Bacillinum Burnett – Homeopathic Remedy – Materia Medica Viva George Vithoulkas

Bacillinum Burnett

A nosode of tuberculosis first described by D. Burnett, prepared from tuberculous sputum by Dr. Heath.


The essential features

The constitutional type that needs this remedy is usually characterised by a flat, narrow or hollow chest, shoulders thrown forward, an undernourished appearance and a skin color going from a deep yellow to a greyish brown. In some cases you may notice that the front part of the head is narrow and pointed, while the back part is very large and rather square, unlike theCancerinum child whose very big head bulges out in the front.

The Bacillinum individual is thin and emaciated and suffers from a permanent feeling of weakness which turns into exhaustion with the slightest cold or cough. The cough could be a constant dry, hacking one or accompanied by much purulent expectoration. Bacillinum has more pus from the lungs but less exhaustion than Stannum. Stannum and Muriatic acid lead all the other remedies in general exhaustion.

Bacillinum patients present the following characteristics in their medical history:

Susceptibility to common colds, which they catch easily and frequently, and from which they do not recover quickly. No matter what medicines are used, the colds drag on for a long time. Rapid decline in health after influenza. Suffocation during the night with a constant exhausting cough.

Expectoration with pus. Bacillinum is known to be of particular use in cases where there is excessive muco-purulent bronchial secretion threatening to occlude the lungs. (Ant-t)

Histories of ringworm affections.

Any condition accompanied by pityriasis versicolor may point to this remedy. Dr. Burnett has maintained that ringworm of the scalp and pityriasis versicolor on the body are indications of tubercular diathesis, and that they respond to this remedy. This is correct but not a rule.

It is interesting to note here that it has been reported that Bacillinum has cured insanity with pityriasis. I believe this to have been only an acute psychotic episode, and not a real form of schizophrenia. The heavy forms of schizophrenias, such as the process s., the catatonic s., the disorganised s. or hebephrenia, the paranoid s. etc. always need more than one remedy to cure them, and most of the time indeed cannot be cured at all. A homeopath should be careful in reporting such cases, as they tend to give wrong impressions and therefore discredit our science. In this disease in particular, there are so many degrees of severity in each individual case that we cannot really be reporting on curing insanity.

Personal or family histories of tuberculosis or even frequent chest affections.

Glandular swellings in general with exhaustion.

The past history of a case is of greater relevance to the prescription of Bacillinum than its present symptomatology. Whenever such a medical history is to be found in a case, independently of the concomitant symptomatology, suspect tuberculosis and think of Bacillinum.

It has been said that Bacillinum acts less well in cases of acute tuberculosis than in chronic cases. This is not true. The remedy will always act when indicated, in both acute and chronic conditions.

One of the main indications for this remedy is: active tuberculosis of the lungs where there is excessive purulent expectoration with rapid emaciation, no appetite and copious night sweats. Bacillinum is indicated during active exudative tuberculosis where the lungs are primarily affected. These cases require Bacillinum rather than Tuberculinum, although Bacillinum andTuberculinum have a number of parallel characteristics. The most important of these is perhaps an eczematous condition of the margins of the eyelids that becomes worse at night and in the early morning and from cold air. This redness with small follicles of the margins of the lids I have found to be an important indication for both remedies and it seems to point to a strong tubercular predisposition. Other common characteristics are: grinding of the teeth during sleep, which is less prominent in Bacillinum, and fear or disgust of cats, which in Bacillinum appears as fear of dogs.

Bacillinum is indicated in the pre-tubercular state characterised by constant loss of flesh, night sweats, lack of appetite, glandular swellings, clammy hands, cold and sweaty feet, a feeling as though one were wearing wet stockings and a sensation as of a damp cloth on the spine. This remedy is also indicated in conditions where there is a tendency to bleed freely from the least injury. Other clinical conditions for which this remedy could be indicated are spinal tuberculosis, osteitis or caries of the vertebrae, conditions that usually arise as a complication from lung tuberculosis. The spine curves inwards while the belly and stomach bulge outwards. The similarity here with Calc-carb. is obvious.

The provings show severe headache, deep inside, worse by motion, reminding one very much of Bryonia

The psychological make up of the initial stages of a Bacillinum case is characterised by a combination of an overflow of energy with voracious appetite and weight loss. This energy cannot easily be disciplined, and the patient does not know where to direct it or how to spend it. He may be very active sexually, expending himself in excessive sexual practices. He may stay out late at night, involved in several love affairs, trying to live life as fully as possible. The patient feels that this energy will not last long, and is driven to make use of it. Any sense of equanimity is lost; the normal and balanced expression of the life force is totally forgotten by the organism. The processes of tuberculosis are near and the patient is fast progressing towards a totally degenerate state.

This fierce energy is produced by an internal sensation as of something being burned up rapidly. The inner state of the patient can be described in the terms of a “wild animal”. It is at this stage that homeopathy can do its best and prevent the tubercular processes that are moving in fast.

There comes a point where this overabundance of energy is burnt out and the person turns irritable, snappish and sulky. The appetite is lost and is replaced by constant weakness. The patient eventually becomes melancholic, morose, with unsteady and heavy mental faculties, unable to think much. He suffers from great despondency and a sense of foreboding, he complains and whines and allows himself to be frightened easily, particularly by dogs.



Bacillinum individuals present great sensitivity to many external influences. They are prone to allergies, especially those manifest in the respiratory system.

Bacillinum is indicated in hay fever cases that develop a state of suffocation overnight, followed quickly by muco-purulent discharge. Use this remedy when Tuberculinum fails and also in cases that look like rhus-tox when the restlessness is during night in bed. Sleep is very heavy and profound.



Severe headache, deep in, recurring from time to time, compelling quiet fixedness; aggravated by shaking head.

Headache with trembling of hands and total sleeplessness.

Terrible pain in head as if he had a tight hoop of iron around it. Ringworm.

Alopecia areata.



Eczematous condition of eyelids.



Lupus exedens over the left superior maxilla.

Indolent, angry pimples on left cheek, breaking out from time to time and persisting for many weeks.



Strawberry tongue.

Tongue is covered with a thick yellowish-white coating.

Aching in teeth, especially lower incisors.

Teeth very sensitive to air.

Grinds teeth in sleep.

Imperfectly developed teeth.



Tickling in fauces, compelling cough.

The cough is worse indoors, relieved outdoors.



Appetite poor. No appetite at all.

Appetite ravenous, especially for pickled things.

Windy dyspepsia, with pinching pains under ribs of right side in mammary line.

Glands of neck enlarged and tender.



Consumption of the bowels.


Tubercular ulceration of intestines

Fever, emaciation, abdominal pains and discomfort, restless at night, glands of both groins enlarged and indurated; cries out in sleep; strawberry tongue.

Tabes mesenterica; talks in sleep; grinds teeth; appetite poor; hands blue; indurated and palpable glands everywhere; drum belly; spleen region bulging out. Inguinal glands indurated and visible; excessive sweats; chronic diarrhea.



Sudden diarrhea before breakfast, with nausea.

Severe hemorrhages from bowels, cough.

Obstinate constipation.

Passes much ill-smelling flatus.

Stitchlike pain through piles.


Urinary organs

Increased quantity of urine, pale, with white sediment.

Has to rise several times in night to urinate.

With the cough and this form of aphonia there is always a gushing from the bladder.


Genitalia – female

Very acrid and copious leucorrhea, not able to nurse her baby, no milk.



Dyspnea, without any rattling in the throat and without expectoration, which obliged him sometimes to pass the entire night upright in bed.

Coughs all night. Nothing relieves it. The cough is loose, rattling with scanty, thin, whitish expectoration. The cough is worse indoors, relieved outdoors. Cough is worse talking and lying on the back.

Slight, tedious, hacking cough.

Hard cough, shaking patient, more during sleep, but it did not waken him.

Pricking in larynx with sudden cough.

Single cough on rising from bed in morning.

Cough waking him at night; easy expectoration.

Expectoration of non-viscid, easily detached, thick phlegm from air passages, followed after a day or two by a very clear ring of voice.

Sharp pain in praecordial region arresting breathing. Very sharp pain in left scapula, aggravated by lying down in bed at night, better by warmth.



Sensation of damp cloth on spine.



Trembling of hands.

Pain in left knee whilst walking; passed off after perseverance in walking for a short distance like Rhus-t. Tubercular inflammation of knee.



Drowsy during day; restless at night; many dreams.



Flush of heat (soon after the dose) some perspiration, severe headache deep in.



Addison’s disease. Alopecia. Consumptiveness. Defective growth. Hydrocephalus. Idiocy. Insanity. Affections of joints. Pityriasis. Ringworm. Scrofulous glands. Teeth defective; pitted. Tuberculosis.



Calc. phos. goes with this remedy very well. So do Lach. and Kali c. I know of no antidote.



From 30c to the highest.



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About Me

Hussain Kaisrani (aka Ahmad Hussain) is a distinguished Psychotherapist & Chief Consultant at Homeopathic Consultancy, Lahore. 

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