The cause and treatment of prolapse of the womb from the book Organ diseases of women and sterility by Burnett, J. Compton….

“Homoeopathy is very good for women and children.”

THE first time I ever become aware that a heavy forefallen womb could be in the least helped by medicines was somewhere about the year 1874, when a kind-hearted district visitor interested me on behalf of an elderly widow, whose life was greatly incommoded by her prolapsed uterus. I treated her with little homoeopathic doses of Helonias dioica for many months, and the outcome of this treatment was such that I became quite satisfied that a forefallen or prolapsed womb could be medicinally influenced for good. The dear old lady declared that the womb was very much better, and that she was restored to a feeling of comfort in the parts to which she had long been a stranger. The patient was not suffering from any disease properly so-called, and the uterine region having been rendered comfortable, patient had no further complaints to make.

ABOUT Sepia.

I was not very long after this driving one day into the country accompanied by an eminent clergyman, a grand old man, and a staunch old homoeopath, whose benign smile of pity for all non homoeopaths very much impressed me, who spoke to me during the drive thus:… “I took my daughter Julia to Dr. X. (an eminent gynecologist), because she complained of a pain across her back and local catarrh, and he examined her and told me the womb was enlarged, and that she must wear a support.”

“But surely, Dr., you do not suggest that for a young woman like my daughter Julia; can you not cure that condition with medicines?”

“No, there is no cure for it except wearing a support.” “Well, Dr., I cannot consent to such a thing, I must find something better than that; what do you think of homoeopathic medicines?”

“Homoeopathic medicines! what nonsense.”

“Poor man,” concluded my venerable friend, “we must pray for the Lord to open the eyes of his understanding that he may see the truth; I gave Julia Sepia for some time, and quite cured her.”

Here the eminent specialist treated the very idea of homoeopathic remedies having any good effect in such cases as utter nonsense. For all that the girl’s father quite cured her with globules of Sepia. And how could the mighty gynecologist know the effects of homoeopathic medicines since he had never tried them? The opinions of allopaths on the value of homoeopathy are nothing but spiteful splutter: vulgar and nasty.


Stevenson’s song of the mother is one of joy at her inevitable influence, for…

“From out of the dainty the rude, the strong from out of the frail, eternally through the ages from the female comes the male.”

I have considered that being a mother is about the biggest thing on earth, but on this point all women do not agree; some willingly face death without daunt in order to become a mother; such a one was the following:- A childless lady, nine years married, and who, though childless, had yet had seven miscarriages with all their attendant miseries of floodings, grief, and disappointment, placed herself frankly under my mare on January 26, 1880, for the purpose of putting a stop to these habitual mishaps, and in the hope of having living children. The late Dr. Smith was of opinion that one-half of this lady’s womb was ossified: the curious thing was that patient regularly aborted at 5 1/2 months, and the placenta was always adherent. Period normal; some neuralgia of right ovary. The uterus itself was thick and heavy, and one side of it much more rigid than the other. After Alumin. 3x, and Kali chlor. 6, each for a month, she felt pregnant, and with a view of trying to lessen the unilateral hardening of the womb, so that it might properly expand at the right time, I put patient on an exclusively fruit and vegetable diet; but she appeared unable to stand it, and so I allowed her one meat a day-one o’clock- but nothing else night and morning save fruit and soft vegetables at will. Big baby boy born May 22, 1881, and since then she has had five others, all hale and hearty, so she told me the other day (August 1893). Of course, patient had a number of medicines to prevent abortion and for her very troublesome piles-Ferrum 6, Aesculus 12, Silicea 12, and Sulphur 30 but the principal lesson teachable that stands out is the elementary fact, that the organ diseases of women are amenable to drug action, and that diet can be made to play a part in abortion. I kept this lady on very low diet, and on several occasions with her first three children was very imminent, I stopped nearly all food and all drink, allowing only fresh fruit for days together, till the hypogastric tumult had been starved out. With her last three children no treatment and no dietetic precautions were needed or taken. One has often an opportunity of narrating such a long history as is here possible.


This is the other side of the picture of the MATER TRIUMPHANS. The lady whose case I have just narrated, and who has the six bonnie living children, is herself still a very good- looking woman-fresh and plump, and though poor in this world’s goods, is yet proud and joyous, and in her children rich beyond compare. THE TRAUMATIC UTERUS.

One meets with a number of youngish married ladies who are constitutionally sound and are yet great sufferers. In May 1880, such a one came to seek my help: she was 26 years of age, had been married five years, was the mother of one child, which was born at the end of the first year of married life. Applied Malthusianism accounted for the childlessness of the subsequent your years. Patient, from being of bonnie round figure, had become bosomless; her spine had two aches, an up and down rhachialgia and a pain across the back,-the classic uterine backache we all know of. The menses every sixteen days; the womb thick, sappy, and low-lying; leucorrhoeal ooze coming from the os. Patient was a mere wreck of her former self, and all for fear there should be too many people born into the world.

“No, I will not; I do not care; I’d rather die.”

I should have said patient suffered much from insomnia, and had frequent attacks of nerve-tortures.

I regarded the state as one manifestly from a battered, misused uterus, and so proceeded therapeutically with Hypericum perf. 3x, with Arnica 2, and concluded with Bellis per.1. There was much improvement in the uterine sphere, and the menses had become less frequent. But the spinal irritation was much to the fore: Guaco 3 “did me great good; it stooped all the sickness and relieved the back very much.”

Then a long railway journey upset the spine a good deal, and flooding set in; Kali chlor. 6 and Ferrum phos. 6 stopped the bleeding, and Cuprum acet. 3x took the pain away from the side.

Then came Guaco 3 and Bellis p. 1, each a month by itself, with much amelioration.

There finally remained a condition in which almost any excitement brought on the poorly time, and this was cured by Cedron 3x, 5 drops in water every three hours. To Cedron I was led because patient complained very much of coldness in the abdomen: “Oh, my stomach is so cold.”

Cases like this pass before practical physicians pretty well every day, and the one I have just cited is a mere sample of many like it. There is not any disease properly so-called to be cured, but an insulted womb with its attendant worries, and spinal hyperaesthesia. It is not easy to get rid of the neurasthenia till the spine is righted, and the enlarged womb has to be seen to before the spine will mend properly, and hence I start with muscle-and-nerve anti-traumatics, utilizing any sound symptom for a differential purpose, as, e.g.; Cedron (cold, etc.). I have somewhere read that it is hard to kick against the pricks, and the wife who cheats nature finds how true this is. With this question I am here, however, not concerned, further than to point out that genesiac fraud causes disease and produces a debased state of the womb; it becomes too fibrous, hard; loses its erectility and contractility, and instead of ballooning about in the abdomen in happy unconsciousness, it flops down on to the floor of the pelvis, miserable and discontent, and a sorry burden,-it has been cheated, and it verily does not bear it uncomplainingly. This might be designated the Defrauded Womb. It concerns us here because it is almost always enlarged and displaced, and hence I think I may profitably add the following little chapter, as it bears on the etiology of many cases of enlarged uterus.


During the past twenty years the number of cases in which married women prevent conception is steadily on the increase; their many dodges in attaining this end need not be dwelt upon, but the almost uniform results are the following:-

1. The breast shrivel, and in extreme cases almost disappear: the erstwhile fine bust, the shapely breasts shrink into shocking ugliness.

2. The great female characteristics diminish, and the individual is apt to become hairy in the face and elsewhere, while the rotundity of limb is a thing of the past: the limbs are often scraggy and thin, or, if obese, flabby and old.

3. The nerves are greatly affected, there is almost always neurasthenia, and the once sweet woman becomes irritable and cross and miserable.

4. Spinal irritation is very common.

5. The uterus is the greatest sufferer of all: it has been cheated, and results the wrong done to it with terrible vigour: it becomes enlarged, hard and gristly, and is not infrequently the seat of tumours of various kinds. And no woman with such a womb is, or can be, other than miserable and discontented, and very frequently there is morning sickness analogous to that of pregnancy, with no end of other dyspeptic troubles.

The earlier in life the physical wrong is committed, the more pronounced are the ill effects. I do not preach at these sufferers, and I see very many of them, but I tell them plainly the price that has to be paid for their wrong-doing, viz., mental, moral, and physical deterioration and degradation.

Neither do I regard the thing from the standpoint of religion, though I have somewhere read, “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth.” This command may possibly be out-of-date, but this one thing I do know for very sure, that old Mother Nature wipes us all out without mercy when we disobey her laws: here, at any rate, the fittest survive.

If a married woman wants to grow old, ugly and miserable, the quickest and most certain way I know of is to practice the prevention here referred to.

A subject to be avoided? I do not think so; I have the deepest sympathy for suffering woman; my mother suffered for me, God bless her dear memory. Dixi et animam meam salvavi.

Now, why should we avoid this subject of the voluntary limitation of the family? “There is a time for everything,” a very wise man once wrote down for our instruction; here, in a medical work on Organ Diseases of Women, the fact that genesiac fraud causes a debased state of the whole genital sphere, with enlargements and displacements, its consideration is not only desirable but imperative.

In my judgment, a young woman who does not wish to bear a family should not get married at all. I know some goody-goody couples who are joined together, not in holy wedlock at all, but. like brother and sister.” Some of them teach in the Sunday School, and do what they are pleased to call “the work of the Lord,” particularly when it is taking the chair, or otherwise or elsewhere, but anyway always to the fore. Child-bearing and home duties are shirked by these un-wholesome by products of civilization. They have their reward: Nature wipes them out herself, and labels them for the ultimate sorting, “Depart from me, I know ye not.”


In dislocation of the uterus from accident the sufferings are frequently very severe indeed. Thus a married lady came under my observation on May 9, describing to me how eight years before she was touring in Switzerland, and had a fall which was followed by much bearing down and terrible pains across the hypogastrium. With this there was much irritation of the bladder. She suffered these horrors for three years before she could summon up courage to go to a doctor. Finally the pains drove her to an eminent London gynecologist of world-wide reputation.

This gentleman failing to even relieve her, she consulted a second physician, and he also failed, and considered she would never get well owing to the intricate nature of the complaint. The uterus and everything seemed as if they were being dragged out of her body. Homoeopathy she despised and ridiculed, and it was only after eight years of suffering that she overcame her prejudice and consulted me. In addition, besides the forenamed symptoms, there was a peculiar form of leucorrhoea coming on every four or five days “in little torrents of thick yellow discharge.” Secale cornutum 3x cured this case so rapidly and completely that the displacement must be regarded as having been most probably a twist of the parts.

There was no mechanical interference on my part whatever, and the cure proved permanent.

That Secale was homoeopathic to the case no competent person will deny, especially if he has ever seen the effects of a full dose of ergot on a parturient person, who has a strong back and plenty of muscle.

ENLARGEMENT OF BOTH OVARIES, ENLARGED UTERUS, APHONIA, RETENTION OF URINE, ETC. There are two or three points in some cases of women’s diseases that require to be thought out and worked out separately, or the sufferers enter the category of the uncured, and are orthodoxly labelled incurable.

What schoolmen cannot cure is incurable, that must be evident; what they do not know is not knowledge. A married lady, 26 years of age, mother of three children, was brought to me from distance on May 12, 1893,… “My cousin is just a wreck.”

Patient was of fine stature-what the French call large-of tender fibre, her tissues having large meshes. such people look much more healthy than they really are, and very common they are the product of a cross between a powerful individual and a consumptive one; the dash of consumptiveness is shown in their growth-largeness; they are large-celled and lacking in toughness. It was so in this case: her father died at 29, of phthisis; her mother is well and strong. Patient had measles twice; influenza twice; and had been three times vaccinated; and only last year had scarlatina. At her first confinement she was fearfully lacerated, and was subsequently sutured in five places. The case being very complicated, led us take it in sections from above downwards:-

1. Complete aphonia for some weeks, cannot produce any sound beyond a very slight indistinct whisper.

2. Left lobe of liver considerably enlarged and very tender.

3. Tongue mapped and very pippy; by mapped tongue I mean the so-called Lingua geographica.

4. Spleen moderately swelled.

5. Very constipated, and much pain in back and sides.

6. Pretty bad haemorrhoids.

7. The uterus is enlarged.

8. The right ovarian region is the seat of a tumid mass rather bigger than my fist; the left one also, which is very painful.

9. There is severe but intermittent leucorrhoea.

10. The period is too frequent and excessive.

11. And the crowning misery of this unfortunate lady was total inability to pass water for the past two months, being obliged to use the catheter.

12. Many nerve-symptoms more or less distressing; and as these seemed to be largely due to her overcome two attacks of influenza, I started my therapeutic campaign with Cypripedin 3x, 6 grains three times a day.

Cypripedium pubescens, Cypripedin, and Scutellaria lat., and Scutellarin, have long been my sheet-anchors in post- influenzal neuroses. This bettered the neurotic part of the aphonia, and also the constipation, and patient was altogether brighter in her nerve life. The spleen being swelled, and patient having at times some intermittent febrile movement, I followed with Urtica urens (gtt.xx. in die), and the more readily because of the retention of urine. This started a critical curative diarrhoea, under which the spleen became normal and the piles disappeared, and the aphonia lessened somewhat further. The retention of urine no better.

The retention of being due, at any rate in part, to a swelling of the circum-urethral tissue, which I have at times reduced with the aid of Saw palmetto 0, I gave this in 5-drop doses four times a day, but it did no particular good; and hence I studied the case somewhat further, and because patient woke up with the pain between 3 and 4 A.M., the tongue being mapped in the centre, I gave Mal. 30 in infrequent dose.

The mappiness of the tongue disappeared under Mal. 30, but the pips stood out very prominently, and she now stated that she was worse in the evening. This was June 9, 1893, and under July 3 I find this note:… “Has twice lost her voice; tongue very much furred of a morning; constipation quite gone; piles gone.”

Rx Arnica 1, 10 drops in water night morning.

August 14.-Voice quite well these four weeks; bowels normal; still inability to pass water, though the pain at the time of passing it is much less, the quantity more natural. Very severe leucorrhoea, causing great inconvenience. Insomnia.

Rx Medorrhinum 1000.

September 11.-Voice normal; sleeps better; the pain in the side still comes on in the night; very much troubled with the whites; still unable to pass water; left lobe of liver tender.

Ex Chelone glabra 0.

October 16.- No great change.

Rx Zincum acet. 0.

November 24.-Period scanty; anorexia; breathless; palpitation of the heart; still cannot pass water naturally.

Rx Hydrastinin. mur. 3x, 5 drops in water night and morning.

January 22, 1894.-“I have no pain in my side at all, ever; I pass water quite freely at times, but not always; piles and constipation very badly.”

Rx Sulphur 30 (infrequently).

March 2.-Piles and constipation cured; very bad white; micturition normal.

Rx Medorrhinum 1000.

This finished the cure. Patient remained well, and in November, 1894, had another baby, and there-after no trouble.


Mrs. X. 43 years of age, mother of a family, came to me on October 21, 1891, complaining of having frequently aborted, and of “weak heart, considerable swelling of lower abdomen, and dropsy of the lower extremities.” She wears a pessary to keep up the heavy womb, as otherwise she cannot walk. Severe leucorrhoea. It seemed to me that the heart was not at fault, but that the entire trouble lay in the enlargement of the womb. She had lost a favourite child-her only boy-and was bowed down with grief, which latter called certainly for Ignatia. The pressure of the huge uterus, however, called for Bellis.

Rx Ignatia am. 1 and Bellis per. 0, 20 drops of each daily in alternation.

November 4.-Distinct improvement in every way; leucorrhoea much better; can walk better.

During November and December she had Helonias 0 and Arnica 1, when she was very much better, and exclaimed, “My swelled stomach is as flat as a pancake.” Leucorrhoea and dropsy gone. No longer needs any pessary.

Bacillinum CC. followed, and under this the left leg swelled again. Early in 1892 she had a few weeks of Fraxinus Americanus 0, 10 drops twice a day, and wast hen in capital health, and functionally regular.

The Bacillinum was given because of the pippy state of her tongue, and did good to her constitution, but did not influence the uterus, which was merely in part subinvoluted and in part bruised from much use. I should have stated that she had morning sickness off and on so long as the uterus was so greatly enlarged. In merely organ diseases constitutional treatment is not indicated, and is therefore useless; but a battered, bruised uterus yields quickly to anti-traumatics such as Bellis perennis and Arnica montana. And the organ remedies appropriate to the uterus-Helonias 4 dioica and Fraxinus Americanus-quickly cured the hypertrophy of the organ. And in the case of organ remedies, small material doses act best, -indeed brilliantly; such remedies also needs to be repeated at short intervals. On the contrary, organ hypertrophies from constitutional causes are not curable by organ remedies at all until the constitutional disease has been cured by infrequently repeated high dilutions of remedies closely homoeopathic thereto.

I am often asked why I disapprove of the use of pessaries, and my reply is… I do not disapprove of pessaries if nothing else can be done, but a pessary is only a make-shift of a highly objection able nature; it is better to enjoy locomotion with the aid of a pessary than to lie on a couch and slowly become an unwholesome mass of tissue. But a pessary cures nothing, and not only does it cure nothing, but it tends to render the big heavy organ bigger and heavier still; the real indication is to set about reducing the size and weight of the organ, until it is light enough to go up to its normal position. And my contention is that this can be done, and and the task is not even difficult; but it cannot be done without organ remedies, and also it cannot be done without constitutional remedies when the hypertrophy is of constitutional origin.

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.