Nearly all these symptoms are in the pathogenesis of Natrum muriaticum. Hence Nat. mur. 6, twenty four six grain powders taken in a fortnight resulted in the permanent disappearance of all the symptoms excepting the emaciation and the chlorotic condition, for which she was put on Phosphorus.


Mrs. B., age 24, came under treatment in 1876, in the early months of pregnancy, with very severe neuralgia of the face. The case proved itself very obstinate, and many drugs were fruitlessly tried, but eventually it yielded to China given in the form of pilules saturated with the matrix tincture, which drug was chosen because of perspiration breaking out when the pain became very bad.

The neuralgia constantly re-appeared, and finally China ceased to have any effect. Then Populus tremuloides was given simply because of its being a congener of China and did good, in fact quite cured for the time.

This pregnancy passed and my patient consulted me again, being again enceinte early in 1877, for the same kind of neuralgia, and this time its obstinacy nearly reduced her and her physician to despair.

The case was treated in the old Hahnemannian fashion according to the totality of the symptoms which were very few and apathognomonic, the neuralgia being always bad, and always worse, and apparently not ameliorated by anything.

After many weeks of fruitless endeavours to cure this neuralgia with medicines chosen from the repertory, I turned to Guernseys Obstetrics (2nd edition) and found I had already tried all those given in his list at pp.372, 373, 374, except two; these two I then fairly tried and again failed.

So my patient had received Aconite, Belladonna, Bryonia, Calc. c., Cocculus, Cimicifuga, Coffea, Gels., Glon., Ignat., Mag.c., Nux v., Puls., Sepia, Spig., Sulph., Verat. a., China, Populus, and some others. Besides which she had applied, often in almost frantic despair, nearly every known anodyne, so that the soft parts of the face seemed almost macerated.

Here I suggested change of air (what should we poor practical physicians do without this ultimum refugium), but circumstances prevented her from leaving Birkenhead for more than a day or two, so her husband took her for little outings to New Brighton and Southport, and Chester, when it was observed that the neuralgia was worse at the seaside and better inland.

A happy thought struck me that this might be due to the salt in the air at the seaside, and, being moreover absolutely at the end of my tether, I acted on it and gave Nat. mur. 30, one pilule very frequently: the neuralgia at once began to get better and in a day or two was quite well.

It subsequently returned at intervals, much less severely, but promptly yielded to the same remedy in the same dose. The 30th dilution was chosen simply because some pilules of this strength were in patients chest.

The patient was quite satisfied that the Nat. mur. 30 effected the cure, and so was I, and so will many others be, but in a general way the case will not carry conviction to unprepared minds and still less so to prejudiced ones.

Hitherto, I had had no great respect for Natrum muriaticum as a remedy, in fact none whatever, having but rarely, if ever, prescribed it. Indeed, how can a sensible man believe that the common condiment salt, which we ingest almost at every meal, can possibly be of any curative value, especially as some are known to eat salt in considerable quantities every day and that without any apparent deleterious effect.

Dr. Hughes in his Pharmaco-dynamics, 2nd edn., p.411, says “I really know nothing myself of the virtues of Salt.” We find him now, however, a riper homoeopathic scholar, for in the 3rd edition of the same admirable work, p.561, he gives an interesting case of defective nutrition, showing itself especially in emaciation with dry and ill-coloured skin, accompanied with depression of spirits and suspected abdominal disease. Here a few occasional doses of Nat. mur. 30 changed the whole condition and initiated a complete recovery.

This testimony is very valuable and especially gratifying to me, and, moreover, carries conviction to my mind. It is evident that Dr. Hughes unwillingly yielded to a belief in the doctrine of drug dynamization, and would have continued to “know nothing of the virtues of salt.”.

To believe in salt as a remedy is almost synonymous with believing in the doctrine of drug dynamization, and a belief in this doctrine is extremely repulsive to ones common sense. Perhaps the proper spirit would be gratitude to a beneficent Creator.

Worse at the seaside has since proved itself a valuable indication for Natrum muriaticum with me.


A young gentleman of about 21 years of age came under treatment for Synovitis of right knee with considerable effusion. Patient had a dirty looking skin, was constipated and had many Nat. mur. pains in the lower extremities.

Rx. Natrum muriaticum 6.

Dose – One in water every three hours. Rest in the recumbent position.

I did not see the patient again, but he was observed by my colleague, Dr. Reginald Jones, who kindly gave me the following report: “The medicine purged the patient so severely that it had eventually to be left off; it also produced a great discharge of the urates, the urine becoming very thick therewith.”.

No other medicine was given and patient was quite well in a fortnight.

Dr. Jones was much interested in the action of the remedy and declined to accede to the patients request to be allowed to discontinue the medicine because of the purging. Patients friends at length became alarmed at the catharsis and his brother called upon me to beg that the medicine might be discontinued.

This case being acute might have got well of itself in the manner described, and Nat. muriaticum possibly had nothing to do with it.

We know that synovial effusions will often spontaneously rapidly disappear (Sir Thomas Watson).

The diarrhoea ceased when the medicine was discontinued, but this may also have been mere coincidence: critical diarrhoeas tend to cease of themselves.

This case is not given in the expectation that many will credit Natrum muriaticum with having anything to do with the course of the case, but to introduce -.


Mrs M., age 50, or thereabout, had a most severe attack of Rheumatic fever, the joints being much swollen, red and distressingly painful. The usual homoeopathic treatment was adopted but with no great success. It was her fifth attack of rheumatic fever. Between the third and fourth week Dr. Jones and I saw her together and found this condition; ill-coloured skin; obstinate constipation; foul tongue; urine very pale and limpid; great depression of spirits; fever; joints red, swelled and painful; great restlessness; low and desponding of the future; sour perspirations; insomnia; bed-sores, and great weakness.

We agreed in the opinion that the emunctories had almost left off work and required to be brought back to their duty. A sharp cathartic combined with a diuretic seemed to be indicated by the general condition, but contra-indicated by the profound adynamia, and hence the blessing of a refractissima dosis. My consultants observation in Case II. caused him to suggest the same remedy. So we put patient on Nat. mur 6 trit., as much as would lie on a shilling every two hours in water.

No other medicine was given, and no auxiliaries used.

Next day her urine became a little cloudy; the second day the bowels were moved and the urine had a red deposit; then diarrhoea with loaded urine set in; the swelling, redness and pain in the joints went away; the skin became cleaner looking; the tongue cleaned gradually, the perspirations ceased, her spirits became brighter, and in ten days from beginning the medicine she was in full convalescence, though still very weak.

Patient suffers from chronic asthma with slight emphysema, and is always obliged to sleep in a semi-recumbent position, but for six weeks after this critical evacuation she was able to lie down in bed like anyone else without any dyspnoea.

Many months have elapsed and she is now about in her house and drives out, still asthmatic and has chronic rheumatic pains here and there. Her tongue was cleaner for two months than I had known it for the previous three years.

This patient lives ten miles away and was not seen often, but the husband brought daily reports, and when doing so pleaded hard day after day that the Natrum muriaticum might be discontinued because of its purging so severely, he fearing lest it might weaken her too much. On that account it was then given interruptedly, but with no other medicine and the alvine and renal functions fluctuated accordingly.

Hahnemann says (Chronische Krankheiten, 2nd edition, vol. iv., p. 348): “Pure salt (just the same as any other homoeopathic somatic force dynamized) is one of the most powerful antipsoric remedies.”.

And higher up he speaks of it as an heroic and violent remedy that, when dynamized, must be cautiously administered to patients.

Then he exclaims: “Welche unglaubliche und doch thatsaechliche Umwandlung! – eine anscheinend neue Schoepfung!.”.

Still it goes against all common sense and all ones notions of things, and no man may be blamed for declining to accept such a preposterous proposition, merely on trust; it is scarcely possible to accumulate sufficient facts to get anyone to listen to it, much less to believe it.

James Compton Burnett
James Compton Burnett was born on July 10, 1840 and died April 2, 1901. Dr. Burnett attended medical school in Vienna, Austria in 1865. Alfred Hawkes converted him to homeopathy in 1872 (in Glasgow). In 1876 he took his MD degree.
Burnett was one of the first to speak about vaccination triggering illness. This was discussed in his book, Vaccinosis, published in 1884. He introduced the remedy Bacillinum. He authored twenty books, including the much loved "Fifty Reason for Being a Homeopath." He was the editor of The Homoeopathic World.