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.]

When he wishes to look at distant, dark bodies hover before his eyes, like flies. [BAKER, in Medical Essays of the London College of Physicians, iii. (Effects of digitalis in a case of anasacra. The “dark bodies like flies” repesent “muscae volitantes” in the original.) ]

All sorts of figures hover before the eyes. [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

Appearances before the eyes. (“Fiery appearances” in the original.) [LETTSOM, l. c.]

60. When he covers up the eyes, bright bodies seem to dance before his eyes. (The mucae of S. 57 become these when the eyes are covered and pressed upon.) [BAKER, l. c.]

In the morning, on awaking, all objects seem as if covered with snow. [MOSSMANN, in Phys. Medorrhinum Journ., l. c.]

The flame of the candle appears to him larger to him larger and brighter (In the original (“whiter.) than natural. [BAKER, l. c.]

In the dusk he saw glittering colours, red, green an yellow, before his eyes, like flickering light (aft. 8 h.). [Ln.]

The faces of persons coming into the room appeared to him deadly pale. [BAKER, l. c.]

65. Illusion of vision: objects appear of a green or yellow colour. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Objects appear yellow to him, even silver. [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

The eyes water. [WITHERING, l. c.]

The tears running from his eyes smart.

In a moderately warm room, less in the open air, the eyes become full of water; they are dim, hot, full of red blood vessels, with aching pain, and the canthi are full of mucus (as in severre coryza). [Stf.]

70. In the inner canthus a painful scraping sensation, as of coarse dust hat got into ot. [Hbg.]

(Swelling of the lower eyelid, which interferes with his looking down.)

The edges of the eyelids are painful, as if excoriated, when they are shut (in the evening in bed). [Rkt.]

Inflammation of the Meibomian glands on the borders of the eyelids.

Paralytic drawing beneath the left zygomatic process in front of the ear. [Gss.]

75. Cramp-like drawing pain on the zygoma, which goes off by strong pressure. [Fz.]

Cramp under the right zygomatic arch on moving the lower jaw, which, when he bites, is closed spasmodically, and more strongly than he wished. [Fz.]

An erosion and itching on the cheek and chin, worst at night.

In the ears a sensation as if they were contracted internally; he hear the pulse in them (the hearing remained good). [Fz.]

A tensive pressure in the left ear. [Stf.]

80. Hissing before both ears, like water boiling. [Trn.]

Single stitches behind the ear, externally. [Trn.]

A large pimple with smarting pain inder the left nostril (aft. 1 h.). [Trn.]

Epistaxis; bright blood from both nostrils (aft. 1 h.). [Trn.]

Drawing pain in thr muscles under the mastoid process. [Fz.]

85. Under the right mastoid process, a drawing, which goes off by strong pressure. [Fz.]

Aching drawing on the occiput at the seat of the insertion of the cervical muscles, on bending back the head. [Fz.]

Stiffness of the posterior and lateral cervical muscles, with pressive pain like blows (aft. 10 h.). [Hbg.]

Shooting pains externally in the cervical muscles on moving the neck. [Bch.]

A painful stiffness and tension in the cervical muscles and nape, especially on moving. [Stf.]

90. Eruption on the neck.

Swelling of the lips and tongue ((In a woman from an ounce of the decotion, in whom the swelling of the lips and tongue was accompanied by foetid salivation and suppression of urne. (The patient was ascitic. There is no mention in the original of foeter about the salivation. (See S. 102.) [W. HENRY, in Medorrhinum and Chir. Journal, Edinb., 1811.]

In the morning, white coated tongue (aft. 48 h.). [Lr.]

Excoriation internally in the mouth, on the tongue and gums, Medorrhinum Subjects, London, 1773, pp. 39, 41. (Not accessible.)]

Excoriation of the inside of the mouth, fauces, oesophagus, stomach. [BOERHAVE, Hortus lugd. Batav., p. 308. (Observed effects. This ascribed by tge owner to the acrimony of the plant.) ]

95. Collection of saliva. [WITHERING, l. c. – LENTIN, Beobachtumngen einiger Krankheiten, 1774, p. 167. (From an overdose.) ]

Accumulation of saliva, as after vinegar. [Hbg.]

Collection of watery saliva in the mouth, which at first tastes sweet, but afterwards very salty, in frequent fits (aft. ½ h.). [Stf.]

100. Collection of very sweet saliva. [SCHEIMANN, l. c.]

Collection of saliva in the mouth, with spitting of it out, and great nausea on swallowing the saliva (aft. ¼ h.). [Bch.]

Profuse flow of saliva of a foetid smell. (For “foetid smell” read “viscid consistence.”) [HENRY, l. c.]

Bad smell from the mouth (aft. 4 h.).

Flat, slimy taste, and a soft flossy feeling in the mouth, as if it were lined inside with velvet. [Trn.]

105. Rough palate, as if he had smoked too much tobacco, without thirst. [Fz.]

A scrapy, rough feeling in the palate. [Stf.]

(Painfulness of the front teeth.) [Stf.]

After smoking tobacco, taste in the mouth as from sweet almonds. [Fz.]

Spasmodic constriction of the throat. [LENTIN, l. c.]

110. Sore throat; shooting (also) when not swallowing.

Stitches in the back part of the palate an in the commencement of the gullet, not observable when swallowing. [Rkt.]

Little appetite, he is immediately satiated. [Stf.]

Very little appetite on account of nausea. [Bch.]

Anorexia, with indescribable emptiness in the stomach. [ROB. KINGLAKE, in Beddoes’ Medorrhinum facts and Obs., vol. v, Lond., 1794. (Not found.) ]

115. Anorexia, with clean tongue. [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

With good appetie bread tastes bitter. [Trn.]

Appetite for bitter food. [Bch.]

Thirst for sour drinks. [Trn.]

Sour eructation after eating. [Trn.]

120. Nausea.

Nausea. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

Nausea in the gastric region, without retching and vomiting (aft. 11 h.). [Bch.]

Nausea for three days without cessation. [MACLEAN, l. c., 1802, febr.]

125. Deadly nausea. [WARREN, in Samml. br. Abh. p. fr. Aerzte, vol. xi. P. I.]

In recurring fits, deadly sickness, with extreme depression of the mind and anguish. (This lasted every time several, often four, hours, and came on sometimes before, sometimes after the diuresis.) [WITHRING, l. c.]


Nausea of the worst kind and vomiting. [MACLEAN, l. c., 1800, Aug., p. 585.]

Excessive nausea, with inordinate vomiting, coldness of the limbs, and cold sweats, for two days. [BAKER, l. c.]

130. With excessive nausea, vomiting of green bile. [BAKER, l. c.]

Increased nausea, with vomiting of the food he had eaten, which was enveloped in white tasteless mucus, whereupon the bellyache that was present went off (aft. 8.1/2 h.) [Bch.]

Violent vomiting, for four hours. [BAYLIES, l. c.]

Nocturnal vomiting. (This and the following synptom do not mean vomiting recurring each night or morning, but simply that the vomiting caused by the drug came on on the following night or morning.) [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

Morning vomiting. [MOSSMANN, l. c., 1801, Jul. – PENKIVIL, l. c.]

135. Excessive vomiting. [LENTIN, l. c.]

Long-continued vomiting. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Uncontrollable vomiting, for six days, until death ensud. (In a woman who in two days had taken twelve leaves in six doses; she died the seventh day. In the ileum was found inflammation, and an almost complete adhesion and union of the walls of some parts of this intestine.) [Edinburgh Medorrhinum Comment., vol. x.]

Biliouvomiting for several days. [BEEDOES, in Medorrhinum Facts and Obs., v, London, 1794. (From overdosing). ]

Hiccup, that did not rise quite up into the throat, six or seven times (aft. 21 h.). [Bch.]

140. Hiccup. [LENTIN, l. c.]

Disagreeable sensation in the gastric region. [MOSSMANN, Essays, l. c.]

A weakness of the stomach, like a sinking of the stomach, as if life would be extinguished. (All the patients complained of this in the same terms.) (Literally, “Faintness or sinking at the stomach, as life were going from them.”) [MACLEAN, l. c., 1800, Aug.]

Cardialgia. (Not found.) [WITHERING, l. c.]

Weight in the stomach. [PENKIVIL, l. c.]

145. A feeling of constriction over the gastric region, towards the liver. [Hbg.]

(Anxious tension and constriction under the short ribs.)

After a meal the food presses in the scrobiculus cordis, when he is seated, but not when he is standing. [Fz.]

Weight in the stomach, alternating with exhaustion. [MOSSMANN, in Phys. And Medorrhinum Journ., l. c.]

Pressure, as from a hard weight, in the scrobiculus cordis, on raising up tbe body. [Fz.]

150. Cutting aching in the scrobiculus cordis, with feeling of nausea there. [Gss.]

In the scrobiculus cordis squeezing stitches, unaffected by breathing, increased by touching, only when standing not when sitting (aft. 24 h.). [Gss.]

Aching and burning in the gastric region. [HORN, Neues Archiv, v. I, p. 104. (Not found.) ]

Stomachache, and at the same time sensation of great heat in the stomach and bowels. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Sensation in the bowels as if they were twisted together and the gastric region were retracted. (Literally, “sensation of twisting in the bowels after eacg dose, and of much sinking at the pit of the stomach.” ) [DRAKE, l. c.]

155. Pinching contraction in the abdomen, as from a severe chill, when sitting, but if which he feels nothing when walking (aft. 3, 4, d.). [Fz.]

Sharp stitches in the navel. [Gss.]

A persistent stitch in the left infracostal region, with sensation, especially during expiration, as if the surrounding parts were gone asleep. [Fz.]

(While eating) above and to the right of the navel obtuse, as it were, squeezing stitches. [Gss.]

Single stitches and pinching in the abdomen, sometimes with paroxysms of sick feeling (aft. 24 h.). [Rkt.]

160. Pinching in the hypogastrium, as from a purgative (aft. ½ h.). [Myr.]

Flying needle-pricks in the whole abdomen. [Gss.]

Fine stitches in the right side of the abdomen on expiration, when standing and walking. (aft. 58 h.). [Lr.]

Stitches in the right side of the abdomen, during expiration, while sitting, in the morning (aft. 75 h.). [Lr.]

Single fine shooting in the left side of the abdomen, when at rest and during movement, which was increased on expiration (aft. 88 h.). [Lr.]

165. Just above the umbilical region digging, aching, shooting internally (aft. 10 m.). [Gss.]

Shooting in the bend of the groin when walking. [Fz.]

Tearing pains about the navel, in the morning (aft. 8 h.).

When walking shooting tearing in the umbilical region. [Fz.]

In the evening cutting tearing in the abdomen, as from a chill, especially when rising up from a seat, with aching pain in the vertex. [Fz.]

170. Cutting in the whole of the epigastrium and hypogastrium. [Gss.]

Under the third left false rib a part that is painful, as if all inside were lacerated. [Fz.]

Twitching tearing from the pubes to the left groin, on leaning the body backwards. [Fz.]

Simple pain, as from excoriation, in the left inguinal ring, as if a hernia would come out (aft. 6 h.).

In the bend of the groin (in the tendon of the psoas muscle that becomes prominent on moving), almost only when walking, pressive tension; when pressed on it is painful, as if a hard body lay under the skin, which increased the pressure. [Fz.]

175. Drawing cramp anteriorly in the bend of the right groin, which after moving the tendon of the psoas muscle is increased, and becomes, as it were, throbbing, and then continues even when sitting. [Fz.]

Aching, rumbling, gurgling in the abdomen. [Gss.]

Colic-like rumbling and rolling in the abdomen, for half an hour.

Flatulence and discharge of flatus. [Rkt.]

Noises in the abdomen, without sensation of flatulence therein, and without discharge of flatus. [Bch.]

180. Tension of the skin on the abdomen when he raises himself up. [Fz.]

The abdomen is painful, as if ulcerated, when moving, but not when touched. [Fz.]

Forcing downwards and boring anteriorly in the left side of the abdomen. [Fz.]

In the left side of the abdomen sensation as if something were forcing itself through. [Fz.]

Urging to stool. [Hbg.]

185. Before stool, chilliness.

After constipation for forty-eight hours there occurred a quite soft, yellow stool, without suffering. [Fz.]

Ash-coloured diarrhoea, as in jaundice. [SCHEMANN, l. c.]

After vomiting four times, faintness, followed by violent diarrhoea of an ash-coloured pappy matter, as in jaundice. [MEYER, in Richter’s Chir. Bibl., v., p. 532. (Effect of digitalis given for mammary scirehus.) ]

Jaundice. (This indeed occurred in several of Withering’s patients, but always in the natural sequnce of their maladies, and never traceable to digitalis.) [WITHERING, l. c.]

190. Diarrhoea.

Purging. [WITHERING, l. c.]

Thin stool. [Hbg.]

First two or three thin stools (aft. 24 h.), then constipation in the morning; and only in the evening evacuation with many threadwotms (aft. 55 h.). [Stf.]

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.