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Take Another Dose of Salt

by Dr Angela Jones(more info)

listed in women's health, originally published in issue 33 - October 1998

Ellen had a miserable time with endometriosis for many years. She had been treated with danazol, then had difficulty conceiving, but eventually achieved pregnancy with the help of fertility drugs. Now, ten years later, she was suffering from bouts of prolonged period-type pain, but lasting for up to two weeks before her period. She had no benefit from analgesia of any kind.

Her doctor felt that the endometriosis must have returned and sent her back to the gynaecologist, who decided that she needed an exploratory operation or laparoscopy. This was performed and showed old scars and one small ovarian cyst of no real significance, but no new endometriosis. A diagnosis of congestive pain was made but no real therapy was on offer. Unfortunately, her periods now became irregular, meaning that the bouts of pain lasted up to four weeks. Ellen was desperate and turned to homoeopathy for help.

Ellen described her pain as consisting of a continuous central abdominal aching with sharp exacerbations. There was no radiation to the thighs or the back; a little dragging but this was not a big feature. The pain settled immediately when the bleeding of the period began, "at that very instant", and she felt directly better, "like a different person".

Generally speaking, Ellen was neither a hot nor cold-blooded person. She was not fond of stuffy atmospheres. She liked to sleep on her back with the window open. Her appetite was good, with a marked craving for salt, fruit and fish and an aversion to fat. Thirst, especially for cold liquids was a prominent feature. Her family had quite a few cases of ischaemic heart disease but no cancer, diabetes or TB.

Ellen did not suffer from headache but did get hay fever with profuse runny clear nasal discharge and sneezing. She was bothered by an itchy scaly rash around the hairline and between the eyebrows which came and went and which sounded like mild seborrhoeic dermatitis. She was otherwise healthy apart from some water retention around the time of her period.

As a character, Ellen described herself as usually placid, interested and helpful. She worked at the local Citizen's Advice Bureau and was happy there although she admitted to sometimes bringing her work home with her. She admitted to nursing a grievance and being capable of prolonged bouts of resentment given appropriate provocation.

Something about Ellen's way of functioning made me think that she was of a Natrum muriaticum constitution. Her food preferences, in particular the thirst and desire for salt, fitted with this medicine as did the tendency to water retention and the typical rash around the hairline. It seemed that Ellen was unwell in a way that can occur in people of this type with these sort of period pains being described in the literature on this medicine. So, I gave her a single dose of Natrum muriaticum in the 30c potency and arranged to see her after two months. One often has to allow a fair time in review of problems with the menstrual cycle, in order to allow sufficient cycles to pass so that a proper judgment can be made.

At follow up, Ellen had quite a lot of news to tell. Her mother had become ill and died suddenly two weeks after I saw her. Though desperately sad, Ellen had been surprised at her reaction. She had not told me that when her father died, ten years earlier, she'd had a very severe reaction, and needed anti-depressant medication for six months. However, with this recent bereavement, she had coped very well. She was not bottling up her feelings but, she felt, was grieving normally, despite the fact that she was very close to her mother and missed her greatly.

Her pain had more or less settled, with the improvement being evident immediately after the dose of medicine. She only had occasional bouts and these were manageable. Overall, despite her unhappy experiences, she felt far better in herself and was in no doubt that the medicine had helped her. Interestingly, the hairline rash had also completely disappeared, a fact which Ellen had not noticed. I was looking out for this, however, as a sign that the medicine had acted. When I pointed out the rash's disappearance to Ellen, she was at first surprised that she had not noticed herself, but had to agree that this was also an effect of the medicine. Since then, Ellen has remained well for over a year without further treatment.

Maria's story was quite different. She had been on tranquillisers for ten years during her thirties but managed to stop them with the help of her GP. However, now, ten years later, she was abusing alcohol, drinking a half bottle of vodka every evening in order to "relax".

She had alcoholic parents and always up to now had been very controlled and controlling, seeing this as the only way to cope with her fear of chaos.

She described her present state as very miserable and resentful towards her parents for their role in her predicament. She also resented her partner for his tendency to "wallow in self pity". However, she would bottle up her misery and would not, on any account, allow her misery or resentment to show. She had to be seen to be coping and hated any fuss.

She was generally very fit and well with no physical complaints whatsoever. She used to be a "freezer" but now tended to overheat. She was very thirsty for cold, but not ice cold, drinks. She liked most food, loved salt and was averse to fat. She hated dark and overcast weather and loved fresh air. Although she quite liked the sea, she much preferred the mountains.

Maria was another clear case for Natrum muriaticum. By now, you will be recognising the clues – tendency to resentfulness, depression, salt craving and thirst, disliking any fuss or consolation. She responded like a charm to a single dose of Natrum muriaticum 200c and has managed, due to her improved mood, to stop drinking alcohol altogether. She is finding that she needs a monthly dose at present to maintain the improvement, but I fully expect these doses to spread out as time goes on.

These two cases demonstrate the dramatic results that can be achieved by prescribing a dose of salt, sodium chloride or Natrum muriaticum in Latin. However, it is the power of the homoeopathic potentising process that reveals the healing properties of the salt when used in the properly-selected patient.

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About Dr Angela Jones

Dr Angela Jones works in NHS general practice and also privately, using homeopathy alongside conventional medicine. Dr Jones can be contacted via the Faculty of Homeopathy on Tel: 020-7566 7800.

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