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


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

(The freshly expressed juice of the Conium maculatum obtained from the whole plant at the commencement if flowering, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

Hemlock is one of those medicines whose primary and secondary actions are most difficult to be ascertained, and respecting which it is most difficult to form a judgement. Among its symptoms we find several of a somewhat opposite character which should only be regarded as alternating actions (perhaps as a transient secondary action suppressed for some time by the repeated attack of the medicine) On the other hand the sad effects resulting from the long-continued employment of hemlock in increasing doses, as we observe in the results of STOERCK’s LANGE’s EHRHARDT’s, GREDING’s, BAYLIES’, REISMANN’s, COLLIN’s and TARTREUX’s disastrous treatments, are true secondary actions of the depressed vitality overpowered by the repeated attacks of such large doses of hemlock: a dissolution of all the connexions of the fibres combined with asthenic inflammation and the most painful sensitiveness – see 264 to 273, 276, 342 to 345, 349, 350, 205, 207, 209. The opposite of this seems to lie in the primary action of hemlock, which appears to indicate a tension, condensation, contraction of the fibres (and glandular swellings), with suppression of the sensibility – compare 28, 60, 127, 147, 148, 178, 179, 212, 215, 216, 225, 238, 249, 253, 254, 286. These are primary actions which seem to be corroborated by some of my own homoeopathic cures (glandular indurations on the lip, the breasts, &c, arising from a bruise, and two cases of cataract produced by an external blow). These recorded primary actions of hemlock (especially 127, 286), together with the symptoms 10, 11, 115, 117, 293, 333, 359 to 367, point to it as an excellent remedy for that bad kind of hypochondriasis which is sometimes observed in unmarried males who are strictly chaste, where it does not depend on a miasmatic cachexia.

Experience must decide as to the value of hemlock in the morbid long-sightedness (presbyopia) of elderly persons, as indicated in 38, and perhaps it will confirm the curative power here hinted at.

The homoeopathic practitioner will know how to make use if the curative indications given in the other symptoms of the primary action of hemlock.

Coffee has been found to be the antidote of hemlock.

[HAHNEMANN was assisted in this proving by FRANZ, LANGHAMMER, WISTLICENUS.]

The following old-school authorities furnished symptoms:


ANDREE, Obs. upon a Treatment by Stoerk, London, 1761.

ANDRY, Quoest. Medorrhinum an cancer ulceratus cicutam eludat, Paris, 1763.

BAYLIES, Essays on Medorrhinum Subjects, London, 1773.

BIERCGEN, Tal om Kraftskador.

BOERHAVE, Prael. Ad Instit., vi.

CLARK, essays and Obs. Phys and Liter., iii, Edinb., 1771.

COLLIN, Annus Medorrhinum, iii, Vindob., 1764.

CULLEN, Materia Medica, ii.

EHRHARDT, Diss. de Cicuta, Argent., 1763.

FOTHERGILL, Medorrhinum Obs. and Enq., iii. – Works.

GATAKER, Essays on Medorrhinum Subj.

GREDING, Verimische Schriften.

HALLE, in Samml. f. pr. Aerzte, xv, iii.

HALLER, in Gotting. Anzeigen, 1775.

KALTSCHMIDT. Progr. De Cicuta., Jen., 1768.

LANDEUTTE, Journal de Medicine, xv.

LANGE, Dubia cicuta vexata, Helmst., 1764.

LIMPRECHT, Acta Nat. Cur., i. Medorrhinum Obs. and Enq., ii, Lond., 1771.

OBERTEUFFER, in Hufel. Journal, ix.

PAULLI, SIM., Quadrip. Botan. Pharm. Helv.

REISMANN (reference not given.)

ROWLEY, W., Seventy-four cases, LONDON, 1779.

SCHMUCKER, Chir. Wahrnehm., ii.

STOERCK, Lib. de Cicuta, – Lib. de Colchico. – Lib. de Stram Hyoscyamus et Aconite

VALENTINI, in Hufel. Journ., xxix.

TARTRUEX, Epist apol.

VAN EEMS, in Boerhave Proelect. De m. n. i.

WATSON, Philos. transact No. 473, 1744.

WHYTT, on Nervous Disorders. Zurcher Abhandlungen, tom. ii.

The 1st edit gives 373 symptoms; only two more are added in this 2nd edit.: the Chr, Kr. gives 912 symptoms.]


Vertigo. [BAYLIES, Essays on Medorrhinum Subjects, London, 1773.(Not accessible) – ANDRY, Quoest. Medorrhinum an cancer ulceratus cicutam eludat, Paris, 1763.(Not accessible) – ANDREE, Obs. upon a Treatment by Stoerck, Lond., 1761.(Symptoms observed in patients taking conium.) – WATSON, Philos. Transact., No. 473, 1744.(Case of poisoning.) – LANGE, Dubia cicutoe vexata, Helmst.; 1764, pp. 12, 20.(Not accessible; probably as in note.)Pharm. Helv., p. 50.(General statement from experience.) – SCHMUCKER, Chir. Wahrnehm., ii, pp. 82, 84.(As in note.) – WHYTT, on Nervous Disorders, p. 22.(Observed in self.) – GATAKER, Essays on Medorrhinum Subjects, Intro., p. 8. – FOTHERGILL, Medorrhinum Obs. and Inqu., iii, p. 400, and Works, ii, p. 58.(General statement from observation.) – OBERTEUFFER, in Hufel. Journal, ix, iii, p. 77. (Observation.) – CULLEN, Materia Medica, ii, p. 300. (From thirty grains of the powder in an adult.) ]

Vertigo that affects the head. [FOTHERGILL, l. c.]

Vertigo round in a circle, when he rises from a seat.

Vertigo, so that all seemed to go round in a ring with him. [BOERHAVE, Proel. Ad Instit., vi, p. 255. (Observed on self.) ]

5. Staggering. [VAN EEMS, in Boerhave Proelect. De m. n., I, p. 236. (Effects of Cicuta aquatica.) ]

Intoxication. [BIERCHEN, Tal om Kraftskador. (Observation.)]

Heaviness of the head. (During convalescence.) [WATSON, l. c.]

Want of memory.

Loss of memory. [W. ROWLY, Sevent-four cses, London, 1779. (Not accessible.)]

10. Stupidity, the head is confused; difficulty of comprehending what he reads.

Stupefaction; he understands with difficulty what he reads.

After drinking he becomes stupid in the head.

Apoplexy. [LANGE, l..c p. 20.]

Serious apoplexy. [COLLIN, Annus Medorrhinum, iii, Vindob., 1764, p. 104. (Symptoms observed in patients taking conium. This occurred in an old woman of 80, ten days after leaving off the medicine.)]

15. When walking in the open air, simple headache; he feels stupid; also in the morning till breakfast.

Violent headache, with vertigo, owing to which she remains seated in one spot, sad, and speechless, for three or four days. [LANGE, l. c., p. 12.]

Sensation in the right half of the brain, as if a large foreign body were therein.

Gradually increasing, semilateral headache, like a pressing downwards, as from something heavy therein, and as if bruised, aggravated by moving the eyes towards the affected side of the head (aft. 2, 3, h.).

On the left side of the occiput (when walking) slow tearing (aft. ¼ h.). [Fz.]

20. In the morning, tearing pain through the temple (4th d.). [Fz.]

Tearing pain in the temples when eating. [Fz.]

Drawing pain in the temples on touching them. [Fz.]

When sitting bent forward, there occurs from time to time a sensation of weight in the occiput, that often goes off and recurs; it went off every time he raised himself up (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

25. Stitches in the forehead.

(At noon) shooting pain out at the forehead.

Pressive headache above the eyes from within outwards (aft. 4 h.). [Ws.]

Headache (externally), as if contracted, no the upper part of the frontal bone, which goes off by stooping and applying his own hand to the part, with chilliness, vertigo, and peevish want of recollection (aft. 1.1/2 h.) [Fz.]

Aching pain externally on the forehead (aft. 3 h.). [Lr.]

30. Aching stupefying pain externally on the forehead (aft. 11, 54 h.). [Lr.]

On the frontal bone superiorly, pressive pain as from a stone [Fz.]

Sharp pressure on a small spot of the integuments of the head.

A pimple on the forehead with tensive pain per se, touching it causes tearing pain round about it (2nd and 3rd d.). [Fz.]

Pimple on the forehead with tensive drawing pain per se (4th d.).[Fz.]

35. Itching erosion on the forehead, that goes off, but only for a short time, by rubbing (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Dilated pupils (aft. 1 h.). [Fz.]

Contracted pupils (curative action) (aft. 3.1/4 h.). [Lr.]

Long-sightedness (in a shortsighted person): he could see distinctly objects at a considerable distance (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Lr.]

Greater shortsightedness than usual: he could only see distinctly very near objects (secondary action)(aft. 29 h.). [Lr.]

40. (Illusion of vision: objects red.) [GREDING, Vermischte Schriften, p. 118. (Symptoms observed in patients taking conium. This symptom occurred in a case of cataract, while the sight was improving under the drug.) ]

Weak sight. [GATAKER, l. c.]

Dimness of vision. (In Andree’s case, with giddiness.) [BAYLIES, – ANDREE, l. c.]

Blindness, immediately after sleeping, exposed to the sun’s heat. [AMATUS LUSITANUS, Cent. v, Cur. 93. (Not found.)]

Red eyes. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

45. (Drawing pain in the eyes, with redness of the eyes.)

Trembling of the eyes. [WHYTT, – OBERTEUFFER, l. c.]

Projecting eyes.

Movement of the eyes, as if they were pressed out. [FOTHERGILL, l. c.]

(In the morning) shooting in the inner canthus of the eyes, the lids of which are stuck together.

50. Itching pricking in the inner canthus, not removed by rubbing (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

Smarting pain in the inner canthus, as if something corrosive had got in: the eye waters. (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

Aching in the eyes as from a grain of sand, especially in the forenoon; the white of the eye is red and inflamed; the tears forced out make the eyelids smart.

Burning on the inner surface of the eyelids.

Long continued, pricking itching in the right cheek and down the left side of the face, which only goes off by repeated scratching (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

55. A fine stitch darts through the right side of the face, near the zygoma (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

Fine stitches dart through the right cheek, towards the commissure of the mouth (aft. 56 h.). [Ws.]

Swelling of the face. [LANDEUTTE, Journal de Medicine, xv. (Symptoms observed in patients taking conium. This, with S. 146, 172, 200, 234, 336, occurred shortly before death in a man convalescing from suppurative pneumonia, and treated by conium for splenic cancer. ) ]

Bluish swollen face. [STOERCK, Lib. de Cicuta, Cap. 6. (See note to S. 58.) ]

Blue colour of the face. [SIM PAULL, Quadrip. Botan., Cicuta major. (Not found.)

60. Behind the ears and on the mastoid process, painful tension of the skin, even when not removed (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Stitches behind both ears, especially in the mastoid process, followed by obtuse pains in that part (aft. 5 h.).

Sharp blows outwards in the inner ear, especially and more severe when swallowing (aft. ¾ h.). [Ws.]

Violent itching in the external ear (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

In the external ear, pain partly drawing, partly tearing.

65. Noise in the ear, as if the blood rushed through the brain.

When she blows her nose, she feels a dart in the ears, and then they seem to be stopped up.

Sensation as if the inner ear were forced asunder.

Twitching in the nose.

Formication on the dorsum of the nose (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

70. Itching formication on the point of the nose and in the nostrils (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

Itching formication in the nose (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Ws.]

Frequent bleeding of the nose.

Haemorrhage from the nose. [EHRHARDT, Diss. de Cicuta, Argent., 1763 (A list of symptoms from authors.) – LANGE, l. c., p. 15.]

Trembling of the under lip. (See note to S. 58.)[STOERCK, l. c.]

75. Itching on upper lip (aft. ½ h.).

Ulceration of the lips after fever. (See note to S. 58.) [GREDING, l. c.]

On the chin, fine stitches up through the jaw (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Soon after drinking a drawing from the jaws towards the ears and head, not exactly painful.

Lock-jaw (trismus). [EHRHARDT, l. c.]

80. Grinding of the teeth. [Medic. Obs. and Inq., iv, Lond., 1771, p. 44. (Symptoms occurring after the application of conium to a cancerous breast. The patient had attacks of this, with S. 175 and 360, till she died. The reporter has no thought of ascribing them to the conium.) ]

On moving the lower jaw, boring needle-pricks between the left teeth rows (aft. 42 h.). [Lr.]

When eating cold food (not when drinking cold fluids) drawing in the hollow tooth and through the temple (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

Impeded swallowing. [EHRHARDT, l. c.]

Spasms in the oesophagus. [EHRHARDT, l. c.]

85. Pain in the tongue. [SIM. PAULLI, l. c.]

Stiff, swollen, painful tongue. (From touching the tongue with the juice of the root.) [STOERCK, l. c., cap. i.]

Difficult speech. [ANDREE, l. c.]

Speechlessness. (In Stoerck’s case. As with S. 86.) [STOERCK, l. c. cap. i.]

Dry tongue. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

90. Dryness of the mouth. [STOERCK, l. c., cap. ii.]

Thirst. (According to Fothergill, with S. 121 and 346.) [BAYLIES – FOTHERGILL, l. c.]

Excessive thirst, without heat, all day (aft. 74 h.). [Lr.]

Ptyalism. (In cases of cancrum oris.) [BIERCHEN, l. c.]

Great flow of saliva. [VALENTINI, in Hufel Journal, xxix, iii. (Symptoms observed in patients taking conium.) ]

95. Immediately diminished appetite for food and tobacco-smoking.

Loss of appetite. [ANDRY, – Pharm. Helv. – Lange, l. c., p.25. – LANDEUTTE, l. c.]

Complete loss of appetite and great weakness of stomach. [LANGE, l. c., p. 9.]

Frequent eructation.

Incomplete eructation, which causes pain in the stomach.

100. Putrid eructation. (Not found.) [SCHMUCKER, l. c.]

Eructation and inclination to vomit. [GREDING, l. c.]

Inclination to vomit and eructation, with exhaustion [GREDING, l. c.]

Nausea, inclination to vomit. [STOERCK. – FOTHERGILL, – SCHMUCKER, l. c.]

Frequent nausea and total loss of appetite. [LANGE, l. c., pp. 14, 37.]

105. Inclination to vomit. [CULLEN, l. c.]

Violent vomiting. [EHRHARDT, l. c.]

Frequent vomiting with total loss of appetite. [LANGE, l. c., p. 33.]

Sometimes there occurs spontaneously a bitter taste in the throat (aft. 11 h.). [Fz.]

After eating, inclination to vomit and hiccup thereafter, yet he has a proper taste and good appetite.

110. After eating, the drawing in the head and the numbness of he brain diminishes (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

After eating (in the evening), pain in the umbilical region, as if the bowels were bruised (aft. 12 h.). [Fz.]

Half an hour after eating, drawing pain in the abdomen, in the umbilical region. [Fz.]

Every time after eating, pinching deep in the hypogastrium, with goo appetite.

115. After dinner drawing pain in the hypogastrium when sitting (3rd d.). [Fz.]

After drinking, a drawing sensation in the abdomen.

In the morning, after eating, belly-ache, and all day a great fullness in the stomach and on the chest (4th d.) [Fz.]

Cardialgia. [Pharm. Helv., l. c.]

A pressure in the scrobiculus cordis, like a drawing about in it, and then in the side of the chest some stitches, also in the morning.

120. Fine stitches in the scrobiculus(aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Spasmodic pinching in the stomach. [FOTHERGILL, l. c.]

Shooting in the epigastrium, in the morning on awaking, aggravated by movement.

Pinching pain in the abdomen, but not immediately before, and not immediately after, the stool.

Cutting pain deep in the hypogastrium, with appetite and sleep at night.

125. Belly-ache. [Zurcher Abhandlungen, tom. ii.(Not accessible.) ]

In the morning, after rising, drawing pain in the umbilical region (3rd d.). [Fz.]

Oppression in the abdomen.

Pressure and clawing in the abdomen.

When walking he has pains above the hips.

130. When laughing he has pain in the abdomen.

When walking drawing pain in the abdomen (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

Pain in the abdomen: drawing bruised pan in the bowels when sitting (aft. 9.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

Violent pains in the abdomen with chilliness. (A patient under treatment by conium for a mammary scirhus had a chill in the streets; got this and S. 144; and died with dysentery.)[STOERCK, l. c.]

The most violent colic pains.[STOERCK, Lib. de Colchico, p, 89. (A woman could not take more than four grains a day (of the extract) without having this.) ]

135. Extremely violent pains in the abdomen. [KALTSCHMIDT, Progr. De Cicuta., Jan., 1768, p. 5. (Not accessible.)]

When not eating, constant pressure deep in the hypogastrium as from something heavy.

In the morning when sitting, drawing in the hypogastrium and pressure up to the epigastrium.

In the abdominal muscles, on the left of and below the navel, sharp stitches dart upwards in short fits (aft. 3 h.). [Ws.]

Fine pinching in the abdominal muscles above the navel on bending the body forwards (aft. 3 h.). [Ws.]

140. Tearing in the pubes, when. [Fz.]

Immediately slight discharge of flatus.

Constant call to stool; but he can only evacuate twice daily, and the motion is thin.

Diarrhoea. [LANDEUTTE – EHRHARDT, l. c.]

Weakening diarrhoea. (See note to S. 133.) [STOERCK, de Cicuta, cap. ii.]

145. Constipation. (In the original, “irregular stools, attended with griping.” [ANDREE, l. c.]

Swelling of the abdomen. [LANDEUTTE, (See note to S. 57.) – EHRHARDT, l. c.]

Swollen mesenteric glands. (Observed after death from a short employment of hemlock in large doses.) [KALTSCHMIDT, l. c.]

(Burning in the rectum during stool.)

150. Red urine. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

(Burning in the urethra, in the morning, immediately after urinating; for half an hour.)

(Violent stitch in the urethra, extending forwards to its orifice.)

Burning in the urethra. [STOERCK, l. c.]

Suppression of urine, ischuria. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

155. Strangury. [LANGE, l. c., p. 16. – EHRHARDT, l. c.]

Diuresis. [BIERCHEN, – GATAKER, l. c.]

Cramp-like pressure in the region of the neck of the bladder, from which lasts many hours, worse when walking than when sitting (aft. 48 h.). [Ws.]

Great pains in the urethra when urinating, which always brings along with it turbid, viscid mucus. [LANGE, l c., pp. 28, 30.]

(A sharp pressure on the bladder.)

160. Diuresis with great pains. [LANGE, l. c.]

After urinating, a smarting urging to urinate (aft. ½ h.). [Fz.]

Haematuria. (In a gouty subject.) [HALLER, in Gotting. Anzeigen, 1775, p. 62.]

Frequent haematuria with tightness of chest. [LANGE, l. c., p. 15.]

When not urinating, tearing through the penis (4th d.). [Fz.]

165. Itching on the penis, mostly on the glans.

Pain as if a knife were cutting through the middle of the scrotum, between the testicles up to above the root of the penis, often returning for a short time (aft. 50 h.). [Ws.]

Uncontrollable sexual desire. [LIMPRECHT, (Poisoning by “cicuta” root, but of what species is doubtful. – Inordinate excitement was present, but nothing is said as to its being sexual.) Acta Nat. Cur. I, Obs. 52.]

Leucorrhoea of white acrid mucus, which causes burning. (Is a very good remedy for the same symptoms.) [BAYLIES, l. c.]

Suppression of the menses. (Checked while on her in Andree’s case; in Greding’s delayed.) – [ANDRY,- ANDREE, – GREDING, l. c.]

170. Frequent sneezing, without coryza (aft. 57 h.). [Lr.]

Frequent discharge of nasal mucus, for several days, as in coryza.

Difficult respiration. (See note to S. 57.). [STOERCK, l. c.]

Slow respiration.

Short, panting respiration. (See note to S. 58.) [STOERCK, l. c.]

175. Tightness of chest. [Medic,. Obs,. and Inquir,. (See note to S. 80.) – LANGE, l. c., p. 21.]

Difficult respiration and violent pains in the chest (after taking it for three or four weeks). [LANGE, l. c., p. 11.]

His breathing, especially inspiration, is very difficult; it feels as if the chest did not expand sufficiently (aft. 4 h.). [Fz.]

In the evening in bed, extremely difficult respiration, slow, difficult inspiration (aft. 17 h.). [Fz.]

180. In the evening, when lying on the side in bed, oppression of the breathing, with much pain in the chest, a drawing and tearing through the whole chest, and hard pressure on the upper part of the sternum, which takes away the breath during inspiration (3rd d.) [Fz.]

Severe stitches in the chest, like knife thrusts, with loud lamentations over it.

All day, pain in the chest, pressure on the sternum, and a pain, at one time tearing, at another shooting, round the nipple and the mammae, with frequent oppression and shortness of breath (4th d.). [Fz.]

Agreeable but violent itching on both sides of the chest, aggravated by inspiration (aft. 14 h.). [Ws.]

In the morning, pressive pain on the sternum, with dyspnoea, when standing (3rd d.). [Fz.]

Cramp-like tearing on the right side of the chest (aft. 3 h.). [Lr.]

Burning in the sternal region. (From injecting a solution of conium into a penetrating fistula in the neck.) [STOERCK, l. c.]

On walking in the open air, needle-pricks in the right side of the chest 9aft. 12 h.0. [Lr.]

190. Shooting itching all over the chest, which was always removed for a short time only by scratching (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

On both sides of the chest, fine shooting pressure, worst when he lies in the prone position (aft. 9 h.). [Ws.]

Stitch in the side. (In a case of caries of the ribs.) [STOERCK, l. c.]

Violent pains in the chest. [LANGE, l. c., p. 34.]

Violent pain in the chest, with very severe cough. (Relieved by opium.) [LANGE, l. c., p. 16.]

195. (There is a scraping and crawling in the chest, that causes a dry almost continual cough.)

Dry short cough.(In a case of suppurating mammary scirhus, this and S. 206 coincided with the expectoration becoming thin.) [STOERCK, l. c.]

Nocturnal cough.(Not found.) [STOERCK, l. c.]

Violent cough. [LANGE, l. c.]

Whooping cough, with tightness of chest. [LANGE, l. c., p. 22.]

200. Nocturnal whooping cough. (In the original, simply “urgent cough”, See note to 57.) [LANDUETTE, l. c.]

Whooping cough, with bloody mucous expectoration. (After taking it for several weeks.) [LANGE, l. c., p. 11.]

The most violent cough, that made him keep his bed. (This supervened in a case of tubercle of the breast while taking conium.) [STOERCK, Lib. de Stram, Hyo. Et Aconite, .p 93]

Cough as from a tickle behind the middle of the sternum, without expectoration (aft. 24 h.) [Lr.]

More severe cough, as from a tickle in the middle of the sternum, with expectoration (aft. 24 h.). [Lr.]

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.