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

(Quicksilver, Argentum vivum.)

In commerce this metal is often adulterated with an admixture of lead, sometimes also of bismuth. The best way to purify it is to put it in a porcelain saucer, pour over it a watery solution of nitrate of mercury, and let it boil for about an hour over a charcoal fire, always adding water to replace that lost by evaporation. The acid in this solution takes up the lead and bismuth and disengages its mercury which becomes added to the mercury to be purified.

Mercury in its fluid metallic state has but little dynamic action on man’s health, it is only its chemical compounds that cause great effects.

Among the salts of mercury those which for several centuries have been chiefly used in the treatment of diseases are those formed with a small proportion of muriatic acid (sweet mercury, miercurius dulcis, calomel, hydrargyrum muriuticum mite) and the complete muriatic mercurial salt (corrosive sublimate mercurius sublimatus corrosivus hydrargyrum muriaticum corrosivus) for internal use, and its combination with fatty substances (unguentu mercuriale s. neapolitanum, unguentum hydrargyri cincreum) for external inunction. I will pass over the innumerable other preparations of mercury, chiefly combinations with other acids or prepared with other substances, which have been used less frequently and have attained no lasting repute.

This is not the place to estimate the medicinal value of all these preparations. It would, indeed, be impossible to do this because even those of them in commonest use have been but little, and those more rarely employed not at all, tested as to their true peculiar action on the healthy human body. Consequently they cannot be homoepathically selected for particular morbid states with any certainty of a curative effect. Thus much only does careful proving enable me to express from experience, that they all display in their action a certain general similarity as mercurials; whilst, on the other hand, they differ greatly from one another in their peculiarities, and very much in the intensity of their action on the human health. Especially should it be observed, that all the saline preparations of mercury display a number of little known but generally very active accessory effects, according to the nature of their basic acid, which differ very much from the mild absolute effects of perfectly pure mercury, unaltered by any acid.

Even mercury merely united with fatty substances in the form of ointment excites peculiar effects on the human body,( John Bell complains that he has never succeeded in curing the venereal-chancre disease by merely rubbing in mercurial ointment, without being compelled to destory the chancre by the aid of external remedies. But by the internal use of a mercurial preparation uncombined with any acid, such as the mercurius solubilits (hydrargyrum oxydulatum nigrum), the whole disease, including the chancre, is cured, without any external remedy for the latter being required.) different from those produced by the internal administration of the mild, pure, semioxydized mercury (aethiops per se), probably because in the ointmet it is chemically combined with fatty acids.

Now, as the hornoeopathic method rejects all medicinal substances that produce heterogeneous accessory effects in consequence of being combined with something else, I have long endeavoured to obtain pure mercury in such a condition that it should be able to dispaly its ture, pure, peculiar effects on the human organism in a more powerfully curative manner than all other known preparations and saline combination.

What a long-continued, mechanical succession of fluid mercury, or as was practised in ancient times its trituration with crab’s eyes or solution of gum effected very imperfectly, viz, its change into semi-oxyde free from acids, this I sought to do in 1787 and 1788, by precipitating is from its solution in nitric acid made in cold, by means of caustic ammonia. This preparation of mercury, distinguished by its black colour, was, under the name of mercrius solubilis Hahn. (mercuriu oxydulatus niger), preferred in almost all countries to all other mercurials hhitherto in use, on account of its much milder, more efficacious antisyphilitic virtues. But a more careful investigation showe me that even this did not possess the highest degree of purity. In fact, its dark black colour was rather owing to an excess of the caustic ammonia required for the precipitation of the somewhat over-acid nitrate of mercury. But nitrate of mercury with excess of acid generally contains some muriate and sulphate of mercury (which even in very small quantities possess a deleterious acridity). These are concealed by the dark colour of the black oxyde, are precipitated along with it, and thus render it somewhat impure.

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.