Portrait: Natrum Mur

Sodium Chloride AKA Salt.

Salt has been a valuable commodity on Earth for many hundreds of years. It is an essential mineral for maintenance of fluid balance and physiological function in most organisms on Earth. We humans have depended upon it for food preservation and our livelihood, even to modern times. Once upon a time it was even used as currency, hence ‘salary’ from Latin,‘sale’. Romans were paid in salt stamped into coinage.


I always like the interesting parallels homeopathy brings to my understanding of the world. Homeopathy is a foundation practice of Holistic Veterinary Medicine. As a system of medical practice that has the power to take us well into the future, it is affirming to find that homeopathy has also been the truth of our past.

In the book of Genesis, for example, when Lot and his wife were warned to escape the destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, they were also warned to not look back. Not looking back is having no regrets, not succumbing to grief. Lot’s wife, as we all know, was turned to a pillar of salt as she looked back. There are many interpretations of this action and perhaps I choose to accept that the salt represents the grief of leaving things behind, ‘silent grief’, as the homeopathic proving of nat mur gives us. Natrum is about relationships and attachment.

I used to get confused about the neediness that natrum exhibits when it is known that nat mur individuals are closed and function very well independently until I understood that sodium cannot exist in nature without being bound to a cation. The various cations and salts, principally chloride(muriaticum), carbonate, phosphate, sulphate give rise to the variations we see in the natrum medicines.


I prove nat mur myself when I swim in the ocean for longer than half an hour. The lining of my mouth becomes very dry and then coats my palate with the signature ‘egg white’ discharge or ‘fish slime’ of nat mur. The ‘egg white’ also pours from my nose afterwards for a while.


In my animal patients, following a case example from Ed de Beukelaer, I attempted to cure an infertile Labrador Retriever bitch with a history of repeated failed matings and foetal resorption with nat mur. Ed’s case was that of a dairy cow with a similar history but the main observation in both cases was ‘sadness’ and a dull, bristly, lacklustre coat/hair. The other consideration in my dog was that she would have repeated bouts of inexplicable gastritis and vomit ‘coffee grounds’. This helped me to differentiate from sepia that vomits blood and has the hormonal difficulties described above. I have to say that when the owners mentioned that this dog’s mother would always chew her feet after whelping and never at other times I envisaged an ignatia causation in the family history. I have recently been discovering some epigenetic correlations like this in homeopathic prescribing. This Labrador regained a vibrant shiny and dark coat and full health with no further vomiting but the owners stopped trying to breed with her after many failed attempts, the last being after a few months of nat mur and before we could try other medicines that may have built upon this initial improvement.

I have used nat mur to help save a ruptured eye in a horse, to treat kidney failure in cats, to treat cat ‘flu’, and in many cases either constitutionally or with it’s association of being chronic of ignatia.

The major keynote for prescribing in my animal patients is their lack of desire for company, preferring only one friend usually the main caregiver but is generally and obviously aloof. I often don’t see the desire for any company in these animals but some of them stay near one person especially. They take themselves off and are aggravated by attention. Many cats are like this and given that many modern cats are also dry food addicts (salt), nat mur is a common prescription in this species especially with their preponderance for chronic renal failure which, in turn, is likely to be a result of dry food dependency.


As a hot, thirsty medicine it is distinguished from apis which is a hot, thirstless medicine in cases of fluid imbalance or oedema and it is behaviourally different as well if we are looking for a closer simillimum in cases of effusions and oedema. Apis are more manic or busy/territorial, in general.


I think most of the nat mur dogs I have seen have been in a nat mur state rather than them having a true nat mur constitution. I recently saw an overweight golden retriever that was sluggish and not responding well to calc carb that was described by the owner as ‘having the sads’. As it transpired, this dog did not respond as well as predicted to nat mur but subsequently developed pancreatic and liver/bile duct symptoms with bright yellow diarrhoea that turned out to be nat sulph. This was a nice reminder of looking in the natrum family if nat mur doesn’t give the desired response. Nat mur are generally wiry or lean and this dog did not drink as much as you may expect of a nat mur.

The cases in which I have used nat mur successfully bear out the importance of achieving the totality of symptoms. The simillimum is the medicine that matches as many of the essential rubrics as possible and takes an animal to cure.

As homeopaths in a modern world, perhaps we should also remember the sage advice of Sri Chinmoy



If we can take criticism
With a grain of salt,
Then we can run extremely fast
Towards our Destination.

Sri Chinmoy, Seventy-Seven Thousand Service-Trees, Part 28,




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