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


(From vol. v, 2nd edit., 1826.)

(The freshly expressed juice of the whole plant just coming into flower, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

Ordinary medicine has hitherto known no single true way of investigating the peculiar powers of each individual medicinal substance, in order to discover what each is capable of curing. In her want of resources she knew of nothing to rely upon for this purpose, except external resemblance. She even imagined that the taste would reveal the inner medicinal power.

Accordingly all plants that had a bitter taste were considered as identical in action, and were mixed together in one mess. They were all held to possesses one quality in common, which was this sole one: they were mild tonics and strengthened the stomach (in all the innumerable and heterogeneous morbid states). So for this purpose modern doctors (a more enlightened posterity will scarcely believe it) prescribed right away extraction amarum, without indicating any bitter plant in particular of which it should be made, so that it was left to the goodwill and pleasure of the apothecary to determine what plants (they might differ as much as they pleased in respect to medicinal powers, provided only they had a bitter taste) he chose to boil down, in order to make the decoction for such an extract, in order to fulfil the imaginary intention of the doctor to affect God knows what sort of strengthening with these unknown vegetable juices.

More thoughtlessly it would be impossible to act, more contemptuously it would be impossible to treat the noble human life. For as every plant differs so strikingly in its external characters from every other plant, that botanists think they cannot too carefully enumerate their visible differences, so must they differ in their inner nature and consequently in their medicinal properties. Hence it is impossible that such an obscure expression of their internal character as a (bitter) taste can be intended to indicate the remarkable differences of the inner medicinal spirit of each of them. Consequently, we must not from the mere bitter taste determine anything either in respect to their general or their special medicinal actions, or their identity; nor must we assume the unconditional tonic action of all bitter plants without distinction as their sole medicinal power – not to mention that each of these plants always has its own peculiar bitterness, besides some other collateral taste, which cannot fail to indicate an inner difference of medicinal action, that no human reason can discern from the mere taste.

Such being the case, it follows that it would be absurd and nonsensical if we should be so foolish as to infer a stomach-strengthening action from the quality of bitterness. If not, then why should not ear-wax, the bile of animals, squills, agaric staphisagria, nux-vomica, ignatia, colocynth, elaterium, &c, be tonic, stomach-strengthening remedies? – they are surely all bitter enough! – ant yet several of them in moderate doses are capable of destroying human life.

So utterly has ordinary medicine misunderstood, so completely identical with other bitter plants has she regarded the buckbean, a plant that differs from all other bitter plants in nature, in respect to its singular appearance, its habitat, and its peculiar bitter taste. Hence it is a fact that its true, pure, peculiar medicinal effects and the morbid symptoms it produces in the healthy human body, owing to which it can cure (homoeopathically) similar natural morbid states, is so remarkably and so decidedly different from those of every other bitter plant, that it would be absurd to consider this plant as identical with other bitter plants.

Physicians of the ordinary school maunder about the gout-curing power of buckbean, just as they have done about that of other bitter plants, without concerning themselves with the injuries and the fatal effects (See W. CULLEN’s Materia Medica, ii, p. 79 (Leipzig: Schwickert, 1790). That have ensued from the persistent employment of such unsuitable medicines in cases of this sort. We do not even know unsuitable medicines in cases of this sort. We do not even know precisely what they mean by that word of many meanings, “gout,” for a number of very different painful diseases of the limbs and joints, attended by many accessory symptoms, are called by one and the same name.

And so undiscriminating ordinary medicine idly asserts buckbean has cured a number of other pathological affections (which in nature never occur in the same manner), yet when we examine for ourselves the so-called observations, some twenty, thirty, or fifty other powerful remedies were employed at the same time, or mixed up together, showing in the most palpable manner the incorrectness of the assertion that buckbean did good. Even when as very rarely happened, it was used by itself in some cases of disease, and seemed to be of use all by itself in some cases of disease, and seemed to of use all by itself, there is seldom anything worthy of imitation to be learned from these instances, because it was not administered on intelligible grounds but in a sort of random way, and the case of disease said to have been cured stands, like every other case, all alone by itself in nature, and exactly identical case never occurs, consequently it never comes under our treatment.

The accurate knowledge of the pure, peculiar, morbific effects of individual drugs on the healthy human subject can alone teach us in an infallible manner in what morbid states, even if they have never previously been seen, a medicine, accurately selected according to similarity of symptoms, can be employed as an unfailing remedy that shall over-power and permanently extinguish them.

The smallest portion of a drop of the undiluted juice I have found to be an adequate dose for homoeopathic employment in every case; further experience will perhaps show that a further dilution will suffice for sensitive persons or children.


Symptoms are taken from the following old-school authorities:

FRANCUS, JOH.. Trifolii fibrini historia Francofurti, 1701

SCHLEGEL, in Hufel. Journal, VII, iv.

In the 1st edit, there are 297 symptoms, this 2nd edit, has two less.]


(Vertigo on stooping and rising up again.)

Confusion of the head, in the room, like dazedness; the thoughts come with difficulty, though he immediately remembers everything, in the open air he feels much lighter and freer (aft. 2 h.). [Fz.]

Stupid in the head (aft. 17 h.). [Hnl.]

Pressure from within outwards in the front part of the forehead (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

5. On the left temple a persistent pressure, mingled with sharp stitches. [Htn.]

When leaning the head on one side dull headache.

Aching pain in the head, more violent in the open air (aft. 12 h.). [Gn.]

Aching pain in the right side of the head (aft. ¼ h.).[Gn.]

A pressing from above downwards in the head, which goes off when the hand is strongly pressed on it, but returns again, for many hours.(aft. 5.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

10. Pressive headache, that is aggravated by going up and downstairs, when it seems to him as if a heavy weight lay on the brain, which pressed out at the forehead (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Aching pain on the right side of the forehead (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Aching pain on the right side of the forehead, going off immediately by laying on the expanded hand (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Gn.]

Headache in the temples, as if they were compressed from both sides, which went off by compressing with the hand, but then returned. [Trn.]

Headache, like compression on both sides, and at the same time some stitches in the occiput. [Trn.]

Persistent heaviness if the head (immediately). [Gn.]

15. Heaviness with aching in the whole head, sometimes also violent stitches in the left frontal protuberance – a headache which goes off completely on laying the head on one side. [Htn.]

Obtuse pressive pain in the forehead from within outwards, for several hours (aft. 27 h.). [Hnl.]

Compressive painfrom both sides in the crown, together with a sensation on going upstairs as if a weight pressed upon the brain at each step (aft. 2 h.). [Ws.]

Aching stupefying pain in the head, which involved the forehead especially, when at rest and when moving (aft. ½ h.). [Lr.]

Aching drawing pain in the forehead, just above the root if the nose (aft. 2 h.). [Fz.]

20. Drawing pain in the right lobe of the cerebrum, from below upwards, which ends in the occiput (aft. 4 h.). [Hnl.]

Drawing pain in the right side of the forehead (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Hnl.]

Drawing pain in the forehead. [Fz.]

Drawing internal pain along the left frontal bone. [Fz.]

Squeezing drawing on the side of the occiput. [Fz.]

25. When sitting drawing in the occiput. [Fz.]

Tensive headache about the whole crown.

Twitching headache in the crown, epsecially after stooping (aft. 5 h.). [Ws.]

Single stitches in the left side of the brain up towards the crown (aft. 2 h.). [Mkl.]

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.