This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics Inorganic Substances", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia medica and therapeutics.
The use of alkalies in this malady was at one time largely adopted, in the hope that their property of assisting oxidation would be of direct service, but this hope has been in the main disappointed. The permanganate especially was recommended by Sampson (Lancet, i., 1853), and also by Ramskill (Medical Times, ii., 1867), but has not proved reliable (Bence Jones, Basham, and others): it seems, however, to have the power of relieving the intense thirst of the malady. The compound alkaline waters of Vichy, Carlsbad, etc., really ameliorate many cases (v. vol. i., p. 161). The nitrate, chlorate, and tartrate are also serviceable in polydipsia, and are given dissolved in water or lemonade: the citrate in effervescence may give much temporary relief.