In this case the medicine was evidently quite homeopathic to the condition of the patient, and it is manifest that the Nat. mur. 6 profoundly affected his organism, as the chilliness of more than two years duration quite disappeared, as also the after-dinner drowsiness.


Gentleman, aet. 34 or thereabouts, has suffered form a general feeling of chilliness (attributed by himself to a poor circulation), for more than two years, sleepiness and drowsiness after dinner for two months, compelling him to go and lie down; black spots before the eyes; disagreeable taste in the mouth, sour; watery eyes; urine clear; bowels moved twice a day; looks very pale.

Ordered him Nat. mur 6 trit. six grains in water twice a day.

Having taken twenty-four of such powders he paused a few days and returned stating that the chilliness had quite disappeared and also the postprandial drowsiness, the black spots had quite disappeared but were returning again a little, the sour taste was gone, the watery state of the eyes as bad as ever, the urine had become cloudy.

In this case the medicine was evidently quite homoeopathic to the condition of the patient, and it is manifest that the Nat. mur. 6 profoundly affected his organism, as the chilliness of more than two years duration quite disappeared, as also the after-dinner drowsiness.

Of course these sensations may not be indicative of profound organic lesions, but they are not indicative of a normal condition either, but the evidence of drug action does not hang on this. They symptom that brought him to me was the postprandial drowsiness, as it materially interfered with his business in the afternoon (he dines early).

He formerly lived in Tranmere and then always felt this drowsiness; he afterwards came to live in Birken-head itself and during his residence here did not feel it, but on removing again to Tranmere the old drowsiness re-appeared and he thought he would have to leave the neighbourhood to get rid of the troublesome symptom. The billionth dilution of Sodium chloride has saved him.

Was it faith that cured him of his drowsiness and chilliness? If so, what rendered his water cloudy? Besides, this was our conversation.

“Was that a kind of salt you gave me, doctor?”.


“Because I showed the prescription to my old school-master and he said you were giving me salt”.

Yes. It was salt in what we homoeopaths call the 6 th centesimal trituration, i.e. the billionth dilution.

“Do you think it can have had anything to do with my chilliness and drowsiness going away: could it have affected the circulation and liver (his theories) like that?”.

A broad grin was on his face when he put the last question; then he checked himself and apologized for it. No one will, I opine, maintain that an open mouth with a broad grin are specially expressive of faith that worketh a cure of chilliness of two years duration.

When formerly living in Tranmere and suffering from this postprandial lethargy he was treated allopathically and homoeopathically for it without avail, the latter treatment included that wonderful vegetable mercury, Podophyllum peltatum given because “it was liver.” Do we not all know that Podo. is good for the liver? That being so the livers of very many people must be preternaturally good, for a veritable podophyllomania has been raging for years under the commercial ticket of “homoeopathic”.

Microscopical sections of the livers of some of these Podophyllum – eaters might be instructive as showing the pathological outcome of direct liver irritation; the gin- drinkers liver we know, the Podophyllum-eaters liver awaits an histographer.

There is one thing to be said in favour of the Podophyllum- givers: they are impartial and give it to all alike.

But this is digressive.

Here let me note that I have noticed that some of the Natrum muriaticum affections are worse in cold, and better in warm weather.

OBS. XV. –

Lad of 12 came under observation on March 30th, 1878, suffering from a group of symptoms that collectively are conveniently called Phlyctenular Ophthalmia. The left eye was spasmodically closed from the photophobia. A month before he had caught a cold in this eye, and it had remained closed, inflamed and painful ever since, and was not getting any better.

On everting the lids an ulcer in the cornea is observed, resulting evidently from a burst phlyctenula of about the size of a split pea. The dimness of vision from this ulcer determined the parents to seek advice, they fearing the “eye” was being affected. To leave an ophthalmia for a month without seeking advice is a phenomenon that will greatly surprise many, but not medical men.

The prominent symptom in the case was the great lachrymation, and this is very characteristic of Natrum muriaticum. So six grains of Nat. mur. 6 trituration was given in water three times a day.

April 6th. Opens his eye wide and sees quite clearly; the photophobia, pain, inflammation and lachrymation gone; the ulcer nearly so.

Continue the medicine.

Excepting some very faint leucomatic streaks the cure was complete in a few more days.

Patient had formerly been long under my treatment for caries of the petrous portion of left temporal bone, and had got quite well of it.

Sodium chloride has an ancient reputation as an anti- scrofulosum, as we all know.


Boy of 9, with ganglion on leg of the size of a small hens egg. Has been under my treatment for many months with no good result except very slight amelioration form Sticta pulmonaria. Silicea did no good. On Dr. Schusslers recommendation (Abgekurzte Therapie, Vierte Auflage, p.46, Oldenburg, 1878), I gave Nat. mur.6, six grains in water night and morning.

Three months later I received by letter the following report:- “The swelling on the little boys leg, I am glad to say is much better – a good deal smaller, now about the size of a small nut, and rather more in its original position – not so much under the knee joint as it was”. Continue the medicine.


Lady, aet. 63. Regular gout in left big toe and foot. Patient is fond of beer.

Rx Nat. mur. 6 trit. Six grains every two hours.

In four days all symptoms had disappeared. Here I did order her to leave off her beer, but was not obeyed.

Patient since this keeps a stock of these powders on hand, and calls them her “gout powders”; they have since promptly relieved two or three similar attacks, as I learn from her daughter.

Since treating this case I have used Nat. mur. 6 trit. frequently repeated, in several other cases of gout, with very great satisfaction indeed.

Query: Does the remedy cause an increased elimination of the urate of sodium? I think it probable.


April 21st, 1878. John. H., aet. 29, seaman, had fever and ague two or three times a day, with watery vomiting, in Calcutta, in September, 1977. Was in the Calcutta Hospital three weeks for it, and took emetics, quinine and tonics. Left at the end of the three weeks cured; but before he was out of port the ague returned, or he got another, and he had a five month voyage home to the port of Liverpool.

During the first three months of this homeward voyage he had two, three, four, five attacks a week, and took a great deal of a powder from the captain, which, from his description, was probably Cinchona bar, then the fever left him, and the following condition supervened, viz., “Pain in right side under the ribs; cannot lie on right side; both calves very painful to touch, they are hard and stiff; left leg semiflexed, he cannot stretch it.” In this condition he was two months at sea, and two weeks ashore; and in this condition he comes to me hobbling with the aid of a stick, and in great pain from the moving.

Urine muddy and red; bowels regular; skin tawny; conjunctivae yellow.

Drinks about three pints of beer daily. I recommend him not to alter his mode of life till he is cured, and then to drink less beer. The former part of the recommendation he followed, as I learned from his brother; of the latter part I have no information.


Bears directly on this one, we having evidently to do with an ague suppressed with Cinchona. Therefore ordered Nat. mur. 6 trit. Six grains in water every four hours.

April 27th. – Pain in side and leg went away entirely in these days, and the water cleared at once; but the pain returned on the fourth day in the left calf only, which to-day is red, painful, swelled and pits. He walks without a stick.

Continue medicine.

May 4th – Almost well; feels only a very little pain in left calf when walking. Looks and feels quite well, and walked into room with perfect ease without any stick.

He thinks he had a cold shake a few nights ago. He continues to perspire every night; ever since he got the ague the sheets have to be changed every night. Continue medicine.

May 11th. – Quite well. No medicine.

July 20th. – Continues well.

The last two reports were obtained by me form his relations, he, being well, not thinking it worth while (notwithstanding his promise to report himself) to come again after the third visit on May 4th.

Considering that patient had been a fortnight here on shore before coming to me, it is not probable that his rapid cure after taking the Nat. mur. was due to the climate. Still this is the weak point in the case, if it have any.

Patient and doctor both think the medicine wrought the cure; others may think differently.

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.