Synonyms

Sodium Chloride. Chloruretum Sodicum. Natrium Chloratum Purum. Sodii Chloridum. Chloride of Sodium.

Common Names

Common Salt. Table Salt.

Chemical Properties

Formula, Na Cl. It occurs abundantly in nature, nearly everywhere. It crystallizes from aqueous solutions in colorless, transparent, anhydrous cubes; it is soluble in three parts of cold water, scarcely more in boiling. It is insoluble in absolute alcohol. Its watery solutions dissolve several bodies insoluble in water, e. g., Calc, phos., etc.

Preparation

One part by weight of pure chloride of sodium is dissolved in nine parts by weight of distilled water. Amount of drug power, one-teuth. Dilutions and triturations should be prepared according to Hahnemann's methods.

Physiologico-Chemical Data

This salt is a constituent of every liquid and solid part of the body. Its function is to regulate the degree of moisture within the cells.

This function of salt to regulate the degree of moisture within the cells is accomplished by virtue of its property of attracting water, which is imbibed as drink or in the food, and reaching the blood through the epithelial cells of the mucous membrane, whence it may finally reach the various cells, giving them the needful degree of moisture. Every cell contains soda, combining with nascent chlorine, which is formed by the splitting up of the chloride of sodium contained in the intercellular fluids. This chloride of sodium within the cell thus produced has the property of attracting water; in consequence of which the cell enlarges and is divided. Only in this way does division of cells for purposes of cell multiplication take place.

If no chloride of sodium is formed within the cells, the water destined to supply their moisture is retained in the intercellular fluids, and a hydremia results. The patient then shows a watery, bloated appearance, is languid, drowsy, lachrymose, chilly, especially along the spine and erttremi-ties. He craves salt. Although a plentiful supply of salt may be offered in the food, the diseased condition is not removed, simply because the cells cannot take up the particles of salt unless offered in a very dilute solution.

An oversnpply of salt within the intercellular fluids often occasions a salty taste, due to the irritation of the glossopharyngeal and lingual nerves. Such a condition also causes acridity of secretions of mucous membranes or of open wounds.

Chloride of sodium contained in the healthy epithelial cells of serous membranes regulates the osmosis of water from the arterial blood to the several serous sacs. A disturbance of the functions of these salt molecules is followed by a watery exudation within the sacs. By the therapeutic application of small doses of Nalrttm mur. the cells are enabled to reabsorb the exudation.

A disturbance of the molecular motion of this salt in the epithelium of the tear glands, or in the salivary glands is followed by lachrymation or ptyalism.

If the dental branch of the fifth nerve is irritated, and the disturbance reaches the lachrymal glands, which is done by means of the secretory fibres of the sympathetic, and which results in a disturbance of the function of the molecules of salt in these cells, we have a toothache accompanied by a profuse flow of saliva.

The epithelial cells of the intestinal mucous membrane transfer, by means of their salt, the water taken with the food into the blood contained in the branches of the portal vein. A disturbance of their function through any irritation results in a reverse flow. Serum enters the intestinal canal, and a watery diarrhcea results in consequence. And if the irritation reaches the mucous cells of the intestiues, a watery, mucous diarrhcea results. The mucin of the mucous cells appears on the surface as a glairy, transparent mucus. The normal secretion of mucus is decreased if the mucous cells contain too little salt and mucin.

It is the sodium chloride particularly which regulates the quantity of water entering into the composition of the blood corpuscles, thereby preserving their form and consistence; and it seems to perform an analagous office with regard to the other semi-solids of the body. (Dalton).

The Natr. mur. molecules contained in the epithelial cells of the peptic glands become split up by the mild action of the carbonic acid of the blood, its chlorine is separated, and the free soda unites with the carbonic acid, and this combination reaches the blood while the chlorine, united to the hydrogen and dissolved in water, reaches the stomach as hydrochloric acid. If on account of the want of salt in the epithelial cells of the peptic glands no HC1 can be formed, there arises an increase of the exudated alkaline mucus from the superficial epithelium of the mucous membrane of the stomach. Diluted hydrochloric acid, given in order to reduce the secretion of the superficial epithelial cell to the proper quantity, is but a palliative procedure; a rational cure must be effected by restoring the disturbed motion of the NaCl molecules which are found in the nourishing fluid of the epithelial cells of the peptic glands by means of administering homogeneous molecules.

This is also the function remedy of mucin, which is contained in the epithelial cells of all mucous membranes. It cures catarrh of such when its characteristic exudation is present; just as the hydrochloric acid formed in the epithelial cells of the peptic glands reduces the increased alkaline mucous exudation of the superficial epithelium to the right quantity, so can the hydrochloric acid that is formed by splitting up of the chloride of sodium within the mucin of all mucous membranes limit the secretion of the mucus in the formative (nascent) stage.

It is a fact that hydrochloric acid is obtained from salt (Natr. mur.) not only by means of carbonic acid acting upon the salt in a mass, but a similar result is obtained by the action of water. In the former the carbonic acid unites with the sodium which has lost its chlorine, and this combination reaches the blood; in the other case, sodium hydroxyd results, which dissolves the mucin and increases the secretion of mucus. This explains the origin of catarrh in damp atmospheres.