Melancholy, depressed, sad and weeping; Consolation aggravates.
Great emaciation, even while living well, shows most in the neck.
Anæmia with bursting headaches, especially at the menses, also school girls' headache.
Great dryness of mucous membranes from lips to anus; lips dry and cracked, especially in the middle; anus dry, cracked, fissured; constipation.
Heart palpitates, flutters, intermits, pulsates violently, shaking the whole body; < lying on left side.
Itching eruptions, dry or moist; < at the margins of the hair.
Modalities: < 10 to 11 A. M. (many complaints), especially malarial affections; lying down, especially on left side; heat of sun or heat in general; abuse of Quinine, relieved by sweat.
Tongue; mapped with red insular patches.
For bad effects; of anger, nitrate of silver; too much salt; craves salt and salty things.
Hang nails; skin around the nails dry and cracked; herpes about the anus, in border of hair.
Warts on palms of hands (sore to touch, Nat.).
* * * * *
Now that we have introduced the Natrums, we will continue them. Common salt. A gentleman once said to me when I prescribed a dose of Sulphur 30th, "Pshaw, I get more sulphur than that in every egg I eat. How can that do me any good?" My answer was, wait and see. And he was cured of both doubts and disease. There is no remedy in the Materia Medica, I think, that so disgusts the advocates of the low potency, and, low only, as this one. The unquestionable cure of the most obstinate cases of intermittent fever with the 200th and higher potencies demoralizes them. That people eating salt in appreciable quantities right along and can't live without it, don't get well on it, and do get well on the same thing potentized, does not hold to reason, the microscope, molecular theory; spectrum analysis, or anything else scientific (so called) not being able to discover any material in the dose. But there stand the cures, like the blind man whom Jesus healed. It is a hard thing to be confronted by such facts against our prejudices. "Oh, well," said one of these doubters, "people sometimes get well without medicine." so they do with, I replied. Isn't it curious how some physicians will hoot at a potency and fly like a frightened crow from a bacillus varying in size from 0.004 millimeters to 0.006 m.m. They can hardly eat, drink or sleep for fear a little microbe of the fifteenth culture will light on them somewhere, but there is nothing in a potency above the 12th. Oh, consistency! When prejudice gives way to honest, earnest investigation for truth, the world may be better for it. Natrum mur. is one of our best remedies for anæmia. It does not seem to make much difference whether the anæmia is caused by loss of fluids (China, Kali carb.), menstrual irregularities (Puls.), loss of semen (Phos. acid, China), grief or other mental diseases. In these cases of anæmia, to which Natrum is adapted, we may, in addition to the general paleness, have emaciation, notwithstanding the patient eats well. Severe attacks of throbbing headache; shortness of breath, especially on going upstairs, or other physical exertion; scanty menstruation; more or less constipation and generally great depression of spirits. In fact, depression of spirits is characteristic of this drug; the patient weeps much, like Pulsatilla, the difference being that the Pulsatilla patient is soothed and comforted by consolation, while the Natrum mur. patient is aggravated.
There is almost always in these anæmic cases a great deal of fluttering, palpitation, and even intermittent action of the heart. I have helped many such cases with this remedy high, in single doses, only repeating when improvement lagged. I have seen a patient who had lost 40 pounds of flesh (weight, 160 lbs.), though eating well all of the time, under one dose of Natrum mur., tip the scales at 200 lbs. within three months from the time of taking. He was very hypochondriac at the time of the beginning of treatment. I cannot speak too highly of Natrum mur. in these affections. Natrum mur. is one of our best remedies for chronic headaches. They come in paroxysms and would, by their intense throbbing nature, cause one to think of Belladonna, only that they occur mostly in the anæmic, and the face is pale, or at least slightly flushed. If the face is red and burning, eyes injected, and pain of beating or throbbing nature, we would immediately think of such remedies as Melilotus, Belladonna, or Nux vom., and then look for concomitant symptoms to decide between them. The headaches of Natrum mur. are very apt to occur after the menstrual period, as if caused by loss of blood, and you know that China also has throbbing headache in such cases. With Natrum the throbbing headache occurs whether the menses be scanty or profuse. Natrum mur. also cures the headaches of school girls, and here it may be difficult to choose between it and Calcarea phos., both remedies also being particularly adapted to anæmic states. Indeed, I have sometimes missed and had to give Calcarea phos. when Natrum failed and vice versa, because I could not make the choice. These headaches are often brought on by eye-strain, as in long-continued study, close sewing, etc. Then we have asthenopia with the headache, and must study also Argentum nit. and Ruta graveolens. In actual practice such cases do sometimes occur, where the case in hand is not far enough developed in symptomatic indications to enable one to choose between two about equally indicated remedies. If a man hits it well without ever having to try but twice I can forgive him for failing the first time, and am willing to be forgiven myself. In these cases, however, let the physician be blamed, and not Homopathy, for that never fails. So-called sick headaches often find their simillimum in Natrum mur. For want of space we cannot give all of the symptoms which might indicate it. Natrum mur. acts upon the whole alimentary tract, from mouth to anus, and has very characteristic symptoms guiding to its administration. The lips and corners of the mouth are dry, ulcerated, or cracked (Condurango). In this it resembles Nitric acid, as it also does at the other end of the alimentary canal; for with both remedies the anus is fissured, sore, painful and sometimes bleeding. Antimonium crudum and Graphites are also to be remembered in this connection; but while Graphites has the affection of both mouth and anus, it is more of an eczematous or eruptive character than either of the other remedies. Natrum has great sense of dryness in the mouth without actual dryness. Now Mercury has thirst with moist mouth, but there is with this remedy swollen tongue, or flabby tongue, with indentations or prints of the teeth upon it, and very offensive breath, all of which is not markedly so of Natrum mur., so there is no danger of confounding the two. You will remember that although alike or similar in their mind symptoms Pulsatilla has the exact opposite as regards this symptom, viz., dry mouth with no thirst, furnishing a very marked contrast where a choice is necessary. Natrum has another similarity to Pulsatilla, in that it has bitter taste, and loss of taste. Again Natrum has a sensation upon the tongue similar to Silicea, viz., sensation of a hair upon the tongue (also Kali bich.). Deep painful fissure in middle upper lip is given in Guiding Symptoms, but I have found it in the lower lip and believe it to be just as characteristic. I made a splendid cure, being led to examination of the remedy by this symptom.
Blisters like pearls around the mouth are found in Natrum mur., especially in intermittents. If the upper lip is much thickened or swollen, not of an erysipelatous character, we would think of three remedies, all of which have it, Belladonna Calcarea ost., Natrum mur. Alone, of course, this symptom would not amount to much but is strongly corroborative if found in connection with other symptoms of any of these remedies. The symptoms of the gums may be summer up in one word, scorbutic. Now study also Mercurius, Carbo veg., Muriatic acid, etc.
There is another curious symptom in which I was helped by the elder Lippe to prescribe Natrum mur. with success in a case that had baffled me for a long time, viz., numbness and tingling of tongue, lips and nose. This came in connection with a chronic soreness of the liver, derangement of digestion, such as is often found in a condition which is popularly termed biliousness. This condition Natrum mur., given very high (said Lippe) c. m., clears up the case in a very short time. Map tongue is found under Natrum mur., Arsenicum alb., Lachesis, Nitric acid, and Taraxacum. I have used Natrum with success oftener than the others. I have not found Natrum mur. a great throat remedy, except in follicular pharyngitis, which had been abused with local applications of Nitrate of Silver. In post-diphtheritic paralysis of the muscles of deglutition Lachesis or Causticum have served me much better. Salivation profuse, watery and salty, is the reactionary or secondary action of Natrum and may find its remedy here. but this is not so often found as the other condition of dryness. Natrum mur has some strong characteristics under the head of appetite, thirst, desires and aversions. No remedy is more hungry, yet he loses flesh while eating well. (Acetic acid, Abrotanum, Iodine, Sanicula and Tuberculinum). Iodine has this canine hunger with emaciation; but after eating the Natrum patient feels weary and sleepy, while the Iodine one feels better. The Natrum patient after eating feels dull, with heavy aching and sense of fullness and discomfort in the region of the stomach and liver, which is relieved as digestion advances (see China); but the Iodine patient wishes to eat all of the time and feels comfortable only when the stomach is full or being filled. There are several remedies which are either hungry or relieved by eating, notably Anacardium, Chelidonium and Petroleum, as well as Natrum mur. and Iodine. One might add also as hungry remedies China and Lycopodium. The Anacardium has pain in the stomach which extends to the spine, and an all gone sensation which must be relieved by eating; and after two hours returns and he must eat again. Chelidonium hunger is accompanied with the characteristic liver symptoms. (See Chelidonium). In China, Natrum mur. and Lycopodium hunger, patient fills up quickly and fullness, flatulence and distress follow until the process of digestion is well advanced, when they are relieved. Again, Natrum mur. is a very useful remedy for an abnormal craving for salt. Patient salts everything he eats. A dose of the c. m. corrects this craving and often cures other symptoms accompanying. Causticum also has this symptom, and if the other symptoms indicate must take the preference. Of course the intense thirst of salt is well known, and keep pace with the hunger. Now this is the case with diabetes, for which Natrum is a curative if otherwise indicated. In all of these cases, of course, it must be used high, for we get the low in our food.
Under the head of stool and rectum few remedies have stronger symptoms. I quote verbatim from "Guiding Symptoms:" -"Constipation; obstinate retention of stool; stools irregular, hard, unsatisfactory; during menses; stools in large masses; stools like sheep dung; from inactivity of rectum; anus contracted, or torn, bleeding, smarting, or burning afterwards; stitches in the rectum causing hypochondriasis or ill humor; great torpor without pain; from want of moisture, dryness of mucous linings, with watery secretions in other parts; difficult expulsion, fissuring anus with flow of blood, leaving sensation of much soreness; with uterine displacements; hæmorrhoidal; in Addison's Disease." Now to read this rightly we must entirely separate these symptoms, here separated by the semi-colon, and put the word constipation before each one. That saves the error of supposing that all the symptoms here quoted must be present in a single case of constipation to make Natrum muriaticum the proper remedy.
One of the best possible exercises for a student of Materia Medica is to compare these different symptoms, as follows: Stools dry, crumbling, is also found under Ammonium muriaticum and Magnesia muriatica. Constipation from inactivity of the rectum, Alumina, Veratrum album, Silicea, etc. Anus contracted, torn, bleeding, smarting and pain after stool, Nitric acid. From want of moisture, dryness of mucous linings, Bryonia and Opium. Leaving sensation of much soreness, Ignatia, Nitric acid, Alumen. Then again Natrum mur. may become the only curative for cholera infantum, chronic diarrha, and other conditions were loose stools predominate. I will not wait to specify all the symptoms. Emaciation, hunger and thirst are present, especially in cholera infantum, emaciation being most noticeable in the neck. (Abrotanum in the legs, also Ammon. mur. and Argent. nit.) Emaciation, Natrum, Sarsaparilla and Iodine. On the urinary organs I will only call attention to the increased secretion already spoken of, and the involuntary escape of urine, which is also found under Causticum, Pulsatilla, Zincum and others, and a burning and cutting in the urethra after urination. Sarsaparilla has the nearest to this last symptom, and we remember here the resemblance of these two remedies as to emaciation in cholera infantum. This cutting in the urethra may be found in chronic cases of gleet, and in these cases the discharge is almost always, as it is under Natrum mur. in all mucous membranes, clear and watery. This remedy is one of the best for bearing-down pains in women, which are worse in the morning. The patient feels as if she must sit down to prevent prolapsus. This is like the pains of the Sepia patient, who feels as if she must cross her legs for the same purpose. Now if we had the stool and anal symptoms of Natrum present, and especially the hypochondriasis, we would have almost a sure thing in Natrum. These uterine symptoms of Natrum are often accompanied by back pains, which are relieved by lying upon back, like Rhus. I have already spoken of the headaches accompanying, and especially following the menses. They are throbbing and accompanied by great soreness of the eyes, especially on turning them. I have a patient now who has these headaches occasionally. She is inclined to anæmia. Was, when young, very anæmic. She is always relieved by this remedy in the 250m. potency, and under it is regaining her color and general health.
Natrum mur. has strong action upon the heart and circulation, as the following marked symptoms indicate: "Fluttering of the heart with weak faint feeling, worse, lying down. Irregular intermission of beats of heart and pulse, worse on lying on left side. Violent pulsations of the heart which shake the body." (Spigelia). All these symptoms are more markedly present in anæmic subjects, with constitution generally weakened by grief, sexual excess, loss of blood and other debilitating causes. It is especially efficacious in subjects suffering from abuse of Quinine. In fevers it is among Hahnemannians too well known to need much space here. In intermittents it is especially useful in cases suppressed, not cured, by Quinine, and its leading characteristic is in the time of the appearance of the chill.
Natrum appears characteristically at 10 to 11 A. M.
Eupatorium perfoliatum at 7 A. M.
Apis mellifica at 3 P. M.
Lycopodium at 4 P. M.
Arsenicum alb. at 1 to 2 P. M. or A. M.
Without fixing the time just to the hour, there are many remedies which have chills in the morning or in the evening, etc. Now in regard to the time of aggravation in fevers, they occur quite as characteristically in other than intermittents. For instance the Natrum at 10 A. M., the Arsenic at 1 P. M. or A. M., etc.
The fever, headache and all other symptoms of Natrum are relieved by sweating, as are those of Arsenicum also. There are some strong symptoms found in the extremities. "Hang nails." The Natrum subject is always having them. Again, numbness and tingling in fingers and toes, like that also found in the lips and tongue, should make one think of Natrum. The ankles are weak and turn easily, especially in children who are late in learning to walk. Painful tension in the bends of the limbs, as if the cords were too short. This may amount to actual deformity, like Causticum, Guaiacum and Cimex. Then the spine very irritable, sensitive to touch, yet relieved by hard pressure, with weakness of the limbs, fluttering of the heart, even half paralyzed extremities. As far as this spinal weakness is concerned, it may take on a form of general debility, for which there is no better remedy than Natrum mur. The mental and physical powers seem greatly relaxed, and physical and mental labor equally prostrating. This condition may gradually progress to paralysis, and may be the result of badly treated intermittents, sexual excesses, diphtheria, depressing emotions or other causes of nervous exhaustion. The action of Natrum upon the skin must not be overlooked. First and foremost is its eczema, which is raw, inflamed, and especially worse at the edges of the hair. Next for tetters at the bends of the joints. They crack and crust over and ooze an acrid fluid. Finally in urticaria it ranks with Apis, Hepar sulphur. and Calcarea ost. I have used more space for this remedy, as I did for Lachesis and Causticum, than for most other remedies, for the following reasons: First, they are all remedies more efficient in high potencies. Second, they are not appreciated by the general profession. Third, I hope to induce those who do not use them to investigate them. I have found that those who highly value these three remedies are generally good Homopathic prescribers.
Maharana Homoeo Reader