The dread of loneliness is greater than the fear of bondage, so we get married.
Latrodectus mactans. Black widow spider.
CLASSIFICATION The genus Latrodectus is placed in the family Theridiidae or Cobweb Weavers, also known as Comb-footed spiders. The black widow is represented by a number of species of Latrodectus from around the world, all of which are to some degree venomous and most of which are black.
SPECIES Each continent seems to have its own black widow species. North America has 5 species: Latrodectus mactans [southern black widow] is found in the West Indies and up the eastern side of North America from Mexico as far north as southern New England; Latrodectus hesperus [western black widow], ranging from extreme southwestern Canada, south into Mexico and east to west Texas, and abundant in regions of Arizona and California – the female resembles the southern black widow in being black with red marks beneath the abdomen, while the male is orange-brown; Latrodectus variolus [northern black widow], found in the eastern states down into Florida and eastern Texas, of which the male is larger than the female; Latrodectus geometricus [brown widow] is found in many of the world’s tropical regions and has been introduced into Florida; Latrodectus bishopi [red widow] is found only in a restricted habitat of sand-pine scrub in south-eastern Florida. Latrodectus curacaviensis [Theridion in homoeopathy] is found in Central America and the south-eastern parts of the U.S. Latrodectus hystrix, L. dahli and L. pallidus are found in southern Europe, northern Africa and southwestern Asia. The malmignatte or European black widow, Latrodectus [mactans] tredecimguttatus, is the common widow spider of southern Europe. Latrodectus hasseltii [redback] occurs in all parts of Australia except in the hottest deserts and on the coldest mountains. Latrodectus katipo is native to New Zealand and closely related to the Australian redback and the American black widow; it lives in and around New Zealand beaches in burrows or under logs and other debris. Some Latrodectus species are very closely related in terms of evolution, but their long geographical isolation has made them into separate species.
HABITAT Black widows inhabit most warmer regions of the world to a latitude of about 45 degrees N. Latrodectus mactans prefers dry, cool, and dimly lit places to build its web, but has to such an extent adapted to live in close association with humans that the greatest number of black widows is found among human structures. Messy places, such as stacked firewood, under houses, eaves, in toolsheds, cavities in brickwork, around plant pots, as well as electric lights and food scraps attract their prey – moths, flies, beetles, cockroaches, mosquitoes, wasps, and blowflies. Cold weather and drought may drive black widows into buildings. Early medical reports of human envenomation by black widows often involved outside lavatories, and bites often occurred on the genitalia or buttocks. In the western USA, they are preyed upon by Mud Dauber or other spider wasps, which paralyze them [as well as other spiders] and store them in their mud cells for their larvae to devour.
FEATURES Full grown Latrodectus mactans females are slightly more than 1 cm long [excluding the legs]. They are shiny black and have a brilliant red dumbbell-, anvil- or hourglass-shaped mark on the ventral aspect of the spherical abdomen. Adult males are about half the female’s size – the body is smaller but the legs are longer. They are rarely seen. Males have four pairs of red marks along the sides of the abdomen. They generally do not bite, or rather can not bite because their fangs are too small to penetrate the skin. Newly hatched spiderlings are predominantly white or yellowish-white, gradually acquiring more black and varying amounts of red and white with each moult. Females moult 6 to 8 times, males 3 to 6 times. Juveniles of both sexes resemble the male and are harmless. Sexual maturity occurs in about 70 days for males, and in circa 90 days for females. The mating season is the spring. Incubation of the 250-700 eggs per sac takes 14 to 30 days. There may be 4 to 9 egg sacs produced during a summer. 1 Many spiderlings fall prey to other spiders; normally 1 to 12 survive. The mother will not eat them, even when she is starved. The erratic web lacks shape and form. From the web to the ground are vertical threads with sticky glue at the bottom. If an insect crawls against the thread it will break and the prey will hang in the air awaiting the attack of the spider. The web is build of a silk that is stronger than that of almost all other arachnids, and has been known to snare animals as large as lizards and mice. This silk is used in the cross hairs of some optical instruments.
BEHAVIOUR The black widow usually shows no aggression. At the slightest disturbance it will curl up and drop out of its web. However, it reacts more aggressively when agitated, hungry or guarding her egg sac. The female builds a tangled web of coarse silk in a dark, quiet locations. It hangs upside down in the web, showing her red hourglass marking. All widow spiders are solitary and only come together to mate. In spite of their relatively small size, widow spiders will attack much larger insects than themselves.
COURTSHIP The type of courtship employed by spiders exploit the same senses which are most vital in prey capture. Sharp-sighted hunters such as jumping spiders tend towards visually-based courtship, whereas hunting spiders such as Lycosa resort to vibrations and sound [usually percussion by drumming against the substrate]. Web-builders such as Aranea and Latrodectus will use the web itself to transmit vibrations. Once mature, the tiny Latrodectus mactans male devotes its entire time and energy to courting. Approaching the web with some caution it initially remains at its periphery, where it makes its presence known by a variety of movements, e.g. flexing and extending the legs during walking, drumming and plucking at the web with the palps, and rapid movements of the abdomen. The male may continue for 1 to 8 hours before it attempts to copulate with the female. In some cases, females will reject males by knocking them out of the web with a flick of the foreleg. Occasionally the male falls victim to the female. “The infamous black widow [Latrodectus mactans] does have a bad reputation, but – quite contrary to popular belief – the male usually withdraws unharmed. In some Latrodectus species the males live for several weeks in the female’s web and may even feed on her prey.”2 A study of sexual cannibalism of the Australian species Latrodectus hasseltii showed that up to 50% of laboratory matings ended without sexual cannibalism, and that males in 35% of matings observed in the field were not cannibalized. This despite the fact that the males increase the likelihood of sexual cannibalism by placing their abdomens directly over the female’s mouthparts during copulation. The study concludes that hunger [of the female] is a significant predictor of cannibalism. Well-fed females are less likely to consume their mates, despite a mating posture that facilitates sexual cannibalism, so that the fate of the male seems to depend on the female’s physical condition. 3
NAME The reputation of eating the male after mating has given Latrodectus mactans its common name ‘black widow’. ‘Black widow’ is a misnomer when applied to the genus Latrodectus, for not all species are black. Therefore some arachnologists prefer the name ‘widow spider’. “‘Latro’ is from Latin for ‘mercenary soldier; hence, a freebooter, highwayman, robber, bandit, brigand.’ ‘Dectus’ from the Greek ‘daknein’ for ‘to bite’ and ‘mactans’, Latin ‘Macto’ for ‘to magnify, extol, honour, glorify, elevate, make splendid’ as well as ‘to kill, slaughter, put to death, to overthrow, ruin and destroy’.”4
LIFESPAN Most spiders of temperate regions live only one year, but some may live for two. The ‘primitive’ spiders are renowned for their longevity; large ‘tarantulas’ [for example, Mygale species] can survive for over 20 years. As a rule, only female spiders have a high life expectancy; most males die shortly after mating. Female Latrodectans mactans spiders have an average lifespan of about 18 months. “The maximum number of days of survival of males after maturity was found by Kaston to be as follows: Latrodectus mactans, 127; L. variolus, 155; and L. hesperus, 196. The corresponding figures for females were: L. mactans, 849; L. variolus, 822; and L. hesperus, 952. Spiders are known for their ability to live for long periods without food. Kaston kept 37 black widow females without food for periods ranging from 36 to 193 days, with an average of 89.3 days.”5
ENVENOMATION “Every year there are many thousands of arthropod and reptile envenomations in the United States, and during the period 1950 through 1959, they caused several hundred deaths. Hymenopterous insects were responsible for 229 of these deaths: bees, 124; wasps [yellowjackets and hornets], 101; and ants, 4. Spiders caused 65 deaths, and scorpions, 8. Snakes caused 138 deaths: rattlesnakes, 94; cottonmouth moccasins, 8; coral snakes, 2; snakes not native to the United States, 3; and unidentified snakes, 31. Thus, the hymenopterous insects caused about half of the deaths from venomous animals during the 10-year period. Bees and wasps were each responsible for more deaths than rattlesnakes, which caused 20.4% of the total number of deaths. People who succumb to envenomation by Hymenoptera usually die with alarming suddenness, often within 15 to 30 minutes. Of 208 deaths, 80% occurred in less than an hour. Only about 8 deaths resulted from overwhelming envenomation caused by hundreds of stings; the remainder resulted from insect allergy. In striking contrast to stings by Hymenoptera, only 11% of 54 victims of spider bite, for whom the period between bite and death was stated, died in the first 12 hours. Following the bite, 41% died in 12 to 48 hours, 26% from the 3rd to the 7th day, and 22% after a week.”6
EFFECTS OF VENOM Although black widow venom – a compound of proteins, with alpha-latrotoxin as the main component – is 15 times as toxic as the poison of the prairie rattlesnake, the spider can inject but such a tiny volume of it that its bite seldom prove fatal to humans; those deaths which do occur are often in very young children, in elderly people, and in adults with heart disease or high blood pressure. The black widow is considered the most venomous spider in North America. Some arachnologists claim that the bite of the black widow is not particularly painful and often is not even noticed, while others maintain that immediate painfulness is a characteristic of the bite. The bite may produce a syndrome mimicking an acute abdominal crisis; however, the abdomen is not tender upon palpation. Foelix states that: “The first real pain is felt after 10-60 minutes in the region of the lymph nodes, from where it spreads to the muscles. Strong muscle cramps develop and the abdominal muscles become very rigid [this is an important diagnostic feature!]. Another typical symptom is a contorted facial expression, called facies latrodectismi, which refers to a flushed, sweat-covered face, swollen eyelids, inflamed lips and contracted masseter muscles. If the breathing muscles of the thorax become affected, this can eventually lead to death. Besides the strong muscle pain, the black widow spider venom also elicits psychological symptoms, which range from anxiety feelings to actual fear of death. Without any treatment the symptoms will last for about 5 days and a complete recovery may take weeks. About 50 years ago, lethality was 5% in the USA, but is now less than 1%. The best treatment against a bite from a black widow is a combination of calcium gluconate and antivenin. … Some animals, e.g. horses, cows, and sheep, are more sensitive to black widow spider’s bite than man and significant losses of cattle have been reported from such bites. Other animals, such as rats, rabbits, dogs and goats, seem to be much hardier.”7 Although abdominal rigidity is one of the clinically diagnostic symptoms in North American Latrodectus bites, it does not appear to be common in Latrodectus hasseltii bites in Australia. “Spiderlings are poisonous [when ingested] before emerging from the egg sac and until they are about 18 days old, after which the poison disappears. It is said to be ‘dramatically different’ from the venom of the adult spider. Extracts of the eggs and spiderlings, when given to cats, caused a precipitous and often fatal hypotension, whereas the venom of the adults caused an acute and persistent hypertension.”8
LATRODECTISM “Envenomation results in the clinical syndrome known as latrodectism, with Australia having the world’s highest rate. The degree of latrodectism is dependant on amount of venom injected, vascularity of the bite site, the size and health of the victim. The bite is usually immediately painful, with heat, erythema and oedema developing rapidly. Localized sweating commonly occurs which can be used as a diagnostic sign. Sweating may become generalized. Profuse sweating may occur only on the bitten limb [most bites occur on the extremities]. If pain is intense it is often accompanied by a high degree of anxiety. Other symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, dizziness or fainting, muscular weakness, pilo-erection, palpitations or tachycardia, insomnia, rigours, pyrexia, tremor, stiffness, migratory joint pain, incoordination, degrees of paraesthesia, hypertension, tingling in the teeth, swelling of tongue, dysphagia, diarrhoea, intense mental anxiety and apprehension, fear of death, psychosis, delirium, restlessness, lethargy, headache, pallor, thirst, hiccough, dyspnoea, frequent micturition, retention of urine, priapism, erythematous rashes, altered pupils, death.”9 Deaths have been attributed to pulmonary oedema. Despite the effects Latrodectus venom has on muscle activity, there is no tendency for pregnant women to abort; typically birth is unremarkable and babies healthy. 10 The acute symptoms usually subside within forty-eight hours but in severe cases they may either continue or be recurrent with decreasing severity for a number of additional days. In many instances, burning of the soles of the feet is a complaint during convalescence. Cases of latrodectism suggest numerous acute conditions such as ruptured peptic ulcer, acute appendicitis, renal colic, enteritis, food poisoning, acute pancreatitis, intestinal obstruction, gallstone colic, kidney stone colic, tetanus, tetany and penumonia. 11
JOURNEYS Not uncommonly black widows are found around [sub]tropical seaports and airports. In the 1980s just about every consignment of Californian grapes arriving in Australia was found to contain adult female black widows. Australian redbacks have been found in New Zealand since the 1970s. Panic broke out in 1995 in Japan when redbacks were found in Osaka; the redbacks had entered Japan by ship. Contributing to their dispersal is a way of travelling called ballooning, which is unique to most Araneomorph spiders. In the laboratory, the reaction of Latrodectus spiderlings to a fan-produced breeze was to climb upon whatever supports were provided, to distances at which the air currents were most suitable, and to spin webs and let themselves float like kites, the silk functioning as the tail of the kite. [see also under ARANEA.] Interestingly from a homoeopathic point of view, Latrodectus mactans has ‘dreams of flying’ and Boericke mentions for Latrodectus hasseltii ‘constant delusion of flying.’ The proving of Latrodectus hasseltii, conducted in Australia, produced in one prover a dream of flying and in three other provers dreams of journeys/travelling. Theridion [a tropical black widow named Latrodectus curacaviensis] has ‘journeys in distant regions and riding on horses.’ Sea voyage is given as a causation for Theridion complaints.
PROVINGS ••  The current Materia Medica of Latrodectus mactans is largely based on 5 cases of spider bite in the 1850s, recorded by Semple and published in Anshutz, New, Old and Forgotten Remedies.
••  Hering Proving Committee of Hahnemann Medical School – 5 provers, 1933; method: 500x, 2 doses; 200x, 3 doses; 500x, single dose; 500x, single dose; 200x, four doses at four intervals. Summary in Stephenson, A Materia Medica and Repertory.
••  Lesigang – 2 provings; the first with 12 provers, the second with 11 provers; 1989; method: double blind, placebo-controlled; 30x, one dose daily for three days, then increase of intake up to 5 times a day, with a maximum of 14 days; intake was stopped when symptoms occurred; total observation time: one month. 12
••  Lesigang – 4 provers, 1992; 30x, one daily dose for 7 days or until symptoms occurred. 13
••  Shore – 2 seminar provings, 1994; 20 provers in Finland, 50 in Germany; method: 30c, single dose. “The provings were not designed to gather data to add to repertories, but rather to investigate the relationship between human consciousness and spider consciousness – between what might be similar in the mind of the spider and the mind of the human. … The nature of the remedy was unknown to the provers. Participants were instructed to take a single dose of the remedy before going to bed at night and to keep a book and pen at their bedside to record dreams or any other unusual experiences. … Dreams and other experiences of those who wished to speak were recorded on the second day.”14
 Royo, Black Widow Spiders; website.  Foelix, Biology of Spiders.  Insect Behaviour Group, Department of Zoology, University of Toronto, Canada.  Bonnet, The toxicology of Latrodectus mactans; HL 3/98. [5-6] Ebeling, Urban Entomology, chapter 9, Pests Attacking Man and His Pets; website.  Foelix, ibid.  Ebeling, ibid.  Bronwyn Marks and Julia Twohig, Latrodectus hasseltii, A Homoeopathic proving; 1998.  Vetter and Visscher, Bites and Stings of medically important venomous arthropods; Department of Entomology, University of California; published in the International Journal of Dermatology, volume 37, July 1998.  Frazier, Insect Allergy. [12-13] Lesigang, Latrodectus mactans, Arzneimittelprüfung; Documenta Homoeopathica 12/1992.  Shore, Intersecting Worlds: Investigations into the Relationship between Human and Spider Consciousness; IFH 1996.
HEART. Vasomotor nerves. Abdominal muscles. Blood. * Left side.
Worse: Least motion; even of hands. Exertion. Night. Damp weather. Change of weather. Before thunderstorm.
Better: Evening and night. Pressure [abdomen].• Warmth.
c Main symptoms of latrodectism.1
c Anxiety and restlessness.
c Fear of death.
c Flushed, sweaty face.
c Oedema of eyelids; blepharoconjunctivitis; lachrymation.
c Contracted masseter muscles.
c Nausea and vomiting.
c Rigid, board-like abdomen [mimicking acute appendicitis, but without tenderness upon palpation].
c Scanty urine or anuria [during first 10-12 hours after bite].
c Pain and spasms in shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscles.
c Profuse [local] perspiration.
M Extreme RESTLESSNESS.
Constant tossing about.
Unrestrained and causeless crying in usually emotionally stable strong men. [W]
• “Miss E.K. , aged 28, was when I first saw her in an extremely nervous condition, very withdrawn and depressed. … The impression which one formed was one of profound discouragement in face of the demands of the outer world, with extreme hypersensitivity of all nervous responses. The depression was at times of suicidal intensity, with pleasurable anticipation of demise. Symptoms were aggravated before the periods, and any pressure about the abdomen was unbearable. Waking from sleep was extremely difficult. Improvement followed from Aurum, Lachesis and Chelidonium, and as some confidence was gradually established, the following finer points came into the open: giddiness and sickness on the boat or in cars, worse on closing the eyes. Greatly enjoys dancing, but must keep the eyes open. Extreme sensitiveness to noise and touch. Noises penetrating into the teeth, and she would jump out of her chair at the opening of a door, or any unexpected noise. Great sensitiveness to cold and cold water, and the teeth were extremely sensitive to cold air or cold drinks. There was recurrent pain in the right iliac fossa, and a very long-standing tender point just to the right of the lumbar spine, and another on the right side of the occiput. During the worst period, she had a compulsion to bite her wrist as hard as possible, causing numbness in the fingers. When these points became clear, Latrodectus mactans 30 was naturally given. There followed a reappearance in extreme form of the nervous restlessness, with fear of insanity and suicidal desires, and the nervous hypersensitivity to noise, touch and cold which had become somewhat ameliorated before. The patient herself volunteered that the restlessness was an intense inner restlessness, associated with great fear and uncertainty. She also volunteered that during the fortnight following the dose of Latrodectus she underwent a repetition, in the same sequence, of the trials of the previous three years. After this period a very great improvement set in and has continued. The sensitivity to noise and touch has become quite normal. She is now able to close her eyes while driving in a car, and she can now have her hair washed by the hairdresser for the first time in many years. The tender spot in the lumbar region has disappeared, and she can now wash with cold water. In addition her digestion which had shared in the general nervousness has become quite strong and normal. All the essential features in this case could be grouped round the nervous hypersensitivity and the particular details of this were to be found in the drug pictures of either Latrodectus mactans or Theridion. As these spiders are probably the same, and as the preparation of Latrodectus is now known to be authentic, this was given.”2
M Gasps, fear to lose breath and die.
c Life and Death.
• “A clear and powerful theme in many of the provers’ dreams is the feeling of great danger and the possibility of imminent death. A further development of this theme is a test or challenge that has to be undergone. The test is so severe that one might suffer and die in the attempt. … The predator instinct and the sense of danger, of life and death struggle, and of the challenge or test are found in the entrepreneur, in the one who thrives [or dies] on the dangerous edge.” [S]
M Dreams of flying.
M Feeling as if someone were behind him or were going to touch him. [L]
M Increased mental energy in evening.
Or: Mistakes in speaking and stammering/stumbling. [L]
M Bad, violent temper.
Anger about trifles. Rude. Quarrelsome. [L]
M Loss of orientation.
Gets completely lost in the village she knows well.
Mistakes strangers for people she knows.
Confuses left and right. [S]
G EXTREMES of tension, spasticity, constrictiveness and prostration.
[manifesting themselves in the mind, the chest, the abdomen, the lumbar region and the lower extremities].
G Chilly, but flushes of heat.
Flushed, sweaty face.
c Six of Lesigang’s provers experienced sensation of heat:
Sensation of internal heat up into face and ears.
Sensation of congestive heat in head. [Whitmont mentions a tendency to apoplexy.]
Sensation of heat around the eyes and [particularly] in the right cheek.
Sensation of heat begins in face and then extends all over body [so that the prover had to undress].
Sensation of heat in fingers, fingers feel as if swollen. [L]
G Increased hunger.
Can’t stop eating in spite of lack of appetite.
Nausea after a few bites, but hungry again soon afterwards.
G Aversion to and intolerance of alcohol and tobacco [in 2 provers]. [L]
• “Syphilitics and alcoholics are hypersensitive to Latrodectus: alcohol especially aggravates all of its symptoms, thus suggesting alcoholism and constitutional syphilis among the general indications for Latrodectus.” [W]
c Semple recorded the case of a man who recovered from a latrodectus bite by drinking three-and-a-half quart bottles of the best rectified whiskey; interestingly, he did not show the least symptom of intoxication. [see Anshutz, New, Old and Forgotten Remedies]
G Desire for milk [drinks milk, which she normally dislikes]. [L]
G Extreme prostration; every effort is too much.
G Cramplike, unbearable pains, coming and going in waves like labour pains.
< Motion. Yet patient is so restless that he cannot lie still. [W] [Violent abdominal colic occurred in several of Lesigang’s provers. Modalities: < morning, > evening; > pressure with fist, < motion. Concomitants: frontal headache, vertigo, perspiration. Also menstrual cramps, < sitting, > motion, and nausea.]
[eyes; mouth; skin; cough]
G Painful stiffness of muscles [most strongly affected in Lesigang’s proving].
In particular muscles of external throat and nape of neck.
Also, but to a lesser extent: tongue, back, upper and lower limbs. [L]
P Left side.
• “Fluttering in heart region. Unable to lie on left side, as felt heart beating.”
• “Usually can only sleep on right side. Now sleeps on left, though before was prevented from doing this by an overactivity of the mind that occurred when he lay on the left.”
• “Whole left side of body heavy.”
• “Even when asleep could sense the left side of the body.”
• “Prickling sensation in left arm and hand, then down left leg, then to right toe, then up the right side of the body.” [S]
P Frontal headache extending to nape of neck, or headache beginning in nape of neck. [L]
P Absolute INACTIVITY of RECTUM. [W]
P Paralysis of bladder, > warm application and pouring warm water over perineum. [W]
P ANGINA PECTORIS. [considered almost a specific.]
• “It will work almost as well as nitroglycerin, almost that reliably in angina attacks, if it goes into the left arm.” [Morrison]
c Templeton disagrees:
• “Latrodectus mactans, in spite of being the most widely known spider in our literature, one finds the least satisfactory, both in its symptomatology and its clinical success. One feels that this is due to its alleged relationship to angina pectoris. One feels that this has been stressed too much and without sufficient supporting evidence. The cases which have been authenticated seem to resemble much more a coronary thrombosis and from the picture prescribed by most provers and emphasized by most observers, the localization is more often to be found in the upper abdomen rather than in the chest. One knows that the pain of angina may be localized there but so also may it be to other areas, even to the jaw, but only in a minimum of cases. One feels that if prescribers will forget that the drug is useful in angina and concentrate on its symptoms one may get much better results in the future. Boericke does not mention abdominal pain except to reverse the order chest to abdomen, when in fact one feels the consensus of evidence is in favour of the fact that the cramps begin in the abdomen and spread to chest and legs. Personally one has never found it of value in angina pectoris, possibly because one has prescribed on diagnosis and not on symptomatology.”3
CARDIAC PAIN; violent; sharp to shoulder or both arms [< LEFT] and numbness. P Shooting, cramping pains in lumbar region. Feeling as if the back were broken. [W] P Extremities: increased reflexes. Tenderness of the calf muscles. Tingling sensation and numbness in hands and feet. Burning and stinging of the soles of the feet as if they were on fire. [W] [Burning soles of feet occurred in one of Lesigang’s provers.] P Gait. • “A characteristic gait is described, namely bent forward with the hands held against the abdomen, and movement of the legs is achieved slowly and with difficulty.” [Gibson] P Peculiar: Swelling of lower legs, worse left, with two kilos [!] in weight gain; the swelling persists for 3 weeks and then disappears with a flow of urine. [L] [L] = Lesigang, Latrodectus mactans, Arzneimittelprüfung; Documenta Homoeopathica 12/1992. [S] = Shore, Intersecting Worlds: Investigations into the Relationship between Human and Spider Consciousness; Proceedings of the 1996 Professional Case Conference. Also: Shore, Investigations Into the Psyche of the Spider; Homeopathy Online, 1997. [W] = Whitmont, Polychrest versus frequently used remedy – Additional symptoms of Latrodectus mactans; in Psyche and Substance.  Based on 176 cases of Latrodectus bite [cited in Allg. Hom. Zeitung, Heft 4, 1965], and on Richard S. Vetter and P. Kirk Visscher, Bites and Stings of medically important venomous arthropods. Complete overview of toxicological symptoms in HL 3/98: Bonnet, The toxicology of Latrodectus mactans.  Twentyman, Latrodectus mactans [in Out of Case Books – 4]; BHJ, Jan. 1959.  Templeton, The Spider Poisons: A comparison of main symptoms with similar symptoms in other remedies; BHJ, July 1938. Rubrics Mind Anger, at trifles [1*], violent [1*]. Sensation of death ; thoughts of death . Delusions, people, someone is behind him [1*], someone is going to touch him from behind [1*]. Fear of death , of insanity . Mistakes in speaking [1*]. Sadness, with desire to weep all day, before menses [1*]. Sensitive to noise . Shrieking with the pain . Speech, hesitating . Vertigo Before eating, with retching [1*]. Eye Must close eyes due to tired feeling in them [1*]. Sensation of heat around eyes [1*]. Heaviness of lids [1*]. Face Expression anxious . Sensation of heat in right cheek [1*]; beginning in face and extending all over body [1*]. Mouth Dryness, as after eating a lemon [1*], as if mucous membrane would adhere to gums [1*]. Sensation as of an electric current [battery] between tongue and palate [1*]. Taste of pepper [1*]. Stomach Appetite, increased, despite nausea [1*]. Emptiness . Nausea, after eating small amount [1*], followed by renewed hunger [1*]; from odour of meat [1*]. Vomiting, black . Abdomen Pain, on waking in morning, > after stool [1*]; right side, > pressure with fist [1*], < motion [1*]; cramping, with weakness of legs [1/1]. Rectum Constipation, difficult stool, as from constriction of rectum [1*]. Stool Black . Forcible, like an explosion [1*], with perspiration [1*]. Chest Angina pectoris . Constriction, heart, extending to back . Oppression, constant [1*], > during menses [1*]. Pain, heart, extending to both arms , to axilla , to left hand . Palpitation, as if heart rises up to throat [1*], with anxiety and weakness [1*], < eating [1*], < after eating [1*], < exertion [1*], > at night [1*]. Sensation of weakness about the heart .
Coldness and sensation of stiffness in dorsal region between scapulae [1*]. Pain, cervical region, extending to occiput ; lumbar region, extending to anterior part of thigh [1*], < stooping [1*]. Limbs Sensation of heat in fingers [1*], fingers as if swollen [1*]. Numbness, upper limbs, left . Pain, in paralyzed parts ; in right big toe, at night [1*]. Paralysis, upper limbs, with pain in heart . Chill Chilliness during [frontal] headache with vertigo [1*]. Skin Coldness, as marble . Generals Hypertension . Hypotension . Pain, muscles, > hot bathing [1/1]. Vomiting > . Wounds bleeding freely .
* Repertory additions [Lesigang].
Aversion: : Alcohol; meat, odour of [= nausea]; tobacco.
Desire: : Bread; chocolate; fats; fruit; juicy things; milk; salads; smoked food; sweets.
Worse: : Alcohol; tobacco.