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


(From vol. ii, 3rd edit., 1833.)

(Filings of soft iron are powdered by sufficient triturition in a cast iron mortar, then sifted through linen, and of this dust-like iron powder (in the pharmacopoeias called Ferrum pulveratum) one grain it triturated for three hours with milk-sugar (in the manner taught for arsenic) up to the million-fold or third attenuation, and then brought to the thirtieth potency (X) through 27 dilution phials.)

Although most of the following medicinal symptoms were observed from the employment of a solution of acetate of iron, it is beyond doubt that they correspond essentially with those of metallic iron as exactly as do the symptoms obtained from dry calcareous earth with those of acetate of lime.

This metal is said by ordinary physicians to be a strengthening medicine per se, and not only innocuous, but entirely and absolutely wholesome.

How far from being true is this dictum pronounced without consideration and testing, and handed down by teachers to their disciples equally without consideration and testing, we are taught by the reflection that, if iron possess medicinal power it must also for that very reason alter the health of human beings, and make the healthy ill, and the more ill the more powerfully curatvie it is found to be in disease.

Nil prodest, quod non loedere possit idem.

The actual sanitary condition of persons residing near waters impregnated with iron might have taught them that this metal possesses strong pathogenetic properties. The inhabitants of chalybeate (It is mere charalatanry to call solutions of iron steel-drops, and chalybeate mineral waters steel-waters, steelbaths. By these expressions it is intended to convey the notion that they indubitably possess an absolute strengthening power in a high degree; for to steel is a metaphorical expression for to strengthen. But iron only becomes steel when its peculiar elasticity and hardness are developed. In its solution by acids the steel disappears; the solution then only contains a substratum of iron, and the oxyde (iron ochre) collected from chalybeate waters, when smelted, produces nothing but ordinary iron.) watering places, where all the springs and wells in the neighbourhood usually contain some of this metal, show marked signs of its morbific influence.

In such localities there are few persons who can resist the noxious influence of the continued use of such waters and remain quite well, each being affected according to his peculiar nature. There we find, more than anywhere else, chronic affections of great gravity and peculiar character, even when the regimen is otherwise faultless. Weakness, almost amounting to paralysis of the whole body and of single parts, some kinds of violent limb pains, abdominal affections of various sorts, vomiting of food by day or by night, phthisical pulmonary ailments, often with blood-spitting, deficient vital warmth, suppressions of the menses, miscarriages, impotence in both sexes, sterility, jaundice, and many other rare cachexies are common occurrences.

What becomes of the alleged complete innocuousness, let alone the absolute wholesomeness of this metal? Those who are constantly drinking chalybeate waters, called health-springs, and the other iron-impregnated waters of the neighbourhood, are mostly in a sickly state!

What prejudice, what carelessness has hitherto prevented physicians from observing these striking facts, and referring them to their cause, the pathogenetic property of iron?

How they can, ignorant as they are of the action of iron and its salts, determine in what cases chalybeate waters are of use? Which of their patients will they send thither for course of treatment? Which of their patients will they send thither for a course of treatment? Which of their patients will they send thither for a course of treatment? Which will they keep away? What, on short, seeing that they know nothing accurately concerning the peculiar effects of this metal on the human body, leads them to determine the cases suitable for chalybeate waters? Is it blind fancy? Hap-hazard conjecture and guess work? Fashion? Do not, indeed, many of their patients come back from the chalybeate springs in a more miserable (The attempt of the common run of practitioners to produce a purely strengthening effect is a capital mistake. For why is the patient so weak? Obviously because he is ill! Weakness is a mere consequence and a single symptom of his disease. What rational man could think of strengthening his patient without first removing his disease? But if his disease be removed, then he always, even during the process of the removal of his disease, regains his strength by the energy of his organism freed from its malady. There os no such thing as a strengthening remedy as long as the disease continues; there is no such thing as a strengthening remedy as long as the disease continues; there can be none such. The homoeopathic physician alone knows how to cure, and in the act of being cured the convalescent regains his strength.) and diseased condition, showing that iron was an unsuitable remedy for them? God preserve patients from a doctor who does not know, and can give no satisfactory reasons, why he prescribes this or the other drug, who cannot tell beforehand What medicine would be beneficial, what injurious to the patient!

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.