2011 July August

Prescribing combination mineral remedies; a case of Natrum iodatum

by Mary Ellen Coulter

It is not unusual, even for experienced homeopaths, to have difficulty deciding between several substances, when choosing a mineral remedy. Besides understanding the individual elements, it is helpful to recognize the remedies that are a combination of 2, or even, 3 elements. In addition to the properties of the individual elements, the combination remedy will exhibit its own unique qualities. It is desirable to see several symptoms that can identify the remedy as its own substance, separate from individual components. A fairly common example is the remedy, Calcerea Phosphoricum, which contains well-known aspects of Calcerea Carbonicum (desire for security and protection, structural issues of bones, joints, and teeth, focus on work and responsibility) and Phosphorous (desire for company and communication, fear of the dark and being alone, respiratory symptoms, tendency to anxiety, sympathetic to others, desire for cold drinks, excessive bleeding). While different aspects of each remedy may be present in an individual, there are characteristics that are unique to the combination remedy, Calcerea Phosphoricum (discontent, desire to travel, crave smoked meats, worse when snow is melting, growing pains, headaches and stomachaches). The following case demonstrates an instance where a combination remedy was more successful than one made from a single mineral substance.

FK is a 28 year old female with multiple sclerosis. She is a slim, dark haired young woman, who wears thick glasses and walks into the office with a noticeable limp. She initially appears self-conscious as she describes her struggle with multiple sclerosis and anxiety. FK relaxes slowly as she relates that she is an art teacher who loves to paint abstract pictures. Recently, she moved to teach art at a local community college. This triggered an anxiety disorder that originally began at age 15, when her mother died of breast cancer. Her parents had already been divorced for several years. Her father, who had remarried, told FK that her stepmother did not wish for her to stay with them and FK went to live with her grandparents.

She felt abandoned, very alone, and consoled herself by painting. Expressing a desire to be loved, she started doing drugs and drinking alcohol to overcome her social anxiety and meet people. In her senior year in high school, FK was sent to a treatment program for drug abuse. She mentions that before she received help, she was as close to death as any living person could come. FK began having dizzy spells, blurred vision, and increased anxiety. In addition, there was trouble with her balance, she felt hot, even though her symptoms were worse in the heat, and  she desired being outside in fresh air. With the anxiety, there was obsessive thinking, which she could not erase, especially at night. Mostly these thoughts revolved around issues of security, the future, and whether she could trust her new boyfriend. Her fear of abandonment was tremendous and created insecurity that interfered with her ability to trust that anyone would love her. She also had fear that she could not provide for herself. Despite being very thin, FK reported a huge appetite and particularly craved sugar, which she would eat right out of the bowl. She would dream that her boyfriend left her or cheated on her. She also had dreams of floating through the air.

lonelinessKey points of the case:

- grief from death of mother and abandonment by father

- insecurity in relationship and fear of being alone in life; dreamt boyfriend cheated on her

- fear of providing for self,

- anxiety and insomnia with obsessive thinking

- Multiple Sclerosis; balance and vertigo as main symptoms

- HOT with a ravenous appetite, despite being very thin

- history of relatives surviving the Holocaust


1- MIND, Ailments from death of parent or friend- combined with

2- MIND, Fear of being alone

3- MIND, Delusion/Dream, floating in air

4- GENERALS, Heat, sensation of

5- GENERALS, sclerosis, multiple

6- STOMACH, Appetite, Ravenous, with emaciation

7- EXTREMITIES, Awkwardness- combined with

8- EXTREMITIES, dragging legs while walking

9- GENERALS, weakness, heat or heated, becoming.

10- EYE, Inflammation, optic nerve

I added a new rubric in the Complete 2009 Repertory: MIND, Fear alone, of solitude

Remedies considered from the analysis are Natrum Muriaticum, Phosphorous, Causticum, and Argentum Nitricum. FK had taken Natrum Muriaticum in the past, before she moved, which was initially helpful, but stopped acting. I wanted to choose a remedy that included how hot she is, the ravenous appetite despite being so thin, and obsessive thinking. The remedy Iodatum covers these features and according to Jan Scolten, Natrum Iodatum has the feeling that they are alone in their fight for existence and struggle for life.

Prescription: one dose of Natrium Iodatum 200c, followed by 6c daily, until symptoms improved.

The remedy created a dramatic improvement in FK’s mental and emotional symptoms; the anxiety was much better, she was able to sleep without obsessive thoughts. She and her boyfriend developed a wonderful relationship; they became engaged. She developed the confidence to apply for a job teaching art at a larger university, with tenure. Physically, the ocular symptoms, limp, and balance improved. There was a relapse of all of the symptoms six months later, when she was applying for the new job, which required making herself vulnerable in the application process and moving to a new city. The remedy was repeated two more times in the 200c dose during this time, at one-month intervals. She was accepted at the school of her choice and symptoms once again improved. The last time I heard from her, six months after the move, she was getting married and doing well in her new location.

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Human Experiences, depression/loss of loved one; Baker131313





Keywords: Multiple sclerosis, grief from death of mother, anxiety, loneliness, insomnia, obsessive thinking, HOT, ravenous appetite
Remedies: Natrium iodatum

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