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

(Christmas Rose.)

(From vol. iii, edit., 1825.)

(The juice of the fresh root mixed with equal parts of alcohol and the alcoholic tincture of the dry root of the Helleborus niger.)

The symptoms which I and some of my disciples have observed from this root are but few in number; still they constitute a commencement of the investigation of its properties. They serve to show that hellebore must prove useful in a peculiar kind of fever, some dropsical affections and mental derangements. When the morbid symptoms it can produce shall have been more completely ascertained, we shall then be able to see what the diseases were for the cure of which at their sanatory resorts the Greeks obtained such renown, for the plant they employed for this purpose was a species with pale red flowers closely allied to our hellebore. In large doses it acts for several weeks.

Camphor seems most frequently effectual in controlling its too energetic primary actions, but the untoward secondary effects yield most readily to cinchona bark.

I myself gathered the root which I used for my trials, and hence am convinced of its genuineness.


Symptoms were obtained from the following old-school sources:

ALBERTI, Jurosp. Medorrhinum, tom. vi.

BUCHNER, in Samml. f. pr. Aerzte, vo. i.

BISSOT, On the Medorrhinum Const. Of Great Britain.

COOK, JOHN, Oxford Magazine for March, 1769.

GESNER, Entdeckungen, i.

GREW, Anatomy of Plants.

HILDEN, VAN, Opera Medorrhinum Chir., Cent. 4, Obs. 12.

MORGAGNI, de Sedibus et caus. Morb., lix.

SCOPOLI, Flora Carniolica.

SCHULZE, Materia Medica.

STEGMANN, Diss. de salut. Et nox. Elleb. Nigri usu. Halae, 1757.

TOURNEFORT, Voyage dans le Levant, t, ii.

In the 1st edit. Hellebore has 198 symptoms, in this 2nd edit. There are 288.]


Giddy in the head. [ALBERTI, Jurosp. Medorrhinum, tom. vi, p. 719. (The sixth volume of this work is not accessible.) ]

Stupefaction of the head (immediately). [Mss.]

Giddy stupefaction of the head, in every position. [Mss.]

On bending down and again raising the head vertigo that passed off immediately after raising the head (aft. 10.1/2 h.). [Mss.]

5. Stupefying headache, as from intoxication, all the afternoon (aft. 7 h.). [Lr.]

Stupefaction of the whole head during the fluent coryza (aft. 5.1/2 h.). [Lr.]

Inability to think (aft. 10 h.). [Mss.]

Heaviness and heat internally in the head, with cold fingers and chilly feeling in the whole body, which is diminished when the hands are covered up and kept warm (aft. 1 h.).

Very painful heaviness in the head, with tension and pressure as from without inwards in the temples, but especially in the forehead; at the same time with every pulse a pressing drawing, as if the blood was forcibly propelled through the head (all day, especially in the fever), diminished in the open air.

10. Heaviness of the brain and sensation as if it was compressed by a tight membrane, with inability to think and to retain anything in the memory. [Mss.]

Weakness of memory; it was only by an effort that he could after some time remember what he wanted to say and what he had been questioned about (aft. ½ h.). [Mss.]

Weakness of memory; he could not retain what he had read one instant. [Kr.]

Confusion which makes the head stupid, a dull pain every afternoon from 4 to 8 o’clock.

Stupidity of the head, as if clouded, chiefly in the forehead (aft. ¾ h.). [Lr.]

15. Stupidity and heat in the head; burning in it.

Stupid (From various observations, I infer that stupor, obtuseness of the inner sensibility (sensorium commune), in which, though the sight is good, one sees only imperfectly, and does not observe what one sees; though the auditory apparatus is good, one hears or comprehends nothing; is always or often without thought, remembers little or not at all what was quite recently occurred, has no pleasure in anything, slumbers but lightly, and does not sleep soundly or refreshingly, attempts to work but without giving attention or energy to it – are primary effects of hellebore.)

Bruised pain as if combined with stupidity, now in one, now in another part of the brain, worst when stooping. [Hbg.]

Dazedness of the head, like a bruised sensation, during the fluent coryza (aft. 5 h.). [Lr.]

The head is painful as if bruised. [Hbg.]

20. Troublesome headache. [SCHULZE, Materia Medica, p. 152. (From continued use.) ]

Headache, pressing from within outwards on the right side of the forehead. [Ws.]

Pain in the head, as if the whole brain were pressed inwards, at every step in the open air (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

Penetrating headache, which on sitting erect becomes a burning in the head.

He knows not how to hold the head on account of the violent pain in it; he lays it every instant on a different place; it is most tolerable when he forces himself to lie still, and with closed eyes and in a half-slumber he forgets his pain.

25. Pressure as with a pointed instrument on the crown of the head. [Hbg.]

Violent aching pain in the head, with great heaviness, especially in the occiput, on awaking (aft. 41 h.). [Mss.]

Uninterrupted aching pain in the occiput towards the nape. [Rkt.]

Aching pain in the right frontal eminence, increased when walking in the open air. [Kr.]

After enforced attention aching pain in the right temple, aggravated when walking (aft. 8 h.). [Kr.]

30. In both temples a compressive pain. [Stf.]

Pressure in the brain, just as if it were compressed from both sides towards the center and upwards (aft. 9 h.). [Mss.]

An aching pain in the forehead, as if dazed (aft. 11 h.). [Lr.]

Semilateral headache, a tearing, with chilliness.

An aching. Stupefying, giddy drawing, at one time in one half at another in the other half of the brain, and sometimes in the whole brain. [Stf.]

35. Drawing aching in the left half of the brain from behind to the forehead, as if the mass of the brain were heaped up there (immediately). [Mss.]

Drawing pain in the upper part of the head, in the morning in bed (aft. 24 h.). [Ws.]

Headache from the nape to the crown of the head.

Obtuse drawing in the forehead, causing the skin of the forehead to wrinkle. [Hbg.]

Pulsating throbbing in the left temple, eah pulsation ending in a stitch (aft. ¾. H.). [Kr.]

40. Stitches as if rising up out of the brain, in the region of the coronal suture, right side. [Kr.]

Boring stitches going across the forehead (aft. 14 h.). [Lr.]

In the morning, several sharp stitches externally on the right, afterwards on the left side of the forehead (aft. 3, 4 h.). [Lr.]

Headache, as if bruised, in the occiput, especially when stooping (aft. 48 h.).

Bruised pain externally on the vertex and occiput, especially during the febrile chill; at every movement, especially when stooping and going upstairs, the pain changes into a violent twitching in the integuments of the head, which is relieved by external pressure (aft. 48 h.). [Ws.]

45. Sensations, as if the integuments of the occiput were drawn down tightly (aft. 41 h.). [Mss.]

The frontal muscles contract into folds. [Hbg.]

Pulse-beats on the forehead and temples, with heat if face (aft. 6 h.). [Mss.]

Small swellings in the skin of the forehead, which pain as if bruised or as if from a blow.

A pimple on the left side of the forehead, which on being roughly touched pains as if bruised. [Mss.]

50. A prickly tension on the left palpebral arch when touched, as if a pimple would come there (aft. 46 h.). [Mss.]

Quivering in the muscles of the eye-brows and cheeks, with heat of face. [Mss.]

Pain drawing hither and thither in the palpebral arch, with spasmodic contraction of the muscle of the eye-brow (aft. 10 h.). [Mss.]

Aching in the orbits, as if the eyes would fall out. [Rkt.]

Painful aching in the right inner canthus, that is aggravated by closing the eyes (aft. 9 h.). [Lr.]

55. Itching in the canthi. (aft. ¾ h.). [Lr.]

Burning smarting in the eyes, especially the inner canthi. [Ws.]

Prickling in the eyes as if they would weep (immediately). [Mss.]

In the eyes sensation as if they were closed by something heavy pon them from above; he must make an effort to keep them wide open (in the open air) (aft. 7, 8 h.).

In the morning after waking, on shutting the eyes, violent prickling on the eye-ball and its coverings, as with sharp points (aft. 9 h.). [Mss.]

60. Prickling on the eye-ball from above. [Mss.]

In the morning, after waking, soreness of the canthi of the left eye, with some moisture in them. [Stf.]

In the morning the inner canthi are full of dry-gum (aft. 9 h.). [Mss.]

Quivering of the eyelids.

(Swollen, red eyelids.)

65. Daylight is painful to him; he does not like to look at surrounding objects, and lies with closed eyes (in the fever.)

Dilated pupils.

Dilated pupils (the 1st hour.). [Stf.]

Drawing pain from the temple to the ear (immediately). [Mss.]

In both ears a drawing as if the inner ear would burst, a kind of earache. [Stf.]

70. Along with the shooting tearing pains in the teeth, in the right ear a digging boring shooting all night long; in the morning and all day only the pain in the ear remained. [Kr.]

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.