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


(This juice of the whole plant, Matricaria chamomilla, freshly expressed, and mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

It will be seen from the following symptoms of camomile, though they are far from being exhaustive, that this plant must evidently be reckoned among the medicines of many uses (polychrests). Hence in their domestic practice the common people have employed it in all kinds of maladies, especially those of an acute character. On this account physicians in their ludicrous pride have not deigned to regard it as a medicine, but, giving it the contemptuous name of “domestic remedy,” they permitted their patients to use it by handfuls in infusion as a tea or as a clyster along with the medicines they prescribed, (In order to avoid the degradation of admitting into their elegant prescriptions a vulgar folk’s-remedy like the ordinary camomile, when it was desired to give a medicine of this sort, they preferred to order the dearer and more aristocratic chamomilla romana off, without considering that this, being quit a different plant, belonging, indeed, to a totally different genus t of plants (Anthemis nobilis, l.), must possess different properties and actions. But what does a man who only wants a name in his prescriptions care about the peculiar actions of medicines?) just as if camomile, being but a vulgar domestic remedy, was of no account. In like manner they allowed their patients to apply bagfuls of the warmed flowers in any quantity they pleased to painful parts, whilst they themselves directed quite different medicines to be taken internally. Obstetric practitioners permitted the midwives and mothers to mix camomile tea in almost all the drinks and food of children at the breast and wet-nurses, as though it were a purely wholesome, non-injurious, or at least a perfectly unimportant and indifferent matter.

To such an extent did the blindness of physicians go with respect to a plant which belongs to the category of powerful medicines, whose exact power and importance it was their duty to ascertain, in order not only to learn how to make a rational and wholesome employment of it, but also to prevent its misuse by the common people, and to teach them in what particular cases camomile could only be employed beneficially, and in what cases its use was to be avoided.

But hitherto physicians have neglected their duty in all these respects; on the contrary, they vied with the common people in the thoughtless recommendation or permission to use this powerful medicinal plant in all cases of disease, without any distinction, in any quantity or dose the patients chose.

But it does not require much sense to perceive that no medicine in the world can be useful in all diseases, and that every one possesses an accurately defined curative sphere of action, beyond which every powerful medicinal substance, like camomile, (Every medicine that is capable of curing serious ailments must naturally be a powerful medicine.) must act in a thoroughly injurious manner, and so much the more injuriously the greater its powers are. Hence the physician who does not desire to act like a charlatan ought to be able to tell beforehand, not only the cases in which camomile must be beneficial, but also those in which its use must be injurious. Finally, he should be able also to determine the exact dose, which shall be neither too large nor too small for the disease. By the administration of the appropriate dose the cure of the disease by this plant may be anticipated with the greatest certainty.

Did we not know by thousands of other instances in what a meloncholy state, in what incomprehensible blindness, so-called practical medicine has groped through so many centuries, and how it has done every thing to emulate the common herd in their folly, it would only be necessary to direct the attention of an unprejudiced person to the proceedings of physicians in regard to this powerful medicinal plant, camomile.

For as it is impossible that any one medicine, be it ever so useful, can be serviceable and curative in one tenth part of the enormous number of different morbid states that exist in nature, so neither can camomile.

But let us suppose the impossible case, that camomile is curative in a tenth of all known diseases, must it not, if employed as hitherto, in almost all cases of disease without distinction, do harm in the other nine tenths? Is it wise to purchase a single benefit (It would be sufficiently stupid if one should purchase all the tickets of a classlottery in order to obtain the several prizes in it, without considering that he thereby incurs a palpable loss of ten per cent. But what could possibly be more foolish than, supposing there was a lottery which obviously brought a loss of nine whilst he could only win one? And yet the ordinary practitioner who employs camomile in every case is far more foolish; he does a much greater proportion of injury only with this difference, that the injury does not touch himself, but only his wretched patient.) by a ninefold injury? “What! injury?” retorts the ordinary practitioner;” I never saw any injury from camomile.” Yes, as long as you are ignorant of the morbid symptoms and ailments that camomile as a powerful medicine is capable of developing per se and in a peculiar manner in the healthy human body, you cannot recognize the ailments due to its employment in diseases, as the injurious effects of camomile; and in your ignorance you often attribute them to the course of the disease itself, to the malignity of the disease, and thus you deceive yourself and the poor tortured patient.

Look in this mirror, look at the following camomile symptoms, and when you are practising your ordinary slipshod treatment with unlimited simultaneous employment of camomile, behold the serious hurtful symptoms and ailments caused by camomile, consider how much discomfort and torture you inflict on your patients by the abuse of this powerful plant in unsuitable cases and in excessive doses. (Often, when, in the ordinary hap-hazard practice, camomile may have been administered in an appropriate case (for it must occasionally happen that a polychrest medicine, which is given in all sorts of cases, will by chance meet with a case of disease for which it is suited), it does harm, owing to the excessive quantity in which it is taken. It removes the symptoms of the malady to which it is homoeopathic, but inflicts in addition many useless sufferings, by producing some of its other severe symptoms which are not developed by a small dose, and thus it dose harm in even the most appropriate cases by the unnecessarily strong dose.)

See from this list of symptoms, incomplete though it be, how often where the disease would frequently have passed away by itself, you have prolonged, doubled, multiplied the sufferings of the patient by exciting an accumulation of the peculiar camomile ailments by your senseless continued abuse of this drug! As long as you really did no know, did not suspect the peculiar sufferings camomile is capable o occasioning, you sinned out of pure ignorance; but now that you have here displayed before you a list of the pure pathogenetic effects o camomile, you may well begin to be ashamed of your sin in inflicting so much suffering on your patients, who come to you in order to obtain from you an alleviation of their sufferings, a cure and relief of their diseases, by your everyday employment or unlimited permission to take it in cases for which it is unsuitable, and moreover, in ouch enormous doses.

From the symptoms and ailments which camomile excites per se in the healthy human being (and the same is the case with all dynamically acting medicines) we see what are the natural morbid states it can and must cure rapidly, certainly, and permanently. I need not point out these to him who knows how to employ it homoeopathically.

In the cases for which this plant is suitable, indicated by the correspondence of the symptoms of the disease with the peculiar camomile symptoms, it effects a perfect cure in very small doses, when the patient is protected from all other foreign medicinal influences, as he ought to be in every rational mode of treatment. I have found a single drop of the quadrillion-fold attenuation of the juice of the plant, prepared as above directed, not only sufficient, but sometimes (when the patient was very sensitive) rather too strong. Any one who has a fancy to compare these doses with the ordinary ones of a couple of ounces of camomile flowers in infusion, the drug being also given at the same time in clysters and fomentations, as it often is in the ordinary stupid routine practice, may do so. Well-attested truth is on my side.

Chamomilla has not a lone duration of action. but in large doses its action extends over some, occasionally many days.

The injurious effects of its employment in excessive doses and in unsuitable cases are soon removed, according to the symptoms, sometimes by raw coffee. sometimes by ignatia, sometimes by pulsatilla; but if they consist of tearing and shooting pains relieved by moving the affected part by aconite. Coffee, when it is not used by the patient as his daily beverage, also removes many of the sufferings caused by camomile, and, on the other hand, camomile is often a powerful antidote to the hurtful effects of coffee, when the symptoms do not rather point to nux vomica. But when the injurious effects of coffee are continually renewed by its daily use as a beverage, camomile can no more relieve the coffee-drinker of his morbid symptoms than wiping up can avail while the rain continues to fall.

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.