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


Dorema Ammoniacum, Don. Nat. Ord., Umbellifera. “Gum ammoniac” is the resin which exudes from the stem.


1. C -, a healthy man, age 27, bilious constitution. 8th June, took at 7, 11, and 3 o’clock 30 drops of a solution of 32 gr. in 3 oz. distilled water. No effect, except that he felt a desire to take more. – 9th. Morning, after stool, took 1/2 oz. of the solution; at 3 p.m. 1 oz. At 5 p.m., felt bruised pain in right arm, especially about elbow-joint; afterwards weariness of limbs, tendency to perspire, drowsiness. – 10th. At 6 a.m. 3/4 oz. soon afterwards soft stool, yawning. The daylight, though it is cloudy, hurts his eyes. At 10 a.m. shooting in right hip-joint when seated, full feeling up into throat. After 12 n. repeated shooting in right pudendum, near spermatic cord, returning in evening. Evening, heaviness of limbs, shooting in various parts of body, in left big toe, left knee, chest, never lasting long. – 11th. At 7 and 9 a.m., 6 gr. On rising from bed, felt laziness and drowsiness, with depression of spirits, heaviness and fatigue of body. Later, sinciput somewhat confused, at same time weakness of eyes, weight in loins. Pulse small and heart not quickened. Evening, confused head, incapacitating him for work. At 10 p.m. drawing in middle toes of left foot. – 12th. Night restless, woke often and dreamt much. At 6 a.m. took 12 gr., at 9 a.m. 14 gr. dissolved in water. Furry sensation in occiput. Frequent yawning, bringing tears into his eyes; shooting in left shoulder-joint; bruised pain in left wrist-joint, afterwards in right; eructation now and then; pressure in sinciput; full feeling in fauces and oesophagus, almost with inclination to vomit; lame feeling in left arm; drawing in right middle finger; pressure in rectum when seated. At 3 p.m., took 12 gr. Soon afterwards tearing and drawing in left sole; pricking throbbing in left upper eyelid, recurring next day with subsequent pressure; late at n. cracking in instep when moved; drawing in left zygoma toward temple; shooting in right spermatic cord. As his nights were restless and unrefreshing, he had to interrupt his proving. – 19th, 7 a.m., took 13 gr. No effects. At 3 and 8 p.m., took 13 gr. At 4 p.m., tightness and pressure in chest, later weight of head; burning, then 5 m. after shooting in right big toe; pain in right leg above knee, making walking difficult; prickling in left shoulder- joint to over deltoid muscle, almost going of by pressure; oppression of left lower half of thorax, soon followed by pressure deep in it; shooting in right spermatic cord when walking. At 10 p.m., bubbling in left ear when scratching occiput. – 20th, 12 gr. of the resin rubbed up into wafers; later of falling asleep, restless sleep full of remembered dreams which are not disagreeably; stool occurred in the evening, very unusual. All day discomfort and dull spirits. – 21st. “Sleep full of dreams, disturbed. Constant shooting and pressure in left leg, at left side of knee, on head of tibia. At 6:30 a.m., took 13 gr. in wafers, the same at 7:30 and 9 a.m. Pressure in upper part of eyeball. Pain in middle of left foot. At 10 gurgling in abdomen with confusion in sinciput; drawing in left spermatic cord, frequently occurring; discomfort; pressing above right ankle; the pain below knee returns when walking; cannot read without straining eyes. After dinner, at 1:30 p.m., faecal pappy stool, after an insufficient stool in m. At 4 p.m., 10 gr. The urine contains much lithates; weight and pressure at end of dorsal vertebrae; shooting in left side of joint of left little toe where the skin is rather thickened; undecided pain in left knee. – 22nd. Morning, pappy stool; itching on hairy scalp, more in middle and below, so that he must scratch. At 3 p.m., 13 gr. At 5 p.m., prickling under right metatarsus; soon afterwards soft stool mixed with much flatus, preceded by gurgling in abdomen; rheumatic pain over left instep; frequent sneezing, immediately followed by increased mucous secretion from nose; rheumatic pain in left side of pelvis; recurrence of prickling in right metatarsus. At 9 p.m., while seated, feeling as if left knee were swollen, with increased warmth in it and prickling in hough; weariness on the slightest exertion; itching on right side of pudendum. – 22nd, at 7 a.m., 30 gr. Constant drawing in right spermatic cord; tensive pressure in public region; slight griping in belly. After 9 a.m., very unsatisfactory soft stool; tearing in right tibia; weariness of right foot, the point of which he strikes against steps when going upstairs; tearing in left side of head; gouty pain in left big toe so that he cannot tread on it, repeated several times; drawing and tearing in right wrist- joint; itching in hairy scalp of left occiput where the hair terminates; some pimples there; the itching recurs in evening; prickling and tearing in left metatarsus. Sleeps interruptedly till 3 a.m., thereafter no more sleep; towards m. shooting in left side of right knee. – 25 th. 22 gr. For the last 2 day after urinating some drops of urine escape; tearing deep in right external meatus auditorius; sensation as if something were striking deep down in throat, making him swallow; pressure in right sinciput at 10 a.m. Itching in occiput where the hair terminates, where some pimples have formed; prickling at limit of hair on head, itching when scratched, repeated next day; prickling in upper half of eyeball; shooting and tearing in left shoulder-joint; shooting from region of right submaxillary gland up into the mouth; rheumatic pain in whole right arm at 12, n.; tension in right knee-joint when walking; burning in orifice of urethra, gradually lessening up the urethra; sleep restless; dreams troublesome. – 26th. Violent shooting in right shoulder- joint; tearing on left metatarsus; stabs as with a knife in middle of scalp in quick succession; slight toughness of throat; shooting at root of penis. Repugnance and discomfort whether he walks or sits-Flat taste; stool delayed till evening; dimness of sight in evening and especially in m. after rising, with increased warmth of eyes. For several day towards evening the respiration shorter and more superficial, with anxious discomfort. Shooting in various parts. The eyes feel dry, with feeling of a foreign body between upper eyelid and right eye. – 29th, He experimented with the fluid distilled from gum ammoniac. Besides the above symptoms, the itching on the hairy scalp was greater than before; some vesicles appeared on the left side of occiput where the hair terminates, they made him scratch and disappeared in the evening; the same thing occurred in right whisker where a single vesicle appeared. Evening, shooting in right axillary gland. The following day before 9 a.m., when walking there was violent shooting above right hip-joint, so that he must almost limp. This pain, which was violent when sitting in stooping position, diminished during the day and was nearly gone next m. (BUCHNER, Hygea, xiii, 212.) 2. A woman, age 42, took 30 to 40 drops of the watery solution, and had pressure on chest, nausea with paleness of face. (Ibid.) 3. St -, age 26, of choleric temperament, had enjoyed good health from a child. 2nd July. First, 4 p.m., took 12 gr. After 3 hours had flying stitches in left lumbar region, increased by inspiration. Next minute flat taste, rather sweetish; tongue with thin yellow fur; some tightness of chest, with stitches in left side of chest when inspiring. – 3rd. Afternoon, same dose. Evening, twitching pain in left thigh in course of crural nerve; tightness of chest sometimes. Next day on waking, nose, mouth, and throat tiresomely dry; tearing in both ankle-joints, increased secretion of urine, perspiration; scanty stool. – 5th. No additional symptoms. – 6th, 18 gr. Repeated tearing in wrist and ankle-joints; next m. dryness of mouth more marked, as also pressure on chest. After 10 day he still had the dryness of mouth on waking in m., also occasional tickling in trachea which did not cause cough; after 12 day the dryness of mouth was gone, but the occasional tickling in trachea continued; the bowels still constipated for 2 or 3 day; the evacuations of firm consistence. (Ibid.) 4. A man, age 33, subject to constipation, and in spring and autumn to sore throat and catarrh, and having had in the past winter rheumatic gastric fever followed by pneumorrhagia. Quite well for the last 9 months. – 15th Jan., 7 a.m., 1 gr. of gum ammoniac. Hot feeling and slight burning in scrob. cordis on a place the size of a child’s hand, dry roughness of tip of tongue and hard palate. Eructation of air smelling of the resin. All these symptoms gone in 1 hours – 16th, 2 gr. Obtuse shooting, twitching pain in caecal region, going off in a few m., but returning when changing posture, and especially on turning over on right side. Dry roughness on posterior part of hard palate, slight pressure in scrobiculus. Eructation of air; transient return of caecal pain. Discharge of much flatus at n. – 17th., 4 gr. Bitter rancid taste; pressure and weight in pubic region; transient obtuse shooting pain in caecum, but less than yesterday. Half an hour after dinner slight transient cutting below navel. – 18th., 6 a.m., 5 gr. Taste like yesterday; pressure in scrob. cordis; weight and pressure in pubic region; twitching drawing in left groin. The pressure in scrob. and the feeling of weight and pressure in pubic region come alternately. Eructation of air. Transient shooting pain under right short ribs at 9 a.m. Chilliness running from feet up over back (10:30 a.m., draught of air?); slight recurrence of caecal pain. – 19th, 6 gr. Obtuse shooting, transient pains between left crista ilii and navel (immediately); later on similar pain in caecal region. Some flying stitches through fossa navicularis. Obtuse shooting twitching pain in two left healthy lower incisors (7 a.m.). Pressure in scrob., but less than yesterday. Throbbing and uneasiness in whole body, preventing sleep for a long time after going to bed, though he had drunk less beer than usual. – 20th. No. No med. On awaking, morning, purulent secretion in both inner canthi of eye, especially copious in right. Continued obtuse shooting pain in right lower lid, very much aggravated by moving lids, touching, and stooping; no perceptible change in the appearance of eyes. Restlessness and throbbing after going to bed, hindering sleep for a long time. – 21st., 4 a.m., 7 gr. Feeling of warmth and pressure in scrob.; fell asleep again and dreamt much. After waking obtuse shooting transient pains under short ribs; similar pains in caecal region. Eyes tense, obtuse shooting in them on stooping; slight swelling under tarsus like a swollen gland, but nothing can be detected by finger. Flying shooting pains in left temporal region (1 p.m.); constipation. – 22nd., 4 a.m., 10 gr. Pressure in scrob., and later in umbilical region. Single flying stitches in caecal region (7:30 a.m.). Pain in eyes less; drawing, shooting, slight pains in left spermatic cord (11 a.m.). Two copious stools. After lying down at night great trembling (heart’s beats stronger but not quicker) in chest and carotids, making it difficult to get to sleep. – 23rd. No med. 8 a.m., some small transient stitches under right short ribs; repeated noon and e. On left lower lid some sensation as yesterday; tensive, pressive, dull-shooting, transient pains in extensor muscles of right forearm and in elbow-joint. Transient stitches in right ear (12 noon). On lying down at n., throbbing in heart and carotids; unusual fatigue of eyes after reading. – 24th, 2 a.m., 12 gr. Small flying stitches under right ribs in caecal region, and after rising, also in right ear. Pains in lower eyelids quite gone; only a small hard gland to be felt in right lower lid. – 25th, 26th, and 27th. No med. The caecal pain occurred for one or two m. in the m. of the 27th. No other symptoms. – 28th, 9 p.m., 18 gr. Pressure in stomach (immediately). In a few m. the former caecal pain. At night many confused dreams, restless sleep. Strong tiresome palpitation of heart, extending to below scrob., after going to bed at night, aggravated by lying on back and left side, less when lying on right side, preventing sleep for a long time. – 29th. No med. Dull drawing pain in right trochanter (at 4 a.m. for 1 h.). Dull stitches in right knee joint and left elbow-joint (1 p.m.) Constipation. Evening, palpitation, restless sleep. – 30th to 9th Feb. No med. – 1st Feb. From 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., obtuse shooting Pain in right trochanter major, fatigue of leg. Stool became regular. – 9th. 9 p.m., 27 gr. In 1/2 hours flying short stitches under left short ribs, similar pain between anterior superior spinous process of left os ilii and navel. Many dreams at night, which did not disturb his sleep. M., discharge of much rancid- smelling flatus; short rheumatic pains in left upper eye tooth. Chilliness 1/2 hours after dinner (1 p.m.) from up over back. Hard sluggish stool. Cross humour. E., fatigue in both hip-joints (several h.). Obtuse painful drawing in testicles (several m.) – 11th. No med. The peculiar dull shooting pain in left hypochondrium. Short rheumatic pain in right metacarpus, elbow, and shoulder. – 12th. M., the peculiar obtuse shooting caecal pain alternating with the pain on left side. – From 13th to 16th. No med. Difficult stool; even when there was call to stool the rectum was so torpid that the evacuation could only be performed with an effort. – 17th. No med. Regular stool. For 3 day in m. coughing up of thickish phlegm from larynx. – 18th,.9 p.m., 30 gr. Pressure and tension in scrob. Slight twitching shooting in left short ribs up towards chest. Pressure and tension (like grasping) about navel (in 1/2 h.), lasting but a few m. Pressure and tension under left side of navel, out of which the peculiar obtuse shooting pain developed, only more superficially. Many confused dreams. – 19th. No med. Soft stool after eating fruit, but no great urging to stool. – 20th. Stool soft, without urging. Tired feeling in right trochanter major. Obtuse shooting pain on dorsum of left foot externally. Disagreeable drawing in right spermatic cord. – 21st. Dull drawing shooting in right deltoid muscle (9 a.m.); normal stool. – 22nd and 23rd. Soft stools of dark brown faeces. Single transient rheumatic pain in right shoulder joint; single flying stitches in right ear. – 20th March. After the proving his habitual constipation disappeared, his stools even when not occurring regularly every day are always soft, often pappy. His urine when examined after the largest dose contained much uric acid and bladder mucus. (BUCHNER, Hygea, xxii.) 5. B -, age 26, of sanguine temperament, always healthy. – 11th May, 2 gr. Afternoon, some confusion of head, drowsiness, slight pressure in pubic region; nothing more. – 12th. Morning, 4 gr. Immediately bitter taste; after some hours considerable pain in abdomen; increased confusion of head and drowsiness with prostration of limbs and pain for 1/2 hours in the course of the crural nerve. – 21st, 6 gr. In a few hours pressive pain over eyes in forehead, most severe in temporal region, lasting almost all day in equal intensity, only a little better after dinner. Roughness and dryness in throat. Colic pain in abdomen for a short time in afternoon. Stool scanty, increase of urine, at same time the pain in pubic region, which was slight after the first dose, increased considerably. Shooting in shoulder and axilla down to elbow for 10-15 m. The pain in the course of the crural nerve extended to inguinal ring and spermatic cord. Pulse considerably quickened; tendency to perspiration. Sleep quiet, but woke several times. – 22nd. 9 gr. Confusion, pressure and weight in head with drowsiness, taking away all desire for work. Tiresome shooting through head. These pains lasted all day with slight intermission. During the drowsiness the eyes were dull and as if dust moved to and fro before them, with pressure on orbital region. Humming in ears lasting a few m. Bitter taste and yellow- coated tongue. Afternoon a pappy stool preceded by gurgling in bowels. Severe shooting in spermatic cord and left pubic region. Respiration quickened, pulse hard. Rheumatic pains in left shoulder, knee, and right ankle. Spirits low all d. Sleep frequently broken. – 23rd. No med. The above pains in slighter degree; but the confusion of head and drowsiness remained the same. – 24th. No med. Traces of the former pains, and drowsiness. – 25th, 12 gr. Soon eructation with strong resinous, bitter taste; otherwise no symptoms all forenoon. After 1 p.m., gurgling in bowels for 1/2 hours followed by several pappy stools. Later, when reading, an attack of vertigo, changing into headache that lasted till n. Lips dry with burning sensation. Pressure in stomach after supper; pulse quickened. Before going to bed tearing transient pains in right shoulder-joint; knee, and instep., also in left ankle bones, but less in degree. Great weariness and bruised feeling of limbs. Though sleepy all day he was long of falling asleep, then sleeplessness; every time he went to sleep he was woke up by frightful dreams, and he was long of falling asleep again. – 26th, 4 a.m., 15 gr. Soon severe eructation, scraping feeling in oesophagus, and discharge of rancid-smelling flatus; cross humour, prostration, and weariness; pressive frontal pain with confusion of whole head and such drowsiness he could not do any work. A cloud of dust always moving before eyes. Later, flying stitches under ribs and navel, most on left side. Evening, drawing pain in right trochanter and left knee and spermatic cord. Great weariness and prostration, hindering sleep for a long time; restless sleep. – 27th. No med. Soft stool; weariness in right thigh, painful drawing in left foot and spermatic cord. Single stitches in right ear and great drowsiness. – 28th. Some traces of above symptoms. (Ibid.) 6. G. JAHNEL (Diss. de gummi ammon., Lips., 1837, p. 31). After 1. – 16 gr. of powdered ammon. bitter, disagreeable taste in fauces; after swallowing sensation in throat as if dry cough; later slight pains in abdomen and borborygmus. 16 – 24 gr. caused acrid and burning feeling in fauces and oesophagus; afterwards coldness and wandering pains in abdomen, followed by copious slimy stool, at same time flow of mucus from nose, with frequent sneezing and mucous expectoration. (He was suffering from cold in the head.) After 26 gr. in a few hours pressive pains all over the forehead and eyes, lasting all day, and preventing all intellectual work. Pulse quick and hard. The next days the stools were sometimes liquid; expectoration slimy or more frequent than normal. The above pains lasted some d. After 30 gr. the former symptoms came on with great severity, the severe headache lasted through the night and prevented sleep. Such loud noise in ears that the hearing was weakened; such dimness of vision that things which could previously be distinctly seen from his room appeared enveloped in a cloud. (Quoted by BUCHNER, left c.) 7. Mrs. N -, affected with neglected white-swelling of left knee, had a plaster of gum ammoniac applied to it. The 2nd day she had itching on the place where the plaster was; on the 3rd day she could not resist scratching, and on the 4th day at 11 a.m. the plaster was removed. The skin was covered with vesicles filled with yellow fluid. In the afternoon she had severe fever, followed on the 5th day by an eruption all over the body of smaller vesicles, with slight swelling of the face. (Ibid.) 8a. A man, age 60, with a cough that lasted 8 – 14 day without fever or other important symptoms, got for some day 2 drachms of gum ammoniac. He complained of an hitherto unknown dimness or darkness of vision nearly to blindness. The cough was not so violent that his could be attributed to flow of blood to the head, and nothing was observable in the eyes. On leaving off the medicine this symptom disappeared next day.

8b. A young lady, age 25, got the same dose of gum ammoniac for an affection that had nothing to do with the eyes. She had precisely the same symptoms, almost complete blindness in the evening. She had never experienced anything similar. On leaving off the medicine this symptom was gone next day.

8c. This case got gum ammoniac in pills. He complained of dimness of vision for several successive evening, and also of stars and fiery points before eyes.

8d. Dr. Lodemann related 2 cases where the same symptoms followed the use of ammoniac. (WICHMANN, Hufeland’s Journ, x, 3, 62.) 9. There is a singular effect, by no one to my knowledge hitherto indicated, of the much belauded gums, ammoniacum and galbanum, when taken rather too largely in the d. The sight is affected in a remarkable manner. Towards evening, it seems to many either as if molten and glowing brass were poured out before the eyes; or, if a lamp or fire be present, this is marvellously encircled with shining colours. With others a dense cloud, as if of dust scattered through the air, dims the vision. But after a few hours these phenomena disappear entirely of their own accord. (Burggravii Comm. de aere, aquis et locis urbis Francofurti, 1751, p. 110, quoted by Wichmann.).

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.