For this purpose, the means available in different cases are, chiefly, these:

Rest; Position; Cold; Diet; Purgation; Blood-letting; Cooling Medicines; Nervous Sedatives; Counter irritation.

REST of the part is indispensable in all inflammations. When the part is small, and is not used in moving about, the body need not be absolutely confined. If it be otherwise, as when an ankle is inflamed from a severe sprain, and still more when a lung, or the pleura, or a bowel, is so affected, the rest must be complete, in bed. Carrying a sore hand in a sling rests it; covering an inflamed eye with adhesive plaster closing the lids, or remaining in a darkened room, gives it repose. But any one with an inflamed lung must be kept as still as possible; and must not even speak, unless in a whisper. If the brain be inflamed, quietness and almost darkness will be necessary, to avoid mental as well as bodily disturbance.

Position can be made to help when a hand or a foot is inflamed. By keeping the part raised, the tendency of blood towards it will be lessened advantageously.

Cold is often a powerful antiphlogistic, as old writers called whatever tends to reduce inflammation. It must, however, be steadily applied, to have this effect. Dashing cold water on a part and then leaving it, in a place not itself freezing cold, will from reaction, make it warmer than before. When the brain is inflamed, a good plan is to shave the head, or at least cut the hair very short, and keep it half covered with light rags soaked in ice-water. For steadiness of effect, the rags must be dipped in the cold water every few minutes. A more effectual method--more convenient, however, for the abdomen than for the head—is to lay over the inflamed part a coil of light rubber tubing, through which cold water is made to pass. This is done by placing one end of the tube in a vessel of water somewhat higher than the body, and allowing the water to pass out at the other end, which is placed lower.

Diet was formerly much relied upon, and low diet was made very low--almost to starvation. We know now, that inflammation is possible in feeble as well as in strong bodies. Not every one can bear doing long without food, or even with too little food. Also, strength is necessary to shake off disease, so to speak. It is not strength, but excitement, that we want to reduce. A really low, thin diet, therefore, is only suitable for a strong person, and in no case for many days together, during illness. It is important, however, when fever is present, with which the power of digestion is always weak, to give food in a simple, liquid form, so as to cause the stomach no trouble in appropriating it.

Purging medicines act like an unstimulating diet, in cooling the blood, and thus promoting a quieter action of the heart and arteries. This favors the reduction of the excitement which attends a violent inflammation of any part. The cathartics which have the most effect of this kind are the Salines, as Epsom salts, Rochelle salt, citrate of magnesium, cream of tartar, etc.

Taking blood, either from a vein in the arm (venesection) or by leeches or cups, from an inflamed part (local blood-letting), is a very ancient remedy. Once overmuch used, the reaction in our time has gone quite too far against it. It is a very valuable means of reducing inflammation.

Leeches Applied.