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.
In hepatitis, not so much in the acute as in the chronic form of the malady, which usually ends in enlargement and induration, it has been praised by good authorities. Sir R. Martin strongly recommends its application by means of a bath, putting about 1 1/2 oz. of acid to each gallon of water (v. Preparations). Two gallons represent an average quantity for a foot-bath, which should be used warm, and while the feet are immersed, the inner side of the limbs and the regions of liver and spleen should be sponged alternately for ten to fifteen minutes altogether. Martin recommended this bath morning and evening, but I have usually found an evening bath sufficient, and have seen excellent results from it; generally it has regulated the action of the bowels, and even produced laxative effects. Some patients are nauseated and weakened by its use, though they receive benefit: it requires watching, and smaller quantities of the acid should be tried first in delicate subjects. If it does not relax the bowels, an aperient should be taken occasionally during the course of the baths.
In hepatic torpor, or chronic catarrhal jaundice, if no inflammation be present, and in chronic dysentery with hepatic congestion, this form of bath is also valuable, and may be conjoined with the internal exhibition of the acid: even in cirrhosis and the consequent dropsy, benefit has been derived from this treatment.