3. Liver affections

The common sunflower is an old horticultural as well as clinical friend of mine that has here and there helped me in splenic affections. Here I use it more as a liver remedy:-

Helianthus Annuus AS A LIVER MEDICINE.

Although I regard the sunflower as specially a spleen medicine still it has a distinct action across from the spleen toward the liver and possibly it influences the liver also.

I have lately cured a stubborn case of a throbbing swelling in the pit of the stomach involving the left side of the liver and the spleen and the tissues lying between the two organs.

No defined epigastric tumours could be satisfactorily distinguished but the whole epigastric region was very tender on pressure and patient could not bend down with out getting giddy and feeling much distress at the epigastrium. The particular interest in the case lay in the long duration of the ailment and the pulsating epigastric mass.

Patient took five drops of the matrix tincture of Helianthus, night and morning for some weeks when the only abnormal thing remaining was the very slight enlargement of the left lobe of the liver and for which he was put on Chelone glabra. The spleen was put right and also the epigastrium of which the pulsation ceased, together with the tenderness and distension and in view of the difficulties one encounters in dealing curatively with pulsating epigastric swellings I think this short narration worth penning and preserving.

I know of nothing in the way of diagnosis offering more difficulties and pit-falls than “pulsating tumours” in the abdomen, and indeed all abdominal tumours take a deal of diagnosing.

I will now invite my reader to a short yet closer consideration of an hepatic that is a comparatively new friend, viz. Chelone Glabra-AN IMPORTANT HEPATIC.

I think I have discovered an important differential point for the scientific use of Chelone glabra.

A Commander in the Royal Navy, about two years ago, came under my observation for an enormous varix in the right groin, just on Poupart’s ligament. The varix was about the size of a very small orange and the thing was certainly becoming alarming on account of the thinning of the wall of the dilated vein. And being in the bend of the groin it was almost impossible to apply mechanical support. The patient was thoroughly healthy fellow and though I diagnosed him up and down and questioned him unto very weariness, still there was absolutely nothing findable beyond a slight enlargement of the left lobe of the liver. I first used Chelidonium majus. with some advantage, and under Carduus marioe the varix certainly diminished somewhat, but under the remedy in question the varix disappeared and patient hastened off on active service. From this (and similar observations I have laid it down for my own future guidance that the seat of action of Chelone glabra is the left lobe of the liver and its line of action is in the direction of the navel, bladder and uterus. That this is really so the competent will have no difficulty in verifying whether Chelone acts upon the liver itself as a true hepatic I would not venture to affirm; perhaps it reduces the swellings of the left lobe of the liver by its action on the veins running up to the liver.

Many of the “New Remedies” have come and gone; Chelone has come to stay: its sphere of action is small, its action sharp and withal well defined.


A gentleman, who had long been under me, consulted me again in the spring of 1894 for varicocele of the right side. Casting about to find the primary dam I found the left lobe of the liver notably swelled, patient himself being however in capital health. There was besides the varicocele a moderate degree of varicosis of the large veins of the whole of the right leg. I prescribed Chelone glabra, five drops in a tablespoonful of water night and morning.

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.