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.

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.