Nat. carb. is the typical salt of the Natrum group. It was proved by Hahnemann, and is one of the antipsoric remedies of the Chronic Diseases.
In old-school practice its chief uses are as an external application in solution to burns and eczema, as a douche in nasal or vaginal catarrh. Nat. c. forms the alkaline basis in most soaps, and most persons know by experience the effect of using soap with an excess of alkali. It almost burns off the superficial layers of the epidermis, and leaves the skin dry and cracked.
The provings, whilst developing in Natrum carbonicum a remedy of polychrest importance, confirms its irritating action, and show Nat. c. to be a true remedy for chapped hands and faces, rough, dry skins, eczema, herpes, warts and scrofulous conditions of skin.
On the mucous membranes the effects are no less irritating. The whole alimentary tract from mouth to anus is irritated─vesicles, ulcers, catarrh. In the eyes the irritation goes on to keratitis and ulceration of cornea. The nose is swollen and ulcerated, with a thick yellow or green offensive discharge. Thick, yellow, putrid leucorrhœa.
The predominant mental condition of Nat. c. is one of profound sadness, depression, and melancholy; constantly occupied with sad thoughts; though there is also the opposite, great gaiety and talkativeness. The hypochondriacal mood is often an accompaniment of the condition of the digestive mucous membrane. The depression and irritability is
The nervous system is strongly affected, and symptoms of hysteria appear. A leading note is Among the Peculiar Sensations are:
As if head too large.
As if forehead would burst.
As if head would be drawn back.
As if ears were closed up.
As of a bubble bursting in ear.
As if tip of tongue were cracked. Dryness of mouth as if caused by heat of breath.
As if veins of right leg were bruised.
Motion as from a fœtus in uterus. Blisters on points of toes as if scalded. Emaciation, anæmia, bloating are prominent effects of Nat. c.; as also is swelling and induration of glands. Nat. c. is suited to: Light-haired people; persons of leuco-phlegmatic constitution with aversion to open air, and to exercise, mental or physical. Stitches go from within out. Right upper and left lower are particularly affected.
A peculiar symptom of Nat. c. is “discharge of mucus after an embrace” in the woman; and sterility as a result. In Med. Adv., xviii. 248 and 370, are two cases in point, one cured by J. C. Guernsey and the other by W. Jefferson Guernsey. In both cases the woman complained that she “could not retain the semen” after the embrace. Some of the grand keynotes of the remedy are to be found in its modalities. Prominent among these are < from sun; heat; gaslight.
Nat. c. has great debility from heat of summer; from chronic effects of sunstroke, every spell of warm weather = headache. Headache from sun or working under gaslight. At the same time there is great aversion to cold air, . Moving head = cracking in cervical vertebræ. Moving = profuse sweat. Most symptoms come on or are sinking, < dyspepsia and hypochondriasis. < From milk; from vegetable diet; from cold drink when over-heated. > By pressure, rubbing, scratching, wiping with hand. > Boring into ears and nose with fingers.
Unable to think; difficult, slow comprehension. Mental weakness and depression; worries; very sensitive to noise; colds, change of weather. Anxious and restless during thunderstorm; worse from music (Ambra). Marked gayety. Sensitive to presence of certain individuals.
Aches from slightest mental exertion, worse from sun or working under gas-light (Glon) Feels too large. Oversensitive of hearing. Head aches with return of hot weather. Vertigo from exposure to sun.
All troubles of external nose which may attain a morbid size-pimples and puffiness. Constant coryza; obstruction of nose. Catarrh; bad smell of nasal secretion. Many troubles of external nose (Caust). Posterior nasal catarrh. Hawking much mucus from throat; worse, slightest draught.
Freckles, yellow spots, pimples. Swelling of upper lip. Pale, with blue rings around eyes and swollen lids.
Feels swollen and sensitive. Ill effects of drinking cold water when overheated. Water-brash. Hungry at 5 am. Very weak digestion, caused by slightest error of diet. Averse to milk. Depressed after eating. Bitter taste. Old dyspeptics, always belching, have sour stomach and rheumatism. Dyspepsia relieved by soda biscuits.
Sudden call to stool. Escapes with haste and noise. Yellow substance like pulp of orange in discharge. Diarrhœa from milk.
Induration of cervix. Pudenda sore. Bearing-down sensation (Sep; Murex). Heaviness; worse, sitting; better by moving. Menses late, scanty like meat-washings (Nitric ac). Leucorrhœal discharge, offensive, irritating preceded by colic.
Dry cough, when coming into warm room from out of doors. Cough with coldness of left side of breast.
Wakes too early in morning. Amorous dreams. Drowsy during day.
Old sprains. Great weakness of limbs, especially in morning. Easy dislocation and spraining of ankles. Foot bends under (Caust). Soreness between toes and fingers. Heel and tendo-Achilles affected. Capped hands. The hollow of the knee is painful on motion. Icy cold up to knees.
Inclination to perspire easily, or dry, rough, cracked skin. Eruption on finger-tips, knuckles and toes. Vesicular eruption in patches and circles. Veins full. Soles of feet raw and sore.
Modalities are Worse, sitting, from music, summer heat, mental exertion, thunderstorm. Least draught, changes of weather, sun. Better, by moving, by boring in ears and nose.