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


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

(The fresh expressed juice of the leaves of Digitalis purpurea mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

From the following symptoms, which are by no means complete as to their number, it is undeniably evident that the morbid conditions of a chronic character, physicians have sometimes hitherto cured with foxglove, were all, without exception, cured homoeopathically, although they were unaware of the fact. But the much more numerous instances of unsuccessful treatment with this extremely powerful plant, belong to those employments of foxglove which were, as is usually the case, directed against mere pathological names (not the totality of the symptoms), and were affected with a medicine (foxglove), which was estimated, in hap-hazard fashion, only in accordance with conjectures respecting its general mode of action deduced from hypothesis (not known from is pure effects, i.e. from the morbid states it developed in the healthy body). As long as this theoretical blindness is persisted in, much more harm than good will be done with this great gift of God. The true physician, who selects his remedy homoeopathically in accordance with its pure pathogenetic effects for very similar cases of disease, will never give foxglove except where it can, will, and must do good, and will never fail to prescribe it in such suitable cases. Such treatment is immensely superior to the deplorable treatment of the ordinary practitioner. The homoeopathic practitioner, besides, will find in the following few symptoms the means of affording homoeopathic relief for many more morbid states than have hitherto been cured by it.

A very small portion of a drop of the quintillion-fold or, still better, the decillion-fold dilution of the juice, will often be found to be a too powerful dose for homoeopathic treatment.

The action of such a small dose lasts several days, that of an excessively large dose several weeks.


Symptoms are borrowed from the following old-school authorities:

BAIDON, in Edinb, Medorrhinum and Surg. Journal, vol. iii, pt. 11, No 4.

BAKER, In Medorrhinum Essays of the London Collinsonia of Phys., pt iii.

BAYLIES, Practical Essays of the London Collinsonia of Phys., pt. iii.

BEDDOES, in Medorrhinum Facts and Obs., v. London, 1794.

BOERHAVE, Hortus Lugd. Batav. – Rar. Morb. Historioe., Jenae, 1771.

BRANDIS, in Schiemann, Diss. de Digit. Purp. Gott., 1786.

DRAKE, in Phys. Medorrhinum Journ., 1802., Feb.Edinburgh Medorrhinum Comment., vol. x.

HALLER, VON, in Vicat’s Mat. Medorrhinum, i.

HENRY, W., in Med. and Chir. Journ. Edinb., 1811.

HORN, Neues Archiv, v.

KINGLAKE, rOB., in Beddoes’ Medorrhinum Facts and Obs., vol. v. London, 1794.

LENTIN, Beobachtungen einiger Krankheiten, 1774.

LETTSOM, Mem. of the Medorrhinum Soc. Of London, vol. ii.

MACLEAN, in Phys. Medorrhinum Journ., 1800, Aug., 1802, Feb.

MANGOLD, in Horn’s Archiv f. pr. Med., iii.

MEYER, in Richter’s Chir,. Bibl., v.

MONRO, DON, in Samml. f. pr. Aerzte, xiii.

MOSSMANN, G., in Phys. Medorrhinum Journ., 1801, July. – Essay to Elicidate the Scrophula. London, 1800.

PENKIVIL, J., in Phys. Medorrhinum Journal, 1801.

QUARIN, Animadvers. Pract.

REMER, Annalen der Klin. Anstalt, i.

SACKREUTER, in Annalen der Heilkunder, 1811, March.

SCHIEMANN, in Diss. de Digit, purp. Gott., 1786.

WARREN, in Samml. br. Abh. f. pr. Aerzte, vol. xi.

WITHERING, Abhan. Uber den Fingerhut. Lpz., 1786.

The 1st edit. Gives 418; 10 additional symptoms appear in the 2nd edit.; in the Chr. Kr. the symptoms are increased to 702.]


Vertigo. [QUARIN, Animadvers. Pract., pp. 118 – 120(Effects of digitalis when given for scorfula.) – MACLEAN, in the Phys. and Medorrhinum, Journ., Lpz., 1800, Aug., p. 585. (Effects on patients) – WITHERING, Abh, ub. Den Fingerhut, Lpz., 1786.( (Effects on patients) – J. PENKIVIL, in Phys. and Medorrhinum Journ., 1801., Aug. Effects of digitalis when given for phthisis.) – LETISOM, Mem. of the med. Soc. Of London, vol. ii.(Effects of digitalis when given for phthisis. This symptom occurred after each dose.)]

Vertigo so that she fell when going upstairs. [OENKIVIL, l. c.]

Vertigo and trembling. [DRAKE, in Phys. And Medorrhinum Journ., 1802, Febr. (Effects o digitalis when given to dropsical patients.) ]

Confusion of the whole head and sensation as if the brain beat like water on both sides of the skull and would burst it, in a pulsating manner. [Trn.]

5. Undulating headache, like the beating of waves, from within towards both sides, that is relieved by lying and stooping forwards, but increased when standing and bending back,(aft. 2 h.). [Trn.]

Painful confusion of the head. [Stf.]

Gloomy in the head, as if hypochondriacal.

He is at first quite unable to collect his thoughts and giddy in the head. [Fz.]

Weakness of memory. [LETTSOM, l. c.]

10. The head is affected. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Headache. [QUARIN,- LETTSOM, l. c.]

Headache for several days. (From the emanations from the juice.) [SCHIEMANN, Diss. de Digit. Purp., Gott., 1786, pp. 34, 41. (This was only a sensation as of being swollen.) ]

Headache, pressure and heaviness, as from eush of blood to the head.

Giddy drawing in the sides of the head. [Gss.]

15. Tearing in the left side of the head. [Gss.]

Tearing in the right temporal region, close to the ear. [Gss.]

Pressure and stretching in the sides of the head (aft. 10 m.). [Gss.]

Contractive and pressive pain in the forehead and temples which is increased by thinking. [Fz.]

Anteriorly in the forehead, pressive tensive pain. [Hbg.]

20. In the middle of the forehead, superiorly, pressure as from a hard weight on exerting the thoughts. [Fz.]

Sharp pressive pain in the forehead, on a small spot above the eye (aft. ½ h.). [Stf.]

In the evening and at night in sleep, single obtuse stitches in the left temple, which darted through the whole brain.

Shooting now in the right, now in the left temporal region, but transient. [Myr.]

Aching headache in jerks, now in the temples, now in the whole head. [Rkt.]

25. Throbbing pain in the forehead or in the fundus of the orbits. [MACLEAN, l. c.]

When he turned the eyes to the right or left side, in order to look to right or left, without moving the head, there occurred an uncomfortable tensive sensation in the sinciput (aft. 30 h.). [Bch.]

For several hours, every time he stooped forward, in the side of the brain, on a small spot, a stitch-like tension, which extended to a left upper tooth, but which went off every time he raised himself up. [Stf.]

On bending the head forward, sensation as if something fell forwards in it, frequently recurring. [Rkt.]

Headache on one side, like an internal itching. [Ln.]

30. At the occiputal protuberance an aching pain as from a blow or fall (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Hbg.]

Aching stitches externally on the left side of the forehead (aft. 4 h.). [Lr.]

Tearing stitches externally on the left temple (aft. 34 h.).[Lr.]

On the middle of the forehead, a red pimple with burning smarting pain, increased by touch. [Hbg.]

Single stitches in the left frontal region (aft. 84 h.). [Lr.]

35. Swollen head. (This was only a sensation as of being swollen.) [QUARIN, l. c.]

Heat in the whole head externally and internally; thinking was difficult for him, and he forgot everything immediately (aft. 1 h.). [Myr.]

The head always falls backwards, when sitting and walking, as if the anterior cervical muscles had no power (as if paralysed). [Trn.]

Paleness of face. (Not found.) [WITHRING, l. c.]

Convulsions on the left side of the face. [G. MOSSMANN, in Phys. And Medorrhinum Journ., 1801, Jul. ((Effects if digitalis given in pneumonia. ) ]

40. Burning pain in the right eye-brow, with dimness of vision, as if a veil were before the eyes (aft. 5 a.d more h.). [Myr.]

Pressive pain on the right eye-brow, towards the external canthus of the eye (aft. 52 h.). [Lr.]

Tendency of both eyes to turn towards the left side; when he forced them to turn to the right they were painful, and he then saw all near objects double or threefold; at the same time the face was puffed (aft. 29 h.). [Bch.]

Pain of the ey, excessive pan in the eye-balls on touching them.

Aching pain in the eye-balls.

45. An aching in the right eye-ball, rapidly coming and going off (aft. 2 h.). [Stf.]

Violent inflammation of the eyes. (Very contracted pupils) (aft. ½ h.). [Stf.]

Great dilatation of the pupils (aft. 1 h.). [Trn.]

Dimness of vision. [QUARIN, l. c.]

50. Weak sight, imperfect vision. [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

Slight dimness of vision. [MOSSMANN, Essay to elucidate the Scrophula, London, 1800. (Not accessible.) ]

He sees objects only darkly. (Not found.)[WITHERING, l. c.]

Dimness of vision. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Blindness. (Lasting for a month after omitting the medicine, with throbbing pain and sense of fulness in the eye-balls.) [LETTSOM, l. c.]

55. Blindness, amaurosis, for three days. [REMER, Annalen d. Klin. Anstalt, B. i. (Not accessible.) ]

Imperfect vision, as if a cloud or a mist hung before the eyes. [MACLEAN, l. c.]

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.