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


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

(The freshly-expressed juice of the leaves and flowers of Sambucus nigra, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

Next to camomile no plant has been more frequently misused as a domestic medicine than elder. It was, indeed, not considered to be a true medicine, but was often only called by the contemptuous name of domestic remedy, just as if its employment were of little or no consequence.

The frequent employment of elder in common life is indeed a tacit proof of its great utility. But its great utility does not prove that it is innocuous when given in unsuitable cases.

Common sense would infer that as a medicine, and such it truly is, and a powerful one, it must be injurious in unsuitable cases, because every medicine that is curative in appropriate cases can of itself cause morbid symptoms in the healthy; how much more must it not be productive of evil consequences in cases of disease for which it is not adapted.

Practitioners of the ordinary stamp will no doubt fail to perceive the injurious effects produced by elder in diseases in which it has been wrongly administered, but only for this reason, that they neither know nor wish to know the pure peculiar ailments that this plant produces, per se (in healthy bodies). But because they are ignorant of these ailments it does not follow that they do not occur and do not aggravate the diseases in which elder is wrongly administered. The sufferings of oppressed subjects exist, though the minister may avert his eyes from them, refuse to receive their petitions, or turn a deaf ear to their complaints.

The ordinary practitioner, in order to make his quackery complete, permits his patient to drink, along with the complex mixture of quite another sort he prescribes as medicine, camomile or elder-flower tea (it is a matter of indifference to him which of the two domestic remedies). How can he in this way learn what good or evil is done by the elder or camomile? Indeed, he often permits the healthy to drink daily as a breakfast drink infusions of elder-flowers or camomile, in order to keep them well, as it were to make them better than quite well. So little does he know the nature of medicines!

Though the symptoms recorded below art but few in number (this plant is capable of developing many more) they will suffice to open the plant is capable of developing many more) they will suffice to open the eyes of such as are not blinded to the truth by antiquated prejudice and routine, so as to make them see that those ailments that occurred to healthy persons when drinking elder-tea are real morbid conditions due to this infusion; and if the practitioner be willing to act according to nature and his conscience, he will from these symptoms learn in some degree where he can make use of elder for curative purposes, if only he will employ it in suitable homoeopathic cases.

For homoeopathic use we require only a small part of a drop of the above-mentioned juice for a dose in order to effect all that can be done with it in a curative way. On the other hand, drinking great potfuls of elder-tea cannot do more in suitable cases than remove the malady homeopathically; but these large doses are injurious by their excessive production of heat and immoderate perspiration, which rob the patient of his strength, so that he requires a longer time to recover.


The only old-school authority he quotes is:

HALLER, A. VON, Arzneimittellehre, Leip., 1806.

Sambucus has 116 symptoms in the 1st edit., only 3 more in this 2nd edit.]


In the morning, on rising, dizzy.

Dizziness cloudiness of the head for some minutes (aft. 1 h.).[Fz.]

In the morning he feels very well; only when he moves his head he becomes giddy and dizzy, with a tensive sensation, as if he had water in the head (aft. 24 h.). [Fz.]

Tearing stitch through the left half of the occiput, frequently recurring and lasting long, and in the intervals a dull feeling there (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

5. Tearing pressive pain superiorly in the forehead which radiates, so to speak, into the eye (aft. 2 d.). [Fz.]

On stooping pressive tearing pain above the left temple in front, in the bone. [Fz.]

Tearing in the temple, more on the bone, rapidly passing away in single paroxysms (aft. 10 h.). [Fz.]

Pressing and pushing on the whole head out at all sides (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

Pressure out at the temples (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

10. Aching pain in the forehead and a sudden painful jerking through the brain from one side to the other (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

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.