1. There was dropsy, and patient had-

2. Great depression of spirits, amounting to-

3. Profound melancholia.

4. Then there was great difficulty of breathing, and

5. Weak pulse and feeble heart.

6. She was psoric, and had a good deal of-

7. Discharge from the nose, that at times contained some blood.

I gave her the Muriate of gold in the third decimal dilution, but I do not remember the exact number of drops or the repetition of the dose, but the dose was not less than one drop (it may have been two or three), and as often as every two or three hours, and given in water.

The case got rapidly well, all the oedema having permanently disappeared in less than a week. Eighteen months after this she informed me she had never since had any return of the dropsy, though her health was anything but good. This was only a recent case, and, though grave, was yet not severe as to the dropsy, but the despondency was almost a substantive malady.

In this case Gold acted as a veritable pick-me-up, and I submit that the remedy was homoeopathically indicated, and the cure a homoeopathic one; about the dose I will not quibble; with me the best dose is the one that cures.

This happened just ten years ago, and the lady is still alive and fairly well-so let it stand as my forty-eighth reason.


In human life we have our favourites; we have them in our families, and in therapeutics I have a great fondness for certain remedies, one of which is GOLD.

The allopaths say Gold is no medicine at all, because it is an insoluble metal! That’s what the best Professors of Materia Medica taught me; it is fundamentally false all the same!.

Oh, the silly, silly things they teach one at the schools! What a frightful heap of old fossil beliefs!

For Gold is no mere function disturber, but a producer of organic change, and hence its brilliant effects in organic mischief. The vascular turgescence of Belladonna and that of Aurum are very different affairs.

The following interesting and instructive case once occurred in my practice, viz.


I was fetched one day in February by a gentleman in the city to see his wife, a lady of about fifty-five or sixty, who was lying very dangerously ill at the end of the third week of rheumatic fever, this gentleman, who is an old homoeopath of thirty years standing, and whose knowledge of drugs and disease is really remarkable for a layman, had treated patient himself, and with no inconsiderable success considering the severity of the case, but suddenly patient’s condition became very alarming on account of the rheumatism having apparently seized upon the heart. I found this condition: patient was propped up in bed and breathing very hurriedly; the lips bluish; tongue dry and coated; anxious expression of face; puffy under eyes; moist bubbling small rales all over chest, with cough; pulse rapid, compressible, and intermittent; action of heart floundering; loud endocardial bruits; slight dropsy of feet; no appetite at all, could just such a grape or sip tea; profuse perspirations; limbs swelled and painful, the joints almost as firmly locked as if anchylosed; cannot move hand or foot for pain and from this swelled, inflamed state of the joints; flesh of hands puffy; bones of hand swelled, almost immovable, and tender.

I ordered Aurum foliatum (pure gold), 2nd trituration, very frequently. Alone and no auxiliaries.

Why did I order Aurum? Because it affects the heart and respiration very much like they were affected in this patient, and because it, moreover, produces profuse perspiration profound weakness, anorexia, and great anxiety. Then the bones were greatly affected.

February 18th.-A little easier. Rep.

19th.-Better in all respects. Rep.

20th.-Considerable improvement in the action of the heart; breathing comfortable; is out of danger. Rep.

22nd.-Continued improvement. Rep.

24th.-Quite comfortable. Continue with Aurum and take Nat. sul, 6th trit. in alternation with it. My reason for alternating was that I thought it imprudent to leave off the Gold, and yet Nat. sul, was now indicated.

March 2nd.-Is up sitting by fire. Appetite good.

6th.-Heart, joints, bones, and hands free from rheumatism; is sitting by fire quite comfortably; appetite good; tongue moist but slightly furred; feet swell a little towards evening.

This case so well illustrates the action of Gold on the organic tissue of the heart that I will leave it as my forty- ninth reason.

When I saw patient first I gave a bad prognosis, and had it not been for the Gold I fear it would have been realized. Auxiliaries did not do it, for I used none; faith in the doctor did not cure her, for patient had never seen me before.

Patient’s recovery was complete.


Here I am, my dear allopathic friend, arrived at my FIFTIETH REASON FOR BEING A HOMOEOPATH.

I mentioned as my forty-seventh reason a case of Angina pectoris cured by metallic gold, and awhile ago I stated to you that I considered the wide applicability, the immense range, the broad scope of Homoeopathy afford ample reason for adhering to it as a practical system of curative medicine.

As my last-to-be-given reason, let me write off from my “Diseases of the Skin from the Organismic Standpoint” the following-premising, merely, that the remedy used was Sulphur 30!-


One Sunday morning, some ten years ago, a gentleman ushered his wife into my consulting room because she had been taken with an attack of Angina pectoris in the street, on her way to church. Though only a little over thirty years of age, if so much, she had been subject to these attacks of breast-pang for several years; they would take her suddenly in the street nailing her, as it were, to the spot, and hence she no longer went out of doors alone, lest she should faint away or fall down dead, as was apprehended.

An examination of the heart revealed no organic lesion, or even functional derangement, and I could not quite see why a comparatively young lady should get such anginal attacks. She had been under able men for her angina, but it got no better, and no one could apparently understand it. I prescribed for her, and saw her subsequently at her home, to try and elucidate the matter. I let her tell me her whole health-history from her earliest childhood. She said she was getting to the end of her teens, and was preparing to come out, but she had some cracks in the bends of her arms that were very unsightly; these cracks had troubled her from her earliest childhood. Erasmus Wilson was consulted; he gave her an ointment which very soon cured her skin, and the patient came out socially, made a hit right off, and got married in due course. She had always been very grateful to Erasmus Wilson for curing her arms, for otherwise,”How could I have appeared in short sleeves?”

But there soon followed dyspepsia, flatulence, dyspnoea, and palpitation, and finally the before-described attacks of angina pectoris threatened to wreck her life. Moreover, she had borne one dead child. As I have already said, there was no discoverable cardiac lesion, and from the lady’s health-history I gathered that this cure of her skin (though to me the one important point) was to her of no causal importance.

I gave my opinion that her skin disease had never been really cured, only driven in by Wilson’s ointment, and that her angina was in reality its internal expression or metastasis. No one believed it, however. I began to treat her antipsorically, and very soon-I think it was less than a month from the Sunday morning visit-the old cracks reappeared in the bends of the elbows, and from that time on she had no further attacks of angina at all, and thenceforth she bore living children.

I am not ignorant of the range of the art-cure of disease in the wide literature of the world, and I affirm that outside of Homoeopathy such grand therapeutic work has literally and absolutely no existence.

Should it be the will of the Most High that I live on in my present vigour, I shall have yet a great deal more to say the world in regard to Homoeopathy and other views of curative medicine; if not, then let these Fifty Reasons be my legacy to my country and to my fellow-men the world over. I say this because I intend to publish them, omitting, of course, all recognizable reference to your individuality. And of you personally I have very small hope, for well do I know that though one rose from the dead yet would you allopaths not believe in any, and therefore not in my “Fifty Reasons for being a Homoeopath”.

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.