On looking at his eye I saw nothing abnormal, and I said, “Your eyes are all right.” I then found that he did not differentiate between eye and eyelid, and that he had been operated on for a tiny cystic tumour of the eyelid !.

Said he, “Mr. B. did it for me. I am all right now”.

The gentlemen he referred to is considered, and indeed is one of the first ophthalmologists (eye-carpenters) of the day, and the solicitor, I may say, stands well in his own profession; so we may take them both as fair samples of the educated professional classes of to-day. In other words, a layman with a trained mind gets a little lump on his eyelid.


as I submit. He merely wishes it removed with the knife, as if it had dropped from the sky, and had impinged upon his “eye”. He goes to an eminent oculist-what more natural ? and said oculistic chirurgeon being on the same general educational and physiological level, gains in every way by–cutting out the little cyst !.

Both individuals concerned have not the faintest suspicion that they are other than the creme de la creme of all that is most advanced in knowledge, and in the very van of progress. They will die in the happy delusion, and their work and names will not be remembered.

Did I try to enlighten my solicitorial friend by explaining that inasmuch as the said cyst was autochthonous, it ought to have had its existence cut short autochthonously ?.

Did I explain to him that the cyst was a qualitative outcome of his organismic self, and that this self-same microcosm should have been put right vitally ?.

Did I ? No.

Why ? Because you cannot put a large quantity into a small vessel, whether the vessel be called surgeon, solicitor, or beer- glass.

Of the tumours of the eyelids, the meibomian cyst is very common, and also very amenable to medicinal means. It will once in a way disappear of itself without any medicines, but not very often; usually it must be go rid of either by operation or medicines. The usual way is to reverse the lid, and make a small incision from the inner lid surface which covers the tumour, and then squeeze out the contents. But “the tumour is liable to recur,” says a very experienced operator ! Of course it is !.

In my opinion, the encysted and other tumours of the eyelids are nearly always of constitutional origin, and must be constitutionally cured.

I will not burden my book with any more preliminary cases of tumours of the eyelids for introductory purposes. The bulk of them are not only curable by remedies, but the task is not even a very difficult one, though at times a little tedious.

Miss L.C., aged thirteen years, came under my observation at the end of July, 1879. About eight weeks previously a miserable lad in the street hit her in the right breast with considerable violence; from that time on this breast became swollen and very painful, until at length she was quite unable to lie on her right side. Patients mother was poitrinaire, as was also her brother, and my experience teaches me that the members of poitrinaire families are particularly liable to suffer from blows.

At first no notice was taken of the young ladys complaints, but week after week went by, and she persisted in referring to the pain in her breast. Whether any domestic means had been employed I do not now remember, but eventually I was sent for, as vague notions of tumour and cancer rendered the parents uneasy. On comparing the breasts, the right one was found to be by much the larger, being swollen and very tender.

I thought this a very proper case for testing the anti-traumatic virtue of the old English bruisewort, and hence prescribed thus: Rx. Tc. Bellis perennis 3x, 3ij. S. Three drops to be taken in water four times a day.

The result was a very rapid disappearance of pain and swelling and in a fortnight patient could lie again on the right side. And a few days later an examination showed that the swelling had entirely disappeared.

Nothing whatever was applied to the part, no change was made in diet, mode of life, or place of abode, and as the thing had already existed for eight weeks, the positively curative effects of the Bellis can hardly be denied, which is the one point this case is meant to exemplify and to teach, and that because it is so very difficult to demonstrate positively the effect of any one remedy when the tumefaction has become a genuine neoplasia, or hyperplasia.

I published, not long ago, a book entitled Fifty Reasons for being a Homoeopath, and the foregoing was forty fourth reason.

As I am here illustrating the curative range of Bellis perennis in the treatment of lumps of traumatic origin, I cannot refrain from dragging in a very late experience of mine with it, though it has really no right at all to be here, being not a tumour of the breast at all, but a


A gentleman at the prime of life, or a little beyond, some might think, came to me at the end of 1887 with a hard tumour in the right upper jaw of about two years standing. It had come on slowly. His dentist thought it was due to a shut-up tooth in the wall of the jaw. An eminent surgeon had seen patient with the dentist, and was not of the dentists opinion, believing it to be a new formation, for which he prescribed an ointment containing iodine (la vieille histoire!). The ointment was dutifully applied, and did no good.

The right half of face between eye, mouth, and beard was notably swelled, hard, and with glistening, shiny skin over it. Regarded from within the cavity of the mouth, it appeared as if the outer wall of the antrum Highmore were pushed out, constituting a tumid mass.

All things considered, I thought the dentist right and the surgeon wrong, and, on the mechanico-traumatic hypothesis, gave Bellis per. O, give drops in water night and morning, and two months of this brought the jaw back pretty well to the normal, and patient did not think it needed any further special treatment. Nor indeed did it, though to my eye the right upper jaw looked a trifle fuller than the left, but a few months later when I saw him I could not see any difference in the two sides.

These two cases having been cured in a very short space of time, apparently contravenes my previous statement that tumours cannot in my experience ever be cured quickly, I therefore add that this evidently was not a neoplasm, but merely mechanical obstruction with slight incipient circumvascular hypertrophy of tissue. Tumours of a neoplastic nature come by growth, and can only be cured by atrophy, and vitally and not chemically, and so the progress must in that case be slow.

Of course we should theoretically expect a tumour that was of long duration to take more time to cure than a recent swelling, more of a congestive nature with only incipient hypertrophy; and with this theoretical expectation my practical experience entirely coincides.



The case I propose now to narrate has taught me much in respect of the amenability of mammary tumours to drug treatment, indeed more than any other one case in my whole experience, and I may, perhaps, be therefore permitted to dwell upon it a little fully, more particularly in regard to its causation.

The subject of it came under my medical observation in the near 1878, and she was then verging on forty years of age. An examination disclosed several lumps in the right axilla about the size of bantams eggs, clearly adenomata, and also a tumour in the outer aspect of the right breast about the size of a gooses egg, and all hard.

It appeared that the tumours in the arm-pit had been there for two years, and came after a successful vaccination; and simultaneously therewith, the face had broken out all over with an eruption of tuberous inflammatory elevations, with pustular tops, technically termed acne variolae formis, and this eruption had also persisted for two years in this very aggravated form, like chronic small-pox. In the year 1877 there was an epidemic of variola in the neighbourhood, and patient was again vaccinated as her vocation brought her into contact with it, and this time it was followed by the lump in the right breast.

I did not then regard vaccination as a causal factor in the genesis of chronic vaccinosis, the axillary and mammary swellings and the facial eruptions being clearly of common nature and origin. An operation was not thought useful by her rather open-minded friends, and hence my help was sought. I treated the case for a long time with such remedies as Silicea, Psoricum, Sulphur, Hecla lava, Grauvogls Lapis alb., Conium, Iodium, Phytolacca dec., but made no great headway. The lady was, however, very patient, and went on with my treatment, feeding principally on hope; but hope, though not a bad auxiliary, is no remedy for tumours or skin diseases.

I then used various so-called nosodes, sometimes utilized by homoeopathic practitioners with isopathic proclivities, and we made a little progress, but not much. When, however, I had obtained more correct views of the long-lasting effects of the vaccinial poisoning, I prescribed Thuja occid., Sabina, Vaccininum, and Variolinum in varying dilutions (mostly medium and high), and patient slowly got quite well, not only of the adenomata in the axilla, but also of the tumour of the breast and of the skin affection.

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.