“Under its use whitlows have been blighted; fistulae- lachrymal and dental-have healed; varicose veins have shrunk to half their size; fresh hair has grown on a bald head, and moist palms have regained their healthy dryness.”

This was good seed sowed, and it has borne much good therapeutic fruit in my subsequent professional life. An exquisite case of Alopecia areata recovered so completely, under the prolonged use of Acidum fluoricum, that a long-worn wig could be put off. This was observed by me while house-surgeon at the Hardman Street Homoeopathic Dispensary in Liverpool; and it was 4 there, too, that I first had an opportunity of testing this remarkably bold assertion of Dr Hughes, namely, that varicose veins would shrink to half their size under the influence of fluoric acid.


A middle-aged man, by occupation a lamp-lighter, came under observation at the Dispensary for an enormously dilated vein of the left thigh. At its highest and largest end, just where it dips down to the femoral vein through the saphenous opening of the fascia lata, it was as large as a child’s wrist; and near the knee, about the size of a man’s little finger, so that there was no inconsiderable danger of its rupturing and causing dangerous hemorrhage. It was not the local expression of general varicosis, but arose from a mechanical obstruction in this wise : Patient had sowed his wild oats lang syne, and as part of the harvest had reaped a big bubo in the left groin. This had sloughed, and been burned with a strong acid, and there resulted as scar, a cicatricial surface of the size of a man’s palm, and this scar- tissue in contracting had very much narrowed the entrance of the long saphenous vein, through the opening of the fascia lata into the deeper lying crural vein. Then, in those days lamp-lighters used to do their work with the aid of light ladders and were in the habit of sliding down thus the vein, that had become dilated from the lateral pressure of the venous blood, coursing up the saphena, having such a contracted entrance, became still more disturbed in its function; hence the enormous dilatation.

patient received Acidum fluoricum 6 in pilules and was directed to take one four times a day, and till further orders. This he did for several months with the result that the enormously dilated vein shrank to about one-third of its original size, and this notwithstanding patients continuance at his usual occupation. No auxiliaries and no local applications or appliances were used, and the diet was not altered. When I saw him last the varicosis had ceased to be of any inconvenience; it was not longer dangerous in anything like the same degree, as the vein felt firm and strong. considering the irremediable mechanical hindrance at its inlet, the result seemed to me so striking that I have ever since gone in very strongly for the medicinal treatment of varicosis under all circumstances and the satisfaction one has in such medicinal treatment is truly great.

It is not medically orthodox to believe in the amenability of Diseases of the Veins to drug treatment and my own medical education having been ultra-orthodox, I thought it would be only fit that I should show what led me away from the generally received notions in this regard. This I have done in the foregoing, and the question may now be fairly put to any candid medical mind. If a greatly dilated, long saphenous vein, whose inlet was considerably narrowed, could be so materially modified in its physiological life by internal drug treatment alone the mechanical hindrance at the inlet still remaining is it not at least probable that many other forms of varicosis would likewise yield to properly chosen remedies? That such is the case I shall now proceed to shew, Before doing so, however, it might not be amiss to state that this notion has not originated with me or with Dr. Hughes; this genial writer was my immediate devencier and until I read his article on Acidum fluorum, I had never even I heard that any one ever attempted the medicinal cure of varices. Since then I have of course become fully aware that the thing dates back to Hahnemann and others, and that capable homoeopaths have herein followed in his wake for a good half- century; careless homoeopaths, however, often decline the bother and trouble consequent upon the acceptance of the dogma that vein diseases may be dogma that vein diseases may be cured with medicines more especially since the surgery has become almost painless by reason of the anaesthetics, and bloodless by means of the neat, elegant, and effective surgical proceedings at the operations; more particularly is this the case with piles. Yes even here, how much is a kindly, gentle, medicinal cure to be preferred! Far be it from me to detract from and honour due to my surgical brethren; may, I am free to admit that, had my hand possessed the chirurgical cunning that lies in theirs, I should no doubt have also suffered from the surgeon’s itch, and I may never have had the patience to try medicines as I have done, in the very worst I have in the very worst forms of piles and other varicoses, and thus finally triumphed, to my own intense satisfaction.

Necessitas non habet legem, and, moreover, she is the lawful mother of invention, as we have it in our own vernacular. While giving, therefore all due honour to surgery, I must call ver special attention to what maybe termed..


As far as I am aware, I have never and read anything about this very important subject in any books what I think I know thereon has been read in Natures ever-open has been read in Natures ever-open book, that come to us page by page, word by word and letter by letter, in the form of living human beings that are technically termed patients. I am not referring to ordinary traumatism, nor yet to surgical shock, but to the chronic traumatism that is caused by the surgical operation per se-here for piles more particularly-and which gives an impression to the organism that becomes chronic, and whose effects are seen years and years thereafter. And I do not think the traumatism is one whit the less for the anaesthetics so that whether a patient feels any pain at the operation or not, is, in the present sense, quite a matter of indifference.

I could offer a good many proofs of this proposition did space allow, but let us at least think over the matter a little. To begin with traumatism is admitted when it arises from contre- temps in obstetric practice and no one of experience will be disposed to deny it when ascribed to blows falls, railway accidents, and the like. This is so well recognised in homoeopathic practice that many successful cures have been wrought by falling back on the traumatic etiology of, may be twenty or more years ago.

What made me first think about it was the very frequent observation, in taking the cases of cataract *Operation for cataract has been known to be soon followed by complete loss of speech and memory. patients, that operations for piles were so often a part of their life history. It could not be accident or mere coincidence, I thought; If mere coincidence, it is, to my mind very strange.

Thus I am at present treating patient for diabetes mellitus and the whole of her almost hopeless case-she is is a veritable sugar-maker engross-points unmistakably to the traumatic origin of her complaint, the trauma being an operation for piles.

Ophthalmologists are in to doubt about cataract being often due to blows and injuries; indeed, traumatic cataract is a recognised variety of that distressing affection. When we consider the exquisite sensitiveness of the rectum and its extreme tenderness and resentfulness of foreign interference; when we remember the hyperaesthesia of the parts in a bad case of piles – let sufferers from piles say whether the rectum is sensitive part! – there is to say the least nothing against the hypothesis that an operation for piles may, and does, make an abiding impression upon the organism the may years thereafter culminate in serious organic mischief. Still, I have not arrived at this conclusion from a priori reasoning but induce it from observation in actual it from observation in actual cases We need not enter into the matter any further here, as we are now concerned with medicinal treatment of diseases of the veins, and to follow out the subject of chronic chirurgical traumatism would be digressive; I merely mention it parenthetically, as it were, and commend it to the consideration of those whose refuge is the knife.


There are certain subject whose venous systems are exceedingly prone to ail; if they have anything wrong with their hearts, it is pretty sure to be the venous side of it; if they get dyspepsia it arises from congestion of the portal system of veins if they suffer from headaches it is from venous stasis; if they get constipated piles develop at once; if they stand much, or wear a tight garter they get varices on the legs; if the uro- genetic system gets irritated or injured and fails to get tone- giving natural relief, they have varicocele, or menstrual troubles from dilated veins of the ovaries and broad ligaments, as the case maybe. They are constitutionally venous, and suffer from passive congestions at all turns. Such a one was the following:-

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.