On Neuralgia, Its Causes and its Remedies

Angina pectoris is much more frequent in men than in women,- at least that is my experience. In women it is often from oligohaemia, and only occasionally from psychic cause, though a’ priori one would expect the very reverse to be the case; tear- shedding (blessed gift!), I believe, prevents it. That grief tears are very poisonous appears pretty certain. “Dry” grief as justly in evil repute. The commoner case of angina pectoris in women seem allied to asthma, or are synalgias from disturbances in the liver, stomach, or spleen.

Angina pectoris is mostly met with in its severe forms in men of doughty deeds and power, as it were as the physical impress of their deed rich lives. Luther suffered from angina pectoris, and no wonder. Athletes are apt to get it in later life : this is about equal to chronic traumatism, but acute traumatism will also cause it. Hence it is that Arnica montana and Bellies perennis are so frequently indicated in its treatment, where the trauma has not set up an actual lesion. The anti-traumatics are a very real help, and so is Aconite.

The cardiacs, such as Digitalis, Cactus, Strophanthus, and Convallaria, stand out as reliable organ remedies. Bryonia, too, must be remembered, as its characteristic symptom is so very constant. I quite lately cured a severe case of tic douloureux with Bryonia alba 30, after many fruitless efforts. In neuralgias of a very exquisite nature I find very infrequent doses by far the best,- not so in organic lesions.

When the heart itself and the great bloodvessels have been duly considered, the abdominal organs immediately under the diaphragm should be critically mustered, for they very often encroach upon the heart’s playroom (liver, spleen, distended stomach, and duodenum), and in such cases it is manifestly useless to treat the heart itself, because it may be quite equal to the work normally required of it when there is no obstruction, but yet cries out in agony when obstructions under the diaphragm are superadded. Just as a horse may be equal to dragging a heavily laden waggon along a smooth road, but put a stone or a brickbat before one of the wheels and the case is altered.

” When I walk or hurry, particularly after a meal,” causes us to think of the heart as a muscular pump, and to wonder whether the pump-organ is itself at fault, or its valves, or the suction-force, or whether there is any obstruction in the way. When this is done with a little care and thought and circumspection, we become aware that though angina pectoris is often purely a neuralgia cordis, yet it is at least as often a synalgia, having its starting-point in obstructions. And here it must be manifest that the therapeutic indication is to get rid of the obstruction.

Hepatics, pancreatics, and splenics here come into play with immense advantage. Of course, an ideal master in therapeutics, who can spot the simillimum to the entire case, will not need these little organopathic side helps; but, speaking for myself. I cannot do without them : they help me, and I praise them. There is no question, to me, that each organ has a something all its own, and that such organ interacts with the organism as its environment. besides having its life in common with the organism.

Else I cannot understand why it is that a given organ will go on, so to speak, jibbing and kicking till the appropriate organ remedy has been given, after which the organ will jog along happily and comfortably, and will then react to systemic remedies which before were without effect, This view of the individual life of each organ has received a very remarkable corroboration from the researches of Brown-Sequard, as also by the latest teachings of physiology in regard to the use of the thyroid.

When angina pectoris is due to organic change in the heart’s own substance or in its own arteries, metals and minerals will come into play, such as Aurum, Mercurius, Vanadium, Arsenicum, Phosphorus, etc. Where the circulation has become impossible of being adequate, I have made three or four very remarkable cures, the most striking of which I will now shortly relate as perhaps unique.


A London merchant of forty odd years of age, came under my care some three years ago, for angina pectoris and blood- spitting, starting a few weeks previously from violent exertion when he wa romping with his children. Patient was plethoric. Blood oozed up constantly into his mouth from his bronchial tubes. Lungs quite sound. Heart floundering rapidly and without rhythm. My remedies did no good; allopathic remedies did no better, and all hope was abandoned. At this stage his business partner came to me to know if I could think of anything further that might yet offer a chance of saving the patient’s most valuable life, I having formerly told him of a heart case I once cured by semi-starvation.

I gave as my opinion, based on some experience, that a starvation-diet offered the only remaining chance of saving the patient’s life, His heart had become absolutely inadequate, only just keeping up life by fearful overwork, and as there was no means of making it adequate to the bulk and blood-mass, the only conceivable outway was to starve down the bulk and blood quantity till the heart had a chance of recovering itself and doing less work adequately. He clearly saw the point, and hastened to convince patient and his surroundings. My starvation plan was carried out, and by the time the patient had become much reduced in bulk, and had much less blood, the angina and haemorrhage quite disappeared, and the heart completely recovered itself, though very slowly, and patient returned to business, and there continues, ” as well as he ever was.”

When the body-bulk has got beyond the heart’s power the only hope lies in throwing some of the cargo overboard by judicious reduction of bulk. Rest from work, with a bland fruit and water diet suffice for this purpose, provided the patient have a very strong will, and is not prevented by relatives and friends who insist upon “keeping up his strength” till he dies of it. Where a man must keep to business, the same goal can be reached by having one or two fast days, jours maigres, a week, although with this plan the severe bilious attacks are trying. But will-power in the patient is necessary, for I have had patients who avowedly preferred death to diet.


A gentleman from the north, aged about sixty years, consulted me for angina pectoris on June 28, 1891. The left lobe of his liver being enlarged, I gave him a month of Carduus Marioe

0. August 11th.- Pain not so acute : the pain runs across the chest into the right shoulder; he is puffy, and walking and talking bring on the pain.

Rx Bellis perennis 0, ten drops in water at bedtime.

September 7th.- So much better; all pain gone. His wife wrote : “I believe it (the Bellis) has done my husband a great deal of good, as he has not complained of pain for some time now.”

October 13th.- There is again some pain.

Repeat the Bellis.

October 27th.- No angina, though he has been walking a good deal, even uphill.

November 17th.- No angina; but there is a constant pain near the right clavicle, and some under the left ribs, and the spleen is somewhat swelled.

Urtica urens @, eight drops in water night and morning.

December 22nd.- The angina has returned badly.

Repeat the Bellis.

January 28th, 1892.- Much better

all along the line, but he still gets a good deal of pain behind the breast bone.

Arnica 1.

March 2nd.- Gone back, and has the angina now every day, and at times badly at night right behind the sternum.

Rx. Bacill. CC.

April 1st.- Certainly feels better, but complains of getting so fat.

Phytolacca decandra 0 (from the berries).

May 13th, 1893.- Almost well of his angina.


August 18th.- Been quite well.

May 19th, 1893.- Continues well.

May 1894.- His son tells me his father continues quite well, and is abroad on business.


The wife of the foregoing patient went last year to a certain well-known hydropathic establishment and had Turkish baths, and finding that the attendant or masseuse was a sufferer from angina pectoris, and was thus very painfully incommoded in her daily work, told her of her husband’s cure of the same affection by the writer. Said masseuse very shortly afterwards came to consult me on her own account; her sufferings were considerable, and all the more serious considering the nature of her occupation. Patient had no discoverable lesion, but she was fleshy, somewhat stout, and of laxnbre.

I ordered her the Phytolacca, and two months’ use of it has seemingly cured her. The case is recent, so I cannot tell whether it is only relieved or lastingly cured. In any case she has now no pain, and her hearth and spirits have very notably improved.


Years ago-eight or nine-a staff-officer brought his wife to me for angina pectoris that had embittered her life for years. None of the means tried had done any good, and a cure was not asked for or expected. I found both spleen and liver swelled; patient had lived long in India, and had fever and liver trouble there off and on. At first I made no headway with the case, as I used Aurum and other cardiacs and our usual myotics. I then used splenics on account of the malarial history. and because of a pain under the left ribs. The angina was notably relieved.

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.