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

(Seeds of Strychnos nux vomica.)

(Ten grains of nux vomica seed, finely triturated in a warm mortar, are macerted with 1000 drops of alcohol, without heat for a week, to make a tincture. Of this one drop is raised to the decillion-fold potency through 29 other diluting phials, each filled to three quorters with alcohol, by mens of two succussions given to each phial after the dilution is made.The same medicine is prepared is a simpler and almost more powerful and uniform manner, by taking one grain of the powdered nux vomica seed, and treating it like, other dry medicinal substances, by triturating it thrice with 100 grains of milk sugar (according to the directions for the homeoeopathic preparation of medicines in the second part of the book on Chronic Diseases) up to the million-fold powder attenuation. One grain of this is dissolved in 100 drops of diluted alcohol, and the dilution and dynamization is brought further (as taught in the same book), by means of 26 more phials filled three quarters full of good alcohol, up to the ,decillion-fold potency.

One small sugar-globule, 300 of which weigh a grain, moistened with this las dilution, serves as a dose.

There are a few medicines, the majority of whose symptoms correspond in similarity with the, symptoms of the commonest and most frequent of human diseases, and hence very often find an efficacious homoeopathic employment. They may be termed polychrests.

To these belong particularly the nux vomica seed, which it was formerly feared to employ, because it had hitherto been administered in enormously large, doses (a whole grain or several grains) in unsuitable cases of disease, consequently with injurious effects. But it proves the mildest and .most efficacious remedy in all the diseases whose symptoms correspond in similarity to the effects nux vomica is capable of producing in the healthy human being, when administered in the small doses above indicated.

Some practical instructions may be use, deduced from the results of the careful experience of many years.

Among these .may be mentioned, that it is more frequently required by those persons who are of an anxious, zealous, fiery, hot temperament, or of a malicious, wicked, irascible disposition.

If the menses usually come on some days too soon, and are too copious, the ailments remaining or occurring after their cessation are quite suitable for nux vomica.

It has been found that this medicine, administered some hours before bedtime, acts more gently than when given at other times of the day; but there are exceptions to this rule in cases of urgent necessity. Its administration in the morning on an empty stomach is attended with the most inconveniences in very sensitive persons, for it displays its most frequent and most severe symptoms immediately after walking in the morning.

Next in frequency its symptoms occur soon or immediately after eating and during mental strain. Hence we should do wrong to give it immediately after a meal if we can avoid doing so, and hence, also no mental labour, no meditations or declamations, no reading or writing should be engaged in immediately after taking it (and the same may be said of the administration of all other medicines ).We ought to wait for at least a couple of hours if we would avoid giving its action an improper, injurious direction.

Among other affections, many chronic maladies, also the evil consequences arising from drinking much coffee and wine, especially when the usual mode of life is a sedentary one in close rooms, and those affections caused by prolonged mental labour, find their remedy in this seed; as also several epidemic diseases and other acute fevers, especially such as have heat before the chill or mixed up with it.

Serious ailments from catching cold are often removed by it.

So, also, this medicine is more especially suitable when the patient’s state is worst in the morning and when he wakes up about 3 a.m. and must lie for several hours awake with intrusion of irrepressible ideas, and only involuntarily falls into a sleep full of oppressive dreams when the morning is far advanced, from which he wakes more fatigued than when he lay down at night, and is lazy about getting up; as also for those who several hours before bedtime in the evening cannot forbear sleeping, even while seated.

In this, as in some other medicines, we meet with symptoms which seem to be completely or partially antagonistic to one another, alternating actions, which at the same time are primary actions, and which make nux vomica very applicable and efficacious for a number of morbid states.

When, on account of the dose being too large, or on account of unhomoeopathic employment, it causes considerable ill effects, its action may be speedily completely removed by a little wine, brandy, and camphor. For the headache and anorexia it causes the appropriate antidote is coffee; for the paralytic symptoms it produces cocculus; for the over-sensitiveness and dyspnoea induced by it, aconite; and for the great crossness and irascibility, chamomilla.

Physicians who have hitherto been in the habit of imagining and evolving from their own fancy in their studies the powers of drugs and their antidotes, indicated vinegar and other vegetable acids as the surest antidotes to nux vomica and other powerful vegetable substances. As regards nux vomica this is contrary to all the experience that I have had the opportunity of obtaining on men and animals.

The following symptoms are tolerably complete, and give an almost perfect idea of the effects of nux vomica on the human body, mind and disposition.

[HAHNEMANN was assisted in this proving by FLAEMING, FRIEDRICH HAHNEMANN, and WAHLE.

Symptoms are obtained from the following old-school sources;

BERGIUS, Mat. Med.

CONSBRUCH, Hufel. Journ. Iv.

HARTMANN , Diss. Spicileg. ad nucis vom. usum. Traj. Ad Viadr., 1785.

HOFFMANN, FRID., Med. Rat. Syst., ii.

HUFELAND, Journal d. pr. Arzn., i.

JUNGHAUS , Diss. De nuce vom. Hal., 1770.

MATTHIOLUS, Comment. In Diosc. lib. iv.

RADEMACHER ; Hufel. Journ., iv.

SEUTTER, Diss. De nuce vom. L. B., 1691.

STRANDBERG. In Kiernander’s Med. lac.

THUESSINK, THOMAS A, Waarnemingen, xxxiii.

Vecoskrift for Lakare, ii. ii.

WIEL, j. p., Obs. De usu interno nucis vom. et vitr. Alb. Viteb., 1771.

In the Frag. De Vir. There are 308 symptoms, in the 1st edit. 961, in the 2nd edit. 1267, and in this 3rd edit. 1301 .


Stupefaction of the brain. [HUFELAND, Jour. d. p. Arz. i, p. 165.] (From nine grains, in two doses, given to a woman in dysentery.)

Intoxication (aft. ½ hour) [ Veckoskrift for LAKARE, ii, p. 169.] (Not accessible)

Vertigo [ J. P. Wiel, Obs. de. Usu interno nucis vom. et vitr. alb., Viteb., 1771. – Hufeland, Jour., l. c. – BERGUIS, Mat. Med. p. 149.) (From ten – grain doses in a woman suffering from dysentery.)

Swaying feeling in the brain.

5. Attacks of vertigo, as if it turned round in a circle in the brain, with momentary loss of conciousness.

Vertigo, as if he would fall on one side (aft. 68 h.)

Vertigo wirh obscuration of vision.

A giddy sensation in the brain, going from one place to another (aft. 6 h.)

Vertigo (for an hour and a half) after dinner.

10. Vertigo after a meal when walking, that leaves off on standing still (aft. 1 h.)

Whirling vertigo while eating.

Vertigo with obscuration of vision while eating, something like when one comes suddenly out of the cold into the head, with laziness of the rest of the body.

Vertigo like whirling, when he has eructation from the stomach.

15. Vertigo, as if he neither heard nor saw and would fall, whilst sneezing and coughing , or when he rises up after stooping low.

Giddy staggering when walking, as if he would fall sideways or backwards.

When lying on the back, unable to raise the head on account of vertigo and obscuration of vision (aft. 24 h.)

On two successive evenings, after lying down, vertigo, as if the bed went round in a ring with her.

Vertigo of syncope (immediately).

20. Headache, as if from emptiness.


Drunken confusion of the head.

Intoxication rising up towards the head.

Dazedness of the head as from a debauch over night.

25. In the morning headache, as if he had not slept at night.

Dulness of the head after dinner, which recurred twenty-four hours afterwards (aft. 24, 72 h.). (aft. 24, 72 h.).

Something dull is spread before the head (in the forehead) is the evening in the open air, as if consciousness would leave him for a moment (aft. 24 h.).

Some dulness comes at the back of the head.

A humming and whirling in brain and ear.

30. A buzzing in the forehead, afternoon and evening.

In the open air and sunshine stupid in the head.

A stupefying headache in the morning in bed, on awaking, that goes off after getting up (aft. 16 h.).

Stupid in the head when he holds it erect; but when he depresses it, sensation in the forehead as if something heavy sunk down in it.

When stooping he feels an excessive weight on the head. [We.]

35. In the morning drunken, giddy heaviness of the head.

In the morning heaviness in the head (aft. 4 d.).

Dr. Manish Bhatia
- BHMS, BCA, M.Sc Homeopathy (UK), CICH (Greece)
- Ass. Professor, Organon & Homeopathic Philosophy, SKH Medical College, Jaipur
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