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.]

Near the ear, behind the ascending ramus of the lower jaw, a succession of needle-pricks (aft. 30 h.). [Kr.]

Aching in the depression behind the lobe of the ear.

Aching pain in the root of the nose.

Constriction of the nose as if he should be suffocated. (With S. 20.) [SCHULZE, l. c.]

75. In the left ala nasi an itching burning. [Hbg.]

Smarting itching underneath and about the nose the upper lip, as if coryza were coming on. [Mss.]

Yellowish complexion.

Paleness if the face during the heat of the head.

In the morning, after waking a vesicular pimple on the middle of the red part of the upper lip. [Hbg.]

80. (Ulceration of the commissure of the lip with itching.)

In the evening after lying down in bed, shooting tearing pain in the right lower and upper molars, which can bear neither warmth nor cold; the pain torments him all night, so that he could sleep but little; thereafter the lower molars are longer; but little felt by day. [Kr.]

On biting the teeth together a tearing in both oppose third molars towards their roots (immediately). [Mss.]

Insensible stiffness of the tongue. [GREW, Anatomy of plants, p. 280. (From chewing root.) ]

Quite dry, white tongue, in the morning on rising from bed (aft. 24 h.). [Kr.]

85. Vesicles no the tongue.

On the tip of the tongue a pimple with shooting pain when touched. [Kr.]

Swelling of the tongue. [BUCHNER, in samml. f. pr. Aerzte, vol. 1, p. 3. (Observation. – ‘Swelling” should be “trembling.”) ]

A scraping feeling on the back of the palate. [Stf.]

Tiresome dryness on the palate and cutting and scraping pain on the palate on moving the parts of the mouth engaged in swallowing (lasting many days). [Ws.]

90. Sore throat; on swallowing, an aching, and the throat feels excoriated.

Dry slimy taste, with great thirst, for two hours. [Mss.]

Flow of saliva.

Accumulation of watery saliva; he must spit out frequently.

Much watery saliva in the mouth. [Stf.]

95. Constant flow of saliva into the mouth, which he must spit out (aft. 1.3/4 h.). [Htn.]

Great hunger; he is always hungry and everything tastes well. [Kr.]

Bitterness in the throat, but still more bitter when he eats anything.

He has appetite, but when he eats he does not relish it, and he gets nausea for a short time, which ceases immediately after eating.

Loathing of a green vegetables and sourcrout, with good appetite for bread and meat (aft. more than a week.)

100. Dislike to food.

Loathing of fat meat (for more than a week), whereas bread and lean meat taste well.

Adipsia all day long.

Frequent tasteless, dry eructation (the first hour), then completely suppressed eructation. [Stf.]

Empty eructation, without any taste (aft. ½ h.). [Kr.]

105. Hiccup. [BUCHNER, – STEGMANN, Diss. de salut et nox. Elleb. Nigri usu, halae, 1751, p. 22. (Not accessible.) ]

Hiccup (aft. 2 h.). [Lr.]

Soon after dinner, discharge of strong, foetid flatus (aft. 1.1/4 h.). [Kr.]

Feeling of nausea in the stomach; he often feels hungry, but food is repugnant to him, though he has no abnormal taste either in the mouth or of food (aft. 24 h.). [Mss.]

Inclination to vomit.

110. Inclination to vomit, rising up from the scrobiculus cordis.

Empty eructation and inclination to vomit, but yet he cannot vomit.

Continued inclination to vomit. (From Heel. Foetidus.) [GESNER, Entdeckungen, I, p. 167. (Statement.) ]

Vomiting. [JOHN COOK, in Oxford Magazine for March, 1769. (Poisoning.)

Vomiting of a greenish black matter, with bellyache; symptoms which recurred after ceasing for three hours, land lasted an hour, followed by apparent rest for two hours, and lasted an hour, followed by apparent rest for two hours, then a violent cry, followed by apparent rest for two hours, then a violent cry, followed by death (aft. 38 h.); the limbs were relaxed and flaccid, the blood in the veins fluid, on the left side of the oesophagus and stomach, as also in the small intestines, a moderate inflammation; the brain very soft and flaccid.[MORGAGNI, de Sed. Et caus. Morb., lix, 15, 16. (Effects of extract in a melancholic.)]

115. Great bruised pain near and under the scrobiculus cordis in the region of the portal vein, where he feels every step painfully when walking; the pain is aggravated by speaking aloud and by touching the part.

Sensation as if the scrobiculus cordis were drawn in.

Distension of the scrobiculus cordis and of the epigastric region, which impedes respiration, and is painful as from internal cordis.

Excessive pain in the scrobiculus cordis. [GESNER, l. c.]

120. Pressure in the precordial region. [COOK, l. c.]

Scrapy rough sensation in the stomach (as from rubbing with a wollen cloth). [Hbg.]

A painful burning in the stomach, which rises up through the oesophagus. [TOURNEFORT, Voyage dans le Levant, t. ii, p. 180. (Statement.) ]

In the stomach, pinching (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Hbg.]

Pain in the abdomen. [BUCHNER, – STEGMANN, – GESNER, l. c.]

125. Heaviness in the abdomen (aft. 2 h.). [Hbg.]

A pinching, commencing in the hepatic region and twisting itself always deeper downwards and forwards (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Htn.]


In the abdomen a couple of stitches and a tearing pain across it (aft. ½ h.).

(After a meal) severe dysentery-like pinching across the abdomen. [Hbg.]

130. Pinching in the abdomen (on going upstairs) (aft. 32 h.). [Lr.]

Sharp pressure across the abdomen, below the navel, from without inwards, especially severe when sitting (aft. 24 h.).[Ws.]

Cold sensation in the abdomen.

Grumbling in the abdomen.

Excessive rumbling and noises in the abdomen (immediately).

135. Audible painless grumbling below the umbilical region. (aft. 1 h.). [Kr.]

Movement in the abdomen, as if bubbles of air rose up and burst, followed by discharge of foetid flatus (aft. 8 h.). [Kr.]

Flatulence moving about in the abdomen. [Hbg. – Stf.]

Transient distension of the abdomen, in the evening (aft. 5 d.).

In the morning after the accustomed draught of milk, discharge of foetid flatus (aft. ½ h.). [Kr.]

140. Purging with nausea and bellyache. [TOURNEFORT, l. c.]

Diarrhoea, and before each stool pain in the abdomen, which went off after each stool. [Rkt.]


Diarrhoea. [ MORGAGNI, l. c.]

Every day three or four time instead of the stool there passes white gelatinous matter, like frog’s spawn, with much pressing.

145. Stools of pure, viscid, white mucus.

Retained stool the first day, the next day in the morning an ordinary stool, and in the afternoon a diarrhoeic stool.

Hard, scanty stool, during and immediately after which violent, cutting shooting in the rectum from below upwards, just as if it contracted tightly and as if a body with cutting edges stuck there. (aft. 12 h.). [Mss.]

Haemorrhoidal irritation. [SCHULZE, l. c.]

After an evacuation a burning smarting pain in the anus for a minute. [Stf.]

150. In the right inguinal region pressures terminating in a stitch, a sensation as if a hernia would ensue. [Kr.]

Severe hard pressure on the middle of the os pubis (aft. ¼ h.). [Hbg.]

Frequent micturition.

Urging to urinate (micturition).

Copious discharge of urine (micturition).

Copious discharof urine, without any particular urging (aft. 24, 26 h.).[Lr.]

155. Frequent urging to pass urine, with scanty discharge of urine (aft. ¾, 2.1/2, 3, 5.1/2 h.). [Lr.]

Copious discharge of watery urine. [Stf.]

Several itching, fine pricks on the point of the glans penis (aft. ½ h.). [Lr.]

Seems to suppress powerfully the sexual desire. [Stf.]

Production of the menstrual flux (aft. 8 h.).

160. Sneezing. [VAN HILDEN, Opera Medorrhinum Chir., Cent. 4, obs. 12 (From inhaling the odour.) ]

In the morning, when fasting, sneezing. (aft. 26 h.). [Lr.]

Spasmodic tickling irritation in the nose, as if about to sneeze (which however did not occur), with yawning (aft. 1 h.). [Kr.]

Sneezing, immediately after rising from bed in the morning, causing the upper lip to crack in the middle. [Kr.]

Short cough.

165. A suddenly arising, continued short coughing (whilst smoking the customary tobacco, when sitting (aft. 15 h.). [Lr.]

Rapid breathing.

Dyspnoea; he must breathe slowly and sometimes deeply (aft. ¼ h.). [Mss.]

Constriction of the glottis. [BUCHNER, l. c.]

Chest quite contracted, so that he gasped for breath with open mouth, but could not breathe. [ALBERTI, l. c.]

170. Sharp cutting in the lowest true ribs over the chest, from within outwards, increased by inspiration. [Ws.]

Elevated temperature in the lower part of the thoracic cavity. [Hbg.]

Scraping, rough sensation in the upper part of the sternum. [Hbg.]

When moving the neck some of its muscle are stiff and painful. [Stf.]

Rheumatic stiffness of the nape.

175. Pain of the cervical glands.

Stiffness of the muscles of the nape up to the occiput, even when at rest, but mostly when moving the head (in the morning) (aft. 41 h.). [Mss.]

Contractive pain in the sacrum.

A dull pain in the left scapula, more acutely painful when moving. [Stf.]

Betwixt the scapulae, on the spine, bruised pain. [Hbg.]

180. Visible twitching of the muscles in the left upper arm, with pain as if something hard knocked violently against that part. [Hbg.]

Itching erosion on both arms, and after scratching, smarting as from salt-water, after going to sleep, in the evening and morning.

Yellowish, round tetters on both arms from which water exuded when scratched.

In the right upper arm, sensation as after a blow, but not when touched. [Hbg.]

Fine tearing in the shafts of the arm-bones. [Ws.]

Severe drawing from the middle of the forearm to the bend of the elbow. [Mss.]

Drawing pain from the right wrist to the index finger (aft. 10 h.). [Mss.]

Drawing pain from the right wrist to the index finger (aft. 10 h.). [Mss.]

In the evening when walking in the open air, severe needle-pricks in the left wrist-joint (aft. 13 h.). [Lr.]

Across the flexor tendons of the left hand needle-pricks dart (when walking in the open air) (aft. 12.3/4 h.). [Lr.]

Sweat on the palms of the hands, with coldness on the back of the hands (aft. 2 h.). [Kr.]

190. Tearing in the backs of all the fingers of the left hand (in the morning in bed)(aft. 18 h.). [Mss.]

Tearing in the left middle finger, especially in its middle joint. [Mss.]

Boring pain in the middle joint of the middle and index fingers (aft. 20 h.). [Mss.]

Loss of power in both hands, so that he could grasp nothing, nor double the fingers up into a fist strongly. [Mss.]

Loss of power in both hands, so that he could grasp nothing, nor double the fingers up into a fist strongly. [Mss.]

Paralytic tearing in the right little finger (aft. 27 h.). [Mss.]

195. Paralytic tearing and spasmodic stiffening in the fourth finger of the right hand, going off when at rest. [Mss.]

A tickling on the right index (aft. 10 h.). [Lr.]

A painful aching across the right thumb. [Lr.]

A inflamed spot at the nails of the left index and right thumb, with pain like an ulcer when touched (aft. 20 h.); the following day some whitish humour escaped, whereupon it healed. [Mss.]

Betwixt the proximal joint of the right fourth and fifth fingers several small vesicles, which are sore when touched, exude moisture for some time, and then remain for a long time covered by a scab. [Mss.]

200. On the middle joint of the fourth right finger small, exuding, painless vesicles; on applying strong pressure the bone seems to have sore pain. [Mss.]

A slight drawing pain in the right hip. [Stf.]

Sudden paralytic stiffness in the left hip-joint, when walking in the open air (aft. 23 h.). [Mss.]

Single pricks in the left hip, as with a needle. [Hbg.]

In the left hip several violent, rather slow pricks, as with several pins. [Hbg.]

205. repeated burning aching in the left hip (aft. 2 h.). [Hbg.]

Stiffness and tension of the muscles of the left thigh. [Rkt.]

Weariness of the thighs.

Very great weakness of the thighs and legs (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Stiffness in the houghs.

210. Unsteadiness of the limbs, weakness of the feet, staggering of the knees; he can walk only slowly.

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.