Aceticum acidum

Proving Symptoms of homeopathy medicine Aceticum Acidum, described by Richard Hughes in his book, A Cyclopedia of Drug Pathogenesis, published in 1895….


Acetic acid. Sour principle of vinegar-product of acetous fermentation of wine, etc., and of pyroligneous acid-result of destructive distillation of wood.

Provings and Observations

1. BERRIDGE records three cases, and HERING one, in which vinegar habitually produced flushing of face. In one case this lasted for hours: in two heat accompanied, in one of these and one other perspiration. (M. H.R., xv, 297; A J. of H. M.M., ix, 245, viii, 222.)

2. Threadlike and noticeably retarded pulse, and decrease of 1:35oF. in temperature, after foot-bath of strong vinegar. (BOBRIK, in ZIemssen’s Cyclopaedia, xvii, 346.)

3. GMELIN frequently drank, more or less diluted, ij to 3iv of pure pyroligneous acid. only local effects were noticed, – burning when acid was taken strong, but always salivation, educations, nausea, and tendency to vomit. Symptoms lasted 2-3 hours ( Hygea, x, 192.).


1. Woman took over a pint of vinegar. When seen 3 hours after, was in cold perspiration, trembling, and much alarmed. Breathing very laborious and hurried; countenance wild, pupils dilated; tongue dry and cold; pulse 96 and feeble; abdomen much distended, with very acute pain in praecordia, slightest pressure there causing her to shriek out. Had drunk largely of water. Knew no one, and there causing her to shriek out. Had drunk largely of water. Knew no one, and recollected nothing since taking vinegar. No pain, heat, or constriction of fauces. After 6 hours headache, and after 2 days slight continued fever. (DAVID, Boston Medorrhinum and Surg. Journ., xxxvii, 134.)

2. A plump and blooming young woman took small glass of vinegar daily to reduce size. Soon lost flesh and colour; after a month cough set in, followed by diarrhoea, and death. No blood or pus expectorated, but much white concocted phlegm. At autopsy lungs found stuffed with non-suppurating tubercles (?). (DESAULT, Diss. De Medicine, 1733, i, 367.)

3. A nursing woman took large quantities of Actea rosarum. Milk became very dilute (Sq. gr 1002o), bluish and almost transparent, of sour taste and smell. Child wasted and died with diarrhoea. Later, mother also sickened, became very pale, had chronic metrorrhagia, and dwindled to a skeleton (LANDERER, in Buchner’s Repertorium, 1847, xlv, 54.)

4. A young German worked for 12 mos. in a vinegar factory. Appetite soon fell off, and sleep became broken (taking food promoted it). Later, could not lie on back, felt as if abdomen would sink in, causing labored breathing. Rested better on abdomen. Cold drinks lay heavy on stomach and caused pressure: cold victuals also distasteful. From florid became pale and thin. Vegetables now disagreed, save potatoes; bread also, and still more butter; had aversion to salted things. Meat could be taken sparingly; cheese and eggs agreed. Food tasted right, but went down with difficulty, causing slow eating. Tongue normal. Grieved much, and sighed often, which relieved. Going upstairs was very difficult. Treatment (with Natr. mur. ) relieved, and he was able to drink cold beer again; but later symptoms returned, with increased dyspnoea and ready fatigue, so that he had to leave factory. (HERING, A. J. of H. M.M., viii, 222.) [The ascription of the above symptoms to the vinegar may fairly be questioned. Nevertheless, as this seemed to be the exciting cause, it has been thought well to put them on record, as their minute detail would-should their genuineness be confirmed-be very instructive. -EDS ).

Richard Hughes
Dr. Richard Hughes (1836-1902) was born in London, England. He received the title of M.R.C.S. (Eng.), in 1857 and L.R.C.P. (Edin.) in 1860. The title of M.D. was conferred upon him by the American College a few years later.

Hughes was a great writer and a scholar. He actively cooperated with Dr. T.F. Allen to compile his 'Encyclopedia' and rendered immeasurable aid to Dr. Dudgeon in translating Hahnemann's 'Materia Medica Pura' into English. In 1889 he was appointed an Editor of the 'British Homoeopathic Journal' and continued in that capacity until his demise. In 1876, Dr. Hughes was appointed as the Permanent Secretary of the Organization of the International Congress of Homoeopathy Physicians in Philadelphia. He also presided over the International Congress in London.