“Rheumatism is confessedly a very difficult disease to cure by the Old School treatment. Seldom is a case of the inflammatory form completely cured by them. The great majority of their cases run from the acute into the chronic form, and last for life. However, I went on experimenting and at last discover that my trouble was due to overnutrition.

The great publishing house of John Murray has just issued the third impression of my book, Miracles of Healing and How They Are Done, in which I have endeavoured to give a readable account of the wonderful work done by homoeopaths the world over.

The first edition came out in November, 1931, it had to be reprinted in April, 1932, and now the third edition has appeared. The book has had an interesting history. Many years ago I was a sick man. From week to week and from month to month my health had deteriorated. I had received treatment from many orthodox doctors, both in England and abroad, and had gone to many health resorts in search of health. My endeavours and those of the orthodox medical profession were in vain.

My health became worse and worse and at last I was unable to write an article, unable to walk, unable to even to sign my name. I led a life of misery and considered myself incurable. The doctors had advised me to overcome my weakness by a strengthening diet. I took large quantities of meat and other stimulating foods, strong coffee, tea, wine, etc., but my endeavours to improve my condition by high feeding and medication proved in vain.

At last it occurred to me that possibly my troubles might be due to faulty diet, and that intensive feeding might be responsible for my sufferings. I began to experiment and my first experiment consisted in an exclusive diet of dry white bread and water which I thought ought to be digestible. At that time I knew nothing about vitamins, mineral elements, etc. That diet almost killed me.

However, I went on experimenting and at last discover that my trouble was due to overnutrition. I simplified my diet, became a vegetarian and recovered my health.

Not unnaturally this experience caused me to study dietetics and the dietetic causes of disease, and I started writing on the subject, for, at that time, I was a very frequent contributor to the leading monthlies, weeklies and dailies. Like so many literary men I haunted second-hand bookshops. One day I went to Foyles bookshop in Charing Cross Road, and on looking through the medical books I discovered a book entitled Dictionary of Materia Medica, by Dr. John H. Clarke in four large volumes. It seemed interesting,

I brought it, took it home and began reading it. Without knowing it, I had bought one of the most wonderful books of the Homoeopathic school. In the volumes numerous cures were quoted, cures which seemed to me quite unbelievable. They seemed to me all the more improbable as my father, an excellent medical man, had frequently expressed before me his contempt of homoeopathy. I discovered Dr. Clarkes address, wrote to him and told him that I wished to see him.

He gave me the most courteous reception and I told him that I had looked through his book, that I could scarcely believe the miracles done by homoeopathy, that I had an open mind, that I wished to study it day and night. He gave me every help, recommended me some books, gave and lent me others from his library, and encourage me to treat people so that I might discover by actual experience whether the miracles of homoeopathy were a delusion or a fact. For years I met Dr. Clarke once a week for a long talk, and I became an enthusiastic homoeopath.

I had told Dr. Clarke that if I should be convinced that homoeopathy was a real science and a benefit to mankind, I would write a popular book on the subject. As soon as I felt that I had the necessary theoretical and practical knowledge, I began working on a volume which I entitled Miracles of Healing and How They Are Done– A New Path to Health.

In the course of 1931 the book was written and Dr. Clarke, with his usual unselfishness, went carefully through the typescript of the book, and then through the printed proofs, advising, helping, criticizing and praising. Then he fell ill. When I saw him last, I found him in bed, a broken and a dying man. I saw him only for a few minutes and with glistening eyes he asked me: “How is your book getting on?” Unfortunately he died before the volume appeared.

As I said before, I have endeavoured to give a popular account of the miracles done by homoeopathy, and I am glad to say that my efforts have been appreciated by the public.

I have tried to produce a readable and thoroughly practical book which is illustrated by hundreds of cures made by reliable homoeopathic physicians. I cannot very well give an appreciation of my own book in this place. Therefore I venture to give extracts from one of the chapters which may interest the readers of this magazine.


During the last few decades the health of the people has been greatly improved by improved drainage, better water, higher wages, a better food supply, the greater care of infants, the provision of false teeth for the aged, etc. However, while tuberculosis and other diseases of poverty, bad housing, etc., have declined, other diseases have fearfully increased their yearly toll. During the last twenty years the mortality from heart disease has doubled, deaths from arterial diseases have trebled and deaths from arteriosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, have more than quadrupled.

Rheumatism is fearfully prevalent and is the most serious incapacitating factor among the workers. Acute rheumatism, rheumatic fever, is frequently followed by heart disease, and we have been told that the micro- organism responsible for rheumatism is apt to attack the heart. That explanation is not satisfactory. It is easy to blame “the guilty microbe”, and treat it as the universal culprit. Thirty years ago Sir Lauder Brunton warned us in his Therapeutics of the Circulation:.

“Cardiac disease certainly seems to be greatly on the increase. It is quite possible, however, that the difference in the treatment of rheumatic disease fifty years ago and now may be responsible for the increased amount of cardiac mischief. Formerly a case of rheumatic fever was treated by alkalies. The course of the disease was slow and the enforced rest in bed was necessarily long.

Nowadays, by treatment with large doses of salicin compounds, the pain in the joints quickly disappears, and the patient is often able to get about in a few days, instead of weeks or months. The great difficulty which one has often to meet with is that of keeping the patient sufficiently long in bed, because the modern treatment by salicylates lessens pain so much more quickly than the old treatment that it is much more difficult to ensure prolonged rest.”.

In Hahnemanns time patients were mercilessly tortured by copious bleeding, leeching and burning them with hot irons, and by giving them huge quantities of the most nauseous and the most drastic drugs. These methods, against which Hahnemann protested with the utmost energy, have disappeared largely owing to his action. The modern doctor follows a different policy.

He strives to give his patients comfort, regardless of the consequences. Pain is immediately allayed by strong drugs, such as Aspirin, Morphia, Opium. Sleep is given to the sleepless with Bromide, Veronal, etc., and the pain of rheumatism is promptly relieved by the Salicylates. The morbid matter in the swollen and painful joints disappears and is apparently driven to the heart. Dr. Percy Wilde, of Bath, stated in the thirty-eighth volume of the Homoeopathic World:.

“Far worse than either Antipyrine and Sulphonal is the mischief done day by day by the Salicylate treatment of acute rheumatism. It is an ideal antipathic remedy, for does it not remove the pain, and abate the fever? But as a result of this treatment 70 per cent. of the patients suffer from heart disease, and relapse or recurrence is a regular result, and there is always a prolonged period of convalescence. The physicians of this generation really think that this is the natural course of events in rheumatic fever.

I have for the last twenty years been in a position where I have to deal with some part of the wreckage of humanity produced by the Salicylate treatment, and, side by side, I have watched the course of rheumatic fever and the after-history of the cases in which neither salicylates nor anything allied to them have been used, but on the contrary every effort made to assist the organism in those efforts which it usually makes, only too feebly; to get rid of the poison which saturates the tissues of the patient.

Fever is met by fever artificially induced, and cold is used to excite reaction. As a result of a prolonged clinical experience under exceptionally favourable conditions for studying the nature of rheumatism, I have learned to regard heart disease remaining after the attack of rheumatic fever as rare. I have no hesitation in prophesying that the till will come when every practitioner in this country will look back with sorrow and regret to the use of salicylates in rheumatism, and regard it as one of the false doctrines of an ignorant past.”.

Dr. E. B. Nash wrote on page 365 of his Leaders in Homoeopathic Therapeutics:.

“Rheumatism is confessedly a very difficult disease to cure by the Old School treatment. Seldom is a case of the inflammatory form completely cured by them. The great majority of their cases run from the acute into the chronic form, and last for life. The patients are often drawn all out of shape, or left with incurable valvular heart trouble.

This is not the case under homoeopathic treatment. On the contrary, the patients treated homoeopathically are generally cured, and very seldom left with any heart trouble, even if the disease commenced there, as it sometimes does. Oftener, of course, it begins in the back, extremities or joints generally, and then, if treated allopathically with local applications, it is driven to the heart, which cannot be reached with local applications. Hence it stays there until exudations occur and hardened deposits from upon the valves. Any homoeopathic physician guilty of treating a case in this way, with such results, ought to lose his practice and his diploma.”.

Orthodox modern medicine has “specifics” for diseases. Drs. Gould and Pyle wrote in their Pocket Cyclopaedia, 1926, under the heading of Rheumatism: “Salicylic acid or its derivatives may be given in full doses for articular rheumatism. Muscular rheumatism also requires the use of Salicylates.” Very likely the frequency of heart disease following rheumatism is due not to the “guilty microbe” but to the drug which temporarily relieves the pain while injuring the sufferer permanently. The views of Sir Lauder Brunton and Drs. Wilde and Nash are shared by scores of eminent doctors whom I could quote in these pages.

The followers of the new art of healing have no specific for rheumatism. A good homoeopath refuses to give immediate relief to his patient by ruining his heart. As I have shown in previous chapters, homoeopaths, in selecting the needle medicine, are guided by “the totality of symptoms”, and they disregard the name of the disease. Dr. Th. Rucjerts work Klinische Erfahrungen described all the cures which have been effected by homoeopaths with a singe drug and which have been reported by them in their journals.

He describes 121 cases of rheumatism which were cured by 35 different drugs, Rhus tox., having been employed 18 times, Bryonia 16 times, Pulsatilla 12 times, Arsenic 9 times, Colocynthis 8 times, Aconite 7 times, Sulphur 6 times, etc., etc. In glancing at this important collection of cured cases, no homoeopathic physician can find a specific for rheumatism. In accordance with his teaching, the homoeopathic doctor does not prescribe as soon as the diagnosis is made and the name of the disease but for the individual patient.

He inquires carefully into all the circumstances and conditions of the case and then, instead of prescribing “Salicyclates in full doses”, which means in maximum doses, he prescribes the indicated remedy in the smallest possible minimum dose and it will effect a prompt and permanent cure which is rarely followed by heart complications. I would quote a case, described by Dr. George Royal in Homoeopathic Therapy of Diseases of the Brain and Nerves:.

“Mr. J. G., aged 49, a farmer, married, dark, firm build, muscular, with good family and personal history gave the following: For three years I have had severe pain and stiffness in and around my joints and back, especially my back, which nearly floors me when I try to get up after having been sitting for some time. Questioning brought out the fact that three years before he was shocking oats and, as a rain storm was coming on, he hurried, thereby becoming very warm and sweaty.

The storm came before he could get under cover and he was drenched. In arriving home he took a hot bath and put on dry clothing. The next day he was a little stiff and sore, but worked. About two weeks later, as another rain storm was approaching, he had severe pains in the back, shoulders and arms. These had been growing worse ever since. He had had plasters, over the back for what his doctor called lumbago but never was helped by them or by anything else.

He had been to Hot Springs, Arkansas, and been boiled and rubbed with grease. He stated with much positiveness that he was worse in damp weather and after either lying or sitting for any length of time. At times when the night had been wet his back was so bad that he could not turn over without his wifes help.

The case was so clear that he was given one dose of Rhus tox. 1,000th and an ounce vial of disks, saturated with alcohol. This was in August. Improvement began in a few days and continued. He reported the middle of October, after our usual rainy season: I never felt the pain at all. Two years later, while coming to town, he was again drenched by rain, and some six weeks after that came to the office with, My old trouble is as bad as ever.

He received the same treatment but to our surprise he returned after three weeks with: You did not give me the same medicine. This has done me no good. He was given another dose and asked to report in ten days. The report was the same. He then received Rhus in 30th, five drops three times a day. He began to improve in a few days and has had no return since.”.

Rheumatism caused by damp and worst in damp weather, a strong indication of Rhus, had been plaguing the patient for no less than three years. A few infinitely small doses cured the case. I would now quote a still more remarkable cure of a terrible case of rheumatoid arthritis, which had lasted no less than twelve years. It was cured by an anonymous, but reliable layman, and described in the Homoeopathic World, Vol. 53, page 222:.

“Edward Swayne, 51, agricultural labourer. Kicked on left knee by cow twelve years ago. On crutches ever since (arthritis, the doctor said). Knee contracted; leg, foot, toes quite rigid. Knee swollen, discoloured, intense pain– also severe pain, tingling, pricking in fingers, toes and neck; pains shooting to top of head and eyes (especially when stooping). If foot touched leg or table or any obstacle, agony of pain followed.

Face very pallid– looked ill and suffering. Twice been in Dublin hospitals for six months at a time — returned worse — all the doctors told him bone diseased,nothing could be done. Knee fired by local doctor. Middle of November, 1917, gave 6 pilules Hypericum 1x daily– knee rubbed every night with Rhus liniment.

At the end of three weeks all pain disappeared from every part of body– could move toes, foot, and leg a tiny bit–pallor gone, looked well. Could touch the ground with foot (it had been about two inches from ground) and even walked a little without crutches ! Legs quite warm always. Could bend knee slightly.

In February, 1918– six pilules only on Sundays — liniment used Tuesdays and Fridays — knee rubbed and exercised as much as possible every night. Examination knee middle of March– swelling and discoloration all gone –(discoloration went down leg and into foot, gradually disappearing –now below ankle), kneecap quite flexible, can see muscles moving a little — and tiny wrinkle below kneecap. Foot touching ground; can kick it against obstacle without pain; stand on bad leg alone for two or three moments. Crutches discarded– stick for right arm, can take long walks — go up steps, etc.–no stick used in house. Chest expanding; head erect; looks and feels in perfect health.

This wonderful cure was effected not by small doses of Rhus tox., which of course is no specific for rheumatism, but by Hypericum, given in 1/10th of a grain doses. That drug has a wonderful healing effect upon suffering or injured nerves. The anonymous layman had evidently thoroughly studied the homoeopathic Materia Medica and had cured a case which would probably have been declared incurable by all the heads of the orthodox profession. Homoeopathy specializes in curing the apparently incurable.

Homoeopaths have many remedies curative of diseases which are caused by nerve injury. The homoeopath does not learn, like a parrot, for nerve injury give Hypericum. Hypericum will cure only those nerve injuries which are of the Hypericum type, which display the same nerve symptoms which were caused in healthy provers who had been given that drug.

In nerve injuries and diseases which have not the Hypericum characteristics, Hypericum will prove ineffective and another drug must be chosen. Dr. K. Stauffer, an eminent German homoeopath, described the following case in his Klinische Homoop. Arzneimittellehre, 1926:.

“A lady, aged about 45, of nervous temperament, had injured her left elbow by a severe blow five weeks ago. Immediately afterwards she felt excruciating pain radiating from the elbow down to the finger tips which soon disappeared. However, a week afterwards she was suddenly attacked by unbearable pain throughout the left arm, which radiated towards the backbone on the one hand and towards the breastbone on the other hand.

The pain was tearing, lancinating, cutting, and she was unable to move the arm and had to double up with the pain, which lasted until 11 0clock at night. The pain disappeared in the warmth of the bed, but it returned every evening about the same time. During the day there was no pain if the arm was kept immobilized. The pain was relieved by pressure, but was greatly aggravated by the slightest touch. Movement brought about aggravation, warmth did good. The patient was irritable, restless.

Examination showed considerable swelling of the whole arm, which was hot to the touch, but the hand was cool. Touching the nerve of the arm at any spot caused the patient to shrink and cry out. There were gouty nodules on the fingers and it appeared that the patient had a gouty-rheumatic disposition. The patient obviously suffered from neuralgia of the great nerve of the left arm, due to a gouty disposition, and the attack was brought about by contusion.

She was given a millionth of a grain of Colocynthis, which at first produced a pronounced aggravation. On the second day she was given a trillionth of a grain of Colocynthis. After two days the swelling of the arm had been greatly reduced, there was less pain, movement was possible and continued improvement caused a complete cure to take place within a week. By referring to the symptomatology of Colocynthis, it will be clear that drug was the similimum.”.

I would quote a paragraph contained in Dr. G. Royals Diseases of the Brain and Nerves because the author briefly summarizes in it the leading symptoms of that drug, based on a proving:.

“With three students I proved Colocynth on myself. I began with the Ist potency and afterwards took three drops of the tincture. It produced on me, and also on the students, the sensations which follow: The modalities, especially that better from heat, were very marked on myself and two of the students; but heat did not affect the pain of the third student. The sensations are as follows: Dull, stitching pain in the left hip (this was true of all four of us); the pains come suddenly and shoot down the posterior part of the thigh to the knee, occasionally past the knee to the foot.

They usually began in the morning and often were better and sometimes entirely disappeared at night after getting warm in bed. There were sometimes sticking, drawing pains, rarely burning. There was a good deal of cramping in the calves of the left leg, occasionally the right. One of the students reported the sensation as if a sharp knife were drawn from the hip, cutting through to the bone and extending to the knee. The greatest relief was from heat. The most marked aggravation was from motion and touch.”.

Dr. G. Charette wrote in his book Quest-ce que L’Homoeopathie?:.

“While I was at the War Dr. L. . . ., who did not know that I am a homoeopath, asked me to see with him a civilian patient who for three weeks had been suffering from a right-sided and very painful sciatica which no treatment could relieve. My colleague had conscientiously searched for the cause of the trouble without result. He had not been able to discover a septic focus, infection, nor an anomaly of the urine. He had tried all the usual medicines, had applied blisters and other outward treatments, had examined the prostate, etc.

J. Ellis Barker
James Ellis Barker 1870 – 1948 was a Jewish German lay homeopath, born in Cologne in Germany. He settled in Britain to become the editor of The Homeopathic World in 1931 (which he later renamed as Heal Thyself) for sixteen years, and he wrote a great deal about homeopathy during this time.

James Ellis Barker wrote a very large number of books, both under the name James Ellis Barker and under his real German name Otto Julius Eltzbacher, The Truth about Homœopathy; Rough Notes on Remedies with William Murray; Chronic Constipation; The Story of My Eyes; Miracles Of Healing and How They are Done; Good Health and Happiness; New Lives for Old: How to Cure the Incurable; My Testament of Healing; Cancer, the Surgeon and the Researcher; Cancer, how it is Caused, how it Can be Prevented with a foreward by William Arbuthnot Lane; Cancer and the Black Man etc.