This section of the book is from "Fasting, Hydropathy and Exercise", by Bernarr MacFadden.
The German, Austrian, and Russian shepherds stay the whole summer with their flocks, but as a class, are nevertheless remarkably subject to pulmonary diseases, and for the following reason: They pass the night in a Schaefer-huette, a sort of ambulance-box, eight feet by four, and six feet high, without windows, but with a tight-fitting sliding door. This door the ill-advised proprietor shuts after dark, and breathes all night the azotized air of his Black Hole of Calcutta on wheels. In the morning he awakens with a hacking cough, superadded to profuse perspiration, and a feeling of nausea. The air of the mountains gradually relieves the other symptoms, but not the cough, which finally becomes chronic. And, with exquisite facilities for the attainment of a patriarchal longevity, the slave of the night-air superstition thus dies in the forenoon of his life.
Cold bathsin air or waterand thorough ventilation become more necessary with every degree further south, and a Spanish army-surgeon of Santiago de Cuba a few years ago surprised the medical faculty with the success of his experiments in the artificial refrigeration of a military hospital. By means of ice-vaults and force-ventilators he cooled some of the wards to a temperature of fifty degrees Fahrenheit below that of the outdoor atmosphere, and cured not only sleeplessness and nervous prostration, but climatic fevers of all sorts, and even cholera. In the treatment of yellow fever his treatment reduced the usual death-rate four-fifths, and that in spite of the fact that his wards were overcrowded and handicapped by the lack of trained nurses.
Practical arguments of that sort will ultimately prevail against prejudice, and it may be safely predicted that hydropathic prescriptions are destined to supersede drug-rnongery in the treatment of all germ-diseases, and that before the end of the present century our dwelling-houses will be artificially cooled in summer as successfully as we now warm them in winter.