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 immersion of the feet produces some of the effects of the sitz bath, but in a minor degree. It lessens the amount of blood in the cranial circulation and relieves flatulence and slight visceral con-gestions. For all purposes, the thorough-going hydropathists use footbaths cold, or at least cool, with considerable friction, but there are some subjects in whom the cold to the feet produces serious symptoms, and others - such as the gouty and catarrhal patients - in whom a hot footbath, to which mustard or pepper may be added, relieves, and under due precaution as to exposure, does so more pleasantly and effectually than the cold. Friction of the feet with a "damp or dripping towel" is, however, an intermediate method often available.