Enlarged Tonsils Cured by Medicines

Enlarged Tonsils can be effectively cured by homeopathic medicines. Burnett gives a detail discussion about why we should not operate tonsils and what homeopathic remedies can be used instead….


IT is to some of us often a question of great interest and importance to determine, whether tonsils that have become enlarged should or should not be removed by operations. To start with, we may say that there are manifest advantages in operations for the removal of tonsils. It is soon over, and any benefit accruing therefrom is at once enjoyed by the sufferer; he can breathe better, more easily, and frequently soon takes on a healthier hue; and if his pigeon-breastedness is only of recent date, and costal ossification is not far enough advanced to amount to fixation of the ribs, the chest rounds out and great improvement in patients general condition is presently manifest. Again, swallowing is more easy, and all concerned feel happier in their minds when they reflect that in case of inflammations and swellings in the throat the chances of choking are much lessened. Moreover, there is a good deal of satisfaction in the feeling that the thing is over, the job is finished, and one can heave a sigh of relief, “Now that’s done with!”

But is it?

I fear not.

And before leaving the question of the advantages of a mechanical removal of the tonsils, I would also name the diminution of the aggregate quantity of mucoid tissue thereby effected, and which is sometimes seemingly advantageous, much as we observe that the removal of a portion of the thyroid will improve the general condition of the goitrous. But as a minus of either is manifestly, at least, as bad as a plus, it does not seem easy to determine how much to excise. Still granted that this happy middle-way can be struck, there is conceivably advantage to be derived from lopping off some tonsil tissue.

I take it, therefore, that the advantages to be derived from the operative treatment of enlarged tonsils are just stated.

On the other hand, there are certain unquestionable objections to an operative removal of the tonsils: there is the bleeding that occurs at times with occasional danger to life and the shock to the system and nerves.

Moreover, the administration of anaesthetics to delicate children is to be avoided, if any way possible. I have observed till after-effects there from over and over again. Then there is the question of the functions of the tonsils, one of which I believe is to subserve constitutional asepsis. The ever-ready way in which the tonsils show symptoms of sympathy with constitutional ailings leads me to infer that they are often of vast importance to the integrity of the organism. The tonsils are nature’s top-end out-post of the digestive tube, and as such are constantly at work to do outpost duty for the same. It is often stated that the tonsils, especially if enlarged, are a source of danger, as affording an inlet to germs of disease; many disease germs certainly do impinge upon enlarged tonsils-

“A very hotbed of infection” as was affirmed in my presence this very day. that is manifest; and some have maintained that that is the very reason why said tonsils should be got rid of in as much as said germs not only impinge upon the tonsils, but are said to actually penetrate into their parenchyma, there to thrive and multiply, and thence to poison the organism.

I am myself not aware that any real proofs have ever been given of the inward march of disease elements through the tonsils into the tissues. Many of the views held in regard to the mode of ex tension of diseases within the organism appear to be open to question to me to be open to question. Thus it is the fashion to regard the various tubercular manifestations as extending from the periphery centripetally, but this I very much doubt. In fact, it seems to me that on the contrary the tonsils are charged with the function of defending the organism and protecting it. I lately was treating a case of syphilis, the primarily lesion being on the right side of the glans. I tried to persuade the patient to leave the primary sore alone, so that it might be the last disease manifestation to disappear, for my experience teaches me that if the primary sore be maintained the inward march is much more mild, and less far-reaching-in fact, the constitutional disturbances are much more benign and of shorter duration. The idea that the primary lesion is in itself the disease is false; the real primary lesion is purely mechanical, and the so-called primary sore is really already a peripheral expression of the constitutional poisoning. Have we not had already the papule, the vesicle, and the pustule, before we get the Hunterian sore? How, then, can the chancre be really primary? The chancre is the sore resulting from the burst pock, which is now the peripheral expression of the poisoned organism, and, if allowed to do so, the organism, aided by remedies, quite overcomes the syphilis-disease, and the LAST expression of the disease is the disappearance of the sclerosis and the healing up of the sore that originally came from the burst pock.

I have repeatedly carried out cures on these lines with the highest possible satisfaction.

Well, the gentleman in question at first consented to leave the so-called primary sore alone; but a neighbour of mine, a very high authority on venereal diseases, was horrified at my doctrine, and painted to the imagination of our patient fearful loss of tissue, and even destruction of the member; so patient, as I commonly find in such cases, insisted on the local sore being got rid of, which I refused to do; but I consented to watch and observe the case; and very instructive the purely observational role was. As soon as the primary sore had been compelled to heal up, there appeared on the right tonsil a sore that could not be distinguished from the ordinary hard chancre, and proved very rebellious to treatment-in fact it is still going


But syphilis does not lend itself so well to demonstrate my point, though my own mind is quite made up in regard to its phenomena and cure. I have thought that chronic tubercular processes might be better adapted for my purpose, so before we enter any further into questions that here concern us, we might with advantage inquire whether the mode of progress of certain tubercular processes is centrifugal or centripetal when we look at them in their clinical manifestations. In order to find out which way nature works I will take tuberculosis clinically, and by preference a few chronic cases, as more proof-affording than acute ones, for in chronic processes nature will generally be able to get her own way to a very large extent.


I wish at this place to determine whether we can find out how nature acts in chronic tubercular processes, viz., Whether we may regard the direction of the processes as from, or towards, the organismic centre?

It is needful to dwell a little, on the very threshold of this question on the element of time in regard to chronic cases.


Chronic disease needs chronic treatment.

I lately, read an account of a case of fatty degeneration of the heart having been cured in a few days. Last week a gentleman in good practice prescribed for a child with enlarged glands of the neck, and expressed the opinion that two or three weeks would see said glands completely cured. Incidentally my opinion was also sought, and I gave as my opinion that between two and three years would be required for their real cure, or perhaps even longer.

Remedies do not cure directly at all, but through the organic processes of nature. It is exceedingly difficult to fix the mind on the how and why of a given cure if of chronic nature, because after the medicinal stimulus has been given, we must bide a wee till nature mothers the action caused by the stimulus.


Many have been the discussions in the history of medicine as to whether the physician should be the minister or master of nature; it seems to me that he should be both.

It occurs to me that the physician is in much the same position as a gardener, who, for instance, wants to grow apples. Only nature can grow apples; but then it is crab apples that she grows unaidedly, not edible apples. No gardener can grow apples or crabs of himself, that has to be done by nature herself organically. But although no gardener can grow either crabs or apples of himself, yet, guided by human wit and experience, the gardener can compel nature to grow apples of the finest sorts and varieties; he need not ask nature’s permission at all, he merely arranges nature’s forces so that she produces the apples required.

This, I take it, is the true position of the physician. It is only nature that can heal anything really, and yet nature cannot heal many things at all till the physician-gardener arranges her forces, so as to compel nature to grow apples in lieu of crabs; the physician’s position is like an apple grower’s further, in that nature requires time to grow apples; so also is it with nature’s healing ways, nature requires time; and any attempt to cure in less time than she needs for her organic processes results in failure-absolute failure.

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.