Chapter 1 – Tinea

Herpes circinnatus (ringworm of the surface) is usually treated, and with fair success, by Sepia, but that when the proving of Tellurium produced so similar an eruption to Tinea, Dr. Hughes started prescribing it instead of Sepia….


THAT Ringworm (Herpes s. tinea tonsurans) is due to a specific fungus is one of the certainties of practical medicine; that the recognised treatment of the same is by external applications with the view of killing the fungi, no one needs to be told. Hitherto its medicability by internal remedies has been admitted by a certain section of the homoeopathic school of medicine. Indeed the more staunch Hahnemannians have always fought for this view, and time and again have proved its practicability; on this point I have been able to verify their views clinically.

For years, in common with many others, I have been constantly in the habit of treating and curing ringworm by internal remedies with relative success. For all that I have thus far never had anything approaching to a clear notion of its true nature, and some of the cases would persist in not getting well; and this lack of a definite idea of its nature, and also the uncertainty of its cure, is I believe fully shared by those who have thus habitually considered and treated ringworm constitutionally. It is due, let us say, to psora, but we have no clear conception of what psora is. Psora needs to be split up into its roots in the vague, its trunk and boughs run away into anywhere. The psora of the homoeopaths seems somehow true, but it has no proper beginning, no definite course, and ends in pathological chaos.

Perhaps we study it in Hahnemann, and in the best writers on the subject, and after doing our best to master it, we rise from our studies with no clear idea, and we finally decide to abandon psora as an intangible myth, and then we proceed with our clinical work; but, before long, we stumble against a very tangible something, and on looking at the stumbling block, we find writ large upon it the word Psora! Have I then hit upon a solution of the psora-problem? No; but if we cannot break the whole faggot, we may perchance break one stick of it.

Hughes, in his Manual of Therapeutics, says that Herpes circinnatus (ringworm of the surface) is usually treated, and with fair success, by Sepia, but that when the proving of Tellurium produced so similar an eruption, he (Dr. Hughes) followed Dr. Metcalf in prescribing it instead of Sepia for this disorder, and has never failed to cure it speedily thereby.

Of ringworm proper of the scalp, Hughes thus writes:-( Manual of Therapeutics, p. 520) “That this disease is, when recent, amenable to internal remedies alone seems to disprove the theory of its parasitic origin. The medicine for it is Sepia, at about the 6th dilution; but if this fails, you must resort to some local parasiticide, of which I suppose a solution of Sulphurous acid would be about the best.”

Some time since I published a small volume, entitled Five Years’ Experience in the New Cure of Consumption by its own Virus, and the fifty-third illustrative case therein runs thus (p.95):-

The influence of the virus upon the teeth and their growth and appearance is very striking. What I regard as tubercular teeth are those-often more or less rudimentary-with holes in their external surface. Whether this is a recognised pathological fact I do not happen to know, perhaps is it not. But it is an important clinical observation. I recognized it clinically some three years since, while treating a highly strumous lady with many scars and glands in her neck.

While under the virus I noticed an extraordinary improvement in her teeth, they became a nice color, and the numerous superficial holes cleaned and partially disappeared. It was even more apparent and striking in the following case:-

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.