China officinalis is the very first remedy ever proved by Hahnemann.

Sep 22, 2022

He was earning a living by translating  medical texts when he decided to test material doses of China for himself – the rest, as they say, is history!

In this blog article, Luke Norland synthesises information from a wide variety of sources to give an in-depth portrayal of Homeopathy's inaugural remedy.

Taxonomy (Cronquist)

Plantae. Angiospermae. Dicotyledon. Asteridae. Gentianales. Rubiaceae


cyrus-bogerAffinities (Boger)

BLOOD. CIRCULATION. SECRETIONS. Digestive Organs. Liver. Spleen. Nerves.


Clarke-photoClinical (Clarke, italic symptoms)

Abscess / Amblyopia / Anaemia / Appetite - disordered / Back - weakness of / Bilious affections - attack / Constipation / Debility / Diarrhoea / Ear - noises in / Emissions / Erysipelas / Headache / Hectic fever / Hip-joint - disease / Intermittent fever / Jaundice / Labour / Lactation / Lienteria / Liver - diseases of / Ménière's disease / Menstruation - disorders of / Muscae volitantes / Neuralgia / Peritonitis / Perspiration - excessive / Pleurisy / Pylorus - diseases of / Self-abuse / Spermatorrhoea / Taste - disordered / Tea, effects of / Thirst / Tobacco - habit / Traumatic fever


lippea03Established General Keynotes (Lippe)

  • Oversensitiveness, low-spirited with aversion to all noise
  • Debility from loss of fluids
    • an excellent indication is debilitating perspiration
  • A/F
      • Especially hæmorrhages
      • excessive lactation
      • diarrhœa
      • suppurations
  • Worse slightest contact, and relieved by hard pressure
  • One hand icy cold, the other warm


    • The three stages are sharply marked-chill, fever and perspiration.
    • The chill may be absent, but the fever and perspiration must be present
  • Attacks of pain, caused by the slightest touch of the body and then increasing gradually and becoming very severe
  • The parts on which one lies go to sleep
  • Restlessness of the affected parts
  • Intermittent fever without thirst or thirst only between the cold and hot stage
  • Aggravation at night, from the least draught of air, after milk drinking


Acute application

MIshaFrom Misha Norland’s Get Well Soon

Like Carbo Veg. this remedy is useful for excessive bloating of the belly where bringing up wind does not bring relief. Often the troubles, of whatever nature, come on after loss of fluids, this could be from blood loss, excessive menstruation, prolonged breastfeeding or extreme diarrhoea, which cause exhaustion, weakness, headaches with bursting, throbbing pain, extending from the back to the whole head; stomach disturbances; anaemia. People needing China are worse for light touch, rubbing or caressing, but better for hard pressure. They suffe r from general oversensitivity, perhaps even from paranoia, feeling themselves to be harassed, unfortunate, thinking that the world is hostile. They may be sleepless from over abundant ideas and plans.

Loss of fluids; touch; regularly returning symptoms; alternate days; wind; cold; summer and autumn.

Hard pressure; loose clothing; bending double; warmth.


Chronic application

China is considered a rare constitutional type…

frans vermeulenThese passages are from Vermeulen’s Synoptic Materia Medica

  • Artistic persons - like beautiful colors, "feel the colors"; make verses, painters; strong SENSE of BEAUTY.
  • Reserved disposition; express themselves in writing poems, painting; find it difficult or impossible to express their feelings in ordinary words; only talk about themselves with confident persons, good friends.
  • Strong imaginative power, evening in bed [compare Nat-m.:], or daydreaming.
  • thinks about all kinds of positive and wonderful things, like being able to fly, relaxing on a warm day at the seaside, being the richest person of the world, etc
  • Rubrics
    • Absentminded - dreamy
    • Activity - desires creative activity
    • Art - ability for
    • Beautiful things - awareness of; heightened
    • Desires - full of desires - cheerful; desires to be
    • Foppish
    • Grounded - not grounded
    • Idealistic
    • Impressionable
    • Innovative
    • Naive - intelligent, but very
    • Philosophy - ability for
    • Sentimental

Desires / aversions

  • Aversion to superficial contacts [agg. "slight touch"], only want deep contacts and friendships [amel. "hard, deep pressure"].
  • Desire to have the BEST THINGS [Mind: unworthy, objects seem [2/1]; unattractive, things seem [1/1]].


Sensation and function

HeringPhotoHering’s Guiding Symptoms

  • Fulness in head, sensation as if brain was rolled around, with great excitement, nervous susceptibility increased.
  • Sensation as if brain was balancing to and fro, and was striking against skull, occasioning great pain.
  • ¤¤ Sensation as if head would burst, with sleeplessness; agg from motion or any jar; amel in room and when opening eyes.
  • Sensation of constriction as if bound with a cord, especially on right side of forehead and occiput; agg by walking, when there are violent throbbings and head feels as if it would burst.
  • ¤ Sensation as if food pressed upon and hurt stomach.
  • ¤¤ Sensation in lower leg as if garters were tied too tightly, and as if leg would go to sleep and become stiff.
  • ¤ Sensation as of a band tightly tied around different parts of leg or arm.


Verbs (from sensations as if symptoms)

Unhampered  / Light  / Airy  / Rolled  round / Bruised / Burst / Pressed  / Bound with a cord / Compressed / Pressed  / Load  / Clutched  / Drawn  / Grasped  / Filled  / Hindrance  / Thrust  / Moved  / Scoop  / Forced  / Beaten / Blow / Enlarged / Scraped  / Tied too tightly / Band tightly tied  / Tight  / Dashed / Burnt / Contracted / Filled Up  / Pressed  / Lump  / Strained


Polarities - Sanguine vs Melancholic

Click the links for Sanguine and Melancholic to explore the qualities of these temperaments or CLICK HERE for an article on Mappa Mundi


Contained, tightly bound VS Filled up, enlarged

Beaten, hindered VS Unhampered, light and air


Affectionate / Amorous / Capriciousness / Cheerful / Extravagance / Fancies - exaltation of / Foolish behavior / Hopeful / Idealistic / Inconstancy / Irresolution / Libertinism / Mirth / Mood - changeable / Naive / Nymphomania / Plans - making many plans / Sensitive - sensual impressions, to / Vivacious


Antisocial / Aversion - persons - all, to / Censorious / Company - aversion to - desire for solitude / Complaining / Deceitful / Delusions - forsaken; is / unfortunate, he is / wrong - suffered wrong; he has / Despair / Discontented / Discouraged / Fear - people; of / Introspection / Loathing - life / Meditating / Monomania / Philosophy - ability for / Reserved / Suspicious / Taciturn / Touched - aversion to be / Unattractive, things seem / Unfortunate, feels / Weary of life



Malarial (Sankaran)

China is a remedy of the plant kingdom, and in my understanding it is the main remedy of the malarial miasm. The malarial miasm lies between the acute and sycotic miasms. Malaria is characterized by intermittent fevers - sudden acute attacks of fever with chills, followed by periods of relative dormancy. There is therefore an acute phase, which is characterized by a feeling of threat, followed by longer periods of fixed states of being that are of a sycotic nature, i.e. there is a fixed sensation of deficiency with the need to cover up.

Malarial miasm – between the Acute and Sycotic

Click here to read an in-depth guie to the Miasms through a mythological prism

Like the Typhoid miasm, there is a periodicity to the Malarial miasm as it oscillates between the fixed phase (of Sycotic origin) and the acute flare up, which feels tormenting, as if the person is persecuted and harassed as by a mosquito. Sankaran says it goes between excitement and acceptance, and these can be seen as the more positive expressions of the acute and Sycotic. Migraine headaches fall into this category, with periods of acceptance, covering up the weakness or fragility through habits and routines, making sure they don’t eat or drink things that might trigger the migraine. If they overdo it (Sycotic) or eat the wrong food, or have a stressful day at work, these trigger off the acute side of the miasm to vent off some of this build-up of tension. In this period of flare up, the person is utterly overcome, they often have to lie motionless in a dark room to avoid aggravating the intense disturbance of the migraine. The situation Sankaran gives for this miasm is like the employee of an irate boss - you’re stuck and dependent (Sycotic) on the job, but also feel persecuted, harassed and undermined by them.

Nat-m has this experience in the realm of Row 3; issues of the relationship. Natrum has a stage 1 expression of feeling as though they absolutely need the other person to make them feel secure and whole (acute), whereas muriaticum has a stage 17 expression of feeling betrayed, let down and used by their partner. They react to this by withdrawing, brooding, hiding the turbulence of their emotions, and seeking a tumultuous ocean, or a wild love affair with which to excite/rouse themselves again (Sycotic). However, the drama inside will eventually seek an outlet that could be somatised (E.G. migraine) in order to vent the pent-up emotions inside. The myth of Aphrodite’s forced marriage to the lame smithy god Hephaestus has some resonance with this miasm. As a dependent upon Zeus, she was forced into this dull marriage (fixed, acceptance); but she had many passionate liaisons (excitement) with Ares to make up for this boredom.


Homeopathic themes of China officinalis

Hindered, persecuted, tortured

downloadThe feeling in China is:

"I am weak - people attack, trouble and torture me", a feeling of being persecuted. The patient feels he is weak, not good enough, that he is persecuted and hindered at his work by other people, that he is obstructed from achieving his ambition. So he fantasizes and in these fantasies he makes himself worthy and achieves his ambitions, and in this wayuses fantasies to cover up the inherent feeling of not being good enoughHe is frustrated, being unable to achieve his ambition; so he starts planning, fantasizing, theorizing. Unlike Cannabis indica, who slips into his fantasy world automatically, China is ambitious and plans step by step.He achieves his ambition by building castles in the air. He feels what he possesses is not good enough and that he would have possessed better things if he had not been obstructed and hindered” (Sankaran)


Teenage, daydreaming, air-castles, idealism


The combination of sensitivity, idealism and extreme touchiness makes China a useful remedy in teenagers. China has great excitability, sometimes described as "nervous erethism." At night the patient lies sleepless with fantasies of heroic deeds or great plans for the future. He is embarrassed by these thoughts on waking the next day.” (Morrison)

Strong imaginative power, evening in bed [compare Nat-m.], or daydreaming. Chin. thinks about all kinds of positive and wonderful things, like being able to fly, relaxing on a warm day at the seaside, being the richest person of the world, etc., after which they feel happy and satisfied and fall asleep. They usually think of nice stories in which they play the hero. The same pattern can occur during the day, when they are disturbed or embarrassed. (Ghegas)


Violent, abusive, insulting

Every external impression leaves deep traces. The intensity of China's inner life can lead to exhaustion ["loss of mental fluids"], with the result that they become irritable and even violent, insulting and abusive. In this stage the world becomes hostile; they feel unfortunate, do not want to live any more but lack the courage to commit suicide. (Ghegas)


Spiritual, creative

download-2She will approach you rather warily, and may remain wary until she knows you well, and even then, she will only reveal her true sensitivity if she is convinced that you are both understanding and sensitive. These are generally fascinating people who are principally interested in spiritual matters, and they are all the more interesting because their spiritual interests are based on direct experience, rather than intellectual attraction. (Bailey)


A remedy of contradictions

China is one of the most difficult constitutional types to come to grips with from the point of view of the personality. One reason for this is that it is a rare type, that is very poorly understood by most homeopaths. In fact, most homeopaths regard China as simply a local or acute remedy, not realising that it is a full constitutional type, with its own unique personality profile. Another reason for China's obscurity is the existence of contradictory elements in the persona of the China individual, such as timidity and criticism, and a third reason is the ethereal nature of many China individuals, which is too subtle to be grasped by the insensitive. (Bailey)

  • Contemptuous - values of generally accepted
    • Interesting in light of it being Hahnemann’s first remedy proving and introduction to the philosophy of Homeopathy – something that absolutely stands in the face of generally accepted values.
    • Need for new ideas, creativity. Cf Silver series.
  • Excitement - hemorrhage, after
  • Fancies - lascivious - impotence, with
  • Fear - animals, of – domestic
  • Hysteria - loss of – fluids; after
  • Ideas - abundant - night – bed; in
  • Naive - intelligent, but very
  • Plans - making many plans - night – bed; in


Mind constantly changing from one thing to another

¤ She thinks she is very unfortunate and constantly harassed by enemies. ð Pregnancy.

¤ Disposition to be alone.

¤ An excessively anxious solicitude about trifles.

¤ Maniacal condition, says and does foolish things and runs about. ð Intermittent.

¤ During a cheerful mood, sudden transient screaming and tossing about bed, without any apparent cause.

¤¤ Compelled to jump out of bed; wants to destroy himself, but lacks courage.

¤¤ Dislike to all mental or physical exertion.

¤ Disinclination to think; alternating condition of cheerfulness and gloom.

¤¤ Indifference, apathy, taciturnity.

¤ Indifference to his pains, great lassitude and weakness. ð Typhoid.

¤ What usually appears to him bright and joyous seems now unattractive, unworthy and shallow.

Fitful mood; cheerfulness alternating with sadness.


Thanks for reading - if you got this far, well done!