Phlyctenular Isopathy

Phlyctenular Therapy is a form of Isopathy where serum from vesicles artificially produced, is used as an internal remedy. Other forms of Isotherapy are also discussed….

The use of vesicatory therapeutics was known since long time ago. This method, was for a long time abandoned. In the modern period and specially in the 19th century the cantharides paste was used several times since twenty years to put the method in use. This was not without reason. Some practitioners continue to use the vesicatory in pleurisies and in some kinds of pains. One should not be surprised because the use of cantharis internally, in homoeopathic dilutions is necessary for the treatment of the effusion of the pleura, when the disease is developed, or in the course of other affections.

But on the therapeutic use that we are going to deal in this article, the paste of cantharides is used only externally to obtain the patient’s own serosity. This serosity (used as it is collected after the rupture of the phlyctenule, or in homoeopathic dilution), which is a real remedy.


If I am not mistaken, it is Dr. Artault of Vevy who first tried the phlyctenotherapy, in 1912. Then some other doctors, particularly LASSABLIERE, 1928, in the Hospital of the Associated Leopold-Ballan, tried also in different affections to inject the serious fluid as it is obtained from the blister, sub- cutaneously.

He followed the very simple method as that of the auto-hemotherapy. Amongst the officials, some doctors continue the method as treatment. In the homoeopathic clan it is M. Mondain, the medical officer of the hospital Leopold Ballan, who at first, treated different diseases by this method of auto- phlyctenotherapy in two forms: the simple form by the application of ponderable doses, as Lassabliere do, or in the 3x dilution.

This method was applied for the treatment of extremely varied cases: tuberculosis syphilis, cancer. The authors already mentioned obtained some good ameliorations and even cures: amelioration of the pulmonary tuberculosis, ameliorations of the general conditions and of the sufferings of some patients suffering from cancer. But above all what is most important is in the syphilitic lesions, specially in general paralysis and the negativation of Hecht and Bordet-Wassermann test in 20 to 30 Percent of the cases treated.

Finally, five years ago, auto-phlyctenotherapy was tried successfully in many cases of toxicomania (opium, morphin, alcohol) in Egypt and in France. Not only that some subjects thus treated were disintoxicated, but renounced because of dislike, at least for many months, their dangerous habit.

However, in spite of different results obtained by that method auto-phlyctenotherapy seems to fall into oblivion as regards Official school.

Auto-Phlyctenotherapy – One should ask oneself if the homoeopaths cannot take the benefit of this method, an interesting method of therapeutics. In official school frequently some remedies are abandoned as they are dangerous or so useful because of the want of a technique and the ignorance of dynamisation: thus the serum of Marmoreck and the ebullition of Denys which are still for us some very useful arms in the treatment of the tuberculinics and of persons suffering from tuberculosis. Micrococcin always used by the homoeopaths in precancer stage and in cancers. On the other hand it is the Homoeopaths Hering, Lux, Collet who discovered the beneficial effects of Isopathy of the treatment of the patients by their own substances: dejections, pus, discharges; and auto- phlyctenotherapy, can it not be considered as a method of isopathic treatment. We think that it is.

After reading in a journal of medicine a report of the results obtained by Lassabliere in different patients by the reinjection of the liquid for the blister, I myself have begun following M. Mondain, to transpose this method in homoeopathy towards the end of 1929.

The results that I have obtained are variable: some failures, some simple ameliorations and some cures. The patients treated by this method were a few. So it is not possible to come to a certain conclusion. Nevertheless I believe that it is necessary that it is necessary that many among us should try this method in some difficult cases so as to bring after sometime, out the result of their tentatives in order to obtain some indications. precious and certain on the value of this method.

Action of the Phlyctenular Therapy Now the question is: HOW AUTO PHLYCTENOTHERAPY ACTS? The liquid of the blister is formed by a serous fluid of which the composition is very near to that of the serum of the lymphs of the blood plasma. The action of the medicines on the epiderm is similar to that of all agents of burning; but the definition of the serous fluid of a phlyctenule cannot be found in any book of medicine.

Very probably the liquid that is formed in the blisters contain like all other products of serosity: some fibrine, some albuminoids, some mineral salts and some extracts, different lactates, butyrates, with some epidermic cells, and a few white blood corpuscles. We can therefore foresee that the therapeutic action of the fluid of the phlyctenule may often be analogous to that which one obtains in the blood and it is at the time when I was witnessing the auto-serotherapy of J. Roy, I, on my part, began to try auto-phlycteno-therapy on my patients. But at that time my reason was this : The SKIN IS A PRODUCT OF ECTODERM LIKE THE NERVOUS SYSTEM. IT IS BESIDES CONSIDERED WITH REASON THE TEGUMENTS BECAUSE OF THEIR IMPORTANT NERVOUS FUNCTIONS AS CONSTITUENT OF A REAL PERIPHERIC NERVOUS SYSTEM WHICH IS AUTONOMOUS. The phlyctenular isopathy should therefore act specially on the functional troubles or lesions of the nervous system on which I tried this method.


Amongst the substances that creates blisters on the skin, the most useful and easy is the Cantharides paste. I searched for some other methods because I thought that the specific action of Cantharides may enter obligatorily into the liquid obtained from the blister on the skin of an individual and may more or less trouble its action. Besides very often I have seen vesicular eruption on the skin of the individual who was given the 200th or 1000 the (Korsakoff) of the liquid obtained from the phlyctenule. This eruption was similar to the eruptions of zona having intercostal localisation. NO doubt it was the eruption caused by Cantharis. Perhaps this method may be avoided by drawing the liquid from the blister by a syringe. Thus one may avoid to collect one or two blackish particles of Cantharides often scattered on the body of the blister.

Many other toxins forms blisters on the skin (antipyrine, bromides, iodides) but only on the skin of some individuals…

Some very old pastes of cantharides do not burn well and for this reason Lassabliere used always the same paste of cantharides, prepared by himself very carefully.

Even by this method all skins do not let themselves be burnt with the same sensitiveness. There are some skins as for example persons suffering from the Duhring’s diseases, which produces very easily the vesicles. Whatever it may be I HAVE OBSERVED THAT SOME PERSONS WHO ARE SUFFERING FROM THE ORGANIC LESIONS OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM PRODUCE WITH DIFFICULTY THE PHLYCTENULES, even with good and freshly done cantharides, pastes. This is not surprising because such individuals have often trophic troubles of the skin. In these persons the vesicatory is to be retained for eighteen, twenty-four of thirty six hours. Generally it is better to tell to the individual to put the paste while going to bed. The serum is extracted early in the morning. The best place for producing the blister is the place where vaccination is given i.e. the third upper hand part, on the external face of the arm.

The dilutions that were used are 200 and 1000 centesimal prepared in the same phial (a non-hahnemannian process). These dilutions are really much lower than the Hahnemannian dilutions done in separate phials. The first three dilutions are done in water because alcohol coagulates the serum. From the 4th upwards the dilutions are made my dynamiser. The first three dilutions are done by myself by hand and each of these three dilutions are jerked for five minutes.


From the very early period of human civilisation the products prepared from the disease itself was used for the cure of the same disease. It was one of the most important empirical art of cure.

Numerous primitive people know that the repeated inoculations may guard against the effects of poisons and venoms. The Bohemians make an incision near the snake bite and introduce into it a pinch of the dried glands with venom from others serpents. Such glands were dried and powdered and kept ready for use in cases of snake bites. Some inhabitants of Columbia uses a serum prepared from the liver of a poisonous serpent and is introduced in the same way as above.

The Chinese people used to preserve the dried pustules of small pox for one year and after powdering them used a pinch as snuff in the left nostrils of the boys and in the right nostrils of girls for preventing them from small pox.

Hippocrates wrote “Vomitus vomitu curantur” He also has said Est limus salibae sub lingua rabiosi canis qui, datus in potu, fieri hydrophobos non patitur” (There is under the tongue of the rabid dog a slime formed by its saliva, which taken in drink, guards against rabies. (Pliny-Natural history)

Later on the theory of signature gave a second breath to Isopathy. This was the primitive form of the law of similars.

Paracelsus said “The similar cures the similar, the scorpion cures the scorpion, mercury cures mercury. The poison is mortal for man except if in the organism there is another poison with which it may fight, in which case the patient regains health. With this aim in view he used very weak doses of the poison in question. He also recommends the Fell Tauri for the hepatic cirrhosis and the extract of the spleen for the “obstruction” of the spleen. He mentions blood serum to stop haemorrhage and equally mentions about the use of the opotherapic products.”

Robert Flud says in his “Philosophia Mysaica” (1638): “But do we not see generally that the similar which the nature has modified by putrefaction, has in fact particularly notice action for the similar. Thus the worms expulsed by the organism, dried, powdered and given internally kills the worms. The sputum of subjects suffering from phthisis cures after appropriate preparation Phthisis. The spleen of man having undergone a particular preparation is a remedy against the splenomegale. The stone of the bladder and of the kidney cures and dissolve the stones.”

Athanasius Kircher in his work “Manges sive de arte magnetica” 1634) says: “The poisonings may be cured generally by their counter poisons. Thus the spider bite will be cured by the application of a spider, the scorpion bite by the application of a scorpion, the poison of a rabid dog is drawn out of the body by application of the hairs of the same dog.”

Then comes Lux. Lux was born on 6th april, 1776 at Oppeln in Silicea. After finishing his secondary education he took to veterinary medicine. From the year 1820 he occupied himself with Homoeopathy, which he applied with much good sense and success in the veterinary medicine. He published himself a review called “Zooiasis” in which he published his articles.

On the request of a hungarian man to supply him homoeopathic medicines against carbuncles and glanders he tried to replace the simile by aequale. He took from animal suffering from carbuncle a drop of the blood which he diluted up to the 30th. He made the same thing with a drop of the nasal mucus of an animal suffering from glanders. The success that he obtained encouraged him be continue in this line.

Dr. Kleinert, a historian of Homoeopathy says that he “Constructed an edifice made of mixture of hypotheses and propositions associated in such a learned manner, that it is not possible to know where ended the field of results obtained experimentally and where begins that of the hypotheses”.

Lux advised to dilute each substance of contagion because it cannot be used in undiluted form. He referred himself to the experiments of Constantine Hering with the serpent venoms, also about the liquid formed with the eruption of itch which was taken up by Gross Griesselich and Attomyr. He even said to push the dilution beyond 30, because even a 30th dilution of Malleinum may have injurious effect.

Hahnemann was rather indulgent in his criticism of Lux. He wrote in a note of the 5th edition of his Organon “One may admit of the truth of a fourth method of applying the medicines against the diseases: for example, the THE ISOPATHIC METHOD, that of treating a disease by the miasm which has caused it. But even granting this could be done, which would certainly be a most valuable discovery, yet after all, seeing that the virus is given to the patient highly potentized, and thereby, consequently to a certain degree in an altered condition, the cure is effected only by opposing SIMILIMUM SIMILIMO.

At that time Hering was studying on the point and was making correspondence with Hahnemann. But this method of treatment was used at that time by Lux in a large scale. Lux used the word Isopathik, because in the Greek language. is meant the identical (Lux– Die Isopathik der Contagion, 1833, Leipzig).

The homoeopathic physicians received with much enthusiasm the publication of the words of Lux and Hering and gave to the new method the name Isopathy.

Unfortunately after some years of the use more or less adventurously done, this method was bitingly criticised, specially by Rapou in his “Doctrine homoeopathique”, and it was first discredited and finally fell into oblivion. But according to Janot, though most of the French homoeopaths forgot Isopathy, yet some still used that method. As for example De Guidi used Morbillinum, Arnaud at Paris used systematically Vaccinum, diluted in all the cases of small pox. So Isopathy was not completely forgotten. Only so much importance was not attached to this system.

Did the hypotheses of Lux supported by the results displeased Hahnemann? His attitude became hostile. He knew Lux, a member of the Homoeopathic society of Leipzig and who wrote to the Master according to Richard Haehl to dedicate a book on Veterinary homoeopathy. The copy found, carries in the handwriting of Hahnemann the following note “No reply”. At that time Hahnemann retired at Koethen. He was 75 years old, had a very authoritative character but he was more supple to his direct disciples Hering, Gross, and Stapf.

The latter, very enthusiastic, did not hide his interest about the new technique. It was he who had the idea to use in dilution the pathological secretions of a patient and to prescribe it to the patient himself. Stapf was the founder of Archive fur die Homoeopathische Heilkunst, in 1882. He however made difference between nosodes coming out of contagious diseases and the others for which he specified the utilisation of stocks coming out of the patient himself, which will be called later on auto- isopathy.

At the sametime Gross and Attomyr popularises the knowledge of Psorinum of Hering. In France Dufrosne and Peochier were the mouthpieces of the new method in the pages of their review La Bibliotheque homoeopathique de Geneve. Weber homoeopathic doctor counselor in the court of Hesse studies for many years the means of fighting isopathically against anthrax and will publish in the year 1836 the most serious and scientific study on isopathic treatment of Anthrax. (Seber-Der Milzbrand und dessen sichersten Heil mittel, Leipzig, 1836).

Hahnemann himself sent to the Library of Geneva for publication, a letter favourable to Isopathy of M. M. Joly about the success of M Theuille during the past of Constantinople. However the last writing of the Master on this question was very pejorative. In a note of the 6th edition of Organon published after his death he wrote “No one would like to establish a third therapeutic method called isopathy, which consists in curing a disease by means of the same infectious principle which has caused it-the identical miasm. But even if we admit that one might do so, as one gives to the patient suffering from the infectious principle, only a very high dynamisation i.e. to say after reducing it to an extreme attenuation followed by succession even then it will not cause a cure but by opposing a Simillimum to the Similimo. To cure by an energy rigorously equal (par idem) is contrary to the common sense, and also to any experience”.

In the year 1865 Isopathy was again revived. It was R.P. Collet who gave to this method a new breath.

Father Denys Collet, a religious person of the order of Dominican and Dr. of Medicine, was born on the 21st December, 1824, at Frazi village of Eure-et-Loire, a student of the college of Nogent le-Retrou, comes to study medicine at Paris. He practices for about 12 years, during which he met father Monsabre and knocked at the door of Dominican apprenticeship of Farvingy-sur- Ozean, at the age of 40. Becomes witness of Homoeopathic cure and engages himself from the year 1865 to study the new method. Himself re-discovering Isopathy he prevented an epidemic of small pox at Flanigny in 1871 using a dilution of 4CH of Vaccine (Vaccinum).

From that time being convinced of his method he takes the advantage of a sojourn of many years at Mossoul, a town of Asia Minor, for the application in a large scale, of Isopathy. Returned in France for his illness, he acts as a physician of a small convent and treats his community by isopathic method. Desirous to makes known his method of therapeutics, he writes and published his book, at the age of 74. (T.J.M. Collet: Isopathie, methode Pasteur par voie interne, 1898). Really speaking Collet did not know what Hering and Lux have done. While wishing to publish his own book he read “The History of Homoeopathy of Dr. Rapou and came to know about the works of Hering and Lux. Collet made very wide experiment on isopathy because as circumstances wished it, he had to pass four consecutive years alone as a military medical officer to practice medicine at Mossoul, with 40,000 inhabitants and there was no medicine available. In his book he could include numerous cases with marvellous results. It is for this reason Jules Gallavardin considered his book “Isopathy” as the “Organon” of Isopathic medicine. Collet was the worthy continuator of Lux and Hering.

Let us see how Collet came to Isopathy and how he practiced it: In 1865, while studying Homoeopathy he thought: “If the real medicine should be a similar agent to that of the disease, nothing is more similar to the agent of the disease but the agent of the disease itself because the secretions of a diseased man are full more or less with the morbid elements which are expulsed naturally by the outlets, if one knew how to collect these morbid elements in the secretions, one would have surely in these morbid elements some medicinal substances.” He thus acquired the certainty that the natural or artificial morbid secretions, the blood itself are the sources of medicines.

Thus “By the tears taken from an ill man, and diluted in the 3rd or the 6th centesimal which he used to give to the patient several times during a day, and continued for 2 to 3 days and at the same time he instilled a few drops in the eyes, he cured very rapidly some grave conjunctivitis, some ulcerous keratitis, the nyctalopias, some hemeralopias, some tumors of the lachrymal gland and some epiphora etc…” We are not giving in detail how he treated several other diseases. In this way he cured deafness by the help of catarrh taken from the throat, Diphtheria in the same way, bronchitis, pneumonia by the dilutions of the sputum, gastric troubles by the dilutions of saliva; dysuria, inflammation of the bladder etc. by the diluted urine etc. He did not only use the secretions from the diseased organs but any secretion of the economy, which he said, contained the substances that have caused the disease. He used the lower dilutions from 1 to 6C in acute and accidental cases and the 6th to the 30th for the chronic cases.

Collet had also some failures. He also recommends homoeopathy at the same time and Allopathy in some cases. He said that Isopathy alone cannot sometimes cure all the diseases, because after a long use of a medicine the medicine loses its power. Hering and Lux also said about this fact. In such cases Homoeopathy takes the place of Isopathy. And well adapted remedies are applied and they would be much more effective than if they were used before the isopathic remedies. It seems that Isopathy prepares the organism before hand for being completely cured by homoeopathic medicines “just like a new troupe of soldiers in the battle field, when the previous has become weak, to win the fight.”

We have seen that Rapou criticised this method of treatment bitingly by denying the results and saying that it was perjury against homoeopathy. Rapou’s criticism was really speaking not based on any real reason. It came out purely of rancour against Isopathy and his staunch faith on Homoeopathy. Hahnemann has also criticised this method of treatment but it was perhaps because it goes against his theory of vitalism, which he calls immaterial, while Isopathy was material and had a causal relation with the disease. But was it not a fact that Hahnemann himself has said that the cause of Psora is itch, the cause of sycosis is Gonorrhoea, and the cause of syphilis is Spirochette. He also has said that the specific of Psora is Sulphur, the specific of sycosis is Thuja, and the specific of Syphilis is Mercury. So we may say now that the specific of psora is Psorinum, the specific of sycosis is Medorrhinum the specific of Syphilis is Syphilinum. And we have said long before that Isopathic method of treatment is a specific treatment and a treatment of immunity.

Mauritius Fortier-Bernoville
Mauritius (Maurice) Fortier Bernoville 1896 – 1939 MD was a French orthodox physician who converted to homeopathy to become the Chief editor of L’Homeopathie Moderne (founded in 1932; ceased publication in 1940), one of the founders of the Laboratoire Homeopathiques Modernes, and the founder of the Institut National Homeopathique Francais.

Bernoville was a major lecturer in homeopathy, and he was active in Liga Medicorum Homeopathica Internationalis, and a founder of the le Syndicat national des médecins homœopathes français in 1932, and a member of the French Society of Homeopathy, and the Society of Homeopathy in the Rhone.

Fortier-Bernoville wrote several books, including Une etude sur Phosphorus (1930), L'Homoeopathie en Medecine Infantile (1931), his best known Comment guerir par l'Homoeopathie (1929, 1937), and an interesting work on iridology, Introduction a l'etude de l'Iridologie (1932).

With Louis-Alcime Rousseau, he wrote several booklets, including Diseases of Respiratory and Digestive Systems of Children, Diabetes Mellitus, Chronic Rheumatism, treatment of hay fever (1929), The importance of chemistry and toxicology in the indications of Phosphorus (1931), and Homeopathic Medicine for Children (1931). He also wrote several short pamphlets, including What We Must Not Do in Homoeopathy, which discusses the logistics of drainage and how to avoid aggravations.

He was an opponent of Kentian homeopathy and a proponent of drainage and artificial phylectenular autotherapy as well.