Viewed through proving: Timelines – Rhus Tox

clockOne way is to look at a proving is to follow the timeline of developments, as noted by the provers.

In the Rhus-Tox proving, Hahnemann was helped by Franz, Fr. Hahnemann, Hartlaub and Trinks, Hornburg, J.G. Lehmann, Michler, E.F. Ruckert, Schroder and Stapf.

Lehmann and Michler felt effects after just half an hour, while those recorded by Hahnemann himself (shown without attribution), Fr. Hahnemann and Franz began after 1 hour. Stapf’s first symptom was recorded after 1 1/3 hr.

The timeline is not necessarily helpful in determining the development of the “Rhus-Tox disease”, as the individual constitution and nature of each prover would determine susceptibility and which areas were affected during the proving – just as we see the different susceptibilities in patients.  However, it does allow us to track the process of the proving, and to track the experience of individual provers over time, giving another “lens” through which we can study the proving itself.

Although Hahnemann was fairly brutal with himself in the extent to which he would prove remedies, he took much greater precautions with his provers. As Richard Haehl records in “Samuel Hahnemann, his Life and Work”, Hahnemann’s letters to Stapf, Franz etc. “show clearly what measures he took to preserve the provers from injurious effects. He always warned them to stop the proving or to take antidotes whenever the symptoms shown become too pernicious. Moreover, he always laid stress on the fact that the proving should not be allowed to lead to any injury to health.”

The following are examples of early symptoms noted in the proving:

After 1/2 hr:

24. Confusion of the whole head (aft. 1/2 h.). [Ln.]
62. Tearing pain in the right temple(aft. 1/2 h.). [Mch.]
538. A pricking, oppressive pain on the sternum, which impedes respiration, with a constant short cough without expectoration (aft. 1/2 h.). [Mch.]
540. Some severe pulsating stitches over the region of the heart, so that he cried out loudly, when sitting, in the evening (aft. 1/2 h.). [Ln.]
614. Burning itching pain on the left elbow, which compels scratching, and goes off after scratching (aft. 1/2 h.). [Mch.]

After 1 hr:

98. Redness and sweat of the face, without thirst (aft. 1 h.). [Fr.H-n.]
112. Redness and sweat of the face without thirst (aft. 1 h.). (Repetition of 98, except the name of the authority.)
192. Pain in the maxillary-joint, as if bruised or as if it would break, when it is moved (aft. 1 h.).
193. During spasmodic yawning in the evening, pain in the maxillary-joint as if it would be dislocated (aft. 1 h.).
387. Easy discharge of much flatus which seems to be produced only in the rectum (aft. 1 h.). [Fz.]
938. Great thirst (aft. 1 h.).

After 1 1/3 hr.

407. Along with greater pinching and digging in the hypogastrium frequent rapid evacuations, extremely foetid, first more consistent, then watery, mingled with flatus (aft. 1-1/3 h.). [Stapf.]

After 1.5 hrs:,

156. Ringing in the right ear when walking (aft. 1.1/2 h.). [Mch.]

More significant throat symptoms start showing up after 3 hours, such as:

245. Feeling of swelling in the throat combined with bruised pain, per se and when speaking, but on swallowing pressive pain as if swollen, with a prick as if something sharp had stuck in there (aft. 3 h.).

Symptoms relating to menses emerge after 7 hours, and fear that he will die during vertigo after 10 hours.

As we follow the timeline we can see the substance symptoms moving for the most part into a constant crescendo, as symptoms relating to respiration, digestion, and more become increasingly uncomfortable.

After 18 hours Stapf reports:

95. Appearance of illness, sunken features, blue rings round the eyes (aft. 18 h.). [Stf.]

After 48 hours, we see the following:

117. Twitching sensation in the left upper eyelid (aft. 48 h.). [Fr.H-n.]
123. On the left lower eyelid towards its inner canthus a red hard swelling, like a stye, with aching pain, for six days (aft. 48 h.). [Fr.H-n.]
172. Scabby eruption near the left ala nasi and under the nose (aft. 48 h.). [Fr.H-n.]
182. In the morning on rising, in the right side of the lower lip, a pinching point which gives rise to the sensation as if it were bleeding (aft. 48 h.). [Fz.]
572. Violent rheumatic pain between the scapulae, neither relieved nor aggravated by movement or by rest, only alleviated by warmth, but increased by cold (aft. 48 h.).
622. The left forearm is painful as if bruised (aft. 48 h.). [Fz.]
729. Swelling in the foot, which is painless when scratched, in the evening (aft. 48 h.).
811. In the evening (9 o’clock) sudden faintness, with perfect consciousness; he could not feel his heart beating, was more cold than warm; in the interior he was quite easy; his mind was calm, but he could hardly walk (aft. 48 h.).
901. Evening fever with diarrhoea (as a second paroxysm); in the evening, after 6 o’clock, chill for an hour (without thirst) through all the limbs; then first dry heat, then heat with profuse sweat, altogether lasting three hours, with thirst; diarrhoea of mucus only with violent cutting in the abdomen, followed by tenesmus and accompanied by headache, a pressing from both temples towards the middle, and accumulation of blood and heat in the head (aft. 48 h.).
903. Fever: towards noon he is attacked by a feverish coldness through every limb, with violent earache and vertigo (somewhat allayed by taking a walk); towards evening once more chilliness, he must lie down; he cannot sleep at night, he lies in continual vertigo and constant perspiration (aft. 48 h.).

These are all just some examples – the specified timeline of Rhus-Tox continues for at least 12 days. At this point my study ended, with the symptom:

959. More in the afternoon than in the forenoon, true cardiac anxiety; she could not sleep half the night on account of great anguish, and was always so anxious that she perspired (aft. 12 d.).


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