This is the first post in a new category in this blog: Looking at remedies through Hahnemann’s original provings, to be found in the Materia Medica Pura and the Chronic Diseases.
These provings were carried out by members of Hahnemann’s Provers Union – which I’ll write more about in a future post – and also included some material from poisoning reports from older sources, all documented carefully by Hahnemann in this work. Some clinical and curative symptoms are also included.
The proving of Nux Vomica consists of 1301 symptoms.
In terms of the number of symptoms in each section, stomach and abdominal symptoms lead the field, with a whopping 169 symptoms, 22 of them presented in bold type which indicated the frequency and certainty of the symptom amongst the provers (and not as commonly believed, the intensity).
Interestingly, the next in line is the lower extremities section, with 107 symptoms, 8 of them in bold. And a further interesting twist is that the bold symptoms constitute approx. 13% in the main stomach abdominal section, but they also form 13% of the mind and emotional section, which itself contains 75 symptoms.
We know that patients requiring Nux Vomica are often very sensitive to external inputs, and more or less anything can irritate and aggravate them. The proving symptoms highlight the aggravation such patients experience during and after walking in the open air, eating, and in the morning to name a few. The Nux headaches are well represented, as is to be expected, with 76 symptoms, 11% of them in bold.
Can the Nux patient feel better – ever? From anything? The proving shows that there are a few little things that can help the Nux patient, such as stretching, sitting quietly, resting, and sometimes from lying down.
There is a tendency to see patients requiring Nux as driving, forceful personalities, workaholics to the detriment of their personal lives and their health. The mental-emotional picture presented in the proving is – as to be expected – more complex than that. Although Hahnemann himself states that “it is more frequently required by those persons who are of an anxious, zealous, fiery, hot temperament, or of a malicious, wicked, irascible disposition”, we can also see deep sadness, irresolution, laziness and lack of desire to work from the proving symptoms. There are those who say that people who are apparently lazy and avoid large projects and ambitious activities are actually perfectionists, who are convinced that they can’t do the thing properly and therefore avoid doing it at all. From the proving it seems very possible that those people can also fall into the Nux-Vomica orbit, and this should be taken into consideration.