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CASES MATERIA MEDICA GENERAL ARTICLES ABSTRACT MISCELLANEOUS Q & A

Basic features: Natrum Group
NATIONAL JOURNAL OF HOMOEOPATHY 1999 Jul / Aug VOL VIII NO 4.
Compiled by :
T K Kasiviswanathan
'Nat-mur / Nat-carb / Nat-n / Nat-phos / Nat-flour / Nat-sulph / Nat-ars

Even a brief study of endocrinology, as Dr H A Roberts points out, will clearly indicate that majority of the syndromes which we come across in, in our practice, are caused by glandular dysfunction or influenced by glandular preparations. We may, therefore, assume that the constitutional Homoeopathic remedy will have its use in correcting these imbalances. In this context, he discusses the value of our polycrests, including the Natrum group in dealing with such issues.

Natrum Group Mentals:
Dr Roberts says "The general state of mental depression and gloominess characterizes the Natrum group. It seems as if they almost delight in making themselves and others miserable by looking on the dark side; by their strong aversion to consolation; and their alternating gaiety and gloom. Profound action is seen on:

  1. Mental state
  2. Physical functions
  3. Chemistry of fluids
  4. Pathology of the organs.
This thus results in:
  • sudden failing of strength
  • Sudden excessive draining of body fluids.
  • sudden depletion of the sexual organs because of excessive stimulation
  • rapid changes in the blood
  • Sudden and profound emaciation, often following previous obesity.
  • This group of remedies affect the thyroid gland markedly and has the subjective sensation of compression, as if a lump or plug in the throat.
View From Periodic Table
Dr Rajan Sankaran examines this group from their position in the periodic table. Natrum, Kali, Magnesium and Calcium are cations and they have to give one electron to become stable. Because of this, Natrum has the feeling of being incomplete. This dictates the need to find a supportive relationship. The anions, on the other hand, have excess electrons; they have to accept more electrons to be stable. Such elements (like Phos, Sulph etc) too feel the need for a relationship, but they have to make a lot of effort to keep the relationship. In Na+ cations the stress is on an individual relation on a 1:1 basis whereas in Kali it is more reactive and has 1: group/family.

"The Natrum person does not need many but just one and is therefore very much dependent on that one relationship, without which she feels very isolated and, therefore, very insecure. It is this tremendous need and dependence on that relationship that makes the Natrum patient very vulnerable to hurt. Out of this vulnerability he develops a fear of people and tries to avoid contact. The Natrums are surely much more reactive than Mg or Ca people. They respond with great sensitivity, especially to the feelings of others and also on what others say and think about them" (Rajan Sankaran)

Dr Scholten, on the other hand, has adopted the group analysis method to understand compound salts. He says that the essential themes of Natrum are (1) grief (2) being closed and alone (3) restriction, denial and prohibition (4) sensitive and vulnerable and (5) inclination to withdraw. They are glum, melancholic and pessimistic. They get stuck in the past. They keep their problems inside; they are closed and do not feel like talking about it and thus carry the burden of their sadness alone. They hide their grief from the outside world. They feel that they have lost the faith that things could become all right again and will not put any effort into regaining what they had lost. They can also have the feeling that it is forbidden to be happy. They are very sensitive and vulnerable and feel that much has been taken away from them. Hence they are easily frightened and all unexpected things hurt them more. Their melancholic mood makes them sensitive to soft music.

Now let us take the above framework as the general group properties, and add to that the individual Natrum salts own peculiarities.

1. Natrum-Mur
Emotionally sensitive and vulnerable but quite clear and strong at the mental and physical levels. Mentally they have a high degree of objectivity and awareness as well as responsibility. Hence they lend a sympathetic ear to those who are distressed. They internally absorb the pain of others but dwell on it later and wonder.

"How would I react in such a situation? Would I able to take it?" But as far as they themselves are concerned, they are so sensitive that they feel hurt by the slightest comment or gesture that might imply ridicule or rejection. Natrum-mur adolescents are reluctant to date for fear of rejection. After being hurt several times, they become introverts and turn to emotionally safe activities like books and music etc. Thus they become quite content in their isolation; self-contained, trying to solve their problems by themselves.
(Dr Vithoulkas)

The issue of emotional pain, in them or in others, would be the end of world for them. They are incapable of inflicting pain on others and hence become serious. They may appear cold and overly objective to others because they are so intent on not revealing their own emotional vulnerability or creating injury for others. This combined with the sense of responsibility, results in guilt feeling, which becomes a strong motivating factor. (G Vithoulkas)

They develop intense emotional and sentimental attachments for people but they do not show their feelings. A daughter may have strong feelings for her father but may not show it. But when the father dies, the daughter grieves silently and to the surprise of others becomes very introverted. There is no moaning or crying in front of others. This internal state continues until she finally breaks down. Then there is uncontrolled, hysterical sobbing, which lasts till she is once again able to gain control and composure. As the emotional vulnerability becomes increasingly pathological, the patient becomes depressed. This depression is inconsolable even suicidal. He puts on the saddest music he can find, which adds to the depression. Eventually when the depression passes he regains his proper perspective and here music will relieve the remnants of depression.( G Vithoulkas)

Dr Rajan Sankaran sums up the mental make-up of Natrum-mur as under:-

  1. The main feeling is of being betrayed /disappointed by the person with whom he /she seeks a relationship.
  2. Very organized, independent and dependable; reserved, with a wall of unapproachability, but extremely cheerful.. Difficult to make them express their feelings but once they open up, then there is a flood of grief. Sensitive, romantic, can be passionate with much desire for music.
  3. They have a fear of being hurt, disappointed and hence are reserved. At the same time there is tremendous insecurity with fear of being alone, of robbers etc (like Nat-carb) Delusion she looks wretched and a feeling that they are not good enough.
  4. There is a bitter feeling, tremendous anger, irritability, hatred and malice. Dwells on past disagreeable occurrences.
  5. Thus a contradictory state results: in order to avoid disappointment they enter into a relationship in which right from the start there is no expectation of total commitment, like falling in love with a married man; silent and one-sided love. In the background there is always a history of problems or quarrels with their parents or disappointment in love, or tremendous grief after death of a dear one.
In group analysis, Dr Scholten links Muriaticum to mother and Carbonicum to father. His concepts for Natrum-mur are:-

Natrum Muriaticum
Sadness & depression
Closed, alone
Restriction
Denial, forbidden
Sensitive
Holding on
Self-pity
Care
Nurturing
Mother
Attention
Self-awareness

No mother and no care; thus the delusion that his mother is dead. Nat-mur could be needed for mothers who are strict and cold and who feel that it is bad to spoil children. They are the one who leaves the children alone with their grief leaving them to cry.

This is exemplified by the following actual situations:

  • The child in an incubator, where the mother is absent. Physical care is present but warmth and love are absent.
  • The case of a man who dreams of concentration camps.
  • Scholten: She cannot become a mother due to infertility etc.
The standard situation for Natrum-mur is one of bereavement; a feeling of being all alone in the world.

2. Natrum-Carb

  1. Dr Vithoulkas says here the sensitivity, a Natrum trademark, is more refined and not coarse. They will serve someone they like very well but not intrude. There is a dignity with which they prepare everything and then withdraw, respecting the privacy of the other person. Graceful withdrawal is the appropriate term.
  2. At the same time they have difficulty in assimilating certain noises, certain foods, certain things and certain persons. Kent points out: "a state of trepidation from the slightest noise, the slam of the door; nervous excitement and palpitation with great prostration; weakness from slightest exertion of mind and body; internal and external trembling. The rattling of paper causes palpitation, irritability and melancholy. Bookkeepers lose their ability to add up the figures. In reading a page, the previous one goes out of the mind. Forgets what he reads; confusion of mind follows and then he is unable to perform any mental labour; ending in brain fag."
  3. They can have deep aversion to one member of the family and cannot stand him; they will not tell but will walk away when that person comes in.
  4. Music causes a tendency to suicide This is the only remedy under the rubric "suicidal disposition, music from" (SR 978); playing piano is so exhausting that she must lie down; music causes great sadness which increases to religious insanity.
  5. Rajan Sankaran says "Nat-carb people are quite independent and self-sufficient, living their lives alone though having good contact with others. Sociable, loquacious and vivacious; organized, sincere, honest and non-manipulative. Sensitive to the suffering of others. There are also two other prominent feelings- of ennui and apprehension arising from forsaken feeling. The ennui produces an intolerable melancholy, a sad and despondent mood. They are very sensitive, to their loved ones and to breaking of relation-ships. They are unsuccessful in forming relationships and blame themselves for it. (Del he cannot succeed, does everything wrong). They get estranged from their family and friends and bear all this grief silently. They can have a severe inferiority complex in forming relationships.
  6. Scholtenís group analysis is as under:
    Natrum Carbonicum
    Grief & depression
    Closed, alone
    Restriction
    Denial, forbidden
    Sensitive
    Holding on
    Giving meaning
    Stating values
    Self-worth
    Dignity
    Shyness
    Worker/Father

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