A Supplement to Clarke's Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica

by Peter David Fraser

     
 

 

Pholcus phalangoides

Pholcus phalangoides

Daddy-Long-Legs Spider, Cellar Spider, Skull Spider (its cephalothorax looks somewhat like a skull).

Found throughout Europe and South America and in parts of Asia, Australia, Africa and North America.

Tincture of the whole spider?

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Arthropoda

Class: Arachnida

Order: Araneae

Suborder: Araneomorphae

Family: Pholcidae

Genus: Pholcus

Clinical

Anxiety

Tinnitus

Constipation

Characteristics

The Daddy-Long-Legs Spider is a common domestic spider. Originally adapted to living in caves it has adapted well to human habitation and particularly to dark damp cellars. It is often seen hanging from a messy or tangled web in the corners of rooms where it waits for prey to come its way. It has very long, thin legs and so looks similar to Craneflies and Harvestmen which are also called Daddy-Long-Legs. The myth of Pholcus phalagoides is that it has one of the most toxic of all spider venoms but that its fangs are short and weak. In fact this is not true. Its bite can penetrate skin but the venom is relatively harmless. It tends to tie up its prey very quickly and then wraps it completely in silk before opening up a small hole at a vulnerable point where venom and digestive enzymes are injected. It one of the Haplogynae and so of the homœopathic remedies it is biologically closest to the Brown Recluse Spider (Loxosceles reclusa). As well as insects they eat other spiders which they draw out by vibrating a web with one of their long legs and drawing the spider out to investigate what they hope will be a trapped victim. In Australia it is held in respect as it eats the dangerous Redback Spider (Latrodectus hasselti). The female lives to about three years breeding all year round. The male is more nomadic and tends to travel looking for a mate. When he finds a female he vibrates her web with his feet until she becomes interested and comes out to investigate. He then rubs his genitals against a thread he has spun and when sperm is produced he draws it into his palps and using them inserts it into her vulva. The male, who is about a year old, dies soon after mating. When the female lays eggs she gathers them into a net of silk which she carries in her mouth until the spiderlings hatch. When disturbed or threatened the Daddy-Long-Legs spider displays a peculiar spinning behaviour in which it moves its body around in a circular motion. Although its legs do not move, because they are so long the movement of the body is extreme and quite dramatic.

The remedy was proved by Gregor Kindelmann at the Hamburg institute for Classical Homœopathy and Alternative Healing in 2003 and 2005.

The proving revealed many of the common features of spider remedies, especially an inner nervous tension and restlessness. Music and dancing ameliorated strongly.

There was both fear and aggression that both manifest in a manner consistent with spider remedies. The heart has a particular affinity to the remedy and there were heart sensations, palpitations and increased pulse, as if she had over-exerted herself. The feature that was very strong and characteristic was a feeling of indifference and lack of concern about what was going on accompanied by a lack of motivation. This is also found in Loxosceles reclusa so it may be a feature of the Haplogynae.

Two provers in particular gave some characteristic symptoms. One developed a deep and aggressive hatred of a particular person, her bookkeeper who had let down. It was an angry hatred such that she could think of nothing else but her anger and loathing and how she wanted to have her revenge and kill her.

One prover had a strong curative effect in that not only were several physical symptoms including tinnitus cured but she felt an equanimity and acceptance of how things were in her life. She felt calmer and her worries and repetitive thoughts were smoothed out. She was less ambitious. When she became uneasy again later she repeated the remedy always with a prompt amelioration.

Artistic correspondences

Peculiar sensations

As if head is in a cloud.

Everything smells earthy, like a forest floor.

Sensation that neck is too weak to support head.

Arms feel as if they are floating upward.

Modalities

< left side

> music

< evening (coldness)

< walking (pressing sensation)

> sitting (pressing sensation)

> coffee (headache)

Relations

Compare

Other Spider remedies, particularly Loxcoseles reclusa.

Follows well

Causation

Symptoms

Mind
Head
Eyes
Ears
Nose
Face
Teeth
Mouth
Throat
Appetite
Stomach
Abdomen
Stool & Anus
Urinary
Male
Female
Respiratory
Chest
Heart
Neck & Back
Limbs
Upper Limbs
Lower Limbs
Generalities
Skin
Sleep
Dreams
Fever

Mind

Don't feel like talking. Mouth doesn't want to open.

Ill will, hatred, anger and aggression against a particular person. Thoughts of killing and revenge. Irritability. Everything annoys her.

Nervousness and internal disquiet. Internal unrest with a pounding heart.

Externally restless, internally quiet and contemplative. Better for music and dancing.

Sudden mood swings.

Difficulty concentrating.

Depressed without cause. Unmotivated. Indifferent. Calmness and disinterest. Would like to ignore everything. Feels drugged.

Floating feeling.

Head

Grinding headache at back of the head, disables him for two days. Pressing frontal headache. Diffuse headache > coffee.

Eyes

Light pressure on eyes. Lachrymation. Red eyes, with burst blood vessels on waking.

Ears

Tinnitus (cured)

Nose

Flecks of blood in clear mucus in the morning. Nose blocked. Heavy catarrh. Sensitive to odours. Strong sweet smell like blood. Everything smells earthy, like a forest floor.

Face

Spots on chin, can be felt but not seen.

Teeth

Front teeth sensitive.

Mouth

Pressure in upper jaw. Metallic taste in mouth. Furry palate.

Throat

Hoarseness. Difficulty swallowing. Sore throat affecting larynx.

Appetite

Very hungry. Appetite reduced.

Stomach

Nausea and queasiness. Queasy feeling in pit of the stomach. Nausea after eating, after urinating. Thirstless.

Abdomen

Dragging pain in left groin. Dragging pains. Stitches in area of appendix. Sensation that all abdominal organs are pressing down, < walking, > sitting.

Stool and Anus

Constipation.

Urinary Organs

Drops of urine after finisihing urination. Burning at entrance to urethra.

Male Sexual Organs

Female Sexual Organs

Pain in area of left ovary. Menses five days early. Menses short and light. Menses heavy, blood pouring out of her.

Respiratory Organs

Chest

Spot in left axilla. Tension and twinges in the chest and in the breasts.

Heart

Pressure radiating towards stomach. Heartbeat stronger as if she had overexerted herself, fluttery feeling. Tension in the chest. Heart palpitations. Heartbeat felt in throat. Pulse faster.

Neck and Back

Sensation that neck is too weak to support head. Twinges of pain in cervical vertabrae.

Limbs in general

Upper Limbs

Dragging pains in knuckles of left hand. Arms feel as if they are floating upward. Itching in ball of left hand.

Lower Limbs

Stabbing pain in achilles tendon of left leg. Heaviness of left leg. Oedematous swelling of lower leg and ankle. Shakiness. Neuralgic pain in left leg.

Generalities

Feeling cold < evening. Sensitive to cold. Quickly exhausted. Left sided.

Skin

Sleep

Going to bed late even when tired. Sleep longer and heavier. Leaden tiredness.

Dreams

About poisoning. Warning lights that she doesn't notice. Fighting dogs. Murder, shooting and gunfights.

Fever

Authorities

Examination of the Symptoms of Pholcus phalangoides (Daddy-Long-Legs or Cellar Spider) by Gregor Kindelmann at the Hamburg Institute for Classic Homeopathy and Alternative Healing http://www.hikh.de/pdf/Pholcus_En.pdf.