March 21st.-My report for this day in my case-book reads thus :-.Hardness and stiffness of tongue gone, and she had it two years; it was quite distressing; sees decidedly better at a distance.”

She came by ran to town to see, me, and a married daughter was in the habit of meeting her at the station. When she first came to me she was not able to recognize her daughter on the platform, but this morning she recognized her already at quite a distance, and that readily, and can as readily discern my pictures.


July.-Vision much improved; can now read an article in the newspaper.

Rx Iodium 30.

August.-Receive word from the daughter that patient now sees so well that she does not propose continuing treatment any longer. She reads books with large print comfortably.

September 15th.-A lady friend of the patient called about her own condition, and remarked,”Mrs.-now reads the paper from an hour and a half to two hours every day.” She is now eighty-two years of age.

London, September, 1881.

This is my thirty-fifth reason for being a homoeopath.


You are in a sense quite right in saying that my last-cited case was not a complete cure, but kindly note that I did not say it was; moreover, the cure was enough, for what more does an octogenarian want than the power to read the newspaper by the hour? As my thirty-sixth reason for being a homoeopath I will mention one other case of cataract-this time so completely cured that patient can read No.1. Is that good enough?

The lady came first to me in June, 1884, being then fifty- eight years of age, and as clear-thinking, hard-headed a sceptic as ever you saw. The diagnosis was made by an eminent specialist, whose opinion you would not dream of doubting. You see he is so sweetly orthodox! If he were to turn homoeopath, however, he would not (thereafter) know a lens from a broom-handle!

I looked humbly at the lenses-both of them-and found them uniformly milky-opaque; but as I am not an oculist, and, besides, am so sorely heterodox, you will not care to know how the lady’s lenses appeared to my optics; so just take it parenthetically as it were, that to me they were “kinder darkish like”; cataract our orthodox specialist calls it! Well, I discharged her cured in July, 1887, and able to read No.1.

As I said before, is that good enough? In any case it is my thirty-sixth reason for being a homoeopath-so I bid good-bye to cataracts for the present!

P.S.-In case you should care to know what remedies this lady took, I subjoin a list, viz. Urea 6 and then 12, Psorinum C, Calcarea carb. C, Sulphur 0, Silicea 30, Thuja C, Calcarea carb. 30, Causticum C, Silicea C, Causticum 30, Lapis alb. 30, Sulphur 30, Conium 1, Calcarea flour. 30, Graphites 30 Chelidonium 0, Hepar 3, etc. The reasons for giving them I cannot explain here but the patient’s lenses ar now so clear that she sees to thread needles. *Note.-The indications for all these remedies may be found in any Materia Medica Pura Homoeopathica.*


You take exception to that number of remedies used in my last case, and want to know “which cured the case?

Will you get a long ladder and put it up against the side of your house, and mount it so as to get into your house by the top window; and window and when you have safely performed the feat write and tell me which rung of that ladder enabled you to do it.

I sympathize with your objection because it was once my own great stumbling-block in accepting the results of homoeopathic treatment; it may perhaps be adequately explained somewhere in the vast literature of the homoeopathic fraternity, but I have have never come across such an explanation and hence have had to work it out for myself. I will put it to you thus:- In difficult, chronic complicated cases of disease you require not a remedy but a ladder (series) of remedies, not one of which can of itself effect the cure, but each of which works cure words, their cumulative action eventuating in a cure – THAT is how I cure cataract and many other chronic diseases that are currently held to be incurable by most men of all shades of therapeutic opinion. I regard this power of utilizing a long series of remedies for the cure of difficult chronic cases as only second in importance to the law of cure itself. I originally learned the thing in conversation with Dr. Drysdale of Liverpool though not formulated by him, and I doubt if Dr. Drysdale ever did formulate it. In my own mind I call it the ladder of remedies plan. It is what I often heard Dr. Drysdale call ” a course of medicines.”

I often compare the cure of a difficult case of disease to a game of chess in which you have king queen bishops, knights rooks and pawns the various powers which you must learn before you can play chess.

You do not expect to play chess without learning the game, but you do expect to be able to treat homoeopathically without even knowing the homoeopathic pawn! Hence my writing you all these reasons for my being a homoeopath is a futile farce. I am in fact, writing to you about chess without your knowing the pieces or even the board! Still here is my thirty-seventh reason.

It is more than a dozen years ago that I in the North attended a very wealthy lady, about seventy years of age, for acute mania. The friends had, under the advice of the local practitioner, decided to send her to an asylum, but I objected to that course being very sure she would never come out again. I have had charge of an asylum myself and know well that therapeutically anyone that goes to an asylum is lost.

They are treated with great kindness and kept from harm and mischief but as to curing them- well the doctors” never even try! and indeed it is useless to treat the demented allopathically. But good genuine Homoeopathy would cure half the inmates of our asylums. You will question my statement, I dare say, but it is the bare simple truth all the same. It has been well and learnedly argued in the theory and often proved in practice as you may find for yourself if yourself if you will refer to our hereto-relative literature.

Homoeopathic (and other!) practitioners are often hoodwinked by the personal surroundings of a patient, and to be pitchforked into a nest of unbelievers to cure a desperate case is verily no pleasant position to be in, as any physician of the homoeopathic ilk knows but too well.

Now my patient had a lady companion who cast a withering glance at my humble self, and I knew instantly that she would baulk me in my efforts to cure unless I go or she must solemnly promise to obey all my orders with regard to the patient, “for said I, you do not believe in Homoeopathy, do you? “No indeed, I do not!” And that young lady’s look of scorn and contempt!

Thanks to Baptisia and other common homoeopathic.

remedies my patient made a complete recovery and never had a relapse.

This is my thirty-seventh reason for being a homeopath, and if ever I lose my reason become maniacal great Father in heaven, send me a homoeopathic brother who will treat me as I treated Mrs. B —


If you really wish to know the remedies that “did the trick’ in my last reason, you have only to look into our literature with a humble receptive mind, and you will soon spot them!

I must get on with my task, which is beginning to pall upon me, and I really cannot spare the time.

Not very long after I said good-bye to my ex-maniacal patient I was one afternoon sitting in my consulting room, when who should appear on the scene but the before-mentioned lady companion of my said ex-maniacal patient.

“Doctor,” said she, as you have cured Mrs. B -, I have been wondering whether you could also cure my sister, who is in an asylum suffering from mania; she is very bad, and the doctors say they have no hope of her, as she has been violent for so long.”

I enquired somewhat into the nature of the case, and gave as my opinion that Homoeopathy could cure her.

The plan was communicated to the superintendent of the asylum, who called me some very hard names, the first of which was that I was a deceiver, and that I knew perfectly well that she would never get well. We required the help of three or four people to bring her in a special carriage, and her violence was dreadful for many weeks.

For more than twelve years this young lady has been as same as you or I, and has during all that time fulfilled the ordinary duties of an independent English lady. If you care to know what medicines did the good, you will find the whole case reported in the British Journal of Homoeopathy, about a dozen years ago. I remember figures with difficulty, so I cannot give you the exact date. The young lady went with her mother to see the said asylum physician after she was well, but this cure did not lead him, so far as I ever heard, either to apologize to me for his vulgar slanders of me, or to investigate the system of medicine that helped me to cure where he failed, and which cure is my thirty- eighth reason for being a homoeopath. *Note.- This lady still continues quite well (1896) *


The weather is bad to-day so I am not busy in my chambers; sick people cannot get out in this dreadful weather, and that gives consulting physicians a little time to ruminate. However a gentleman of seventy-nine, whom I have just converted to Homoeopathy was here just now, and his case must afford my thirty-ninth reason. It has the merit of being short and needing no particular introduction. He came to me last August and what fixed my attention was his striking resemblance to the late Lord Cairns who, by the way was a homoeopath, as was also ARchbishop Whately, the logic Man, Fancy the great logician a homoeopath!

Well, my patient had been to many eminent physicians in this London of our for what he called windy dyspepsia”. He is great and almost constant pain, full of foul flatus, constant diarrhoea, often involuntary, which is terrible distress to him.

He was greatly improved in a few months and the remedies which did it were Arsenicum 5, Nux vomica 5, Sulphur 5, Colocynthis 3x.

Said the old gentleman somewhat sententiously.

“These medicines seem to suit me.”


An officer in the army brought his twelve-year-old daughter to me on November 13th, 1886 telling me that she had something growing in her mouth. A similar had come a year ago, when his family surgeon excised it, in six months from the time of the operation it had grown again, making it difficult for the child to eat her food as it caught the tongue and teeth, and then bled. This time the doctor ligatured it off thoroughly, leaving a hole, and informed the father that this time he hoped its roots were got rid of. Now it has grown again at the side of the said hole. On examining the mouth I find in its side just to the left of the fraenulum linguae, a warty fleshy excrescence, of the shape of a cock’s comb about a quarter of an inch broad at its base and nearly a quarter of an inch high. Patient has normal teeth; the tongue is coated and she is very pale. I ordered Thuja occidentalis 30 internally, in infrequent dose, and a mouth wash of Thuja a two drops in a dessertspoonful of water night and morning to keep it bathing the growth as long as possible and then expectorate.

As this brought the growth down to the size of a pea treatment was discontinued but she then bit it on three successive occasions where upon it again took to growing, and on January 1887, when I saw it, it was about as big as a horse-bean. This time I ordered sabina just as I had previously ordered Thuja. Under the Sabina patient took on a healthy look, but a small piece of the growth still persisted, when I ordered Cupressus lawsoniana in like manner as the Thuja and Sabina had been used. That was in March, 1887, and I did not se her again. But I met her father in October on another “Oh she is quite well; the lump has been gone a long time, but the hole is still there.”

So if you ever get a little cock’s comb growth in your mouth, take my advice, and have it treated homoeopathically, for it is, as you see much better than either excision or ligature and you will thereafter have no “hole” to mark the locus in quo and let the little tip stand as my fortieth reason for being a homoeopath.


Deafness is a very troublesome to deal with, but it is worth while being a homoeopath, were it only for one power it gives one over deafness. I never could make out what you allopathic fellows did for deafness beyond the everlasting syringing. I have peered about in the aural departments of big hospitals, and read the books of noted aurists, beginning with a namesake of my own, but could never find that they did any real good beyond clearing away mechanical hindrances. And even in Homeopathy it seems to me that our specialists rely far too much on cutting scraping, and syringing.

I have very often cured deafness with the aid of Homeopathy but most of the cases have needed so may remedies that I could not cite them without occupying too much space.

A lady of sixty of the Vielle noblesse catholique anglaise, came to me in December, 1886, sent by her daughter whom I had cured. of neuralgia. The daughter had neuralgia of right side of head very badly that she thought originally came from a coup de vent she spent the winter of 1885-86 in Nice, and one day sat next to state of being when it transpired that the gentleman had previously suffered from the very same sort of neuralgia and in the identical spot and that for many years until he came to me when I(thanks to Homoeopathy) cured him. I had intended giving the case of deafness as my forty-first reason for being as homoeopath, but I will alter my plan and instead give this cure of neuralgia.

The lady was forty years of age, and came to me in April,1886 the pain was in the right side of brow face ear and neck and had been on ever since the preceding November.

Thuja occidentalis in a rather high dilution and infrequent doses cured the neuralgia in a few weeks and the lady in question has thought this brilliant cure of her neuralgia of itself to convert the sufferer of and if it be enough to be one of my fifty reasons and that the forty-first.


Having begun in my last communication to give you a case of deafness as my forty first reason. I fell back on a case of neuralgia that had been suggested by it, and so that leaves the deaf lady to do duty now. Well, she came in December, 1886 because I had cured said neuralgia.

“You cured my daughter’s neuralgia so perhaps you can cure my deafness.”

It was a case of long standing that had been under th best aurists and they had syringed it an done their poor little best, giving temporary ease, but not touching the essence of the complaint which was due to chronic inflammation and swelling of the walls of the external meatus on both sides.

In five months the lady was quite cured, and the remedies were Thuja, psorinum, Sabina, and Ceanothus, and one other.

This lady has also become a homoeopath and now employs for her family the homoeopathic practitioner living near house and her cure must stand as my forty-second reason for being a homoeopath.


I gave you have cure of a dermatitis state as my last reason for being a homoeopath; nosologically we called it deafness. Let me advance a little on the merely inflammatory state, and give as my forty-third reason for being a homoeopath the cure of a small growth. I will call it –


A maiden lady of sixty came to consult me on October 13th 1883, telling me she had a shiny swelling on her left index finger, which had been there for about eighteen months. The lump was hard painful and of about the size of small split walnut, but rather flatter. Patient was very nervous and depressed.

Rx Trit. 3x Calcarea fluorica. Six grains four times a day, dry on tongue.

October 27th.- Very great improvement.

Rx. Rep November 3rd.- The cartilaginous nature is now clearly to be felt.

Rx. Rep.

10th.- The swelling continues to get softer.

Rx. Rep (dry on the tongue) 17th.- Still progressing softer and smaller: on its middle finger side it has taken on inflammatory action as if it were going to gather, being hot red, and more swelled.

Rx. Rep.

24th.- The tumour is softer and smaller and patient is beginning to bend her finger which had previously become quite impossible.

Rx. Rep.

December 1st.- Still improving.

Rx. Rep.

15th.- Further is much more normal in colour and still progressing. Patient went on with the same remedy until short way into the new year. I saw her the last time of December 29the when she was nearly well.

If I remember rightly Grauvogl was the first to use and to recommend the fluoride of lime for enchondroma.

The interest of this case lies not so much in the importance of the tumour of this case (it was only the size of half a walnut, or thereabouts), but rather in the fact that only one remedy was used, and no other, and no change was made either in diet or place of abode. The lady had a hard lump on her finger for eighteen months; she took a course of Calc fl., to the choice of which Homoeopathy led me, and the lump went away.- Q.E.D.


I have before pointed out to you that I love the grand independence conferred upon me by Homoeopathy: when I have a difficult case I do not want to side softly away from responsibility by the support of a consultative old foggy whose brains have long since gone to sleep and whose raison d’etre is only medico-social. I want to cure my patient and were it only for the mental satisfaction. Now guided by Homoeopathy and a wee bit of reasoning power, I can generally do this.

Read the following case of –


I adduce the following case of swelling in a young lady’s breast rather to exemplify in a neat way the curative range of the DAISY in the treatment of tumours.

No experienced practitioner will deny the important part of played by bruises blows and falls in the genesis of tumours an cancer;and hence our anti-traumatics ought to figure much more largely in our therapeutics of growths from blows. Before giving my case I will quote a very instructive note on this very question that appeared as leader in the first volume of the Homoeopathic Recorder (Philadelphia,) No. 4, July 1886.


“In the preceding number of The Recorder there appeared three items concerning malignant growths, which deserve more than passing notice. One is the history of the development of malignant formation as the result of the frequent mechanical irritation of a simple mole on the frequent mechanical irritation of mole on the face, another recounted the cure of an extensive sarcomatous growth by an intercurrent attack of erysipelas, and the third contained the analysis of a series of cases of carcinoma in all of which there was antecedent injury by mechanical or chemical means; in the latter selection the writer asks in all seriousness: Is cancer, whatever its form ever primary – i.e does it ever originate without previous injury?

A negative reply to this inquiry is of the highest importance to those who believe in the curative effects of drugs. It deprives the disease action of part of the mysterious fateful quality so constantly associated in out minds with these affections, and which terrorizes to some degree the powers of the medical attendant. For we hold that the great majority of physicians, on discovering the existence of suspicious growth, are strongly impelled to advise the use of the knife as the only sure treatment not withstanding that in cases of undoubted malignancy the value of surgical interference is greatly lessened by the relatively poor results as measured by the added years given to the patient.

Moreover if the occurrence of an infectious inflammation of the skin has destroyed malignant disease process in that issue, there is a fairly good basis for the view, reasoning by analogy, that a drug-disease-i.e a disease produced by the action of a medicine can if affecting a part involved in the malignant process cause similarly efficacious results.

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.