On Neuralgia, Its Causes and its Remedies

August 19th.- Has now a rash on her skin, and there is much acidity.

Nux vomica 30 and Sul. 30.

September 21st.- Rash very bad and severely itching. Constipation and dyspepsia a good deal better. Thuja C.

October 12th.- Neuralgia much better; constipation well; is tormented and irritated most unbearably with the skin eruption; “the itching is intolerable, it is a torment!” exclaimed the lady. So bad was it that patient did not wish to go on with the treatment.

Omit all medicine.

October 24th.- Bowels normal; skin better. The eruption had been deep-seated, in clusters of raised lumps, some the size of half a pea. The skin remains dis coloured.

No medicine.

Nov. 21st.- Headaches are better; the neuralgia vastly improved; more appetite but still a good deal of dyspepsia. Thuja C. And thus the treatment went on intermittently till September 1, 1884, when patient was practically well. I say practically, and by that I mean that patient did not consider herself in any real need of further treatment for her now relatively trifling sufferings.

My views on the vaccinosic origin of many cases of neuralgia have not yet been accepted by my colleagues with that amount of good will and willingness to test its truth which the importance of the subject and the extreme frequency of vaccinosis alike demand. However, I make no complaint; truth benefits her faithful ones alone: all else than truth is no where in practical therapeutics.

There are, indeed, notable exception, and I was very pleased to see in the Homoeopathic World for February 1, 1889, the following:-


By ROBERT T. COOPER, M.D., Phys. Dis. of Ear, London Homoeopathic Hospital.

On mentioning to Dr. Burnett that I was at one time in the habit of prescribing Thuja for neuralgia, he asked me to report any cases by me. This I am extremely delighted to do, if for no other reason than that it will be a testimony to the accuracy of Dr. Burnett’s observations, so admirably and scientifically laid before us in his little work on Vaccinosis.

CASE I.- Elizabeth Thomas, a woman of 72, came to me, September 22, 1868, in Southampton, with face-ache, attended with much soreness of the face after the pain had gone away. Pains have continued night and day for the last two months : come in paroxysms at never more than an hour’s interval. Unable to masticate food from the pain occasioned; gums are very sore, and side of the face is very sore when she attempts to lie on it; feels then a throbbing in it. Pains are aggravated by lying on the other side as well; the slightest pressure causes a feeling of soreness. The pain extends all over the right side of the face and head; when very violent, it shoots to the opposite side. Is worse in a very cold or very warm room; does not dare to venture into a draught. Her teeth are decayed, and the pains shoot up from these; are equally violent when sitting or standing; they come ” all of a sudden” and leave her equally suddenly; sometimes they shoot into the ear; attempting to read or think brings them on. Had much fatigue while nursing her sick husband last year; has taken calomel, ginger brandy, and various kinds of herbs.

Thuja Occ., 12th dec., a pilule three times a day.

Sept. 29th.- Has been much better; can now rest all night; occasionally a few twitches, but nothing like it was, although the weather has been unusually cold.

The above we may fairly name neuralgic alveolar periostitis. As the teeth were in no way interfered with, not any change prescribed in her mode of living, we may fairly ascribe the assuagement of the pain to Thuja.

CASE 2.- On the same day (22nd Sept. 1868), Harriett Sheppard, a woman of 54, came to me with violent pains under her right shoulder, going through to the breast and down to the elbow; worse in the morning, getting out of bed, and when walking. Soreness in the hepatic region; urine very fetid. Has had these symptoms a week.

Thuja Occ. 3, seven drops to go over a week.

Sept. 29th.- Has had diarrhoea the last few days. Pains in the shoulders and soreness of liver gone. Continue.

Oct. 7th.- Still relaxed; urine not so fetid; much pain in stomach after meals, with passage by bowel of undigested food. This last symptom yielded at once to China 0. In this case, it is possible the diarrhoea may have been spontaneous, and, alone, may have relieved the congested liver; at any rate, the pains ceased upon her taking Thuja.

As to whether these, or the next case, had anything to do with vaccination, I am not in a position to determine.

CASE 4.- Anne C., aged 21, neuralgia for three weeks, came to me 17th Sept. 1869. Complexion florid and clear; hair dark sclerotics yellowish. Complains of great weakness, with pains in the right side of the face and head-begin in decayed teeth, and extend up the side of the head and down the neck. She feels feverish when the pain is severe, and the parts throb; is worse on meditation. Relieved by application of hot things-mustard, for example.

Much tenderness in different parts of the face and behind the ear; aggravation from drinking anything cold; is worse at night, but keeps on in the day as well.

Four weeks ago, weaned her baby, and, menorrhagia set in, which ceased just before these pains set in.

In this case, Nux vomica 30x, China 12x, Merc, sol. 3x, Sulphur 0, Silicea 30, and Staphisagria were given at different times, but without any positive relief.

It is unnecessary to reproduce each report, but that of 1st Dec. had better be given:- continues to feel better (taking Silicea 30); last monthly natural. Facial pain very bad, in fact worse-worse now in day-time; teeth very painful; gums pale, with inflamed dental margins; pains come from the teeth.

Staphisag. 3x.

Dec. 17th.- Was better for a time, but last two days and nights pains very severe and continuous; same side, gums painful

Thuja Occ. 12x.

Jan. 5th, 1869.- Has not been so well as at present since 20th Nov.; the pains in face have left her; has some pains in chest when inspiring, and legs ache towards evening.

Appetite wonderfully improved, and can drink anything without inconvenience. This last case we may term Rheumatic Alveolar Periostitis.

It is true that Dr. Cooper does not vouch for the vaccinosic origin of his cases, but his cures corroborate my statement that the working out of the homoeopathic equation and my theory of vaccinosis alike lead to Thuja.


I have lately cured a lady of fifty years of age of a very severe neuralgia of the left brow, which had plagued her for thirty-four years. For years I had seen this lady for metrorrhagia and other ailings, and with much acknowledged benefit. Juglans regia and Juglans cinerea, Sanguinaria canadensis, Heloninum, China, Arnica, Thuja, Psoricum, and Nat. mur., I find noted as those remedies which had confessedly been of more or less benefit. But it was Rademacher’s tincture of copper that cured the old neuralgic enemy that at times was described boring, screwing, but more generally the lady spoke of the pain as awful. Whether the Cuprum here acted on the basis of the Paracelsic Universalia, of which it is one, or by reason of its homoeopathicity, I am unable to say.


In relation to the use of Juglans cinerea in angina pectoris, I was much pleased lately to see that my original observation of the pathogeneric anginal symptoms of this vegetable arsenic has been clinically verified by another observer, viz., Dr. Ussher, of Wandsworth. In the Homoeopathic World of July 1888, this able clinician writes :-

`Surely there is no complaint so dire as angina pectoris; the agony of `breast pang’ is no trifle to relieve. The cases I note are three, differing in many respects; two of them fatal, one living; all three gouty in origin. the first, Mrs. E., a woman over 40, whose mother was gout crippled, and died of gouty peritonitis. she has had many attacks; now they are few, slight, and medicine has remarkably controlled them. I have seen her in some; the face is pale, head thrown back, pulse feeble, surface cold, neck stiff and painful. Her state is nearly one of insensibility. On one of these occasions she was nauseated, and phlegm threatened to choke her. Ant. tat. 2x, trit., second dose, at a few minutes’ interval, relieved her, and allowed her to resume the recumbent position. Her younger sister has gout in the hands. Her mother was drugged to death years before I attended her, and after electric baths ptyalism set in. For a time Mrs. E. was relieved by Amyl nit. 1x and olfaction of the crude; but her marked distress was precordial coldness, frightful pain, stiffness of the neck. She had Juglans cinerea 1x; the 2x did not do the same, and twice she proved it; two-drop doses at short intervals; and when relief came, which was speedy, a dose night and morning for a few days. Her restoration to health, vigour, and good action of the heart from a weak, miserable one, is a great change to her, and astonishment to friends. Her life is now enjoyable; she takes her medicine with her, and goes to Devonshire without fear.”


This is often extremely tedious, wearing, and difficult of cure- indeed, outside of homoeopathy it can hardly be said to be curable at all. Some years since, I was hurriedly summoned to the country house of a middle-aged lady, who had finally decided to “give homoeopathy a chance!” This was done not for the sake of homoeopathy all the same, but because said lady had herpes zoster, and the sequential neuralgia was atrocious, and unyielding to all her various physicians’ more or less violent means.

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.