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.


On the 29th October, 1890, a country gentleman brought his twenty-four year old daughter to me. Himself one of those experienced semi-professional lay homoeopaths, he had treated his daughter with almost all our usual remedies but their effects did not last. Said he: “The worst feature is that she gets fits of rapid respiration, 45 to the minute, and she has lost flesh so.” Objectively the circumscribed redness of her cheeks at once struck me, and the breasts were very soft and flabby, in fact shrivelled and this is a weighty symptom in an English girl of twenty-four years of age. Patient complained of feeling very tired in the evenings; pains through the right half side of the neck feelable and even visible; the right mamma stringy and tender.

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.