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.

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.