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50 Reasons For Being a Homeopath’ is a lovely little book. It consists of 50 letters from the famous homeopathic doctor J. Compton Burnett to a young skeptic ‘Dr T.A.K’ & was written around 1888. It still shines with truth today.

Part 22:

You tell me you are much mistaken in me, for you had always thought I was, “for a homeopath a very big doser.” and that the Phosphorus I once mixed in a tumbler for your aunty actually “smoked!”

Perfectly true; I cannot discuss homeopathic (or, if you will, my) posology with you, but I will give you my rule, viz: The dose depends upon the degree of similitude; the greater the similitude the higher the dilution and the less frequent the administration; the smaller the degree of similitude the lower the dose and the more regular the repetition of the dose. My own range of dose is from a few globules of the two-hundredth dilution at eight day intervals, down to ten drops of the mother tincture (of weak drugs, of course) four times a day.

The dose is quite often as important as the remedy, and your exclusively low, as well as the exclusively high dilutionists, are only one-eyed practitioners, though of course kings among the blind, i.e the allopaths.

It is your fault that I have touched upon the vexed question of the dose, that is to Homeopathy what the everlasting Irish question is in British politics.

My twenty-second reason for being a homeopath is one I published some years ago under the heading


Dr Gareth Wilkinson went once to Iceland for a holiday, and observed that the animals which fed in the pastures where the finer ashes of Mount Hecla fall, suffer from immense maxillary and other exotoses. Being an adherent of the scientific system of medicine founded for us by Samuel Hahnemann, he brought some Hecla lava home with him, and it has been already successfully used to cure affections similar to those which it is capable of causing.

On July 3rd, 1880, a young lady, aged 15, came under my observation with an exotosis on her right os calcis, somewhat smaller and a little flatter than half a walnut-shell. It was at times painful. Patient was in other respects in good health and well nourished, but her teeth were not very sound. She goes blue in winter, and suffers also very badly from chilblains both on hands and feet, worse on hands.

prescribed: Heclae Montis Lavae 5X, 6 grains 3-times-a-day

17th July. The exostosis is decidely smaller; it never pains now

September 25th. The exostosis has entirely disappeared; the two heels being compared, no difference between them now be discovered.

Heclae lava has been shown to consist of silica, alumina, calcium and magnesia, with some ferric oxide. We are, therefore, not astonished that it can cause and cure exostosis.

Brother allopath, this is science in therapeutics; what have you to take it’s place? Give absorbents and paint the part with iodine? What guarantee can you give me that your absorbents will not absorb a bit of the pancreas or some small glands in lieu of the exostosis?

Or are you, also, true to your principle: Contraria contrariis curantur? Then pray tell me what is the contrary of an exostosis?