Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Medical Advice About Bathing in 1813

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Warm Bath

Loretta reports:

Recently, I posted about shower baths in the 1800s.

Those of you who’ve followed our various posts on bathing are aware that our ancestors were not necessarily filthy and smelly, although they did not generally take full baths or showers every day.

But cleanliness wasn’t the only reason for bathing. In 1800s medical literature, one encounters discussions about the medicinal value of baths, of various temperatures. My post on the Royal Waterloo Bath included the quote, “Bathing is so essentially connected with health ...”

Going to Bath or another spa town to take the waters might include bathing in as well as drinking the healthful waters.

This Medical Report, a monthly item—at least for a time—in Ackermann’s Repository, offers both a glimpse at the ailments a physician encountered and his thoughts on bathing. Please note the last several lines, where he describes what bathing cures and what dangers it holds.

1813 Medical Report
Image from Poetical Sketches of Scarborough in 1813, courtesy Internet Archive.

Clicking on the image will enlarge it.  Clicking on the caption will allow you to read at the source, where you can learn more and enlarge images as needed.


Quinn said...

And it compares favorably to opium! Good news :)

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