Profile of the Homoeopathic Remedy Nat-Mur
Homoeopathic remedy profiles are complexes of large and small groups of symptoms, or totalities. Some groups of patterns follow a commonly known typology for a remedy while others can adopt a number of different patterns, or remedy pictures, within the same remedy that can make the choice for a particular remedy less clear.
A constitutional portrait of a remedy may also be obscured by a layer of another remedy that is displaying the most current symptom picture uppermost, and thus needs to be removed before the full nature of the underlying remedy can be observed. Hereditary predispositions can also interfere with the full view of a remedy. When a case appears to indicate a certain remedy but better health does not follow as expected then it is possible that a miasm, or hereditary taint, is causing a so-called block. The miasm will accordingly have a symptom picture of its own and needs to be treated foremost to pave the way for the seemingly indicated remedy to take effect.
The following is an outline on the remedy Natrum muriaticum, commonly known as Nat mur (full abbreviation Nat-m). First I will describe the source of the remedy and a brief pharmacology, then the essence/theme of the remedy, appearance or type, mental/emotional psychology, physical symptomatology, equine application, and lastly remedies that are compatible with Nat-m or on the other hand may antidote its action. Modalities and keynotes will be scattered throughout. I have attempted to provide a relatively comprehensive picture of Nat-m but this is by no means complete and remains a succinct portrait. Study of various Materia Medicas will find many more symptoms to guide one further with this remedy’s indications.
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS:
Rx = remedy
Tx = treatment
Sx = symptom
Hx = history
Dx = diagnosis
DDx = differential diagnosis
Px = prognosis
Pt = patient
> = better for, or desires
< = worse for, averse to or aggravated by
# = alternates with
K/N = keynote (strong indicating Sx found in few, or no other, Rxs)
Ch = characteristic Sx
SOURCE - Sodium chloride, NaCl… common salt. It is interesting to note that two such active, even aggressive, elements as sodium and chloride become relatively harmless when their atoms are bound together in a molecule of salt. As an electrolyte in the body it is the least disturbing to the cell colloids. It provides regulation of the flow of water and salts by means of osmotic pressure. It resides chiefly in extracellular fluids in contrast to the potassium salts, which are mainly intracellular, and with which sodium chloride maintains homeostasis.
An excess of sodium chloride upsets the balance
between it, potassium, calcium and magnesium that leads to demineralisation.
The fluctuations and variations that can occur in sodium chloride
metabolism and electrolytic balance may result in alternating extremes
in Sx picture... e.g., the hair may be dry or greasy, features may
appear puffy or scrawny, eyes may be dry or watery, etc.
The bipolar nature of the Sxs in different individuals, or in the same Pt at different times, is a result of the influence of either the sodium element or the chlorine element.
This helps explain why the Nat mur Pt may exhibit puzzlingly paradoxical Sxs, both physical and mental.
ESSENCE/THEME - A feeling of
being betrayed or disappointed (the experience is grief) by the
one they seek or have a relationship with. They wall off their emotions
because of their extreme emotional vulnerability. There can be issues
around the mother or mothering, denial, self-pity, sadness, and
aloneness. They hold onto their wounds.
Salt separates from the oceans when dried. The oceans represent the deep or collective unconscious, interconnectedness and deep emotions in general. Salt absorbs, retains and condenses. Also crystallises and preserves. These processes are seen in the Rx.
APPEARANCE/TYPE - The Pt may present as either pale and puffy (due to NaCl stagnation in the skin), or greyish, dry looking and wrinkled (as the result of NaCl depletion). The skin may be either greasy, shiny, pimply, possibly with greasy sweat, or fine and thin with prominent distended veins.
The whole Pt appears weak, wasted, demineralised, scrawny about the neck or upper body but below the waist is well covered, with cold clammy hands and perhaps ragged looking nails. Lips tend to be dry, often with a crack in the centre, especially of the bottom lip [K/N]. A mapped tongue [K/N] may be seen. Dryness of the mucous membranes [Ch] is often evident. Again, the opposite picture may be present with obesity or oedema from salt and water retention.
Nat mur Pts are generally reserved in nature, proper, organised, conservative, and have fixed ideas. They may be awkward, hasty, and clumsy in dropping things.
MENTAL/EMOTIONAL - While a youngster they want love but are introverted and show little need, so the parents give less, consequently leading to closing off more. They are very sensitive to disharmony and emotional hurts. They can be hysterical when crying [K/N].
In adolescence they become quiet and withdrawn. If they like someone they will not show it and may have a Hx of falling in love with someone unattainable [K/N]. Tomboy girls [K/N] though can still be hysterical in uncontrolled laughing over a grief or serious matter. Giggling may become uncontrollable and dissolve into hysterical, spasmodic weeping [DDx...Ignatia].
Adults become very definite, defined characters, clear and strong mentally. They maintain a strong control over their emotions. They may lack humour or fun in their life and are emotionally introverted [DDx…Ignatia, Sepia, Staphysagria and Carcinosinum]. A major Rx for ailments from grief. A keen desire to be alone, < company, < consolation [K/N]. Sensitive Pts, they would never knowingly hurt others. They hold grudges and remember all their old hurts [K/N]. They have a stoic attitude, are defensive, closed and cautious, however their emotions show in their face and eyes.
Dreams of robbers [K/N] are frequently encountered. Fears of claustrophobia, robbers, crowds, people, men, insects (especially bees), sharks and tidal waves. The Pt is < in the presence of strangers during urination [Ch]. Moods of depression # exhilaration. Love the seaside [K/N] but can be > or < there. Easy exhaustion and tiredness is a common complaint. Oversensitiveness to noise, excitement, bad vibes, and music (may like or aggravate).
PHYSICAL - Has affinities for the blood and nutrition, heart, liver, spleen, muscles, nerves, mucous membranes and the skin. Water imbalances - either water retention, oedema tears and/or dryness of mucous membranes and skin. Dry, cracked lips. A great thirst for large amounts, liable to be unquenchable.
Any discharges are watery, thick and white or clear like egg white and may alternate with or accompany dryness (of eyes, mouth, nostrils or vulva).
Has a large appetite though doesn't gain weight, or appetite is lacking and is < fat, bread and slimy food. Desires salt and maybe to excess [K/N], fish [K/N], or pepper [K/N]. Desires savoury over sweet.
Blood disorders of anaemia, malaria and leucocytosis etc.
Menstrual disorders of various kinds [DDx..Sepia]. Amenorrhoea (no menses) from grief [K/N and DDx…Ignatia].
Leucorrhoea that is watery or like egg-white, < sexual activities in males or females. Can have an aversion to sex (sometimes a K/N).
Palpitations of the heart, fluttering, or tachycardia. An intermittent pulse may be noticed with every third beat missing. Pt may be < in a warm room, lying on the left side, or from emotions. Pt is > in open air.
Neurological disorders such as numbness, trembling, or neuralgia. A major Rx for Multiple Sclerosis.
Skin can have a multitude of conditions too long to describe here. Hives and urticaria [DDx...Apis], hayfever and allergies. Ringworm [DDx...Baccilinum, Sepia and Tellurium]. Psoriasis, < salt or seawater. Dandruff, alopecia (hair loss), and symmetrical lesions.
Maddening, mostly frontal headaches with bursting pain, hammering, and throbbing.
Stool is often constipated, dry, crumbly and difficult to expel but can also be profuse, watery diarrhoea with burning in the anus.
Diabetes when mental and general Sxs match well.
A tendency to recurrent colds. Initially sneezing with profuse, clear, watery discharge and eye lachrymation (tearing) which leads to nasal blockage, and nasopharyngeal catarrh may ensue with thick mucoid discharge like egg white. Sometimes accompanied by a hard, dry cough.
The Pt is < from heat, a warm room, and the heat of the sun [K/N]. Also < 10-11am, forenoon [K/N]; mental exertion; talking; coitus; periodically...alternate days, every 28 days; seasonally...yearly; full moon; sympathy; consolation; puberty; before and after menses; touch and pressure; noise, or music.
The Pt is > missing meals; in open air; cold bathing; in the ocean or by the seaside (maybe <); sweating; rest; tight clothing; deep breathing; rubbing; or lying on the painful side.
RELATING TO THE EQUINE - the typical Nat mur horse is unlikely to come eagerly or enthusiastically up to meet you, unlike the Phosphorus type who can't seem to get enough of you and is all over you like a rash. The Nat mur horse tends to be shy, withdrawn, reserved, and not very sociable and is seen as the indifferent loner amongst the other horses. They are wary of strangers. If eventually coaxed to accepting a rub or a pat, they may not refuse immediately but will only linger for a very short time before making it known that they would prefer to be left alone, perhaps even showing some annoyance as they don't like fuss and attention. They can appear cautious or cowardly. These horses may find it difficult to live in coastal regions with the sea air only adding to their salt burden, though some may benefit from salt-water bathing.
A Nat mur horse can be known to harbour grudges, remembering any harms done to them for a long time afterwards. Once you have hurt your Nat mur horse it may be difficult to get back to the same level you once had with them as they will wall off their emotions and appear stoic, but you will see the hurt in their eyes and face. On many occasions there is a history of abuse, neglect, multiple relocations, or a number of new owner changes.
In noisy or active surroundings they will be found at the other end of the barn in an effort to keep a distance from this irritation.
They can have a fear of closed in spaces like floats, men, crowds and ocean waves. These horses hate bot flies and tend to react to their presence more than other horses. They are also less inclined to urinate in your presence.
The Nat mur horse may either be lean and withered, light around the neck and shoulders but more covered from the hips back, or fat and bloated. Emaciation is common in older horses despite a healthy or increased appetite. Anaemia is another disorder readily found.
These individuals tire easily and rapidly...it is as though their batteries are never more than half charged. They run out of breath quickly and may have an elevated heart rate, even after minor effort. They can be seen to doze more than the average horse.
A common feature will be a dry, lack-lustre, dull, sometimes rough coat...although an oily, greasy coat can be seen at other times. If you run your hand over it you may end up with a fistful of hair. Itchiness and eczema in the armpits and joint flexures can often be found. There can be many other skin complaints too, e.g. sweet itch, ringworm, hives, dandruff, and symmetrical rashes. These horses do actually like to have their backs firmly massaged.
Characteristics of dryness will also be indicated in dry, brittle hooves. Also think of its use for anhydrosis (no sweating), amongst other remedies.
You may find them with cold ears and cold extremities. They don't suffer from acquiring a high temperature very often. They can show a great thirst and a desire for salt. They may be a horse that likes to lick the salt from your arms and hands. After exercise they may be seeking their water bucket in haste.
They prefer warmth and can be reluctant to move outdoors from a warm stall and are seen to catch colds easily with runny noses or blocked nasal passages, and a hard, dry cough. However, they cannot handle full sun and heat in summer and will in turn seek out the shade. Useful for sunstroke in the Nat mur individual.
Eye lachrymation is frequently seen. The discharge may only respond to eyedrops for a short period of time before the chronic, and then continuous discharge, causes a channel to form. These discharges will look whitish or like egg white. Nasal or vulval discharges will also appear this way.
At breeding time you may see a lack of desire...the mare being irritable to the stallion's advances, or the stallion being slow to respond. The mare may be prone to leucorrhoea.
There can be constipation with dry crumbly stools but without the ineffectual urging seen in Nux vomica, but also the opposite in watery diarrhoea. The mucous membranes can also show dryness.
Sxs may appear < around 10-11am; periodic Sxs...even seasonally or annually; < full moon; < heat, and sun; < exertion; < sympathy or consolation; < touch; and < noise.
Open air and rest may improve their Sxs; > for hosing; > sweating; > rubbing; > lying on the uncomfortable or painful side (like Bryonia).
Rx RELATIONSHIPS - Complementary Rxs are Apis mel (as an acute); Bryonia (as an acute); Ignatia (as an acute); Arg-nit; Capsicum; Kali carb; Sepia and Thuja which both follow well.
Ignatia is the closest and most similar Rx to Nat mur and is its vegetable analogue, with Nat mur being the chronic of Ignatia. One simple DDx is that it tends to be more superficial than Nat mur. Ignatia Pts break down easier on the emotional level and cry much more easily with their grief. Nat mur individuals are more stoic and experience more pathological breakdown.
ANTIDOTES - Nat mur may be antidoted by Arsenicum, Camphora, Phosphorus, Nux vom or Arg nit.
Nat mur should never be given during paroxysms of fever or during acute exacerbations such as a headache. Give a complementary acute to suit the exacerbation and then Nat mur between attacks. Best not repeated too often in chronic cases without an intercurrent Rx when called for by the symptoms. Often alternates with layers of Sepia within the same case.
This article is for educational purposes only and in no way replaces veterinary advice or treatment. Always call your veterinarian when serious events arise. If you desire to follow a holistic path then I would recommend that you obtain approval from your veterinarian to seek the professional services of a qualified classical homoeopath or other certified holistic health practitioner.
Frans Vermeulen, "Concordant Materia Medica"
Frans Vermeulen, "Synoptic Materia Medica - Vol 1"
Dr J.H. Clarke, "Dictionary of Practical Materia Medica"
Dr H.C. Allen, "Allen’s Keynotes With Nosodes"
Dr Douglas Gibson, "Studies of Homoeopathic Remedies"
Dr Anima Chakravarty, "Homoeopathic Drug Personalities with Therapeutic Hints"
Phillip Robins, Personal Homoeopathy Course Lecture notes
About the author:
Tanya Nolte lives in NSW, Australia where she keeps a number of horses and also an interesting array of other furry animal companions. Tan is a veterinary nurse of 8 years and a classical homoeopath of 7 conducting consultations at the veterinary clinic, a human clinic, and privately. Along with acquiring her Diploma in Homoeopathy she also successfully completed 2 years in the Medical Sciences of Anatomy and Physiology, Biochemistry, Pathophysiology, Symptomatology and Differential Diagnoses. She is a professional member of the Australian Homoeopathic Association, the Holistic Animal Therapy Association of Australia for which she is also a committee member, and officially registered as a member on the Australian Register of Homoeopaths. Although specialising in equine patients, Tan also works with other animal companions and humans alike. Tan is available for distance consultations via phone, regular mail or email.
For more information, and to find a homoeopath near you:
Tanya Nolte, Classical EquiHomoeopath.
Whispering Horse Therapies
PO Box 22, Nimbin
NSW 2480. Australia
Phone 0266 897296
email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian Homoeopathic Association
PO Box 396 Drummoyne
NSW 1470. Australia
Phone 0297 192763
Holistic Animal Therapy Association of
PO Box 202, Ormond, Melbourne
Vic 3204. Australia
Phone 0359 688100
The Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy
751 N.E. 168th Street
North Miami Beach, FL 33162-2427
National Center for Homeopathy
801 North Fairfax St., Suite 306
Alexandria, VA 22314
American Holistic Veterinary Medical
2214 Old Emmorton Road
Bel Air, MD 21015