This treatment is one that gives perfect satisfaction to all who try it; indeed, too much praise can not be given to it. To see the effects of oil-rubs, one would say as did the Queen of Sheba, "The half has not been told." To give it, have the patient undressed, with a sheet or blanket around him, sitting up or lying down; take either cocoanut, pure olive, or sweet oil, whichever can be obtained the purest; pour some in palm of hand, rub hands together, then take an arm and rub in the oil thoroughly, rubbing up and down, using more oil if necessary (as much as skin will absorb); cover this arm; take more oil and rub the other arm, then breast, back and legs; cover each part when finished. Repeat from three to six times a week, as the case may demand. One who is greatly reduced can take with benefit six a week. Once a week take a wash-off, or an acid sponge, by putting a scant tea-cup vinegar in a gallon of warm water, and using a sponge or towel, then rubbing dry. This is especially good for consumptives, dyspeptics, and persons who, from any cause, have been reduced in flesh and strength. It acts as a tonic, - thus it is of twofold value where one is recovering from sickness, as it is also nutritive to them, and to those who are cold-blooded it warms up the system. So for children it is especially good in winter, as an oil-rub at night will assist in keeping them warm; so in the day-time, if going on a long drive, or to be exposed to the cold for awhile, it is a good "send-off." For colds it works to a charm, for young or old, acting as a preventive, as it builds up the system, and renders it less liable to disease. Or, when at cold is taken, it is easily broken up by a pack, followed immediately by an oil-rub, and the next two nights simply oil-rubs, a hot foot-bath, 108°, then cooled down, and followed by a complete oil-rub. Where adults or children are delicate, the oil-rub gives good, healthy flesh; and where it is given as described, the result is perfect. For constipation it is invaluable, working a perfect cure after a month or two. It can be given at any time, without reference to eating, as it is a nutritive bath. The following description - given by Dr. James H. Jackson of "Our Home on the Hillside," at Dansville, N. Y., where these rubs have been used for many years - tells in forcible language their use and value:
"Oil-baths are given by rubbing the body all over with some kind of oil. It is not necessary to use more than two or three table-spoonfuls at one bath, but it should be rubbed in thoroughly, especially over the abdomen, inside the arms and thighs, where it can be absorbed to the best advantage. They may be taken at any time during the day. It is as well, perhaps, to take them before going to bed as at any other time. They may e given to meet any one of three conditions:
"lst. To supply waste of tissue and to introduce a very important element of nutrition into the body. Many persons will absorb oil to advantage nutritively, who can neither take it nor fats by the stomach without great distress or disturbance.
"2d. To improve the functions of the skin, which has become dry and hard, and lacks proper circulation in its capillaries.
"3d. To allay nervous irritation and reduce fever. Persons in paroxysms of fever, in typhoid, measles and scarlatina especially, may be freely anointed with oil to great advantage. In my practice I have often -seen the temperature of the body, when in a febrile state, reduced from one to three degrees by the administration of an oil-bath.
" I like the cocoanut oil better than the olive, as it is more likely to be genuine; it penetrates better, it does not turn rancid on the body, and I think it furnishes more nutriment to the body. Olive oils, as a general thing, are impure."
From the above you can see it is "multum in parvo," as it can really be depended upon for use in almost every thing the flesh is heir to; ana 40 the great beauty of it is, any one can give it without feeling fear as to the results. It can not do harm unless the patient is very fleshy; then it is not needed. It is so easity given that a child can give it to younger children. Its use in reducing fever is of untold value. A lady, who had had extended experience in using it, says: "I have known an oil-bath given a patient, in scarlet fever, with fever raging, and in a little while the temperature was reduced, and he was quietly sleeping."
For little babies it is really a blessing, as it nourishes and strengthens them; and given every other day, with a sponge-off in warm water the intervening day, an infant will do much better than when bathed daily.
It is also a great help in supplying nourishment where the mother has not sufficient nurse, and aids, too, in preventing the little colds, snuffles, colic, etc., that hover around the little one the first two or three months, needing our most watchful care to ward them off. Then, where there is any constipation, it is a perfect panacea - so much better than physic or enemas. It acts as a preventive to croup; and when a child is weakened by that dread disease, cholera infantum, nothing so helps to give tone to the system as the oil-rub. It certainly is the best of baby medicines, and a baby can "grow up" without any other remedy.