Excerted from the remarkable book 50 Reasons for Being a Homeopath by Dr. James Compton Burnett. These case studies give fascinating insight to the practice of homeopathy in the late 1800's by one of the best diagnosticians of the time.
"What I mean in my fifth reason requires to be insisted upon a little more, that you may perceive my meaning the more clearly. I said Homeopathy raises one from the dependent position of a journeyman therapeutist to that of a master. Eg... Some years since, as you may perhaps know, a drug called Cundurango came up in your school as a cure for cancer, much as Chian turpentine did subsequently, and like it, had it’s day, and then passed out of sight. Cundurango, thought I, will certainly only cure one variety of cancer, not all. How are we to know which? The clinical records of Cundurango showed that it really has genuine curative power over some cases of cancer, particularly of the stomach.
Hahnemann taught that the true way to define the curative sphere of a drug is to give it to healthy people, to see what it would do to them. I procured some of the Cundurango bark, made an infusion, and drank quantities of it. You will find my report on the subject in Allen’s Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica. Well, I found that it causes (inter alia) cracks in the angles of the mouth.
Subsequently I had to treat a case of cancer of the left breast in a middle-aged woman, but the patient had also a deep crack in the angle of her mouth on the left side, with thick indurated edges, probably of a epitheliomatous nature. I think you would have agreed with the diagnosis had you seen the case. I therefore reasoned thus: We know empirically that Cundurango can cure some cases of cancer; I know from direct experience on myself that it causes the angles of the mouth to crack; the homeopaths maintain that like cures like, ergo, Cundurango ought to be a curative agent in this case.
The patient took a homeopathic preparation of the remedy steadily for about three years, with gradual, slow amelioration, and eventual perfect cure. Since then eight years have elapsed, and she is still in excellent health. I think it must be manifest that, had it not been for Homeopathy, this cure could not have been wrought, and the patient must long since have died of the dire disease.
Therefore, please accept this as my sixth reason for being a homeopath. And, learned brother, what a proud position, too! Of course, it is not “regular”. Alas! That it is not."