For internal use the temperature should be about 100° F. If drunk at this temperature, it causes nausea, and if taken in large draughts, vomiting; it also acts as a diaphoretic and diluent, becomes absorbed, and attenuates the blood. Externally applied, it is, at a moderate heat, emollient and sedative, relaxing the tissues to which it is applied. At a high temperature, 212° F., it acts as a powerful vesicant and counter-irritant. The vapour, when inhaled, acts as a topical, sedative expectorant, relieving the constriction of the vessels, and thereby facilitating expectoration.

3247. Therapeutic Uses Of Hot Water

In Croup, hot-water applications were first recommended by Dr. Lehman. Sponges filled with water as hot as the little patient can bear, should, on the accession of an attack, ,be applied immediately beneath the chin, and along the whole course of the larynx. It should be steadily persevered in for half an hour; if it do not produce benefit in that time, it may be considered to have failed. It should be employed at the first outset of the attack. This simple plan is stated to be very successful in arresting the progress of the disease. In Laryngismus Stridulus and Laryngitis, it may also be used with a prospect of success. It has this merit, at any rate, that it can do no harm, and is capable of producing a vast amount of benefit.

3248. In Cynanche Tonsillaris, Cynanche Maligna, and other Affections of the Throat, the inhalation of the vapour of hot water will afford, in most instances, even in the acute stages, a remarkable amount of relief. It may be frequently repeated. Acute and Chronic Bronchitis, and Chronic Catarrhs, are often signally benefited by the same means. It greatly facilitates expectoration. In Hay Asthma, the vapour of hot water is advised by Dr. Mackenzie.

3249. In Asthma, it is often serviceable to stupe the whole chest, during the fit, with flannel wrung out of water as hot as can be borne. (Graves.§)

3250. In Fever, as a means of relieving the Headache, Restlessness, &c., Dr. Graves|| considers that the local application of hot water is far more effectual than the cold lotions usually employed. He remarks that in 1832, a violent influenza, accompanied by the most distressing headache, attacked thousands in Dublin; and that this intense pain in the head was relieved by nothing so effectually as by diligent stuping of the temples, forehead, occiput, and nape of the neck, with water as hot as could be borne. Acting upon this advice (which, like all that proceeded from Dr. Graves, is worthy of careful attention), I have substituted hot for cold applications in the treatment of headaches in fever, and the result has been most satisfactory. In Congestive-Headaches, Dr. Graves considers that the application of leeches to the feet, and subsequently immersing the legs as far as the knees in water as hot as can be borne, is more effectual than the abstraction of blood from the head or its immediate vicinity. The hot foot-bath, without the leeches, often proves effectual.

* Lond. Journ. of Med., AprillS50.

Dub. Med. Journ., vol. viii.

Lond. Med. Journ., July 1, 1851.

§ Clin. Lect, vol. ii. p. 87. || Ibid, p. 537.

3251. In Piles attended with great irritation and pain, much relief is often obtained by sitting over the steam of hot water for fifteen or twenty minutes, and immediately applying a warm bread-and-milk poultice. These measures should be repeated five or six times a day. (Graves.) In Pruritus Genitalium, the same measure, or bathing the parts with hot water and soap every night and morning, may be resorted to with a great deal of advantage. In Prurigo Senilis, and other forms of Prurigo, the same treatment may be adopted with benefit.

3252. In Dyspepsia, attended with a sensation of coldness at the stomach, and with cold extremities, a cupful of water, taken as hot as it can be drunk, affords very considerable relief. (Dr. A. T. Thompson.*)

3253. In Chronic Cystitis, injections of tepid water into the bladder are in many instances productive of excellent effects. Not more than fiss. or fij. should be injected at once, and it should not be retained more than thirty or forty seconds. It may be repeated once or twice in twenty-four hours. (Sir B.nBrodie.)

3254. During the passage of Renal Calculi, much relief will often be obtained by the free injection of warm water into the bowels. The hot bath and hot fomentations may be employed at the same time with advantage. The water should be as hot as the patient will bear. (Dr. Prout.)