It may be about three years ago, or thereabouts, that it was my duty to give and opinion on the state of a gentleman of middle age, resident in London, and who was considered in a dying state. He had not much faith in any medical man, or in any pathy, and had for years wandered from one physician to another for his serious heart disease and frightful dyspepsia. The allopaths did him most good, he thought, on the whole, with their remedies, but the good effects did not last. The prescriptions showed that his state had been correctly diagnosed, and not badly treated from their standpoint. He received in turn cordials, iodides, antacids and tonics, but his disease-aneurysm of the aorta-got worse.

The homoeopaths had treated him symptomatically-and he had plenty of symptoms-and once or twice he really thought he was cured for a day or two, but then he became suddenly as bad as ever-his aneurysm evidently got larger.

When I first saw him he seemed almost moribund, and had received the last rites of the Church.

After going over his case well, and taking into account the state of his tissues and organs and the size of his aneurysm, so far as that could be determined, I gave as my opinion that he might slowly get better, and be eventually cured of his disease.

That gentleman has since married, and the aneurysm, though not yet quite gone, is slowly yielding to homoeopathic treatment, freely applied under diagnostic commonsense.

The principal remedies were Aurum met, Chelidonium majus, Carduus, Ceanothus, Glandium quercus, Aconitum, Ferrum, Cactus grand, and Baryta muriatica, the first named and the four last being directly-specifically-curative. My knowledge of the use of Barium is due to Dr. Flint, and this is not the first or second time that Homoeopathy has cured aneurysm.

I saw my patient walking along the street a few days since with his wife, and I was quite struck with his healthy, ruddy appearance. The power of Homoeopathy over aneurysm gives my twenty-fifth reason for being a homoeopath-and that lands me just half-way with my fifty reasons. Have you thus far conceived any greater respect for Homoeopathy, or can you explain all my reasons away? At least you are beginning to see that my statement at your uncle’s house was not boastfulness, but a mere statement of fact. Pray understand that I am not in the least desirous of making you, or anybody else, a homoeopath; it makes no difference whatever to me. Nor does it make any difference to truth: truth will get on very well without any of you.

Nor do I anticipate any particular good from all this scribbling of my fifty reasons to you; I do it just to substantiate my own position, and slap the jeering ignorance of orthodoxy in the face.


You complain that I indulge in too much abuse, and that I am unnecessarily pugnacious and offensive. Perhaps so. Did you not have the impertinence to call the homoeopaths quacks? You who know nothing about what they do! and do not you allopaths, every man of you, go about day by day and slander the homoeopaths!

You allopaths bear false witness against your homoeopathic neighbours every day of your lives-did I not once hear you say to your aunt at table, “Oh, yes, Auntie, take some of your little homoeopathic pilules, they won’t hurt!”

You said I must give you my fifty reasons out of my own life’s work, as I had promised, or”come down the tree”.

Well, I sit firmly on a very big bough of the old tree of truth, and it is not an ignorant allopath who will ever dislodge me.

It may be half a dozen years ago that an unusually beautiful, sweet girl, a good way in her twenties, residing in an important provincial town, was noticed to fade and get weak, with peculiar ill-defined throat symptoms, weakness in her back, rectal and uterine irritation, weakness and emaciation. People could not think what had come over her. She is one of those human highbreds who will not cave in, but, if duty calls, will go on till they drop: till then, existing on their “go” rather than on their physique.

In life they are commonly misunderstood, and because they can put on a spurt or clear a very high-fenced difficulty au besoin, the unknowing and non-observant think they are really strong, but are lazy or sham.

“Oh! she nursed her nieces for weeks and never had her clothes off, but did not seem to mind a bit, and now she would have you believe she is so delicate; she shams, it’s all put on.” But it is not put on at all: if you examine their heads you will find the animal sphere almost entirely absent.

Dr. R.M. Tuttle, speaking on this point, says:

“Some men can do with ease as much physical labour as would kill other men. The same is true of mental labour. A man like Gladstone can take on himself a course of work the mere attempting of which would effectually silence any one else. He is a man with a large, highly organized brain, but he possesses, besides, the well-balanced organs of animal life which are required to generate the energy that such brains can transmute into intellectual force. To be able to do the full measure of work of a man, it is necessary to be a good animal.”

The lady in question has the most exquisitely intellectual development, a wonderful arch of cerebrum, but no occipital power worth while.

Well, the patient had been through a domestic trial and had bent; some thought she had broken.

A good, kind, gentle allopathic physician, who was wont to attend the family, also attended her, and diagnosed Bright’s disease of the kidneys. Said she to her mother:

“I am truly sorry to have to tell you that Miss-has a disease of the kidneys that cannot be cured; you must take care of her; she must wear flannel all over, and avoid cold and damp; she may last with care a very long time, but you must not expect her to get well.”

Much family council was held together, and the outlook being dark and hopeless, the young lady was brought to me.

Homoeopathy cured her in about eight months, and the young lady thereupon got married, and has now several bouncing children, and she herself continues in good health.

Not a vestige of albumen has been in the urine for nearly five years. What cured her? Mercurius vivus. She took two doses a day for many months. I did not hit is right off, but tried two or three remedies at first without avail.

This is my twenty-sixth reason for being a homoeopath, and it alone were amply sufficient; and whether it be God’s will that I die to-night, or live for another fifty years, I feel that while I do live I am in duty bound to fight the good fight of Homoeopathy with all the power I possess: were I to do less I should be afraid to die.

Young man, the responsibility of not being a homoeopath is very terrible.



Must be my twenty-seventh reason for being a homoeopath. This case (which came under observation on January, 9th, 1882), is one of considerable interest on various accounts. Its subject, a lady of rank, over fifty years of age, had been in turns, and for many years under almost all the leading oculists of London for this neuralgia of the eyes-i.e. terrible pain at the back of the eyes, coming on in paroxysms, and confining her to her room for many days together; some attacks would last for six weeks. Some of the neuralgic pain, however, remained at all times. Her eyes had been examined by almost every notable oculist in London, and no one could find anything wrong with them structurally, so it was unanimously agreed and declared to be neuralgia of the fifth nerve. Of course no end of tonics, anodynes, and alterative had been used. The oculists sent her to the physicians, and these back again to the oculists. The late Dr. Quin and other leading homoeopaths had been tried, but no one had ever touched it”.

Latterly and for years, she had tried nothing; whenever an attack came on, she would remain in her darkened bedroom, with her head tied up, bewailing her fate. To me she exclaimed, “My existence is one life-long crucifixion!”

I should have stated that the neuralgia was preceded and accompanied by influenza. In the aggregate these attacks of influenza and post-orbital neuralgia confined her to her room nearly half the year. In appearance she was healthy, well- nourished, rather too much embonpoint, and fairly vigorous. A friend of hers had been benefited by homoeopathy in my hands, and she therefore came to me “in utter despair”.

These are the simple facts of the case, though they look very like piling up the agony! Now for the remedy. The resources of allopathy had been exhausted, and, moreover, I have no confidence in them anyway: Homoeopathy-and good Homoeopathy, too, for the men tried knew their work-had also failed. Do-nothing, now much in vogue, had fared no better. I reasoned thus : This lady tells me she has been vaccinated five or six times, and being, thus very much vaccinated, she may be just suffering from chronic vaccinosis, one chief symptom of which is a cephalalgia like hers, so I forthwith prescribed Thuja 30. It cured, and the cure had lasted till now. The neuralgia disappeared slowly; in about six weeks (February 14th, 1882) I wrote in my case-book, “The eyes are well!”

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.