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 acute nephritis from other than scarlatinal causes, warm packing and vapor-baths, and similar means of inducing diaphoresis, are almost equally valuable for relieving the renal congestion and eliminating waste products. In chronic nephritis they act specially as eliminants, and they also lessen dropsy.
A copious supply of pure water is an effective, non-irritant diuretic, and is very useful in acute renal congestion and inflammation, washing out epithelium and casts from the obstructed tubules. It renders more soluble, also, and helps to carry off, all the products retrograde metamorphosis, and the good effect of many infusions and decoctions is doubtless largely due to the amount of water they contain.
In acute nephritis, whether induced by cold or by fever, antimony has been specially commended by Dr. Bence Jones, Dr. Barlow, and others (Guy's Reports, vol. x.). It would certainly seem, a priori, that the action of small doses on the skin and the intestinal tract, as well as on the inflamed organ, should be of favorable character, but practically I have seldom found it to be so. Tartar emetic does not appear to exert any direct special power in controlling disease of the genito-urinary mucous membrane.