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.]

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.