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

(The alcoholic tincture of the powdered root of Smilax sarsaparilla.)

Because this root has some resemblance in external appearance to the root of the carex arenaria, the teachers of materia medica recommended the latter to be used in diseases instead of sarsaparilla, because, stupidity imagining that the root of the carex was quite as good if not better than imagining that the root of the carex was quite as good if not better than sarsaparilla, and the carex was an indigenous plant whereas the sarsaparilla was a foreign drug, it was to be preferred from patriotic motives.

This is a sample of the ordinary capricious conduct if our beloved teachers of materia medica, and illustrates the honourable and rational mode in which the medicines of the materia medica, and illustrates the honorable and rational mode in which the medicines of the materia nedica have come to be vaunted on account of their pretended virtues, viz. By the arbitrary decrees of writers on materia medica ! They reasoned thus; because carex arenaria is indigneous and has a stronger taste (which, however, differs toto coelo from that of sarsaparilla) it ought to have the preference, for it must possess the same powers, as is evident from its similar long thin shape. Consequently, the similar form of the two roots proves that their powers must be identical! An excellent inference, altogether worthy of the ordinary materia medica! And what pure peculiar effects do the one and the other possess so that we may know in what morbid states the one or the other may be employed with the certainty of a happy result? Not a syllable of information on this point.

In the following list I make a small commencement to reveal the peculiar action of the root of sarsaparilla in some symptoms observed from its administration. From this will be seen in some degree, what good homoeopathic employment may be made of its medicinal powers by boiling. Apparently it acts for more than two weeks in a single not too small dose. For homoeopathic use the undiluted tincture in the dose of one drop is much too strong.

[HAHNEMANN was assisted in this proving by HARTMANN, HERMANN, TEUTHORN,.

The only old-school authority quoted is: BRUNNER, in Rahn’s Magazin, I, vi.

The 1st edit has the same number of symptoms as the 2nd, viz. 145.]


Vertigo when sitting and walking; the head tends to sink forwards (aft. ½ h.). [Hrr.]

Head as if confused and stupid all the forenoon; in the afternoon cross and indisposed to do anything.

A pressive headache like a great weight in the head; it tends to sink forwards. [Hrr.]

Aching pain in the left side of the forehead. [Htn.]

5. An aching pain in the forehead and occiput (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

Pressive pain on the left side of the head, particularly in the temple, when a rest and when moving. [Htn.]

Slowly increasing pressure in the right frontal protuberance, accompanied by fine pricking. [Htn.]

Slowly increasing and slowly declining pressive headache, chiefly in the upper part of the brain. [Htn.]

Aching pressing pain in the forehead. [Htn.]

10. Severe pressure in the right temple with drawing pain from the occiput to the forehead (aft. ½ h.). [Htn.]

Acute fine pricks in the middle of the forehead (aft. 1.1/4 h.). [Htn.]

Shooting pain in the left side of the occiput. [Htn.]

Violent pressive-like tearing stitches in the right side of the head, which on account of their severity caused shivering (aft. 7 h.). [Htn.]

Violent pressive shooting pain on the right side of the crown (aft. 3 h.). [Htn.]

15. Violent aching followed by shooting in the left frontal protuberance (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

Shooting pressive pain on the temporal bone increased by touching. [Hrr.]

Shooting tearing pain in the left side of the vertex. [Hrr.]

Pressive-like tearing in the whole left side of the head (aft. 7 h.). [Htn.]

Shooting tearing on the left parietal bone, not altered by touching. [Hrr.]

20. Pressive tearing on several parts of the head, outwardly, more violent when moving and walking. [Hrr.]

Shooting drawing on the right mastoid process extending to the left frontal protuberance (aft. 2 h.). [Hrr.]

Shooting drawing on the right parietal and temporal bones (aft. ½ h.). [Hrr.]

Pressive drawing on the right temporal bone and cartilage of the ear at the same time. [Hrr.]

Dull shooting pain on the left frontal protuberance. [Hrr.]

25. Burning obtuse stitches on the left temporal bone. [Hrr.]

The pains on the head are aggravated by touching and walking. [Hrr.]

Eye affection: in the morning all objects hurt the eyes; everything he looks at by daylight gives him pain in the eyes; the eyelids are dry and as if inflamed; in the evening when reading by candlelight he has aching in the eyeball and white paper has a red appearance.

Constant burning in the eyelids sometimes alternating with an aching pain in them.

As if mist were before the eyes; he has difficulty in reading (aft. 12 h.). [Hrr.]

30. Dilatation of the pupils (aft. 2 h.). [Trn.]

Ringing in the left ear. [Htn.]

Violent aching and compression in the left ear, which seems to go into the temple and causes a pressing there (aft. 2 h.). [Htn.]

Contractive sensation in the right ear (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Aching tearing pain in the cartilage of the right ear and external meatus. [Hrr.]

35. Painful contraction on the right auricle.

(A scab on the lobe of the ear, where there was at first a burning pain and afterwards itching)(aft. 19 d.).

Obtuse shooting pain on the root of the right mastoid process, which went off when touched. [Hrr.]

Drawing (shooting) tearing pain in the masticating muscles of the right side which seemed to have spasmodically contracted themselves (aft. 4.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

A fine pricking itching round the neck, on the shoulders; the face and hairy scalp, with feeling of increased warmth on those parts; scratching allayed it at one place, but immediately recommended on another part (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

40. A transient heat in the face with sweat on the forehead, heat on the chest and back, combined with needle-pricks from within outwards, most frequent and most severe on the neck. [Hrr.]

(An itching pimple on the cheek, with inflammation to a considerable extent round about it, with severe burning; a large thick scab came upon it, with tearing pain in the open air)(aft. 10 d.).

Pustules on the face, without sensation. [Hrr.]

(Epistaxis). [BRUNNER, (Not accessible). In Rahn’s Magazin, I, vi, p. 545.]

Little pocks on the upper lip. [BRUNNER, l. c.]

45. Pressive shooting pain on the lower and inner border of the lower jaw on the right side, but only when touched and when bending back the head (aft. 33 h.). [Hrr.]

Aching painful stitches in the thyroid cartilage, which, however, do not interfere with swallowing. [Htn.]

Aching shooting pain in the cervical muscles, aggravated by touching and moving. [Hrr.]

Violent, long-continued drawing stitches in the cervical muscles of the right side, from the clavicle to the os hyoides (aft. 2.3/4 h.). [Htn.]

Shooting tearing pain in the gum and root of the last lower right molar. [Hrr.]

50. Aching drawing pain in the soft palate. [Hrr.]

Nauseous, heraceous taste in the mouth.

In the morning a nasty sour slimy taste like fermented dough in the throat.

Bitter taste of bread. [Trn.]

No appetite and no hunger, food has too little taste, and when he had eaten, he felt in his stomach as if he had not eaten, just as though the stomach were insensible.

55. He felt loathing when he thought of the food he had eaten.

A nauseous exhalation comes from below up into the mouth, that causes nausea in the throat, with confusion of the head.

A constant, incomplete (not rising up into the mouth) eructation (immediately). [Htn.]

Though he eats but little it distends his stomach, just as though he had eaten a great quantity.

In the morning, great nausea even to vomiting, with increased, sickly, herbaceous taste in the mouth.

60. After dinner, nausea, and then exhaustion.

Aching pain just below the ensiform cartilage and in the scrobiculus cordis, aggravated by touching. [Hrr.]

Severe pinching in the abdomen (aft. ½.); followed by a painful contraction of the sphincter muscles of the anus. [Htn.]

Aching drawing pain in the abdomen, as after a chill (aft. 1 h.). [Hrr.]

Painful inward pressure and pinching in the left side of the abdomen, on a small spot, aggravated by deep breathing, unaffected by touch (aft. 4 h.). [Htn.]

65. Rumbling in the abdomen, and sensation of emptiness in it (aft. 4 h.). [Hrr.]

Sensation of emptiness in the whole abdomen, which causes a gurgling and rumbling. [Htn.]

Pinching in the left iliac region. [Htn.]

Call to stool, but no evacuation.

First the abdominal intestines are drawn together, and though he has a great call to stool he is unable to evacuate, and he must wait some time on the night stool, with excessive pressure downwards, as if the bowels would be forced out; then something evacuated with a jerk, but with great smarting and cutting in the rectum, and immediately thereafter another stool, as if the rectum would be pressed out, so that he can hardly sit for pain.

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.

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