On my enquiry when he was last vaccinated, he seemed completely frightened, and stammered out rapidly, “I should not like to be vaccinated again”. In fine, I agreed, at patients special request, to try to cure her cataract with medicines given on homeopathic lines !




Master C, aet. 112, came under my care on August 18th, 1881, Complaining of a cough, worse at 7.30 p.m.; he also coughed by day and through the night, but it did not wake him. He perspired fearfully, worst on the head, and worse during the night. Over upper half of left lung one heard moist crackling rales. The cervical lymphatic glands at the top of the apex of left lung were indurated, and distinctly “feelable”. He weighed 5 stone 4 lbs. The vaccination scars were on the left arm, and the glands over the apex of the right lung were not indurated.

Induration of the lymphatics on the left side of the neck (the vaccination being performed on that side) is the rule after vaccination, as anyone may observe for himself if he will take the trouble to examine a healthy child just before vaccination and any time thereafter. I say, any time thereafter, for the thing generally persists for a very long time, unless cured by medical art.

R. Thuja 30, m.ii. Sac. lac. q.s.. One, three times a day.

August 27th. Is well of cough, but the sweats continue. To take no medicine.

September 6th. The most careful examination of chest reveals no rale; there is no cough; the sweats have quite ceased; the said cervical lymphatics can not be found. The boy now weighs 5 stone 8 lbs., so that he has gained 4 lbs. in weight since he got the Thuja.

Discharged cured.

The boy had been at school, and was sent home to his parents by the school physician on account of his obstinate cough, and because his general symptoms excited alarm. To me it appeared to be the first stage of phthisis. That the boy should increase in weight at home just after returning from school is, of course, not necessarily due to the medicine; home life, too, would improve his nutrition generally, and would perhaps also account for the disappearance of the apex-catarrh, cough, and perspirations. But what is to account for the disappearance of the induration of the cervical glands?.


Of course you will perceive that what I understand by vaccinosis has no necessary connection with homoeopathy, the Thuja being homoeopathic to the cases.

As my thirtieth reason for being a homoeopath you will allow me to cite another Thuja case, viz. one of.


A young lady, about twenty years of age, was brought by her mother to me on October 28th, 1882. Patient had a very red, pimply nose, not like the red nose of the elderly bibber, or like that due to dyspepsia or to tight lacing, but a pimply, scaly, nasal dermatitis, which extended from the cutaneous covering of the nose to that of the cheeks, but appearing here more as facial acne. The nasal dermatitis was, roughly, in the form of a saddle. Of course, this state of things in an otherwise pretty girl of twenty was painfully and humiliatingly unpleasant to her and to her friends; in fact, it was likely to mar her future prospects very materially, more specially as it had already existed for six years, and was making no signs of departing. She also complained of obstinate constipation. The pimples of the nose and face used to get little white mattery heads.

R. Thuja occidentalis 30.

November 30th. Pimples of face decidedly better. Nose less red. Constipation no better.

R Thuja occidentalis 100.

January 3rd, 1883. The face is free ! Her mother gratefully exclaims, “She is wonderfully better”. I ask the young lady which powders did her most good; she says, “The last.” The skin of the nose is normal, but the constipation is no better, and for this she remains under treatment.

That Thuja cured this case is incontrovertible.



Mr., a gentlemen of position and mean, about fifty years of age, came to consult me on June 28th, 1882 for a neuralgia of the right eye.

He complained of almost constant pain in right eye ever since Christmas 1881, i.e. just about six months. Had had neuralgia in head and shoulders in 1866, and so much morphia had been injected in his shoulders by a doctor in Scotland that it almost killed him: for seven or eight hours it was doubtful if he would recover.

Has a brown, eczematous, itchy (at night) eruption on both shins and between the toes. The neuralgia of right eye, and for which he comes to me, is had both day and night, but rather worse at night. Mr. (now Sir William) Bowman had examined the eye and declared it to be neuralgia, the eye being normal. Mr. White Cooper had done the same.

On my enquiry when he was last vaccinated, he seemed completely frightened, and stammered out rapidly, “I should not like to be vaccinated again”.


“I was very seedy the last time I was vaccinated; in fact,I felt awfully ill for about a month,” and he again hurriedly protected that he would not like to be vaccinated again. The vaccination that had made him so ill was either in 1852 or 1853.

This seemed to me to be a case of vaccinal neuralgia, and therefore I ordered Thuja 30, in infrequent dose. This was on the 28th of June, 1882.

July 8th. But very little pain after the first powder. To have the same medicine again.

The cure proved permanent, and is interesting as proof of the rapidity with which the most like remedy can cure a neuralgia.


Being a case of


On December 22nd, 1882, a young lady of twenty-six came under my care for an ugly state of the nails of her fingers. Naturally, a lady of her age would not be indifferent to the state of her nails. These nails are indented rather deeply, and in addition to these indentations there are black patches on the under surface of the nails, reaching into the quick.

Very slight leucorrhoea occasionally. She had chicken-pox as a child of eleven. On her shoulders there is an eruption of roundish patches, forming mattery heads. The black patches have existed these eighteen months.

I ordered Thuja 30 (one in six).

March 19th, 1833. He continued the Thuja 30 for just about three months, with the result that within a fortnight from commencing with it the black patches under the nails began to disappear, and there is now no trace of them.

I will not trouble you with any more reasons based on the therapeutic action of Thuja.

You want to know whether I really claim that homoeopathy can cure cataract with medicines. You know very well that that has been my contention for a number of years; but I will revert to that again.


As my thirty-third reason for being a homoeopath I propose to give you a case of cataract cured by medicines. You said in one of your letters to me that you would like to see the man who could dissolve a case of genuine senile cataract with medicines. Well, I will recount to you how I was converted myself.

The limits of the curable and of the incurable are not represented by any fixed lines; what is incurable to-day may be curable to-morrow, and what we all of this generation deem incurable may be considered very amenable to treatment in the next generation.

When walking the hospitals years ago I was taught, in respect of cataract, that there was nothing for it but an operation; a few months since, I spend a little time at an excellent metropolitan hospital for the eye, and found that that is still the one thing taught, viz. if you have a cataract, there is no hope for you beyond that of getting blind, and then trying to get your sight again by having the cataractous lens removed.

On May 28th 1875, I was sent for to see a lady suffering from acute ophthalmia. She informed me that her friend Dr. Mahony, of Liverpool, had recommended her to try homoeopathy when she should again require medical aid, and had also mentioned my name to her.

She seemed rather ashamed of calling in the aid of a disciple of Hahnemann, and was very careful to lay all the blame upon Dr. Mahony: for, said she, I know nothing about it. My patient was in a darkened room, and hence I could not well see what manner of woman she was; but I soon learned she was the widow of an Indian officer, had spent many years in India, where she had had ophthalmia a great many times, and that she was in the habit of getting ophthalmia once or twice a year, or even oftener, ever since.

It generally lasted several weeks, and then got better; no kind of treatment seemed to be of any avail. Did I think homoeopathy would do her any good ? I replied that we would try it.

I made an attempt at examining the eye, by lifting up one of the laths of the Venetian blind to let in the light, and then everting the lid; but the photophobia and consequent blepharospasm were so great that I barely succeeded in recognizing that the right eye was a red, swelled mass, while the left one was only comparatively slightly affected; in fact, a case of ophthalmitis. A more minute examination was impossible, as the pain was so great that the patient screamed whenever any light was let into the eye.

I took a mental note of the chief symptoms, notably of the fact that the inflammation was chiefly confined to the right eye, and went home and worked out the homoeopathic equation; I was specially anxious to make a hit, and so I spent about half an hour at the differential drug-diagnosis. The drug I decided upon was phosphorus. Thus. Rx Tc. Phos. 1m.xij. Sac. lac.q.s. p. aeq. xij. S. One in a little water every hour.

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.