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


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

To the ordinary mechanical, materialistic, and atomisitic heads – and there is a vast number of such – it seemed not only paradoxical, but childish and incredible, that, according to the homoeopathic, medical doctrine, the administration of doses of only very minute fractions of a grain of the more powerful medicines could be of use.

I grant that it may certainly be more convenient to regard all diseases as accumulations of gross impurities, and active drugs as rough levers and brooms, or as chemical reagents, consequently as palpable alterations of the being of living creatures (diseases) as pure dynamical powers, as they are in reality, and to set about curing according to these views.

If we do not adopt these true views, but adhere to those ordinary material ones, the curative powers of medicines must be estimated according to their bulk and the weight of their dose; and hence the scales must determine the efficacy of the dose. But in that case we first ascertain the weight of the disease, in order to be able to reckon whether a disease weighing so many pounds (it has, indeed, been hitherto not unusual to employ the phrase “Grave illness”) could be prized out, as with a lever, by such and such a weight of medicine. (The theraputic aims, according to the ideas of REIL, ACKERMANN; REICH, and others (they call them systems), appear to be more refined but they are not less mechanical and atomistic. For how heavy must not these substances be, which, employed as medicines, have to put to rights the altered form of the simple parts in a diseased body weighing a hundred and fifty pounds? What quantity of oxygen, hydrogen, or nitrogen will be required in order to supply in mass and weight one of these substances presumably deficient in a collection of morbid humours weighing forty or fifty pounds? Or can medical chemistry at otherwise in the diseased body than with masses, by the addition or subtraction of material substances according to measurement and weight? )

I willingly abandon to those collegues of mine such atomistic views, by which the business of treatment can be carried on very comfortably, even when half asleep; for as we all know; to us poor mortals nothing is more easy of comprehension than the material, ponderable. Palpable, and sensible, because much thinking (and observing), as an Israelitish teacher says, is a weariness to the body. I cannot suppose them capable of regarding diseases as immaterial alterations of the vitality, as pure dynamic derangements of our state of health, and medicine powers as merely virtual, almost spiritual, forces. It is impossible to disabuse them of the idea that for such a weight is required, seeing that they could point to the traditional practice of thousands of years, when palpable quantities of medicine must always be poured into the patient from large bottles, pots, and boxes, in order that any effect should be produced in serious diseases, and yet even this did not usually succeed. I can readily believe this: the effect of the ordinary treatment of all times fully corroborates it! But how can they reconcile it with the atomistic, materialistic notions they entertain respecting the action of medicines and their curative powers, that a single imponderable spark from a Leyden jar gives a shock to the strongest man, and yet no ascertainable ponderable substance is communicated to his body? How can they reconcile with their atomistic, materialistic notions, the enormous power of mesmerism, when a powerful man with strong will to do good approaches the point of his thumb to the pit of the stomach of a nervous patient? How can they, finally, reconcile with their atomistic, materialistic notions respecting the actions of medicines the fact that a carefully-constructed magnetic steel rod effect such a powerful derangement of our health, even when it is not in actual contact with the body, but may even be covered with some thick material (such as cloth, bladder, glass. &c.), so that we suffer therefrom violent morbid affections; or, what is equally remarkable, that a magnetic rod can quickly and permanently cure the most severe disease for which it is the suitable medicine, when it is brought near the body, for but a short time, even though covered as above described? Atomist! You narrow-minded wiseacre! Tell me what ponderable quantity of the magnet entered the body in order to effect these often enormous changes in its state of health? Is not the centillionth of a grain (a fraction of a grain that has 600 ciphers for its denominator) still infinitely too heavy to represent this absolutely imponderable quantity, the kind of spirit that emanated from the magnetic rod into this living body? Will you now continue to express your amazement at the homoeopathic doses of powerful medicines of the sextillionth, the octillionth, the decillionth of a grain, which are gross weights compared with this invisible magnetic power?

The subjoined symptoms occurred from various powerful magnets brought in contact with various sensitive individuals, without distinction of the poles. They were observed in experiments conducted for half a year for the purpose of ascertaining the proper and most efficacious mode of stroking the steel with magnets, in which a horseshoe magnet capable of lifting twelve pounds was held in the hands, which were in contact with both poles for an hour at a time.

The additional symptoms from general contact, taken from the works of ANDRY and THOURET of UNZER, and of DE HARSU, also resulted from the application of the whole surface of various magnetic plates to the skin, consequently of both poles at once.

The symptoms observed from the two poles that follow occurred from the contact of powerful magnetic rod with healthy persons, for eight to twelve minutes at a time, seldom repeated several times.

Although each of the poles, as will be seen from the symptoms recorded, presents something peculiar in its power of altering the human health, yet each of them seems, when applied twice or oftener, to produce alternating actions which resemble those of the opposite pole.

In order to effect a cure the magnet must be applied in a much milder manner to enable it to act homoepathically, For this purpose a magnetic rod, eighteen inches long, which can lift a quarter of a pound at either pole, is more than sufficiently powerful, (Indeed, a rod eight inches long, weighing half an ounce, which (at the north pole) can lift four ounces of iron (which I magnetised to this extent, and surrounded with soft, thin, silk-covered wire, by which its magnetic power is retained undiminished for ever, in whatever direction it may lie), has latterly furnished me with all the curative power to be expected from the magnet, by its application for a minute or even only half a minute.) if the pole selected, according to similarity of the symptoms to the case of disease, be brought in contact, or almost in contact for one minute only, with the affected part or even with the tip of the finger. I have even met with cases for which the contact of such a magnetic staff for only half a minute was an empty sufficient dose.

But if the first application of the pole does not remove the whole disease, we must not allow the application of the same pole to be repeated, a second time, just as in other homoeopathic treatment it is not proper to give a second dose of the same medicine must be administered corresponding to the remaining morbid condition, or if the wrong pole have been first selected the opposite pole should be applied.

It is the same with magnets as with other medicinal agents; their enantiopathic or palliative employment must be avoided where there is a homoeopathic remedy that cures radically by similarity of symptoms. Therefore, where we find only under the general magnet symptoms a homoeopathic resemblance to the case of disease we wish to cure and where we do not know which of the two poles is more especially indicated, we apply that one which offers the greatest number of similar symptoms. But if after applying the pole we observe an almost instantandisappearance of the ailments we wish to cure (or even the occurrence of other symptoms not previously present) for half an hour, or only a quarter of an hour, then we may be sure that the pole we applied was not the curative (homoeopathic), but the palliative (enantiopathic) one. We shall soon be convinced of this by the speedy recurrence and increasing aggravation of the malady. But the practitioner who wishes to cure and not to be experiment, will not wait for this aggravation, but when the sudden palliative relief has lasted but a quarter of an hour (and especially if new symptoms have appeared) he will apply the opposite pole, but not for a longer time than he applied the palliative pole. This will first of all remove the new symptoms, then cause a slight homoeopathic aggravation of the original malady, and finally effect the complete permanent cure by homoeopathy, as occurs with all other medicines selected according to similarity of symptoms (homoeopathically).

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.