or Whooping Cough:, the characteristic hepatic symptoms are present. The face is of a deep red; great oppression of the chest; one foot hot, the other cold; expectoration raised with difficulty; sharp stitching pain under the right scapula.

4. When is Belladonna the Remedy in Cerebral Congestion?

In the milder cases, when there is sensation of heat about the head, the feet being cold. In the violent form; Face red and conjunctivae injected; severe throbbing headache; patient may be drowsy or wakeful; or the drowsiness and wakefulness alternate; rouses from slumber, as if started; jerking of the limbs; twitching of individual muscles of jerking of entire limbs; violent throbbing of the carotid arteries; pupils dilated; scanty urine.

5. When is Rhus Toxicodendron indicated in Rheumatism?

Rhus is the remedy more for the rheumatic diathesis than for typical rheumatic fever. In the rheumatic diathesis it is indicated by its characteristic modalities. i.e. aggravation in damp weather, and relief from continued motion. Prominences of bones, as those on the cheeks, are sore to the touch. Rhus affects specially the sheaths of muscles, and has a special affinity for the back. It is our best remedy for Lumbago.

6.When is Cantharis the Remedy in Dysuria?

The symptoms of Cantharis may relate to the entire urinary tract. There are: Burning pains extending from the kidneys down either ureter to the bladder; persistent violent urging to urinate; violent cutting pains extending along the spermatic cords to the testicles; burning in the glans penis. Urine does not pass copiously, but dribbles drop by drop; bloody urine; pain in the region of the kidneys; region of the kidneys sensitive to touch.

7. When is Elaps the Remedy in Haemoptysis?

When there is a feeling of coldness in the chest after drinking; cough accompanied by intense pain in the chest, especially on the right side, in the apex; sputum consists of dark blood; right lung more involved than the left; morning pain sufficiently severe to prevent patient from getting up.

8. When is Psorinum the Remedy in Cholera Infantum?

Child wakes up from sleep, as if frightened; crises out in sleep. Diarrhoea; stools profuse, watery and offensive and black; stools of green mucus, mixed with blood; aggravation at night; odor almost putrid. Nervousness and fretfulness precede the diarrhoea by two or three nights. Pale, sickly, delicate children; lack of reaction.

9. When is Ustilago indicated at Climaxis?

Vertigo. Haemorrhages at climaxis; Metrorrhagia; bright-red blood, partly fluid and partly clotted; or, oozing of dark blood with small coagula.

10. When is Sepia the Remedy in Over-exertion of the Mind?

The indicative symptoms are mainly mental. They include indifference to one’s family; anxiety with fear; great irritability alternating with indifference; flushes of heat over the face.

11. When is Secale the Remedy in Cholera?

Patient cold; almost pulseless; spasmodic twitching of the body, here and there; cannot bear being covered. Collapse, face sunken, distorted, particularly the mouth; crawling sensation as from ants. Stools watery, slimy; stools greenish, discharged rapidly with great force or even involuntarily; stools painless, without effort and with prostration.

12. When is Apis Mellifica the Remedy in Dropsies?

Dropsies of renal or cardiac origin. In renal cases, waxen hue to the surface of the skin; transparent whitish or slightly yellow tinge. Urine scanty. Thirstlessness. After Scarlatina with Nephritis; swelling of the eye-lids. Urine scanty and albuminous: surface of the body feels sore and bruised. In cardiac cases, the Dropsy is especially manifested in the feet.

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.