Sodium carbonate or soda, that is, the stronger carbonate step of NaHCO3, is, in addition to the neutral sodium salt, NaCl, which provides a sodium ion, a constant constituent of the blood and the tissue fluids in general. The so-called buffer action of the carbonates against excess acid in the body fluids rests upon the ease with which CO2 is given off or taken up. It is determined as an equimolecular chemical process in the relative proportions. Furthermore, sodium serves physiologically as an easily available transporting agent for decomposition products. The close connection of sodium to water regulation will be best considered with the chloride, natrum muriaticum, and concerning intestinal excretion, in connection with sodium sulphate.


From the fact that in the test tube the oxidation of organic substances proceeds easier in alkaline than in neutral solution, one has concluded that the alkalies, especially the alkali carbonates, play an important part in oxidation processes. Hugo Schulz in particular emphasizes the utility of alkalies in gouty processes. Through the increase in oxidation processes, the burning of purin bodies to urea should proceed more completely and less uric acid residue remain.

Experimentally, no action on uric-acid metabolism has been proven in this sense. H.Schulz reports naturally that small doses of NaHCO3, increase the excretion of urea with a simultaneous reduction of uric-acid output. When one considers with that tenacity the blood maintains its grade of alkalescence and how an alteration is possible only transiently even from great amounts of alkali, then one can scarcely maintain the explanation that the action on oxidation increase depends upon increase of alkalescence. On the other hand, that one can favorably influence a tendency to acidosis and gout by a persistent alkali-rich vegetarian diet is correct but it is largely the poverty of such a diet in purin bodies which causes the favorable influence. For purely palliative attack of threatening acidosis, by large amounts of NaHCO3, indeed, some use is made. In gout and the uric-acid diathesis in general, however, such measures are unsuitable. Even a dietetic reorientation in the alkaline direction in manifest disturbances, as the formation of concretions, has empirically insufficient support. Actually (for example by Brugsch) there has been warning against excessive use of alkaline diet (forced fruit regimes, too excessive use of alkaline waters) because it favors the formation of inflammatory urate foci. This is based on experimental findings: according to Pfeiffer and van Loghem, 13 the experimental inflammatory reaction of injected pure uric acid is hastened and increased through alkalies (through large doses of mineral acids it is delayed). If, nevertheless, moderate alkaline water regimes have been found useful at times, then this action in any case is not explainable by quantitative chemical considerations. If the alkalies actually have a connection to the uric-acid diathesis, it might appear from the at times promoting, at times damaging, influences of alkaline springs (in dependence on the dose?) and also from the above-cited experimentally produced aggravation of gout by alkalies, that this effectiveness must lie in another stratum of the living process, because the doses coming into consideration are far too small for an equimolecular chemical reaction. One must consider here a catalytic, perhaps a metabolic influence via the way of the vegetative nervous system. According to all appearances natrium carbonicum seems to stand behind lithium carbonicum and kali carbonicum in this respect.

Clinical experiences with alkaline water permit one to conjecture that the alkalies are excreted outside of the urine, and that this occurs rapidly through the biliary passages and the bronchial mucous membranes where they can unfold healing actions. The toxicologic study which Schulz cites of Rossbach (from Nothnagel’s Handbook) indicates not a great deal for the secretory mucous membrane action of Na2CO3. Accordingly, the intravenous injection of soda solution in animals gave pallor and complete cessation of secretion. One thinks here in any case rather of a spasm of the blood vessels than of an influence on the glandular apparatus.


Certainly sodium influences the important optimum of hydrogen-ion concentration in the digestive process. By the development of HCl in the stomach, a great deal of sodium is made free for combination with the carbonate and is then very probably an essential participant in the preparation of the alkaline intestinal juices. This intermediating role of sodium in the digestive processes is indeed a chemical mass action on the receptive organs. But, as we know, in a high degree the increase is effected through the vegetative system and this permits one to consider that in the forelying disturbance a medicinal influence of activated sodium is possible in this way. The already mentioned motor depression of the stomach through large amounts of sodium bicarbonate before meals is naturally to be ascribed to the preponderance of the carbonate introduced over the chloride. Similarly lies the case when, from a rectal administration of sodium bicarbonate, the gastric-acid secretion is lessened. The sodium ion is also the physiologic intermediator of the chloride- carbonate exchange, which leads to disturbances also through one- sidedness.

In experiments one saw an increase of secretion in the isolated stomach from the sodium salts. Sodium ions in combination with univalent ions produced a flow of juice, in combination with divalent anions, an increased secretion of mucus. The biliary secretion should be depressed by the sodium ion.


Drug provings of natr. carb. are found in: (1) Hahnemann: Chron. Krankh., 2 Aufl.,Bd.4, 1838.

(2) Kurtz: Allg. hom Ztg., Bd. 26, P. 249, 1844 (refers to Vogler: Use of Mineral Waters, particularly of Ems, 1840).


The natr. carb. type is characterized through chilliness but also intolerance to heat of the sun, by bodily relaxation and a state of mental exhaustion due to brain fatigue and depression, and furthermore by digestive weakness.

The coldness of natr. carb. is depicted in practically the same words as kali carb.: sensitive to the least draft and change of weather, against fresh air; cold extremities. The chilliness of natr. carb.- just as the headache and palpitation- are better from eating. In this cold type we see, perhaps, something that appears common in cation preponderance and in the alkali and earthy alkalies subordinated to the hydrogenoid constitution. But natr. carb. is at the same time especially sensitive to the sun’s heat, which causes headache and vertigo and is very exhausting. But also the sequels of sunstroke are subject to the influence of natr. carb. Finally it is reported of the temperature and weather influence that the natr. carb. patient is anxious before and during storms.

The state of bodily and mental exhaustion is not so much that developing from overexertion but offers more the picture of a malaise from overindulgence. All symptoms are aggravated by mental effort. There exists an incapacity to think, for any mental labor, poor comprehension, forgetfulness. The lack of vitality expresses itself in the absence of resistance to sensory impressions, hypersensitivity to light and particularly to loud noises. The behavior is depressed, music causes melancholia, crying. The patient withdraws from friends and company, even from his family. The depression is worse after eating.

This is associated with the digestive weakness. Hypochondriac- depressive frame of mind is indeed the disposition of many dyspeptics. Likewise the sleepiness is related to a state of exhaustion which is prevalent in men who overindulge and to whom regular work is unusual: sleepy particularly after noon and from heat; on the other hand, the night sleep is disturbed; sleepless before midnight from dreams, dreams much (amorous and anxious); awakens early about 5 a.m. with feeling of weakness and desire for food. (According to H.Schulz, they soon fall to sleep and soon awaken again,, sleeplessness with hypochondriacal thoughts and then falling to sleep, towards morning a feeling of insufficient sleep).

To this there is added a laxness of the limbs and joints and above all, weakness of the joints of the feet, parts sprain easily, stumbling. In the knee there is a feeling of tension.

To the entire picture there is added the pale face with dark circles under the eyes and puffy lids;the delicate skin permits freckles to appear easily. There exists a tendency to sweating on the involved parts with pains, from the slightest exertion and during sleep, and particularly on the hands and feet.


Concerning the organ systems, while the respiratory organs have preference over the digestive with kali carb., the reverse is true of sodium carb. The clinical recommendation of sodium carbonate in digestive weaknesses arises from Hahnemann. The digestive disturbances are provoked through the least dietary failure. The symptoms consist of acid eructations, distentions, pressure and various unpleasant sensations in the stomach (as from a stone, cutting, nagging, pulsation, soreness). They are worse after eating and better when the food has left the stomach. On the other hand, the feeling of weakness and the demand for food appears at unusual hours ( at 5 in the morning and 11 at night), and the general symptoms as chilliness, headache and palpitation are improved by eating. Gastric function is deranged. Cold drinks aggravate or are given as the cause of the gastric disturbances. Farinaceous foods and vegetables are borne the most badly and they cause diarrhea. Against milk there is an aversion and this too causes diarrhea. According to Kent, natr. carb is useful in nurslings who are nervous and cold and have aphtha and sore mouths. In general, the boweLs are constipated and without desire for stool; large hard stools or stools like sheep dung are evacuated with great effort; or there occurs sudden urgency for stool and the stool is evacuated with haste and flatulence. H. Schulz also reports from studies on his pupils with three to five cg. natr. carb. siccum given in the morning before breakfast, an alteration of intestinal activity. After fourteen days the provers had attacks of colic, constipation alternating with diarrhea, others profuse diarrhea. More over, there was one unclear symptom reported; evacuation of yellow, jelly-like masses (like masses of orange) from the bowel, independent of the stool.

Otto Leeser
Otto Leeser 1888 – 1964 MD, PHd was a German Jewish homeopath who had to leave Germany due to Nazi persecution during World War II, and he escaped to England via Holland.
Leeser, a Consultant Physician at the Stuttgart Homeopathic Hospital and a member of the German Central Society of Homeopathic Physicians, fled Germany in 1933 after being expelled by the German Medical Association. In England Otto Leeser joined the staff of the Royal London Homeopathic Hospital. He returned to Germany in the 1950s to run the Robert Bosch Homeopathic Hospital in Stuttgart, but died shortly after.
Otto Leeser wrote Textbook of Homeopathic Materia Medica, Leesers Lehrbuch der Homöopathie, Actionsand Medicinal use of Snake Venoms, Solanaceae, The Contribution of Homeopathy to the Development of Medicine, Homeopathy and chemotherapy, and many articles submitted to The British Homeopathic Journal,