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


[Including Arsenicum album, arsenious anhydride (acid), As2O3; A. iodatum, arsenious iodide, AsI3; A. metallicum, As; Kali arsenicosum, potassium arsenite, As2O3K2O; and Natrum arsenicum, hydric disodic arsenate (arseniate of soda), Na2HAsO4,7H2O.].


1. HAHNEMANN, Materia Medica Pura, vol. ii of original, vol. i of English version. Contains 697 symptoms obtained by self and fellow observers with arsenious acid, and 382 from authors- effects of various preparations of metal.

2. IBID, Chronic Diseases, part v of original, vol. of translation. Contains 202 additional symptoms, from arsenious acid.

3 a. Dr. IMBERT-GOURBEYRE took 1 gr. of 4th trit. Jan 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, Feb. Ist, 2nd, 3rd, in m. fasting. Nothing observed on 26th and 27th. On 28th, slightly painful sensitiveness of both eyes; was told they looked red, as if he had been crying; found conjunctiva finely injected, redness pale and diffused. On 29th, nothing. On 30th, pressive headache in both temples the whole d. Eyes stiff, heavy, a little hot and sensitive, with some difficulty in moving lids; they look veiled and finely injected; several times they feel moist and as if filled with tears, but no actual lachrymation occurs. Weight in stomach and anorexia all d. In evening for 4-5 m. slight but well-marked pain in upper and lower right molars; and several times then, but especially when lying down, head oppressed, and sense of burning and slight pricking in both eyes. During following day, fatigue, more in m. then evening; and even for a fortnight after ceasing proving, a decided stiffness of eyelids, which (with the other ocular symptoms) he never experienced before.

3 b. On 14th May took daily, for 9 day, three doses of 13th trit. On 16th, dullness of head, frontal region, all d., in evening becoming really annoying, mingled with still more painful throbbings there and in temples. Twice in 5 m. he experienced sharp pains along course of right lower maxillary nerve, each time five or six very distinct and painful lancinations. Same headache and neuralgic shoots later, when in bed. On 17th, dullness of head all evening; for 4 d. following, continuous and marked stiffness of eyelids. On 22nd, much gum on eyelids when waking; in evening began to feel as it were sand in eyes, obliging him to rub them. For last 2 d. slight coryza. For 15 d. he continued to feel stiffness and weight in eyelids, which he had never experienced before. (Etudes sur quelques symptoms de l’arsenic, Paris, 1863.)

4. M. BONJEAN, medical student, took 4th trit. Jan. 26th, 27th, 29th, 30th, 31st, and Feb. Ist, 2nd 3rd. On 29th and 30th, feeling of burning and smarting [probably in eyes, but it is not said where. -EDS.] On 31st, these, with pricking, continue; slight lachrymation in morning; in evening, feeling as of sand in eyes. Ist-Same burning and pricking; eyes are stiff. On 2nd, left infra-orbital pain with shoots and prickings, rather sharp for the moment. Great itching in both eyes, also in nose, at n. On 3rd, vomiting 1 h. after rising. Head dull all the day, as if he had been revelling the previous n. Some itching in eyes, especially at n. Very bad headache. On 4th, bilious vomiting on rising. This d. and next, frequent need of handkerchief, with itching in nostrils. (Ibid.)

5. M. SOULEYRE took same. On Feb. Ist, in evening, felt suddenly sharp pain in eyelids, with very painful pricking; eyes at same time began to water for 10 m. On 2nd, at 9 a.m., lachrymation again; same feeling of stiffness and pricking in lids. On 3rd, feeling of smarting there, as from exposure to smoke, lasting all d. On 4th, same symptoms recurred about 4 p.m., but for a few m. only. No further lachrymation, but for next 3 d. occasional and transitory pricking. (Ibid.)

6. M. DAMOUR took same for 5 d. On 4th d. he had pain in mouth, commencing at left side, then involving all the gums, which on 5th d.. were swollen, bleeding, very painful to touch, dotted with white spots. On 6th d. frequent hawking. On 7th d. considerable salivation. On examining mouth, gingivo-labial juncture was highly injected; gums swollen, with narrow strips of white false membrane upon them; great formation of tartar at roots of teeth; velum palati red, especially at base; swallowing a little difficult. He suffered all that n. Next day troubles augmented; same salivation; upper and lower gums covered everywhere with white streaks. It was some day before mouth regained its normal state. (Ibid.)

7. Mlle. E-, took for 15 d. same dose m. and e. After 3 d. began to the troubled with frequent itching on dorsal surface of fingers, with appearance of acuminated papules between them. This continued till end of proving; itching often so great as to compel vigorous scratching. Similar sensations and phenomena in less degree on right ear. For last 4 or 5 d. of proving much nasal defluxion, as in coryza. (Ibid.)

8. M. LALUE took same dose on evening of May 17th, and 3 times daily up to the 22nd. Throughout latter d. itching on hairy scalp, compelling scratching; also at pit of stomach. Skin of head tender to touch. Also all day pain in teeth of left upper jaw. On 23rd, 1 dose only; pains and itchings had ceased. On 24th, resumed his 3 daily doses; and throughout following n. had itchings on head and several parts of body, preventing sleep. On rising on 25th, a little toothache as before, which after another dose became severe, accompanied with abundant salivation, and, in spite of opiates, did not abate till n. He felt general malaise and coldness, though d. was warm; at n. had to cover himself up as in winter. The pains came always in distinct lancinations. On 26th, general malaise on rising; feverish during day up to e. For some d. he had felt a stiffness in eyelids. (Ibid.)

9 a. M. TARDIT began on July 4th to take same dose 3 times daily. No symptoms till 6th in evening, when he had sharp colic, and in n. four diarrheic stools. On 7th, colic had disappeared, but there remained a little diarrhea, with weariness and aching in limbs. On 9th, itching on internal surface of thighs, increasing on 10th, and affecting especially left side of scrotum, which was redder than usual and very hot. He was much disturbed; sweating and itching were such as to compel application of cold compresses. Next m., an eruption of minute vesicles was found at seat of irritation, which Dr. Imbert- Gourbeyre pronounced “un magnifique eczema.” This ran its usual course of exudation and desiccation: after 4 or 5 day the itching diminished greatly, and all was over at the end of a week.

9 b. On 24th May began to take 3 daily doses of 8th trit. On 26th, after first dose, a somewhat severe headache, increasing in intensity all d., with marked feeling of constriction at temples, as in intoxication. On 27th, pain less severe, but persistent; also sense of stiffness in thighs as after a long march. In evening this feeling invaded muscles of nape, and there was general weariness. At same time disagreeable heat in left nasal fossa, with dryness at back of mouth. General malaise had increased and become very unpleasant; complete loss of appetite now and throughout proving; easy and copious sweating. The n. was bad; it seemed as if he were about to have a febrile rigor. In m., muscular stiffness was still more decided; it extended to arms, movement of which was painful. Headache had disappeared, but coryza and nasal obstruction were great and very annoying. On 20th, less general stiffness. This m. there is observed an eruption of small red pimples, conical, closely set, occupying whole dorsum first of left then of right hand; accompanied with itching increased by rubbing. On 30th eruption had extended to fingers and palmar surface of hands; itching more intense. Dr. Imbert-Goubeyre pronounced “une miliaire confluente.” It began to fade on 31st, but neither it nor the coryza had disappeared by June 6th. The prover states that he was very subject to coryza and sore throat; but the other symptoms were quite new to him. (Ibid.)

10. M. PIRONON took same from June 27th. On that d., evening, some stomach-ache. From time to time stiffness in eyelids; some oppression on going upstairs; general lassitude. On 28th better, but on 29th, though eyes were less stiff, he had much sense of suffocation, was obliged to go to open window to breathe; some sore throat in e. Took no more med. During next 3 d. symptoms gradually disappeared; but on July 3rd, on rising, he was seized with pains on anterior and inner surface of thighs. (Ibid.)

11. a. M. TARDIEU began on May 29th to take 4th trit. 3 times a d. On 22nd, on rising, violent headache worse on left side, obliging him to lie down again. He had felt it slightly the previous d.s. On 23rd noticed deficiency of saliva; mouth dry and tongue coated; general malaise followed by vomiting, so that he took no more that d. Next d. Dr. Imbert-Gourbeyre observed on his gums the arsenical streak (see 1, 6). To-day and for 3 d. subsequently, marked disgust for food. From 5th d.. of proving much redness inside eyelids. He felt discomfort there, obliging him to rub frequently, rather than pain. Proving lasted 10 d.

11 b. Resumed proving on July 1st. On 4th considerable soreness of throat; at base of each pillar of fauces there is visible a large aphtha surrounded by redness; pharynx also is reddened. This sore throat lasted 4-5 d. On 8th, last d. of proving, there appeared on his chest an eruption which made him “suffer horribly.” It commenced there with little red pimples obliging scratching even to blood; next day they appeared also on arms and back. From 10th-12th, though discrete, they covered trunk and upper extremities. On n. of 13th itching was so great that scratching gave insufficient relief, and pure vinegar had to be applied. After this eruption gradually disappeared. (Ibid.)

12. Two others among Dr. Imbert-Gourbeyre’s students proved 4th trit. One experienced no effect; the other only coryza and stiff neck. (Ibid.)

13 a. I began with the 30th dec. attenuation, putting 20 drops into glass of water, of which mixture I took a tablespoonful 4 times a d. On 2nd d. I observed (not having an unsound spot in me) nothing but an unusual thirst, which I attributed to exertion in warm weather. But, at close of 3rd d., the sensation of heat in mouth rose to such a pitch that I was obliged to drink water the whole evening, uninterruptedly, without being able in the least to allay the thirst. It disturbed my sleep at n., and was present undiminished next m., so that I discontinued proving, in spite of which it did not disappear till after 2 d. more.

13 b. After 8 weeks I proved 10th dec. in same manner. On 2nd d. I felt weary and averse to all bodily effort. Weariness increased; on 3rd n. there was little sleep, on 4th none. On following d. the thirst previously experienced began again, and I discontinued the experiment.

13 c. After 12 weeks took 3x dil. in same manner. On very Ist day rumbling in bowels, with, on 2nd d., severe pains there, diarrhea, and inclination to vomit; so that I again closed the proving.

In a later proving same symptoms were experienced from each dilution. (GRAUVOGL, Textbook of Homoeopathy, SS 222.)

14. Dr. SHERWEN took 1/16 of arsenical tartar [ Made by “boiling solution of white arsenic with crystals of tartar, and evaporating till new product crystallizes.” internally. It caused some uneasy sensations in esophagus, not unlike heartburn, and was very powerfully diuretic. (Mem. of Medorrhinum Soc. of London, ii, 394.)

15. Health good; pulse 65, regular. Took 1 p.m. 2 gr. 2x trit. of ars. alb. dry on tongue. Immediately persistent nausea, followed by pricking pain over right eye. 1.6, neuralgic pain from right shoulder to fingers with numbness, burning in pharynx. 1:10, nausea returns, with cold sweat on forehead after exercise. 1:30, sneezing and watery nose; very tired without cause; dull headache. 2, thirst; drinking causes nausea; headache continued. 2:10, called to urinate more freely than usual. 3, sinking at stomach; cold feet; languor; and sleepiness. 3:15, waked with neuralgic pains in left temple; restless and apprehensive; epigastrium tender to touch; slight dyspnoea when walking. 3:45, pinching in bowels as if diarrhoea would occur; passed urine. 4:15, heated and flushed; pulse 90, temp. 99.2; thirst increased. 5:30 face and hands swollen and itching; rubbing causes them to itch and burn; quite restless. 6, urgent stool, copious and loose, with tenesmus; after stool exhaustion; pulse 86. 6:30, no appetite; considerable thirst; eating causes pain in stomach. During evening pain and soreness in abdomen, with despondency and languor. Heavy sleep at night; waked with seminal emission (no dream) towards m. 2nd d. Called to stool before breakfast; no appetite for food; felt discouraged and weak; face pale; after eating felt better. 10 a.m., copious watery stool, with relief; felt well as usual until 3 p.m., having eaten heartily at 11 (unusual). 3, feverish heat, thirst, restlessness, and headache, with occasional sneezing as from acute catarrh; pulse 96. 6:30, ravenous appetite, followed by dyspeptic uneasiness and asthmatic breathing during evening 8, copious urine; soon after loose stool with sweat and exhaustion; was wakeful and restless until 1 a.m. 3rd d. Hearty appetite; no stool all day; headache at 11 a.m. 3 p.m. slight fever and depression of spirits until evening; offensive foot-sweat on retiring. (A. W. WOODWARD, M. D., MS. Communication.)

16. Health good, pulse 72, regular, took, at 12:15 p.m., 5 grs. ars. alb. 2x trit in 3j water. 12:20, slight burning in stomach with eructation. 12:30, perspiration after slight exercise. 12:40, flatulence after eating (unusual); pricking pain in right hip. 1:20, call to stool (unusual h.) without relief; dull ache in left ulnar nerve; itching of right knee; eructation. 1.32, prickling and tingling in various parts, especially in eyes, with lachrymation; occasional shooting pain in occiput. 1:40, repeated eructations; prickling of skin very annoying. 1:50, above symptoms continue, causing restlessness and headache; pulse 76. 2:10 p.m., feel tired and sleepy. 3 p.m., pulse 80; dull occipital headache, with confusion of mind; colicky pains in abdomen, and offensive flatus. 3:30, called to stool, loose but difficult; prickling in rectum; headache continues, aggravated in warm room. 6, good appetite; after eating, prickling of skin return, with restlessness, oppression of chest and desire for fresh air. 6:45, stinging and itching deep in rectum; thirst. 10, pulsating pain in head of left tibia; ache in right clavicle; itching and prickling continues; uneasy sleep; amorous dreams with emissions without erection; called to urinate at 5 a.m. (unusual), scanty and hot; on returning to bed prickling of skin returned, followed by sharp griping in bowels for a short time. Slept until 7; wakened with numbness of fourth and fifth fingers of left hand; eyes agglutinated (very unusual). 2nd d. Urine scant; dull drawing pains in limbs, relieved by exercise; good appetite for breakfast; dull headache at intervals all day (A. H. WEBSTER, Student in Chicago Homeopathic College; reported by Dr. Woodward.)

17. May 25th, being in good health, I proved the arseniate of soda, taking of the 6th trit. as much as would cover the point of a penknife, 3 times a d. Until the 30th I felt nothing: on that m., headache in forehead and both temples; in evening, from 7 to 11, lumbar pains extending all over back, especially between shoulders and even down arms. Next m. the pains were a little easier; but 1/2 h. after Ist dose they reappeared. After 2nd dose, at noon, they became so severe that I could not go out the whole evening, and from sense of fatigue and malaise could take no dinner. In spite of this, before going to bed I took another dose. I had two nose-bleedings, sense of weight over eyes and pretty severe sore throat. After lying down, I had pain in groins for 1/2 h. I was wakeful all the n., and in addition I, who had never known what itching was, was obliged, frequently to scratch my back, stomach, and arms. Being sufficiently convinced of the power of infinitesimal doses of A., I left it off from this point; and the pains subsided almost suddenly. (FREDET, in Etudes ds q. s. P Arsenic, p. 78.)

18. Provings of arseniate of soda by the Hom. Mat. Medorrhinum Club of Allegheny Country, Pa. A 0/ was made by dissolving 10 grs. in 3j of distilled water, and from this dilutions were made on the decimal scale. Each prover took from 5 to 15 drops 3 times daily on an empty stomach.

J. H. BUFFUM, M. D.- a. While taking 30th, on 3rd d. tongue felt dry, as if burned; liquids did not remove sensation. On 4th d., eyes burned, with slight lachrymation; conjunctiva injected; vision indistinct; frequent wiping of eyes for relief. On 5th d. frequent paroxysms of sneezing, and fluent coryza in e. On 8th day, restless tossing about for 1 h. after retiring at n., and on 10th n. sleep again disturbed; restlessness also on 9th d., with feeling as if something was impending which compelled moving about; languid feeling throughout 11th d. On 9th day, slight burning at anus, with (in e.) constant tenesmus, no stool; a soft stool on 10th followed by slight burning at anus; same, but less in degree, on 11th. On 11th d. a boil appeared at outer left hamstring; eyes were painful in m. and vessels injected; concentrated effort, needed for distinct vision. Next d. vision was poor for distance, and remained so for a considerable time. On 12th d., stomach was sour and food did not digest; digestive powers remained weak up to 15th d. (Trans. of Penns State Hom Soc., ii, 186.)

19 a. MILLIE J. CHAPMAN, M. D.- a. While taking 30th, on 2nd d. wakened at 1:30 by cutting hypogastric pain, soon followed by large stool; dull stupid feeling lasting all d., could hardly keep awake; head throbbed on going upstairs; next d. felt well, and could study easily. On 3rd d., occasional stitches in spleen. On 6th d. slight cramp in stomach at 7:30 a.m. and nausea all forenoon.

19 b. Under 12th, on 7th day, nausea soon after taking medicine, lasting all d.; would like to vomit, but cannot; could not sleep till late because of this discomfort. On 8th d., yellowish blotches appeared on cheeks and forehead, remaining a d. or two; p.m., fullness in forehead and throbbing at vertex. On 12th d., mind unusually equable and capable. On 13th, dull heavy feeling in forehead and vertex, with occasional sharp pains; dull aching in renal region, with profuse flow of normal urine; stitching in tibia while walking. On 15th, aching and weight in forehead; eyelids itch and burn, and feel as if smoke were in room; stitching again in tibia, and occasional little flying pains in fingers, palms, and forearms. (Ibid.)

20. J. S. CRAWFORD, M. D.-From 30th, on 3rd d., at 6 p.m., dull heavy feeling in head lasting 3 h. On 4th d., 3 p.m., same feeling for 5 h., after which head ached violently, all movement (even turning head) aggravating and tying handkerchief tightly round it relieving; at 10:30 p.m., some cramp-like pains in abdomen. On 5th day, wakened at 6 a.m. by pain there, followed by a sudden copious lumpy stool; this repeated at 8 and 11; slight dullness in head. On 8th d., had to rise twice during n. to micturate, passing a large quantity of pale urine. On 9th day, pain over right eye. On 10th day, at 3 p.m., dull heavy feeling in head, especially in vertex, increasing in severity till he went to bed, and made worse by stooping or moving head; aching took away appetite. (Ibid.)

21. J. C. KING, M. D.- a. Under 30th, on 2nd d., uncomfortable feeling in abdomen and tightness in stomach; two stools, small and firm, with much flatus; pulse 72 and full; m. urine light yellow, cloudy, precipitating after 2 h., acid, 1029; dense white granular precipitate from heat (redissolving under nitric acid), leaving urine clear and reddish brown; under microscope some phosphates visible; in evening these more abundant. On 3rd d., pain in left knee before rising in morning; sharp pain in ilium on rising up (4 p.m.); bruised sensation externally over first joint of great toe. Abdomen swollen and painful, passage of flatus affording some relief, but straining, pressure, or walking produces severe pain; two firm stools; inner canthi of eyes sore and red, objects blurred. On 4th d. severe pain under ensiform cartilage at noon, and at 4:40 p.m. dull pain and distension in umbilical and hypogastric regions; one small firm stool; urine of dark straw colour, mild odour, acid reaction 1030, phosphates still abundant; slight coryza in m., which, with abdominal distension, recurred on 5th d.

21 b. Under 15th, on 9th d., sharp pains in right little finger; uncomfortable fullness and pain in stomach, relieved by emission of flatus. Same in abdomen on 11th, but more severe, and flatus more abundant. On 14th d., stiffness and tenderness in upper part of sterno-mastoid. On 18th d., fullness in head all m., with occasional shooting pains over right eye; head feels sore and he is drowsy.

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.