Materia Medica Pura - Samuel Hahnemann


(Long-leaved Water Hemlock.)

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

(The freshly expressed juice from the root gathered when the plant is commencing to flower, mixed with equal parts of alcohol.)

The following symptoms can only be regarded as a commencement of a thorough proving of the peculiar effects of this powerful plant in the altering the human health.

Further and more complete provings will show that it is useful in rare cases where no other remedy is homoeopathically suited, and particularly in chronic cases, for I have seen its effects last for three weeks, even when given in small doses.

Traditional medicine has never made any internal use of cicuta virosa; for when cicuta was prescribed, as it was very often some years ago, it was actually conium maculatum that was meant by that name.

The juice of cicuta was used only for external application in preparing the cicuta plaster on LINNEUS’S recommendation, particularly by the Danish Pharmacopoeia (Empl, de cicuta, Pharm. Dan.). It was applied for the purpose of allaying gouty pains.

The juice of fresh root (for it has little action when dried) is so powerful that ordinary practitioners did not dare (“Nec, ulli austor essum, ut interno usui dicaret,” say MURRAY (Apparat. Medicam., tom. I, 2nd edit., p. 402.) to give it internally in their accustomed big doses, and consequently had to do without it and its curative power altogether.

Homoeopathy alone knows how to employ with advantage this powerfully remedial juice in the decillion-fold dilution (30th dilution).

[In this proving HAHNEMANN had the assistance of his son FRIEDRICH HAHNEMANN, HORNBURG, and LANGHAMMER.

The only authorities of traditional medicine quoted are:

ALLEN, Synopsis.

Bresl. Samml., 1727.

WEPFER, De cicuta aquat.

The number of symptoms is the same in both Editions.]


In the morning after rising from bed, confusion of the head.

Stupid and dazed (after 10 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Stupid in the head, with rigor; at the same time the neck felt stiff and the muscles too short. [Fr. H-n.]

Absence of thought, difficulty of recollecting himself, deprivation of the senses. [WEPFER, De cicuta aquat., (Two boys and six girls are largely of it. (Quite half of the symptoms referred by HAHNEMANN to the authority are not to be found, after the most diligent search, in his pages.) and ALLEN Synopsis. (Poisoning of four children.)

5. Intoxication, staggering. [WEPFER, l. c.]

When walking, vertigo, as though he would fall forward to the left (aft. 72 h.). [Lr.]

On stooping he feels as if he would fall head – foremost (aft. 80 h.). [Lr.]

Vertigo, staggering. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Staggering and swaying when walking (aft. 82 h.). [Lr.]

10. When sitting, standing, and walking, he is as if intoxicated (aft. 5 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

All objects appear to him round in a circle, especially when he is seated – for many hours (aft. 2 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Objects seem to him to move hither and thither, from one side to the other, although they all retain their right shape (aft. 10 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

She thinks she must place or seat herself more firmly, because she sees nothing steady or firm about her, and she consequently thinks that she herself is unsteady; everything dazzles her (aft. 15 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

She imagines she is swaying to one side or another, or that the objects around her are moving to and fro; it seems to her that nothing is standing still, but that everything swings backwards and forwards like a pendelum. [Fr. H-n.]

15. When she has to stand still, she wishes she could lay hold of something, because the objects seem at one time to come near her and then again to recede from her. [Fr. H-n.]

Staggering, so that she thinks she must fall (aft. 6 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Vertigo; he fell to the ground. [WEPFER, and ALLEN, l. c.]

He is always inclined to fall to the ground. [WEPFER, l. c.]

He fell to the ground without saying a word. [WEPFER, l. c.]

20. He falls to the ground and rolls about. [WEPFER, l. c.]

A hammering pain in the forehead, from noon till evening (aft. 2 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

Anxiety in the head. [Fr. H-n.]

Stupefied and heavy in the head (aft. 74 h.). [Lr.]

Heaviness in the head when sitting. [Hbg.]

25. In the morning on waking, headache, just as if the brain were loose and shook when walking; when he set himself to think what sort of pain it was exactly, it was gone.

Headache pressing together from both sides. [Hbg.]

Aching in the left frontal bone. [Hbg.]

Pressive, stupefying headache externally on the forehead, more when at rest (aft. 1, 36 h.). [Lr.]

Semilateral headache, like an aching more externally.

30. Severe headache in the occiput like dull pressure, accompanied by some coryza (aft. 48 h.).

(After sickness in the abdomen, violent headache lasting two days; shooting, which extended from the nose and right eye to the occiput) (aft. 15 d.).

(After the headache, dazedness for two days.)

The headache went off on sitting upright.

The headache is relieved by discharge of flatus.

35. Creeping in the forehead as from ants (aft. 2 m.). [Fr. H-n.]

Shooting pain in the frontal bone. [Hbg.]

Stitches extending along the eyebrow (aft. 12 h.). [Lr.]

Great eruption on the hairy scalp and face. [Fr. H-n.]

Exanthematous elevations, the size of a lentil, all over the face (and on both hands), which caused a burning pain when they first appeared, then became confluent, of a dark red colour, lasting nine days, when desquamation ensued, which lasted three weeks. (I have cured chronic, suppurating, confluent eruptions in the face having only burning pain by means of one or two doses of a small part of a drop of the juice, but I did not venture to give the second dose in less than three to four weeks; when the first dose did not suffice.) [Fr. H-n.]

Redness of the face. (With S. 206.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Face (and neck) swollen. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Eyes protruded from the head. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

Staring look. (Not found.) [WEPFER, l. c.]

He keeps staring at one and the same spot, whereby everything appears to him like black stuff (aft. 6 h.). [Fr. H-n.]

45. Staring (aft. ¼ h.); she looks fixedly at one and the same place, and cannot help doing so, much as she would like to; at the same time she has not full command of her senses, and must be very strongly excited in order to answer correctly; if she compels herself forcibly, by turning away her head, to cease having her eyes directed on the object, she loses consciousness, and all becomes dark before her eyes. [Fr. H-n.]

Even though she keeps her look steadily fixed on the object, she sees nothing disctinctly; everything runs together, as when one has looked too long on one and the same object, when the sight becomes blurred. [Fr. H-n.]

If she looks long at the same spot, she grows sleepy, and she feels as if the head were pressed down, though nothing of the sort is noticed, and she then, her eyes being open and staring, is unable to tell the letters of a book. [Fr. H-n.]

As often as she is spoken to, and thereby forced out of her unconscious staring, and awakened up by shouting to her, so often does she always relapses again into it, and in this state her pulse is only 50 in the minute. [Fr. H-n.]

If she is allowed to sit still for a considerable time her head sinks down gradually, whilst the eyes continue to stare at the same point, so that as thus the head sinks very low, the pupils become almost hidden under the upper eyelids; she then gets an inward shock, which brings her quickly to her senses for a short time; she then falls again into a similar state of unconsciousness out of which she is from time to time awakened by an internal shivering, which she says is a febrile rigor. [Fr. H-n.]

50. Sometimes everything appeared double and of a black colour, sometimes she was affected with dulness of hearing. [Fr. H-n.]

First (aft. 2.1/2 h.) contracted, then (aft. 8, 9 h.) very dilated, pupils. [Lr.]

At first extremely contracted, soon afterwards extremely dilated, pupils. [Hbg.]

Aching in the inner canthus of the right eye, so that he must shut and press to the eyes in order to get relief. [H.]

A quivering under the lower eyelid in the orbicularis muscle.

55. heat and burning round about the eyes.

Sore pain behind the left ear. [Hbg.]

Sore sensation behind the left ear, as after a knock or blow. [Hbg.]

Pain behind the right ear, such as would remain after a knock or blow. [Hbg.]

Great eruption on the ears. [Fr. H-n.]

60. Exanthematous pimples below and in front of the ears, their apices filled with pus and painful like a boil. [Fr. H-n.]

About the author

Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann

Samuel Hahnemann

Leave a Comment

1 Comment

  • I fall backwards while walking. Right muscles in low back and shoulders. Also led to neck pain. When I brush my teeth with my left hand , I am a leftie , I can walk straight as if nothing I’d wrong. Strange. Can you tell me what medicine to take.