J.C.Burnett presented cases of consumptiveness and incipient phthisis responded well with Bacillinum Tuberculinum in his book New cures of consumption….

My first edition was written in great haste, for the primary purpose of vindicating for Homoeopathy the right of priority in the treatment of phthisis by tuberculinum or the virus of the disease-process itself. My object has been fully attained, and the allopathic and lay press of England and, indeed, of Europe, now fully admit that whether the treatment of phthisis by its own virus be good or bad it belongs to Homoeopathy. As an allopathic colleague exclaimed the other day,”What a God-send Koch’s discovery has been for you homoeopaths; if it is true, he has proved your homoeopathic principle up to the hilt- but I do not believe it is true.” So now that it is admittedly the property of Homoeopathy, it is for us to prove to the world that it is true, and therefore a property worth owning. To this end my second edition.

In Germany the first edition has received due attention, and has been translated first by Dr. Goullon, of Weimar, and secondly by Dr. Renner, of London, which latter translation may be found in the “Zeitschrift des Berliner Vereines homoeopatischer Aerzte,” B. x., Hv., and Vj., October 20, 1891. Dr. Windelband gives it a very sensible introductory notice, but is evidently staggered by the dilutions I have made use of, and yet at the same time confessing that his use of Tuberculinum Kochii in the 6th to 10th homoeopathic decimal dilutions have given him very unsatisfactory results. Put aside prejudice, dear Dr. Windelband, and try the higher dilutions in not too frequent repetitions.


The saying “Take a hair of the dog that bit you,” shows that the idea that the remedy of a disease may be in the disease itself, is very old in theory. It is also by no means modern in practice, it may be found in traces almost everywhere and at all periods of history. It is nearly sixty years since Lux published his Isopathik der Contagien.

Weber published his work recommending Anthracin as a specific for anthrax at Leipsic in 1836 (Der Milzbrand und dessen sicherestes Heilmittel, von G.A. Weber), so this part of Pasteurism is really Weberism.

Psorinum, Autopsorinum; Vaccininum, Morbillinum, Ozeninum, Syphilinum, Hydrophobinum, Gonorrhinum, Loiminum, Hippozoinum (used by Gross in cancer), and some others are recorded as curative agents any time during the last half a century.

The very first medical idea I received in my life, now 40 years ago, was that the antidote to the effects of the bite of the adder was to be found in the adder itself; it was communicated to me by a wood-man one day when I was out bird’s- nesting. The second idea was shortly after this, and to the effect that warts are inoculable and can be produced by making a wart bleed and injecting of this blood under the skin of a healthy person, and to test the truth of this statement I at nine years of age, pricked a wart on a school-fellow’s hand and made it bleed, and of this blood I placed a minute quantity, with the aid of a penknife, under the skin of my left ring-finger and thus succeeded in producing a very elongated wart; and to this day the skin of the end of that finger has a warty aspect.

My third medical idea received about the same time was that warts might be cured by taking a piece of elder wood, cutting into the bark as many notches as one had warts and then casting the notched piece of elder wood (Sambucus) away and keeping the whole affair a profound secret. And this proceeding I adopted and am now divulging my secret! But the cure was not efficacious; my self-produced wart did not depart, and I forthwith had recourse to a very primitive surgical operation and got rid of it. Was Essig werden soll, muss fruh sauer werden! Who first used the word Tuberculinum I do not know; I believe it was Dr. Swan of New York; I had it from Dr. Skinner of London some sixteen or seventeen years ago; but the mode of obtaining it I felt to be altogether too nasty, though the two hundredth dilution of any thing whatsoever–even of original sin–is at least–clean! I believe Dr. Swan is under the impression that he was the first to use and recommended the use of phthisical sputum–his tuberculinum. But in this he is in error, the thing has been done time and again, and records of the practice exist. This, however, does not lessen Dr. Swan’s credit; though I presume Dr. Swan had his first ideas from Lux through Constantine Hering. Paracelsus is full of both Homoeopathy and isopathy as I long ago pointed out, and the fact that Hahnemann never quoted from Paracelsus is not to his credit, for he must have read him.

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.