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

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.