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.
Dr. C. M. retorts: “There are more thing sin heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in thy philosophy.”.
At this stage of things I felt curious to know what the sixth centesimal trituration of Natrum muriaticum might do to my humble self pathogenetically, I being in my usual health. So I took nearly 3iv. in about ten days in little pinches dry on the tongue at odd intervals. It produced-no, thats too bold a statement. I got gradually during that time a deep crack in the middle of my lower lip, which swelled and became burning and very painful; the Natrum muriaticum may have had nothing to do with it, but I gave it up and both crack and swelling went away. I never had the like before, nor since.
The same symptom is noted by Hahnemann, and Dr. Allen in his Encyclopaedia – but removed by the latter from the regional division of the “lips”, and placed under “skin” which is not only confusing, but also a mistake.
Mr. H., age 45, came under treatment for great pain in the stomach which sent him to bed and kept him there in great agony.
The last year or so he has been subject to these attacks of epigastric pain, and I was sent for to relieve this as on previous occasions, and the wife specially requested me to give something not only for this attack but to use whenever the attacks came on.
He had, besides the pain, vesicles on the lips drying up into scabs. I gave Nat. mur 6 trit. gr. vj. every two hours in water; next day (observed by Dr. Jones) it was followed with a great discharge of the urates and a regular attack of gout. Has since remained free from these attacks of pain, and this is now many months since.
It is impossible to tell whether the Natrum muriaticum had anything to do with the metastasis of the gout from the stomach to the big toe; moreover it is not now medico-scientifically fashionable to believe in metastasis.
A girl of 15 suffering from Hemicrania dextra and cloudy, thick, red, sedimentous urine. I gave her Nat. mur. 6 trit. and received shortly thereafter a written report “urine quite free from sediment or cloud in a way it has not been for long.” The megrim was not affected.
The young lady and her mother attributed the changed condition of the urine to the powders; the urine had been in the abnormal condition for a long time and my ordination consisted only in prescribing the powders. Weeks afterwards the urine continued clear.
This case is not adapted to carry conviction to the mind, as we know that many atmospheric changes and accidental circumstances of all kinds alter the state of the water at once.
A baby on the bottle some three months old. I find it has not slept well for some time and is now very restless and fretful, and vomits water. Give Nat. mur 6 trit. It at once began to sleep two or three hours at a time and the watery vomiting ceased. Two days afterwards measles broke out.
The mother conceived a very high opinion of the soothing soporific effect of the powders.
Mr. P., age 26, has had very thick urine for months, and for two months very great pain in small of back, worse on bending and very much worse when digging in the garden. Gave Nat. mur. 6 trit. The back pain and turbid urine disappeared in four days and did not again appear.
This case carries a little weight with it, and looks something like a medical cure.
A lady, aet, 54, with Stillicidium lachrymarum and bad chronic yellow excoriating Leucorrhoea, Nat. mur. 6 trit.
In one week the Leucorrhoea had quite disappeared but the Stillicidium was worse.
Chronic Leucorrhoea are not apt to disappear spontaneously in one week, though its possibility cannot be denied.
Unmarried lady, aet, 24, Polyuria; constipation with much flatus; amenorrhoea these two months. First symptoms worse at the seaside. She is rather thin with an ill-coloured skin. Nat. mur 9 trit.
In a few days the menses appeared, and the renal and alvine functions became normal.
She had passed her second menstrual period.
A causal nexus between the taking of the Natrum muriaticum, and disappearance of the symptoms is not easily established here.
A clergymans wife, about 50 years of age consulted me on February 29th, 1878, complaining of severe dyspepsia with other symptoms of Natrum muriaticum. My visit was a hurried one so I did not enter very fully into the case. Nat. mur 6 trit. vj grains in water twice a day was the prescription; it cured in three days these symptoms: “Hiccough occurring morning, noon, and night, for at least ten years which was brought on by Quinine; it was not a hiccough that made much noise but shook the body to the ground; it used to last about ten minutes and was very distressing”.
How do you know that the hiccough was really produced by quinine? I enquired. She answered. “At three separate times in my life I have taken quinine, for tic of the right side of my face, and I got hiccough each time, the first and second time it gradually went off, but the third time it did not; when the alter Dr. Hynde prescribed it, I said, do not give me quinine as it always gives me hiccough, but he would give it me; I took it and it gave me hiccough which lasted until I took your powders; it is more that ten years ago since I took the quinine.”.
The cure of the hiccough has proved permanent.
This patient is a most truthful Christian woman and her statement is beyond question.
She has been a homoeopath for may years and my patient off and on for more than three years, during which time I have had to treat her for chronic sore throat,. vertigo, palpitation, and at one time for great depression of spirits.
She had also previously mentioned her hiccough incidentally but I had forgotten all about it, and on this occasion she did not even mention it, so as far as the hiccough goes the cure was. . . a pure fluke! But it set me a thinking about the Hahnemannian doctrine of drug dynamization for the thousandth time and has seriously shaken my disbelief in it.
Hiccough is known effect of Chininum sulphuricum; Allens Encyclopaedia, vol. iij., p. 226, symptoms 370 and 379.
We note from this case that:.
1. The effects of quinine, given for tic in medicinal doses to a lady, may last for more than ten years, that.
2.Natrum muriaticum in the sixth trituration antidotes this effect of quinine while.
3. The same substance in its ordinary form, viz. common salt, does not antidote it even when taken daily in various quantities and in various forms for ten years. Inasmuch, then, as the crude substance failed to do what the triturated substance promptly effects, it follows, therefore, that.
4. Trituration does so alter a substance that it thereby acquires a totally new power, and consequently that.
5. The Hahnemannian doctrine of drug dynamization is no myth but a fact in nature capable of scientific experimental proof, and, inasmuch as the crude substance was taken daily for many years in almost every conceivable dose, in all kinds of solutions of the most varied strength it results.
6. and lastly, That the Hahnemannian method of preparing drugs for remedial purposes is not a mere dilution, or attenuation, but a positively power-evolving or power-producing process, viz, a true potentization or dynamization.
This case is probably as good a one as we may ever expect to get, and it might here fitly close the subject as far as its simple demonstration is concerned, but I have others in my case- book both corroborating it and presenting new features.
Before leaving this Case XI. let us reflect for a moment on the certainly immense number of modifying and perturbating influences this lady had been subject to during those ten years, as well as living at the seaside and including the daily use of salt and yet her hiccough persisted until dynamized salt was given.
Before coming to these conclusions I exhausted all my ingenuity in trying to explain it away, and that backed by no small amount of sepsis, but I cannot avoid them do what I will. Moreover, I require more sepsis not to believe it than to believe it.
I am thus in a dilemma; either I must believe in the doctrine of drug dynamization or disbelieve the most incontrovertible evidence of facts, which is the province of the demented.
Or canst thou, critical reader, being more ingenious and more sceptical than I, help me out of the dilemma? would I believe thou canst, for this doctrine of drug dynamization seems to take away firm material ground from under ones feet and leaves one standing in the air. But I must emphatically decline Dr. Kidds tacit method as going quite beyond my skill and intelligence.
The next observation of which I have notes, is.
A lad, aet, 12, living at Parkgate. He suffers for some time from constipation, loss of appetite, dirty looking complexion, emaciation, frontal headache going round to the back, sleepiness towards evening and first thing in the morning, urine thick with nasty smell.
Excepting the “nasty” smell, which the boy could not define, I find all these symptoms in the pathogenesis of Natrum muriaticum in Allens Encyclopaedia of Pure Materia Medica and numbered respectively 529, 353, 251, 885, 64, 970, 561.
Therefore Nat. mur 6, and that six grains in water forenoon and afternoon. After taking 24 powders he returned cured of all the symptoms except the odour of the urine and the emaciation, and “feeling very much better”. The prescription was repeated and patient did not return. His father subsequently informed me that the cure was complete.
Young lady about 28 years of age: emaciation, chlorosis, for eighteen months slight bearing down in the hypogastrium, gradually getting worse, and the last week increasing to very severe cramp beginning in the back and coming round to the public arch, and, when walking, felt severely in the knees, had frequently to sit down to get relief from the hypogastric pain, urine muddy for a long time, obstinate chronic constipation, the mouth is dry but there is no thirst, taste disagreeable, bitter.
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.
As to the emaciation she gained six pounds in ten weeks, but his gain in weight was partly made while under Ferrum 6, for haemoptysis, chronic cough and large moist rales in the left lung, and these symptoms having disappeared under Ferrum, she went into the country for three weeks and returned with the above symptoms.
In this case the Natrum muriaticum certainly cured the constipation and with it the intra-pubic pain.