This section is from the book "Shampooing Or Benefits Resulting From The Use Of The Indian Medicated Vapour Bath", by Sake Dene Mahomed. Also available from Amazon: Shampooing: Or Benefits Resulting From The Use Of The Indian Medicated Vapor Bath.
When Nature droops and sinks beneath Decay, When at the touch of Pain Health fades away, Eager we fly for refuge to the art Which bids Disease's lingering train depart, Cheers with its beacon-light the rayless gloom, And plucks the victim from the opening tomb, And, blessing in its course alike and blest, O'er the deep channels of the sorrowing breast, Pours the ecstatic tide of Hope again, And quells each rising fear, each struggling pain.
Long may such power, oh Mahomed! be thine, To the worn thousands that in sickness pine These blessings, Heaven-directed, to impart, And claim the homage of the grateful heart. Brighton, 1825.
The following paragraphs are extracted principally from the Brighton Gazette, and are merely quoted as additional evidence of the opinion entertained of the Vapour Baths and Shampooing, by an unprejudiced and impartial writer:
The prejudice which has existed against the Indian Medicated Vapour Baths introduced into this town by Mr. Mahomed, we are glad to acknowledge no longer exists. From the benefits derived by numerous individuals, whose general respectability places their information beyond all doubt, we are enabled to say that the most salutary effects result from this mode of bathing, and there are but few instances in which the experiment has been known to fail. The New Baths on the West Cliff, which are most spacious and elegant, we understand, were erected by a gentleman, in gratitude for the cure of a most painful and obstinate complaint, performed by Mr. Mahomed, and which only yielded to his successful mode of treatment.
Mahomed, the first person who introduced the Indian Vapour Baths into this country, and which have been found of such signal utility in various diseases, is flocked to by the sound as well as the invalid, even at this season of the year: as the means of insuring or restoring health, Shampooing has been found equally advantageous in many cases.
It is not generally known, that the celebrated comedian, Mathews, whose surgical attendants pronounced him incurable, and stated that he would most probably be a cripple for life, in consequence of a dislocation of the hip, occasioned by the accident of his being, some time ago, thrown out of his gig, was completely and effectually cured by Mahomed's process of shampooing; and that Phillips, the vocalist, who had lost his voice from a severe cold, by two applications of the same nature was perfectly recovered. Such are the beneficial effects of this simple, yet excellent mode of restoring and pre serving health.
It is remarked by Sir John Sinclair, in his Code of Health, that "there are many who keep a number of grooms to curry their horses, who would add ten years to their comfortable existence, if they would but employ one of them to curry themselves with a flesh brush night and morning." The currying here alluded to is, in fact, the qualified process of shampooing, unaccompanied with its more agreeable and medicinal properties. It is the suggestion of a man who had certainly discovered the advantages from friction being applied to the human body, but who was ignorant of the mode practised in India, where it is applied in almost all cases of disease, and where its beneficial effects are known and appreciated. It is a valuable, because it is a simple remedy, and "simples are the best restoratives," in many cases, if judiciously applied. Shampooing has performed many cures since its introduction into this country, and more particularly since its introduction into this town, for which we are indebted to Mahomed, who is alone acquainted with its peculiar preparation, and who can adduce innumerable instances of its healing virtue, and the benefits resulting from this most agreeable and renovating application.
We regret to say we have not room this week to lay before our readers the case of Dr. Shaw, who was so effectually and radically cured by Mahomed. The statement is of great interest, and incontestibly proves the efficacy of the art of Shampooing in cases of extreme debility. We are also, for the same reason, unable to lay before our readers a case furnished us of a severe internal hurt, occasioned by a fall from a horse, which the never-failing process of Shampooing also effectually cured.
The salubrity of the air of Brighton, the convenience of bathing, and the many and valuable advantages which the town possesses in other respects, both as a place of pleasure and of health, have been the means of raising it very high in the estimation of every person in the country. But nothing adds more to its importance than the excellence of its baths, and no baths are more complete, more visited, or more generally esteemed than Mahomed's, particularly his Shampooing Baths. This process, with little deviation, he follows after the manner of his native country. The plan is simple, merely enveloping the body in steam, arising from water, in which medicinal herbs of a most agreeable sweetness have been infused, and, rubbing the body: this application has, in many instances, performed wonders, particularly in cases of rheumatism, old sprains, and gouty affections, and in nervous and other complaints. In India, Shampooing is practised in a variety of ways.