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

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

(The tincture is made by macerating for a week, without heat and with a daily shaking fifty grains of the powder of the whole plant of Spigelia anthelmia in 500 drops of a alcohol.)

This annual plant, which was first used in South America as a domestic remedy for round worms, became known about eighty years ago to our practitioners, who, however, since that time have made no other employment of it than that which they were originally taught by the simple negroes of the Antilles, viz. Solely for the expulsion of round worms.

It should, however, be remembered that the accumulation of round worms in the intestines is never a peculiar independent disease, but is merely a symptom of some other fundamental disease of man, and unless it is cured, the round worms, though many of them may be expelled, always collect again in the bowels. It would, therefore, be foolish to employ a very powerful medicine like spigelia merely on order to expel these worms, if this plant did not at the same time remove the disease on which they depend. This, however, it is capable of doing, as many observations seem to prove, in which the patient has recovered without the expulsion of any worms whatever.

And yet it has been persistently asserted with a strange want of perception, that spigelia can only be regarded and employed as a vermifuge. But if no more important use has been made of this very remarkable medicine (and the same object may often be easily accomplished by cina seed), this would be to act as injudiciously as if some trivial operation should be performed with a costly tool. The extraordinary and manifold powers of this plant indicate a much higher destiny than to remove a few worms from the bowels, as we are taught by the following manifestations and symptoms of medicinal disease.

If we consider the inconsiderateness of physicians of the ordinary stamp in administering this plant to patients in doses of 60 and 70 grains of the powder, we must acknowledge that medicines could not well have come into more inappropriate and improper hands than those of ordinary physicians, who were content to employ medicines, those inestimable and useful gifts of God, only for those purposes for which common folk imagined them to be adapted, and who gave them in doses dangerous to life which it pleased them to determine at their desks, quite unconcerned as to what was the inward peculiar medicinal quality of each medicinal substance in particular, that is to say, unconcerned about the true dynamic relation of each of them to the human health, as it only clearly revealed in pure experiments on healthy persons.

This plant has this peculiarity, that the primary action of a single unrepeated dose usually increases somewhat daily during the first seven to ten days, so that pure experiments with it on healthy persons should only be conducted that caution, seeing that 60, 80, to 100 drops of the tincture produce violent effects even in otherwise robust, healthy persons.

For the homoeopathic employment the decillion-fold dilution, each diluting phial of 100 drops being shaken not oftener than twice, is almost too strong, even when but a small portion of a drop of it is given for a dose.

Spigelia, even in a small dose, acts for more than four weeks, and on account of this powerful and long-lasting action it ought never to be given as a remedy except after careful selection; in which the peculiarly marked characteristic symptoms of the case of disease are found in great similarity among those of spigelia. When this is so it is capable of removing very severe diseases.

The excessive action of this important drug may be gradually removed by frequent and sufficiently long-repeated small doses of camphor.


The following old-school authorities are cited:

BERGIUS, Mat. Medorrhinum

RROWNE, PASTRIK, Gentleman’s Magazine, 1751, and Natural history of Jamaica.

CHALMERS, On the Weather and Diseases of South Carolina, Lond., 1776, vol. i.

LINNING, J., in Neue edinb. Vers., pt. i.

MARTIN, in Konigt. Vetenesk. Ak. Handlingar, 1771.

WRIGHT, W., in Samml. br. Abh. f. pr. Aerzte, xiv, iii.

The 1st edit, has 638 symptoms, this 2nd edit 672, the additional symptoms being contributed by HAHNEMANN himself.]


Vertigo. [J. LINNING, (He employed spigelia Marylandica.) in Neue Edinb. Vers., pt. i. (Essays and Obs. phys. and literary, I, 438, Observations of effects of too large doses in children.) ]

Vertigo: when he stands for a few minutes he is in danger of falling.

Vertigo: when he looks down he thinks he will fall.

Vertigo when sitting, standing, and walking – he is most free from it when lying – the head sinks backwards, with nausea in the palate and discomfort in the abdominal and thoracic cavities; in the abdominal cavity a pinching pain, with feeling as if he must go to stool, during which he loses all consciousness. [Hrr.]

5. Vertigo: when he looks in front of him he is in danger of falling forwards instantaneously. [Myr.]

Vertigo when he turns his head when walking; if he looks straight in front of him he feels nothing – in the open air (aft. 5 h.). [Fz.]

When walking he feels a whirling; all goes round in a ring with him; he must stand still; he feels as if intoxicated.

Vertigo; when walking to staggered as though he would fall to the left (aft. 4 h.). [Lr.]

Vertigo, as if he were intoxicated and could not walk steadily (aft. 14 h.). [Lr.]

10. He sits as if buried in though, and stares at one place (aft. 3 h.). [Kr.]

Weakness of memory: he cannot remember the most familiar thing.

Great forgetfulness, want of memory. [Myr.]

Laziness of mind and great forgetfulness. [Bch.]

His memory seemed to him to be truer and stronger than before (aft. 5 d.). [Bch.]

15. Intoxication. [CHALMERS, (Observations. This symptom is represented in the original by “drowsiness” only.) On the weather and Diseases of South carolina, Lond., 1776, tom. I, p. 67.]

Confusion of the head.

Confusion of the whole head (aft. ½ h.). [Gn.]

Confusion of the whole head and at the same time pressure outwards in the forehead (aft. 5 d.). [Gn.]

Painful confusion of the head. [Stf.]

20. In the evening when walking in the open air, drawing confusion in the occiput (aft. 10 h.). [Fz.]

In the evening, confusion in the whole head, it feels to him quite dazed. [Fz.]

His head is stupefied as from much tobacco-smoking (aft. ½ h.). [Wth.]

Feeling as if emptiness and giddiness in the head, as after intoxication, when sitting (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

Constant stupidity in the head, so that every occupation requiring thought is difficult for him. [Hrr.]

25. All occupation requiring an effort of the head is difficult for him. [Hrr.]

Dull pain in the forehead and temples; at the same time a feeling of compression from both sides to the front. [Stf.]

Headache like dazedness.

Dazedness and emptiness in the head at the top of the forehead; the scalp is very sensitive to touch, and the hair seems to stand on end (aft. 3 h.). [Fz.]

Heaviness and pain in the head, when he shakes it.

30. He dares not shake his head; that gives him pain in the brain and makes him giddy.

When he speaks loudly or coughs his head is painful as though it would burst.

He dares not stoop; when he does so he feels as if the brain expanded and would come out in front.

Pain in the forehead. [CHALMERS, l. c.]

Aching pain in the whole sinciput. [Hbg.]

35. A violent pressure in the right temple, spreading gradually more and more (aft. 2.3/4 h.). [Htn.]

Very severe pressure in the temples (aft. 1 h.).[Htn.]

Sensation in the brain as if the head were tightly bound, lasting a long time (aft. 28 h.). [Gn.]

Pressure on the left frontal protuberance from without inwards, outwardly and inwardly in the brain at the same time. [Hrr.]

Pressure outwards in the right frontal protuberance (aft. 1.1/4 h.). [Htn.]

40. In the forehead violent aching and pressing outwards (aft. 2 h.). [Htn.]

Pressure in the cerebrum and cerebellum which makes him dizzy. [Myr.]

Pressive pain in the left half of the brain (immediately). [Gn.]

Pressive pain out at the left side of the forehead (aft. ½ h.). [Gn.]

Persistent pressive headache, worse when stooping forwards (aft. 35 h.). [Gn.]

45. A pressing out in the forehead, when stooping forwards (aft. ¾ h.). [Gn.]

Pressing-asunder pain on the right side of the head (aft. 82 h.). [Gn.]

Pressing in the forehead, as if the brain would come out, which went off for a few moments on holding the hand there. [Myr.]

Tensive pressive headache out at the forehead (aft. 34 h.). [Gn.]

Violent pressure from without inwards in both temples, especially the right (aft. 53 h.). [Htn.]

50. Headache like a weight in the head; when he draws the facial muscles he feels as if the skull would burst asunder at the top.

Pain as if a heavy weight were under the left frontal protuberance. [Gss.]

Violent pressive pain in the crown of the head, on a small spot. [Gn.]

The occiput is heavy and drags down like a weight.

Most violent pressure inwards on the left side of the occiput, during which he could not stoop forward without aggravation of the pains, unless he pressed strongly with his hand on the painful part. [Myr.]

55. Aching drawing in the right side of the vertex and occiput. [Hrr.]

Tearing pressure in the head from the left frontal protuberance to the occiput (aft. 34 h.). [Hrr.]

A drawing pressure at the left temple, frequently recurring. [Kr.]

Tearing pressure externally on the frontal bone (aft. 8 d.). [Ws.]

Boring pain in the forehead. [Gn.]

60. Boring pain on the occiput ad crown, as if it strove to draw the head backwards. [Bch.]

Splashing in the brain when walking; he feels every step. [Gn.]

Sensation of splashing in the brain when walking. [Myr.]

When he moves his head there is shaking and splashing in the forehead. [Myr.]

When walking in the open air there occurs at every step a violent pressure in the head as if thrusting from without inwards towards a point in the middle of the brain (aft. 6 h.). [Htn.]

65. While walking in the open air, at every step violent jerks in the occiput, then in the temples (aft. 28 h.). [Htn.]

In the occiput pain as if the arteries had to pulsate over an obstacle.

The pains in the head are worst in the open air. [Gn.]

The pain in the head is worse when lying, better when walking about.(Alternating action.) [Myr.]

Blows and jerks on the left side of the head (aft. 54 h.).[Htn.]

70. Tearing blows in the right temple (aft. 50 h.). [Htn.]

Tearing pain like thrusting in the forehead, most severe in the right frontal protuberance, which also causes him to fix his eyes involuntarily on the object he is looking at, when standing and sitting (aft. 27 h.). [Htn.]

Very violent tearing in the forehead, occiput, and temples. [Myr.]

Tensive tearing pain in the forehead, especially under the left frontal protuberance towards the orbit (aft. 6 h.). [Gss.]

Fine digging tearing in the brain, particularly severe in the left parietal bone, when moving, when walking, and especially violent on making a false step, towards evening; for several successive evenings (aft. 11 h.). [Hrr.]

75. Digging and digging tearing pain in the occiput, left side of the crown and forehead, aggravated by moving, as also by every loud noise, and when he speaks loudly, or only opens the mouth a little; when lying it is most bearable (aft. 12 h.). [Htn.]

Intolerable bubbling pain in the occiput, which us increased to violence at first by walking, afterwards on the slightest movement, and is most relieved by sitting reclined backwards; lying horizontally aggravated it. [Myr.]

When he holds the head bent forwards for a while, he cannot raise it up again on account of pain in the nape.

Towards morning (about 3 or 4 o’clock) severe pains at (in?) the occiput, and the nape is as if stiff; in the morning he cannot move the head until he has risen and dressed himself – then it is gone.

In the morning after rising from bed, pain in the nape; when he holds his nape still it is painful as if gone to sleep; he must consequently always move it; for it does not hurt him when moving.

80. The occiput is painful as from an external blow.

The occiput particularly is painful; he cannot lie on it well.

Slow tearing stitch on the left side of the head. [Htn.]

An intermittent contractive, tearing shooting pain on a small spot of the left parietal bone more towards the back, which appears to be rather external. [Gss.]

Pressive shooting on small point of the left side of the occiput (aft. 49 h.). [Htn.]

85. Large pulsative stitches in the forehead from evening till morning, so that he could have cried out; at the same time a hammering before the ears.

Acute shooting immediately behind and above the right frontal protuberance. [Gss.]

Violent, but fine pricks as from electric sparks, in the left temple. [Hbg.]

Much heat in the head. [Myr.]

Burning pain in the left frontal bone (aft. 13 h.). [Gn.]

90. Burning pain in the left temporal region and forehead. [Hbg.]

Burning on the left temple, externally. [Gn.]

Burning in the skin of the right temple near the eye. [Gn.]

Burning pain on the right side of the forehead which extends into the eyes, so that he cannot turn them without pain. [Myr.]

Burning pain in the left supraorbital arch. [Gn.]

95. Burning itching in the right eyebrow, that went off on scratching (aft. 26 h.). [Gn.]

A running itching on the forehead, which compels much rubbing.

Itching crawling on the left side of the crown (aft. 32 h.). [Gn.]

Smarting pain in the skin of the left side of the forehead (aft. 34 h.). [Gn.]

The scalp feels to him as if contracted and tense. [Kr.]

100. In the region of the vertex the scalp is painful when touched and also when not touched, as if ulcerated, and there occurs there occasionally an obtuse shooting jerk, which seems to penetrate deep into the brain.

The scalp is painful and the hairs hurt when touched.

Sensitiveness of the whole head when touched, especially when moving the scalp. [Ws.]

(The hairy scalp is full of miliary papules.)

Pain in the left orbit were compressed from above downwards. [Gss.]

105. Swelling of the temporal side of the orbit, with aching pain per se, and sore pain when touched.

Severe pressure above the right orbit, a dull pressive pain in the whole head (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Htn.]

Obtuse pressure above the orbits (aft. 10 m.). [Ws.]

On the left orbital bone near the temple, down towards the On the left orbital bone near the temple, down towards the zygoma, severe pressive pain, followed by swelling of the bone at that place, which is painful when touched.

He always feels as if there were feathers or hairs in the eyelashes; or as if there were a mist before the eyes; a sensation that is aggravated by rubbing them (aft. 1 h.). [Htn.]

110. Formication in the eyes. [MARTIN, (Not accessible) in Konigl. Vetenesk. Ak. Handlingar, f. a. 1771.]

Itching in the left eyeball, which went off by rubbing. [Gn.]

Itching prick in the right eyeball, which returned after rubbing (aft. 1 h.). [Gn.]

Persistent pricking pain in the right eyeball, also when moving it (aft. 24 h.0. [Gn.]

Violent digging stitch in the middle of the eye and its inner canthus, which does not interfere with vision, but presses down the upper eyelid (aft. 74 h.). [Htn.]

115. In the morning redness and inflammation in the white of the eye; his eyelids are so heavy that he can hardly open them. [Fz.]

Redness of the white of the eye and dilated blood vessels in it. [W. WRIGHT, in Samml. br. abh. f. pr. Aerzte, xiv. iii. (London Medorrhinum and Phys. Journal, viii, 217 – Observation.)

Pain in the eyes. [CHALMERS, l. c.]

Pain in and above the eyes. [LINNING, l. c.]

He could not turn the left eye in all the directions without pain. [Myr.]

120. The eyes are painful when moved, as if they were too large for their orbits. [Myr.]

Tensive pain in the left eyeball (aft. 49 h.). [Gn.]

Feeling in the eyes as if they were weeping, which they are not, with slight pressure in them; the sight is at the time affected just as if the eyes were full of tears (aft. 26 h.). [Hrr.]

Pain in the eyes as if sand were in them.

At the sof the right eye a pain pressing from without (aft. 3 h.). [Htn.]

125. Aching pain in the eyeballs.

Intolerable aching pain in the eyeballs, aggravated by turning the eyes; of he attempts to look with the eyes askance he becomes giddy; he must, consequently, when he wishes to look to the side turn the whole head. [Myr.]

A contractive burning pain in the right eyeball. [Gn.]

Burning pain in the left eye, towards the temple (aft. 33 h.). [Gn.]

Dry heat in the eyes in the afternoon. [Kr.]

130. Burning pain in the outer canthus of the right eye. [Gn.]

Burning pain in both eyes, so that he must close them involuntarily, and is unable to open them for five or six minutes, with an anxiety as if he should never be able to open them again; when, after this pain is gone, he could again open them, his sight is impeded by a sea of fire, which has surged up before his eyes in blood-red masses; along with watering of the eyes and great dilatation of the pupils, the visual power returns (aft. 14 d.). [Bch.]

Sparks before the eyes, as before an outbreak of smallpox on measles. [PATRICK BROWNE, (Statements. – In the original this symptom is “the eyes appear bright and sparkling, as they generally do before the eruption of smallpox or measles.” ) Gentleman’s Magazine, 1751, p. 544, and natural history of Jamaica, p. 156.]

The eyes move involuntarily left and right, from irregular actions of the ocular muscles that draw the eye inwards and outwards. (This represents “The musculi adductores et abductores coulorum seem to be greatly affected, from their irregular actions, while the other muscles of the eye, so far as I have had an opportunity of observing, remain unaffected.”) [LINNING, l. c.]

Distortion of the eyes. (Literally, “The eyes seem distented.”) [BROWNE, l. c.]

135. Long sightedness; he can see well at a distance, but not close at hand.

When he directs his eyes upon anything, his sight goes.

He does not see so distinctly as usual, and must strain his eyes very much when writing, as though water stood in the eyes. [Hrr.]

Transient amaurosis. [CHALMERS, l. c.]

Dilatation of the pupils. [CHALMERS, l. c.]

140. Pupils dilated (aft. a short time). [Kr.]

Pupils dilated by the smallest side. [BERGIUS. (Observation.) Mat. Medorrhinum, p. 97.]

Pupils unaltered, only dull and dim in appearance. [Bch.]

The eyes are every dull, with as it were an inward obstruction; whithersoever he directs them, there they remain fixed and he knows not what he is looking at, like one whose sight fails him.

The eyes have a dim and dull appearance (aft. 7 h.). [Ws.]

145. Yellow borders round the eyes. [Kr.]

Dim dull appearance of the eyes, with unaltered pupils. (Same as 142, only not emphasized.) [Bch.]

Pain as if the upper eyelids were hard or immovable; he cannot well raise them.

The eyelids are so relaxed and paralysed that they hand low down, and must be raised by the hand, with very dilated pupils. [BERGIUS, l. c.]

Sensation as of a hard body under the right upper eyelid; this was removed by rubbing (aft. 4 d.). [Gn.]

150. Burning pain under the right eyelid (aft. 3.1/2 h.). [Gn.]

Ulceration and smarting painful soreness of the borders of the lids.

On the border of the left lower lid, a fine painful cutting as with a small knife (aft. 9 h.). [Htn.]

Shooting aching under the lids of both eyes (aft. 2.1/2 h.). [Bch.]

On the border of the right upper eyelid, a very fine but painful pricking like a needle-prick (aft. 23 h.). [Htn.]

155. Single recurring pricks in the left eyelid. [Myr.]

Shooting pain in the inner right canthus of the eye (aft. 11.1/2 h.). [Gn.]

Great watering of the eyes, without sensation.

The eyes run over with tears; much water runs out of the eyes, which is smarting and acrid.

Much gum coming frequently in the eyes all day.

160. In the morning, on rising from bed, the facial muscles are as if distorted and swollen. [Fz.]

On awaking from the midday siesta, he whole face was swollen, puffy, pale and distorted, like a person about to be seriously ill. Without pain or tension, or any other disagreeable sensation; the swelling only went off almost entirely after six hours, but reappeared in a greater degree the next morning after waking, but more round about the eyes. [Stf.]

Burning pain in their right zygoma. [Gn.]

Obtuse pressure on the zygomata (aft. 4 d.). [Ws.]

Samuel Hahnemann
Samuel Hahnemann