This section is from the book "Hartmann's Theory Acute Diseases And Their Homoeopathic Treatment", by Charles J. Hempel. Also available from Amazon: Theory of acute diseases, and their homoeopathic treatment.
* See Dietetic Rules for the Sick, etc., by Dr. F. Hartmann, Dresden and Leipsic.
The temperature has to be carefully regulated agreeably to the feelings, habits, and wishes of the patient, and in accordance with the nature of the fever and the periods when it occurs. In fevers which are characterized by an undue degree of heat, the room ought to be kept cool, in order to avoid increasing the oppression and anxiety of the patient by an excess of artificial heat; if the fever heat abates, the temperature of the room may be elevated in proportion. The temperature of a sick room ought never to be below 25° Fahrenheit, nor above 45°; the best temperature is between 35° and 38°; if then the room appear too cold to the patient, he may have an additional covering. The air in the sick-room ought to be dry and pure. Rooms in a recently built house, or which have been recently whitewashed are not suitable for fever patients, as they are too damp and therefore make the air impure by the vaporous exhalations from the walls; the air is likewise made impure by hard-coal or peat fire, by coal burning in an open furnace, by drying linen, hard or pine wood, or by keeping in a room flowers and vegetables that have a strong smell; by fumigations with substances that are more or less medicinal; even fumigations with vinegar cannot always be admitted under homoeopathic treatment, because vinegar antidotes many vegetable medicines and must therefore possess medicinal virtues. All these things have to be avoided; the lighting of a sulphur-match has likewise to be avoided lest the action of the homoeopathic agent should be disturbed. A moderate degree of light, in the room, is likewise essential to the comfort and even the cure of the fever patient; if the eyes be very much inflamed and sensitive to the light, or if the light increase the irritation of the brain, the room ought to be kept dark.
* Some persons are accustomed to the use of things which are injurious to them, for instance the use of coffee, tea, tobacco, etc. The use of any such things is to be positively interdicted during treatment, and is to be permitted only if the patient experience pleasing effects from them. - Hempel.
Inasmuch as the doors of the sick-room require to be closed in order to prevent currents of air, it is important that the air should be occasionally renewed by opening the windows or by some other mode of artificial ventilation. This renewal of the air requires to be repeated in proportion as the room is lower and smaller.
§ 18. The nourishment which we permit our patient, likewise depends upon the nature of the fever. The fever patient having generally no appetite for any solid food, we need not apprehend that he will aggravate his sufferings by an error in diet; nevertheless it is important that whatever nourishment the patient does take, should be carefully selected. If he should express an irresistible desire for one or the other kind of nourishment, the demands of nature must be carefully observed, and the patient must neither be flatly refused what he desires to have, nor ought he to be persuaded to take more of it than he wants. The fever patient generally desires such kinds of food or beverage as will palliate his sufferings; the substances which the patient desires, are not so much medicinal as necessary to satisfy a want. If the cure of the disease should be retarded by the moderate enjoyment of those things the damage will be easily repaired or even outweighed by the new energy imparted to the vital forces by the homoeopathic remedial agent, and by the refreshing delight and invigoration which the patient experiences from enjoying the desired food or beverage.*
The fever patient eats only when he is hungry, and no more than is necessary to satisfy his appetite. The general rule, however, is, that the patient ought to eat little and only light food. The patient will not frequently desire warm food; if he should desire any, he may take a little warm panado, or a light broth with grits, barley, rice, sago, salep, oatmeal, oatmeal-cake. If the fever be not very violent, the broth may be a little stronger, and the patient may even be permitted a dish of light meat, venison, poultry, which is not too young, a piece of delicate beef, in company with either of the above vegetables. In proportion as the fever decreases, and the appetite of the patient returns, he may be allowed green vegetables, such as: cabbage of various kinds, savoy, cauliflower, peas, carrots, green beans, soft-boiled eggs, and the above-mentioned dishes of rice, barley, etc., with the yolk of an egg, may likewise be allowed.
* See Organon, § 265 and 266.
The best kind of food in every stage of the fever is undoubtedly fruit. Among the apples, Spitzenberg, pippins, and love-apples, are undoubtedly the best for the patient, especially when prepared as a marmalade; he may likewise eat pears, prunes, either fresh or dried, stewed and preserved without spices; sweet cherries, grapes, strawberries, peaches, apricots, oranges, figs, melons, pineapple. Of course all those various kinds of fruit ought to be enjoyed with moderation, lest the saccharine matter which they contain should accumulate in too large a quantity and give rise to flatulence, which might become very troublesome and increase the fever. In erethic fevers, with disposition to diarrhoea, the physician will have to be very cautious in recommending the use of fruit; in many cases that use will have to be interdicted entirely.*
§ 19. The beverage of fever patients who frequently suffer with burning thirst, deserves particular consideration. It is inexpedient to give the patient no other but warm drinks, for these do not always quench his thirst. But it would be just as improper to give the patient iced water or other icy-cold drinks; a medium temperature is the best; let the drinks which the patient takes be cool, but neither warm nor icy cold.