She had suffered this for years, and had been under a number of physicians for these cold shivers, but no one had ever touched them. She named five well-known homoeopathic practitioners who had in vain tried their hand at it; one of these has since renounced Homoeopathy and all its ways, and previously he had tacitly given up the use of dynamized remedies, and loves now to ridicule them. Still for all that, and all that, dynamized Natrum muriaticum cured these cold shakes promptly and permanently. Long afterwards this lady wrote that she kept a bottle of the medicine on her bedroom mantelpiece au besoin, or as we physicians so neatly put it, pro re nata, but never needed it.

I call Natrum muriaticum my calorifacient. Try it!


Yes, you are quite right in saying that our Natrum muriaticum is your Sodium chloride, the common salt of our tables, and I am not at all surprised to learn that you cannot believe that it is in any sense a medicine. Many homoeopathic practitioners are of the same opinion-but bah! what have your and their beliefs to do with hard clinical facts? I have cured no inconsiderable number of cases of disease with Natrum muriaticum-chilliness, swelled spleens, gout, constipation, and, above all neuralgias; so what does it matter to me what you or they think about it? I know.

Now I would like to cite one more experience of mine with Natrum muriaticum, which, besides being very curious, is also practically important, and then I will not trouble you further with my attic salt!.

I can give it you in a very few words. A lady, wife of an officer, came over from India, to be under my care. The difficulty in her case lay in this, that she was to stop with her husband’s friends. who have a lovely place near the sea, in Sussex, but it usually upset her so much that she could not stay there. “And you know”, said she, “it is so very unfortunate for I can stay there for nothing, and have the use of a carriage and everything is so very nice; and yet I am obliged to decline going there, and have to go to nasty lodgings by myself, which of course I have to pay for.” Why can you not live at your husband’s place? Oh! it is the sea; I am just the same on board ship, dreadfully ill.”

Well, the burden of my song is just this-Natrum muriaticum, 6 trit, so modified this lady’s state that she was not only able to stay at said place, but actually thereat enjoyed being and sitting by sea.

This is my nineteenth reason for being a homoeopath, and if you will accept it, I will promise you not to trouble you with anything more about the Chloride of Sodium, or Natrum muriaticum, as it is called by the homoeopaths.


If I had not promised to say no more about Natrum muriaticum, I should have liked to narrate to you a very interesting case cured by it-a case of very severe headache but I must keep my promise. I may, however, just say that the lady is the patient of a medical man, both living near one another at the seaside, said gentleman having given himself some trouble to ridicule my published observations on the effects of Natrum muriaticum- for all that Nat, mur, cured the lady.

Telle est la vie-medicale.

The young wife of a country squire came to me, at the beginning of the summer of 1887, with severe headache at the back, that had made her life sour for a good twelve month, she always woke with it; it was throbbing; and during the menses she also had a frontal headache. Left ovary a little swelled and tender. Thuja occidentalis in a rather high dilution and in infrequent dose cured her right off. She waited three months to see it the cure was real and then wrote me a grateful letter of thanks.

Please let this cephalalgia, cured by Thuja 30, be my twentieth reason for being a homoeopath.


You say, “your letters lately would seem to be intended to show how very superior your Homoeopathy is to that of your Co- practitioners”.

Well, that was certainly not my intention, but rather to show that people’s beliefs have often nothing to do with facts; for instance, you allopaths ridicule Homoeopathy, but that system of medicine is true all the same. Many practitioners of Homoeopathy ridicule some of the most brilliant clinical triumphs of the very system they belong to. In both cases the error is the same; they both childishly suppose that their powers are the limits of the possible. I was merely trying to show the fallaciousness of their judgment; and this is important, as the greatest enemies of Homoeopathy are often its own weak-kneed or incompetent practitioners. To explain what I mean more fully, let me give you as my twenty-first reason a case of


The lady was 51 years, old, and so you may call it metrorrhagia if you so prefer, but there had been no break in the menses, which were still regular. She came to me in October, 1882, and told me of her trouble, and that it dated from a miscarriage fifteen years before. She had often flooded at her confinements. Phosphorus 200 cured her. She went much smaller in the waist, and told me she “felt like a young girl”. She had other intercurrent remedies-Lachesis, Ferrum, Thuja and Arnica, but it was the Phosphorus that cured the haemorrhage, I having to return to it three separate times, with months between, and the last time I used Phos, 100th potency.

Now I cite this case because it is purely and exquisitely homoeopathic, and yet the bulk of the homoeopathic practitioners in the world do not believe in what are called high dilutions, and for all that this case was cured by such dilutions. It follows that either they or I must be mistaken; the lady who was thus cured would laugh in your face if you were to ask her to believe that she received from me other than very powerful remedies. And, indeed, they were very powerful. And just think of the gallons of Steel Drops and tonics that she had had in vain during those fifteen years of bleeding!


You tell me you are much mistaken in me, for you had always thought I was, “for a homoeopath a very big doser?” and that the Phosphorus I once mixed in a tumbler for your aunt actually “smoked!”

Perfectly true; I cannot discuss homoeopathic (or, if you will, my) posology with you, but I will give you my rule, viz.: The dose depends upon the degree of similitude; the greater the similitude the higher the dilution and the less frequent the administration; the smaller the degree of similitude the lower the dose and the more frequent the repetitions of the dose. My own range of dose is from a few globules of the two-hundredth dilution at eight day intervals, down to ten drops of the mother tincture (of weak drugs, of course) four times a day.

The dose is quite often as important as the remedy, and your exclusively low, as well as the exclusively high dilutionists, are only one-eyed practitioners, though of course kings among the blind, i.e. the allopaths.

It is your fault that I have touched upon the vexed question of the dose, that is to Homoeopathy what the everlasting Irish question is in British politics.

My twenty-second reason for being a homoeopath is one I published some years ago under the heading.


Dr. Garth Wilkinson went once to Iceland for a holiday, and observed that the animals which fed in the pastured where the finer ashes of Mount Heclae fall, suffered from immense maxillary and other exostoses. Being an adherent of the scientific system of medicine founded for us by Samuel Hahnemann, he brought some Heclae lava home with him, and it has been already successfully used to cure affections similar to those which it is capable of causing.

On July 3rd, 1880, a young lady, aged 15, came under my observation with an exostosis on her right os calcis, somewhat smaller and a little flatter than half a walnut-shell. It was at times painful. Patient was in other respects in good health and well nourished, but her teeth were not very sound. She goes blue in winter, and suffers also very badly from chilblains both on hands and feet, worse on hands.

RX. Trit,2 Heclae Montis lavae, 5 iv.

S.-Six grains three times a day.

17th, The exostosis is decidedly smaller; it never pains now. Pergat.

September 25th. The exostosis has entirely disappeared; the two heels being compared, no difference between them can now be discovered.

Heclae lava has been shown to consist of silica, alumina, calcium and magnesia, with some ferric oxide. We are, therefore, not astonished that it can cause and cure exostosis.

Brother allopath, this is science in therapeutics; what have you to take its place? Give absorbents and paint the part with iodine? What guarantee can you give me that your absorbents will not absorb a bit of the pancreas or some small glands in lieu of the exostosis?

Or are you, also true to your principle: Contraria contrariis curantur? Then pray tell me what is the contrary of an exostosis?


Referring to my remarks in my last letter but one, that so many of the practitioners of Homoeopathy do not believe in the so- called high dilutions, I should like to add a word or two, as I see by your reply (only just to hand) that you have mistaken my meaning. I do not means that none of the homoeopathic physicians believe in said dilutions, but that only a small minority of them, perhaps about one-fourth in this country. Furthermore, my cure of haemorrhage with Phosphorus is not only “an isolated case of the kind”, but only one of a large number, in fact, scores of such cases were published in homoeopathic literature long years before I knew anything about the subject. You evidently forget that I am precluded from getting my reasons from our literature.

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.