In chronic disease, when the right remedies seem barred in their action, Hahnemann, on the off chance that it might be due to psora, recommended his disciples to interpose Sulphur as the great, most likely, anti-psoric. Most of use have found this a very valuable clinical suggestion. Similarly, I have found that vaccinosis frequently bars the way, and then Thuja comes inn with the beautiful effect of a genuine simillimum.

observation X.


Mr.-, a city gentleman, came under my observation on December 28th, 1882, complaining, that he was suffering from a series of neglected cold. He is costive; gets boils and pimples; has a number of warts, both and pedunculated; never had gonorrhoea; has severe frontal headache these three months; much pain across chest; and feels so out of health that he can no longer attend to his work, which is only light office work. He especially asks for a preventive for his frequent influenza colds. Flesh is flabby and skin spotted with pimples.

The habitual influenza, the chronic frontal headache, the pimply skin, the feeling of general malaise points, according to my experience, to vaccinosis. But had the patient been vaccinated ? Yes. Four times, and did not “take” the last three times.

I do not expect many to agree with my theory that, when an individual is unsuccessfully vaccinated, he may have been seriously affected in his health by the reactionless vaccination, perhaps more so than if it had “taken”. But it is a settled point with me, and in these cases I find Thuja as promptly efficacious as in the ordinary forms of vaccinosis.

R. Thuja occidentalis 30 (4 in 24). One at bedtime and on rising.

January 10th, 1883. Wonderful improvement already in the first week; the headaches gone (had had them three months), pain in chest gone; and the bowels are less costive. What a change in twelve days.

R Thuja occidentalis 100, as before.

February 8th. Well; he complains of nothing, and merely calls to thank me.

This case made a considerable sensation in the gentlemans large office circle, partly because the change in his condition was so sudden and complete, and partly because he came to Homoeopathy demonstratively unwillingly, and in consequence of the earnest solicitations of his chef de bureau.

Observation XI.


A young lady, about twenty years of ago, was brought by her mother to me on October 28th, 1882. Patient had a very red pimple nose, not like the red nose of the elderly, 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 from 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 face, it was likely to mar her future prospect very materially, more especially 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. In trying to trace the skin affection back to its real origin, I ascertained that the patient was re-vaccinated six years ago, but she could not remember whether the nose was previously affected or not. This re-vaccination was unsuccessful, i.e. it did not “take”.

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 on the nose is normal, but the constipation is not better, and for this she remains under treatment.

That Thuja cured this case is incontrovertible, but that it was a case of vaccinosis is not quite so certain, though it is far from improbable. The re-vaccination and inflammation of the skin of the nose were referred both to six years ago when she was in Switzerland at school; but the patient could not remember which was the first, the bad nose or the vaccination.

Observation XII.


Mr.-, a gentleman of position and means, about fifty years of age, came to consult me on June 28th, 1882, for neuralgia of the right eye. He had come in consequence of the cure of the case recorded here as Observation VI.

He complained of almost constant pain in right eye ever since Christmas, 1881, i.e. just about six month. 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 bad both by 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 enquiring when he was last vaccinated, he seemed completely frightened, and stammered out rapidly, “I should not like to be vaccinated again”.

“Why ?”.

“I was very seedy the last time I was vaccinated, in fact I felt awfully ill for about a month,” and he again hurriedly protested 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 vaccinated neuralgia, and therefore I ordered Thuja 30, in infrequent dose. This was on June 28th, 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. And, considering how “awfully ill” he had been after his last vaccination, I think it rather probable that this case is an example of vaccinosis.

What do you think ?.

Having narrated some rather striking cases of what I conceive to be the neuralgia of vaccinosis, let me pass on to a case showing evident tissue change or organic disease. It will be.

Observation XIII.

being a case of.


On December 22nd, 1882, a young lady of 26 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 surfaces 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 n eruption of roundish patches forming mattery heads. Has been vaccinated three different times; the last time two years ago, and the nails have become diseased since this last vaccination. The black patches have existed these eighteen months.

Looking upon this diseased condition of the nails as evidence of chronic vaccinosis, I ordered her Thuja 30 (1 in 6).

March 19th, 1883. Has continued the Thuja 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. The indentations are notably better. The eruption on the back has not been modified, and for this she remains under treatment; but I thought this much of a case of nail easy to demonstrate drug action on nail growth at all.

We will no go back to the head and the central nervous system.

Observation XIV .


A young lady of about 25 years of age came to me in May, 1881, telling me that she had some tooth-stumps extracted in November, 1880, whereafter there was haemorrhage for eight or nine hours. Two very also men in the homoeopathic ranks had treated her for some time with benefit, but she still remained ill. Conium had been of greatest use. She still complained of ptosis of left side; sleeplessness; reeling to the right when walking out of doors, tendency to fall to the right. I gave her Equisetum (3x) because her tongue was cracked. (Clinicians may note this valuable little wrinkle, i.e. cracked tongue-Equisetum, of which I first saw an account in the Therapeutic Gazette.) It was continued for months with very great benefit, and was followed by Bellis per., and then by Juglans regia, etc. Then came Avena sativa O, Cadmium 6 and 12, and Psorinum 30 and finally Titanium 30.

The more or less well-chosen remedies wrought great change in the patient, but on July 29th, 1882, she still complained that the left eye was wrong. It made her feel seasick when she read; pains in felt eye worse in the early morn; some ptosis of left upper lid; eyeball stiff, and an aching across it and right across the forehead, and she was giddy in walking about.

The case having thus come to a standstill, I cast about for some aetiologico-therapeutic annui, and in doing so learned that she had been vaccinated four times in all; the last time, three years ago, tool but faintly.

Thuja 30 soon cured the ptosis and the other described symptoms.

Of course I cannot prove that we had here to do with a case of vaccinosis, but such it appeared to me. Well-chosen remedies had greatly benefited the patient, but there seemed to be a bar to the complete cure, and Thuja effectually removed this bar.

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.