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

(Cinchona Bark.)

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

(The alcoholic tincture of the thin tubular as well as the royal bark, Cinchona officinalis.)

Excepting opium I know no medicine that has been more and oftener misused in diseases, and employed to the injury of mankind, than cinchona bark. It was regarded not only as perfectly innocuous, but as a wholesome and universally beneficial medicine in almost all morbid states particularly where debility was observed, and was often prescribed in large doses several times a day for many weeks, and even months, together.

In so acting the ordinary physicians were guided by an utterly false principle, and they confirmed the reproach I have already frequently made against them to the more sensible portion of the public, that they have hitherto sought in traditional opinions, in guesses prompted by false lights in theoretical maxims and chance ideas what they could and should find only by impartial observation, clear experience, and pure experiment, in a pure science of experience such as medicine from its nature must only be.

Setting aside all guess-work and all traditional unproved opinions, I adopted the latter method, and I found, as with the other medicines, so especially with cinchona bark, by testing its dynamical powers on the healthy human being, that has certainly as it extremely curative in some cases of disease, so surely can it also develop the most morbid symptoms of a special kind in the healthy human body; symptoms often of great intensity and long duration, as shown by the following true observations and experiments.

Thereby, first of all, the prevailing delusion as to the harmlessness, the child-like mildness and the all-wholesome character of cinchona bark is refuted. (As long ago as the year 1790 (See W. CULLEN’s Materia Medica, Leipzig, bei Schwickert, ii, p. 109, note) I made the first pure trial with cinchona bark upon myself, in reference to its power of exciting intermittent fever. With this first trial broke upon me the dawn that has since brightened into the most brilliant day of the medical art; that it is only in virtue of their power to make the healthy human being ill that medicines can cure morbid states, and indeed, only such morbid states are composed of symptoms which the drug to be selected for them can itself produce in similarity on the healthy. This is a truth so incontrovertible, so absolutely without exception, that all the venom poured out on it by the members of the medical guild, blinded by their thousand-years old prejudices, is powerless to extinguish it; as powerless as were the vituperations launched against HARVEY’s immortal discovery of the greater circulation in the human body by RIOLAN and his crew to destroy the truth revealed by HARVEY. These opponents of an inextinguishable truth fought with the same despicable weapons as do to-day the adversaries of the homoeopathic medical doctrine. Like their modern congeners they also refrained from repeating his experiments in a true, careful manner, (for fear lest they might be confused by facts), and confined themselves to abuse, appealing to the great antiquity of their error (for GALEN’s predecessors and GALEN himself had arbitrarily decided that the arteries contained only spiritual air, and that the source of the blood was not in the heart but in the liver), and they cried out: Malo cum Galeno errare cum Harveyo esse circulator! This blindness, this obstinate appeal to the extreme antiquity of their delusion (it was only after thirty years and more that HARVEY had the satisfaction of seeing his true doctrine universally adopted), was in those days not more stupid than the blindness of to-day, and the present aimless rancour against homoeopathy which exposes the pernicious rubbish talked about ancient and modern arbitrary maxims and unjustifiable practices, and teaches that it is only by the responses given by nature when questioned that we can with sure perscience change diseases into health rapidly, gently, and permanently. )

But equally evident is it, from the symptoms of disease produced by cinchona bark in healthy observers recorded below, that the numerous unhappy results of the treatment by this bark occurring in the practice of ordinary physicians, and the frequently incurable aggravations of disease developed where bark in long continued and large doses was the main remedy in the prescriptions were owing solely to the noxious character of this drug when employed in unsuitable cases, and in too frequent and too large doses. This noxious character is demonstrated by the medicinal symptoms recorded below, which physicians till now were not aware of, and which they made no effort to ascertain. On the contrary, they innocently ascribed these aggravations to the natural course of the disease itself.

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.