I examined him with very great care, and apart from the fistula itself I could find nothing wrong with the him except that he had a very greatly hypertrophied spleen.

About two ounces of Urtica ur. 0, spread over a number of weeks, seemingly cured him, for he reported himself as cured in the early summer of 1891. I July of that year he went up the river, and reported some swelling of the old fistular region. Urtica was repeated, and, I believe cured him : I am not quite sure but he had previously reported himself cured, then he reported the swelling, and a few weeks later he got married. I think he must be cured, because he passes my door about twice a month to see a mutual friend of us both, and this mutual friend is in the habit of referring to this cure of fistula by medicines. Still I have not examined him, and thus of not vouch for its being a complete cure. I regard it as a fistula of splenic origin, and hence the fistula would heal as soon as the spleen was cured.


The following case of fistula is unique in my experience, and not far from being absolutely unique in the anals of fistulae.

In the fall of the year 1890 a gentlemen brought his wife to me; they were just returned from India, In June 1890 the lady had a fall in Bombay, whereupon she miscarried and before she could recover she developed malarial fever. Then abscess formed in the womb and also in the back, about the region corresponding to the part lying between the left-hand end of the pancreas and the lower part of the spleen. On inspection I found a freely discharging fistula, with much inflammation around it, occupying the first described region of the back. The spleen was very much enlarged. Patient is a large woman, 30 odd years of age, very bloodless and washed-out looking, and very ill in herself. As I find the Urtica ur. has a strong affinity for the spleen, I thought I would just bring that organ back to the normal therewith (Which I have very often done before). I gave her twenty drops of the Urtica tincture daily. This was on September 12, 1890.

October 6.- A very great change for the better has taken place in the patient; the spleen has gone down, the circumsfistular inflammation has greatly diminished, and patient looks and feels much better. The medicine to be continued in a smaller dose.

October 20.- Patient continues to improve. The fistula has closed; a little throat cough, seemingly from a cold.

Rx Phosphorus 3 and Chelidonium 0.

November 19.- The fistula has healed up; patient has had her second period since the miscarriage, and there was very much uterine pain at the time. There has been a slight attack of malarial fever with night sweats.

Helianthus annuus 0, six drops in water night and morning.

December 10.- Menses normal; a lump – flat – of the size of a baby’s open hand, has come in the left breast.

Regarding this as from the uterus, I gave Bursa pastoris 1x, six drops night and morning.

January 7, 1891.- Breast normal; some pain in the liver; much less pain at the last period; a bit of cough.

Rx. Carduus marioe 0, five drops night and morning.

February 6. One bad bout of fever, and since then very well. The fistula remains perfectly healed. I heard from the husband a good while subsequently, telling me there had been no relapse.


A city merchant, about 50 years of age, came to me in the month of March 1890, in very great distress of mind on account of his fistula, or rather, on account of the fact that three different surgeons-one an eminent specialist for diseases of the rectum-had declared and operation imperative. The idea of being operated upon had almost unhinged his mind, and he was seemingly neglecting an important business; he could talk of nothing but his fistula and the impending operation.

The fistula was very small, very painful, and had made his life miserable for about three months. During the past six weeks he has lost 16 pounds in weight. The proctalgia he described as “terrible, day and night ” At first Hydrastis can took the pain away, and it returned; Var. C. I thought indicated, but it did no good. Hydrastis was again resorted to, but it did not help, and patient literally ran about wildly from the pain, often standing with legs apart with much bearing down.

On April 23, my note runs thus :- “No amelioration. The tongue is gouty; he compares the pain to that caused by nettles. His sufferings are awful.”

Rx. Tc Urtica ur. 1x, ten drops in water every four hours.

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.