I have had no great cause to complain of the homoeopathic treatment of ringworm with our antipsorics– indeed, quite the contrary–but it is apt to be a bit tedious at times. Now their mother had been cured by me of incipient tuberculosis with the virus, and it occurred to me that ringworm might be a manifestation of the tubercular kind, and so I forthwith put the whole lot under the virus, administered in the usual way, internally in dynamic dose; this I did all the more readily, as they all had numerous superficial palpable glands. And the result? In a very few weeks they were all well of ringworm and of the glands, and have thriven splendidly ever since. Something like a dozen bad ringworm cases have come to me since then, and they were all quickly cured by the virus, and in each case the general state has been greatly improved. No doubt some bacteriologist will cultivate, some fine day, the germs of the ringworm, and astound the world with his subcutaneous injections. It is well that medical men should approach each subject from a different standpoint as they serve to correct one another.


This shall be my last case in illustration of my “Five Years’ experience in the New Cure of Consumption by its Own Virus.” A young lad of 14 was brought to me in July, 1884, for treatment for consumption. For about a twelve month he had a bad cough, with spitting of blood, and one of the apices was audibly diseased. He had previously had pneumonia. His chest was flat, and respiration accelerated. After the use of the virus he got quite well, and nearly four years of subsequent good health, free from any consumptive symptom, testify to the genuineness of the cure. He has just successfully passed the medical examination for service in the British army.-Second Edition. There was one feature in his case to which I desire to call attention, viz., he tanned unduly in the sun before the cure, but not since. For many years I have regarded the rapid darkening of the skin in the sun’s rays as indicative of a consumptive tendency; and as I have verified it many times, I have no doubt about it. I know a little boy who was brought to me for a bad temper: he is the scion of a consumptive family. I noticed that he was very much pigmented where the sun’s rays impinged upon him, but not on the covered parts of his body, and his teeth were dirty-greenish. After he had been two months under the virus, his teeth went clean, and he no longer tanned in the sun, and finally he had become amiable and good tempered.


Having come to the end of the task I set myself, I will make a few brief remarks in the form of general explanatory propositions:-

1. The virus of the consumptive process itself–here termed variously the virus, the bacillic virus, etc.–cures promptly the incipient stages of tubercular consumption in all parts– brain, lungs, skin, joints, etc.

2. The virus is to be administered by the mouth in what the homoeopaths call high potencies.

3. The doses must not be too frequently administered; one dose every sixth to tenth day is my own practical rule.

4. Low dilutions are inadmissible; myself I have never gone below the thirtieth centesimal potency, and as I have known even this to give rise to grave constitutional disturbances, I now very rarely go below the one-hundredth centesimal potency.

5. At a given stage of the consumptive process the virus is no longer a cure, but I have not been able to determine the precise stage at which it ceases to act curatively.

6. In as much as the disease which the virus cures is similar to the one producible by a full dose of the virus itself, it follows that the action is homoeopathic, and the remedy the homoeopathic pathologic simillimum of the to-be-cured disease.

7. Theoretically the stage at which the virus ceases to be of any use is, I think, where the disease has become aggressively infective in quantity, or bulk, and where homoeopathicity merges into identity. Assuming that the bacilli at a given stage of the malady become in quantity aggressively infective, we can readily see that a dynamic simillimum must get, so to speak, swamped, and therefore become inoperative. Hence, if it is to cure it must act before the bacilli are numerous enough to get the mastery. Hence also it is not the chronicity or age of the consumption that determines our point, but the degree of intensity; a new case may be incurable by it, while a very old one may be quickly nd completely cured by it.

8. The power of resistance of the organism in consumption is of the highest importance, as may be seen from the very numerous cures of consumption, wrought by very numerous medicines, by able men of all therapeutic views, by climate, by foods such as cod-liver oil, suet and milk, rum and milk, by calcifying remedies such as the salts of lime, by oil, frictions, etc., etc., and therefore the use of the bacillic virus excludes none of these, but, on the contrary, the virus might become the remedy after other more or less helpful means, even after it had been administered in vain previously. For if the body can be increased in healthy bulk, and the power of resistance of the organism augmented, the extreme point of the homoeopathic action of the virus would be pushed further out.

It is known that poisons affect the human organism according to its bulk; it takes more virus to kill a pound of bulk than it does to kill an ounce of the same; the like is known to be more or less the case in consumption, and this it is that explains the thousands upon thousands of cures of consumption wrought by feeding alone. Two years ago a lady pretty far gone with her family complaint–consumption–and reduced almost to a shadow, and yet with hardly any fever, said to me….”Doctor, is there any chance for me, I want to live for my child?”

I replied,–“Well, Mrs.–, if I were in your place and condition, I should, humanely speaking, get well.”


“Will you do it?”

“I will.”

“Then EAT whether you have any appetite or not, feed, stuff yourself if need be, and if you will thus add 18 or 20 lbs. to your bulk, I will cure the disease.”

She kept her word, and I–thanks to stomachics, digestives, and then to the bacillic virus–kept mine, and she is now a stout woman in very fair health indeed. Let, therefore, the consumptive beware lest they undervalue the great helps of the past in the cure of consumption, which are the common property of all thoughtful medical men of all shades of views therapeutic, and not rush after the mad notion that any remedy can neutralize an unhealthy life or foul air, or counteract carping cares, or supply food and drink, or stamp out of the footprints of the Nemesis of physical and physic wrongs.

To conclude, I beg publicly to thank Dr. Skinner, of London, for inducing me, sixteen years ago, to administer the virus of a disease therapeutically.

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.