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

(Atropa Belladonna)

(The freshly expressed juice of the whole plant at the commencement of its flowering, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

The plant gathered in the garden (on a rather dry soil and preferably on the slope of a hill) is little if at all inferior in medicinal power to the wild plant, although some physicians have asserted the contrary.

From the following completed list of the symptoms of belladonna it will readily be seen that it corresponds in similarity to a number of morbid states not infrequently met with in life, and that hence it must frequently be homoeopathically applicable for curative purposes, like a polychrest.

Those small-souled persons who cry out against its poisonous character must let a number of patients die for want of belladonna, and their hackneyed phrase, that we have well-tried mild remedies for these diseases, only serves to prove their ignorance, for no medicine can be a substitute for another.

To take an example, how often are the worst forms of sore-throat (especially those combined with external swelling) given over to death, in spite of all their employment of venesection, leeches, blisters, gargles, emollient poultices, cooling powders, sudorifics and purgatives. And yet, without all these tortures, they might have been cured in a few hours with a single minute dose of belladonna.

And what other real medicine would not be hurtful, dangerous, and poisonous in the hands of the ignorant? Certainly every powerful medicine would be so if given in unsuitable cases of disease and in disproportionately large doses-for, which the so-called physician would be solely to blame. On the other hand, the most potent and energetic medicines will become the mildest by diminishing the dose sufficiently, and they will become the most curative, even for the most delicate and sensitive bodies, when they ate given in appropriate smallest possible doses, and when the case of disease consists of affections very similar to what the medicine itself has shown it can call forth in healthy human beings. With such potent drugs as belladonna, we must never neglect to exercise the requisite carp in the homoeopathic selection. But this would never enter the head of the routine practitioner who, as is well known, is in the habit of treating all cases with a few prescriptions learned by rote.

Taught by a hundredfold experience at the sick bed during the last eight or ten years, I could not help descending to the decillion-fold dilution, and I find the smallest portion of a drop(As the dose is one globule the size of a poppy seed (300 of which weigh only a grain), moistened with it, we give less than 1/1000 th of a drop of the fold medicinal dilution spiritualized (potentized) by succession, for with a single drop many more than 1000 such small globules can be moistened.) of this for a dose quite sufficient to fulfil every curative intention attainable with this medicine.

Two drops of the juice mixed with equal parts of alcohol, taken as unity (as with other vegetable juices), and shaken with’ 99 to 100 drops of alcohol by two downward strokes of the arm (whose hand holds the mixing phial) gives a hundredfold potentized dilution; one drop of this shaken in the same way with another 100 drops of fresh alcohol gives the ten-thousand fold dilution, and one drop of this shaken with 100 drops of alcohol, the millionfold. And thus in thirty such phials the potentized dilution is brought to the decillion-fold, with which the homoeopathic physician effects the cures he can expect to make with belladonna.

(The above is the method to be employed for the dilution and potentization of the other vegetable juices.)

Belladonna, in the small dose just described, is, if the case is homoeopathically adapted, capable of curing the most acute diseases (in which it acts with a rapidity proportionate to the nature of, the disorder). On the other hand, it is not less serviceable in the most chronic ailments, in which its duration of action, even in the smallest dose, amounts to three weeks and more.( The best preventive of hydrophobia is the smallest dose of belladonna, given at cry every third or fourth day, and repeated at ever longer intervals.)

Almost all authors have asserted that vinegar is an antidote to belladonna, but that is a mere conjecture, copied: in simple faith by one from another, and yet nothing is further from the truth. Repeated experience has taught me that vinegar only aggravates the ill-effects of large doses of belladonna.. (STAPF also observed that in the violent headache from belladonna vinegar laid on the forehead increased it to such an intolerable degree that it had to be taken off.)

Opium relieves the paralytic symptoms and abdominal pains caused by belladonna, but only in an antipathic and palliative way, very probably also it removes, in very small doses, the sopor caused by belladonna.

But the stupefied condition, the mania and the fury caused by belladonna, are soonest and most surely homoeopathically removed by one or two small doses of henbane. But the intoxication by itself is best subdued by wine, as I have seen, and as TRAJUS.and MOIBANUS long ago observed.

When small dose of belladonna, unhomoeopathically selected, causes lachrymose disposition with chilliness and headache, an equally small dose of pulsatilla relieves.

But suitable help is most urgently required in cases where belladonna has been swallowed in considerable quantities, for example, in the form of its berries. In such cases relief is obtained by drinking a large quantity of strong coffee, which removes the loss of irritability and the tetanic convulsions, tough it only does that antipathically. It also promotes the vomiting of the berries most certainly, the fauces being at the same time irritated with a long feather in order to empty the stomach.

The erysipelatous swelling caused by belladonna are readily removed by hepar sulphuris. Camphor too, displays much antidotal power against some of the morbid effects caused by belladonna.

The prophylactic power of belladonna (given in the smallest dose every six or seven days) discovered by me, against, the true erysipelatoid smooth scarlet fever, as described by SYDENHAM, PLENCITZ, and others, was calumniated and ridiculed for nineteen years by a large number of medical men, who were not acquainted with this peculiar form of children’s disease, and consequently mistook for it the red miliary (purpura miliaris, roodvonk (See THOMASSEN A THUESSINK, “Over de Roodvonk,” 1816, extracted from his Geneeskundige Waarnemingen.)) that came from Belgium in 1801. This they falsely called “scarlet fever,” and naturally they failed to get any result from the administration of my prophylactic and curative remedy for true scarlet fever, in this red miliary fever. (This red miliary (roodvonk) is quite a different disease, requiring quite different treatment. Belladonna naturally does no good in it, and the ordinary routine practice allows the majority of patients to die of it. These might be all cured by the alternate administration of aconite and tincture of raw coffee-the former for the heat and increasing restlessness and agonizing anxiety, the latter for the excessive pains.with the lachrymose humour. The aconite should be given in the decillion-fold dilution of the juice, and the raw coffee in the million-fold dilution; both in the smallest portion of a drop for a dose, the one or the other, according as they are indicated, given every twelve, sixteen, or twenty-four hours. In recent times these two very different diseases (smooth scarlet fever and purple miliary) seem to have occurred complicated with one another in some epidemics; hence in some of the patients belladonna, in others aconite, seemed to have been most useful.) I am happy to say that of late years other medical men have again observed the old true scarlet fever. They have amply testified to the prophylactic power of belladonna in this disease, and have at last rendered me justice after having been treated so long with unmerited contempt.


Symptoms have been taken front the following old-school authorities:

ACKERMANN, in Struve’s Triumph d. Heilk., iii. Acta Nat. Cur., Vol. ix..

ALBRECHT, in Commerc. lit. Nor., 1731.

BALDINGER, in Neues Magazin f.’Aerzte, i.

BAYLIE, Prae. Essays on Medorrhinum Subjects.

BOUCHER, in Journ. de Medorrhinum, a%, Aout.

BUCHAVE, in Samml. br. Abh., f. pr, derzte, xiv.

BUCHHOLZ, in Hufet. Journ., v.

BUO’HOZ, in vicat, Planter Venen. de la Suisse.

CAMERARIUS, EL., Obs.; Med: Chir. Wahrnehm., vii; and in Wepfer, Hill. Cicuta

CARL, in Actea Nat. Cur., Vol. iv. Commercium liter. Nor., 1731.

CULLEN, Mat. teed., ii,

DIARIES, Diss. de Belladonna, Lips., 1776.

DILLENIUS, in Misc. Nat. Cur.. Dec. iii, ann. 7, 8.

DUMOULIN, in Journ. de Mod., xi, Aout.

EHRHARDT, Pftanzenhistorie, x.

ELFES, in Bust’s Magazine Vol. xxi.

EVERS, in Berliner Samml., iv.

EVERS, in Sehmucker’s Vermischten Scltyiften, i.

FABER, Strvchnomania.

G-CH, in HUM, Tourn.., xxii.

GMELIN. EB., in Acta Nat. Cur., Vol. vi, app.; Pflanzengifte.

GOCKEL In Frankische Samml., iii.

GREDING, in Ludwigni Adversaria mod.

GRIMM, in Actea Nat. Cur., Vol. ii.

HASENEST, in Actea Nat. Cur., Vol. iii.

HENNING, in Hufel. journ. xxi.

HOCHSTETTER, Obs. teed., Fft., .1674.

HOFFMANN, FR., Medicina Ration.

HORST, Opera, ii.

HOYER, in Misc. Nat. Cur., Dec. iii, ann. 7, 8. Hufeland’s Journal f, pr. Arzn., xvi.

JUSTI, in Hufeland’s Journ., vii.

LAMBERGEN, TIB., Lectio inaug. silt. eph. pers. carcin., Groping., 1754.

LAUNAY D HERMONT, DE, in Hist, de h Acad. des SC.

LOTTINGER, bled: Chir. Wahxnehm., Altenb., ii.

MANETTI, Viridarium florentinum Florent., 1751.

MAPPI, Plant. Alsat.

MARDORF, Diss. de Maniacis – Giessensibus, Giesae, 1691.

MAY, in Hannover. Mag., 1773, No. 97. Medorrhinum-Chir. Wahrnehmungun aus verschiednen Sprachen ubersetzt, Altenb., Vii.

MEZA, Dr, in Samml. br. Abh. f• pr. Aerzte, xiv.

MOIBANUS, in Schenck, vii,.

MULLER, in Horn’s Archiv. ix.

MUNCH, Ueber die Belladonne.

MUNCH, in Richter’s Bibliothek, v.

OLLENROTH, in Hufel. Journ., vii.

PORTA, J. B. Magia Natur., viii.

RAU, in Actea Nat. Cur., Vol. x.

RAY, Histor. Plant., lib. 13.

REMER, in Hufel. Journ., xvii.

ST. MARTIN, DE, in Tourn. de Me&, xviii Aout.

SAUTER, in Hufel. Journ., xi.

SAUVAGES, Motorola, ii.

SCHAFFER, in Hufel. Tourn., vi.

SOHMU- Chirurg. Wahrnehm., ii; Vermischten Schriften.

SCHRECK, in Commerc. lit. Nor., 1743.

SICELIUS, Observer Dec. iv.

SOLENANDER, in dbh. der Konigl. Acad. d. Wissensch., Breslau, 1750.

STRUVE, Triumph der Heilk., i.

TIMMERMANN, Diss. Periculum Belladonna.

VALENTINI, in Misc. Nat. Cur., Dec. ii, ann. 10.

VICAT, Planter Veneneuses de la Suisse.

WAGNER, Misc. Nat. Cur., Dec. ii, ann. 10.

WARE, JAMES, in Gilbert’s Annals, 1816 xi.

WASSERBERG, in Stop’s Ratio Medendi., iii.

WEINMANN, in Gmelin’s Pflanzengifle.

WELLS, CHARLES, in Gilbert’s Annals, 1813, ii.

WETZLER, in Annal. d. Heilkunde. 1811, Feb.

WIEDEMANN. in Hufel. Journ., xxii.

WIENHOLT, Heilkr. d. Thier. Magnetismus, i.

WIERUS, De praestig. Daemonum, iii.

ZIEGLER, Boob., Lips., 1787.

In the Fragments there are 405 symptoms of belladonna, in the 1at Edit. 650 in the 2nd Edit. 1422, and in this 3rd Edit. 1440.]


Vertigo. [SICELIUS,( Not accessible.) Observ., Dec. iv, Cas. 4,-ZIEGLER, (Not accessible.) Beob., Leipz., 1787, pp. 21-38.-R. BUCHAVE,( Symptoms observed in whooping-cough patients to whom large doses of the extract had been administered.) in Samml. br. Abh, f, Pr. Aerzte, xiv, iv -HENNING,( Effects of grain doses of powdered leaves given for pemphigus.) in Hazel. Journ. xxi, i.-EB. GIMELIN,( Poisoning of an old man by the berries. When the form m which the plant wee taken is not mentioned, it will be understood that the berries were ingested.] ) in Acta. Nat. Cur., vi. App.]

Vertigo; objects seem to sway hither and thither. [ Ws.]

Whirling in the head, vertigo with nausea, as after rapid turning round in a circle, or as after the morning sleep following a nocturnal debauch. [Hbg.]

Whirling in the head, and at the same time a similar whirling in the pit of the stomach; after, rising it became so bad when walking, that she could not distinguish anything, everything vanished from her sight. [Kr.]

5. Vertigo as if all whirled round in a circle (aft. 1 h.). [Hrr.]

He goes round in a circle. [DE ST. MARTIN.( Poisoning of a boy of four.) Tournal de Medorrhinum, xviii, Aout ]

Stupid and whirling in the head; she feels better in the open air, worse in the room (aft. 1/4 h.). [Stf.]

Attacks of vertigo, when at rest and when moving. [Gss.]

A giddy feeling in the whole head, like vertigo, when sitting. [Htn.]

10. Vertigo and trembling of the hands, so that she could not do anything with them. [ BALLINGER,( poisoning of four adults.) Neues Magazin f. Aerzte, i, I St., p. 30. ]

When walking he staggers, holds on to the walls, complains of anxiety and vertigo, and often talks nonsense like a drunken person. [BALDINGER, l. C.]

She rises from bed in the morning and staggers as if intoxicated, hither and thither. [GREDING. in Ludwigii Adversar. med. pr., i, P. iv, p. 670(Greding’s symptoms from vol. i of Ludwig’s Adversaria are taken from a series of twenty-three cases, of which the first thirteen were pure epileptics and the remainder epilepto-maniacs, treated by belladonna in increasing doses of the powdered lea”” As al mental symptoms occurring in the patients of the second category must be esteemed doubtful, I have indicated them by adding to each the number of the case from which they were taken.) (14).]

Giddy swaying. [MARDORF, ( Poisoning of several persons.) Diss. de Maniacis Giessensibus, Giesae, 1691.-LOTTINGER,(Not accessible.) Medorrhinum Chirurg. Wahrnehm., Altenb., ii, p. 326.-TIb. LAMBERGEN,( Symptoms observed in a patient taking an infusion of Belladonna for some mammary indurations.) Lectio inaug. list. eph. pets. carcin,. Groping., 1754.]

Attacks of vertigo with obtuseness of senses for some minutes (aft. 12 h.).

15. All day long confusion of senses; he known not what he is doing. [Lr.]

Obtuseness of senses.

Cloudiness of the head, with swelling of the glands in the nape (aft. 6 h.).


Immediately after a meal as if intoxicated.

20. On drinking the smallest quantity of beer immediate intoxication.

Muddled head and intoxication as if from drinking wine, with bloated red face. [Commercium liter. Nor., (Same as Albrecht, q. v. ) 1731.]

His whole head is dazed for many days. [Stf.]

Muddled state as in intoxication. [HOCHSTETTER,( Effects of infusion to an adult.) Obs. Medorrhinum, Fft., 1673, oba. 7.-MAY.( Not accessible.) in Hannover. Map., 1773. No. 97.SICELIUS, 1. C.-DE LAUNAY D’HERMONT,( Poisoning of an adult. ) in Hist. de t’ ACad. den Sc.. 1756.-ALBRECHT,( Poisoning of two women and a boy.) in Commerc. lit. Nor., 1731.-BUC’H0Z,( Poisoning of a young boy.) in Vicar, Plantes venen. de la Suisse, p. 183.] [L. Rkt.]

Muddled state of sinciput as if an oppressive fog went hither and thither, especially under the frontal bone. [Gss.]

25. Muddling of the head as from much brandy and tobacco smoke.[ Hbg.]

Muddling and confusion of the whole head, as from the disagreeable feeling of commencing intoxication. [Gss.]

Confusion of the head ; worse during movement. [Hrr.]

Disinclination for all intellectual work. [Hbg.]

Weakness of mind and body. [Hrr.]

30. Weakness of mind. [WIERUS,( Poisoning of an adult.) de Praestig. Daemonum, iii, cap. 17.]

Stupefaction. [WAGNER,( Poisoning of (I) two old women and. (11) some children. [Them numbers will be used to designate the subjects to whom the symptoms belong.] Miscell. Nat. Cur., Dec. ii, ann. 10, Obs. 108 (11)-BUCHAVE; WIERUS, 1. C.]

Confusion of mind, [SICELIUS, l.c.]

Confusion of mind, so that he knows not whether he is dreaming or awake. [MOIBANUS, (Poisoning of a man. ) in Schenck, vii, obs. 164.]

Confusion of the senses; sleepy and yet awake, he thinks he is dreaming, [MOIBANUS, 1. C.]

35. His senses deceive him. [ACKERMANN,( Not accessible.) in Struve, Triumph der H., iii, p. 303. ]

Exalted, deluded phantasy conjures up a number of beautiful pictures to her. [Kr.]

He imagines he sees ghosts and insects of various kinds, [MOIBANUS, 1. C.]

Her nose appears transparent to her. [Kr.]

He imagines he sees things not present.[ WIEDEMANN, (Effects of B. when given freely to children for whooping-cough) in hufel. Jour., xxii, I.]

40.It seems to her that a spot on the left side of her head is transparent and spotted brown. [Kr.]

He thinks he is riding an ox. [G-cH (Effects of enema of infusion of leaves given for incarcerated hernia) in.Hufel.Jour., xvii, I,]

He does not know his own relations. [ WIERUS, 1. c.]

Want of consciousness; he sat as if in a dream. [Hbg.]

Unconsciousness. [Stf.]

45.He often lay without sense, without consciousness. [Stf ]

Loss of consciousness and convulsion in the arm, at night. [GREDING, 1. c., p. 672.]

Extreme stupefaction of the senses. [OLLENROTH,( Effects of extract given for mammary scirrhus) in Hufel. Jour:, vii, 4.]

Unconsciousness. [HASENEST,( Poisoning of a young woman) in Acta Nat. Our., iii, obs. 35. -GRIMM, (Poisoning of a child of three) in Acta Nat. Cur., vol. ii, obs. 60-(aft. 2 h,). RAU( Poisoning of a man of fifty), in Acta Nat, Our., x, obs. 24.-EB. GMELIN, 1. c.-HOCHSTETTER, 1. c.]

Unconsciousness with convulsions of the limbs. [BUCHAVE, 1. C.]

50. Complete unconsciousness; she knows nothing -going on. [HENNING. 1. C.]

Complete loss of reason. [SAUTER,( Poisoning of a child of six.-This case will be distinguished by a (I).) in Huf. Jour. xi, I, p. 125, (I).-BUCHAVE, 1. C.]

Loss of reason, for some weeks. [RAU, 1. c.]

Insensibility. [ VICAT,( Account of general effects of leaves and berries) Plantes veneneuses de la Suisse, p. 181.]

Stupidity. [WAGNER, 1. C. (1)]

55. During the headache her thoughts leave her; she forgets what she thought of shortly before, and cannot recollect herself. [ Bhr. ]

Distraction of the mind; he easily makes mistakes in his work, and forgets things that he has just undertaken to do. [Ws.]

He thinks now of one thing now of another; he could not think of anything properly, and he immediately forgot all he had just thought of or read.[ Lr ]

Impaired memory.

Very weak memory; he forgets what he intended to do immediately, and can remember nothing.

60.Return of the lost memory. [GREDING, 1 c., p. 650.]

He remembers long forgotten things. [WIEDEMANN, 1. c.]

He remembered things that happened three years before. [Melilotus chir. Wahrnehmungen aus verschiednen Sprachen ubersetzt Altenb vii. p. 69. (Not accessible)]

Lively memory (curative effect) (aft. 24 h.)

Violent headache. [LAMBERGEN-GREDING, 1. C., p. 669.]

65. Headache as though the brain was numb.

His whole head-feels heavy, as from intoxication, [Stf.]

A weight in the upper part of the forehead, which’ causes vertigo and as it were intoxication (aft. 14 d.).

The head feels heavy as though he would fall asleep; he is disinclined for everything.

Headache, only over the eyes, like a weight in the head, in the morning on waking, and when he touches the eyes it hurts.

70.Feeling, of weight with violent aching in the whole occiput (aft. 2.5h.). [Htn.].

Weight of the head as if it would fall down. [Ln.]

In the morning headache as if something in the forehead above the eyebrows sunk down; which hinders the opening of the eyes (aft.4h.) [Lr.]

An aching feeling of weight, from the centre of the brain towards the temples, with diminution of the hearing in both ears. [Mkl]

Aching in the right side of the crown, later shifting into the left side, then back again into the right, [Mkl.]

75.Aching headache, especially in the forehead (aft. 2 d.). [Hrr.]

Constant dull aching headache in the side of the head (aft. 5, 24 h.).

Painful aching feeling in the head, especially in the lower part of the forehead, just above the nose, intolerable on stepping. [L. Rkt.]

Headache above the orbits, as if the brain were pressed in, so that he must shut his eye?. [Hbg.]

Aching pain beneath the right frontal protuberance, which soon afterwards involves `the whole forehead (aft. 10 m.)., [Gss.]

80.Violent aching under the right frontal protuberance. [Gss.]

The aching pain under the frontal bone only occasionally declines to return again in still greater intensity. [Gss.]

Aching pain beneath the frontal protuberances, in the morning soon after waking, on getting up. [Gss.]

Violent outward-pressing pain in left frontal protuberance. [Htn ]

Violent inward pressure in the left temple, which on leaning this side of the head on something extends over the whole of the anterior half of the brain (aft: 3/4 h.). [Htn.]

85.Violent outward-pressure in the whole of the left half of the brain, especially severe in the forehead (aft. 2.5h.). [Htn.]

Aching pain in the right temporal region, which on leaning the head on the hand changes into a bursting pain, and., extends to the right frontal protuberance (aft. 8 h ). [Htn.]

Pressure in the head, now here, now there, that each time involves large spaces. [Hrr.]

Aching headache in the forehead, so bad on moving that it made the eyes close, alleviated when sitting; he must lie down, whereupon it went off; on standing up it immediately returned, for two days, not aggravated either by eating or by drinking; as soon as he goes into the open air he feels as if the forehead would be pressed in, just as if a heavy stone lay on it; the third day it went off completely when sitting in the room. [Hbg.]

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.