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.

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.

Comments are closed.