From: The Dynamics and Methodology of Homoeopathic Provings

By Jeremy Sherr

Published by Dynamis Books


The following are sample letters, please feel free to copy them as they are exempt from the copyright.

Instructions to Provers and Supervisors

Instructions To Provers

Dear Prover:

Thank you very much for taking part in this proving. I'm sure you will find that you will benefit from this exercise in many ways.

Before the Proving:

First check that you have the appropriately coloured diary, and that the information labels on the diary contain the correct information. If there is a problem, contact the proving Coordinator.

Your supervisor will contact you before you begin the proving to take your case, answer any questions and to schedule a start date and a daily contact time.

Beginning the Proving:

Record your symptoms daily in the diary for one week prior to taking the remedy. This will help you get into the habit of observing and recording your Symptoms as well as bringing you into contact with your normal state.

Taking the Remedy:

Begin taking the remedy on the day you and your supervisor have agreed upon. Record the time that you take each dose. Time keeping is an important element of the proving.

The remedy should be taken on an empty stomach and with a clean mouth. Neither food nor drink should be taken for an half hour before and after taking the remedy. The remedy should not be taken for more than 3 doses a day for two days (six tablets maximum).

In the event that you experience symptoms or those around you observe any proving symptoms do not take any further doses of the remedy. By proving symptoms we mean:

  1. any new symptoms, i.e. ones that you have never experienced before, or,
  2. any change or intensification of any existing symptom. or,
  3. any strong return of an old symptom, i.e. a symptom that you have not experienced for more than one year.
If in doubt phone your supervisor. Be on the safe side and do not take further doses. Our experience has shown again and again that the proving symptoms usually begin very subtly, often before the prover recognises that the remedy has begun to act.

Lifestyle during the Proving

Avoid all antidoting factors such as coffee, camphor and mints. If you normally use these substances, please stop taking them two weeks before, and for the duration of, the proving. Protect the tablets you are proving as you would any other remedy, including keeping them away from strong smelling substances.

A successful proving depends on your recognising and respecting the need for moderation in the following areas: work, alcohol, exercise and diet. Try to remain within your usual framework and maintain your usual habits.

Avoid taking medication of any sort, especially antibiotics, vitamin or mineral supplements, herbal or homoeopathic remedies.

In the event of a medical or dental emergency of course common sense should prevail. Contact your doctor, dentist or local hospital as necessary. Please contact your supervisor or proving coordinator as soon as possible.


It is important for the quality and credibility of the proving that you discuss your symptoms only with your supervisor. Keep your symptoms to yourself and do not discuss them with fellow provers.

Your privacy is something that we will protect. Your identity will be known only by your supervisor and the proving Coordinator.

Contact with your Supervisor

Please telephone your supervisor before you begin the proving and on a daily basis thereafter until you, your supervisor, and the proving coordinator agree that it is not necessary to maintain such close contact. As the proving progresses regular contact continues to be important but may be less frequent (2 or 3 times a week, and then weekly)

If you have any doubt or questions about the proving contact your Supers nor.

Recording of Symptoms

When you commence the proving note down carefully any symptoms that arise, whether they are old or new, and the time of day or night at which they occurred. This should be done as vigilantly and frequently as possible so that the details will be fresh in your memory. Make a note even if nothing happens.

Please start each day on a new page with the date noted at the top of each page. Also note which day of the proving it is. The day that you took the first dose is day zero.

Write neatly on alternate lines, in order to facilitate the extraction process which is the next stage of the proving. Try to keep the diary with you at all times.

Please be as precise as possible. Note in an accurate, detailed but brief manner your symptoms in your own language.

Information about location, sensation, modality, time and intensity is particularly important:

Location: Try to be accurate in your anatomical descriptions. Simple clear diagrams may help here. Be attentive to which side of the body is affected.

Sensation: Burning, dull, lancinating, shooting, stitching, etc.

Modality: > or < from weather, food, smells, dark, lying, standing, light, people, etc. Try different things out to see if they affect the symptom and record any changes.

Time: Note the time of onset of the symptoms, and when they cease or are altered. Is it generally > or < at a particular time of day, and is this unusual for you?

Intensity: Briefly describe the sensation and effect of the symptom on you.

On a daily basis you should run through the following check list to ensure that you have observed and recorded all your symptoms:

Respiratory System
Digestive System
Urinary Organs

Please give full descriptions of dreams, and in particular note the general feeling or impression the dream left you with.

You may also wish to note the phase of the moon if you have symptoms that are affected by it.

Mental and emotional symptoms are important, and sometimes difficult to describe - please take special care in noting these.

Reports from friends and relatives can be very enlightening. Please include these if possible. At the end of the proving please make a general summary of the proving. Note how the proving affected you in general. How has this experience affected your health? Would you do another proving?

As far as possible try to classify each of your symptoms by making a notation according to the following key in brackets next to each entry:

(RS) - Recent symptom i.e. a symptom that you are suffering from now, or have been suffering from in the last year.
(NS) - New symptom.
(OS) - Old symptom. State when the symptom occurred previously.
(AS) - Alteration in a present or old symptom. (e.g. used to be left side, now on the right side)
(US) - An unusual symptom for you.

Please remember to use red ink for these notations and classify your symptoms accurately. If you have doubts, discuss them with your supervisor.

Please remember that detailed observation and concise, legible recording is crucial to the proving.

"The best opportunity for exercising our sense of observation and to perfect it is by proving medicines ourselves." - Hahnemann

"The person who is proving the medicine must be preeminently trustworthy and conscientious... and able to express and describe his sensations in accurate terms." Organon paragraph 126

Thank you for participating in this proving. I am sure you will find that there is no better way of learning and advancing homoeopathy.

Instructions to supervisors

Dear Supervisor:

Many thanks for joining us in our project of proving a new homoeopathic remedy. I m sure that you will learn a great deal about many aspects of homoeopathy through this experience.

The main aims are:

  1. to ensure a safe proving.
  2. to obtain accurate and useful information.
Hahnemann, Kent and other master homoeopaths considered provings to be safe and beneficial to health. In order to ensure this, the following rules must be applied:
  1. The prover should not take any further doses of the remedy once symptoms have begun to appear. Experience shows that symptoms often begin very quickly and with great subtlety. If in doubt, advise your prover not to take any more doses.
  2. Once the prover has stopped taking the remedy, they should not resume taking it under any circumstances.
If you have any concerns about safety please do not hesitate to contact your proving co-ordinator.

Before the Proving

Enclosed are "Instructions to Provers." Please read thorn before you contact your prover to arrange a start date. Please check that your own diary and your prover's diary carry the correct labelling. Check name, supervisor number, prover number, remedy number and telephone numbers.

Meet the prover and take a baseline case before they begin taking the remedy. It is sufficient to cover the main outline and symptomatology rather than conducting a full first interview. This information will enable us to distinguish between the natural state of the patient and what has altered as a result of the remedy. Make an agreement to nave the prover contact you daily at a set time, if possible. Please advise the proving co-ordinator of your prover's start date and time, as soon as possible.

Taking the Remedy

In order to avoid confusion and to maintain a uniform result the provers will take the remedy three times daily to a maximum of 6 doses over two days. The first dose should be taken on an agreed day, preferably in the morning.

If any symptoms appear that:

a) are not characteristic of this prover (i.e. new symptoms), or
b) are changes or intensification of existing symptoms, or
c) are a strong return of old symptoms not experienced for at least one year,

then the prover should not take any further doses.

During the Proving

You should maintain daily contact with your prover as long as symptoms continue to arise. The frequency of contact can be reduced as symptoms abate, or as time passes with no significant change. It is also helpful if you could inform the proving co-ordinator of your progress.

Please remember for the duration of the proving that your prover is your patient. She/he should receive the care, consideration and confidentiality that your other patients receive.

The Role of the Supervisor

This contact will serve two purposes: first to Support the prover second, to ensure that the information you gather is as complete, detailed and accurate as possible. The gathering of this information Should be undertaken with the same care that you would normally use in your practice.

The role of the supervisor during this time is to clarify, verify and expound:

Clarify: "What do you mean?"
: "Are you sure?"
Expound or enlarge: "What did it feel like?"

Recording the Information

Record as the information only in the diary provided for this purpose. Start a new page for each day, and write legibly on alternate lines. Try to record the symptoms in the language of the prover, and in the format of materia medica, rather than in repertory language.

Finishing the Proving

The proving ends when there has been no change in the symptom picture for a month. At this point you should advise the proving co-ordinator that you have finished the proving and you should arrange to meet with your prover as soon as possible in order to review your diaries together.

Reviewing the Information

When meeting with your prover compare your own notes with theirs. Search for and then try to eliminate any ambiguities, uncertainties, and vague descriptions. Clarify as much as possible. However, do not change the information in either diary; just make a commentary about the nature of the discrepancies at the end of your diary. It may be helpful to have a third colleague involved in this review.

Once this review has been completed send both your own and your prover's diaries to the proving co-ordinator.

Thank you for all your help.

Visit The Dynamis School Home Page

Return to Articles on Provings

Return to Provings Home Page