On Neuralgia, Its Causes and its Remedies

I shall probably never have a more severe case of what I conceive to be vaccinosis than the one just narrated, or one that had lasted longer. Twenty years may be considered enough to declare it en permanence, and its gradual cessation within six weeks from the time of commencing with the Thuja stamps it as an undoubted drug-cure.

However, the following is not uninteresting.


Miss G -, oet. 19, came under my care on March 12, 1881, complaining of bad attacks of headache for the past nine years. She said it was as if the back of her head were in a vice, and then it would be frontal, and throbbing as if her head would burst. She was very pale, and her forehead looked shiny and in places brown.

These “head attacks” occured once or twice a week. Tendency to constipation; menses regular; an old sty visible on left eyelid; poor appetite; dislikes flesh-meat; liver enlarged a little; had a series of boils in the fall of 1880.

Feet cold; used to have chilblains. For years cannot ride in an omnibus, or in a cab, because of getting pale and sick; skin becomes rough in the wind; lips crack, gets fainty at times.

To have Graphites 30.

April 13th.- Appetite and spirits better, but otherwise no change; questioned as to the duration of the head attacks, she tells me the last but one continued for three weeks-the last, three days. Over the right eye there is a red, tender patch; has two or three white-headed pustules on her face.

Was vaccinated at three months, re-vaccinated at seven years, and again at fourteen. Had small-pox about ten years ago.

Thus here was a case that had small-pox ten years ago, or thereabouts, for she could not quite fix the date, and had been vaccinated three times besides, once subsequent to the small-pox.

Rx Tc. Thuja occidentalis, 3iv. 3x.

To take five drops in water twice a day.

May 13th.- Much better; has only had one very slight headache lasting an hour or two; the frontal tender patch is no longer tender; no further faintness at all. Lips crack. The pustules in the face gone and skin quite clear.

To have Thuja 12, one drop at bedtime.

June 17th.- Was taken ill yesterday

fortnight with soreness of stomach; fever; nausea and perspiration. Subsequently spots broke out like pimples,- eight on the face, one each on the thumb and wrist, one on the foot, and two on the back,- they filled with matter, were out five days, became yellow, and then died away. Her mother says the symptoms were just the same as when patient had the small-pox. Her headaches were well just before this bout came on. July 1st.- Continues well

27th.- The headaches have not returned.

Feb. 24th, 1882.- The cure holds good, for she has had no headache and is otherwise well. She had subsequently some other remedies for the little tumour on her eyelid and for a small exostosis on lower jaw, but she had received nothing but Thuja when the cephalalgia disappeared, and it was two or three weeks before the next medicine followed.

Some months after this date this young lady was brought by her mother merely to show me how well she was, and to take final leave of me. Two years later learned from her mother that she continued well; so the cure is permanent.

An interesting feature in this case is the curious attack which came on at the beginning of June, My reading of it is that it was really a proving of Thuja, or a general organismic reaction called forth by it; and this sent me often up to the thirtieth dilution in my subsequent use of Thuja, though I have occasionally found the third decimal dilution answer better than the thirtieth.

But this is not the point of my thesis, for this case was evidently cured by the low dilution, and when the low dilutions cure, and cure promptly, even though not very agreeably, but well, it cannot be necessary to go up any higher, especially as one’s faith is sufficiently on the stretch without it.


Mr.____, a gentleman of position and means, about fifty years of age, came to consult me on 28th June

1882 for a neuralgia of the right eye. He had come in consequence of the cure of an already recorded case of neuralgia.

He complained of almost constant pain in right eye ever since Christmas 1881, i.e., just about six months. Had neuralgia in head and shoulders in 1866, and so much morphia had been injected in his shoulders by a doctor in Scotland that it almost killed him : for seven or eight hours it was doubtful if he would recover.

Has a brown, eczematous, itchy (at night) eruption on both shins and between the toes. The neuralgia of right eye, and for which he comes to me is bad both by day and night, but rather worse at night. Mr. (now Sir William) Bowman had examined the eye, and declared it to be neuralgia, the eye being normal. Mr. White Cooper had done the same.

On my inquiring when he was last vaccinated, he seemed completely frightened, and stammered out rapidly, “I should not like to be vaccinated again.”

” Why?”

” I was very seedy the last time I was vaccinated; in fact I felt awfully ill for about a month,” and he again hurriedly protested that he would not like to be vaccinated again. The vaccination that had made him so ill was either in 1852 or 1853.

This seemed to me to be a case of vaccinal neuralgia, and therefore I ordered Thuja 30 in infrequent dose. This was on the 28th of June 1882.

July 8th.- But very little pain after the first powder. To have the same medicine again.

The cure proved permanent, and is interesting as proof of the rapidity with which the most like remedy can cure a neuralgia. And, considering how “awfully ill” he had been after his last vaccination, I think it rather probable that this case is an example of vaccinosis.

What do you think?

Having narrated some rather striking cases of what I conceive to be the neuralgia of vaccinosis, let me pass on to another phase of the same question, of the cure of neuralgia by other means, though before doing so I trust my reader will pardon a little more on the same lines.


Miss.____, oet. 20, came to me on January 18th, 1883, with various ills. The constipation for which I had treated her had been cured by Nux 30 and Sulphur 30, but the fluor albus was no better. ” But then ” said she, ” there is the neuralgia in my eyes, which I have had for nine years; nothing has ever touched that.” The neuralgia complained of was worse in the morning and at the menstrual period.

Thuja 30 (4 in 24). Once at night.

I saw her no more till the 8th of December 1883, when she called, complaining of too frequent and too profuse menstruation.

” What about the neuralgia?”

“Oh! that is cured; I have not had it since those powders.”

Was this a case of vaccinosis?

Patient had been twice vaccinated, and the second time was when she was 15 years old, when it did not take. I do not feel so sure that this was a case of Vaccinosis, because patient was re- vaccinated unsuccessfully after this neuralgia began, and, besides, her mother died of epithelioma, so it my have been merely a case of sycosis Hahnemanni. The only certain thing about it is that the neuralgia had lasted nine years, and disappeared after the giving of the Thuja.

This strikingly curative action of the arbor vitae in vaccinosic neuralgia is sometimes prevented from being effective by being masked with another taint, as the following will exemplify, and this will also show us why a series of remedies my often be needed before the neuralgia will depart.


On July 16, 1882, a lady, 68 years of age, wife of an eminent allopathic physician, came (importuned by some of her lady friends, I believe) to see if homoeopathy could cure her neuralgia and dyspepsia. The headaches were life long; she could not remember ever being without them on and off. But she did not come on their account, regarding them as absolutely beyond medical art. She, however, hoped the dyspepsia, the Constipation, and, may be, the neuralgia might be helped in some measure. The neuralgia was violent, was very violent in the eyes, wave-like in intensity, rarely entirely, absent, so that her life was a torture. This ocular neuralgia had sent her to Liebreich, Bader, and Bowman, who all agreed that it was “from her general state.” This eye neuralgia began twenty-five years ago after worry and trouble; is worse at night, reading for two minutes bringing it on, and hence she has not read for seventeen years. She had been vaccinated as a child successfully, but her mother, not trusting it, had her subsequently inoculated for small-pox, but it did not take, and neither of the three subsequent vaccinations took, the last one being twenty-five years since. The neuralgia is deep in and screwing, the pain going back seemingly into the brain. Her headache is right across the forehead from temple to temple.

Thuja Occidentalis 30, infrequently.

July 29th.- No change.

Cyclamen Europ. 3x. Five drops in water three times a day.

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.