Materia Medica

Tarentula – Materia Medica and Music – Homeopathic Entertainment

The author presents a poem about Tarentula and some materia medica.

Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler


Tarantula.jpgWho said homeopathy would be serious stuff? You just have to look on the internet to find people laughing about homeopathy and its patients. But this is not what I want to write about.

I like music very much and almost any type of music which is somewhat harmonic and proves of good taste. Recently I heard Diana Navarro’s new CD “Género Chica”, which demonstrates her incomparable voice by presenting a variety of pieces related to the zarzuela. Zarzuela is a Spanish lyric-dramatic genre that alternates between spoken and sung scenes, the latter incorporating operatic and popular song, as well as dance. To say that I like the CD would be a huge understatement.

There is one song which surprised me a lot and whose title is The Tarantula and belongs to the zarzuela “La Tempranica” (1900) from Gerónimo Giménez (1854-1923). When hearing the song, the idea came into my mind that it could be a good way to remember the homeopathic materia medica of Tarentula Hispanica. One of the great challenges in homeopathy is memorizing and using all the different remedies of our materia medica. I have a very good Dutch friend named Wim Pardaan, who dedicates a lot of time to writing little poems or rhymes to help remember the most important symptoms of different remedies. So without thinking more about it, here we go…


The Tarantula

The tarantula is an evil little critter;

You can’t kill it neither with sticks nor with stones

For it runs off and hides in corners

And their stings are very malicious.


Ay mother! I don’t know what’s up with me

Yesterday I went over the threshing floor

When she must have contacted me

And now I’m trembling all over.

I must have been stung

By the nasty tarantula

And now I’m really ill.

Their blood is so bad

May the devils eat each other!


To hell with the spider

That on its stomach

Has a painted guitar!

Dancing is the only cure for this terrible pain.

Ay! Cursed be the spider that stung me!


I’m not afraid of thunderbolts or bullets

I’m not afraid of the other bad things

My father has done to me;

She’s more beautiful than a cockerel

But may this little creature be struck by a bolt.


Ay mother, I feel really bad.

I’m getting into one of those sweats

Which dry you out

And makes you all burning

I must have been stung

By the nasty tarantula

And that’s why I’m getting

Thinner than a sardine.

May the devils eat each other!

To hell with the spider

That on its stomach

Has a painted guitar!

Dancing is the only cure for this terrible pain.

Ay! Cursed be the spider that stung me!



Text of the song Materia Medica Homeopathica
When she must have contacted me






Great fear of an imaginary impending calamity; fear of misfortune;(Clarke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, B.Jain, 1998)Fear of something going to happen; of danger from something   that does not exist; Vision of monsters, animals frightened him; of different things not present, faces, insects, ghosts(Homeopathic drug picture by M.L.Tyler)


And now I’m trembling all over. Restlessness, could not keep quiet in any position; must keep in motion, though walking aggravates all symptoms.(H.C.Allen. Keynotes. B.Jain, 2000)Convulsive trembling of body; trembling and thumping of heart as from fright; trembled so that she could hardly talk, head trembles as much as hand and foot; trembling in left leg with inability to remain in bed; had to walk the floor; trembling extended to head and tongue; head trembled just as left foot and arm; trembling begins in hand; trembling in leg; trembling in limbs(C.Hering, the Guiding symptoms of our materia medica)

Pain and trembling in the limbs.

(Thousand remedies by Boericke)


Yesterday I went over the threshing floorWhen she must have contacted me


The subject of the bite of this insect feels a sharp pang like that of a bee-sting.” The bite itself is painless, so much so that persons bitten in the neck are not sensible of it until the next day.(A Cyclopedia of drug pathogenesy by R.Hughes)
And their stings are very malicious Fatal symptoms(Encyclopedia of pure materia medica by T.F.Allen)I have known two cases in delicate children where the bite proved fatal.(A Cyclopedia of drug pathogenesy by R.Hughes)


Dancing is the only cure for this terrible pain. Constant movements of the legs, arms, trunk, with inability to do anything; twitching and jerking of muscles.Amelioration: In open air; music; rubbing affected parts.(H.C.Allen. Keynotes. B.Jain, 2000)Desire to run about, to dance. Great fantastic dancing.   Trembling and jerking convulsions. It has an appearance very much like St.Vitus’Dance and hence has cured chorea when it was better from music. Sometimes music ameliorates all the symptoms and at other times it aggravates them. In the hysterical symptoms she is better from dancing.

(Lectures on Homeopathy by J.T.Kent)

Dancing mania, better by music.

(Thousand remedies by Boericke)


I’m not afraid of the other bad thingsMy father has done to me;She’s more handsome than a cockerel. Sexual excitement extreme, even to mania.(H.C.Allen. Keynotes. B.Jain, 2000)
I’m getting into one of those sweatsWhich dry you out At every menstrual nisus, throat, mouth and tongue Intolerably dry, especially when sleeping.(H.C.Allen. Keynotes. B.Jain, 2000)Debilitating sweats, night sweats, cold sweat.(Clarke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, B. Jain, 1998)


And makes you all burning. Abscesses, boils, felons, affected parts of a bluish color, and atrocious burning pain; the agony of a felon, compelling patient to walk the floor for nights.Aggravation: contact, touch of affected parts; noise, change of weather.(H.C.Allen. Keynotes. B.Jain, 2000)Burning


Atrocious burning pain.

Keynotes with nosodes with H.C.Allen

Burning heat, and general perspiration.

(Encyclopedia of pure materia medica by T.F. Allen)

Tickling, burning, scorching, and numbness are prominent sensations.

(Clarke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, B.Jain, 1998)



And that’s why I’m gettingThinner than a sardine. Loss of appetite, intense thirst, general prostration.(Clarke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, B. Jain, 1998)Emaciation, as if the flesh fairly fell off the bones. Emaciation worse face.(Concise matera medica of homeopathic remedies by S.R.Phatak)

Emaciation is so martked that it may be said sometimes that the flesh falls off from him.

(Lectures on Homeopathy by J.T.Kent)


May the devils eat each other! Threatening manners and speech. […] Sees small figures hovering before her eyes. […] Visions: monsters, animals, faces, insects, ghosts.(Clarke, Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica, B.Jain, 1998)Attacks of hystero-mania daily at the same hour; first quarrelsome and despondent, suddenly a state of great exhaltation, hits and abuses everyone.(Thousand remedies by Boericke)



Characteristic symptoms of Tarentula Hispanica


A)  Sensations

Stitching headache, as if of a thousand needles.

Stitching paraesthesia of extremities (especially in the fingertips of the thumbs)

Oppression in the chest: dyspnoea and precordial pain


B)   Modalities

Aggravation: nervousness is worse from sadness. From sharp contact of affected areas. In wet and cold weather.

Amelioration: from rhythmic music. From mild rubbing of the affected parts. Walking in the open air when not cold. Decubitus better in darkness and silence.


C)   Concomitant symptoms

Incoherent delirium, hallucinations. Dryness in mouth. Thirst for cold water but disgust to drink.


D)  Sensitive type

We find this remedy indicated in children with a psychomotor instability, whose motor incoordination and permanent agitation cause difficulties in school, with regard to their intellectual work as well as discipline. In adults, the neurotic component and anxiety are outstanding (their hardly predictable behavior). These nervous subjects are frequently very sexually excited.


E)   Principle clinical indications

Behavioral disorders: Because of the essentially neurotic connotation of symptoms to be treated and the uncertain nature of pathological symptoms, it is difficult to know which part of the therapeutic effect is due to the placebo effect. Nevertheless, it might be useful to prescribe this remedy in patients suffering from the following conditions (provided symptoms agree): psychomotor instability in children with an unstable character, in situations of school failure caused by attention deficit, lack of discipline and memory disturbances, sleep disorders with nightmares and nocturnal terror.

(Demarque, Jouanny et alia. Farmacologia y materia medica homeopathica. CEDH, 2006)

About the author

Andres Guerrero Serrano

Andrés Guerrero Serrano has a masters in homeopathy, a diploma in osteopathy, and a masters in nutrition and dietics. He completed the postgraduate course of Natural Medicine at the Universidad in Zaragoza, Spain. He has worked as a teacher of osteopathy and homeopathy. Currently, he tries to integrate his work as a language teacher into his homeopathy practice. He regularly contributes articles in his blog to promote the growth of homeopathy and natural medicine.

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