This is a very pleasant remedy for a great many ills. To take, have a sitz-bath tub, which is either of tin or wood, something the shape of a chair, the seat being the tub, and the back is hollowed out to fit the back of person; or one can be improvised by taking a large wash-tub and placing something under at back, so as to incline it. Patient undresses and sits in tub, with water enough to nearly fill it when he sits down, with a foot-tub of water for his feet; place blanket around him from the front, so as to well cover him, and tuck in carefully at the back; place a cold wet cloth on head. The general temperature for a sitz is 92° for ten minutes; 88°, five minutes; and for foot water 100°. Now have a pail of cold water, and plunge feet one at a time in it, then throw a dry sheet around him, and rub dry quickly and vigorously with a crash towel. These sitz-baths are good for colds, diarrhea, piles, female weakness, urinary trouble, bilious colic, and, in fact, almost every ill that flesh is heir to.
For colds - a sitz-bath as warm as can be borne (106° is good), adding hot water as it cools, so as to keep it at that temperature for fifteen minutes; with foot-bath hot, hotter, hottest. Keep well wrapped up, a cold wet cloth on head, rub thoroughly dry, and go right to bed. Or some follow with a dripping sheet; and others who are robust, and wish to break up a severe cold, take this hot sitz, then a pack at about 85°, then a dripping sheet, and diet carefully for two or three days, remaining in bed if possible. Where it is only a slight cold a hot foot-bath, as described elsewhere, suffices; and this is also better for children under six or seven years of age, as you can not easily give them a sitz.
The temperature of a sitz-bath, in different diseases, is about as follows: Colds - hot as can be borne. Diarrhea - cool, about 90° for ten minutes, and 84°, five minutes. Piles - 96°, ten minutes; 90°, five minutes. Female weakness - 94°, ten minutes; 88°, ten minutes. Profuse menstruation - 84° - five minutes; 78°, five minutes, and 72°, five minutes. Urinary troubles - 92°, ten minutes, and 88°, five minutes. Bilious colic and for all acute pains - 102°, rapidly raised to as hot as can be borne, but take out patient before perspiring. Chronic pains - 104°, three minutes; 90°, five minutes, and 86°, live minutes. For malaria - 104° at first, adding hot water till the person perspires. For retention of urine, with a desire to urinate - a sitz-bath at 100°, ten minutes, and 90°, five minutes, with foot-bath as hot as can be borne, with cold plunge and a vigorous rubbing with damp salt, repeated for two or three days, will give perfect relief.
The sitz-bath is of great importance in drawing the blood from the brain, and also relieves congestion of the abdominal structures. The usual length is from fifteen to thirty minutes, according to strength of patient, if an invalid, or as it feels comfortable.