I began with Aconite and Chamomilla 30.

April 30th.-Better a good deal; sleeps very well; less drowsy, urine better.

Pulsatilla 1 was then given.

May 14th.-Urine normal; no longer drowsy; but the glands and anatomical condition no better. I had often treated such like cases with steady, general, and particular amelioration of symptoms, but I had by this time grown wiser, and fully recognized that the stop-spot of such remedies as Aconite, Chamomilla and Pulsatilla was a long way on the hither side of a cure. Said I to myself,…..This sort of remedy only goes up to the tubercle, and the tubercle sphere is their stop-points….. But it is the tubercles that kill! I therefore began with phthisic virus.

June 11th.-Not sleepy; sleeps quietly at night; he is wasting; frets and whines; urine normal.

Mindful of the vaccinosis, I thought it probable that as that was the more recent, and planted upon the tuberculosis, the vaccinosis would have first to be cured.

Thuja 30. July 11th.-Was better, but yesterday was at a flower show, and he now screams a good deal.

Rx. Glonion 2 and Aconite 2. 18th.-He has got over this attack, and the glands are a trifle less. He now sleeps badly again. The previously administered one-hundredth (centesimal) of the phthisic virus not having acted as well as I anticipated, I came down to very infrequent doses of the thirtieth.

August 22nd.-Appetite better; nights good; not drowsy by day; urine red and brick-dusty a week ago; is still mum and fretty; he is stronger; can walk further; glands of the neck much worse, notably those on the left side.

Pulsatilla 3x and Calcarea C. 12.

October 17th.-He is worse, and screams dreadfully in his sleep. I then put patient again steadily upon the virus alone as our only chance, and the patient was discharged cured on January 7, 1889. At the end of the year I received this letter :- “4th December 1889.

“Dear Sir,–I feel I must thank you for your kind advice and trouble you have taken in curing my little son…. I am happy to say he has taken a change for the better for some time past; he has made flesh, and has so altered that you would scarcely know him. Hoping he will keep so; and should anything happen that he is not so well…. I shall fly off to you,” etc.

Since then I have heard nothing, and so conclude that the cure is permanent.

The striking amelioration in the boy which filled the mother with gratitude, and impelled her to write the above, I take to be the natural healthy growth of the boy, which set in after he was cured of the tubercles.

This case greatly impressed me, and, moreover, much encouraged me. Evidently it has only been taken just in time; a little later and the phthisic virus (at any rate in my homoeopathically prepared infinitesimal quantities) would have been unavailing.


A little girl of 6 years of age, daughter of a country squire, being under almost ideally perfect hygienic surroundings, her father, however, suffering from chronic pulmonary consumption, fell ill in the spring of 1888. There was fever, wasting, abdominal pains and discomfort, and restless nights. The glands of both groins and on both sides of the neck enlarged and indurated, some were visible on simple adspection. Except that she had been vaccinated in the usual way, she had no illness. The local family doctor considered her case a very anxious one, and had small hope of her ultimate recovery.

I gave the virus in the thirtieth potency, and at intervals of nine days. This was on July 27th.

On August 27th I find noted in my record of her case :–“Was nearly well, but is now feverish again; cries out in her sleep; strawberry tongue; very feverish.” I then repeated the virus, but in the one-hundredth potency, and at the same intervals (to allow of undisturbed action, see Hahnemann).

November 2nd.-Is better decidedly; has quite ceased crying out in her sleep; all the glands are nearly well.

Thuja occidentalis 30 also at like intervals.

he remained well for some months (from September, 1888, till May 1890), when, on May 28th, 1890, I thought it was wise to repeat the virus, as on August 27th, 1888, and this set her right; and after three months she continued well, except for a slight stomach derangement, which Pulsatilla I and Arsenicum 5 put right. She is now well.

Her younger sister I treated for a much minor degree of the same constitutional state with Iodium 3x and Glonoin 3x, with seemingly complete success, and therefore I did not need to have recourse to the bacillic virus.


There are certain cases of what may, perhaps, be termed CONSUMPTIVENESS, but where the patients, through being fed largely and richly, manage to get stout, even very fat, and who yet are distinctly afflicted with the tuberculous taint, and who in the end get diabetes, or go into common consumption. Such a one was a very big, stout, provincial gentleman, of bright, florid complexion, who came under my professional care in the spring of this year. His mother died young, of phthisis, and his only sister is stated to be going the same way. He gets pneumonia very often in the cold weather, and hence he now goes from place to place to avoid cold.

He coughs much, and brings up much phlegm. As his father died of pneumonia, and, as I have just observed, his mother of consumption, he regarded his own outlook with reasonable apprehensiveness. He perspired very profusely, drank huge quantities of fluids, some of them alcoholic, and had wretched, sleepless nights, with almost constant fever. The glands of his neck were very much enlarged. He was three months under the bacillic virus, and was then a very different man; he now sleeps well; the glands are well (i.e., cannot be felt); the temperature is now normal; no cough; no phlegm; and his tissues are much less watery. He is, therefore, not so huge, and much more active.


I have had another case so much like the one just narrated that I will merely note it shortly. There was a similar unhealthy parentage, the same liability to pneumonia, the same watery hugeness of body, the same sort of cough and wet phlegminess, the same excessive perspirations and thirst, and restless nights. But no fever as a rule.

The treatment was mixed; the bacillic virus had not the same decided effect, but under it he went smaller in bulk, but did not lose weight, from which I conclude that he really gained in proper flesh, but lost in water from his tissues. In this case Pulsatilla, Spiritus glandium quercus, and the Acetum lobeliae greatly aided in his cure. When I lately saw him, and passed the time of day, he cried after me, “Oh! I am splendid.”


A young lady, unmarried, aged 19, was brought to me by her father at the beginning of the month of July, 1889. The hectic flush of the cheeks announced the dreadful diagnosis; shortness of breath for long, much worse the past three years; little hacking cough; a number of strumous scars of various dates in the neck; dusky skin; there are large moist rales in both lungs; amphoric sounds in the right lung; increased vocal resonance of right lung; there is a large soft-feeling gland in the left side of the neck; a very pronounced endocardial bruit, best heard at the apex beat; and the before-mentioned hectic flush.

July 12th.-Trit.3x Iodoformum in four-grain dose Two months of this treatment effected very pronounced improvement, and patient had gained in flesh, but the hectic was not touched.

October 9th.-At this date I began with the bacillic virus (C.) Always in very infrequent dose, and, in future, this is always to be understood, so I need not again state this all-important fact. Thereafter the same remedy (C.C.) Recovery complete, and she remains plump and well. As patient lives 150 miles away from London, I have never been able to see her to percuss and auscultate with the view of ascertaining the physical state of her thoracic organs. They were under a promise to come, but as she is so evidently well they do not see the need of incurring the expense and taking the trouble of a journey to town merely for my satisfaction.


A little boy of 7 years of age was brought to me at the end of the spring of 1890 for symptoms of incipient phthisis; he had an ill-defined sort of fever, and then the Russian influenza. Consumption being in the family, his parents had become anxious about him principally because of his loss of flesh and great prostration, together with a morbid timidity. The glands of his groins and both sides of his neck were very much enlarged and indurated, particularly the glands over the apex of the right lung. As he had suffered much from vaccination, I first gave Thuja 30, and Sabina 30, and then the bacillic virus (C.) “He has gained in flesh, weight, and spirits; his nerve is also better, as he has taken to riding, a thing he was afraid of before.” He got quite well, and remains so to date.


A lady of 56 years of age came to me, with what I considered tubercular synovitis of her left knee, in the fall of 1889. She walked in with difficulty with the aid of a stick. The thing was evidently de souche tuberculeuse; she was florid; her mother died young of consumption, and six of her brothers and sisters had succumbed to the same malady in different forms. After two months of the bacillic virus (C.) she reported herself as quite well, and free from pain and inconvenience, and “able to walk slowly without stick for an hour and a half at a time.” She is quite well now.


A boy of 8 years of age, whose mother is in consumption, and of whose ancestors quite a number have died of consumption, was brought to me on September 6,1889, for these symptoms: nocturnal perspirations; (notched incisors); indurated glands everywhere very large and very numerous; drum-bellied; grinds his teeth in the night; great susceptibility to taking cold; perspirations worse at the back of the lungs and of the head; big head with bulging forehead; subject to attacks of fever and diarrhoea.

Two months of the virus (C.) cured all these, and he is now well and thriving.


On September 9, 1889, a young merchant, 26 years of age, of pronouncedly phthisical habit, both of whose parents had died young of lung disease, came to me telling me he had been under nine physicians, and also in a well-known hospital for what may be collectively termed consumptiveness: severe piles; constipation, and a brown cutaneous affection on the abdomen, that, I think, has been termed erythrasma. He is tall, thin, long thin neck, and bends forward. He was three months under the bacillic virus, got quite well, and has since married. He is altogether a different man. He had subsequently Thuja for his vaccinosis, and then Hydrastis canadensis 0 five drops in a tablespoonful of water twice a day for some time. And here I will allow myself to interpose the remark, that Hydrastis given as just named fattens up patients after the cure with the bacillic virus in an often truly wonderful manner. The bacillic virus has a well-defined and limited sphere of action, and very frequently needs to be followed by other remedies, as so few cases are quite simple.

CASE XX. A married lady, 35 years of age, mother of three consumptive children; her only brother died of rapid consumption. She had miscarried three times, and was dying piecemeal of excessive menstruation, and had become alarmingly emaciated.

She had the virus (C.), and this was followed by Chelidonium majus 0 and Thuja 30, and she was discharged cured at Christmas, 1889.She is now well and in good condition.


Daughter of the foregoing, 7 years of age, with limbs like sticks; right lung very flat; ribs of the right side fallen in; indurated cervical glands; strawberry tongue; spleen swelled; irritable and restless.

She had the virus for two months followed by Calcarea phos. 3x, and was discharged cured on May 14, 1890.


The baby brother of the foregoing was brought on September 11, 1889, in an emaciated state, suffering from chronic diarrhoea, and evidently without the intervention of medical art not long for this world. In my case-notes he is described as “all glands,” i.e., the cervical and inguinal glands feelably indurated and visible. Without doubt his mesenteric glands were the seat of the same consumptive process and the real cause of the diarrhoea. He had Elaterium 3 (the motions went off “pop”). Iodium 2 and Thuja 30, when he was considerably better, but still had the diarrhoea and excessive perspirations. After a month of the bacillic virus, however, his mother reported “Very much better; no diarrhoea; no perspiration; we consider him quite well.” I gave him, however, two months of Calcarea phos. 3x. He was reported well on Feb. 24, 1890, and he is now a thriving boy notwithstanding our dirty London atmosphere.


An author of eminence, well known in theological circles, a little over 50 years of age, came to me in the fall of 1889, complaining of terrible pain in his head, almost absolute sleeplessness, and profound adynamia. Most of his brothers and sisters had died of water on the brain; his own right lung is solid, probably from healed-up cavities, as he used to have blood-spitting for years, and after much good treatment and foreign travel he “grew out” of his pulmonary consumption. His own friends, on advice, were having him “shadowed,” as he was thought to be on the verge of insanity. The pain in his head he described as if he had a tight hoop of iron round it; his hands tremble; but what distresses him almost more than anything is a sensation of damp clothes on his spine.

It sounds hardly credible, but in less than a month after beginning with the virus the pain in the head had gone, the sensation of damp clothes had gone, and his sleep was very fairly good.

As a matter of prudence, I gave it him at long intervals for another month, and then he needed no further treatment. He continues, I believe, in good health, and is hard at work finishing a forthcoming publication.


An anxious young mother brought her fifteen months’ old baby boy to me at the beginning of October, 1889. He was dark, sullen, taciturn, black-eyed and fattish (the kind of fat that I regard as hide-bound). He is irritable, costive, screams in his sleep, and he is very restless at night.

“His little sister died at 2 1/2, of consumption of the brain, and she was just like he is.”

He had at first some Thuja, with benefit, but we had not cured him by any means, then I gave the bacillic virus (C.), which his mother said made him at first “terribly ill,” and thereupon amelioration set in. Here I gave Calcarea phos. 3x, and he was thought well. But in May, 1890, he had a slight relapse, when I again gave the virus, but this time in the two-hundredth potency. He got quite well and is now thriving.


A young married lady, 28 years of age, one child, was recommended to me by her clergyman, and I first saw her on October 21, 1889. She had been under their very able and careful family physician for consumption, and then, said she, “I have been to all the physicians.” She had formerly been very plump, but is now very thin, and has lost ten pounds in weight during the last two months. “No one can do me any good, and I want you to tell me if I am to die, or whether there is any chance for me, all my mother’s people died of consumption.” As she had typhoid very badly, so badly that she never quite throve since, although that was eleven years ago, I began with Pyrogenium 5, five drops in water, three times a day. The same principle that guides me in the exhibition of the bacillic virus guided me in my choice of the Pyrogenium. Under the Pyrogenium she gained 3 1/2 lbs. in weight.

I should have mentioned that she had no cough, though the apex of the right lung is solid, and the part pains very much, as does also the region of the base of the left lung. The vocal resonance was unequal. Besides gaining thus in weight, the top of the right lung is not so dull, and the vocal resonance seems pretty equal.

She then had Nux vomica I for her indigestion. She is what the homoeopaths call a nux subject.

On Nov. 18th she had gained another 2 lbs. in weight, and scaled 8 st. 11 1/2 lbs. (She is a tall woman). She begs for the Pyrogenium again, but instead, seeing the very pronounced hectic flush, I put her upon the bacillic virus (C).

December 4th.-She weighs 8 st. 13 lbs., or 1 1/2 lbs. more than last time. The hectic flush is gone. I continued with the virus.

January 1st, 1890.-She weighs 9 st. 2 lbs. Is weak, much indigestion, worse at 6 P.M.

Thuja occid. 30, as I considered the virus had done its work, and her two vaccinations had to be reckoned with.

January 29th.-Weight 9 st. 7 lbs., and her indigestion is much better. But there is a little hectic flush again, and hence I hark back to the virus (C.)

Feb. 12th.-She weighs 9 st. 9 1/2 lbs., and is vastly improved. “That medicine tried me a good deal, but I am quite another woman.” Hydrastis 0.

March 14th.-She weighs 10 st. but still has dyspepsia, which I think may be from the old typhoid, and hence ordered Pyrogenium 5 as before.

April 8th.-She weighs 10 st. 2 lbs. and is doing well.


A single lady of 26 came to me in November, 1889, in the first stage of consumption; both her sisters and her mother are said to be in consumption, and both parents of her mother died of consumption.

Beyond dyspnoea and rapid breathing the physical signs were but few: just loss of flesh and a greasy, dingy skin. She had two months of the virus followed by Hydrastis canadensis 0, etc., and was discharged cured in the following May. She is now plump, well, and thriving, so her brother tells me.


A city merchant, single, 28 years of age, came to consult me early last summer for incipient consumption. His mother had died of consumption; his brother is far gone of the same malady. He had an eruption in the skin over the larynx, and his general state was so distressed that I began the treatment with Zincum aceticum 3x, five drops in a tablespoonful of water every three hours. This cured the eruption, and I then noted that his skin was very dusky; he had long had chronic diarrhoea. Moist rales all over the chest, with pretty free expectoration. For the state of bowels I gave Iris versicolor 30, and that cured the chronic diarrhoea, but the expectoration was very profuse. He had been formerly operated on for fistula. The bacillic virus continued for two months quite cured him, and he put on some 8 or 10 lbs. in weight. He continues well, and with my approbation has now married.

Second Edition : He continues well, and his wife has presented him with a fine healthy boy.


A Country gentleman brought, or rather sent, his little 7 year old daughter to me on October 4, 1889, for treatment for incipient consumption; the cough was at its worst at 6 A.M. Notched incisors; very thin and puny, her cervical and inguinal glands very much enlarged and indurated; strawberry tongue. She was three months under the bacillic virus, the doses at eight day’s intervals, and got quite well. She continues thriving. She also had Thuja afterwards.


A young clerk, 34 years of age, was sent by his employer to me in the early spring of 1890 to be treated for consumption. He was dusky, pigeon-breasted, and ill-conditioned, but had only been acutely ill for three weeks. The haemoptysis was very bad; respiration rapid. His father had died of lung disease. He was put on Acetum lobelia, which did good palliatively, and then on the bacillic virus (C.), which did no good whatever, and he died in a very few weeks. This is quite in accordance with my other experience, when the consumptive process is in full blaze the virus is unavailing.


An Oxford student of 22 years of age was sent by his widowed mother to me two years ago, for a little insignificant cough, rapid respiration, and attacks of feverishness. He was not emaciated, but listless, apathetic, and always tired; withal of a very sweet disposition, and had all his life been timid and retiring. I treated him to the very best of my ability, and with great care, with our usual remedies, and with the bacillic virus, and sent him to places which are supposed to be good for this malady. He did not suffer, but slowly died; his life went out, as it were, from utter weariness. I have his photograph before me, taken just before he died, and he, in it, does not even look ill. Perhaps it was thus to be.

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.