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.)

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.