Being more than satisfied with Bacillinum I have not needed to have recourse to Koch’s Tuberculinum, but in order to be sure that my high opinion of his preparation was warranted I have used Tuberculinum Kochii 6 in the form of tincture prepared from Koch’s matrix fluid obtained from his Berlin agent, but here I will only say that I have satisfied myself that his fluid is a good anti-tubercular remedy administered internally as a homoeopathic dilution. It seemed to me, however, nothing like so good as Bacillinum in its therapeutic effects, and also not equal to the Tuberculinum Swanii; but as I have had a good deal of experience with Swan’s remedy and much more with Bacillinum, and very little with Koch’s, I would not prejudice the question, as in the meantime I must consider myself relatively unqualified to give an opinion on Koch’s remedy further than to say that it certainly has power over tubercular processes.

All the cases that within my own and hearsay knowledge have been treated with Koch’s remedy by hypodermic injection have died. One case only that had been to Germany and been under a regular course of Kochian injections, has come under my personal care, and in this case the effects of the treatment were very curious. The young man’s pulmonary phthisis was, seemingly, cured on the right side, i.e. the right lung appeared in all respects normal, but the left lung was almost solid. And I think the history of the case in question affords an explanation of the peculiar behaviour of the remedy. The point is important in its practical bearing and I will therefore explain. The young man was phthisically-disposed, was suffering, in fact, from what I have ventured to call consumptiveness. It was therefore determined to give him an outdoor occupation in a warm climate, and he was accordingly sent to Florida, where he entered upon the new life, but unfortunately, he got the ague of that country and after being greatly depressed thereby he was sent back home to England in declared consumption, and hereupon his fond father took him to Germany for the Koch cure, and this failing he brought him to me on his homeward journey, when I found the condition I have just described. His spleen was very much enlarged so that what with a solid left lung and this engorged spleen he was, as before stated, peculiarly left-sidedly diseased. I imagine, therefore, that Koch’s treatment might have succeeded if the spleen and chronic malarialism had been first cured; this I set about doing and for a few weeks patient picked up wonderfully and then I gave Bacillinum but to no purpose; the phthisis had broken out in full blaze and the young man died. Here I again observed that Bacillinum has no influence over acute phthisis in full blaze. Had the young man been treated by Bacillinum when he went to Florida I think he would have been cured by it and my next two cases will give my reason for this opinion.


A young man of about twenty years of age, brother of the foregoing, was ailing in just the same way as his deceased brother did before starting for Florida. He was tall, big-made and from his bulk ought to have been very strong, but this he was not but on the contrary very weak indeed, and he had a number of indurated glands in the neck and that was how his brother began.

Three months of the Bacillinum has seemingly quite cured him and his cervical glands can no longer be felt and patient feels quite well and is now employed as an electrical engineer here in London.


A younger brother of the two foregoing, about 12 years of age, was in a similar state and in addition to indurated glands his skin had a very dusky brown aspect, he tanned unduly in the sun.

He also has quite recovered under the Bacillinum and his father not long since reported of him from the country as quite well and hearty. From these two cases I think I am warranted in saying that the eldest deceased brother might have been saved had he had the treatment by Bacillinum at the time of his being sent to Florida.

To cure consumption, therefore, by Bacillinum we must begin early with the treatment, and we must ever keep before our minds that each case must be individualized to the extent of not expecting the bacillinic specific to cure non-tubercular manifestations: for instance Bacillinum will not cure chronic malarialism as it will also not cure vaccinosis or the hydrogenoid constitution of Grauvogl, and so forth. And as very many cases of consumptiveness and of consumption are not merely that, the extra-tubercular part of each case must be cured: each case on its own merits: and hence we see that neither Koch’s nor any other fluid; neither Bacillinum nor any other remedy will, in itself, suffice, in the majority of cases, for the simple reason that each will act only in its own sphere, i.e. that to which it is homoeopathic it will cure and naught else.

Of course, to a man who really understands Homoeopathy this is self-evident; all the same we are apt to lose sight of it more particularly in the presence of a series of successes, so that unless we are mindful of this, our very successes will in the end land us on the rocks. In fine: remedies cure homoeopathically and not otherwise, and hence a specific is only so far a specific as it is homoeopathic to any given case in its totality–for where there are other pathologic elements in the case the specific does not cure these other pathological elements; it is not homoeopathic thereto, and it will, therefore, not cure them, it will only cure that part of the case to which it is homoeopathic; the other part, or parts, of the case must be treated by their similars.

I dwell upon this, and reiterate, because of its essential importance to correct views and successful practice. Thus I would refer to a case, mentioned at the beginning, of syphilis and tuberculosis, manifested in a urinary fistula; in this case Mercurius and Bacillinum in alternation cured the case while neither alone would do so. This kind of alternation is, I think, really scientific and sound practice. And in the case of the young man who went to Florida I think his chronic malarialism baulked the action of the Tuberculinum Kochii; and his father told me that the German physician who made the injections was greatly puzzled by the curious action of the remedy injected and said he had never seen the like before and could not understand it. He took no account of the old ague; he merely treated tuberculosis with tuberculine; but tuberculine is not homoeopathic to ague. So we must always analyse our cases aetiologically and pathologically as well as individualize them synthetically.

The neglect of aetiologic diagnostics is indeed a “fatal error.” Heresay? Tant pis.


Young Lord X. just verging on his teens came under my professional care in the winter of the year 1890 for a group of symptoms that I have already ventured to lump together under the designation of consumptiveness; he was pale, spare, neck long and thin, and in the neck his glands visible from their very considerable enlargement and induration, and his temper most miserable. He had Thuja occid. 30, Phytolacca dec. 3 and Psorinum 30 all with some benefit, but the really radical improvement set in after the use of Bacillinum C., under which I kept him for about three months. Lord X. was discharged cured in nine months in quite a different physical state. No glands in his body can be either seen or felt and his neck must be fully half an inch thicker. The experienced know well what I mean when I speak of the long thin neck of the consumptive and consumptively-disposed, and if they will treat these thin-necked ones as I here relate they will slowly get a very weighty change. In case it should be lost sight of I would again expressly state that one dose of, say, six globules of Bacillinum (30, C. CC., or M.) every eight or ten days is enough, because we want not the remedy itself but its action, and the action when set up lasts well for a week. And it seems to me that when the Bacillinum is too frequently repeated the action of one dose trips up, so to speak, the action of the previously-given dose, and that therefore we get more permanent drug-action from fewer doses than from the same remedy frequently repeated.

I would also like to repeat what I have before adverted to, viz.: Bacillinum will not cure vaccinosis, for instance, it works in its own sphere only. Also that the progress is much hastened when tissue salts are given after the consumptive state has been cured–thus after the Bacillinum had cured Lord X.’s consumptiveness and he was well but weedy, Calcarea phos. 3x followed with very good effect. In case any one should think that the Calcarea phos. by itself would have effected the cure let such a one take a dozen cases of this consumptiveness and treat half of them with, and half without the Bacillinum and he will agree with me that it is the Bacillinum which cures the disease. The test cases chosen should be well pronounced because in the very slight cases Calcarea phos. will alone often suffice at least for a time.

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.