Guiding Symptoms of Our Materia Medica

Berberis Vulgaris

C. Hering
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Homeopathic remedy berberis vulgaris from Guiding Symptoms of our Materia Medica by C. Hering

     Berberis vulgaris, Barberry. Berberacea.

     Berberis vulgaris was proved with great assiduity by Dr. Hesse, and published in the Journal for Materia Medica in 1834; translated and added in extracts to the Allentown editions of Jahr’s Manual, hence frequently used in the United States. In 1843 Noak published a much better extract of Berberis vulgaris ; no cures followed this. In 1854 Dr. J. H. Weber, in Allg. Hom. Zeitung, analyzed its symptoms. In 1879 H. V. Miller published Berberis vulgaris cases in Lilienthal’s Quarterly ; these were translated into German and printed in the Allg. Hom. Zeitung, July, 1879.


Defective recollection and weak memory.
Terrifying apparitions in twilight.
Mental labor, requiring close thinking, very difficult ; the least interruption breaks the chain of thought.
Melancholy, inclination to weep.
Indifference, apathy.
Indifference and pensiveness, with disinclination to speak.
Anxious and fearful.
Anxiousness while sitting, standing, or moving.
Fretful humor, with weariness of life.


Vertigo and dizziness in head.
Vertigo : with danger of falling ; when stooping and when rising ; struggling with arms when rising ; with dizziness, faintness, pressure in forehead, succeeded by chills.
Dulness and heaviness in head.
Tensive pain, also with pressure in temples and forehead.
Feeling of drunkenness, dizziness, vacuity, confusion, heaviness in head, especially in front, with pressure in sinciput, attended with alternating chilliness and heat from morning till afternoon, succeeded by a nasal flux and sneezing, as if catarrh would arise, but which does not appear.


Dulness of head like from coryza.
Heaviness in head, when stooping, as if brain would fall forward, with a sensation of bubbling, as if all would prolapse from forehead.
Pressure from within outward, particularly in forehead, but also in temples and occiput.
Tensive pain, also with pressure in temples and forehead, or with dulness of whole head.
Pressing, straining, bursting headache, especially in sinciput, chiefly in morning, < by stooping, > in open air ; with weariness and exhaustion.
Tearing in forehead and orbits.
Shooting, wringing, rending stitches above forehead and temples.
Rending in different parts, particularly in temples and occiput, arising from neck or extending to it ; from edge of orbit towards nose or upward to forehead, or into orbits.
Tearing pain in whole head, now here, now there, in forehead and temples.
Stitches in forehead.
Sudden stitches from eyes to forehead.
Darting and shooting pains in head, often changing their locality.
A peculiar cold sensation in right temple.
Heat in head after dinner, or in afternoon, and from exertion.
A puffy sensation in whole head.
A feeling in head as if it was becoming larger.
Fulness in head with sensation as if head was enlarged.
Headache aggravated by movement or stooping, > in open air.
Headache : accompanied by hepatic or rheumatic arthritic complaints ; or with affections of urinary organs ; or with menstrual derangements.


In skin of head and face a tension as if it was bloated, or covered with a cap, or benumbed, with difficulty to move it.
Tension of scalp and skin, as if swollen.
Itching, with burning and stitches on scalp and face, more on occiput, especially in evening, and changing its place after scratching.
Hot temples and cold cheeks.
Biting, gnawing on scalp and face.
Burning, pricking along edge of hair on head.
Single pimples on scalp and face, more on occiput, forehead and temples.



Berberis vulgaris

Shuns the light.
Illusions ; in twilight objects appear twice as large as natural.
Dim sight, all objects looking dark, as if through a veil, or running together, with itching around eyes and in face, preceded by incipient catarrh, succeeded by itching on legs.
Pressure in eyes.
Tearing in left eye ; also in lids.
Tearing in forehead and orbits.
Tearing near orbits with lachrymation ; eyes and nose moist.
Painfulness of eyes.
Sudden shooting ; arising from forehead and temples, or extending to them.
Berberis vulgaris  has Violent shooting pains through eyes into brain, or from temples to eyes ; sometimes into arms, or from knee to eye. θ After operation for strabismus.
Biting, burning, or itching sensation in eyes.
Dryness of eyes, with burning and redness of conjunctiva.
Irritation in eyes, as if from sand, heat and burning, with a cloudy appearance.
Conjunctivitis, with inflamed lachrymal caruncle.
Cold feeling in eye, like from a cool wind, with lachrymation when closing eyes.
Coldness of eyes.
Eye symptoms < out-doors, < moving eyes.
Quivering of eyelids when reading by candlelight.
Sensation of sand between lids ; dryness of internal canthus and sensation as of a foreign body there.
Sticky feeling and white scum on dry eyelids, morning.
Itching, burning and smarting in lids, or in canthi, frequently only on small spots.
Red spot on left eyelid, feels like a mosquito-bite, but swelling nearly closes eye ; next day other spots on face, behind ear, and on neck ; third day on chin and nose, with itching and burning ; in evening covered with small vesicles, oozing watery fluid.
Itching in canthi, eyebrows and eyelids.
Inflammation of lachrymal caruncles.
Dryness in internal canthus.
Tearing, especially in lids.


Beating, and fluttering noise in ear.
Stopped up feeling in ear, with pressure.
Throbbing and roaring in ears.
Drawing, pressure, urging with stitches in ears.
Stitches in ear.
Tearing and stitches in ears, through membrana tympani, as if a nail was thrust through, or like from sting of an insect.
Shooting behind right ear in attacks, < every evening.
Outward piercing in ear, as if with a sharp-pointed instrument.
Tearing, alternately in ear and other parts of body.
Alternating heat and coldness on external ear.
Pimples in front of ear.
Pimples ; nodosities, size of hemp seed, on auricle, painful to touch.
Tumor behind ear, size of a hazel-nut.


Crawling, smarting, or itching in nose.
Titillating irritation to sneeze.
From left nostril a few drops of clear blood.
Dryness of nose. θ Epistaxis.
Dry nose, succeeded by a chronic catarrh with an offensive discharge.
The nose and eyes moist, with sneezing, as if catarrh was commencing.
Indication of catarrh, succeeded by violent ophthalmic complaints.
During flowing catarrh, oppression on chest, particularly at night.
Catarrh of nose, lasting for months, with catarrh of antra.
Highmori and frontal cavities, with moderate secretion of a yellowish or greenish mucus, more copious in morning, and having a pungent smell or taste.
Chronic coryza on left side, pains extending to Highmorian cavity.
Purulent yellow or greenish discharge.
θ Coryza.
Obstinate catarrh of left nostril, with secretion, first of yellow water, later purulent white, yellow or green mucus ; empyreumatic smell and taste, particularly in morning.
Pricking in point of nose.


Tearing and stitches in cheek and jaw bones.
Squeezing, rending and stinging pain in facial bones and in upper and lower jaw, as if from a blow, extending to temples.
Pains extending into Highmorian cavity ; left side. θ Coryza.
Dark red, painful spot on right cheek.
Greenish face, with blue rings and pink eyes.
For a long time has a fatigued, worn-out expression of countenance.
Pale, earthy complexion, with sunken cheeks and hollow, blue encircled eyes. θ Fistula in ano.
Chilly feeling on cheek.
Sensation of chilliness, succeeded by deep red spots on cheek, attended with heat extending over face in afternoon.
Heat and redness in face.
Heat and burning of face, with red cheeks.
Dark red spot on cheek, after a chilly feeling, then spreading over whole face.
Burning and itching on cheeks.
Cold shivering sweats on face.
Sensation as if cold drops were spurted in face when going into open air.
Tension of scalp and skin of face, as if swollen.
Bright red, inflamed pimples on cheeks and lips, ulcerated in centres.


Dingy red, bluish spot on inner side of lower lip.
Lips bluish on inside.
Formication in upper lip, around mouth and chin.
Burning, itching, crawling and quivering in lips.
Lips dry, viscid, peeling off, with thin scabs.
Dryness of lips, with scaling and formation of thin brown scurf on edges.
Pea-shaped vesicles on lower lip.


Scraping, gnawing pain in teeth.
Teeth as if too long, sensitive to touch and to air.
Tearing in left upper molar.
Piercing pain in hollow teeth of lower jaw.
Teeth as if too large. Compare Niccol.
Stitches in teeth ; they feel too long or dull.
Pain as if gums were torn, or tooth pulled out.
Dingy red edge of gums ; small white nodules on gums.
Gums bleed easily.
Ulcer at an upper molar or incisor.
Sore gums during dentition.
Suppurating ulcers above incisors and molars.


Taste : of blood ; bitter ; sour.
Tongue smarts when touched.
Slimy furred tongue. θ Hemorrhoids.
Painful white blisters on tip of tongue.


Offensive metallic odor from mouth.
Mouth and fauces dry and viscid, especially in morning, with a white tongue and frothy saliva ; > after eating.
Saliva sticky, like soapsuds.
Sticky, frothy saliva, like cotton.
Ugly bluish-red spots in mouth.
Under lip bluish-red on internal surface.
On internal surface of cheeks and lips, red, painful, deeply suppurating pimples and watery pustules of size of a pea.


Increased redness of palate and tonsils ; tonsils pain when speaking or swallowing ; stitching like from an awn in throat.
Sensation of a plug in side of throat, with dryness, roughness and scraping ; severe pain from empty deglutition.
Inflammation of tonsils and pharynx, with swelling and fiery redness, and a sensation as if a lump was lodged in side of throat ; expectoration of a quantity of thick, yellow, jelly-like mucus ; white, sticky tongue ; viscid saliva resembling soapsuds.
Empty swallowing hurts in throat.
A sensation of stiffness in throat, in some cases only on one side as if there were varicose veins. Compare Pulsat.
Scratching in throat, which compels hawking, especially in morning.
Scratching and burning as if from sand in throat.
Pain in left tonsil, as if a husk was sticking there, particularly when speaking and swallowing ; interior of throat red, exterior very sensitive to touch and motion.
Sensation as of a lump in throat.


Great thirst, alternating with aversion to all kinds of drinks. θ Jaundice.
Thirst, with dryness of mouth.
Great thirst, alternating with aversion to drink.
Appetite either increased or decreased.
Want of appetite. θ Hemorrhoids.
Increased appetite.
Canine hunger, alternating with loathing of food. θ Jaundice.


Nausea before breakfast, gone after it.
Before dinner chilliness.
Heat in head, after dinner from exertion.
After eating solids, belching for hours, and soreness continuing whole night.
Worse after spirituous drinks.
Mouth and fauces dry and sticky, especially in morning ; relieved after eating.


Frequent eructations, alternating with yawning.
Bitter eructations.
After eating solids, belching for hours, and soreness continuing all night.
Eructation and gaping, abating complaints and pains.
Eructations without bad taste, or smell.
Frequent belching.
θ Hemorrhoids.
Bilious eructations.
Violent heartburn.
Nausea ; before breakfast ; after dinner.
Nausea in morning.
Vomiting of meals.


Very slow digestion.
Pressure in stomach. θ Hemorrhoids.
Pressure in stomach, as if it would burst, also stinging and burning.
Chilliness in region of stomach, ceasing after vomiting.
Violent stinging, burning, peculiar pain in stomach, similar to heartburn, but much worse, also extending upward into oesophagus.
Pit of stomach puffed up.


Diseases of liver.
Pressure, also stitching in region of liver.
In hypochondriac region, near border of false ribs, about three inches from linea alba,Berberis vulgaris has violent sticking pains for a quarter of an hour, increased by pressure, extending across into region of stomach.
Sticking, pressive pain in region of liver, increased by pressure, corresponding to region of gall-bladder, on a small spot, coming on spasmodically.
Shooting, pressing in region of gall-bladder after two hours ; often later, even on forty-sixth day.
Berberis vulgaris covers Colic from gall-stones.
Bilious colic, followed by jaundice.
At a point about midway between right ant. sup. spinous process of ileum and umbilicus, a sudden, sharp, severe pain, often extending towards groin, sometimes extending upward to right hypochondrium, exceedingly severe, lasting three to twelve seconds, coming frequently induced by exercise, e. g., walking, and more frequent and more severe the greater the amount of exercise ; the day before the prescription was made, he had had thirty or forty attacks, having walked and stood a great deal.
Violent stabbing pain in region of liver took his breath, had to bend over.
Sharp, pinching pains in liver, which come suddenly and with great severity ; at times caused him to hold his breath, to bend over and to get red in face ; pink sediment in urine ; feces black, or very dark, very adhesive to commode ; frequent urging to urinate ; feces scanty, requiring an effort to expel.
Drawing-tearing in left hypochondrium, with sensation during inspiration as if something was torn loose.
Pressure in left hypochondrium, backward, drawing downward.
Contracting, forcing sensation in left abdomen, upper part, < in left hypochondrium towards navel.
Tearing, drawing, stinging and jerking in left hypochondrium.
^^ Cramplike contraction in splenic region.
^^ Violent burning, like heartburn, in left hypochondrium, extending upward into oesophagus.


Rumbling in bowels.
Constant troublesome bloatedness of abdomen, with occasional forcible and noisy discharges of flatus. θ Jaundice.
Pain in colon descendens.
Colic-like pains, especially about navel.
Pain in region about three inches to side of navel, corresponding to a place in front of kidneys, and rather to sides, mostly sticking, often extending to lumbar region or to groins, liver, spleen, or stomach.
Burning pain in or under skin of abdomen.
Shooting pains in epigastrium, particularly left side, increased by inspiration, motion, or touching, attended with short breath and distension of abdomen.
Periodical pressure from inside outward, in left side near navel.
Pain on a small spot in left side.
Compression and contraction in sides of abdomen, particularly in left one.
Biliary colic, followed by jaundice.
Whirling in stomach and abdomen.
Visceral motions, like efforts to stool.
Wandering, tearing, stinging pain in abdominal muscles.
Stitching tearing or burning in skin of abdomen, mostly about navel.
Turgid veins.
Old yellow spots around navel peeling off.
Pressure and tension in groins, as if a hernia would develop ; especially when walking and standing.
Itching, or pressure in region of inguinal glands, with pain from touch as if they would swell.
In inguinal region a pressing, squeezing tension, stinging and cutting, extending towards thighs, or proceeding from hips to inguinal region and thighs.
Burning, smarting pain in right inguinal fold, with tension on motion.
In right inguinal region near abdominal ring, some varicose veins.


Frequent ineffectual urging to stool.
Constant feeling as though she must go to stool.
Looseness, with viscous slime.
θ Hemorrhoids.
Watery evacuations.
^^ Painful diarrhoea with rumbling ; a sensation of burning and pain in descending colon ; it burns down and out at anus ; never at night.
Easy, soft, copious evacuation, like diarrhoea.
Several copious, thick mushy stools.
Diarrhoea ; mush-like yellowish discharges, with rumbling and passing of wind ; squeamishness, much thirst ; heat in face, and dulness of head ; afterwards in evening, increased appetite.
Large, pappy, free stools, mostly with tenesmus before and after.
Scanty, thin-formed stool, hard or soft.
Clay-colored stools ; occasional pain in big toe and leg, up to shoulder ; sometimes pain in bladder ; urine scalds.
Changing stool, irregular, costive or loose.
θ Hemorrhoids.
Small, indurated, intermitting stool.
Hard stool, like sheep’s dung, passed only after much straining.
Intense pain before and with stool, as from constriction in rectum, preventing passage of feces.
Burning, stitching pain during, before and after stool.
A long-continued sensation after stool, as if one had just been to stool, or as if one had just recovered from a pain in anus.
Painful pressure in perineum ; stitches in perineum, expending deep into (l. side) pelvis.
θ Fistula in ano.
Smarting pain in anus.
Soreness in anus, with burning ; pain when touched, and great sensitiveness when sitting.
Burning, stinging pain in anus, before, during and after stool.
Tearing extending around anus.
Bearing down in anus and in sacrum.
In anus pressure, and tenderness after evacuation, fulness, rasping and stinging, burning, itching, crawling and throbbing.
Herpes around anus.
Copious discharge of black blood per anum after increased exercise.
Hemorrhoids, with itching or burning, particularly after stool, which frequently is hard and covered with blood.
Large hemorrhoidal tumors with itching and burning.
Fistula in ano, with itching there ; short cough and chest complaints.
Fistula since two or three months, with a troublesome short cough and morbid appearance ; after Berberis 18 cent., cough ceased in forty-eight hours, fistula improved for two weeks ; then a biliary colic which he had not had for three years, but frequently before (Coloc.) ; fistula improving ; furuncle appeared for several weeks ; a kind of tetter on edge of anus remained.
Fistula recti when attended with bilious symptoms.
A crust formed about anus.


In lumbar and renal region a pressing straining, shooting or bruising pain, extending to thighs, with stiffness, numbness and sensation of warmth, which prevents raising body and rising up.
Pressive or tensive pain in region of loins and kidneys, sometimes on one side, sometimes on both or frequently across small of back, at times extending downward into posterior portion of pelvis, of thighs, and even to calves, with a feeling of stiffness and lameness, or swelling of back or lower extremities.

About the author

C. Hering

C. Hering

Hering got the degree of M. D. from the University of Wuezburg with highest honours. The theme of his thesis was "De'Medicina Futura" (The medicine of future). Hering left Germany for West Indies and finally arrived at Philadelphia in Jan, 1833. He established a homeopathic school at Allentown, Pennsylvania, commonly known as "Allentown Academy". Soon he became very popular as a physician. He is known as the 'Father of Homeopathy' in America.

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1 Comment

  • I found it useful… I am chronic patient of CLL. can I find any suitable medicines in homeopathy?
    Thanks a lot. Looking forward to hear from you soon Sir/Madam.