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The  characteristic  features  of  different  medicines  have  been investigated  for  thousands  of  years.    People  have  repeatedly  faced different  poisons and have known their nature.   Socrates was made to drink Conium 2500 years ago.  Although people knew the effects of this poison before this, the personal experience and the moment-by-moment, detailed description of the effects of this poison as given by Socrates had never been known as before.    As the  poisonous symptoms gradually worsened, he kept describing to his attendants precisely as to what, where and  in  what  order  was  his  body  being  affected  by  the  poison.    Dr. Hahnemann also tried many poisons on himself, in diluted  form, and also noted the effects that had been minutely described by Socrates.  He also found that when a weakened poison is administered in small doses repeatedly, its unique properties become manifest but do not last forever. This process of registering minute details of the actions of the poison and like   substances   is  called  “Proving”.        Along  similar  lines  to  Dr. Hahnemann, many homoeopaths have experimented on themselves with various   poisons   and   noted   their   detailed   effects.    In   this   way, “homoeopathic  Materia  Medica”   has  steadily  expanded.        Extended proving cannot be based on one  person’s experimentation.   For proper acceptance,  the proving has to be done  by  many: in different times, weather and localities and on people with different dispositions.  Proper registry  into  the  Materia  Medica  is  attained  after   collective  group discussions on the methods and results of proving arrived at individually, as some drugs may work better on obese people and some on thin  and lean people.   The volunteers of these experiments are not told of what and    from    what    source    they    have            been    given        a    substance. Experimentation is repeated in different seasons and the effects are noted on the body as well as the mind.  All studies are carefully scrutinised and determined.  Dr. Hahnemann has given the most weight to the effect on the mind.  One remedy has a similar effect on two patients with similar mental symptoms, but may not have a similar effect on two patients with similar physical appearance.

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