On examination I found the usual thing: A large purple bleeding mass extending from the anus, causing the patient such terrible anguish that he screamed and cried. He could neither sit, lie, not stand properly but found least pain in lying on his side with knees and chin considerably approximated. The size of the whole tumid mass was about that of man’s fist and there were small ulcers on the surface, apparently suppurating excoriations.

Besides “having a liver” and being of lax fibre, he was otherwise healthy though not strong and of rather small stature.

I set to work in this wise:

1. I propped up the lower part of the body so as to relieve the hypostasis somewhat.

2. I forbade all aperients and any effort at going to stool at going to stool: let the bowels absolutely alone.

3. He was ordered to live entirely on slops rice and other puddings, and stewed fruit for dinner; porridge, with simple syrup (treacle) for breakfast; an ordinary English tea; and gruel for supper. Beef tea occasionally; fist every alternate day. No beef for or mutton.

4. Pure pond’s Extract of Hamamelis constantly applied to the haemorrhoidal tumour, and subsequently the ordinary homoeopathic mother tincture very much diluted.

5. Internal medication.

It would be very tedious to give the ups and downs of this case and my reasons for the various remedies employed but for the advantage employed but for the advantage of any young practitioner who may chance to read these pages, I will nevertheless, give the bare skeleton of the treatment. Hahnemann’s Materia Medica Pura will give him the why and the wherefore.

Jan. 27th.

Tc. Aloes 12. At first a dose every half hour for eight doses and then every hour.

Those who think the repetition of the dose too frequent are reminded that the poor fellow lay writhing in agony.

28th Considerable relief as to pain especially after each application of the Hamamelis. Swelling less tense. No motion; begs for an aperient, and permission to try to obtain relief of his bowels. Both absolutely refused and reasons given.

29 th Easier, but otherwise no change.

Sulphur 30 every two hours and continue the Extract.

30th. Same 31st Is getting frightened about his bowels as they have not acted.

Rx Kali Carbonicum 30 every two hours (He had a cough)

Feb. 2nd Easier, but still no sensible diminution in the size of the tumour; he is beginning to sleep and getting resigned to this fate though he is afraid of an inflammation of the bowels from retained faeces.

3rd The kali Carb. 30 is continued, and Sulphur 30 given in alternation with it.

Feb. 5th. The tumour is decidedly less tense, and there is now but very little actual pain, and the part has a much healthier-not so purple. Bowels still locked, which alarms him; only my threat throw up the case keeps him from using an aperient.

Rx AEsculus Hippocastanum 6 every two hours.

9th. Notable amelioration. No action of the bowels. Continue the AEsculus.

12th No action of the bowels; renewed complaints of patient thereat.

Rx Tc. AEsculus Hippocastanum 30 four times a day.

13th. Comfortable action of the bowels, with no straining at all.

Haemorrhoidal mass withering.


15th. The same.

17th. Making very rapid progress; bowels act daily, painlessly and easily, and the patient is able to put on his dressing-gown and lie on sofa. The piles are vastly improved, and the prolapse has disappeared.


23rd. Continued progress. No change in medication. Drives out, and has white meat for dinner.

March 2nd. His condition is eminently satisfactory in all respects the bowels act beautifully every day; of the whole anal trouble there is now scarcely anything to be seen beyond a thickening like a ring around the anus, and a large fold of skin in which the tumour had been encased.

Rx Ferrum Phosphoricum 12x trit. morning and afternoon.

17th. He is quite well. Nothing remains at the seat beyond a small fold of the skin like a pucker, of the size of a hazel nut, though patient is not conscious of its presence. He has now a daily motion as an act of pleasure-no piles, and no prolapse. Had not been in such a condition since his youth! Rx Arsenicum album 30 twice a day, for its constitutional effect.

April 28th. Continues in all respects well. Beyond the little pucker of skin at anus everything is normal, and this exists unknown to him, and is barely noticeable, being only a shriveled fold of the skin about the size of a horse bean; probably the large tumour had so stretched the skin that it cannot readily contract to its primitive condition.

This case has given me very great satisfaction, and will, I trust, shew those who are faint-hearted, whenever brought face to face with a bad case of haemorrhoids, that even bad cases are perfectly amenable to homoeopathic, postural, and dietetic treatment.

At the end of the year 1876, while practising at Birkenhead, I was requested to visit a gentleman residing in the neighbourhood, and on arriving at his house was received by his wife, who told me the following :-For many years this gentleman then about 55 years of age, had been a martyr to piles, difficult defecation and prolapse of the rectum. The bowels acted daily, but it was in the very deed a chirurgical operation in its actual ethymological sense as the faecal mass could not be dislodged with out manual aid, often after a syringe and then the prolapsed gut had an enormous haemorrhoidal mass. It must be admitted that life at such a price is dear, yet the patient had got used to it, and did not even complain. He thought it inevitable and naturally shrank from an operation which had been often recommended to him by men of both schools and by his experienced friends. But so long as the daily manual reposition succeeded and the bleeding was not excessive, he bore it; now, however, it had come to the usual pass, the tumour would no longer go back, simply because it was too large and in erection for in severe cases of piles with prolapse who whole mass at times has the physical characters of a tense corpus cavernosum.

He has borne it till could be borne no longer and had finally decided to send for Mr B — to cut he whole thing off; but his wife was afraid lest he should not get over the operation, and there for sent for me to learn whether medicinal treatment offered any hope. I explained my views, and, after very much deliberation, the patient decided to try the medicinal treatment to please his wife; he did not, himself believe that medicines could touch such a severe case this was also, I was informed the opinion of Mr B—-

Now it happened that this eminent surgeon and bitter hater of our blessed homeopathy had a very similar case just opposite in the same road, and the two families being friendly, and the cases similar notes were compared about them Mr B operated on his patient a lady and I began to treat mine with medicine; he ridiculed me with openly and by name, and I had to wait, for my victory was not yet. Of course I was not sure of succeeding; I merely thought there was hope and promised to do my best, and my best is when I am sitting at the feet of Hahnemann.

Bland soft diet was ordered, and patient put into the right posture such as I have already explained.

Hamamelis was applied locally and Aconitum, Belladonna, Nux vomica, Pulsatilla, and Sulphur came into play in succession. The first was on December 9th. At first we did not make much headway, and many were the doubts and fears at this period; I myself did not then sit so firmly in the saddle as I do now.

On December 21st. AEsculus Hippocastanum, third centesimal trituration, every hours. This was continued till recovery, and its action was most brilliant: in six weeks my patient was well enough to go to his business in Liverpool. He was not only cured of his haemorrhoids and prolapse but his bowels acted naturally and he felt himself stronger. It was now my turn to laugh at my chirurgical vis-a-vis, for his patient was longer recovering from the operation than mine was from medicinal treatment and twenty two months later she was as bad as ever, and then came over to Homoeopathy, and was cured.

But to return to the case under consideration the patient remained remained under observation and took Acidum fluoricum 12 during the months months of March and April; in May and June Natrum Sulphur 3; and in July Hydrastis Canadensis 1.

The Hamamelis was used with occasional interruptions for six months to get quite rid of the thickening around the anus. Then all medicine was discontinued as he was as well if nothing had ever been wrong with his rectum and haemorrhoidal veins. Some of the treatment in this case was directed to the liver. This gentleman has remained well to this day, and that is more than three years since. Note to second Edition: I heard from this gentleman six years later, viz., January 1886 about his daughters health and learn that he himself still continues well, and strange to say also grateful!

Believe me, my dear allopathic brother, you may deride homeopathy will the end of your life but it is true nevertheless.

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.