Rx Luet. CC.

September 5.-Greatly improved; skin still too dusky; many dark mother’s marks.

Rx Tc. Condurango 1x, 3iv., five drops in a little water at bedtime.

March 8, 1889.-Comes and exclaims, “I am getting on finely.” He has practically become like any one else in colour; though, of course, his bones are still, as they must ever remain, crooked; but though so remaining, they are fixed and strong, and the lad is above the average intellectually.

I saw him infrequently in 1889, and a few times in 1890-once for a cough, and once for a bilious attack.

He is now grown up, and articled to a professional man in the city, and a bright future seems in store for him; and, moreover if he in due course should marry and have offspring, there is no reason why such offspring should be other than healthy and normal in structure.

Such a result from medicinal treatment must be considered eminently satisfactory, for although the individual’s back continues crooked, his quality is now almost, if not quite, normal; and it is this quality which would be propagated and not the crookedly fixed bone of his back, which would not be transmissible.


When young children do not see normally, eye surgeons know naught but eye surgery and spectacles. Spectacles are, under circumstances, good, and often indispensable, but in children I think the spectacle business is much overdone and enormously overrated. No dentist can make the teeth grow; no oculist can make the eyes grow, neither of them professes or tries to do anything of the kind. And yet there is here an immense field for useful cultivation lying fallow. For years past I have regularly treated both teeth and eyes as objects of medicinal cure and cultivation. Cases of the cure and cultivation of teeth I have related elsewhere, and several such cases are narrated in these pages.

If we want to get good muscles, we exercise them. No one denies that; and yet when we put spectacles on young children we are in very deed denying it to a very large extent.

I have over and over again cured strabismus or squint with medicines, sometimes with Gelsemium 6 alone. Myopia should not be treated with spectacles at all until all the possibilities of medicines, eye-exercises, and growth have been exhausted. Then, but not till then, should spectacles or folders be had recourse to. I am in the habit of putting aside all spectacles worn by little children, and putting them instead upon a course of medicinal treatment, and the result most commonly is that such spectacles can in the end be dispensed with more or less. We must remember that spectacles have no beneficial influence upon the nutrition or health of the eye. Indeed, quite the contrary; they are a mighty boon in certain irremediable defects, but they mend nothing. Therapeutically they may be compared to crutches or a wooden leg. The eyes must be thought of and regarded as living organs of the body susceptible of organic improvement and growth; they are not merely optic instruments.

Some years since the younger son of the headmaster of one of our well-known public schools was sent to me; he was under an eminent oculist for his eyes, and wore spectacles for his astigmatism and headaches. The spectacles were, from the quasi- scientific standpoint, well adapted for the purpose, and they were praised by the boy as being a great comfort to him, and his mother was distinctly of opinion that he was less subject to headaches and could see much better with his spectacles than without them.

That the treatment was scientific in its adaptation I do not deny; that it was really the right treatment I absolutely deny; it was only quasi-scientific because it did not take due cognisance of all the facts of the case. Let me state my thesis:- The boy was only half grown; he was about nine years of age; the true object to be aimed at was not a palliative temporary one, but one of organic mending, to the end that his eyes might become of themselves efficient organs of sight to last during the natural life of the individual. Do spectacles effect such organic mending? No, they do not, but rather tend to prevent it.

If you want to make a weak arm strong, do you order it to be carried in a sling? The boy’s general nutrition was poor, his glands were indurated and enlarged, his limbs thin, his abdomen distended, and the state of his eye was of a piece with that of the rest of his organism. I ordered his spectacles to be removed, and treated his entire being with remedies, and in time he improved in health, he grew stronger in all his organs and parts, and his eyes grew and improved in like manner, so that now he has no need of spectacles whatever, and I see no reason to suppose that he ever will need any.

It is not enough that the means be scientifically adapted to the case; we must be sure that the object aimed at is the right one. Artificial teeth are useful for those who have lost their natural ones, but artificial teeth do not help backward teeth to grow and get strong; a wig may usefully take the place of lost hair, but a wig does not help weak hair to grow.

In like manner, weak, imperfect eyes are not mended with spectacles. The eyes are living organs of the body, and as such can be vitally improved by proper internal treatment. Only failing this is the aid of scientifically adapted spectacles to be invoked.

Is it not a sad thought that the great army of eye-doctors are to a man nothing but mechanicians; and what is still sadder, they do not even aim at being anything else.


A frail, undersized, almost toothless girl of 16 was brought to me on November 11, 1887, principally for her eyes. She had been at the ophthalmic hospitals, and also under the best ophthalmic surgeons for “inflammation of the nerve of the sight,” and was informed that she would probably go blind. However, she had mended under their own care till the present time so far that spectacles were of some slight service. She suffers much from headaches, which are worse in bed at night. Her teeth are indented in dots, notched, and imbedded more or less in tartar.

Much toothache.

Rx Luet. CC.

December 9.-Headache better; toothache gone.

Rx Tc. Geranium Robertianum 3x, 3iv., five drops in tablespoonful of water night and morning.

January 4, 1888.-Headache much worse, also toothache.

Rx Luet. CC.

February 1.-About the same; tuberculous teeth.

Rx Bacill. 30.

March 9.-Much pain in the right side of the face; worse on getting warm in bed.

Rx Trit. 3 Aurum met., four grains dry on the tongue at bedtime.

May 9.-Very drowsy; pains now worse after food.

Rx Thuja occid. 30.

June 17, 1891.-Been going the round of the oculists again. Typically tuberculous teeth; much frontal headache.

Rx Bacill. CC.

July 15.-Headaches worse; eyes ache very much; teeth beginning to clean a little.

Rx Rep. (1000).

And thus the treatment went on till the summer of 1893, when patient’s teeth and general physique were notably improved, inclusive of her eyes; but just as the teeth are still imperfect though very much improved, so are her eyes; and I have now ordered the mechanical dentist for her teeth and the mechanical oculist for her eyes, as further organic improvement is not to be expected.

Spectacles come in for the organically irremediable; but to start children in life with spectacles without first trying to mend their ocular defects vitally is hardly worthy of really scientific physicians.

A truism?

Quite so, but bespectacled children are all over the place nevertheless, and practically no one ever tries to cure eyes.


A little boy, 9 years of age, born at Lucknow, came under my observation in the fall of 1891 for asthenopia. He was brought so that I might give my approval of spectacles ordered, or to be ordered, by an eminent eye surgeon. As I thought remedies would cure the asthenopia, I forbade the spectacles. The first remedy given was Urtica urens 0, for his spleen, which was enlarged, and clearly of malarial origin. This bettered the spleen, and the lad was in many respects much better.

After being two months under the Urtica, the symptoms that remained were-

1. His eyes felt cold.

2. Then they felt hot.

3. And then they watered a good deal.

These symptoms seemed to me to be of a malarial nature and sequence corresponding to the cold and hot stage and the stage of sweating, and hence I ordered Natrum muriaticum, 6 trit. This was followed by so much amelioration that I did not see him till the following spring, when the same remedy was repeated.

In the fall of 1892 I again saw the lad, and thought I would look away from the asthenopia and photophobia altogether, and treat the patient. His tongue was very pippy, and his cervical glands were enlarged and indurated. After a few months of Bacillin. CC., patient was quite well of himself and of his eyes. Once in June 1893 I gave him a short course of infrequent doses of Sulphur 30, because his eyes troubled him a little in the evening, since when he has continued quite well in all respects.

James Compton Burnett
James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.