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

( From vol.. iv, 2nd edit., 1825.)


This metal in its pure state, as leaf-silver (argentum foliatum), from the supposed impossibility of its being dissolved in our juices-an impossibility that has no better basis than theoretical speculation is said by the teachers of materia medica to be just as powerless as gold (which see).

At first I allowed myself to be deterred by these confident assertions from using it medicinally, and therefore employed only the solution of nitrate of silver (in the dose of a drop of the quintillionth dilution), when I had the opportunity of observing the few subjoined symptoms caused by it.

But, in spite of all the denials of theorists without experience, who always persist in regarding the stomach as a cooking or digesting machine, containing gastric juice which, judging by their trials in the vessels of their laboratory, they found to be incapable of dissolving either metallic gold or metallic silver, and therefore considered these medicines to be incapable of exciting any action upon us such as they do when chemically dissolved legs artis in the stomach, when they are methodic absorbed and introduced into the circulation of the blood; influenced by the reasons I have adduced respecting gold, I could not refrain from employing pure silver in the metallic state. I therefore made experiments on the healthy body with leaf-silver, after triturating it for an hour to the finest powder, with a hundred parts of milk-sugar.

The few symptoms observed from it and set forth in the following pages furnish the homoeopathic physician, in silver under this form, with a curative instrument in many similar morbid states, which cannot be cured by any other medicinal agent, and for which the ordinary physician fails to find a remedy in all his therapeutics, clinical experience and voluminous prescription-books.

But I subsequently found that for homoeopathic use another hundredfold attenuation, that is to say, a grain of powder containing 1/10000 of silver, may be a still too large dose.

The empirical reputation of nitrate of silver in the ordinary forms of epilepsy is not well founded, and seems to have arisen from the circumstance that in some varieties of convulsions, where copper is indicated, a salt of silver containing copper has been used. But that pure silver, such as leaf-silver is, should be efficacious in the worst and commonest form of epilepsy, is not borne out by the primary symptoms as yet revealed from its administration.

R. BOYLE’S so-called diuretic pills, which contain nitrate of silver, and which are so much praised by BOERHAVE, are quite unsuitable for their purpose, not only on account of the perilous size of the doses, but also because silver, as the subjoined symptoms produced by it show, only increases the urinary secretion in its primary action (consequently the opposite of the diminished urinary secretion in dropsical diseases), whereupon, by means of the ensuing reaction of the vital force, the opposite of the end aimed at must take place, which is its permanent secondary action, to wit, a still greater diminution of the urinary secretion; a true antipathic and, for this case, injurious procedure.

Such hurtful mistakes must have hitherto been committed by this ordinary physicians, because they were unacquainted with the primary effects of the medicines, and knew of no way whereby they could learn them, and took no pains to discover the right way. Indeed, for five-and-twenty centuries they have had no notion of primary and secondary action of medicines, as a permanent condition, the exact opposite of their primary action, and that, consequently, in order to effect any permanent cure, medicines to be really curative must be able to produce in their primary action the simile of the morbid state actually present, to allow us to expect from the reaction of the organism the opposite of the medicin primary action (and of the disease similar to it), that is to say, the destruction and alteration into health of the deranged sensations and functions.

On the other hand, silver can cure permanently some kinds of diabetes when the other symptoms of the disease correspond in similarity to other primary symptoms of the disease.


The following old-school authorities were consulted for the effects of nitrate of silver:

HALL, THOM., Phys, Medorrhinum Journal. 1800, July, also in Duncan’s Annals of Medorrhinum v, 1801.

KINGLAKE, London Medical and Physical Journal, 1801.

MOODIE, Medorrhinum and Phys. Journal, 1804.

No old-school writers are quoted for effects of metallic silver.

The 1st edit. gave 200 symptoms to silver, to this 2nd edit. 23 have been added.]


Vertigo, with complete but transient blindness. [THOMAS HALL. in the Phys. Medorrhinum Journal, 1800, p. 518, also in Duncan’s Annals Medorrhinum, 1799. (Effects of A. n. given to a woman, aet. 35, for convulsive attacks. This occurrrd twice, three hours after taking the drug. The name of this author is wrongly give by Hahnemann as “HULL.”)

(It affected the head, as if the fit of epilepsy would come on.)

(Premonitory feeling of the impending fit.)

Dimness of vision with anxiety, heat of face, and weeping eyes.

5. Spongy, easily bleeding gums, which, however, were not painful nor swollen. [MOODIE, in Medorrhinum and Phys. Journal. 1804.( General statement. Literally, “after a time, tenderness of the gums, with x disposition to bleed; they were, however, neither painful nor swollen)]

Sensation as if the velum palati were swollen, not per se, but on moving the tongue and when swallowing.

Sickness, weight, and pressure in the stomach. (On three occasions, three hours after ingestion.) [HALL, 1. c.]

Burning heat in the stomach. [KINGLAKE, in London Medical and Physical Journal, 1801.( Effects of A. n. given to a man, set. 30, for epilepsy.)]

Burning in the stomach and on the chest. [ MOODIE, l. C.1

10.The urinary organs are at first greatly irritated.( Not found; the name of the authority being omitted, it is doubtful to which it tightly belongs.) [l. c.]

Disagreeable stoppage in the upper part of the nose for three days. [ HALL, 1. c. ]

Discharge from the nose like white pus mixed with blood-clots.( After the three days of S. I1. The pus is said to have been like brain-substance.) [HALL, 1. c.]

Feeling in all the limbs as if they would go to sleep and stiffen.

Exhaustion in the afternoon.

15. Profuse night sweat.

Anxiety that compels him to walk quickly.


He became suddenly dizzy, and as if a mist were before the eyes.

Vertiginous, sleepy intoxication; his eyes closed.

Attacks of vertigo; he cannot think properly; also when sitting and reflecting (aft. 1/2 h.). [Gss.]

Stupid in the head. [Gss.]

5.His head began to creep and crawl, as from intoxication.

He is always in a kind of intoxication; he knows not what is the matter with him. [Fz.]

Feeling of gloominess in the head, as if smoke were in the brain.[ Myr. ]

As if stupid and hollow in the head, the whole brain is painful, with chilliness.

Shooting burning pain in the head.

10. Severe shooting and tearing pain in the head.

(In the morning shooting headache, with redness of one eye.)

When standing and reading he had a sudden burning sensation in the scrobiculns cordis, a sensation of dull contraction of the brain from all sides, and like a threatening of vertigo, with sick nausea in the region of the sternum, such as is apt to occur after rapid violent turning round in a circle; at the same time a sudden heat all over the body, but more in the face, and momentary perspiration on the chest and face.

A sensation compounded of pressure and drawing in the head, above the right ear towards the back (aft. 4 h.). [Gss.]

In the left temple horrible pain compounded of aching and tearing (aft. 5 h.). [Gss.]

15. Tearing in the left temple. [ Gss. ]

Tearing as if in the bone of the left temple and above the left mastoid process. [ Hnl. ]

Drawing pain from the occipital bone to the middle of frontal bone, in a curved direction over the right temporal bone, externally. [ Hrr. ]

Aching tearing pain on the left and right temporal bones, increased by touch. [Hrr.]

Squeezing pressure on the right temple, with intermittent sharp stitches inwards (aft. 5. d.). [Ws.]

20. Cutting stitches, as if in the bone of on the surface of the brain just in front of the left ear, going forwards. [Hnl. ]

Aching pain on the temporal bones, externally. [Hrr.]

Aching pain on both parietal bones, externally. [Hrr.]

Aching pain on the left parietal bone, externally. [Hrr.]

A slight pressure on the head causes sore pain. [Fz.]

25. Slight rippling shudder over the right side of the hairy scalp. [Hnl.]

Aching pain with stupefaction in the sinciput, and drawing aching in the occiput.

Aching headache in the forehead above the eyebrows (aft. 2 h.)[ Ws.]

Aching tearing headache in the left frontal protuberance (aft. 6 h.) [Gss.]

Aching tearing headache under the left frontal protuberance, during which the eyeball also seems to be compressed. [Gss.]

30. Intermittent boring pains, anteriorly on the left side of the forehead all day, aggravated after lying down in the evening (aft. 7 h.). [Lr.]

The nape feels stiff, and there is a strange feeling in the occiput; a kind of drawing and aching therein.

In the right temporal muscles, the right frontal muscles, the lateral cervical muscles near the thyroid cartilage, and posteriorly towards the nape, a spasmodic twitching and jumping of the muscles that pushed away the hand, with twitching pain.

A pimple on the left temple, that when touched pains like a boil.

(The borders of the upper and lower eyelids are very red and swelled, but the eyes do not suppurate.)

35. Great itching in the canthi of the eyes.

Painful gnawing aching in the facial bones of the right side, worst on the malar bone (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

Tearing on the left zygoma. [ Hrr.]

Fine drawing pain in the facial muscles, especially on the malar bones. [ Ws. ]

Fine painful stitches on the malar bone. [Ws.]

40. Cutting stitches from the interior of the left ear, extending into the brain.

Sensation in the right ear as if it was stopped up.( [SS.40 and 41, though they have no name attached, are among the symptoms observed by others, therefore not by Hahnemann.])

Above the left ear, on a small spot, aching tearing (aft. 12 h.). [Gss.]

Great itching on the external ear, causing scratching till blood comes.

Gnawing itching on the lobes of both ears, in the morning, after rising (aft. 24 h.).[Gss.]

45. From the depression under the lobe of the right ear to the skin of the cheek, a drawing pain, that extends to the lower jaw, as if it were in the periosteum. [Fz.]

On chewing, cutting sensation, as if he had taken some acrid acid, in the Eustachian tube towards the parotid gland. [Fz.]

Profuse epistaxis from blowing the nose (immediately after dinner), and again three hours afterwards.

Epistaxis came on after creeping and tickling in the nose.

Swelling of the upper lip, close below the nose.

50.The gums are painful per se, but more when touched.

(An incisor tooth pained when it was pressed forwards) (aft. 5 h.). [Ws.]

On the outside of the neck, left side, aching while walking in the open air. [Fz.]

Cutting stitches inwards under the right lower jaw, as if in a gland. [Hnl.]

The neck in the neighbourhood of the sub-maxillary glands is swollen, and in consequence the neck is stiff and tense when moving; at the same time swallowing is rendered difficult by internal swelling of the throat, and he must force every mouthful with an effort through the gullet (aft. 48 h.). I Ws.)

55. Dry feeling of the tongue, which, however, is moist. [Fz.]

A small vesical on the tongue with burning sore pain.

In the throat he has a raw and sore pain.

Boring and digging pain in the throat.

Soreness and rawness in the throat when expiring and swallowing. [Fz.]

60. Rough and scraping in the throat, lasting all day. [Hnl.]

On the velum palati a scraping sensation, as if a rough body were adherent there, not exactly painful but disagreeable, more felt during empty deglutition than when swallowing a morsel, but constantly felt and compelling him to swallow his saliva; after several hours this secretion goes deeper down in the faeces. [Fz.]

When yawning, a painful tension in the fauces; as from a swelling.[Gss.]

The collection of viscid saliva in the mouth renders speaking difficult. [Fz.]

Collection of saliva in the mouth, with shivering shaking. [Fz]

65. Viscid, grey, gelatinous mucus in the fauces, which can be easily expectorated by hawking, in the morning. .[Gss.]

(Great longing for wine.)

Appetite quite gone; he feels a loathing at food, when he merely thinks about it.

Indifference to all food, and he is easily satiated. [Fz]

The morning hunger disappears. [Fz.]

70. Very great appetite (aft. 40 h.). [Gss.]

Though the stomach is full, the appetite still continues great. [Gss.]

Excessive gnawing hunger all day, not extinguished by eating.

Afterwards, for several days, it could only be allayed for a short time by eating. [Hnl.] t

In the morning in the abdomen, stomach, and chest, a burning sensation as from heartburn.

Sensation similar to heartburn (aft. 1 h.). [Myr.]

75. Hiccup during (accustomed) tobacco smoking (aft. 1.1/4 h.).[Lr.]

Almost uninterrupted qualmishness and nausea. [Fz.]

Sick feeling in the throat, and immediately afterwards heat all over, but chiefly on the head, redness of face, without thirst (aft. ½ h.). [Myr]

Retching, whereby a bitter, pungant, ill-tasting fluid is brought up from the stomach into the mouth, after which a scraping, scratching very burning sensation remains permanently in the fauces (heartburn) (aft.8.h). [Gss.]

Aching in the scrobilibcus cordis. [Fz.]

80. Pinching over the stomach and in the left hypochodrium. [Fz.]

After he has commenced to eat, there occurs a severe aching from the abdomen towards the pubic region, which is aggravated by inspiration, and is relieved by rising from his seat. [Gss.]

At night an aching painful distension in the abdomen, which went off without discharge of flatulence.

Rumbling in the abdomen at night and discharge of flatus.

Loud noises in the abdomen, on the left side, like the croaking of young frogs. (aft. ¾ h.) [Lr.]

85. After the morning stool, contractive belly-ache, as from a chill, when sitting.

Belly-ache, as in diarrhoea. [Fz.]

Cutting internally, transversely through the abdomen.

Contraction of the abdominal muscles when walking, with tension in them, so that he must walk bent forwards. [Fz.]

In the abdominal muscles, near the last two ribs, sharp stitches from within outwards, which outwards, which end in a fine pinching, and are somewhat allayed by rubbing (aft. 60 h.) [Ws.]

90. A boring pain in the right hypogastrium, just above the groin (aft. 34 h.) [Lr.]

Shooting cutting on bith sides in the region of the inguinal ring (aft. 3.1/2 h.) [Hnl.]

In the bend of the left groin, sensation of straining of the tendon ( of the lumbar muscle) which pains as if bruised when pressed on.[Fz.]

Pressing in the hypogastrium during the stool, which is moderately soft, and also thereafter (aft. 72 h.).[Ws.]

Frequent (never ineffectual) urging to stool in the lower part of the rectum, and evacuation of a scanty soft stool (aft. 2.1/2 h.), lasting several days. (This symptom has no name attached but being among the “observat others” must not be attributed to Hahnemann).

95. During the evacuation of a soft stool, a painful urging in the hypogastrium.

During the evacuation, in the afternoon, he vomited twice.

After dinner, a stool which is very dry and sandy, but is passed without difficulty (aft. 8 h.) [Fz.]

Very frequent micturition (aft. 6 h.) [Gss.]

Frequent urging to urinate and copious flow of urine for several hours (aft. 2 h.) [Lr.]

100. Almost every night an emission of semen.

At night pollutions, without lascivious dreams. [Lr.]

A pain in the left testicle, as after a contusion (aft. 49 h.) [Lr.]

Irritation in the nose, as if coryza were about to c(af.t. 1 h.) [Myr.]

The nose is as if stopped up anteriorly in both nostrils, and there is smarting in the left nostril.[Fz.]

105. Fluent coryza; the nose is always full of mucus.[Gss.]

Excessive fluent coryza, with frequent sneezing, for two days. [Hnl.]

Severe fluent coryza, without sneezing (aft. 10 h.) [Lr.]

Raw and sore pain superiorly in the larynx, when coughing, not when swallowing.

By day (not at night and not in the open air), several attacks of short rattling cough, with white, thick, easily detached expectoration, like boiled strach, but opaque, without taste or smell.

110. (In the morning, cough.)

By laughing mucus is produced in the trachea, and cough excited.[Fz.]

Mucus in the chest and cough with expectoration (aft. 26 h.) [Lr.]

On going upstrairs and stooping mucus comes in the wind-pipe, which is expectorated by a single impulse of cough.[Fz.]

On stooping mucus comes into the wind-pipe, which is expectorated by a single impulse of cough.[Fz.]

115. In the morning after rising from bed, an irritating tussiculation without expectoration (aft. 48 h.) [Lr.]

Obtuse cutting, passing into shooting, rises up into the wind-pipe, and compels him to cough two or three times, and thereafter continues for some time; the cough brings watery expectoration, which does not remove the irritation to cough (aft. 24 h.). [Fz ]

In the right side of the chest, from within outwards, such a violent stitch, lasting about a minute, that he can neither inspire nor expire (when sitting) (aft. 28 h.). [Lr.]

Fine stitches in the interior of the upper part of the sternum, from within outwards (aft. 48 h.). [Ws.]

Sharp stitches on the right side, near the nipple. [Hrr.]

120. Under the right nipple, a shooting, not connected with inspiration or expiration. [Gss.]

Tearing under the right nipple. [Gss.]

Gnawing scraping on the left side of the chest when at test. [ Ws.]

Cramp pain on the left side of the chest, and when it is gone the part still pains when touched (aft. 9 h.). [Ws.]

(Oppressive burning in the region of the heart. [Hnl.]

125. Feeling of pressure and oppression in the left side of the chest above the heart (aft. 78 h.). [Ws.]

A shooting, squeezing pain on the left side of the sternum, most severe when sitting bent forwards, unconnected with expiration or inspiration (aft. 8 h.). [ Ws.]

Aching shooting on the right side of the chest and sternum, only slightly increased by inspiring deeply (aft. some m.). [Ws.]

On inspiring deeply an out-pressing pain on a spot the size of a florin under the second and third right ribs. [Hnl.]

On the right side of the chest, a spot with aching pain, as if something hard was pressed against the ribs. [Fz.]

130. Violent aching in the middle of the sternum, internally, very much increased by every movement, especially by stooping forwards and then rising up. [Hnl.]

Aching pain on the sternum, externally. [Hrr.]

Needle-pricks under the ensiform cartilage of the sternum. [Hrr.]

Sharp stitches on the right near the manubrium sterni (aft. 3 h.).[Hrr.]

On some ribs, a spasmodic aching tensive pain.

135. Sharp stitches between the sixth and seventh true ribs of the right side, which are aggravated by inspiring deeply. [Hrr.]

Under the last left rib a cutting stitch transversely across, on leaning over to the side and on supporting himself with his arm.

Obtuse stitches on the left side, under the last false ribs. [Hrr.]

Obtuse stitches under the third true rib of the left side, equally felt when inspiring and expiring. [Hrr.]

Slowly intermittent obtuse stitches under the cartilages of the last true ribs, on the left above the scrobiculus cordis (in the evening in bed) (aft. 31 h.). [Gss.]

140. Severe cutting from within outwards, in both sides at the lowest ribs, when inspiring deeply, only slight at other times; if he moves the trunk without inspiring he experiences no increase, but he does so immediately on drawing in the breath (aft. 10 h.). [ Ws.]

Cutting stitches at the end of the ribs on the right side near the spine, especially on bending the back. [Hnl.]

In the side of the back, opposite the abdomen, first an aching, afterwards when standing, on the slightest movement and when breathing, a frightfully severe aching shooting, almost as if he should die; he must walk in a bent posture; it felt like the grasping pain of a malignant ulcer when he lay still; in the chest itself there was oppression, so that he could not get his breath, as if a great weight lay on the chest.

Burning shooting in the right side of the sacrum when sitting; when he rises up and when he presses on it the spot has only a burning pain, and does not shoot any more. [Fz.]

Drawing on the right side of the posterior portion of the pelvis and in the sacrum (aft. 1/4 h.). [Gss.]

145. Sensation as if the sacrum were beaten (aft. 24 h.). [Gss.]

His sacrum is very painful, as if bruised (aft. 36 h.). [Gss.]

Obtuse stitches in the second lumbar vertebra. (Hrr.]

A tickling, itching shooting betwixt the scapulae, as from a severe flea or gnat-bite; he cannot scratch enough.

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.