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.]

Aching stupefying pain in the head, as from catarrh (aft. 1 h.). [Lr.]

Digging pain in the crown (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

Itching on the forehead which is removed by rubbing (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

15. Pupils at first contracted, afterwards (aft. 40, 44 h.) very dilated. [Lr.]

A warm feeling rising up into the face, as when blushing (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

Red spots here and there on the cheeks with burning feeling (aft. 1 h.).

A forcing forwards and feeling of weight in the tip of the nose, as if it would bleed (aft. 2 d.). [Fz.]

Itching on the dorsum of the nose with a slight numb feeling in its skin (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

20. Tension in the left cheek, with gnawing pressure on the upper maxillary bone. [Fz.]

Tensive pain, as from swelling in the cheek, with numbness of it (aft. 11 h.). [Fz.]

Sharp stitches in the right inner ear with cramp pain in it (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Itching creeping in the ears and in the throat; that in the throat can be somewhat alleviated by the tongue.

A painless suppurating pimple with red areola on the left side of the lower lip (aft. 37 h.). [Lr.]

25. Pressive weight in the nape; more exertion than usual is required to move the head (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Cutting stitches deep in the cervical muscles of both sides, especially on moving the neck (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Tearing and stitches in the teeth of the upper and lower jaws of the left side, extending forwards into the incisors (aft. 2 h.); the pain spread to the eye, with sensation in the cheek as if it were swollen, which it was not.

Great dryness in the palate, without thirst. [Fz.]

Thirst, and yet drinks do not taste pleasant to him.

30. Hiccup during and after eating. [Fz.]

Feeling of commencing nausea in and below the scrobiculus cordis. [Gss.]

Slight shooting close under the stomach, increased by external pressure (when sitting) (aft. ¼ h.). [Htn.]

Feeling of obtuse pressure in the gastric region (aft. 4 h.). [Gss.]

Rumbling in the abdomen. [Gss.]

35. Pinching in the belly with discharge of flatus, as from a chill (aft. 48 h.). [Lr.]

The abdomen is painful inwardly, as if the bowels were bruised. [Fz.]

In the abdomen pinching pain when he leans it against a sharp corner. [Fz.]

Aching in the abdomen with nausea when he leans it against a sharp corner. [Fz.]

Stitches in the left obliques muscle, when sitting and standing (aft. 4 h.). [Fz.]

40. Spasmodic tearing in the abdominal muscles…

Fine pinching in the right abdominal muscles below the short ribs (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

Fine tearing in the left side of the abdomen (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

A shooting in the left side of the hypogastrium, above the hip, single rather obtuse needle-pricks, in regular succession like pulse beats, for a quarter of an hour, sometimes increasing and then again decreasing. [Gss.]

Frequent urging to urinate, with scanty discharge of urine (aft. 2, 18 h.). [Lr.]

45. Frequent urging to urinate, with scanty discharge of urine (aft. 38 h.). [Lr.]

He had urging to urinate at night. [Gss.]

Frequent discharge of dark yellow urine. [Htn.]

The urine passes in a thinner stream (aft. 10 h.). [Fz.]

Itching at the orifice of the urethra (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

50. After midnight, seminal emission. [Fz.]

Hoarseness from much viscid, sticky phlegm in the larynx. [fz.]

Oppression and stitches in the left side of the chest, below the nipple (aft.5 h.). [Fz.]

Oppression and aching below the sternum, and aching in the scrobiculus cordis and gastric region, with nausea and feeling of faintness (aft. 5 h.). [Fz.]

Cuttpinching in the last false ribs, towards the spine (aft. 9 h.). [Ws.]

55. Sharp intermittent cutting anteriorly at the third false rib, especially when moving the trunk (aft. 3 h.). [Ws.]

In both sides of the chest, in the region of the fourth true rib, internally, a sudden clutching together (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Drawing aching in the sacrum, which extends forward to the muscles on the inside of the ossa ilii, when standing (aft. 2 h.). [Fz.]

Cutting blows in the os sacrum, most severe when bending forwards, with a pain like tension (aft. 9 h.). [Ws.]

Aching pain in the middle of the spine, not removed by any movement and lasting a long time (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

60. When sitting, a pulsating beating shooting under the right scapula. [Fz.]

Cutting stitches on the scapulae, when at rest (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

Inside the right scapula sharp stitches from within outwards, most severe when at rest. [Ws.]

Fine pinching in the axilla (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

Fine pricks in the middle of the upper arm, on its inner side (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

65. The upper arm feels to him as if it would break when supports himself on it (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

Drawing pain in the carpal bones and up in the radius, when at rest.[Fz.]

Sharp stitches on the outer projection of the wrist (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Cutting stitches in both wrist-joints, synchronous with the pulse, somewhat relieved by moving them (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

70. Tearing in the joints of the fingers.

Tearing pain over the hip-joint round about, only when walking (aft. ¾ h.). [Htn.]

When walking, cramp-like drawing posteriorly and superiorly in the thigh at the insertion of the glutaeus maximus. [Fz.]

A drawing shooting sensation superiorly through the anterior muscles of the right thigh, when at rest (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Pricking itching on the inner side of both thighs, which after rubbing changes into a burning (aft. 1 h.). [Ws.]

75. The tendons of the hough are very tense and as if too short, so that standing in difficult for him (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

Violent itching on the patella, with a rough and scrapy sensation as if an eruption would break out (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Fz.]

Tired feeling in the legs; with sensation as if a cold air blew on them; both only when standing (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

Sharp, deeply penetrating stitches on the inner side of the tibia, somewhat relieved by moving (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Feeling of dying away, gone-to-sleep and coldness in the middle of the right tibia, when standing (aft. 4 h.). [Fz.]

80. In the evening in bed, tearing pain in the right outer ankle and up the side of the leg among the muscles. [Fz.]

When sitting he is suddenly seized with a painful drawing on all points of the whole surface of the body (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

The hands tremble when he writes. [Fz.]

Great general heat when he walking (aft. 3 h.). [Ws.]

Most of the sufferings come on when the body is at rest and are removed by movement; very few are caused by movement. [Fz.]

85. Oedematous swelling (after external application). [A. v. HALLER, Arzneimittellehre, Leipz. 1806, p. 349.]

Slumber with eyes and mouth half open; when he woke therefrom he could not get his breath, he had to sit up, and then the breathing was very quick, with wheezing in the chest as though he should be suffocated; he beat about him with his hands, the head and hands were swollen and blue; he was hot, without thirst; when the attack came on he wept; all this without cough, and especially in the night from 12 till 4 o’clock. (A kind of Millar’s asthma.)

Sleepiness without sleep.

Restless sleep; on sitting up in bed he felt as if the sufferings went downwards, and he became relieved.

He starts up in affright from sleep, with anxiety and dyspnoea to suffocation and with trembling.

90. Frequent waking out of sleep as from watchfulness. [Lr.]

Dreams at night.

Vivid, unremembered dreams. [Lr.]

Lascivious dreams with seminal emission. [Lr.]

The pulse becomes slower and falls from 70 to 60 beats (aft. ½ h.). [Gss.]

Repeated attacks of slight shivering (aft. ½ h.). [Gss.]

Slight chill, during which the face was warmer than usual (aft. 1 h.). [Gss.]

Rigor before going to sleep (aft. 4 h.).

Rigors all over the body with fine pricking crawling here and there, with very peculiarly cold hands and feet; the rigors go down, chiefly over the knees, to the feet (aft. ¼ h.). [Ws.]

100. A chilly coldness runs over the whole body, especially the hands and feet, which feel cold to the touch, though he had wrapped up the latter very warmly (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

The hands are cold (aft. 1 h.). [Gss.]

Creeping on the fingers which are quite cold (aft. ½ h.). [Ws.]

Icy cold feet, while the remainder of the body is sufficiently warm (aft. ¾ h.). [Htn.]

Ebullition of the blood, in the evening, half an hour after lying down, with a feeling of trembling.

105. Feeling of intolerable dry heat on the whole body.

During the heat, dread of being uncovered; he imagines he will catch cold to get bellyache of he does so.

Heat on the whole body, without thirst, soon after lying down (aft. 2 h.0.

When one touches him one feels considerable heat, especially in the palms and on the soles.

Burning hot feeling in the face, with moderately warm body and icy cold feet, without thirst (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

110. Pulse quicker, some beats over 70 (aft. 2 h.). [Gss.]

Feeling of warmth on the head and neck; the face and the rest of the body also feel warmer than usual to the touch, but without thirst. [Gss.]

In the afternoon, frequent flushes of heat, with great heat in the face, and perspiration breaks out in the face not until half an hour after this heat (aft. 10 h.). [Fz.]

Only many hours after the dry heat had gone off, sweat in the face.

Great perspiration, without thirst, when lying awake from 7 p.m. till 1 a.m.; the drops stood on his face and he also sweated all over; but after sleeping he was more hot than perspiring, but still without thirst.

115. A pretty considerable sweat, after midnight, but not on the head. [Gss.]

On awaking from sleep, he fins himself perspiring all over- two nights. [Lr.]

Periodical delirium; he was frightful things on the wall.

Great disposition to start; he starts with affright at things which he is accustomed to have around him. [Fz.]

Persistent crossness; everything makes a disagreeable impression on him. [Lr.]

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.