Natrum muriaticum is the homeopathic remedy commonly known as table salt or sodium chloride. Salt is the second most common substance in nature, water being the first. Salt is an important component in regulating the balance of body fluids. Salt is a constituent in both body fluids and tissues. Excessive salt intake inhibits proper absorption of nutrients and weakens the nervous system, while a lack of salt creates a lack of fluid, resulting in an emaciated and withered appearance.
Salt was not extensively used for medicinal purposes until the time of Samuel Hahnemann, the father of homeopathy . While ancient physicians did employ salt in the treatment of liver enlargement and other swellings, salt had little medicinal value until Hahnemann's studies of the remedy in the early nineteenth century.
Natrum muriaticum (Nat. mur.) is a slow acting remedy that responds well to chronic ailments. It is seldom prescribed for acute conditions, and then only when symptoms specific to the remedy are present. This polychrest is a very powerful and deep acting remedy and makes long lasting changes, often continuing to bring about results for several years.
Nat. mur. increases production of red blood cells and albumin, a protein found in animal and vegetable tissues. It does not cure by supplying the amount of salt that the body needs, but acts to alter and restore the tissues of the body so they can assimilate the body's needs for salt from food. By bringing the body into a state of health, Nat. mur. reduces the patient's susceptibility to colds, fevers, and other ailments.
Nat. mur. ailments typically come about as a result of emotional excitement, trauma, bad news, grief, disappointed love, fright, suppression of emotions, sexual excess, and head injuries. Exposure to the sun and intake of alcohol or salt may also cause Nat. mur. ailments. These conditions may weaken the immune system and create illness.
This remedy is frequently indicated in emaciated persons, teething children, persons who are congested and catch cold easily, the elderly, or awkward, pubescent girls who suffer from headaches and menstrual irregularities. Nat. mur. children are frequently serious. They dislike excessive physical contact and hate to be teased. These children often have frightening dreams about being robbed.
Nat. mur. is indicated when the following remedy picture is present. The patient's face is pale and waxy and her body has an emaciated appearance. Her face and hair may be oily, while the lips and corners of the mouth are dry and cracked. She is weak, both in body and mind, and is absentminded and forgetful. The mucous from bodily discharges has the constituency of egg whites. A craving for salty, sour, or bitter foods is present, as is an aversion to bread, fats, or rich foods. The patient is thirsty for cold drinks even though she is constantly chilly and suffers from a lack of vital heat. She is sensitive to light touch and pressure. Cold sores on the lips or mouth may appear frequently, often as a result of suppressed emotions or as a companion to fever . The body may exude a sour smell. Hangnails are prevalent. Complaints are better from open air, but worse from warmth or heat.
Mentally she is depressed, sad, easily startled, sensitive, anxious, irritable, restless, angry, moody, nervous, easily offended, and indifferent. She dwells on past occurrences and is fearful of crowds, of an impending situation or calamity, thunderstorms, or being robbed. The patient wishes to be alone and demonstrates introverted behavior. To avoid being hurt she may avoid intimacy. She is very emotional but does not like to express her emotions in public and retires to the safety of her own home to cry. Her emotions are exaggerated and her moods often alternate radically. She may appear to desire consolation, but when it is offered she becomes angry or rejects it. She acts in a hasty or rushed manner and cannot urinate in public.
Symptoms are generally worse in the morning around 10 a.m., at night, from the cold, the heat of summer, sun exposure, open air, consolation, suppression of sweat, physical and mental exertion, lying on the left side, after eating, from noise, from pressure or touch, and before, after, and during menstruation . Symptoms are better from bathing in cold water, lying down, from sweating, or through rest.
Nat. mur. patients frequently suffer from digestive ailments, oftentimes from the suppression of emotions. The stomach is distended with gas , there is a slowness of bowel function, and digestion takes a long time. Other indications include stomach pain, heartburn , liver pain two or three hours after eating, excessive hunger and thirst, a constant need to urinate, an aversion to bread, and a craving for salty, sour, and bitter foods. An empty feeling in the stomach may occur at 10 a.m. Symptoms are often relieved upon eating. The patient is frequently constipated. When stools do occur, they are dry and hard and often difficult to expel. They may be preceded by rumbling in the abdomen and flatulence. Nat. mur. is a good remedy for indigestion caused by the consumption of rich food, which often causes green, watery diarrhea . Symptoms are worse from eating starchy food.
The Nat. mur. woman is greatly affected by her menstrual cycle. Her mental symptoms are increased before menstruation, and she may suffer from headaches, nausea , skin eruptions, weakness, back pains, heart palpitations, and pains in her abdomen and loins. She is discontented and lacks enjoyment of any kind. Her cycle is either early or late. After the menstrual flow has stopped, the woman may still suffer from depression, headache , or cramps.
The headaches typical of Nat. mur. are centered in the forehead and temples, although they may occur at the back of the head. Headaches are often caused by emotional excitement, grief, anger, head injuries, eye strain, anemia , or malnutrition. The pain is of a bursting or throbbing nature. The headache is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, dry mouth , and extreme thirst. The eyes are sore and watery. The headache is worse from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., after eating, light, noise, motion, mental strain, lying down, and during menstruation. It is often relieved by sweating.
The cough is dry, hacking, and irritating. It is worse during fever, and may be accompanied by a bursting headache. Involuntary urination may occur while coughing or sneezing .
The cold is accompanied by watery eyes, post-nasal drip, thirst, stuffy nose, dry lips, sneezing, and white mucus. The patient may lose his sense of smell and taste. The same symptoms occur in hay fever .
The fever is hot and burning. The patient is chilled and may be nauseous, sleepy, restless, and dazed. His face is flushed and he may talk without stopping. He is also excessively thirsty.
The sore throat is dry and burning. The voice is hoarse and the patient can only swallow liquids. There may be a sensation described as a lump in the throat.
The homeopathic remedy is created by dissolving sodium chloride in hot, boiling water. The mixture is then filtered and crystallized through evaporation. The resulting substance is then dissolved in water and succussed to create the final preparation.
Natrum muriaticum is available at health food and drug stores in various potencies in the form of tinctures, tablets, and pellets.
If symptoms do not improve after the recommended time period, a homeopath or healthcare practitioner should be consulted.
The recommended dose of Nat. mur. should not be exceeded.
There are no known side effects, although individual aggravations may occur.
When taking any homeopathic remedy, use of peppermint products, coffee, or alcohol should be avoided. These products may cause the remedy to be ineffective.
Cummings, Stephen, M.D., and Dana Ullman, M.P.H. Every-body's Guide to Homeopathic Medicines. New York, NY: Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam, 1997.