Salt is so common an article of diet that it has been assumed that it could be of no use in medicine. This is only the opinion of men who operate entirely on the tissues. There are no constitutional effects from crude salt.
One may find an individual growing thin with all the symptoms of salt; he is taking salt in great quantities, but digesting none of it. Salt will be found in the stool, for it does not enter into the life. There is a Natr. mur. inanition, a starving for salt. The same is true of lime. Children can get plenty of lime from their food and that is better when the salt or the lime is given in such shape that it cannot be resisted by the internal man aimed not at the house he lives in but at the individual himself then the bone, salt inanition, the Natr. mur. inanition, will soon pass away. ‘We do not with our small dose supply the salt that the system needs, but we cure the internal disease, we turn into order the internal physical man, and then the tissues get salt enough from the food. Drugs must all be administered in suitable form. We may need to go higher and higher until the secret spring is touched.
Natr. mur. is a deep acting, long acting remedy. It takes a wonderful hold of the economy, making changes that are lasting when given in potentized doses. A great deal is presented that can be seen by looking at the patient, so that we say: this looks like a Natr. mur. patient. Experienced physicians learn to classify patients by appearance. The skin is shiny, Pale, waxy, looks as if greased. There is a wonderful prostration of a peculiar kind. Emaciation, weakness, nervous prostration, nervous irritability.
There is a Iong chain of mental symptoms; hysterical condition of the mind and body; weeping alternating with laughing; irresistible laughing at unsuitable times; prolonged, spasmodic laughter. This will be followed by tearfulness, great sadness, joylessness. No matter how cheering the circumstances are she cannot bring herself into the state of being joyful. She is benumbed to impressions, easily takes on grief, grieves over nothing. Unpleasant occurrences are recalled that she may grieve over them. Consolation aggravates the state of the mind the melancholy, the tearfulness, sometimes brings on anger. She appears to bid for sympathy and is mad when it is given. Headache comes on with this melancholy. She walks the floor in rage. She is extremely forgetful; cannot cast up accounts; is unable to meditate; forgets what she was going to say; loses the thread of what she is hearing or reading. There is a great prostration of the mind.
Unrequited affection brings on complaints. She is unable to control her affections and falls in love with a married man. She knows that it is foolish but lies awake with love for him. She falls in love with a coachman. She knows that she is unwise but cannot help it. In cases of this kind Natr. mur. will turn her mind into order, and she will look back and wonder why she was so silly. This remedy belongs to hysterical girls.
In a mental state where Ign. temporarily benefits the symptoms, but does not cure, its chronic, Natr. mur. should be given. It is as well to give Natr. mur. at once if there is an underlying constitutional state too deep for Ign. Aversion to bread, to fats and rich things.
The Natr. mur. patient is greatly disturbed by excitement, is extremely emotional. The whole nervous economy is in a state of fret and irritation, < from noise, the slamming of a door, the ringing of a bell, the firing of a pistol, < music. The pains are stitching, electric-like shocks, convulsive jerkings of the limbs on falling asleep, twitchings, shooting pains. She is oversensitive to all sorts of influences, is excitable, emotional, intense.
Complaints come on in the warm room, worse in the house, she wants the open air. The mental complaints are > in the open air. She takes cold easily from sweating, but is generally > in the open air, though worse on getting heated, < by sufficient exertion to heat up, but > by moderate exertion in the cold air. Both. Natr. carb. and Natr. mur. have the general nervous tension of Natrona but one is a chilly patient, the other warm blooded.
The face is sickly looking, the skin greasy, shiny, sallow, yellow, often chlorotic, covered with vesicular eruptions around the edges of the hair, the ears and back of -the neck. There are scaly and squamous eruptions, with great itching, oozing a watery fluid, or sometimes dry, An exfoliation takes place, a shining surface is left In the meatus, scales form and peel off, leaving an oozing surface. Watery vesicles form about the lips and wings of the nose, about the genitals and anus. Vesicular eruptions, white, oozing a watery fluid, come and go. Great itching of the skin is present
The skin looks waxy, dropsical. There is great emaciation, the skin looking dry, withered, shrunken. An infant looks like a little old man. There is a down on the face that passes away when improvement sets in. Emaciation takes place from above downward. The collar-bones become prominent and the neck looks scrawny, but the hips and lower limbs remain plump and round. Lyc. also has emaciation from above downward. The directions of remedies will often enable us to distinguish one from another.
The characteristic discharge from the mucous membranes is watery or thick whitish, like the white of an egg. There is a marked coryza with a watery discharge, but the constitutional state has thick, white discharges. He hawks out a thick, white discharge in the morning. There are gluey oozings from the eyes. From the ears flows a thick, white, gluey discharge. The leucorrhoea is white and thick. With the gonorrhoea the discharge has existed a long time and become gleety. There is smarting in the urethra only after urination.
The headaches are awful; dreadful pains; bursting, compressing, as if in a vise; the head feels as if the skull would be crushed in. The pains are attended with hammering and throbbing. Pain like little hammers in the head on beginning to move. Hammering pains in the head on waking in the morning. The pain comes on in the latter part of sleep. There is great nervousness during the first part of the night; she falls asleep late and awakes with hammering in the head. There are also headaches beginning at to or II A. M., lasting until 3 P. M. or evening. The headaches are periodical, every day, or third day, or fourth day. Headaches of those living in malarial districts, > from sleep; the patient must go to bed and be perfectly quiet, > from sweating, headaches associated with intermittent fever. During the chill it seemed as though the head would burst; he is delirious and drinks large quantities of cold water. There is no relief to the head until after the sweat. Sometimes all the symptoms are relieved by the sweat except the headache.
In another form of headache; the greater the pain the more the sweat; sweating does not relieve; the forehead is cold, covered with a cold sweat. When the head is covered warmly he is > moving-about in the open air.
Headache due to disturbance of vision where there is inability to focus rapidly enough Headache < from noise. Headache involving the whole back of the head and even going down the spine in troubles following the brain diseases, hydrocephalus.
In spinal troubles, when there is great sensitiveness to pressure an irritable spine. The vertebrae are sensitive and there is a great deal of aching along the spine. Coughing aggravates the pain in the spine, also walking makes it worse, but it is > from lying on something hard, or pressing the back up against something hard; they may sit with a pillow or the hand pressed against the back. In menstrual troubles you find the woman lying with some hard object under the spine. A general nervous trembling pervades the body. There is jerking of the muscles, trembling of the limbs, inability to keep the limbs still, as in Zincum.
The stomach and liver are closely related. The stomach is distended with flatus. After eating there is a lump in the stomach. It seems to take a long time for food to digest. < from eating. Whitish, slimy mucus is vomited attended with relief. There is great thirst for cold water, sometimes there is relief from drinking, sometimes the thirst is unquenchable. We find fullness in the region of the liver with stitching, tearing pains. The bowels are distended with gas. There is slowing down of the action of the bowels, the stool being very difficult, in hard, agglomerated lumps. There is slowing down of the action of the bladder. Must wait before the urine will start, and then it comes slowly dribbles; there is not much force in the flow. After urination there is a sensation as if more urine remained in the bladder. If anyone is present he cannot pass urine, cannot pass it in a public place. There is also continued urging, he must pass the urine often.
This remedy and Natr. sulph. were used by the homoeopaths to clear up chronic diarrhoea, the old army diarrhoea. Natr. mur. is useful in the complaints of women, in troublesome menstruation. There is a- great variety of menstrual complaints: menses too scanty or too free, too late or too soon. We cannot individualize from the menstrual symptoms, we must do it from the constitutional state. Examine every possible function to be sure you have all the symptoms. Examine every organ, not by examining it physically, for results of diseases do not -lead to the remedy, but examine the symptoms.
Observe the rapidity with which remedies affect the human system; there are some that are long acting, deep acting. Natr. mur. is one of these. It operates very slowly, bringing about its results after a long time, as it corresponds to complaints that are slow, that are long action.
This does not mean that it will not act rapidly; all remedies act rapidly, but not all act slowly; the longest acting may act in acute diseases, but the short acting cannot act long in chronic diseases. Get the pace, the periodicity of remedies. Some remedies have a continued fever, some a remittent, others an intermittent fever. In Aeon., Bell. and Bry. we have three different paces, three different motions, three different forms of velocity; so in Sulph., Graph., Natr. mur., Carbo. veg. a different form, a different development. Some would not hesitate in a continued fever to give Bell., but its complaints come on in great haste, with great violence and have nothing in their nature like a continued fever. This is not like typhoid. Bell. and Aeon. have no manifestations of typhoid, even if the symptoms are present. Be sure that the remedy has not only the group of symptoms, but also the nature of the case. The typhoid case has a likeness in Bry. or Rhus, but not in Bell. We owe no obedience to man, not even to our parents, after we are old enough to think for ourselves. We owe obedience to truth.
Natr. mur. is a long acting remedy; its symptoms continue for years; it conforms to slow-coming, long-lasting, deep-seated symptoms. It requires a long time for a man to be brought under the influence of it, even when moderately sensitive.
The chill comes in the morning at 10.3o; every day, every other day, every third or fourth day. The chill begins in the extremities which become blue; there is throbbing pain in the head, the face is flushed; delirium, talking of everything, constant, maniacal actions. They grow worse until a congestive attack comes. During the entire attack there is thirst for cold water. During the coldness he is not > by heat, not > by piling on the clothing, but wants cold drinks. We would naturally suppose that a person freezing to death would want warm things, but the Natr. mur. patient cannot bear them. The teeth chatter, he tosses from side to side, the bones ache as if they would break, and there is vomiting as in congestive conditions. In the fever he is so hot that the fingers are almost scorched with the intense heat, and he goes into a congestive sleep or stupor. The sweat relieves him; the aching all over is > by the sweat, and in time the headache passes away. There is intense chill, fever and sweat Sometimes the attacks are in robust, strong people, but usually in the anaemic, in emaciated people full of malaria; lingering, chronic cases. Complaints do not always have this long prodrome. Its most string use is in cases that have been living a long time in malarial swamps; saturated with the malarial atmosphere; they are anaemic, often dropsical; in old cases flint have been mixed with arsenic and quinine, the crude drugs used by the Old School to break the fever as long as the patient is under their sway, but the patient is sick internally even more than before, and when the condition comes back it is generally in its original form; the crude drug is usually unable to change the type of an intermittent fever. Remedies only partly related to the case will change the character of the sickness so that no one can cure the case. The homoeopathic remedy will cure intermittent fever every time if you get the right remedy. If there is a failure the case is mixed up so that no one may be able to cure it. First of all a master must realize the case and turn it into order so that it can then be cured. There are few men who never spoil a case of ague, because many cases come to them partly developed, masked cases, the symptoms not being all out, especially in cases that have taken homoeopathic remedies. The homoeopathic failures are the worst failures on earth.
Natr. mur. is irregular enough in its nature to develop the chills into regularity. When it has come into better order, wait: either the whole case will subside, or another remedy will be clear. There are other remedies that can turn cases into order. Often cases spoiled by homoeopaths can be turned into order by Sep. Marked cases with congestion of the head aching in the back and nausea are turned into order by Ipecac. The cure is permanent after homoeopathic prescribing; the chills do not return.
Natr. mur. not only removes the tendency to intermittents, but restores the patient to health, and takes away the tendency to colds, the susceptibility to colds, and to periodicity. It is the susceptibility that is removed. We know that every attack predisposes to another attack. Each attack of ague is more destructive than the previous one. The drugs used increase the susceptibility; the homoeopathic remedy removes the susceptibility. Homoeopathic treatment tends to simplify the human economy and to make diseases more easily managed. Unless this susceptibility be eradicated, man goes- down lower and lower into emaciation, emaciation from above downwards.
Children born in a malarial region are likely to go into marasmus. They have a voracious appetite, a wonderful hunger, eating much, but all the time emaciating. Conditions of pregnancy. The mammary glands waste, there is wasting of the upper parts of the body. The uterus is intensely sore.
The leucorrhoea, which is at first white, turns green. Women take cold in every draft of air. There is pain during sexual congress with of the vagina; a feeling as though sticks pressed into the walls of the vagina; pricking pains. There is dryness of all mucous membranes; everywhere the membranes are dry. The throat is dry, red, patulous; a sensation of a fishbone jagging into it when swallowing; there is inability to swallow without washing down the food with liquids; there is sticking all the way down the oesophagus.
Most prescribers give Hep. for every sticking or fishbone sensation in the throat; this is the old keynote, the old routine. Nitr. ac., Argent. nit., Alum. and Natr. mur. all have it, but all differently.
Hep. The tonsils are swollen, full, purple, quinsy. The patient is sensitive to the slightest draught, there is pain in the throat even on putting the hand out of bed; he sweats in the night with no relief; he is sensitive to every impression; feels everything ten times amplified.
Nitr. ac. There are yellow patches in the throat; ragged, jagged ulcers in the throat, or it is inflamed and purple. The urine smells like horses’ urine.
Argent. nit. There is much hoarseness, the vocal cords being disturbed. The throat is swollen, patulous; the patient wants cold things, cold water, cold air. Adapted to those cases that have had ulceration of the os uteri with cauterization.
Natr. mur. There is extreme dryness of the mucous membranes, as if they would break; chronic dryness without ulceration. There is much catarrhal discharge like the white of an egg, with dryness of the mucous membranes when not covered by this mucus. The patient is extremely sensitive, sensitive to a change of weather. Every remedy has its own pace, its order of succession. We must bear in mind the order of succession.
Natr. mur. is useful in old dropsies, especially dropsy of cellular tissues. Sometimes there is dropsy of sacs, dropsy of the brain following acute diseases. In acute spinal meningitis with extreme nervous tension, where there is chronic drawing back of the head, chronic jerking of the head forward. Acute diseases that result in hydrocephalus, or in irritation of the spine. Sometimes useful in abdominal dropsy, but more often in oedemas of the lower extremities. Acute dropsies after scarlet fever; the patient is oversensitive, starts in his sleep, rises up in the night with confusion; there are albumen and casts in the urine.
In dropsy after the malaria Natr. mur., when it acts curatively, generally brings back the original chill The only care known to man is from above down, from within out, and in the reverse order of coming. When it is otherwise, there is only improvement, not cure. When the symptoms return there is hope; that is the road to cure and there is no other.
The skin symptoms are sometimes very striking. In old lingering cases where the skin looks transparent as if the patient would become dropsical, a waxy, greasy, shiny skin; other remedies with greasy, shiny skin are Plumb., Thuja, Selen. These remedies go deep into the life. Any remedy that can produce such wonderful changes is long-acting.
Useful after labor when the mother does not progress well; she is feeble and excitable; the lochia is prolonged, copious and white; the hair falls out from the head and genitals; the milk passes away, or the child does not thrive on it. Useful in afterpains where there is subinvolution of the uterus, the uterus is in a state of prolonged congestion. She is < noise, music, the slamming of a door. She craves salt and has an aversion to bread, wine and fat things. Sour wines disorder the stomach. Natr. mur. will clear up the case, restore the milk, turn the case into order.
Natr. mur. is needed by those chlorotic girls who have a greasy skin, a greenish, yellowish complexion; who menstruate only once in two or three months. The menses are copious, or scanty and watery. Where the symptoms agree, this remedy can eradicate this chlorosis and turn the countenance into a picture of health, but not in a short time. It takes years to establish health in a typical chlorosis; the cut finger bleeds only water; the menstrual flow is only a leucorrhoea; there is pernicious anaemia. Natr. mur. goes deep enough into the life to restore the pink complexion.
Written by James Tyler Kent (1849–1916) and published first in his book "Materia Medica" (1905) James Tyler Kent was an American physician best remembered as a forefather of modern homeopathy.