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

(Long-leaved Water Hemlock.)

(From vol. vi, 2nd edit., 1826.)

(The freshly expressed juice from the root gathered when the plant is commencing to flower, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

The following symptoms can only be regarded as a commencement of a thorough proving of the peculiar effects of this powerful plant in the altering the human health.

Further and more complete provings will show that it is useful in rare cases where no other remedy is homoeopathically suited, and particularly in chronic cases, for I have seen its effects last for three weeks, even when given in small doses.

Traditional medicine has never made any internal use of cicuta virosa; for when cicuta was prescribed, as it was very often some years ago, it was actually conium maculatum that was meant by that name.

The juice of cicuta was used only for external application in preparing the cicuta plaster on LINNEUS’S recommendation, particularly by the Danish Pharmacopoeia (Empl, de cicuta, Pharm. Dan.). It was applied for the purpose of allaying gouty pains.

The juice of fresh root (for it has little action when dried) is so powerful that ordinary practitioners did not dare (“Nec, ulli austor essum, ut interno usui dicaret,” say MURRAY (Apparat. Medicam., tom. I, 2nd edit., p. 402.) to give it internally in their accustomed big doses, and consequently had to do without it and its curative power altogether.

Homoeopathy alone knows how to employ with advantage this powerfully remedial juice in the decillion-fold dilution (30th dilution).

[In this proving HAHNEMANN had the assistance of his son FRIEDRICH HAHNEMANN, HORNBURG, and LANGHAMMER.

The only authorities of traditional medicine quoted are:

ALLEN, Synopsis.

Bresl. Samml., 1727.

WEPFER, De cicuta aquat.

The number of symptoms is the same in both Editions.]


In the morning after rising from bed, confusion of the head.

Stupid and dazed (after 10 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Stupid in the head, with rigor; at the same time the neck felt stiff and the muscles too short. [Fr. H-n.]

Absence of thought, difficulty of recollecting himself, deprivation of the senses. [WEPFER, De cicuta aquat., (Two boys and six girls are largely of it. (Quite half of the symptoms referred by HAHNEMANN to the authority are not to be found, after the most diligent search, in his pages.) and ALLEN Synopsis. (Poisoning of four children.)

5. Intoxication, staggering. [WEPFER, l. c.]

When walking, vertigo, as though he would fall forward to the left (aft. 72 h.). [Lr.]

On stooping he feels as if he would fall head – foremost (aft. 80 h.). [Lr.]

Vertigo, staggering. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Staggering and swaying when walking (aft. 82 h.). [Lr.]

10. When sitting, standing, and walking, he is as if intoxicated (aft. 5 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

All objects appear to him round in a circle, especially when he is seated – for many hours (aft. 2 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Objects seem to him to move hither and thither, from one side to the other, although they all retain their right shape (aft. 10 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

She thinks she must place or seat herself more firmly, because she sees nothing steady or firm about her, and she consequently thinks that she herself is unsteady; everything dazzles her (aft. 15 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

She imagines she is swaying to one side or another, or that the objects around her are moving to and fro; it seems to her that nothing is standing still, but that everything swings backwards and forwards like a pendelum. [Fr. H-n.]

15. When she has to stand still, she wishes she could lay hold of something, because the objects seem at one time to come near her and then again to recede from her. [Fr. H-n.]

Staggering, so that she thinks she must fall (aft. 6 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Vertigo; he fell to the ground. [WEPFER, and ALLEN, l. c.]

He is always inclined to fall to the ground. [WEPFER, l. c.]

He fell to the ground without saying a word. [WEPFER, l. c.]

20. He falls to the ground and rolls about. [WEPFER, l. c.]

A hammering pain in the forehead, from noon till evening (aft. 2 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Anxiety in the head. [Fr. H-n.]

Stupefied and heavy in the head (aft. 74 h.). [Lr.]

Heaviness in the head when sitting. [Hbg.]

25. In the morning on waking, headache, just as if the brain were loose and shook when walking; when he set himself to think what sort of pain it was exactly, it was gone.

Headache pressing together from both sides. [Hbg.]

Aching in the left frontal bone. [Hbg.]

Pressive, stupefying headache externally on the forehead, more when at rest (aft. 1, 36 h.). [Lr.]

Semilateral headache, like an aching more externally.

30. Severe headache in the occiput like dull pressure, accompanied by some coryza (aft. 48 h.).

(After sickness in the abdomen, violent headache lasting two days; shooting, which extended from the nose and right eye to the occiput) (aft. 15 d.).

(After the headache, dazedness for two days.)

The headache went off on sitting upright.

The headache is relieved by discharge of flatus.

35. Creeping in the forehead as from ants (aft. 2 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Shooting pain in the frontal bone. [Hbg.]

Stitches extending along the eyebrow (aft. 12 h.). [Lr.]

Great eruption on the hairy scalp and face. [Fr. H-n.]

Exanthematous elevations, the size of a lentil, all over the face (and on both hands), which caused a burning pain when they first appeared, then became confluent, of a dark red colour, lasting nine days, when desquamation ensued, which lasted three weeks. (I have cured chronic, suppurating, confluent eruptions in the face having only burning pain by means of one or two doses of a small part of a drop of the juice, but I did not venture to give the second dose in less than three to four weeks; when the first dose did not suffice.) [Fr. H-n.]

Redness of the face. (With S. 206.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Face (and neck) swollen. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Eyes protruded from the head. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Staring look. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

He keeps staring at one and the same spot, whereby everything appears to him like black stuff (aft. 6 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

45. Staring (aft. ¼ h.); she looks fixedly at one and the same place, and cannot help doing so, much as she would like to; at the same time she has not full command of her senses, and must be very strongly excited in order to answer correctly; if she compels herself forcibly, by turning away her head, to cease having her eyes directed on the object, she loses consciousness, and all becomes dark before her eyes. [Fr. H-n.]

Even though she keeps her look steadily fixed on the object, she sees nothing disctinctly; everything runs together, as when one has looked too long on one and the same object, when the sight becomes blurred. [Fr. H-n.]

If she looks long at the same spot, she grows sleepy, and she feels as if the head were pressed down, though nothing of the sort is noticed, and she then, her eyes being open and staring, is unable to tell the letters of a book. [Fr. H-n.]

As often as she is spoken to, and thereby forced out of her unconscious staring, and awakened up by shouting to her, so often does she always relapses again into it, and in this state her pulse is only 50 in the minute. [Fr. H-n.]

If she is allowed to sit still for a considerable time her head sinks down gradually, whilst the eyes continue to stare at the same point, so that as thus the head sinks very low, the pupils become almost hidden under the upper eyelids; she then gets an inward shock, which brings her quickly to her senses for a short time; she then falls again into a similar state of unconsciousness out of which she is from time to time awakened by an internal shivering, which she says is a febrile rigor. [Fr. H-n.]

50. Sometimes everything appeared double and of a black colour, sometimes she was affected with dulness of hearing. [Fr. H-n.]

First (aft. 2.1/2 h.) contracted, then (aft. 8, 9 h.) very dilated, pupils. [Lr.]

At first extremely contracted, soon afterwards extremely dilated, pupils. [Hbg.]

Aching in the inner canthus of the right eye, so that he must shut and press to the eyes in order to get relief. [H.]

A quivering under the lower eyelid in the orbicularis muscle.

55. heat and burning round about the eyes.

Sore pain behind the left ear. [Hbg.]

Sore sensation behind the left ear, as after a knock or blow. [Hbg.]

Pain behind the right ear, such as would remain after a knock or blow. [Hbg.]

Great eruption on the ears. [Fr. H-n.]

60. Exanthematous pimples below and in front of the ears, their apices filled with pus and painful like a boil. [Fr. H-n.]

When swallowing something bursts in the right ear. [Fr. H-n.]

Roaring before both ears, worse in the room than in the open air. [Fr. H-n.]

Loud ringing in the left ear. [Hbg.]

She does not hear well unless one speaks loudly in her ear and attracts her attention. [Fr. H-n.]

65. Discharge of blood from the ears. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Yellow discharge from the nose.

The right ala nasi is painful as if excoriated, as from a knock or blow. [Hbg.]

A burning itching vesicle on the left side of the upper lip at the edge of the red. [Hbg.]

A kind of cramp in the cervical muscles: when he looks round, he cannot immediately turn the head back again; the cervical muscles do not yield, and if he should effect his object by force it would give him great pain.

70. Tension in the cervical muscles. [Hbg.]

On bending the head backwards a sore tension in the left cervical muscles. [Hbg.]

Drawing pains in the left side of the neck (aft. 6 h.). [Hbg.]

Swollen neck. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Bending back of the head (a kind of opisthotonous). [WEPFER, l. c.]

75. Twitching and jerking of the head. [Fr. H-n.]

Lock-jaw. [WEPFER, – ALLEN, l. c.]

Teeth firmly closed, lock-jaw. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Grinding of teeth. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Mouth full of foam. (Post mortem.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

80. Foam before the mouth. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Toothache in the nerves of the lower row of teeth. [Hbg.]

A whitish sore place on the border of the tongue, very painful when touched. [Fr. H-n.]

On speaking several words he can bring out the first five or six words without hindrance, but the remainder, in pronouncing the words he gets a small jerk backwards of the head observable by others, and at the same time the arms twitch somewhat, so that he must, as it were, draw back and swallow the syllable about to be spoken, almost like what frequently occurs in hiccup. [Fr. H-n.]

Dumbness. [ALLEN, l. c.]

85. Inability to swallow. [WEPFER, l. c.]

The throat appears to be grown together internally, and externally it pains as if bruised on being moved or grasped, getting worse for several hours, with eructation from noon till evening. [Fr. H-n.]

Dry feeling in the mouth. [Fr. H-n.]

Constant hunger and desire for food, even when he has just been eating. [Fr. H-n.]

Great thirst (during the convulsions). (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

90. He had a great longing for coals and swallowed them. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Hiccup, [WEPFER, l. c. and Breslauer Samml., 1727, p. 313, (Poisoning of three children by root.) and Hbg.]

Loud hiccup. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

When she was stooping (in the open air) a very bitter yellow fluid was belched up, as by eructation, from the stomach into the mouth, and thereafter she had burning in the oesophagus all the forenoon. [Fr. H-n.]

A sensation up from the stomach like water-brash; he felt qualmish and hot all over, and a quantity of saliva that had risen up from his stomach flowed out of his mouth (aft. 9 to 13 h.). [Lr.]

95. Nausea (aft. ½ h.). [Hbg.]

Nausea while eating. [Fr. H-n.]

In the morning nausea, with shooting tearing headache. [Fr. H-n.]

Nausea and shooting in the forehead, all day. [Fr. H-n.]

Vomiting. [ALLEN, l. c.]

100. Vomiting without relaxation of the lock-jaw. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Want of appetite on account of dry feeling in the mouth; food has no wrong taste, but not its full flavour.

At noon, appetite for food, but the appetite went away at the first mouthful.

Breakfast is not relished; he felt a stuffy sensation in the abdomen, as if he had already eaten too much.

Immediately after eating cutting in the hypgastrium.

105. Immediately after eating an aching in the scrobiculus cordis, which compels him to draw a deep breath, at the same time tendency to eructation.

Immediately after eating bellyache and drowsiness.

In the morning sick feeling in the abdomen and when this passed off, in the afternoon, headache, a shooting on the right side of the head, which extended from the right eye and the nose – in both of which it was at its worst – to the occiput, for three days, whereon the nose became instopped, and yellow mucus was discharged (aft. 9 d.).

Vomiting of blood. [ Breslauer Samml., l. c.]

Burning scraping sensation from the inside of the throat to the gastric region.[Hbg.]

110. Burning pressure in the stomach. [Hbg.]

Scraping scratching sensation in the stomach. [Hbg.]

Tightness in the scrobiculus cordis and anxiety, for eight days, he wishes always to go out in order to cool himself.

A blow in the region of the scrobiculus cordis as with a finger which makes him start, and then only he collects himself and comes to his senses. [Fr. H-n.]

Throbbing in the scrobiculus cordis, which is swollen as large as a fist. [WEPFER, l. c.]

115. Great throbbing in the scrobiculus cordis. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Shooting (The author adds “and burning.” ) pain in the scrobiculus cordis. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Anxiety about in the scrobiculus cordis. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Heat in the abdomen (and chest). [Hbg.]

Great accumulation of flatulence, with constant anxiety and crossness.

120. Grumbling and rumbling in the abdomen. [Hbg.]

Much flatus is discharged. [Hbg.]

Constipation. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Diarrhoa. [ALLEN, l. c.]

In the right groin a sensation as if an ulcer would break out ( while sitting). [Hbg.]

125. Itching internally in the rectum, just above the anus; after rubbing there is burning pain, a pain that caused a shudder through him every time it came – after walking, when standing still, and when at stool.

Retention of urine. (With S. 122.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

At night difficulty of urinating. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Involuntary discharge of urine. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Frequent call to urinate. [Lr.]

130. Very frequent urination. [Fr. H-n.]

Violent ejection of the urine. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Sore drawing pain under the penis as far as the glans, which compels him to urinate (aft. 12 h.). [Hbg.]

Three emissions of semen in the night. [Hbg.]

Emissions of semen, without voluptuous dreams. [Lr.]

135. The menses come later. [Fr. H-n.]

Stoppage of the nose, and at the same time copious secretion of mucus from it.

Very frequent sneezing, without coryza (aft. 29 h.). [Lr.]

Aching under the larynx when sitting (aft. 4 h.0. [Hbg.]

Sensation in the chest and in ther throat, as if something that pressed asunder were sticking there, as big as a fist, which hindered respiration, and felt as if it would burst the throat – worse when sitting than when walking. [Fr. H-n.]

140. Tightness on the chest, so that she can hardly draw her breath all day long (immediately). [Fr. H-n.]

Want of breath all day long (immediately). [Fr. H-n.]

On inspiring and expiring some needle-pricks under the last false ribs of the left side, which went off when standing and walking (aft. 3 h.). [Lr.]

Hoarseness. ((Not found.). [WEPFER, l. c.]

Cough, with much expectoration, especially by day. [Fr. H-n.]

Burning round with nipple (aft. 3 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Itching combined with sensation of heat in the right side of the chest. [Hbg.]

Heat in chest (and abdomen). [Hbg.]

At the inferior entremity of the sternum an ache, as after a blow, an as if excoriated, when walking. [Hbg.]

General heat, and particularly heat in the chest, for three quarters of an hour, in creased by (accustomed) tobacco-smoking. [Hbg.]

150. A tugging at the chest near the scrobiculus cordis (aft. 1 h.). [Hbg.]

Tearing twitching in the coccyx. [Hbg.]

A blow in the dorsal vertebrae. [Hbg.]

Tetanus, bending the back backwards (opisthotonos). [WEPFER, l. c.]

Back bent like a bow. [WEPFER, l. c.]

155. Painful tension above the right scapula. [Hbg.]

Painful sensation on the insurface of the scapulae. [Hbg.]

Sensation as if there were an ulcer on the right scapula. [Hbg.]

A red vesicle on the right scapula, that was very painful when touched. [Hbg.]

Sore pain, as from a blow, in the right shoulder-joint. [Hbg.]

160. Painful sensation under the right arm. [Hbg.]

Twitching in the left shoulder (aft. 20 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Sensation of cracking in the shoulder-joint, which is not audible. [Fr. H-n.]

Tearing pain in the whole of the left arm down to the fingers. [Fr. H-n.]

On raising it the arm feels very heavy, and at the same time there are such violent shoots in the shoulder that she cannot bring the arm on to the head without screaming loudly; she dare not even move the fingers. [Fr. H-n.]

165. Sensation in the left arm as if he had no power in it, with a shooting tearing pain on raising it. [Fr. H-n.]

Powerlessness of the whole arm and fingers,. [Hbg.]

Twitching in the left arm, so that the whole body is jerked (aft. 4 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Frequent involuntary twitching and jerking in the arms and fingers (lower extremities and head). [Fr. H-n.]

(On the inside of the left elbow-joint, a swelling, as if a boil would come there; on raising the arm it was painful there, as when one presses on an ulcer.)

170. Stitch-like tearing in the muscles of the right forearm when writing, which went off when the body was perfectly inactive (aft. 1.1/4 h.). [Lr.]

Sore pain, as from a knock or blow, in the left forearm. [Hbg.]

Distented blood-vessels on the hands. [Hbg.]

Feeling of cracking in the wrist, which is not auduble. [Fr. H-n.]

Exanthematous elevations, the size of a lentil, on both hands, even on the balls of the thumbs, which on their appearance cause a burning pain; they then become confluent, of a dark colour, and last nine days. [Fr. H-n.]

175. Twitching together of several fingers and of the thumb of the right hand. [Fr. H-n.]

Dying away (gone-to-sleep feeling, numbness, coldness) of the fingers. [Fr. H-n.]

In the right pelvic region, on the border of the os-ilii, a kind of sore, drawing, pulsating pain, as after a violent blow. [Hbg.]

Burning shooting in the left hip-bone. [Hbg.]

Frequent involuntary twitching of the lower extremities. [Fr. H-n.]

180. Painful tense and stiff feeling in the muscles of the lower extremities, so that he cannot walk at all, for three hours (aft. 1 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Tearing pain in the thighs and heaviness of them when walking. [Fr. H-n.]

Pain, like tearing in the thighs, immediately after rising from a seat, and pain, as if bruised, in the knees; on walking the pain in the thighs increases, like a deep-seated stiffness. [Fr. H-n.]

Burning itching on the right thigh, so that he must scratch, whereupon it went off. [Hbg.]

Creeping close beneath the skin of the thighs and legs, and especially of the soles of the feet, as if the limbs would go to sleep, only when sitting. [Fr. H-n.]

185. Perceptible trembling of one thigh. [Fr. H-n.]

Very violent trembling of the left leg. [Fr. H-n.]

When walking she does not tread properly on the soles of the feet; they tip over towards the inside. [Fr. H-n.]

Tearing round the ankles of the left foot.[Hbg.]

Frequent needle-pricks in the heel, when sitting. [Hbg.]

190. Tingling and “pins and needles” in the left sole. [Hbg.]

Drawing twitching pains in the toes. [Hbg.]

Trembling in the upper and lower extremities.[Hbg.]

Burning itching all over.

Itching all over the body, so that he must scratch. [Fr. H-n.]

195. Spasmodic stiffness of all the body, with coldness thereof. [BRESL. Samml., 1727, p. 314.]

(About noon, anxiety, perspiration in the face, and trembling of the hands; about his heart [in the middle of the chest] he feels as though he woulf faint.)

Whilst lying in bed a peculiar sensation, as if his whole body were swollen, and at the same time (while awake) frequent starting, as though he were falling out of bed (aft. 15 h.). [Lr.]

Catalepsy; the limbs hang down loosely, as in a corpse, without breathing. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

The most violent (tonic) spasms, so that neither can the flexed fingers be stretched out, not the limbs be either flexed or extended.(Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

200. Tossing of the limbs to and fro. [WEPFER, l. c.]

He threw the limbs now on one side now on the other. [WEPFER, l. c.]

Epileptic convulsions in three children, one of whom recovered. [Breslauer samml., l. c., p. 313.]

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.

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