The great art in curing tumours by medicines may be thus summarized–keep on pegging away! Only, of course, we must peg away with the right remedies. Any medical person who reads this book attentively will have a good idea of how to set to work. In the earlier stages operation is damnable and dangerous.

BY tumours I understand all lumps and swellings whatsoever, the same being more or less growth on or in the breast, and also such as are usually called cancer. This work is not intended to deal with the causes of tumours beyond the merest outlines, as this subject I reserve to be dealt with by itself. I have great faith in “one thing at a time”.

Nor shall I dwell at very great length on my reasons for giving this or that remedy, because otherwise I should have to omit many of the details of the course of the cures related, and because most of the indications are homoeopathic, and can be deduced from the proper pharmacological sources by any competent practitioner who will take the trouble; and these sources are medical literature in general-the literature of the homoeopaths more particularly and, specifically, the records of drug pathogenesy by Hahnemann and by his followers, going back nearly to the beginning of this century. Some of the indications are, of course, empiric or hypothetic.

Neither shall I make any attempt to give the pathology of any given case further than shall be necessary to make its name justifiable and its nature comprehensible; but I distinctly state that cancer is included by me in the term tumour. It will thus be seen that the position I take is essentially clinical.

It may be asked, What do I give if I limit my indications to a few remedies, and say so little of the pathology of the tumours ? I reply, that my object is principally to show. TO PROVE BEYOND ANY POSSIBILITY OF DOUBT, THAT TUMOURS CAN BE CURED BY MEDICINES. And I do not travel all through literature to prove this proposition, but just content myself throughout the first clinical part with setting forth the outcome of my own experience thereon in as few words as I can.

Had I some new prompt and painless mode of excising tumours of the breast to bring forward, I should probably be hailed as a benefactor of the human race, yet without being anything of the kind; but as I advocate the divine art of real healing (and that mostly on heterodox lines), I must be content with my work as its own reward, and, all things considered, not a bad reward either.

Often when I have saved a breast, I have vividly before my mind the pregnant exclamation of the lady (Diary of a Physician) in regard to her ablated breast–“Ah, doctor, but my husband !” A greater reward than to prevent this anguish of soul in some of my sisters, the world cannot offer me.

I declare that the knife is no cure for tumours, and that tumours can be cured by medicines, the requisite knowledge and patience being given. In order to be able to excise a tumour successfully, a man must first learn how to do it; it is the work of a skilled mechanic merely, in which there are many masters.

In order to be able to cure a tumour by medicines, a man must also first learn how to do it, but it is the work of the patient chess player, in which there are but few masters. Still, without being a master, the art of curing tumours by medicines can –thanks to Hahnemann and others–be learned and practised by all in direct proportion to their ability and industry.

The great art in curing tumours by medicines may be thus summarized–keep on pegging away! Only, of course, we must peg away with the right remedies. Any medical person who reads this book attentively will have a good idea of how to set to work.

I do not attempt or pretend to be in any sense apologetic or diffident on the question of the amenability of tumours to drug treatment, for the good and sufficient reason that I have been curing tumours by remedies for the past dozen years, and, therefore, I am discoursing only of what I know and have seen; that I have attained to my present certain position with much difficulty, endless gropings, and, I fear, some bunglings, goes without saying–Ca, va sans dire, in fact.

The “Vicar of Wakefield,” of glorious memory, says: “I was ever of opinion that the honest man who married and brought up a large family, did more service than he who continued single and only talked of population”.

In like manner I am of opinion that the physician who sets about trying to cure tumours by means of medicines does more service to mankind and to medicine than he who only talks of how to cut them out, and of the microscopic and macroscopic characters and peculiarities of such growths after he has cut them out. Accordingly, I had not been in practice very long before I occupied myself with the question of the curability or non- curability by medicines of quite a number of diseases commonly called incurable, and amongst them Tumours.

The very first tumour I had to treat was a small hard one of the eyelid of some years standing. The patient was a young lady from Canada. She had consulted an eminent physician of the homoeopathic school, and he had advised an operation. “Have it cut out”, said he, “medicines cannot cure it.” She was sent to me by a mutual friend to see if I could cure it with medicines, and so avoid the dreaded operation.

The tumour was but a small affair, about as big as a very small marble, but on a girls lower eyelid that is a good deal. I used a number of remedies, but the two that seemed to be really curative were Argentum nitricum 1, in one or two drop doses three times a day, and Hydrastis canadensis applied freely to the tumour with a camels- hair brush.

The little tumour completely disappeared, the patient and her people were enthusiastically grateful, and I made up my mind to look to my own experience in the future, and not think quite so much of the negative opinions of the supposedly great, for a very eminent medical father had said medicines could not cure this little lump, but I found medicines did cure it for all that.

A good many years have passed since then, and I have been treating cases of tumour ever since with medicines, whenever I have had the opportunity; and when the patients have been as patient as their physician, have generally succeeded in curing them.

Of tumours of the eyelids I have succeeded in curing a great many, generally purely constitutionally, but the very hard indolent ones sometimes need to be painted with the medicament, or to have it applied as an unguent, they being, as it were, outside the organism.

Some of the little tumours of the eyelids that one commonly meets with are from a wrong condition of the stomach, the state of the pancreas seems distinctly answerable for a certain number of them, some are apparently a sequel of vaccinia, and odd articles of food are known to cause them in certain people, e.g. roast pork. Often such swellings will rapidly disappear, but not infrequently they become hard, insensitive, and chronic. A few months of proper constitutional treatment will cure them.

The remedies most commonly indicated are Thuja occid., Argentum nitricum, Natrum sulphuricum, pulsatilla nig., Hepar sul., Calc., Hydrastis canadensis. In very obstinate cases one has at times to call in the aid of certain nosodes. One of the last cases of tumours of the eyelids I have had to treat, has only just got well after many months of persistent treatment with medicines, the patient being a young married lady whose husbands friends were very anxious for her to have them excised, but the lady would not listen to their entreaties, having been told by me that such tumours are of a constitutional nature, and must be treated constitutionally by internal medication.

She was jeered at and ridiculed by the wiseacres of her husbands family for “being so silly”, said they (they knew !) “Of course, you must undergo an operation, no medicines can touch that”.

For some months they seemed to be right, for my remedies did but very little good, and my poor patient had to bear a good deal of banter and “did not I tell you medicines were no use ?”.

However, after a month of Chionanthus virginica in small material doses, the tumours waned and went.

Said I, “What do your husbands friends say now ?”.

“Nothing !”.

“Do they believe now that tumours of the eyelids can be cured by medicines ?”.

The lady passed out of my consulting-room laughing.

In defending and fighting for unloved doctrines, I often see these positive refusals to believe SELF-OBSERVED facts, and I marvel at the cowardice of these pretended non-believers. I sometimes fancy that the reason lies in the fact of their not being the originators.

Less than two years ago, a child as brought to me suffering from paralysis and atrophy of a portion of the right lower extremity, that the local doctor said would end with the childs death in about a year or less. The most eminent London opinions, both special and general confirmed this view. When the parents informed the local doctor that the child was to come under my care, he piously expressed the hope that it might avail, adding the rider: “If that homoeopath cures him, I will believe in homoeopathy”.

When, however, the child was well and was running about on two straight, equal limbs, the said doctor looked very wise (what an easy task !) and stern, but would on no account have any conversation on the subject.

The amount of dense-mindedness and disingenuousness that lies hidden in those who HAVE SEEN great homoeopathic cures, and still resist the truth, must be immense. Though one rose from the dead they would not believe. Still, perhaps, I ought not to blame them, for it is very difficult to believe that medicines can cure tumours; indeed, there was a time when I could not have believed the contents of this book. I therefore desire to be charitable to others, being myself a Saulus and a Paulus.

Tumours are very common in the breast, particularly in womens comparatively rare with men in this region.

I will now go on to my special task by citing a more formidable case-one of genuine cancer, cured by Cundurango, a remedy which I proved on my own person a number of years ago, an account of which may be found in Allens Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica, Art. C.

I will merely call it a.


In the spring of the year 1875 I was treating the children of a family of my clientele. While chatting with the children I noticed that their nurse, a woman of about forty, had an ugly, unsightly crack in the left angle of her mouth, about the fourth of an inch deep, and surrounded with warty excrescences, the whole covered with a nasty secretion. I considered i commencing Epithelioma. I offered to treat the woman for it, but she did not believe in homoeopathy, and she was using a salve to it prescribed by her own doctor.

At this period I was myself still suffering from my proving of Cundurango (see British Journal of Homoeopathy, July, 1875), and I had repeatedly proved that the crack in the angles of the mouth was a very characteristic symptom of the drug. Altogether I have seen it produced pathogenetically four times, and I have cured it also many times. It apparently finds no favour with the profession, but its importance will be recognized.

Some little time elapsed, and the before-mentioned nurse was confronted with the chance of losing her situation, as her mistress was getting afraid lest the disease might be communicated to the children. The nurse was now willing to be treated homoeopathically, and her mistress accordingly sent for me. On inquiring I found the arty ulcer in the angle of the mouth was only a little worse; it was very torpid, and had remained for many months pretty much the same. This is also characteristic of Cundurango.

The pustules and other cutaneous manifestations of this drug are very torpid (see the proving in the British journal of Homoeopathy and the “Symptomatology “in Allens Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica, vol. iv., p. I, et seq.) Once while using an ointment this ulcer had almost disappeared, but it soon returned to the condition I have described.

But what alarmed both mistress and and maid (the former on account of the children, no doubt) was a tumour in the patients left breast, i.e. on the same side as the epitheliomatous ulcer of the angle of the mouth. On examination it was found to be about the size of a small hens egg, and very hard and very painful at time; at other times painless. It had been there for several years, and was on the increase, but only very slowly.

The odour from the axillae was very offensive indeed, but not from lack of cleanliness. Speaking generally, patient did not look ill-nourished or cachectic, though her teeth were very badly decayed, which gave an old appearance to the face from the falling on of the cheeks, and the dilated small cutaneous blood vessels showed that she had probably been a florid subject.

The history of the tumour was this. She had for years been in the habit of sleeping with the youngest child, a bonnie boy, with a very large, heavy head, and he lay with his head against this breast. To that she attributed the lump. And she was probably right, for the boy would be at times restless at night, and hit about with his head a good deal, hence we may fairly conclude that the breast had been mechanically injured very many times. Patient complained that he very often hurt her thus.

There was nothing to account for the ulcer of the angle of the mouth; it was idiopathic, as the phrase goes. Thee could be no reasonable doubt of the connection existing between the tumour and the ulcer. Was it cancer? I think so now, and I thought so them. I do not call it a case of cancer, but simply a tumour of the breast, hence my diagnosis cannot be called in question, whereas, if I were to call it cancer it might be objected to.

Still I will say I think it was cancer-First, from the appearance of the floor and edges of the ulcer; second, from the coincidence of the ulcer and of the tumour; third, from the hardness of the tumour; fourth, from its origin.

It is needful to state this view of its pathological nature, as it influenced the treatment.

The medicine I decided on was Cundurango, and for these reasons:.

(1) Cundurango produces cracks in the angles of the mouth, and also cures such.

(2) Cundurango is, in my opinion, an antipsoric, and this case appeared to be a psoric manifestation from injury.

(3) Cundurango has beyond any doubt cured cases of cancer, and this seemed such a case.

(4) It seemed to me that the ulcer in the angle of the mouth- that started as a mere crack-just supplied the pathogenetic differential requisite of knowing whether to give Hydrastis, Conium, or what not.

The first prescription is dated July 16th, 1875, and is

B Pil, Cundurango I, 3ij.

One four times a day.

This was taken till September Ist, 1876, with slight interruptions. At this date I certainly noticed much improvement in the ulcer, and the tumour seemed a little smaller, but still I felt much disappointed. Then Bryonia alba I, two drops in water four times a day, was given till November 10th, 1876, when, no further progress being apparent, I gave a short course of Sulph. 30, one pilule at bedtime. This is a very old practice, and had been verified a great many times. In all about one drachm of the pilules was taken.

Then at the end of 1876 I again went over the case, and felt justified in reverting to the old prescription of Cundurango, but I gave the tincture of the first centesimal dilution three times a day, with occasional omissions, that the organism might not get insusceptible of the action of so small a dose. This was continued during the whole of the year 1877, during the whole of the year 1878, and during the first five months of the year 1879, that is just about two years and a half. I saw the patient at intervals during this period, and was able to observe the course of the cure. In a few words it was this.

At first the ulcer of the angle of the mouth became dryer, cleaner, and less rugged, while the tumour went smaller and a little less hard. About a year and a half ago the ulcer had entirely healed and remains so; nothing remains of it but a very slight puckering of the angle of the mouth and faint streaks of scar-tissue. But to a casual observer these objective symptoms have no existence, it is only when examining it vertically in the light of its past history that one can detect even these rifling rests.

Already towards the end of the year 1878 the tumour had nearly disappeared, and in the spring of 1879 it was gone. In sending a report from Princes Park, Liverpool, has entirely gone out of my breast,” and then she goes on to state that she had given up taking the medicine in consequence. This case is very important from various stand-points; it shows the utility of proving a remedy that has an empirical reputation in order to find out the variety of a disease that it will cure.

Thus Cundurango has undoubtedly cured a number of cases of cancer; but we may say the same of Sulphur, Thuja, Arsenicum, Conium, Hydrastis, Carbo animalis, Bryonia, Bufo, or Galium Aparine, and hence the point to find out is what characterizes the variety or species. The greatest characteristic yet observed of our Cundurango is the crack in the angle of the mouth, and hence on theoretical grounds we may say that a case of cancer with a manifestation in the angles of the mouth calls for Cundurango. Now we have one such case on record as cured. If my readers will not admit that it was cancer-well, I have not objection.

This case is strikingly important from another view. viz., it illustrates the torpidity of the Cundurango variety, and it also teaches a most valuable lesson to us all. Never despair! This woman patiently took her medicines for four full years, and now she has her reward in health, and I have mine in the comforting consciousness that I did not listen to a very able physician who pooh-poohed the proving of Cundurango, and who ridiculed the idea of curing tumours with medicines. As J. Stuart Mill says, “He who knows only his own side of the case, knows little of that.” I may add that when I last saw the patient she had very much improved in general appearance, being stouter and fresher, looking younger.


I published the foregoing case in the Homoeopathic World, November Ist, 1879, and I just made inquiries regarding this woman, who was thus cured of her tumour, notwithstanding its declared impossibility, and find that she still continues in perfect health and free of tumour.

A certain number of distinguished practitioners of scientific medicine (homoeopathy) have from time to time published cases of tumour as cured by medicines, but these cases are on record, and need no further writing about. I therefore will not refer to them, as my object is not to bring together odd cases of tumour cured here and there all over the worlds, some of them quasi- accidentally, but to bring new clinical material to the general stock.

I have not time to collate these strewn-about cases in our literature, however interesting and instructive the task might possibly prove to be, for one might them, perhaps, get at some fixed indications, though of these clinical fixations I have heretofore met with but very few.

In these pages, therefore, I purpose giving my own experience solely-just some facts, and these I leave to tell their own tale. One thing I may say- it is quite useless to try to cure old tumours, either cancerous of benign, unless you are gifted with PATIENCE of no ordinary kind. Rapid cures of old tumours by medicines I have never seen, nor do I think such tumours ever will be cured rapidly, simply because they are vital products- THEY ARE LIVING GROWTHS.

Nevertheless it will be seen from the cases which I shall presently narrate, that from the cases which I shall presently narrate, that some recently-formed tumours do get well in a very few weeks or months, while others require as many years. Speaking broadly, the tumour takes proportionately as long to cure by medicines as it has taken to grow. And hereby is not be to forgotten that a tumour has often existed a long time before it is found out. It is equally useless to try to cure tumours by giving drugs with a view of dissolving them chemically. Why?.

Because, as just stated, tumours are ALIVE; they are GROWTHS; they come vid vitae, and vitally they must be cured; and for this process time, often much time, is needful. At least that is my experience, and I therefore specially emphasize the fact, that I know of no short cut to tumour-curing by remedies, and the work must be done internal remedies.

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.