Hahnemann’s proving symptoms of homeopathy remedy Angustura from Materia Medica Pura, which Samuel Hahnemann wrote between 1811 to 1821…

(From vol. vi, 2nd edit.,1827)

(The best pieces of the bark of this South American tree, called Bonplandia trifoliata, are about one line in the thickness, slightly bent on their external convex side covered witha greyish- whitish, easily scraped off, fine coating; traversed by fine transverse furrows; on the inner concave surface of a bright brownish yellow, very friable, and cinnamon coloured and porous on the fractured surface; of a disagreeable spicy smell, and of a penetrating, somewhat hot, spicy bitter taste, the powder of which resembles rhubarb powder in colour; the decoction is not precipitated by a solution of sulphate of iron. Fifty grains of this powder digested in 1000 drops of alcohol without heat so as to form a tincture are employed for medical purposes after appropriate dilution.)

For many years complaints have been publicly made about a substitution in commerce for this true angustura bark of a false bark, which displays dangerous and poisonous properties, and for many years the tree from which this false bark was derived was unknown.

Now the Brucea ferruginea is said to be the tree from which this false suspicious bark is derived; chemical investigation has shown that it furnishes the same alkaloid as nux vomica, ignatia, & c.

However, the above-described genuine angustura bark likewise possesses uncommonly great medicinal power, so that, when is procured direct from the tree Bonplandia trifoliata at St. Thomas del Angustura, in South America, as it is now, without any doubt it can, like every other very powerful medicine, do great harm if given in immoderate doses and insuitable cases. In F.A.G. Emmert’s Curgeschichte (Hufeland’s Fourn., August, 1815, p.75) a case is related where three tablespoons of a decoction of five ounces of (presumably spurious) angustura bark, evaporated to five ounces of liquid, were given to a boy five and a half years old. This unreasonable dose, which contained about an ounce and a half of angustura power, proved fatal, as we read with a shudder, in a couple of hours, with horrible sufferings. This substance would in the same dose have a like effect not only on a boy but on an adult person.

In this fatal case described by EMMERT the boy presented this following symptoms:

Trembling, soon passing into violent convulsions (aft. ½ h.)

When the medical attendent touched the arm in order to feel the pulse tetanus suddenly ensued.

The eyelids were wide open.

The eyes were staring, projecting, and immovable.

Trismus, with wide separation of the lips, so that the front teeth were quite exposed.

Tension of individual facial muscles.

The limbs were stretched out to the utmost, stiff and stark.

The spinal column and the head strongly drawn backwards.

The trunk was from time to time shaken by violent jerking along the back, as from electric shocks, and somewhat raised.

Cheeks and lips became blue.

Respiration intemitting.

After an attack that lasted six minutes the boy breathed with great effort, panting with blueness of the cheeks and lips.

Great and frequent longing for coffee.

Even swallowing tepid water excited tetanic spasms.

Pulse 102, spasmodic, irregular.

The tetanus sometimes returned without perceptible cause, sometimes was excited by a noise, or by touching any portion of the body; he constantly called out that one should touch him.

After the tetanus the eyes were closed, the forehead and face covered with sweat; blueness of the cheeks and lips, groaning without (acknowledged) pains.

The whole body became flaccid and relaxed; the eye dead-like; convulsive breathing came back only after long pauses.

Death after an hour.

Half an hour after death the body was stiff and stark.

After twenty-four hours there was already a strong corpse-like smell outside and inside; on opening the veins cherry-coloured fluid blood was found.

The right lung was externally pale and bloated, internally full of blood; the left lung was externally blue, when incised blackish and very heavy from blood.

Besides the above other reports of the consequences of strong dosesof angustura have been recorded, such as spasmodic twitchings, vertigo, anxiety, immobility of the muscles as from stiffening, and a report has been communicated to me by late Dr. Wurzner, of Eilburg, relating to four persons, each of whom took from ten to twelve grains of the extract in the form of pills, in whom there occurred:

Stiffness of all the muscles of the body, like tetanus; one fell to the ground suddenly, retaining his consciuosness.

Closure of the jaws, trismus.

Very similar though slighter will be found in the following list of the effects of carefully selected pieces of angustura bark on the healthy body.

I have employed for homoepathic purposes the smallest portion of a drop of billionth dilution of the above-described alcoholic tincture, but have found that in some cases a still higher delution would have been more suitable.

Camphor is not an antoidote for its too violent effects, but coffee is.

[ Hahnemann was aided in this proving by:- FRANZ, GROSS, HARNISCH, LANGHAMMER, Meyer, MICHLER, MOSSDORF, WISLICENUS.]

No old school authorities are quoted.

In this 2nd edition Hahnemann has added 3 to his own symptoms, and excluded 6 of those of his disciples that appeared in the 1st edition.]


In the open air, vertigo (aft. 20 h.).

A feeling of vertigo comes over him when he crosses flowing water or walks at the side of a canal; he fears he will sink. [Fz.]

Dulness and stupid feeling in the head, as from intoxication on the previous day.[Mlr.]

The head is confused; throbbing in the forehead.

5. Confusion and contractive feeling in the head on walking quickly. [Fz.]

Suddenly great confusion of the head, as from a skin stretched over the brain, for half an hour (aft. ¼ h.). [Mss.]

Great distraction; when he occupies himself with something serious, other things immediately come into his head (aft. 45 h.). [Fz.]

Sometimes he loses himself, now in a dreamy state, now in complete absense of thought, and he readily falls asleep when reading. [Fz.]

In the afternoon, along with repeated (occurring the first three afternoons) warmth of the body, excessive livliness, and very active memory; but he can think of nothing attentively on account of a not disagreeable scheme that forces itself upon him, which he almost thinks is true and feasible, and owing to which he neither sees nor hears anything beside- akind of very strong waking dream (aft. 4 d.). [Fz.]

10. In the afternoon great sprightliness and vivacity of the mind; he comprehends everything much more easily than on the first day, and more readily than before, but on account of a feeling of inward restlessness as if a great happiness awaited him, and on account of a concourse of scheming ideas, he is unable to stick to his subject(aft. 35 h.). [Fz.]

In the morning after rising great weight in the forehead without confusion (aft.3 d.) [Fz.]

In the open air he had some headache and heat (towards evening).

Cramp-like headache.

Headache : aching in the forehead above both eyes, as if all would come out there, during rest and when moving.

15. Aching in the left half of the brain on bending down the head, which is relieved by raising it up (immediately). [Mss.]

Aching in the temples (aft. 1 h.). [Fz.]

Towards evening, aching pain in the forehead, with great heat in the face. [Fz.]

Headache only occurred when there was heat of face. [Fz.]

The headaches always occur in the evening when it becomes dark and last till he goes to sleep.[Gss.]

20. Headache as if all moved round in the brain, with aching and boring pain, especially in the temple; if he lays his head down on the table, he feels, with the exception of some tension in the forehead, for the moment nothing, but the pains soon come back, only not so severe; on the other hand, when he raises the head up, they again increase to their former intensity (aft.12 h.) [Fz.]

Aching in the forehead.[Hsch.]

Bruised pain in the brain in the sinciput, increased stooping, diminished in the open air (immediately).

Boring headache in the temples.

A stitch as from electricity darting up and down from the temples.

25. Drawing, aching pain in the temporal region. [Hsch.]

Headache: aching in the occiput, in the afternoon.

In the evening aching, drawing pain in the right side of the head, with aching in the lower jaw (aft. 16 h.) [Fz.]

Rather external tearing headache from the crown forwards over the temple (aft. 24 h.) [Ws.]

Intermittent needle-pricks in the right temporal region, rather externally (aft.4 h.) [Lr.]

30. Continued itching stitches in the forehead and temple, externally, which are not removed by rubbing (aft.5 h.) [Ws.]

Stiffness, numbness in the temporal muscles, as if something were forced out there.

Tensive pain in the temporal muscles on opening the jaws.

Twitching under the skin of the left parietal region, on a small spot, which when pressed pains as if bruised (aft.1 h.) [Mss.]

Whilst reading a quivering between eyebrows.

35. Some stitches above the eyes.

Contraction of the pupils (aft. 3.3/4 h.) [Lr.]

Dilatation of the pupils (aft. 13 h.) [Lr.]

In the afternoon and evening, several times a violent burning in the inner half of the eyes themselves and in the their inner canthus.

A tension first in one then in the other eye, as from behind, in the morning.

40. Pressure on the right eye and orbit in the evening (aft. 14 h.).[Fz.]

In both eyes an aching, as if a dazzling light struck them, and the eyes became weak.

The eyes are red and burn from heat; in the morning they are sealed up with matter.

Sore pain of the eyelids.

Feeling of dryness under the upper eyelids.

45. Itching stitches on the upper eyelid, not removable by rubbing (aft. 1 h.) [Ws.]

Like a thin vapour before the eyes, soon going off.

In the morning, after rising, quite dim before the eyes, as if the cornea were dim (aft. 24 h.) [Fz.]

Sharper and more distinct vision at a distance than usual.(Curativesecondary action of the organism) (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Lr.]

50. Cramp-pain on the zygomatic arch (aft. ¼ h.).[Ws.]

The hearing is much more acute than usual. Curativesecondary action of the organism) (aft. 5.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

Ringing in the right ear (aft. 33 h.). [Lr.]

Stitches in the anterior part of the meatus auditorius externus.

A burning in the inner ear, in the region of the membrana tympani.

55. Sensation as if something came in front of the ear and something were sticking in it.

Cramp in the external ear.

Heat in the lobe of the ear.

Tearing twitching before the left ear (aft. 1 h.) [Ws.]

Transient drawing several times, now in the right, now in the left ear.[Mss.]

60. Very painful tearing twitching in the interior of the right ear, which gradually changes into drawing (aft. 1 h.).[Mss.]

Behind the ears, on the side of the neck, a throbbing pain, as if the great cerebral artery was beating violently.

Tearing in a boil over the right mastoid process (aft. ¼ h.).[Mss.]

Heat in the ears and in both cheeks.

Smarting, sore feeling deep in the nose (immediately).

65. In the evening hot feeling on the cheek, which does not feel warm to the touch (aft. 12 h.) [Fz.]

Feeling of heat in both cheeks, without externally perceptible warmth.

Pain in the masseter muscles of the cheek, as if he had chewed too strongly and had tired them.

In the masseter muscles near the maxillary joint a cramp-like pain, especially when at rest, which is relieved by opening and shutting the jaw.

Great dryness of the lips and mouth without thirst (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

70. (A digging in the lower jaw) (aft. 18 h.)

Slight drawing in undefined upper molars.[Mss.]

Drawing pain in both right upper incisors. [Mss.]

Drawing pain apparently among the crowns of the right middle upper molars, palliatively alleviated by applying a cold finger(aft. 1 h.).[Mss.]

Throbbing toothache in a hollow tooth, in the evening, after lying down (aft.14 h).[Ws]

75. In the gums of the right upper row a shooting drawing (aft. 3 h.).[Ws]

Shooting, pinching on the tip of the tongue extremely painful, even when not moving it (aft. 6 h.).[Ws]

Burning on the left side of the tongue, almost on its border. as from pepper (aft.3 h.) [Lr.]

White tongue, with rough sensation (aft. 12 h.). [Lr.]

Roughness and dryness on the back of the palate and in the fauces, without thirst, worse when swallowing (aft. 25 h.). [Lr.]

80. The voice is louder and bolder (Curative seconadary action of the organism.) (aft. 5.1/2 h.) [Fz.]

(Taste like peach kernels in the mouth.)

(Bread tastes sour to her.)

Bitter taste in the mouth after (accustomed) tobacco-smoking.[Mlr.]

Putrid, flat taste in the mouth for a short time (aft. 2 h.) [Mss.]

85. After dinner, which tasted good, bitter taste in th mouth, and several slight eructations (aft. 30 h.) [Fz.]

No desire to drink and no pleasure in doing so, and yet sensation of thirst more for warm than for cold drinks; but cold drinks did not produce chilliness.

Much thirst for cold drinks (aft. 15 h.) [Lr.]

Frequent hiccup (aft. 3 h.) [Lr.]

Nausea, especially while eating. [Mlr.]

90. Sensation of nausea in the stomach (aft. 1 h.) [Ws.]

In the evening during slumber he had very viscid, sickly tasting, and putrid mucus in the mouth, and could not drink enough.[Fz.]

Although he has great appetite, food is not relished; he feels as if it were repugnant to him, at the same time an incomplete eructation causes fulness in the chest, and yet he cannot get satiated with a very plentiful meal (aft. 6 h.) [Fz.]

When walking, nausea, as if he would fall down in a faint; at the same time great exhaustion all over, which is not relieved by sitting down; he then felt as if the nausea rose into his head, and he became hungry.

On commencing to eat a cutting pain in the stomach like sore pain, which went off on continuing to eat (aft. 3 d.) [Fz.]

95. After eating, much eructation of wind.

Bilious eructation.

Cramp-like pinching pain under the scrobiculus cordis, in the evening, while sitting (aft. 13 h.) [Fz]

Cutting tearing in the scrobiculus cordis, increased by moving the trunk, after dinner.[Ws.]

Shooting in the abdomen, followed by drawing in it.

100. Under the short ribs, in the right side of the abdomen, a cutting on moving the trunk (aft. 48 h.) [Gss.]

In the left side of the abdomen, flying, shaking obtuse stitches here and there.[Gss.]

An obtuse shooting in the hypogastrium, on the left side, near the navel.(aft. 24 h.) [Gss.]

In the left lumbar region cutting pain from within outwards (aft. 3 h.) [Ws.]

Cutting in the hypogastrium over and across the os pubis, with pressing towards the rectum (aft. ¼ h.) [Mss.]

105. Cramp-like pain in the abdomen when walking. [Fz.]

Pinching in the right lumbar region when at rest.[Ws.]

Drawing, bruised pain in the right side of the abdomen when walking in the open air (aft. 1 h.) [Fz.]

Pressure un the hypogastrium from within outwards, with anxiety (aft. 16 h.) [Fz.]

Above the os pubis a carmp-like pressure when sitting, as if something bored outwards there (aft. 12 h.) [Fz.]

110. Audible rumbling in the abdomen, with eructation.[Fz.]

A fermentation and rumbling in the abdomen, as if diarrhea would ensue, with displacement of flatulence (aft. 3 h.) [Mlr.]

Loud gurgling in the abdomen.

On drinking warm milk a cutting and gurgling in the hypogastrium above and across the os pubis (aft. ¼ h.).[Mss.]

Painless movements, almost incessant rumbling and gurgling in the bowels, for three hours.[Mss.]

115. In the morning after previous cutting in the abdomen and nausea, diarrhoea unsues; the last stool was pure mucus.

Cutting in the abdomen and purging; the last time mucous (aft. 12, 84 h.).

Diarrhoeic commotion, with penetrating drawing through all the intestines (aft. 2 h.) [Fz.]

Repeated sensation in the bowels as if diarrhoea would ensue. [Mss.]

(Crawling tickling in the rectum, as from ascarides.)

120. Frequent straining in the rectum as if diarrhea would come on immediately, with shuddering over the face. [Mss.]

After every stool shuover the face, with goose-skin. [Mss.]

The stool was not so thin as the diarrhoeic feeling led him to anticipate. [Mss.]

Feeling as if the stool had not been completely evacuated, and as if there was more to come. [Mss.]

Sensation in the rectum as if it would come out, followed by the evacuation of a yellow, soft, very copious stool (aft. 1.1/2 h.) [Fz.]

125. Within four hours, three evacuations of a large quantity of thin faeces. [Mss.]

Thin copious stool, without pains (aft. 2 h.) [Gss.]

Discharge of stinking flatus. [Mss.]

Painful pressing, as from great contraction of the anus, with swelling of haemorrhoidal veins, accompanied by burning pain, as if the anus was corroded, with a soft stool (aft. 3 d.) [Fz.]

Moderate constipation. [Fz.]

130. Frequent, though not urgent, call to stool; he felt as if the stool would not come, and when he endeavoured to evacuate, only some hard pieces came away, with much pressing and straining (aft. 12 h.) [Lr.]

Orange-coloured urine, which soon becomes very turbid (aft. 24 h.).

Frequent urging to urinate, with scanty discharge of urine (aft. 2 h.).[Lr.]

(A burning after urinating; he had frequent call to urinate, but only a few dark yellow drops were pressed, which always caused burning.)

Frequent discharge of copious, white urine, preceded by pressing in the bladder; and after urinating, ineffectual straining -strangury (aft. 36 h.) [Fz.]

135. A voluptuous itching at the point of the glans, which compelled him to rub it, when walking in the open air (aft. 6.1/2 h.) [Lr.]

Itching of the scrotum.

On the prepuce shooting, sometimes itching.

(Drawing, alternating with twitching, in the left spermatic cord, with sensation of shuddering in the neighbouring parts of the scrotum and thigh.) [Mss.]

A stitch in the epiglottis (immediately)

140. Hoarseness caused by much mucus in the larynx (aft. 10 h.) [Fz.]

Tickling irritation in the upper part of the larynx, which caused dry short cough, lasting a long time (aft. 2.3/4 h.).[Lr.]

Frequent short cough, followed by a single sob (aft. 15 h.).

All day long tussiculation from an irritation deep in the larynx, which, only when walking in the open air, was associated with rattling in the chest, and with much expectoration of the yellow mucus. [Lr.]

Violent cough from deep down in the trachea, in the morning, with expectoration of yellow mucus (aft. 24 h.) [Lr.]

145. Often scrapy in the throat; he must hawk, without being able to bring up anything (aft. 6 h.) [Ws.]

In the trachea viscid mucus, which is not easily coughed up (aft. 10, 11 h.) [Fz.]

Cutting pressure in both sides of the chest, at first only when inspiring, afterwards increased to cutting blows, which continue even when holding the breath (aft. 1 h.) [Ws.]

Transient tightness of the chest (immediately)

On walking quickly, tightness of the chest and aching in its left side (aft. 12 h.) [Fz.]

150. Pain in the pectoral muscles in the morning, which she moves in bed, and during the day, when she lays the arms together, they pain as if bruised; on touching the parts she feels nothing, not even when breathing.

A sharp aching, as it were pinching pain in the upper part of the chest, on a small spot.(aft. 15 h.)

Cutting stitches in the last rib during inspiration, and besides that shortly before going to sleep and after lying down.

Spasm of the chest, as when suddenly exposed to serve cold. [Myr.]

Pressure over the whole of the right side of chest and abdomen, as it were compressed from before and behind, with sharp inward-cutting down the sternum and behind on the spine, increased by inspiration and every movement of the trunk (aft. 5 h.) [Ws.]

155. Towards evening, on going upstaris, great oppression and pressure on the chest, with aching on the sides of the frontal bone and violent palpitation of the heart (aft. 2 h.) [Fz.]

Cutting blows on the strenum and spine, towards the interior (aft. 36 h.) [Ws.]

When sitting and bending forwards, violent palpitation of the heart, with painful sensation of contraction of the heart.[Gss.]

In the evening, in bed, while lying on the left side, he feels a violent palpitation of the heart; relieved by sitting up.[Gss.]

A beating pain in the cardiac region. [Hsch.]

160.When he takes as deep a breath as he can, it seems to stop under the upper part of the sternum, he feels there a pain, almost like obtuse shooting or pressure (aft. 72 h.).[Gss.]

On drawing in the breath, intenally a trembling feeling, like hiccup, so that he has to draw his breath, as it were, in two jerks (aft. 8 h.) [Fz.]

Cutting pressure out from the thoracic cavity, with feeling of anxiety (aft. ½ h).[Ws.]

Single stitches on the sternum when sitting (aft. 28 h.) [Lr.]

Painful sensibility of the chest when he presses but lightly on it (aft. 24 h.) [Ws.]

165. Pressure on the chest towards the axilla and on the tendon of the pectoralis major. (aft. 3 d.) [Fz.]

Very sharp, shooting, itching in front at the last right true rib, which at first does not go off even by scratching, but afterwards disappears spontaneously (aft. 24 h.). [Fz.]

In the morning, in bed, pain in the sacrum as if all were broken; after rising she could not lift anything from the ground for some hours; then hunger, followed by cutting in the abdomen and purging, at last mucous evacuations.

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann (1755-1843) was the founder of Homoeopathy. He is called the Father of Experimental Pharmacology because he was the first physician to prepare medicines in a specialized way; proving them on healthy human beings, to determine how the medicines acted to cure diseases.

Hahnemann's three major publications chart the development of homeopathy. In the Organon of Medicine, we see the fundamentals laid out. Materia Medica Pura records the exact symptoms of the remedy provings. In his book, The Chronic Diseases, Their Peculiar Nature and Their Homoeopathic Cure, he showed us how natural diseases become chronic in nature when suppressed by improper treatment.