Intesresting Source of Homeopathy Materia Medica

homeo7Dr Beenadas

Materia Medica of Homeopathy is the collection of the pathogenic effects of the drugs & of the derangement’s they are capable of causing in the healthy body, by means of which is worked the principle – Let likes be treating by likes.

Some of the pathogenic  effects are observations of  the following –

1.Rituals and Worships : ritual of their sacrifice  or use in worship was followed after the study of their other virtues. Most of these plants have proved their usefulness as medicinal substances.  Eg :- attention to Leptandra virginica (St.Veronoca flower ) was drawn    because of  its distant resemblance to Christ’s face.

2.Doctrine of signature:- given by Phillippus Aurelius Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheimim, better known as Paracelsus. Eg:- Red  juice of Hamamelis is indicative of its applicability in blood disease.Cyclamen is used for ear diseases because its leaf resembles the human ear.

3.Empirical – the primitive source of knowledge of the disease-giving powers of drug was empirical, hearsay or animal instinct.

4.Chemistry :- deals with constitution of substances, elements and their mutual reactions and the phenomena  resulting from the formation and decomposition of compounds. The rules of Chemistry has been applied in the treatment of human diseases,.

5.Biochemistry :- gives information about the biochemical action of substances the knowledge derived from biochemical study about the curative power of a drug deals with the sphere of action of drugs on systems or organs

6.Poisonings:- it includes suicidal, accidenta and homicidal. Under suicidal comes toxicology, which deals with poisons, Snarcotics or any other substance. The information or symptoms collected from the case of poisoning has been of immense help. The poisoning effect of a substancec are enough evidence of  its curative properties.

7.Clinical experience :- these are the drug effect which were obtained  proving of a drug on healthy human being

8.Animal experimentation :- chemical and physiological reaction about drugs became known to us by drug experimentation on mice, guinea pigs, monkeys and other animals.

9.Plant experimentation :- can study botanical changes including its morphology and histology. Also  get pathological changes on human body produced by drugs. Eg – Thuja

10.Healthy proving :- Most rational  and majority source of acquiring knowledge about the drug effects. Albert Von Haller was the first person who practiced drug proving on healthy human being. Then Hahnemann came the drug proving in reality.

It was written in Latin. Published at Leipsic in 1805
Contains the pathogenesis of 27 drugs.  The 27 drugs proved were as follows [Haehl, vol 2, p.82]:  [followed by  number of symptoms obtained by Hahnemann and those by   others]

Aconitum napellus 138 75
acris tinctura (Causticum) 30 0
arnica montana 117 33
belladonna 101 304
camphora 73 74
cantharis 20 74 [not listed by Bradford, p.80]
capsicum annuum 174 3
chamomilla 272 3
cinchona 122 99
cocculus 156 6
copaifera balsamum 12 8
cuprum vitriolatum 29 38
digitalis 23 33
drosera 36 4
hyoscyamus 45 290
ignatia 157 19
ipecac 70 13
ledum 75 5
Helleborus 32 25
mezereum 6 34
nux vomica 257 51
(Papaver somniferum) opium 82 192
pulsatilla 280 29
rheum 39 13
stramonium 59 157
valeriana 25 10
veratrum album 161 106Symptoms from effect of poisoning, excessive dosing and by proving on himself and others.

Hahnemann gives no information as to his doses or mode of administration, we can infer these from the remarks on the provings of medicines made in his essay entitled – THE MEDICINE OF EXPERIENCE ,which was published in the next year 1806. Symptoms obtained were the result of single full doses of the several drugs.

Of the 27 drugs which have received Hahnemann’s earliest attentions, 22 were carried on into his REINE ARZNEIMITTELLEHRE.

2 – cuprum and mezereum were transferred to the second edition of his chronischen krankheiten and 3 – cantharis ,copaiva and valerian were omitted.   Dr. Waring considered Fragmenta as the basis of homeopathic system. 

1st edition in 6 volumes.

There are six volumes.

  • 1 volume – 1811 , contain pathogenesis of  12 medicines. Six of which are new, the pathogenesis of all of those which had already appeared being considerably increased.
  • 2 volume – 1816  , contain pathogenesis of  8 medicines together with those ascribed to the magnet.
  • 3 volume –1817, with 8 medicines.
  • 4 volume –1818,with 12 medicines.
  • 5 volume –1819, with 11 medicines.
  • 6 volume –1821, with 10 medicines.
  1. Volume  1 —  Bell , Dulc , Cina , Cann.S , Cocc , Nux . Op, Moschus , Oleand , Merc , Acon , Arn .
  2. Volume 2 —  Caust  , Ars , Ferr , Ign , Puls , Rheum , Rhus , Bry , Magnes north and south pole.
  3. Volume 3–  Cham , Cinch , Hell , Asar , Ipec , Seilla , Stram , Ver alb.
  4. Volume 4–  Hyos , Dig , Aur , Guiac , Camph , Led , Ruta , Sars , Con , Chel , Sulph , Arg.
  5. Volume 5–  Euphr , Meny , Cycl , Samb , Calc ascetica , Mur acid , Thuj , Tarax , Phos acid , Spig , Staph.
  6. Volume 6–  Angustara , Mang , Caps , Verb , Coloc , Spong , Dros , Bism , Cic , Stann.

There are 61 medicines contained in these volumes besides the magnet{3}.

22 of them transferred from Fragmenta with their pathogenesis enlarged , the remaining 39 are new.

There were 39 provers. Some occur comparatively rarely but some with great freaquency —   eg   Franz , Gross , Hahnemann’s son Friedrich , Hartmann , Herrmann , Hornburg , Langhammer , Ruckert the elder , Staph , Teuthorn , Wislicenus. Full dependence of the symptoms they have furnished.

Of the few exceptions to this rule –
1. Langhammer’s symptom both mental and moral –

This prover deformed in body and unfortunate in his circumstances, was so depressed and altogether morbid in his disposition , that his physical state could at no time be fairly ascribed to the medicine he was taking. His moral symptoms are of very similar character under every drug he proved.

2. Stapf ‘s erotic symptoms and Von gersdorff‘s flatuosities – taken with caution.

Proving have been made upon person’s in perfect health , living in contentment and comparative case. When an extraordinary circumstance of any kind of e.g. – fright, chagrin, external injuries excessive enjoyment of any pleasure or some event of great importance supervened during the proving then no symptoms were recorded.

When they were of mild variety (slight importance) – the symptoms have been placed in brackets – thus informing the reader that they could not be considered decisively genuine.

No information of dose and mode of administration.


6–Volumes like the first edition.

  • Volume 1 – 1822.
  • Volume 2 – 1824.
  • Volume 3 & 4 – 1825.
  • Volume 5 – 1826.
  • Volume 6 – 1827.

Each contain the same list of medicines as before, save that in the sixth, Ambra, carbo animalis, carboveg were introduced for the first time.

Total 66 medicines  (  of which 3 new  ).

Occupy so large a space in many of the pathogenesis and are entirely absent from but very few. There are 13 medicines which are omitted from the list as having no citations from authorsattached to them. Medicines with citations are  observation of poisoning and of over dosing. They were Acid phos, Ambra, Angustura, Bismuth, Bryonia, Calc ascetica, Carboveg, Causticum, Spongia, Staphy, Tarax, Thuj, Verbascum. In poisoning,  subject is a healthy one.  Over dosing, done in sick with disease of limited character and with fair general health.

Symptom conceivably from disease or occupying same seat should be excluded.

Hahnemann says it is easy to sift the effect of medicine from chronic symptoms of disease which was also emphasized by grading.

Effect of medicines on sick serve for corroboration when similar effect is produced in healthy.

In “Medicine of Experience”, Hahnemann says a master can separate the disease symptoms from drug symptom.

In “Organon of Medicine”, the medicinal symptoms are those observed for a long time ago or never before during the course of disease.

Grading took care in sifting medicinal symptoms from morbid symptoms

Hahnemann did not follow it.

Eg. An epileptic who had piles developed haemorrhage on giving cuprum. Hahnemann has included this symptom under cuprum.

Hughes suggest that addition of Guiding’s  symptom in Material Medica Pura is questionable.

Baron Stoerck  says in cancer, conium can be given repeatedly as he suggested it had no bad effects.

Hahnemann did not belive it.

Eg; a patient with CA breast coughs and brings up pus. Her lung might be involved due to disease. But Hahnemann attributes it  to medicine.

Hughes says Hahnemann must have employed someone to collect medicinal symptom in sick.

In symptoms borrowed by Hahnemann no clear cut differenciation between symptoms of poisoning and over dosing. In the new translation of Materia Medica Pura, the symptoms are corrected or bracketed when dubious.


2 Volumes – 1830 and1833 respectively.
The 2 volumes contain the same medicines as before save that causticum is omitted from the second having been transferred to the chronic diseases. The chief change which has taken place has been the amalgamation of all the symptom of Hahnemann’s own observations with those of others into one continues schema. Pathogenesisss increased in most instances. New symptom – 30 to 40number. Hahnemann’s own i.e. n observation upon the sick.         

1st edition
– 4 Volumes.
1,2,3 Volumes – 1828.
4 Volumes – 1830.
1 st Volume – Theory of Chronic Disease.
2nd,3rd & 4th Volumes – Pathogenesis of medicines, new to Materia Medica Pura or to any Materia Medica.
have 17 new remedies + 2 old remedies.
Total of 22 remedies.
2nd & 3rd Volumes – 15 remedies.
4th Volume – 7 remedies [ 5 old (Con.,Carb.v.,,Caust.& Sulph.) of M.M.P. + 2 new ( Nat.mur. & Kali.carb.)].
Symptoms drawn from action of medicine on sick.

Pathogenesis of 15 drugs in the 2nd &3rd vol. appear without a word of explanation as to how the symptoms were obtained and without  acknowledgement of fellow observers.
Potency recommended was 18th – 30th ( Centesimal )
He advices Mag. mur of  6th potency& Nat.carb – 12th potency.
Violent effect found from using 6th,9th & 12th potencies.
Recommends Sepia and Carb.veg. for itch in 3rd potency.

It is concluded that, it is these violent effects of 2nd & 12th potencies experienced by the sufferers from chronic diseases, who took them, which make up  the bulk of symptoms of the 1st edn of Chronischen krankheiten.
Natrum mur. was proved on healthy in 30th potency.

Hahnemann’s 2nd Edition of Die Chronischen Krankheiten
5 Volumes.

  • 1st & 2nd Volumes – 1835.
  • 3rd Volume – 1837.
  • 4th Volume – 1838.
  • 5th Volume – 1839.

22 medicines of 1st Edition + 25 remedies ( 13 new + 12 old in M.M.P.)
Total of 47 remedies.
He collected pathogenesis of drugs by giving medicine to those who suffer from chronic diseases. Potency used was 30. the pathogenesis appear in one continuous list.
Those already appeared have more additions.
He has acknowledged the contributions of fellow provers.
27 provers.
Hahnemann included –
– The works of Hartlaub and Trinks ( Arzneimittellehre of their own )
– Independent provings of Stapf.
– Stapf ( Archiv – a journal )
– Prof.Jorg provings on himself and his students.

Hughes says Hahnemann added collateral effect of drugs with 30th potency in chronic patients .
30th potency in Centessimal.
Hughes says that the enormity of symptoms is due to provings on sick.
On reproving less number of symptoms were got on healthy.
Hughes says that the bulk of symptoms cannot be relied upon unlike in M.M.P.
Note:- Provings on healthy was conducted by Haller, Stoerck and Alexander before Hahnemann.
English translation of M.M.P. and C.D. by Hempel fell short of original.
In M.M.P. of Hempel medicines were arranged in Latin alphabetical order.
All names of authorities omitted.
Here no separation between symptoms of Hahnemann and others.
In Bryonia symptoms of Hahnemann follow others and symptoms of Hahnemann enclosed in brackets.
In Argentum and Camphor symptoms are thrown together without distinction.
Symptoms are printed continuously without being divided into separate paragraph and into section with headings.

The 2nd Volume of M.M.P. was translated of 1824 and not of 1833.
Ferrum and Verbascum were omitted.
Medicines in C.D. were omitted from M.M.P.
Wholesome omission and careless rendering of symptoms and also of introductions and notes.
New English translation is of Hughes and Dudgeon of M.M.P.
C.D. is translated by Hughes and Louis.H.Tafel.

LATER CONTRIBUTIONS – made to Homoeopathic Materia Medica.
1. Dr. Johann Christian Gottfried Jorg
He was a Professor in Lepzeic University. Jorg + 21 pupils + 2 sons + 3 females formed the provers (aged 45,18,12 respectively).
1st Volume with 13 remedies was published in 1825. Medicines were given in moderate doses and taken repeatedly until impression was made. Symptoms were related in full just as they were made. In preface age,temperament,constitution of prover and a statement that he is in good health. He gives details of prover, dose taken, order and connection in which the symptoms appear.

Digitalis, Iodum and Nitrum of Jorg were transferred to the 2nd
Edition of Chronic Disease.
Jorg’s work is preserved in the library of College of Surgeons.
Also printed in the 4th Volume of Frank’s “Magazin”.

2.Drs.Hartlaub and Trinks.
2 distinguished members of the  Hahnemannian school. They also named their collection as Reine Arzneimttelhere a seqel to Hahnemann’s work.

Published in Leipsic in 3 Volumes – 1828,1829 & 1831.
Contain symptoms of proving and poisonings.
Arranged in schematic order.
No information of the circumstance of experiment.
1st Volume – Plumbum, Cantharis, Laurocerasus, Phosphorus,
Antimonium crudum + 18 other drugs.
2nd Volume – Gratiola, Oleum an.,Alum.,Phelland.+ 14 other drugs.
3rd Volume – Bovista,kali.i.,Rat.,Stront.,Tab.+ > 30 drugs.
Used by 3rd Edition of M.M.P. and 2nd Edition of C.D.

Controversy of ‘Ng” -Nenning was a prover but Hahnemann says
” Ng” is anonymous. But Hering says he was a Surgeon  near Budweis in Bohemia.According to the laws of his country, he had no right to practice except as a surgeon. A lameness of the right arm disabled him from following  his calling. His wife started a school instructed girls in millinery.

Nenning became acquainted with Homoaopathy and soon was an ardent admirer. He had the grand idea to aid the cause by making provings on the girls in his wife’s millinery  shop. He succeeded in persuading them. He came in connection with Hartlaub in Leipsic.

All Austrians were forbidden by a strict law to send anything outside of Austria to be printed. Hence not only nenning but also all other Austrians appeared in our literature with only initials.

3. Dr.Ernst Stapf
One of Hahnemann’s oldest and most valued disciples began in 1822 to publish a journal devoted to the interest of the new method. He called it ‘Archiv’ Fiir die homoopathische Heilkunst or generally known as the Archiv.

Hahnemann also took part in proving.
Included in 2nd Edition of C.D.
12 medicines added to M.M.P. of 1836.
Proved in single moderate and substantial doses.
Presented in usual form but with reference to experiments of provers.
Introduction of medicine contain information about former use and homoeopathic experience gained by it.
Translated to English by Hempel.
Valuable work according to Hughes.

4.Austrian Provings
Begun in 1842.
Hahnemann had given his provings to the world,  i.e, a schema of detached symptom without information as to how or in what order and sequence they were obtained. The monographs containing these most valuable provings- chiefly published in a journal conducted by the Austrian society .  Most of them were translated to English.

Homoeopaths in Vienna decided to reprove as they were not satisfied by the presentation of Hahnemann
Primary provings of Argentum.nit., Coccus.cacti & Kali.bich.. Society had 8 members.
Each was entrusted with a proving of 20 -30 provers. They undertook and supervised experiments and published them with full details upto that time.
The aim was to study the physiological action of drugs.
These were published in the Journal of Austrian Society for 4years.
Hughes considered it as the chief material for the construction of future Materia Medica.
They conducted reproving also in 1848..

5. Contributions from America 

Dr.Constantine Hering  (originally he is a German)
Provings include Lachesis, Glonoine, Apis, Merc.bin iod.,
Natrum sulph., Osmium, Benzoic acid, Flouric acid, Oxalic acid,
Ksalmia, Podophyllum, Eupatorium, Aloes, Allium cepa, Millefolium,
Sanguinaria (16 new remedies ) + Cuprum, Spongia, Stramonium,
Physostigma, Sepia (5 old remedies ). His provings published in

a. American Homoeopathic Review

b. The Amerikanische arzeniprofungen.

c. First volume of his material medica

Dr. Hering’s first publication dates as back as 1837.  His “Wirkungen des schlangengiftes”- a full collection of the observed phenomenonof snake bites, together with provings on the healthy subject mainly instituted with lachesis.

10 Volumes of “Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica” form his contribution.
1st Volume – Hering , 1879.
2nd Volume – Hering , 1880.
3rd – 10th Volumes – C.G.Raue,C.B.Knerr, & C.Mohr ,1881 -1891.
48 Chapters.
408 remedies.
4 Grades.Hering was the first person to introduce evaluation in the Materia Medica.
Symptoms that appeared in provers and it were verified at the bed side a number of times.
He mentions this book as “the TEXT” in his Lectures.

Other contributions – Neidhard, Jeans, Williamson 9 (earlier period),Dunham, Allen, Conrad Wesseihoeft.

6. Contributions from France
Quinine by Dr.Alphonse Noack.
Main compilers of Materia Medica in France were Dr.Roth and Dr.Jahr.

Some indigenous proving have been done by Petroz, Ozanam, Teste,Imbert, Gourbayre – published in French Homoeopathic Journals.

7. Contribution of others in Germany
Buchmann’s Chelidonium.
Reproving of Cuprum by Central Verein

Contribution of Old School in Germany – Jorg –
Prof.Martin of Jena University proved on his students.He proved
Kali chlor..
Ferrum proved by followers of Rademacher was published in British Journal of Homoeopathy.
Prof. Schroff proved on animals and human beings. His contribution is Aconite.

8.Contributions from England
Kali bich. by Drysdale.
Naja by Russel.
Cedron by Casanova.
Cotyledon umbilicus by Craig.
Uranium nitricum by Edward Blake.

9. Contribution from Spain
Tarentula by Nunez.

10. Contribution from Italy
Cactus by Rubini.

11. Contributions from Brazil
Provings of plants and animals indigenous by Dr.Mure.
They are of obscure origin and doubtful value.

12.Contributions by E.M.Hale of Chicago.
New Remedies in Homoeopathic Practice published in 1865.
Contain the indigenous drugs used by common people, botanic  and eclectic practitioners.
1st Edition – 1865 – 45 remedies.
2nd Edition – 1867 – 35 + 45 remedies.
3rd Edition – 1873 – Characteristics.
4th Edition – 2 Volumes – 1st Volume – Special Symptomatology.
2nd Volume – Special Therapeutics.

13. Contributions by Allen T .F of Newyork.
“Encyclopedia of Pure Materia Medica” –  10 Volumes
Under heading of each drug are collected all symptoms    obtained from it by every prover from Hahnemann to latest student in America.
All are copied ,translated and arranged afresh and every information about the circumstances of proving.
Also added poisoning and overdosing symptoms since Hahnemann.
A number added with each symptoms refers to observers of it.
Appended to his name,is information of form and dose of drug and subjects in whom it was administered.
Many symptoms cited by Hahnemann from others received illumination by revising from the original.
Contain contributions from Dr.Richard Hughes,
Dr.Caroll Dunham, Dr.C.Hering and Dr. Adolph Lippe.
Alphabetical arrangement of drugs.
Symptoms are arrranged in accordance with the anatomical plan.
Sub grouping has been made in accordance with the following general principles in any part.
First – General symptoms not localised definitely.
Second – Localised symptoms.
Appearance of a part is given first.
Afterwards sensation.
Symptom denoting increased activity are given first.
Those denoting depression and loss of action or function follows.

Dr.Richard Hughes
To study Materia Medica one has to procure Allen’s Encyclopedia.
One should go through the original records of proving.
One should go through the “Day books” of provers.
Also go through the narratives of poisonings in Frank’s
“Magazin”in Hempel’s Materia Medica.
Also go through the “Pathogenetic Records”in British Journal of Homoeopathy.

References :-
A Manual Of Pharmacodynamics  – Hughes Richard
Materia medica pura vol 1&2.

Dr Beenadas
Department of Materia Medica
Govt Homoeopathic Medical College. Calicut

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