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

(Wood- charcoal.)

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

(The charcoal of any kind of wood, thoroughly heated to redness, manifests a uniformity in its effects on the human health, after adequate disengagement and development (potentization) of its innate medicinal spirit by trituration with a non-medicinal substance(e.g. milk-sugar.) in the manner. I have recorded above when speaking of carbo animalis. I employed the charcoal of birch wood. Some of the provings of others were made with the charcoal of red beech wood.)

From the earliest times physicians have considered charcoal to be non-medicial and powerless.Empiricism only placed among the ingredients of her highly composite powders for epilepsy, the charcoal of lime-wood, without being able to adduce any evidence of the efficacy of this substance by itself. It is only in recent times, since LOWITZ, of St. Petersburg, discovered the chemical properties of wood charcoal, especially its power of removing from putrid and mouldy substances their bad smell, and of preserving fluids from foetid odours, that physicians began to employ it externally. They advised rinsing of the mouth with powdered charcoal in cases of foeter of the breath, the application of the same powdered charcoal in cases of foeter of the breath, the application of the same powder to putrid ulcers, and in both cases the foeter was immediately removed. Administered internally in the dose of several drachms, it removed the evil odour of the stools in autumnal dysentery.

But this is merely a chemical use of wood-charcoal, for it takes away the foul odour of putrid water when mixed with it in lumps not pulverised, and indeed it does so most effectually in coarse fragments.

This medicinal employment of it was, as I have said, merely a chemical one, and not at all a dynamical employment penetrating into the inner vital sphere. The mouth rinsed out with it only remained free from foeter for a few hours. The evil emll of the mouth returned everyday. The old ulcer was not improved by it and the foeter, chemically removed from it for the moment, always recurred. The powder ingested in autumnal dysentery removed the foeter of the stools chemically for but a short time; the disease remained and the disgusting smell of the stools soon returned.

In such a coarse pulverised state charcoal can exercise almost none other than a chemical action. A considerable quantity of wood charcoal may be swallowed in its ordinary crude condition without producing the slightest alternation of the health.

It is only by prolonged trituration of the charcoal (as of many other dead and apparently powerless substances) with a non-medicinal substance, such as milk-sugar, that its inner concealed, and in the crude state latent and, so to speak, slumbering dynamical medicinal power can be awakened and brought into life. This can be effected by triturating one grain of wood-charcoal for an hour with 100 grains of milk-sugar; but its power will be developed still more vivaciously and powerfully if one grain of this powder be triturated for the same length of time with 100 grain of this last powder be again trituratedfor an hour with another 100 grains of milk-sugar. In this way a million-fold powder – attenuation is produced, a small portion of a grain of which moistened with a drop of water and ingested produces great medicinal effects and derangement of the human health.

The following peculiar, pure effects of wood-charcoal on the human health were caused by the ingestion of a few grains of this million-fold powder-attenuation of wood-charcoal. Its medicinal powers can be developed in a still higher degree by a further trituration with 100 parts of fresh milk-sugar; but for homoeopathic medicinal usea stronger potentization of wood-charcoal than the million-fold attenuation should by no means be employed.

The occasional production in sensitive patients of too energetic action from a small dose of this preparation is soon diminished by smelling several times at a saturated solution of camphor in alcohol, and apparently completely removed by frequent repetitions of the olfaction.

The symptoms marked (Ad.) are furnished by Russian physician, Dr ADAM; those marked (Gff.) by State-Counillor Baron VON GERSDOREFF, of Eisenach, and the few symptoms marked (Cas.) by DR.CASPARI, of Leipzig.

[The records of traditional medicine have contributed no symptoms to this proving.

This medicine first appears in the 2nd Edit., where it has 723 symptoms; in the Chr. Kr. there are1189.]


Whirling in the head (aft. 24 h.).

Vertigo on rapidly moving the head (aft. 4 d.).

Whirling all day long.

Vertigo so that he must hold on to something(aft. 15 d.).

5. On waking, vertigo and staggering.

Vertigo when stooping, as if the head wagged to and fro.

Vertigo in bed, after waking from sleep.

In the evening, after sleeping when sitting, he was giidy, with trembling and vibration in the whole body, and on rising from a seat, as if faint, which continued for a quarter of an hour even while lying.

(Pain rising from the stomach into the head, which took away her senses for a short time).

10. Vertigo, only when sitting, as if the head swayed to and fro.

Sudden loss of memory; he could not remember what he had just said to someone nor what the latter had said to him. [Ad.]

Slow march of the ideas, which always turn round one subject; at the same time sensation as if the head was too tightly bound (aft. 2 h.). [Ad.]

Confusion of head; thinking is difficult for him.

In the morning, immediately after rising, great confusion of the head; he cannot think well, and must collect himself with diffuculty as if out of a dream; it went off after lying down again. [Gff.]

15. Confusion of the occiput, as after a debauch.[Ad.]

Headache; dizzy as after a debauch, which spreads from the occiput to the front, increases towards evening, and involves the whole head, is also aggravated by walking. [Ad.]

Confusion of the occiput, more like a tension towards the outside (aft. ½ h.). [Ad.]

Stupid feeling in the head after waking from the midday sleep. [Ad.]

Sensation in the head as on the occurrence of coryza.

20. Headache involving the whole right side of the head and face (with chilliness, coldness, and tremlbing of the body and jaws).

Dulness and heaviness before the forehead. [Gff.]

A dull headache in the occiput. [Gff.]

Heaviness in the head.

Pain in the head as if too full.

25. Pressure in the occiput, especially after supper. [Ad.]

On and in the occiput, quite low down, violent pressive pain. [Gff.]

Constant pressive pain on the crown, during which the hairs are painful when touched. [Gff.]

Pain in the crown of the head, with painfulness of the hairs when touched. [Gff.]

Aching pain in the upper part of the right side of occiput, with aching in the eyes.

30. Aching pain in the forehad, especially just above the eyes, which are painful when moved, all the afternoon. [Gff.]

Pressure on the top of the head every afternoon.

Pressive pain above the eyes, extending into the eyes. [Gff.]

Pressure in both temples and on top of the head.

Pressure from within outwards in the left temple, lasting several hours. [Ad.]

35. A pressure on the top of the head, the drawing all about the head, but chiefly on the left side.

Pressure and drawing in the head, by fits.

Aching pain on a small spot where there had been a wound in former times, on the right side of the forehead (aft. 4 h.). [Gff.]

Compressive headache.

A pressive as if something lay on the crown, or as if the inetguments of the head were constricted, which spreads thence over the forehead. [Ad.]

40. Headache, like a contraction of the integuments of the head, particularly after supper. [Ad.]

Headache, as from contraction of integuments of the head.

Contractive pain in the head, especially on movement.

The hat presses on the head like a heavy weight, and when he takes it off the sensation remains, as if the head was bound round with a cloth. [Ad.]

Spasmodic tension in the brain.

45. Rush of blood to the head.

Rush of blood to the head, hot forehead, and empty feeling in the he.

For five days severe headaches; on stooping feeling as of something would come out at the occiput and sinciput.

After a meal pulsating headache in the forehead, and pressure in the occiput, with heat in the head and eructation.

Throbbing headache in the evening in bed, with difficult respiration.

50. After waking from a profound long midday sleep a throbbing in the temples and fulness of the brain. [Ad.]

In the afternoon throbbing headache.

Twitching headache.

Very violent headache, throbbing as if gathering in the occiput, from morning till evening (aft. 9 d.).

During a persistent headache a place the size of a hand on the head is quite hot to the touch (aft. 4 d.).

55. In the evening in bed violent pressing and burning headache, especially on the crown and in front to the forehead. [Gff.]

In the morning on awaking in bed, in the right half of the head whereon he lay, and in the occiput, a violent headache of a smarting aching character, like what is felt in the nose during abortive sneezing, a pain that was only relieved by raising up the head, but which went off completely on rising from bed. [Gff.]

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.