Jan Scholten

3.1 Natrium

Natrium metallicum has not been described in homoeopathic literature, probably because nobody has managed to potentise it yet. It immediately reacts with both water and sugar as soon as it comes into contact with them.
Most of what we know about Natrium has been focused on the aspect of denial and depression. But since there are always two sides to a coin there has to be another side to this remedy. So what is it? The first thing that comes to mind is ‘optimism’, but this proved to be too simple. We have to look deeper, and see what is behind the general term ‘depression’. Then we find that this is really based on a denial of relationships. The term ‘feeling alone’ also indicates that this is probably the core of the problem. And it is further confirmed by the central role that relationships play in this whole series. Which leads us to the other side of the coin in Natrium, i.e. ‘desperately searching for a relationship’. And this aspect fits with our observations in practice.
Theoretically we would also expect Natrium to have something to do with the theme ‘father’, as Chlorum, at the other end of the series, is known to be strongly related to motherhood. Although the theme of fatherhood has not been confirmed in Natrium (yet), we could imagine it to be there, judging from symptoms like ‘impulsive’ and ‘starting a relationship on an impulse and immediately withdrawing again’.

The name sodium is derived from soda, an age-old and well known cleaning agent.
The chemical formula of soda is NaHCO3, or Sodium bicarbonate. The Greek called it ‘nitron’ and the Arabs called it ‘natron’.
Natrium itself was discovered in 1807. The metal is usually stored in petroleum because it oxidises too quickly when it is exposed to air. When it comes into contact with water it oxidises even more quickly, the resulting oxygen bubbles keeping it afloat.


Stage 1 Silicon series

Simple Relationships Family
Impulsive Spontaneous Other You
Natural Instinctive Love and hate
Naive Communication
Unthinking Foolish Language Learning
Alone Presentation
Immature Play
Destruction Teenager
Home Neighbourhood
Impulsive in starting a relationship: changing partners.
Innocent love.
Lack of perseverance in relationships.
Easily influenced by relationships.
Impulsive in relationships with friends.
Vulnerable in relationships.
Withdrawing from a relationship: alone.
Withdrawing in communication: closed.
Simple family.
Not considered mature enough.
Remaining alone.
Alone in the house.
Relationships get stuck in the beginning.
Impulsively hating or leaving.
A foolish family.
Playing alone: patience.

Picture of Natrium metallicum
Essence: entering a relationship on an impulse and being left alone.

Entering a relationship on an impulse: changing partners
This is a side of the Natriums that we aren’t very familiar with. It is the first stage, where they don’t feel a sense of failure yet and where they haven’t developed any complaints. They have just finished the phase of personal development and are just entering the phase of relationships.
They are inclined to throw themselves into a relationship on an impulse, without thinking beforehand whom they would like to have a relationship with. They generally have very instinctive opinions about others. They instinctively love someone or hate someone.

Unthinking in their dealing with relationships
They have no idea about the relationship that would suit them, because they don’t know anybody yet. They have no experience of what it involves and they can’t analyse their own behaviour. They have no insight into their own motives and they don’t understand why things go wrong when they do.
We see this sort of thing happening in a first love. The teenager doesn’t know what is happening and can behave quite outrageously. They don’t know how to handle it and they may do all sorts of strange things that will only put the other person off.
They have no idea what the other person might think or feel, because they are too busy trying to make sense of their own emotions.
Another example is the sort of relationship where a woman has fallen in love with a married man, who eventually chooses to go back to his own wife. The woman doesn’t realise or, rather, she doesn’t want to see, that this relationship is bound to fail.
This naive kind of behaviour makes others think of them as being rather immature. Others may find them insincere and not worth taking seriously.

Vulnerable in their relationships
They are extremely vulnerable to rejection. They are so sensitive that even the most innocent gestures or remarks can make them feel totally dejected and discouraged. They have no sense of proportion and don’t realise that this sort of sensitivity may be suffocative to their partner.

Easily influenced by relationships
They are able to adapt themselves completely to their partner’s wishes, they’ll do anything, as long as the other person promises not to leave them. Again we often see this happening in a relationship between a woman and a married man, where the woman will adapt her whole life to fit in with his time schedule.

Not persevering in a relationship
Because they are so vulnerable they tend to give up easily. They don’t really persevere because they lack the strength to make a go of it. Or they feel they have no right to have friends anyway and at the slightest hint of trouble they’ll say, ‘See, I knew it wasn’t meant to be’. So the relationship comes to an end before it has even started properly.

Withdrawing from relationships
Eventually, after many disappointments, they withdraw from the whole idea of relationships altogether. They have given up hope about the possibility of a happy relationship, they feel that there is a division between themselves and the rest of the world. But, in giving up on relationships they deny themselves one of their most basic needs in life.
This kind of attitude may be caused by the loss of a partner or friend. They were so intent on that one person that the loss comes as a terrible shock to them. Then they give up, they simply don’t want to try again.
In denying themselves the possibility of a relationship they deny their own personality as a human being. If there are no other people to have a relationship with, then it means that other people don’t really exist. That also means that they themselves don’t exist, which brings them round in a full circle to where they started from.

Withdrawing from relationships: alone
So they finally end up being alone and feeling left out. They start to develop an aversion to company and consolation. But on the other hand the desire to have a relationship is still present, as well as the fear of being alone.
Sometimes they have made up their mind in the beginning and remain single and alone in the house for the duration of their lives.

Withdrawing from talking: closed, silent
They keep their problems to themselves, they don’t feel like talking about them with others. They feel they should bear this suffering in silence, and although they may cry about it when they are on their own they will never show it to others. It is a secret sadness they carry around with them.
Fear: loss of relationship, death, future, people; easily frightened, < unexpected events.
Mood: sadness (Morrison 1988), gloomy, melancholic, pessimistic.
Mental always thinking about the past.
Art: -> music, soft, classical, piano music.
Causes: loss of relations, death of parents, friends or loved ones, >< arranged marriage.

Build: thin.
Weather: warm, < sun, <. sea.
Time: < 11 am.
Desires: salt, starch, fish.
Aversion: salt, < starch, milk.
Physical: < lying on left side.

De-myelinisation of nerves.
Headache, < sun. Cerebral haemorrhage.
Kidney problems.
Acidosis, alkalosis.
DD: Silicon series, Stage 1, vasopressinum.
DD: Lithiums: We see a strong similarity to the Lithiums with regard to depressive behaviour, but in the Silicon series the focus is purely on relation-ships.
DD Neon: also lives on his own, but he doesn’t mind this, rather, he enjoys the opportunity to go it alone, without being bothered by any form of relationship.
DD Magnesium: they keep searching for a relationship and become very bitter if they don’t succeed, because they feel it is their right to have one. Natrium is able to come to terms with his loneliness, he may even cultivate it.